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22nd Mar 2018

England scrum-half Danny Care says Bundee Aki should have been carded for hit on Elliot Daly

Jack O'Toole

England scrum-half Danny Care has said that Ireland centre Bundee Aki should have received at least a yellow card for his first-half tackle on winger Elliot Daly during Ireland’s 24-15 win over England on Saturday.

Aki shoulder charged Daly in the 26th minute and the incident was flagged by assistant referee Nigel Owens who suggested to referee Angus Gardener that the tackle should be referred to the television match official (TMO).

Slow motion replays at Twickenham showed Daly’s head rock back from the tackle which immediately drew a chorus of boos from the home side.

This is the conversation that saw Aki remain on the pitch and Ireland concede a penalty, and nothing more:

REF: “There is one arm and a bit of a head-knock between the two… So I’m thinking penalty only here guys”

TMO: “Green 12 leads with the shoulder but only a penalty. The clash is head on head.”

England scrum-half Danny Care said that ‘people have spent time in the bin for less than that’ and that he doesn’t see why Aki should not have spent some time on the sidelines for the tackle.

“We watched it and we thought the way that the game is at the moment, he’s going to be spending at least 10 minutes in the [sin] bin,” Care said on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

“We were obviously down there on the bench looking up at the big screen, it got showed a few times and I think people have spent time in the bin for less than that.

“We did think he was going to go but I think Sam Underhill got a yellow in the Scotland game for something very similar. I don’t think Aki’s was any better than that and Sam deserved probably to go to the bin, I don’t see why Aki shouldn’t have gone as well.”

Care did sympathise with Gardener, and added that rugby must be the hardest sport in the world to officiate, but he’s called for greater consistency from the officials given the very fine margins at the highest level of the game.

“In fairness to the refs, it must be the hardest sport in the world to ref,” he added. “I do think that because there are so many variables and it’s interpretation a lot of the time, and they do get a lot of stick and it’s a tough job. But consistency throughout would help rugby.”

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