Watch: Was This Challenge On Simon Zebo A Red Card Offence?
World Rugby issued new laws last week to referees.
Rugby’s governing body instructed referees to clamp down on all contact with player’s heads that they deem to be dangerous or reckless in any way going forward in all games they take control of.
They also instructed all match officials to be “strict when it comes to tackles, charges, strikes or kicks that make contact above the shoulder line and to favour firm sanctions for offenders, up to and including red cards for severe examples”.
Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Anthony Buchanan said:
World Rugby’s number-one priority is player welfare and the laws of the game clearly state that the necks and heads of players are sacrosanct.
When it comes to foul play, the game is cleaner now than ever before but, as referees, we must constantly be alert to head-high hits.
By taking this strong approach, we are saying to players that tackling an opponent above the shoulder line will not go unpunished.
In addition, while striking or kicking an opponent is never acceptable, it is a more serious offence when it involves contact with the head or neck.
Jaco Peyper must have missed that meeting judging by his performance last night.
Simon Zebo is lucky to still have his head attached this shoulders following this challenge. Fekitoa’s 48th minute tackle on the winger was as reckless and as dangerous as you are likely to see.
Red card? We think so.
Fekitoa goes in the bin for a high tackle on Zebo. https://t.co/nMJpcNgAEX
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 19, 2016