The first minutes of the Wales/France semi-final showed who was boss. The Welsh were superior and a French supporter tweeted “J’ai peur!”
Suddenly the game was turned on its head as the heart of the Welsh side, captain Sam Warburton was sent off with a red card by half French referee Alain Rolland, for an over boisterous tackle, that had absolutely no malicious intent. Wales had to fight for their lives with only 14 men. From only 18 minutes into the game, a distraught Warburton had to watch helplessly from the sidelines, as Wales went down 8-9.
Austin Healey tweeted: It wasn’t a bad spear he just lost grip of him and Clerc jumped into the tackle worst decision of this rwc #RWC2011
Francois Pienaar commentating had this to say: He has killed the guy! I am livid! It was wrong! He has killed the game!
Lawrence Dallaglio. Allain Rolland is supposed to be one of the best referees in the world. He has made a terrible mistake.
Francois Pienaar: The French team were not fit. They showed no attacking skills and lost two games and they are in the World Cup Final?
Even with only 14 men, Wales continually threatened the French and scored a dazzling try. France nicked the game 9-8. to preserve the sapirit of the game, there should be a replay with Warburton once more captaining the Welsh side. Alain rolland should never be allowed to referee a rubgy match again. The Welsh nation is heartbroken. England is heartbroken. Justice has not only not been done, it has trashed into the mud.
UPDATE: ITV reports that the rugby world is unanimous in agreeing that Sam Warburton was on the end of an appallingly unjust decision. Francois Pienaar has called for technology to be used in such important decisions. “It killed the game. At best it was a yellow card, never a red” he said. Michael Lynagh and Sean Fitzpatrick both agree the ref. should have involved the linesmen, given a yellow card, and if a later investigation showed malice, Warburton should have missed the final. Even down to 14 men, Wales made France look like a bunch of pussies.