Manu Tuilagi was involved in a serious incident in the Gallagher Premiership over the weekend, which has left rugby fans divided over Wayne Barnes' decision to deem the collision a 'rugby incident', and to not punish the Sale Sharks centre.
The hit occurred when Harlequins' Tommaso Allan fumbled a high ball, before falling to retrieve it and crashing into the on rushing Tuilagi.
Tuilagi did make heavy contact with Allan's head, but it was decided by Barnes that because Allan was on his knees when the hit was made, and Tuilagi was already committed, that no card was necessary.
It caused much debate on Twitter and you can read some of the opinions put forward below.
"There's mitigation here but also a massive heap of recklessness – no arms, going for the big smash, making direct contact with the head at force… honestly can't understand why the dropped height is deemed sufficient mitigation for all that."
"Allan already tipping in the air and on his knees when his. I think the only way this is avoided is if MT completely pulls out of the tackle - so for me the question is did he have to time?"
"No wrap. Direct contact to the head. Allan seriously injured. Tuilagi escapes punishment. I really fail to understand how this is deemed a “rugby collision.”
Should Tuilagi Have Been Carded For The Incident Against Harlequins?
Right... Discuss this with me please, I pull my hair out with this stuff
My opinion is that a rugby Incident can still be penalised as a high tackle right? Why are things like this just "accident" and therefore play on
Like Warwick Vs Tuilagi last month... https://t.co/i1xpZpLLBi
— Jack Fogarty (@FogartyJack) January 9, 2023
After the game, Sale's director of rugby Alex Sanderson gave his thoughts on his side's 16-24 away win.
"We rocked up and it was really bad weather and the pitch was really muddy. I looked around and all I could see was smiles, maybe because it reminded us of home.
"The lads knew what they had to do, and we leant into a territory and kicking battle. We got most of the small things right.
"We are not out of sight (in the table) by any stretch. It's a buffer, that's all it is."