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'It looked reckless to me' | Gatland questions Faf de Klerk yellow in Lions defeat to SA


Lions head coach Warren Gatland is to seek clarity with officials over the tackle which resulted in South Africa A's Faf de Klerk being yellow-carded in last night's tour match in Cape Town.

The South African scrum-half was sent to the sin-bin for a no-arms hit on Lions flanker Josh Navidi, in the closing stage of the first half.

Referee Jaco Peyper deemed there was no direct contact with the head area from Faf De Klerk, which resulted in a potential red card being downgraded to a yellow, saying the Sale Sharks 9 had made contact with the chest of the Welsh international.

Speaking this afternoon, Lions head coach Warren Gatland said he couldn't agree with the referee's assessment, adding that in his opinion there was "definite head-on-head contact".

"I can't understand the comments that there was no contact to the head. Someone was watching a different picture to me.

"I thought it looked reckless to me. No arms and he's hit the arm first and then the shoulder, but there's definitely head-on-head contact," he said of the de Klerk challenge.

"We've got a meeting with the referees tomorrow (Friday) just to get a bit of clarity on that. What we want is clarity so that we get complete consistency.

"It'll be interesting to see what the referees come back with and what other people who have looked at it come back with in terms of the recommendations for that incident," Gatland added.

The Lions 17-13 defeat at the Cape Town Stadium has built a degree of hype around the upcoming three-match test series, which the Lions will begin after their final warm-up game against the Stormers this Saturday.

And Gatland stoked the flames even further by having a cheeky pop at the Springboks Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, who donned the waterboy's bib during last night's game at the Cape Town Stadium, delivering messages to his players out on the pitch.

"Erasmus put out pretty much his top side against us last night (Wednesday), which is good because we had a good look at them. And I don't see it as our role to prepare them for the Test series."

Gatland said: "He was the water boy running on the pitch - if you're the water boy running onto the pitch you've got to make sure you're carrying water!

"I didn't understand what his role was - you don't run onto the pitch giving messages as the water boy without carrying water. My advice to him is to make sure he's carrying water next time he does that."

You can hear LIVE commentary of every British and Irish Lions game on Off the Ball, continuing this Saturday at 5pm, with the Lions taking on the Stormers in Care Town.

The 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour on OTB Sports with Vodafone. Lead Partner of the British and Irish Lions

Download the British & Irish Lions App, Powered by Vodafone, to stay connected to the Lions this summer



Read more about

Faf De Klerk Rassie Erasmus Warren Gatland

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