Owen Farrell’s shock tackle goes unpunished ahead of his match-winning goal for Saracens

Owen Farrell’s shock tackle goes unpunished ahead of his match-winning goal for Saracens

Owen Farrell’s shock tackle goes unpunished ahead of his match-winning goal for Saracens

Owen Farrell scored the winning drop for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership win over Gloucester on Friday night, but the fly half should not have been on the pitch after making a high tackle.  Credit: Alamy

Owen Farrell scored the winning drop for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership win over Gloucester on Friday night, but the fly half should not have been on the pitch after making a high tackle. Credit: Alamy

Owen Farrell scored the winning drop for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership win over Gloucester on Friday night, but the fly half should not have been on the pitch after making a high tackle.

Farrell endured a miserable night with his kicking, missing four shots on six attempts on goal, but with the clock running red and the score tied at 16 apiece, he struck a 45-metre drop to see Saracens to a narrow win over Gloucester . . This came after he escaped penalty for a high tackle on Gloucester wing Jack Clement in the 74th minute.

The incident

Saracens and Gloucester exchanged kicks for a long stretch of the game, during which Clement picked up the ball from the back of a ruck and dove forward, running straight for Farrell.

The English international makes a high tackle on the wing of the Cherry and White, which goes unnoticed by the referee of the day, Karl Dickson. The play continues as Stephen Varney kicks downfield.

There is no call from TMO until play comes to an end in the 76th minute when Chris Harris kicks into touch.

Referee Dickson is alerted to the tackle, but says that he “wasn’t in the same phase of play” and explains that too much time had elapsed for him to go back and review it.

‘That’s a red card’

BT Sport commentators were unanimous in their review of the entry, saying: ‘that’s bad, that’s a red card’.

Despite pleas from the players on the pitch and the prominent TMO incident, Dickson opted to play on, and Saracens would go on to win the match on this drop goal, kicked by Farrell.

Meanwhile, Nigel Owens weighed in on the debate of whether Dickson could have returned for the tackle.

Owens was asked on Twitter how many stages of play can be made up for potential foul play and a probable yellow, if not red card?

He responded by saying: ‘There is no limit to the phases for foul play, it is from when the game started until the next restart. So if there were 30 phases from the reset to the next shutdown/restart, you can go back and check the foul play that occurred during that time.’

While he admitted that he had not seen the incident yet, he explained that that is the protocol. Ultimately, Dickson could have returned to review the tackle.

Reaction

Jim Hamilton summed up the final moments of the match, tweeting: “What a finish. What game. A draw was the correct result. It wasn’t. A world-class kick that never should have been, but it was.”

BT Sport commentator Alastair Eykyn’s reaction was similar to Hamilton’s: “Another thriller to add to the list of Glos/Sarries dramas over the years. Farrell, the cool-eyed, cool-eyed assassin with a 45m DG to win with a red clock, but his challenge on Clement moments earlier looked like a clear red card offence.”

Andrew Sheridan was quick to defend TMO Claire Hodnett, who was making her Premiership debut: “I feel sorry for Claire Hodnett, a lawyer who was the first woman to be appointed to the RFU’s national panel of referees and was the first woman to be a TMO in men’s rugby @premrugby match. Tonight she correctly called Farrell’s foul play, but Karl Dickson did NOT screw Claire.”

After the game, Gloucester head coach George Skivington was asked about the tackle.

He responded by saying, “I’m not allowed to comment on things like that… It’s frustrating.”

Owen Farrell could face a suspension for his entry, which puts him in doubt for Saracens’ upcoming Champions Cup matches against Lyon and Edinburgh. The length of his ban could also make him unavailable for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland.

READ MORE: Five takeaways from Gloucester v Saracens as league leaders win ugly thanks to late Owen Farrell goal

The WATCH article: Owen Farrell’s shock tackle goes unpunished before his match-winning goal for Saracens first appeared on Planetrugby.com.

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