Watch: Bundee Aki Red Carded For A Head-High Tackle

Watch: Bundee Aki Red Carded For A Head-High Tackle

Ireland's first half against Samoa had started off really positively, racing into a 21-5 lead within the first 25 minutes until Bundee Aki saw red for a high tackle on Ulupano Seuteni.

After Ireland conceded a loose turnover, Aki tried to wrap his arms around Seuteni but made contact with the Samoan's head. When reviewing the incident, referee Nic Berry said: "We've got direct contact to the head ... There's a high degree of danger in that and for me, I'm not seeing enough of a dip from the ball carrier to mitigate it down."

It wasn't the first high tackle incident of the game, with Samoa's Seilala Lam getting an early yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Jacob Stockdale in a decision that was worthy of discussion on both sides of the coin. Should it have been a red or was a sin-binning actually harsh?

Tackles that connect with the head have been a big point of debate in this World Cup to date and today's incidents are another example of why it's so difficult to implement a one-size-fits-all solution. There's no doubt that Stockdale's face smashing off Lam's shoulder is difficult to watch but given how low Stockdale got just before the tackle, what was he meant to do?


When talking to the TMO about this one, Nic Berry said:

There's a high degree of danger because of the force but the mitigation for me is that the ball carrier  has made a significant drop. And I also feel the tackler is bent at the hips. He's trying to make a legitimate tackle.

Did Berry make the correct decision in both cases?

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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