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09th Sep 2023

RTÉ panel disagree with Clive Woodward over controversial England red card

Patrick McCarry

Tom Curry

“He has a duty of care.”

England’s disciplinary issues came back to bite them against Argentina as Tom Curry was red-carded after an incident three minutes into the game.

Curry was initially yellow-carded for tackling Juan Cruz Mallia too high as he landed from fielding a high ball. That decision went to the Television Match Official ‘bunker’ for a review and Curry’s card was upgraded to red. He became the first ever England player red-carded in a World Cup.

RTÉ and ITV panels discuss Tom Curry red card

Over on RTÉ, Simon Zebo felt Tom Curry had ‘a duty of care’ to Mallia. The Munster winger said he could see why Curry was sent off.

Stephen Ferris argued that Curry was “unlucky” to be sent off but he argued that he could have allowed the Argentina fullback to land before wrapping him up. Jamie Heaslip, his former Ireland teammate said, “He has to give [Mallia] room to land and then, if he wants to smash him, he has to drop his height.

“Even if they were running into each other and he was upright, you are running the risk of a head collusion… at the time, I was like, ‘That’s an accident’ but you look at the framework [for cards] and what World Rugby are trying to do [for player welfare].”

Over on ITV, however, the all English panel of Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Clive Woodward all felt Tom Curry had been hard done-by.

“I’ve played a fair bit of rugby,” said Dallaglio, “and I’ve been covering it for years… to me, that is a rugby incident and an accident.”

As it turned out, England coped very well without Tom Curry.

George Ford was their talisman, kicking three first half drop goals and a handful of penalties as Englands defeated a woeful Argentina side 27-10, in Marseille.

That red card for Curry is England’s third in their last five games, with Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola carrying bans into the tournament.


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