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RFU 'sorry' for South African's sin-bin error

REACTION: Just a week after a very controversial decision during Saracens’ win over Harlequins, the Rugby Football Union found themselves in another Premiership match saga.


The latest incident occurred in Harlequins’ 40-36 win over Bath on Saturday.

Harlequins lock Irné Herbst was handed a yellow card by referee Anthony Woodthorpe in the 63rd minute. However, the South African returned to the field after spending only seven minutes of the 10 in the sin bin.

With Bath on their way to producing a stunning comeback, which saw them score 33 unanswered points, the South African made a crucial tackle during the time he should have been out of action.

Bath coach Johann Van Graan expressed his discontent with the incident.

“I flagged it with the referee after the game.”

“There’s not a lot he can do. On the pitch, he wasn’t even aware of it. We went through our team manager and we made the fourth official aware.


“On a yellow card, you’re supposed to be off for 10 minutes, not seven.”

On Sunday RFU issued an apology. However, they stated the result of the four-point match would be upheld.

“The RFU Professional Game Match Officials Team (PGMOT) acknowledge and apologise for an error during the Premiership match between Harlequins v Bath where a yellow card sanction resulted in Irné Herbst returning to the pitch approximately three minutes too soon.

“We would like to apologise to both teams for this mistake. As is the usual process the PGMOT will review all games to ensure continued improvement and learnings.


“The result of the match remains final.”

*Additional reporting: DailyMail


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