Cape Town – Former South African referee Andre Watson says Owen Farrell’s tackle on Andre Esterhuizen was “undoubtedly a penalty”.
Watson spoke to a reliable source on Monday when he shared his views on the dramatic incident at the end of last weekend’s Test between England and South Africa at Twickenham.
Australian referee Angus Gardner opted not to award the Springboks a penalty after it appeared as though England flyhalf Farrell had executed a dangerous no-arms tackle on the Springbok center.
Farrell on Sunday also escaped disciplinary action when he was not cited for the incident, leaving him free to face the All Blacks this weekend.
“There’s no doubt that it was dangerous. It was not worthy of a red card and it was right that World Rugby did not cite the player, but there’s not much doubt that it should have been a penalty,” Watson said.
He added that in refereeing terms Farrell’s hit is referred to as a “sharp shoulder”.
“There was no binding (with the shoulder) or even an attempt to bind.”
When probed on the incident in the post-match press conference, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had an interesting view: “We should start tackling like that and execute it like that. Nothing upset me about the tackle we just have to latch on that if it is legal, it is effective. Tackle a guy like Andre and stop him in his tracks is some going. There is no sarcasm at all.”
Despite saying he was not being sarcastic, it’s clear that Erasmus is incensed by the decision, with new video footage doing the rounds on social media showing Erasmus teaching Esterhuizen how to execute a tackle like Farrell did during a training session in Paris on Monday.
The Boks tackle France there on Saturday (Kick-off 22:05 SA time).