Furore over Owen Farrell’s big hit leads to call for refereeing consistency

• Australia’s Kurtley Beale: ‘A couple of years ago it is a red’
• Referees to meet this week, with six Saturday Tests in Europe

Kurtley Beale said confusion will remain over tackles which merit a red card until there is consistency from referees. The Australia centre was speaking after the furore generated by Owen Farrell’s challenge on André Esterhuizen at the end of England’s victory over South Africa.

England’s co-captain went into the challenge with his right shoulder and Esterhuizen came to an abrupt halt. The Australian referee, Angus Gardner, reviewed the tackle, first to determine its height – it was just below the shoulders – and then to see whether the fly-half had, as the law requires, attempted to use his arms. He gave Farrell the benefit of the doubt and did not award a penalty that could have won South Africa Saturday’s Test at Twickenham.

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