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26th Mar 2023

Jake White wants rugby to introduce yellow card for ‘simulation’ after spiky night in Belfast


Jake White

The former Springboks coach was not a happy man.

The frustration was clear on the face of Jake White – writes Glenn Kelly – as he entered the media room following the Bulls’ gutsy defeat to Ulster, on Saturday.

White, who led South Africa to World Cup glory in 2007, had just witnessed his charges throw away leads on a number of occasions, including an eight-point half-time advantage.

Whilst he accepted Ulster were clinical on the night and his side needed to be more ruthless, the South African couldn’t withhold his vexation over some of the official’s decision making. He was particularly miffed by the circumstances surrounding Bismarck Du Plessis’ yellow card, late in the game.

The substitute hooker was caught by the TMO steaming into Ulster outhalf Billy Burns illegally, through the side of a ruck. There was an attempted wrap but the angle of the clean-out and Burns being caught full-on combined enough for the officials to review and a yellow to be flashed.

Jake White wants yellow cards for players feigning injury

“Clean-outs like that happen all over the game, I don’t even think it was a penalty” Bulls coach Jake White said.

“I wonder, if the No.10 (Burns) hadn’t laid down on the ground would it even have been looked at by the TMO. It’s something we have to look at going forward, because what you don’t want is a player lying down every time he gets cleaned out and he makes the TMO look.

“It’s something we’ve got to be careful of, because I know it happens in football, and then all of a sudden they brought something in that if you dive, you can get a yellow card.

“In rugby now because there is such a fine line between yellow cards, red cards and TMO involvement you don’t want a situation where the players are trying to use every opportunity to influence the TMO,” White concluded.

Jake White

The Du Plessis card was the Bulls’ second of the night highlighting perhaps a wider discipline issue for White within his squad.

The defeat was the fifth in a row for the Bulls as Ulster completed a clean sweep of wins over the South African sides in this years competition.

White believes the Bulls need to maintain their good phase plays for an entire 80 minutes. “It was a game of two halves for sure, the second half wasn’t good enough, we need to be more efficient with the ball.

“We can take some positives from the first half and now we have two home games to try to get over the last hurdle and qualify for the play-offs”

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