'Then we must start playing touch rugby': Bok pundits start huge red card debate
By Rugby Onslaught

‘Then we must start playing touch rugby’: Bok pundits start huge red card debate

Glasgow Warriors’ United Rugby Championship semi-final encounter with Munster on Saturday threw up some real talking points, which were the cause of quite a meaty debate in South Africa this week.

Two cards were shown to Glasgow players, one red to fly-half Tom Jordan and one yellow to centre Sione Tuipulotu, and both have been the cause of debate amongst pundits Swys de Bruin, Hanyani Shimange and Robbi Kempson on SuperSport in the wake of the result.

While the former South Africa props Shimange and Kempson felt both tackles warranted red cards, former Springboks coach de Bruin felt they were both accidental head collisions, and therefore a red card is unfair. He claimed red cards should be saved for intentional acts of violent foul play on the pitch.

This led to a lengthy debate amongst the three, as well as host Owen Nkumane, as to what players can do to stop players offloading in the tackle.

The debate became even more intriguing when discussing what should happen in the event of a red card, as it can ultimately have a huge say on the result of the game. Plenty will argue that it did on Saturday, as Munster came away 14-5 winners at Scotstoun Stadium. Different punishments have been trialled across the world in order to stop red cards ruining a contest, and de Bruin and Kempson both mooted such variations. Robbi Kempson suggested a player goes off for ten minutes for a red card, but is then replaced by another player rather than the team being down to 14 players for the rest of the contest.

Red cards are very frequent in rugby, and the majority of them seem to create a lot of debate in the days and weeks that follow. This is just the latest debate, and it will certainly not be the last.

Take a look at the debate here: