The Faf de Klerk Tackle From Last Night’s Game That Has Everyone Talking

Look again.

The Lions tasted defeat for the first time in South Africa last night, coming up just short against their ‘A’ side – but the game wasn’t without controversy.

South African Jaco Peyper took charge of the fixture and a lot of questions have been asked regarding his performance last night, with the official seemingly getting some really big decisions wrong.

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One such decision involved scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who was yellow-carded in the first half for a dangerous tackle on Lions back-row Josh Navidi, but should the Sale Sharks man have seen red?

Peyper seemed to think that while the tackle was dangerous, with de Klerk making no attempt to wrap, it was not to the head, meaning a yellow was enough. But the more you look at the incident, the more you can see that contact was in fact made with Navidi’s head.

Head coach Warren Gatland agreed with his post-match comments.

“I definitely thought there was contact with the head on the Faf de Klerk one,” said Gatland.

“The officials saw it differently and you have just got to roll with it really. In terms of that, they ended up down to 13 men. In that situation, they gave away a huge number of penalties. From myself reviewing I thought there was definitely head contact but he [the referee] has given a yellow card and you have got to accept that decision.”

He followed up today noting that he definitely felt there was head contact and that he will be having a meeting with the referees today to get some clarity on incidents like this. Thankfully, the Lions will have neutral refs for the Test series with Nic Berry, Ben O’Keeffe, and Mathieu Raynal set to oversee the series against South Africa.

Australian Berry will take charge of the first Test in Cape Town on July 24, with New Zealand’s O’Keefe appointed for the second game between the rivals in Johannesburg a week later. Hopefully, all three will not be afraid to make the big calls and will ensure they get them right come the Test arena.