'Monty Python madness': Anger after horror tackle only earns yellow

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Commentators and fans were left fuming after Wales hooker Ken Owens escaped a red card in the thrilling contest against Fiji for a dangerous throw.

Owens was yellow-carded Wales were 5-0 down after he lifted Viliame Mata, who was charging at him, and flipped him over his head.

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Mata landed on his back despite being lifted over the horizontal.

The Welsh hooker was shown a yellow for the dangerous throw, which did not sit well with the Fox Sports commentary team.

Fans and commentators thought Ken Owens's dangerous throw deserved a red card. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)

Greg Martin labelled the tackle a red card and former England five-eighth Stuart Barnes labelled the incident “Monty Python madness”.

“In the meantime, we spot this tackle where Ken Owens has thrown the Fijian number eighth over his shoulder,” Greg Martin.

“That is clearly a red card.”

“People are obsessed with the laws and are worried about safety and if you are worried about safety you have to look back at that Ken Owens one because it is on another level to anything else,” Stuart Barnes said.

“That throw is such an aggressive one he has been hurtled beyond 180 degrees and the only reason he hasn’t been given a red card is because he has landed on his back. I am sorry but that is Monty Python madness.”

Former Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell called for New Zealand TMO Ben Skeen to be stood down after slowing the game down and looking at too many replays in Wales’ matches against Australia and Fiji.

Many fans on social media agreed with the three commentators.

Rugby World Cup officials are yet to announce whether Ownes will be cited for the dangerous throw.

Unfortunately for Wales, key fly-half Dan Biggar was also injured in the 27-17 victory.

Coach Warren Gatland confirmed the bad news for Wales, who will also sweat on two more injuries in an eerie reminder of their ill-fated 2015 campaign.

A "battered" Wales came from behind to beat the Fijians but it came at a high physical cost, with Biggar ruled out of Sunday's Pool D meeting with Uruguay after he was felled in an aerial collision with team-mate Liam Williams.

Leg injuries to three-try hero Josh Adams and centre Jonathan Davies will be assessed on Thursday, Gatland said.

The win confirmed the Six Nations champions' berth in the quarter-finals, which is as far as they went at the last World Cup when an injury-stricken side was knocked out 23-19 by South Africa.