Erasmus flags two Farrell tackles in response to Gatland's 'reckless' claim

The Lions and Springboks bosses are adding to the sense of the Test series heating up.

SA RUGBY’S DIRECTOR of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has taken to social media to highlight two tackles by Owen Farrell during the Lions’ defeat to South Africa A on Wednesday.

The World Cup-winning coach posted two video clips of Farrell tackles in response to Lions boss Warren Gatland saying he would seek clarity over the decision to only yellow card South African scrum-half Faf de Klerk in the same game.

rassie-erasmus Erasmus was a 'waterboy' for the Boks on Wednesday. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Referee Jaco Peyper decided that de Klerk had not made head contact with ball-carrier Wyn Jones or Josh Navidi, who had latched onto Jones, in an incident before half-time but sent de Klerk to the sin bin for not wrapping in his tackle.

“Someone was watching a different picture to me, I thought it looked reckless to me,” said Gatland yesterday. “No arms and he’s hit the arm first and then the shoulder, but there’s definitely head-on-head contact.

“We’ve got a meeting with the referees tomorrow just to get a bit of clarity on that. What we want is clarity so that we get complete consistency.

“The citing commissary looks at those things. It’ll be interesting to see what the referees come back with and what other people who have looked at it come back with in terms of the recommendations were for that incident.”

Erasmus has now responded by posting two clips of Farrell tackling South African players on Twitter underneath an Irish Examiner tweet sharing Gatland’s words.

“While you at it please get clarity on this also !! [red card], [yellow], penalty or play on? We have to 100% sure and aligned ! Cant agree more,” wrote Erasmus on his verified account alongside a clip of this Farrell tackle on Jasper Wiese.

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Erasmus followed up with another tweet that read, “If there is time maybe also get absolute clarity and alignment on this one please, I know its way after the whistle, but lets just align and get clarity to be sure” alongside another clip involving Farrell.

The footage was not screened by the TV broadcasters and instead shows an end-on angle of Farrell engaging with de Klerk, with a circle around Farrell to illustrate his arm over the shoulder of the scrum-half.

It’s highly unusual for a coach or director of rugby to use social media to publicly highlight incidents of possible foul play but Erasmus’ messages only add to the sense of this Lions series heating up.

Gatland joked about Erasmus’ role as a ‘waterboy’ in the game on Wednesday.

“Last night he was the water boy running on the pitch – if you’re the water boy running onto the pitch you’ve got make sure you’re carrying water!” said Gatland yesterday.

“I didn’t understand what his role was – you don’t run onto the pitch giving messages as the waterboy without carrying water. My advice to him is to make sure he’s carrying water next time he does that.”

The South Africans will continue their preparation for the Test series with another A game versus the Bulls in Cape Town tomorrow, with the Lions taking on the Stormers tomorrow evening.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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