South Africa’s win over Scotland was “inexcusable” despite Kriel’s red card

Two minutes into a huge pool clash at the Stade Velodrome and a huge clash of heads. You could have gotten a sense of déjà vu. While Tom Curry saw red for England against Argentina on Saturday night, South Africa’s collision with Scotland’s No 8 Jack Dempsey was not even reviewed on the field in Marseille, which angered those in tartan.

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With TV replays showing a clear head-to-head contact and Kriel upright and seemingly with a clear view of his opponent, whose head bounced back in the collision, he would have been sweating on a potential penalty.

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The Australian or his TMO Ben Whitehouse did not intervene despite both captain Jamie Ritchie and fly-half Finn Russell approaching referee Angus Gardener, which former Scotland captain John Barclay described as “bizarre” following the game, which ended 18-3 for the Springboks.

At half-time in the clash, when the game was still well poised at 6-3, Barclay let rip at the failure to review Kriel’s tackle. He said: “It’s confusing because you hear captains tell referees, ‘We’re always looking.’ Two minutes into the game and there is an incident that has resulted in a red card.

“He comes from a distance, clear line of sight, no drop in height and he applies force. It’s head on head. That’s a red card. The way the game is refereed now, whether you like it or not, that is a red card. And we saw a very similar incident last night (with Tom Curry) which was given as a yellow then upgraded in the bunker to a red.

“This is where the game gets a bit messy as in these instances where they look very similar, yeah from slightly different positions from a kick or whatever, but that’s a red card. And the fact that has not even been seen or reviewed is inexcusable.”

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