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Keith Wood Speaks Nothing But Sense In His Recap Of Ireland Vs New Zealand

Keith Wood Speaks Nothing But Sense In His Recap Of Ireland Vs New Zealand
By Mikey Traynor Updated

In the days since Ireland lost at home to New Zealand in a match so fiercely contested that it has been the cause of debate ever since, it seems as though the fact that it was an absolutely breathtaking game of rugby appears to have been lost in the noise as many have criticised the nature of the All Blacks' performance.

In Ireland there is outrage, and in New Zealand they have now take to mocking this outrage, all of it centred around a number of questionable incidents and questionable calls from the referee.

Keith Wood put that right on Wednesday night as he took a moment to appreciate the level of skill involved, from both sides with ball in hand, before admitting that World Rugby have a real problem on their hands if they are going to change the rules on tackling as has been proposed.

And he was spot on.

It was one of the most compelling games of rugby I've ever seen. There was some of the most skill I've seen played from Irish players that hit the absolute top level of quality.

I thought it was the most phenomenal game of rugby. At times wincing and at times very, very uncomfortable.

I think the directive from World Rugby leaves a fair amount to be desired and it makes it very, very difficult. If there is any contact with the head it should be a red card? But there is the law of unintended consequences. If that was to continue for another two or three months, everybody will duck going into every single tackle, every single contact will be done above the shoulders and you'll have three or four players gone in each (game).

This doesn't take into account Fekitoa's tackle on Zebo which was a straight red. It had to be a straight red.

The fact that the referee didn't look at a replay of that tackle. Fekitoa actually jumped into that tackle, it was a swinging arm, that was just reckless beyond belief. Some of the other tackles are not as clear cut and that's where the game struggles. Very few things in rugby are black and white.

The world uncomfortable is particularly apt. There were many moments of physicality that made those watching wince, but the same has been the case in many memorable rugby matches in the history of the sport. It's a tough game.


Yes, the line was unquestionably crossed on occasion, most notably the Fekitoa tackle, but at the end of the day it was an incredible rugby match that will now forever be remembered as a cynical revenge job.

If the rules on tackling are indeed to be changed, then it is going to be very awkward to the professionals who have spent their life playing the game a different way to adjust. It's rarely as clear cut as the incidents that have been highlighted from last weekend. Careful consideration needs to be take with any decision.

[via Independent.ie]


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