Rugby World Cup 2023 – “It’s severe”: Romain Poite analyzes the exclusion of Portuguese Vincent Pinto

Consultant for Rugbyrama / Midi Olympique for the World Cup, former international referee Romain Poite discusses the exclusion of Vincent Pinto against Wales.

Vincent Pinto was excluded against Wales after being guilty of a kick, certainly involuntary, but directly in the head of Welsh player Josh Adams. In reception with a high ball, the Colomiers winger did not control his body and came impale his crampons in the head of his counterpart. First sanctioned with a yellow card, then excluded by the bunker rule, this decision angered Patrice Lagisquet. The former international referee Romain Poite analyzes this action for us: “It is obvious that there may be discussions about this action and that opinions differhe distills in the preamble. You could say it’s harsh, I don’t think Pinto does it on purpose (lift your leg this high, Editor’s note), we see he is out of balance behind. But personally when I was a referee, I preferred to be said that my decision had been harsh instead of being called incompetent because I had not made it.

“The safety spirit that is required by World Rugby requires a firm position from referees”

“We can discuss this red card but it is a desire to make an impression and to change behavior in relation to the rule. If there must be a red card because the safety of the player is in danger, we must not do not hesitate so that behavior in the future is as fair as possible and in accordance with the rule.” The action in question, let’s talk about it. The Portuguese winger, receiving a high-footed play, seems to have difficulty analyzing the correct trajectory of the ball, and loses his balance in the air, until he hits Josh Adams’ face with his right foot remained on the ground. At a press conference, Patrice Lagisquet did not understand the decision. According to him, the responsibility lies with the defender to adapt and not touch him. Poite does not share the same analysis: “The player has his race, he knows he is late so he does not jump. He waits for the player to fall to the ground so he can impact and tackle him. Asking the other player to adapt is complicated. These are cases that deserve discussion.”The institution has positioned itself: in relation to the spirit of security which is requested and which is increasingly marked, World Rugby wishes a firm positioning of referees and decisions.”

Previous ones from a few years ago

The former central referee who refereed 11 World Cup matches recalls several similar situations in the past where the impact on the opponent was sometimes maliciously disguised: “We realized two or three years ago that players were slowing down, but not accidentally. This caused danger to the players who came to challenge the ball. I remember a South Africa – Ireland match, refereed at the time by Mathieu Raynal, where an Irishman fell on the South African, Willie le Redhead. He had turned his body slightly and it was the hip that had hit the springbok back as it came into contact with the kicker. At the time, it was said: “the problem is that he is falling, what else could he do?” but with hindsight, we regularly saw players coming to counter late and turning slightly to impact with their back or their hip. This is not the case for Pinto on this action, but we can also question his gesture: “did he need to raise his foot that high?” The decision has been made, it will certainly be reworked together with the World Rugby refereeing managers to find a balance between the decision and what can be expected from such an action.” Waiting for, the U20 world champion with the Bleuets in 2019 will miss at least the next meeting against Georgia.

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