Alan Quinlan Launches Stinging Attack On Referee Jaco Peyper

Ireland v New Zealand - International Match

Alan Quinlan has blasted referee Jaco Peyper, stating he failed in his duty of care to the players.

Peyper was the referee in charge of Ireland’s game with the All Blacks on Saturday and has come under heavy criticism for his performance with several Irish players on the receiving end of some questionable high challenges.

First and foremost, before people see this as an excuse for Ireland’s loss, which is what many seem to be doing over the last couple of days to sugarcoat what went on at the Aviva, Quinlan states that New Zealand were deserving of their win.

First things first, New Zealand were fully deserving of their win. They were the better team and, even with less ball, they were far more clinical than we were.


Firstly Quinlan takes a look at the Sam Cane challenge on Robbie Henshaw in which the back-row escaped without any punishment.

Some of the incidents on Saturday should have raised the question about which colour card was merited and not whether it was a card or not.

You look at Sam Cane’s tackle on Robbie Henshaw. We’re at that place now with tackles that if your arm slips up and you hit a player up around the top of neck or head area, it’s potentially a red card. The fact of the matter is, referee Jaco Peyper did not police that on Saturday.

There is definitely an argument to be made that there was no intent or malice on Cane’s part – and I don’t think there was – but you’re still in a card situation. For me, it’s at least a yellow and possibly a red.

Every coach throughout the world has had these new directives explained to them, so it is up to them to relay that information to their players.

It would be naive to think that Steve Hansen and his coaching team didn’t speak about that with their players a couple of weeks ago when World Rugby issued the new directives.


Cane has since been cited, proving that Peyper made the wrong decision, shockingly claiming on the day it was a head collision, when it blatantly wasn’t. A lot of people have made the argument that Cane’s challenge was accidental, put Quinlan believes the onus is on the tackler irregardless.

There is an onus on Cane to go lower. He has to go lower and wrap with his hands. If they clash heads, that’s fair enough because it’s a collision that can’t be stopped.

However, the first point of contact is his shoulder into the top of Henshaw’s jaw.

Whether it is accidental or not is irrelevant; there is a duty of care on Cane’s part.


Quinlan goes on to say that Fekitoa’s challenge on Simon Zebo was a definite red card and not a yellow. World Rugby have since cited the centre also.

To the letter of the current law, Fekitoa’s tackle is a definite red card. It is a swinging arm across the neck. Ultimately, what kind of message are we sending out here?

I played the game pretty abrasively. I have no problem saying that, but I welcomed these laws. I thought they were a really good idea because we are seeing far too many concussions.

Does Quinlan have a point? Y9u can read his piece in full here.

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