Celebrated former referee Nigel Owens has weighed in on the debate surrounding Cheslin Kolbe’s challenge on Conor Murray during the second Test in between South Africa and the British & Irish Lions.
Kolbe collided with the airborne Murray in the 25th minute of the game and was subsequently issued with a yellow card by referee Ben O’Keeffe, however, there seems to be a large school of thought suggesting that it should have been red.
Owens’ opinion was asked and the 50 year=old responded with the following:
“You start at red and then you work down on mitigating circumstances,” said Owens. “The only circumstances are whether Biggar and Curry have shielded Murray and affected Kolbe’s line of sight?
“But they do not do that and there is no mitigation here – Kolbe has enough time to change what he is doing. The onus is on Kolbe to be aware of the man in the air.”
“It would have been a clear red depending on the landing – if Murray did not put his leg out and his arm out then he would have landed on his shoulder and his neck and that would have been a straight red. Kolbe is very lucky here.
“I can understand where the yellow came from, but if I was reffing this then I would be thinking more red than yellow, because Murray’s actions have saved Kolbe – and that should not be part of the equation.”