Here's why Bundee Aki avoided a card for his absolutely crunching hit on Elliot Daly
He's been in the thick of it.
Bundee Aki has definitely left his mark on Ireland's Grand Slam decider with England.
The Connacht centre spurned an early try-scoring chance but, soon after, made a great break to set up a try for CJ Stander.
England roared back into the tie and Aki tried to stall their forward momentum by bursting forward to make an impact tackle on Elliot Daly. It looked like a cruncher in live play but the slow motion replays showed Daly's head rock back and drew a chorus of boos from the home side.
Referee Angus Gardner was contacted by his linesman:
"I want you to consider potential foul play, green number 12"
Replays on the big screen and massive boos ring out
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) March 17, 2018
As more and more replays showed on the big screen, Aki seemed destined for a card and the only question appeared to be 'Yellow or Red?'
However, there was a reprieve. 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."
Former England scrumhalf Matt Dawson was not the only one livid at the decision:
"An absolute shambles from the officials" - Matt Dawson
O'Mahony was sent to the sin bin but should Aki have seen yellow a few minutes earlier?
England 5-14 Ireland#ENGvIRE live 📻🏉 https://t.co/RvreC1w9II#bbcsixnations pic.twitter.com/HZzApGWlol
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) March 17, 2018
Expect this one to generate a fierce debate for some time to come.