Nigel Owens has his say on suspect World Cup yellow card
Refereeing legend Nigel Owens has had his say on a yellow card during New Zealand’s World Cup quarter-final win over Wales on Saturday.
The moment came in the second half and saw Wales outside centre Carys Williams-Morris shown a yellow by referee Aimee Barrett-Theron for a late tackle on New Zealand fullback Ruby Tui. Oh, it was a tip tackle as well. To some, that might be the recipe for a red card, but Owens recently explained on World Rugby’s Whistle Watch why it was only a yellow.
“In this incident in the New Zealand game, what we see is a legal tackle being made,” he said. “So the player goes to tackle and the momentum of the player running causes them to go up in the air above the horizontal, but the key thing is here the referee and the TMO look at this and decide that there is no dangerous play afterwards. So they haven’t turned and driven them to the ground, they haven’t dropped them on their head- although it is very close where the player comes down. So taking that into account here, the referee has decided that this warrants a yellow card. On this one, a yellow card is an understandable decision.”
Owens was right when he said that Tui was “very close” to landing on her head. In fact, save for her arm breaking the fall, the Kiwi would probably have landed on her head, which would probably have changed the colour of the card. Tackles like that have certainly been reds before.
In the end the decision did not prove to be too influential on the result as New Zealand were already leading 45-3 when the tackle took place in the 59th minute. Also, Tui continued to play as New Zealand won 55-3.
Take a look at the tackle and Owens’ verdict: