Rugby World Cup: Ex-Scotland star John Barclay slams 'inexcusable' decision not to send off South Africa's Jesse Kriel after Jack Dempsey collision

Former Scotland internationalist John Barclay has slammed the decision not to send off South African centre Jesse Kriel during their World Cup opener against the Scots in Marseille.

Kriel was involved in an incident with Jack Dempsey just two minutes into the match in the south of France where he appeared to initiate head-on-head contact with the Scotland No 8 during a collision. The incident had similarities to the offence that resulted in England’s Tom Curry being sent off during their match against Argentina at the same venue on Saturday night and Barclay, who was capped 76 times for Scotland between 2007 and 2019, called the decision not to review what happened between Kriel and Dempsey “inexcusable”.

"The confusion is that the TMOs are always looking,” said Barclay in his role as pundit for ITV. “You are two minutes into a game and you've got an incident that, as you see, is a red card. It is a red card. It comes from a distance, a clear line of sight, no drop in height, and he applies force. It's head-on-head. That's a red card.

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"The way the game is refereed – whether you like or it not – that is a red card. We saw a very similar incident last night that was given as a yellow and was upgraded to a red in the bunker. This is where the game gets a bit messy because this is where they look very similar. Yeah, from slightly different positions from a kick, but that is a red card, and the fact it wasn't seen or reviewed is inexcusable."