‘Common sense must prevail’

Jonathan Kaplan has questioned the yellow cards awarded at the Aviva Stadium and Twickenham on Saturday.

Kaplan has offered his own post-match analysis on Saturday's Tests, where he says that both yellow cards could've been avoided if the referees had chosen common sense over the letter of the law.

'In the second minute of the Test at Lansdowne Road, Rob Kearney clearly took Willie le Roux out and the sanction was upgraded from a free kick to a penalty with the player hardly receiving even a warning,' wrote Kaplan on Ratetheref.co.za.

'Then 60 minutes later Kearney was taken out by Strauss just before he landed in a fairly innocuous way without any malicious intent. I am not arguing that it should not have been a penalty, it should have. But certainly if you are refereeing at this level I would expect that there needs to be more common sense in a game that is a contact sport.

'If the referee had used common sense he could have just as easily have managed that situation by saying that although a player was taken out in the air in this particular case it falls at the lower end of the scale and we are going to give a penalty and a caution.'

Kaplan was equally critical of the decision by Nigel Owens to yellow card Dan Coles, even though it appeared that Dylan Hartley had instigated the whole thing.

'Coles’ reaction was worse, but for me it could just as easily have been managed. It was not a yellow card offence and the guy who started it should have been included in the discussion.'

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