‘Unbelievable, mindless, horrific!’ The sickening tackle that’s appalled the rugby world

It’s been called the worst tackle many would have ever seen.

Whether that’s true or not, it wasn’t exactly an episode that will prompt too many parents to encourage their children to take up rugby union.

The Premier Sports TV commentator was openly aghast as Castres Olympique lock Ryno Pieterse launched himself in the direction of Bordeaux scrum-half Maxime Lucu.

Pieterse hadn’t long been on the field as a replacement when he fixed his sights on the unfortunate visiting No. 9.

Lucu had put boot to ball when he felt the full-force of a contact from Peiterse, with the 6ft 5in, 16st 10lb second row diving off his feet and airbone when he hit his 5ft 9in, 12st 6lb opponent late and while the No. 9 was in the air.

Bordeaux players reacted furiously to the incident, shoving Pieterse to the ground as referee Romain Poite looked to restore order, shouting: “C’est rouge.”

The South African duly saw red and left the pitch.

Reacting to the hit, the TV commentator said: “That’s the kind of dangerous play we just do not want to see in the game. That was stupidity. Absolutely no need for this whatsoever.

“What is he thinking?

“Goodness me. Unbelievable.”

He went on to describe the tackle as a “reckless, career-threatening challenge”.

The incident outraged many on social media, with the hit being described as ‘horrific’ by one poster.

Ex-England fly-half Andy Goode said: “Heavy ban coming for this mindless act,” with another contributor calling the hit “horrific”.

And World Cup final referee of 2015 Nigel Owens also spoke bluntly, saying: “I never get involved in citings or length-of-ban conversations. But this was as obvious a RC you will see and well done Romain, no TMO lengthy conversations. But it has to now be followed by a very, very lengthy ban.”

There were some people who insisted the incident was not as bad as others suggested. One branded it a rugby incident, while another said: “If anyone thinks that’s a red card offence they’ve obviously never played rugby. Armchair fans.”

But Owens was having none of it, taking issue with a fellow Twitter user who suggested “wild and dangerous is not a law” and that Pieterse had been in “total control”.

“Any dangerous play is classed as foul play and it’s covered in law,” said Owens. “And if you think he is in total control then I really am lost for words.”

The Top 14 encounter finished 23-23, with a late penalty from Castres’ Benjamin Urdapilleta levelling matters.

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