Wednesday, 26 March 2014

How did Paul O'Connell escape sanction for this?


Whilst Georgia could take a pride from their narrow 14-10 defeat to Ireland, it was full what if moments. One being Ireland’s best forward lock Paul O’Connell escaping a card for a dangerous tackle on number 8 Giorgi Chkhaidze.

Early into the World Cup match between Ireland and Georgia in Bordeaux in September 2007, following a restart from the 22 by Ronan O'Gara, Ireland's best forward Paul O'Connell got away with what arguably could have been a red card, or certainly at least a yellow.

The ginger lock charged after the restart and clumsily swiped the legs away from Georgian number 8 Giorgi Chkhaidze whilst he was in the air, sending him somersaulting from a height dangerously onto the ground. Referee Wayne Barnes whistled for the penalty immediately, but strangely there was no question about it after that. No caution, no card, no post match citing, and the media made no fuss.

The usual sanction for this is a yellow card, which incidents such as THIS, THIS and THIS all received. It is not unknown for the some cases to get a red card either, such as THIS or THIS. Bearing that in mind, even the most ardent Ireland fan would surely admit that O'Connell was lucky not to get punished more than he did.
GIF: How did Paul O'Connell not get a card for this dangerous play?
And if was given a red card, then surely down to 14 men at all the scrums and lineouts from that early on and playing poorly Georgia would have had a huge chance of making up that 4 point deficit. Since then O'Connell has managed to gain a habit of getting away scot free with dangerous play, last year he infamously sent Dave Kearney into a 3 week layoff after accidentally clumsily booting him in the head and didn't receive a card nor get cited at all for it.
GIF: It wasn't the last time O'Connell escaped sanction for
some dangerous clumsiness on the rugby field

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