Nigel Owens has given a very interesting take on Freddie Steward’s red card against Ireland.
Andy Farrell’s side capped off an incredible Six Nations with a Grand Slam, winning against England on the final day of the tournament.
Ireland were red-hot favourites going into the game at the Aviva but met a highly motivated England side who caused them problems early on.
But the game completely changed when Freddie Steward received a red card for a dangerous tackle just before half-time.
The decision is quite controversial with many giving their opinion, the latest being former referee, Nigel Owens.
“It comes down simply to this: does he believe there has been foul play? If there is foul play, he then goes to mitigation and degree of danger.” He told the World Rugby YouTube channel.
“If you look at the way the referee deals with it, it is difficult to argue with his thought process and decision to give a red card. We can all follow and agree with red card and the referee making the decision on the day that there is foul play.
“What he believes is that Freddie Steward is in a position where he could have changed what he was going to do next.
“Because of that, we have foul play, we have head contact, we have high degree of danger, we don’t have much mitigation to take it down from a red, even though some might argue there is. Therefore, we have a red card. Totally understandable decision.
“When I’m looking at that decision myself, I’m thinking that it’s very difficult to argue with what Jaco Peyper has seen and why he is giving a red card.
“Lets go to the yellow card camp. You feel that Freddie Steward couldn’t do anything different, that he could do nothing to change what happened next. If that’s what you feel and the referee felt at the time, the referee would have went from a red to a yellow or even decide there was no foul play because there was nothing he could do…
“I’m looking at it myself and thinking I can’t really disagree with the red card. It would be very unfair for me to sit here and tell you I would have given a red or a yellow, because I’m not in that moment on the field.
“In that moment on the field, it all comes down to what the referee deals with the facts. The facts were what Jaco Peyper explained and we have a red card, which is not a wrong decision.
“If you feel that Freddie Steward couldn’t do anything different and gave a yellow card, I couldn’t disagree with you as well.”