Springbok victory brought into question as clear red card for talisman is missed
South Africa flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit can count himself a very lucky player that he was still on the pitch come the final whistle against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Grandmaster of nitpicking a referee criticism TAS Analytics has produced their latest masterpiece after the Rugby Championship opening round, showing how Marika Koroibete and du Toit were lucky that their tackles were not looked at. The flanker’s in particular was very surprising not to be picked up, as there was clear contact to the head of Wallabies No8 Rob Valentini.
After being stopped by Jean Kleyn in a tackle on 26 minutes, Valentini was smashed in the head by the Bok’s left shoulder, which could easily have been a red card. The incident could be mitigated by the fact that the No8’s level did drop slightly, but there was no denying that there was a high degree of danger to it, which means at best it should have been a yellow card.
There were only five points in the match when this happened, so a red, or even yellow, card would have changed the outcome of the match dramatically.
This could have potentially been the second red card in a row for du Toit while playing for South Africa after his red card against France in November for a similar situation where he made contact with the head of France’s Jonathan Danty at a ruck. While the Boks still lost that match against Les Bleus in Marseille, it was still a very close match, which shows that they would not have faded away against the Wallabies if he had been dismissed.
To add insult to injury for Eddie Jones’ side, du Toit went on to score a try late in the match.
Take a look at du Toit’s tackle and decide for yourself: