DUBLIN (Reuters) – England’s spirited bid to derail Ireland’s Grand Slam was effectively wrecked by a red card for fullback Freddie Steward after a collision with opposite number Hugo Keenan at the end of the first half, with many pundits unhappy with the decision.
Steward tried to pull out of a collision with Keenan, bracing for contact, but his elbow smashed into his head, earning a red card after a lengthy discussion between the referee and TMO.
England had produced a battling first half, showing a massive improvement from last week’s thrashing by France, leaving the expectant Lansdowne Road crowd nervous as they sat on a 10-6 lead.
The red card changed everything and Ireland, eventually, took control to claim a 29-16 victory to complete a clean sweep.
England captain Owen Farrell said he thought it was a harsh decision, but added: “They made the rules for a reason.