SYDNEY (Reuters) - The introduction of a disciplinary report system rather than issuing red cards is gathering steam with Super Rugby coaches Tony Brown and Daryl Gibson agreeing World Rugby needs to examine the concept.
Brown's Sunwolves spent the entire second half of their clash with Gibson's New South Wales Waratahs with 14 men after Semisi Masirewa was red carded for a lifting tackle on Bernard Foley in Sydney on Sunday.
The Sunwolves also spent the final 10 minutes with just 13 players after Fumiaki Tanaka was given a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Jake Gordon in the 77-25 loss that guaranteed the Australian conference title for the Waratahs.
"I don't think there's any intent in there. It was just unfortunate," Sunwolves assistant coach Brown told reporters of the Masirewa incident.
"I think it was (All Blacks coach) Steve Hansen said that just put players on report like they do in league and play on.
"Maybe a yellow card and then if it's a serious incident then he gets suspended after the game.
"Then the game is not affected as much as it was tonight or in the All Blacks test against France."
France were reduced to 14 men early in their second test against the All Blacks in Wellington last month when fullback Benjamin Fall was red carded following a mid-air collision with Beauden Barrett, who landed heavily on his head.
Fall's red card was later rescinded by World Rugby, but the match itself ended as a contest as soon as referee Angus Gardner told the Montpellier fullback he had no option under the rules but to issue a red card.
Hansen mooted the idea after the match that World Rugby should consider implementing a report system like that of rugby league.
Rugby league's system involves a referee making a judgement an incident might need further investigation by a disciplinary panel. The player involved is rarely sent from the field at the time.
Waratahs coach Gibson said he also felt a report system might ensure the game remains a contest. The Sunwolves had only been trailing 24-18 when Masirewa was sent off.
"I certainly support that, the effect that it (the red card) has on the game it takes away the contest," Gibson said.
"In that instance the referee has no option. He's following to the letter of the law and that's what he's required to do.
"Having an intermediary step that's not quite a red card, give him some options, sensible."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)