Odendaal looked to have made a textbook tackle on Blues winger Emoni Narawa, lining him up and wrapping his arms perfectly, but Narawa, in fielding a high ball, ducked into the tackle and there seemed on a slow motion replay to be contact with the head.
While the card looked to be an overkill in refereeing the game to the letter of the law, Odendaal couldn’t say much afterwards except that he was happy it wasn’t a red card.
Still, it was unfortunate that the card took centre stage in a game that threatened to be a running festival, only to be dampened by a massive downpour throughout.
“In the moment I felt fine, but as soon as I saw the replay and saw a bit of contact on the head I knew I was in trouble. At the end they wanted to give me a red card but because he ducked down they gave me a yellow, so I can just say I’m happy with the yellow,” Odendaal explained.
But the call only highlighted how harsh the new head high protocols are on players, especially when they do everything right in the tackle.
His coach Pote Human agreed that it was a harsh call.
“I thought it was a tough call on Burger. He went down and ducked into the tackle. It was a great tackle and nobody was hurt, so it was tough on Burger,” he said.
“It is difficult, the referee is the sole judge so we have to respect that and have to play accordingly.”
Human said his side’s discipline would need to be looked at after they lost with the last minute penalty, and called the defeat “a bitter pill to swallow.”
“I was disappointed, because I thought we had played the better rugby on the night. So yes, we will have to look into that.
“Our scrum was good and we mauled well. We will have to get the guys up again but this is a tough bitter pill to take.”
While the team have not recorded a win yet in the competition, Human remains positive, and isn’t concentrating on their log position yet.
“It will always be in the back of your mind, but it is a long competition. Unfortunately it was a home game that we lost and we will have to rectify it next week.”
The Bulls face the Jaguares this Saturday in a game that they will need to win to get themselves into the positive column on the log.
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