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Organisers back 'bunker review' consistency at Rugby World Cup

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Rugby World Cup organisers are confident that their ‘bunker’ card reviews are bringing more consistency to the game despite some debatable calls in this year’s tournament.

Scotland coach Greg Townsend hit out at the television match official (TMO) and bunker review system after Afusipa Taumoepeau of Tonga only picked up a yellow card for a head-high tackle on captain Jamie Ritchie.

A yellow card can be upgraded to a red after officials review the action within eight minutes after a player has been sin-binned.

“The decision is explained to that supporters can have a better understanding,” World Rugby general director Alan Gilpin told a press conference on Wednesday.

“The strive for consistency is ongoing. Hopefully what everyone sees is that communication on the field is clear,” he added, declining to comment on individual cases after being asked about the tackle that eventually ruled flanker Ritchie out of their Pool B game against Romania on Saturday.

“We’ve seen a number of incidents where foul play was reviewed and there was great consistency from the bunker,” Gilpin said.

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“Rather than playing five or six replays on the screen when the crowds are excited we put it into a calmer environement. Every individual case has its specificities.”

Thirty red cards have been handed out since the first World Cup in 1987, with a record eight in the previous edition in 2019.

At this year’s World Cup, five red cards have been awarded after 24 of the 48 matches.

Reuters

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