VIDEO: Gloucester coach opens up on red-card controversy
CHAMPIONS CUP REACTION: Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann said he believes the game has lost ’empathy’ in the wake of the sport’s latest controversial red card decision.
Gloucester flyhalf Danny Cipriani was shown a red card for a high tackle on Rory Scannell in Gloucester’s 22-36 European Champions Cup loss to Munster at the weekend and could be facing a lengthy ban.
He was given his marching orders in the 29th minute at Thomond Park for a clumsy tackle on Scannell that saw his shoulder connect with the Munster centre’s head.
It completed a bad week for Cipriani, who was also left out of the England team for the year-end Tests.
Ackerman told Gloucester Rugby TV that: “I don’t want to get involved in that [red card] debate. I’ve said my opinion – I don’t know about red cards. It’s one of those decisions that we have to live by. It is not going to change the result.
“Obviously that’s the way forward for rugby in the future, that, unfortunately, games are going to be won and be lost on split decisions.`
“I think we’ve lost empathy and intent in rugby at the moment,” Ackermann said.
“If you play with a red card it is a mountain to climb, especially against a quality team like Munster.”
Ackermann also expressed his dismay with “a lot of things” that were “missed” by match officials during the game.
“There was a line-out five metres from our tryline. They [Munster] were five [players in the line-out] and we were four [players in the line-out]. It was totally missed by the officials.
“There are a lot of things that were missed that are frustrating.
“You expect the quality of officiating will be good enough to see that.”
He added that Gloucester must also point the finger at themselves.
“In the first 10 to 15 minutes we stole a lot of line-out ball and we had a lot of possession, but we did not convert.”