Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Haskell criticizes big-screen replays

AFP, LONDON

England flanker James Haskell believes rugby’s authorities should end their policy of showing slow-motion replays of incidents of foul play on big screens in stadiums.

Haskell said the yellow card he received for a dangerous tackle on Conor Murray in England’s Six Nations victory over Ireland at Twickenham last month was influenced by big-screen replays.

The Wasps captain said referee Romain Poite was influenced by repeated slow-motion viewings of the challenge, making it appear more savage than it actually was.

Haskell said officials should review incidents on a monitor on the sideline — the method used in American football — to strip out the possibility of the crowd’s reaction having a bearing on the decision.

“I was very disappointed, because I do not think it was a yellow card. Slowing anything down makes it seem 10 times worse than it actually is,” Haskell said.

“If you notice, I pulled out, turned my head well away — there was no intent. He relaxed into it. He got up straight away, I got up straight away. I could not believe it when the referee called me back. I was shocked when I saw how slowly they were replaying it. Any tackle looks pretty bad when seen like that,” he said.

“They should not play replays in slow motion. I firmly believe they should go to the side of the field, look at the screen and review it on their own. If they need to see it again then fine, but see it in fast and take the crowd out of the equation. The slow-mo was really unhelpful. It gives the wrong impression,” he said.

“Rugby is a really tough game and it is not great doing that kind of stuff, because it is making a spectacle out of it when it does not need to be,” he added.

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