WATCH: Shocking Owen Farrell tackle goes unpunished before his match winning drop goal for Saracens

Owen Farrell slotted the match-winning drop goal for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership victory over Gloucester on Friday evening, but the fly-half shouldn’t have been on the pitch after making a high tackle. Credit: Alamy
Owen Farrell slotted the match-winning drop goal for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership victory over Gloucester on Friday evening, but the fly-half shouldn’t have been on the pitch after making a high tackle. Credit: Alamy

Owen Farrell slotted the match-winning drop goal for Saracens in their 19-16 Premiership victory over Gloucester on Friday evening, but the fly-half shouldn’t have been on the pitch after making a high tackle.

Farrell endured a miserable night with his goalkicking, missing four shots from six attempts at goal, but with the clock in the red and the scores level at 16 apiece, he nailed a 45-metre drop goal to see Saracens to a narrow win over Gloucester. This came after he escaped punishment for a high tackle on Gloucester flanker Jack Clement in the 74th minute.

The incident

Saracens and Gloucester traded kicks during a lengthy passage of play, during which Clement picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and darted forward, running straight into Farrell.

The England international makes a high tackle on the Cherry and Whites flanker, which goes unnoticed by the matchday referee Karl Dickson. The play continues as Stephen Varney kicks downfield.

There is no call from the TMO until plays comes to an end in the 76th minute as Chris Harris grubbers a kick into touch.

Referee Dickson is alerted about the tackle but says that ‘it was not in the same phase of play’ and explains that too much time had elapsed for him to go back and review it.

‘That’s a red card’

The BT Sport commentators were unanimous in their review of the tackle, saying: ‘that’s bad, that’s a red card’.

Despite the pleas from players on the pitch and the TMO highlighting incident, Dickson opted to play on, and Saracens would go on to win the match with this drop goal, kicked by Farrell.

Meanwhile, Nigel Owens weighed in on the debate of whether Dickson could have gone back for the tackle.

Owens was asked on Twitter how ‘many phases of play can be brought back for potential foul play and a likely yellow, if not red card?’

He responded, saying: ‘There is no limit on phases for foul play it’s from when play started to the next restart. So if there were 30 phases from restart to the next stoppage/restart you can go back at check the foul play that occurred during it.’

While he admitted that he had not seen the incident yet, he explained that is the protocol. Ultimately, Dickson could have gone back to check the tackle.

Reaction

Jim Hamilton summed up the match’s final moments, tweeting: “What a finish. What a game. A draw was the right result. It wasn’t. A World class drop kick that should never have been but, was.”

BT Sport commentator Alastair Eykyn’s reaction was similar to Hamilton’s: “Another thriller to add to the list of Glos/Sarries dramas down the years. Farrell the calm, cold-eyed assassin with a 45m DG to win it w clock in the red – but his challenge on Clement moments earlier looked a clear red card offence.”

Andrew Sheridan was quick to defend TMO Claire Hodnett, who was making her Premiership debut: “Feel sorry for Claire Hodnett a lawyer who was the first woman to be appointed to the RFU national panel of referees and was the first woman to be a TMO at a men’s rugby @premrugby game. Tonight she called the Farrell foul play correctly but Karl Dickson messed up NOT Claire.”

After the game, Gloucester head coach George Skivington was asked about the tackle.

He responded by saying: “I’m not allowed to comment on things like that… It’s frustrating.”

Farrell could face a suspension for his tackle, putting him in doubt for Saracens’ upcoming Champions Cup fixtures against Lyon and Edinburgh. The length of his ban could also see him being unavailable for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland.

READ MORE: Five takeaways from Gloucester v Saracens as league leaders win ugly thanks to Owen Farrell’s late drop goal

The article WATCH: Shocking Owen Farrell tackle goes unpunished before his match winning drop goal for Saracens appeared first on Planetrugby.com.