Alan Quinlan Makes Hugely Valid Point Regarding Sonny Bill Williams’ Red Card

Garces deserves a hell of a lot of credit.

The biggest talking point, and perhaps the game decider in Wellington on Saturday was the decision by Jerome Garces to send Sonny Bill Williams off for a reckless shoulder charge on Anthony Watson with just a quarter of the game gone.

There has been much talk, but the general consensus seems to be that Garces made the right decision. The tackle was dangerous, reckless and just plain stupid by the Auckland Blues centre, and he rightfully was given his marching orders.

Things however, could have went a lot differently if it was not for Garces’ stern hand. His assistants wanted yellow, but he knew it was a red card offence all day long. Former Munster and Ireland back-row, Alan Quinlan was full of praise for Garces’ decision in his column for, where he also questioned the actions of those there to support the French referee.

We often criticise referees, but Garces deserves huge credit for making such a big call in a hugely pressurised environment. And, ultimately, it was the correct one. The TMO George Ayoub didn’t seem to agree, nor did Jaco Peyper, who was one of the touch judges, as both encouraged Garces to check the incident again.
Did they feel it only warranted a yellow? Interestingly, Ayoub was the TMO when Ireland played in Paris last year, when some of the hits that the French players put in were, like Williams’, over the top.
When a situation like that arises, the man in the middle has to have the final say and take control. That’s exactly what Garces did. Plenty of other referees would have crumbled under the pressure.

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