The Welsh are up in arms over the red-card being shown to Welsh rugby captain Sam Warburton in their Rugby World Cup semi-final at Eden Park last night, and referee Alain Rolland’s part in the incident. In my view they would be much better served by baying for the blood of Sam Warburton!!! What he did was DUMB!!! All international players know perfectly well what qualifies as a legitimate tackle, and what doesn’t. What Warburton did cannot be argued against- he lifted the player and rotated him past the horizontal and as a consequence the Frenchman landed on the back of his neck and shoulders. It matters not that Warburton didn’t drive his opponent into the ground- it matters not whether he intended to ‘spear’ tackle- it matters not that he let Vincent Clerc go in the air, what matters is that what he did was against the rules of the game. And worse, he, as captain would have almost certainly have had words with his players about giving away stupid or needless penalties, and being very aware that the referees, who have been under the microscope as a result of bouts of incompetence by some of their colleagues will be much more strict about any interpretations.
What Warburton did resulted in his being red-carded, that is sent from the field for the remainder of the game (and probably banned from a number future games) and, quite rightly the Welsh rugby supporters hither and yon are pissed off. But should they be pissed off at the referee? No, they should not. He didn’t do the tackle- Warburton did, and as a consequence he quite possibly, (I would go so far as to say PROBABLY) cost his team a position in the Rugby World Cup final.
Leave the ref- let Waburton know what you feel, make him realise, if he doesn’t already, what an absolute idiot he was!
(However, I don’t think he really needs to be told!!)