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'Do we constantly want to see 14 play 15?': Ackermann fumes at Cipriani red card

‘If you hit your car it’s an accident. Get on a plane, maybe it’s going to fall,’ argued Ackermann as he called on officials to judge intent behind tackles.

Sean Farrell reports from Thomond Park

GLOUCESTER HEAD COACH Johan Ackermann insisted he didn’t want to talk about the game-changing red card dished out to Danny Cipriani, but his annoyance couldn’t be held under wraps.

The out-half was given his marching orders by referee Alexandre Ruiz 28 minutes into what turned out to be a facile Munster bonus point win in Heineken Champions Cup pool 2.

Rory Scannell with Danny Cipriani and Val Rapava Ruskin Cipriani's last impact on the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

With strong echoes of the incident that earned Jerome Kaino a five-week ban this week, Cipriani’s failed to wrap his arms or get low enough when Rory Scannell carried into the Gloucester 22 and the centre’s head was met by the 10′s shoulder.

“I’ve got a lot to say, but I’m not going to say it. It’s not going to change anything,” said the South African. But without much coaxing he added:

“(Cipriani) is disappointed. If they come and watch how he trains, that’s how he protects himself. It’s a normal habit, he didn’t even want to tackle the guy, he wanted to get out of it.

“It’s done and dusted. If the supporters come and pay to watch 14 v 15… that’s a great way for rugby (to go) forward,” he said with a bite of sarcasm before calling on officials to differentiate between hits with intent and those which may be accidental.

Sometimes it’s what we call an accident. If you hit your car it’s an accident, you don’t plan for it. Get on a plane, maybe it’s going to fall.

“Some back rowers make 25 tackles in a game, they get one wrong and now they say he has bad technique. What about the 24 great tackles?

“We can debate this over and over. The biggest thing I say is: do we constantly want to see 14 play 15? I don’t know.

Danny Cipriani receives a red card from Referee Alexandre Ruiz Off. Alexandre Ruiz sends Cipriani to the sideline. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I’m just proud of the boys the way they performed tonight.”

Sitting alongside Ackermann, Gloucester captain Ed Slater was also left frustrated by the call and the lack of consistent punishment in a game punctuated with more, and more dangerous, high tackles than Cipriani’s red card offence.

“There were a few high shots during the game,” said the lock, “I’m just trying to work out what makes that one more serious than some of the others.”

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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