Rugby Championship

French fullback Fall has red card cancelled

2018-06-18 07:37
World Rugby

Wellington - French fullback Benjamin Fall's red card from the second Test against the All Blacks was cancelled Monday in a rare move hailed by France coach Jacques Brunel. 

"Wisdom has prevailed," Brunel said after a World Rugby judicial panel ruled Fall's mid-air collision with All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett was accidental and said he was free to play in next weekend's third Test. 

Fall "at all times, had his eyes on the ball", the panel said after reviewing video of the sickening impact which saw Barrett plunge head-first to the ground. 

Barrett is unlikely to play in the third Test having failed a concussion test after being upended by Fall 12 minutes into Saturday's match in Wellington won by New Zealand 26-13. 

From the angle he saw the players collide, referee Angus Gardner issued the red card under rugby rules, aimed at eliminating head injuries. 

But immediately after the game, the All Blacks sympathised with Fall. 

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen appealed for an easing of the rules when dealing with accidental play in which someone was injured. 

"There's got to be some wriggle room for that. It's spoiling Test matches - red cards for unintentional incidents," he said. 

The judicial panel, headed by Australian Adam Casselden, said that unlike the referee they had "the benefit of all the video footage" and after reviewing the evidence agreed to cancel the card. 

Video footage showed Fall had his eyes on the ball while it was in the air, "which showed, in our opinion, a clear intention, on the part of the player, that he intended to contest it," the committee found. 

"It is a decision taken with hindsight and discernment," Brunel said. "It takes into account the succession of facts that led to this unintentional collision. Subsequently, wisdom has prevailed." 

The judicial panel said Fall had collided with All Blacks centre Anton Lienert-Brown just before leaping for the ball and that caused him to lose his balance. 

By running into Lienert-Brown, Fall "was denied the time and the space to put himself in a position to avoid a collision" with Barrett. 

"We did not consider that the player's actions, in the circumstances of this case, were deliberate or reckless," it said.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  french  |  benjamin fall  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 18 August 2018
Australia v New Zealand, ANZ Stadium 12:05
South Africa v Argentina, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 25 August 2018
New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park 09:35
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Malvinas 21:10
Saturday, 08 September 2018
New Zealand v Argentina, Trafalgar Park 09:35
Australia v South Africa, Suncorp Stadium 12:05
Logs
Team P W PTS
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this year's Rugby Championship?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season has wrapped up. For all the season highlights - and lowlights - be sure to visit Sport24!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.