World Rugby claims bunker review system ‘working well’ amid Gregor Townsend criticism
Taumoepeau was given a yellow card for the high tackle in the Pool B match in Nice, but it wasn’t upgraded to red because Ritchie lowered his height going into the tackle. The failure to send off Taumoepeau prompted Gregor Townsend to question the validity of the Bunker review system. The Scotland coach described the disciplinary process as “not good enough”.
Alan Gilpin, the CEO of World Rugby, refused to comment on specific cases but said he was confident that the Bunker card reviews were bringing more consistency to the game despite some debatable calls. “The foul play review officer in the Bunker is obviously seeing more angles than television viewers at home or people in the stadium are seeing, and we think there is great consistency there and the bunker is working well,” Gilpin said on Wednesday at the weekly Rugby World Cup press conference in Paris.
The Bunker system was trialled in other competitions this year but this is the first time it has been deployed at a World Cup. A yellow card can be upgraded to a red after officials review the action within eight minutes of a player being sin-binned. “Rather than playing five or six replays on the screen when the crowds are excited we put it into a calmer environment,” Gilpin added.
The identities of the foul play review officers in the Bunker are not revealed, nor are the replays made public - two more bones of contention for critics of the system.
Ritchie failed a head injury assessment, and was stood down for 12 days. It means he misses Scotland’s game against Romania on Saturday and faces a race against time to be ready for the decisive pool match with Ireland on October 7.
Meanwhile, scrum-half Ben Vellacott has been named Edinburgh Rugby co-captain for next season.
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