Cape Town - Former England flyhalf Andy Goode has called on World Rugby to make a statement regarding the controversial incident in last Saturday’s Test between England and South Africa at Twickenham.
The Test ended in dramatic fashion when Australian referee Angus Gardner opted not to award the Springboks a penalty after it appeared as though England co-captain Owen Farrell had executed a dangerous no-arms tackle on Esterhuizen.
Goode, who played 17 Tests for England between 2005 and 2009, shared his views via a column for the Rugby Pass website where he said Gardner should have awarded the Springboks a penalty.
“There’s been a lot of confused debate around it but it’s not a high tackle, he’s made no contact with the head and there’s no way it’s a red card offence. As a result, he can’t be cited for it.
“It is a penalty, though, and I think it should have been a yellow card for no arms in the tackle as well. I’m sure a penalty would’ve been awarded if it was in any other minute of the game but the clock was in the red and that does complicate matters, even though it shouldn’t,” Goode wrote.
Had the Boks been awarded a penalty, they could have kicked at goal to win the game at the death.
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Goode, who had a short stint in Durban with the Sharks in 2010, explained why he felt a penalty should have been awarded to South Africa: “Farrell makes contact with the right shoulder and there is absolutely no attempt to grasp with that arm. There was enough of an attempt to wrap with the left arm but that isn’t the shoulder that’s making contact, so that is an important detail. His right arm is tensed and is by his side and he’s swinging his shoulder into the tackle.”
Farrell escaped disciplinary action when he was not cited for the incident, leaving him free to face the All Blacks this weekend.
But Goode called on World Rugby to at least comment on the matter.
“It has created so much debate around the game and, because of where we’re at with regard to the tackle, lowering the height of it and changing perceptions as well, I think World Rugby have got to come out and make a statement on this tackle.”
READ Andy Goode’s full column on the Rugby Pass website