Rugby should avoid soccer-style 'play-acting'
SPOTLIGHT: Wasps boss Lee Blackett has warned that Rugby Union must avoid soccer-style red card appeals to the referee by players who are the victims of high tackles.
With increased input from television match officials highlighting tackles that either make contact or come too close to connecting with the head, the Premiership club coach fears there is a danger that those being tackled could try to influence the officials by overreacting.
“You want the right decision to be made and it’s a tough one,” said Blackett a media briefing ahead of Saturday’s trip by Wasps to Northampton, their next game following the red card for Ben Morris in their win over Worcester.
“At the moment, what I see in rugby is that anyone who gets slightly hit around the head they are staying down.
“It’s a dangerous precedent.
“Everyone wants to win and I hate to watch soccer players diving.
“I’m not saying it is happening all the time but I don’t want it to go into rugby.
“I don’t blame the players for it because they are competitors and want to win and 100 percent it is happening.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where players are trying to get other players sent off.
“With crowds [back] it is only natural for a referee to look at the big screen when everyone at Franklin’s Gardens is screaming about a Wasps chop tackle and they are trying to make it a red card.
“I just want it to be accurate and I like VAR in soccer because the right decision has been made. All we want in rugby is the best decisions made and generally, the best referees make the best decision in rugby.
“What I like is that if the TMO makes them aware then the best referees will sometimes go against the TMO. The strong referees will override the TMO.”
By Chris Jones, RugbyPass