Cheslin Kolbe gets away with one after dangerous dump tackle on Mack Hansen
It could easily have been a red card. It could easily have been two yellow cards.
Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli opted out of sending off either Cheslin Kolbe or Pieter-Steph du Toit after the Springbok pair combined to dump Mack Hansen on the back of his neck.
With the scores tied at 3-3, after a frantic, physical start, Ireland were on the attack when Hansen received a pass in full flight.
Du Toit got hold of the Connacht winger first, then Kolbe helped as the pair lifted and drove him to the ground. The only problem was a glaring one - Hansen had been lifted way past the horizontal and driven onto his neck.
It was a matter of centimetres, and blind luck, that Hansen did not hit the ground head first.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 5, 2022
'He landed on his back'
As footage was replied on the big screen, and on TVs across the globe, Alan Quinlan, on Virgin Media, observed that a red card could be coming. He noted that it was Cheslin Kolbe that was the one being focused on.
Indeed, referee Nika Amashukeli seemed to make his mind up that the fullback was the guiltier of the two, and Pieter Steph du Toit got off scot-free for the transgression.
The ref told his TMO that he felt Hansen had 'landed on his back' and was 'able to roll away'. That took the high level of danger away, in his eyes, and meant it would be just a yellow card.
Kolbe took his punishment with zero complaints and raised his arm in apology as he jogged towards the sideline.
Red for Kolbe. Yellow for PSdT
— Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian) November 5, 2022
Lucky boy, @CheslinKolbe
— Alex Bellars (@alexbellars) November 5, 2022
By the time Cheslin Kolbe returned to the field, after 25 minutes, the score was still at 3-3. Ireland had failed to make their man advantage count as the world champions defended stoutly, and caused a few headaches of their own.