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13th Jul 2018

‘We have lost it’ – Rugby fans react to extremely harsh red card

Jack O'Toole

Rugby fans have reacted angrily to Sunwolves flanker Ed Quirk’s red card in the first-half of his side’s trip to Brisbane to face the Queensland Reds.

The former Reds backrower was sent off minutes before half-time by referee Ben O’Keeffe for what appears to be a phantom punch on Queensland fly-half Hamish Stewart.

Quirk’s dismissal reduced the Sunwolves to 14 men as Taniela Tupou, Eto Nabuli and Duncan Paia’aua scored three tries in quick succession to give the hosts a comfortable lead as they close in on what will be just their sixth win of the Super Rugby season.

The loss of Quirk effectively killed off any chance the bottom placed Sunwolves had of a comeback and incensed a lot of viewers, including former Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell.

Mitchell was also quite critical of Israel Folau’s one-game suspension for a mid-air tackle on Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony in the Wallabies third Test loss to Joe Schmidt’s side in Sydney last month.

“We’re on the path to extinction for a lot of rugby supporters who are losing faith as to where is the game is going,” Mitchell told Fox Sports.

“We’re talking about changing the tackle height to nipple height, we’re talking about this (aerial challenges), the interpretation around the deliberate knockdown rule.

“CJ Stander has chosen to lift his player (O’Mahony) and lost control of him. It’s a contest in the air and when you’ve got a player on your own team choosing to lift, you take responsibility for the safe landing of your player.

“This shouldn’t even be a penalty, let alone a yellow or a judicial hearing. It’s rubbish.”

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