Aviva Premiership
Smith calls for report system
ESPN Staff
December 3, 2012
Brian Smith was furious after his 14-man side lost to London Welsh © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Chris Hala'ufia
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: England

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith has called for the game to follow rugby league in adopting the report system.

Smith was frustrated with the sending off of Irish No.8 Chris Hala'ufia during their defeat to London Welsh at the weekend. Hala'ufia was sent off after just ten minutes of the contest for a dangerous tackle on Seb Jewell.

The report system, where an official can put a player on report for an incident which is reviewed after the game, is used in rugby league and has been trialled in the southern hemisphere. And Smith believes his No.8 would not have been sent off had the system been in place during the Aviva Premiership clash.

"I just think we could learn a lot from rugby league," Smith told the BBC. "If that tackle was put on report, Chris probably gets a commendation for tackle of the season".

"We disagree with the referee's calls, but that's footie. For me it was a perfect tackle. There was nothing Chris could have done about it and we think it is perfectly executed tackle.

"In rugby league if there is a tackle that there is some concern about they just put the incident on report. And then they look at it in the cold light of day and they make an accurate decision.

"You don't often get 12 guys playing against 13 in rugby league unless it's a very obvious red card. This just illustrates how behind the times we are in terms of the laws of the game."

Smith added: "If that tackle was put on report, Chris probably gets a commendation for tackle of the season. But that's not the case and we've paid the price. I think it makes common sense to bring in something like the report system. It works perfectly well in the other code and we shouldn't be too proud to look at it."

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