"Terrible refereeing" - Stuart Barnes lays into Karl Dickson after controversial red card - Ruck

“Terrible refereeing” – Stuart Barnes lays into Karl Dickson after controversial red card

Stuart Barnes, a former England rugby player and current Times columnist, recently took aim at referee Karl Dickson for issuing a red card to Toulon flanker Charles Ollivon in the Challenge Cup semi-final against Benetton.

The incident occurred just six minutes into the match when Ollivon was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Matteo Minozzi.

Despite being down to 14 men, Toulon managed to physically overwhelm Benetton and secure a 23-0 victory, earning a spot in the Challenge Cup final. Duncan Paia’aua had already opened the scoring for Toulon before Ollivon’s red card.

Following the match, Barnes took to Twitter to express his disagreement with the decision to send off Ollivon, writing “Oh dear, that is terrible refereeing.” Barnes’ criticism of the decision highlights the ongoing debate around red cards in rugby and whether referees are being too quick to issue them.

While player safety is of utmost importance, some argue that the sport is becoming overly cautious and that referees need to exercise more discretion in their decision-making. Others believe that rugby is a physical sport and that players should be able to play to the best of their abilities without fear of being sent off for every perceived infraction.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue, it is clear that Barnes’ criticism of referee Karl Dickson’s decision to issue a red card to Charles Ollivon has added fuel to the ongoing debate around the use of red cards in rugby.

Charles Ollivon red card:

Rugby referee’s reveal the ‘toughest’ players to referee

Well, we’ve discovered quotes from six of the world’s finest officials down the years who told stories about trying to control some of rugbyl’s bad boys.

Interestingly, one name cropped up on three occasions…

Matthew Carley – Steve Borthwick

On Borthwick: “A difficult question. When I first started refereeing in the Premiership Steve Borthwick was one of the guys who was pretty intimidating.

“He saw that everything was on ‘his terms, whether you like it or not’. He had such presence. I think you learn how to deal with people like that as a ref, but Steve Borthwick, was as tough as they come.” 

Steve Borthwick and Neal Hatley talk before the Guinness Six Nations Championship match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK