Harlequins held off a late Bath comeback

Harlequins held off a second half comeback from Bath to win their Premiership game 40-36 but the result has not grabbed headlines – lock Irne Herbst’s yellow card has.

Herbst was sent to the sin bin but returned just seven minutes later, instead of serving the full ten. The Rugby Football Union has issued an apology for the error but say the result stands.

Read more: What is a sin bin?

“We would like to apologise to both teams for this mistake,” said the RFU Professional Game Match Officials Team (PGMOT) in a statement. “As is the usual process, the PGMOT will review all games to ensure continued improvement and learnings.”

There has been a lot of reaction surrounding the incident.

Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care told the Rugby Union weekly podcast: “I had no idea what was going on, no idea until after. Then Ben Spencer was like ‘you realise your sin-bin was six-and-a-half.’

“I was in the mix, playing this game, and I had no idea what was going on. Genuinely. Who’s let him off? I’ve been there a few times, you get told in no unspecific terms that you can go on now. You do your ten and you go on.

“Someone’s obviously said to him ‘you’re up, you’re on.’ He’s not just run on, has he?”

Bath’s head coach Johann van Grann said: “I’ve been involved in professional rugby for 23 years and it’s the first time I’ve come across it. “There was human error involved and the RFU made a statement. There is an outcome to it and we have got to move on.”

Ugo Monye said on TNT Sports: “There’s a mistake that’s clearly been made and at this point in time Bath are chasing the bonus-point. They managed to get that but I guess the context of it is that Irne Herbst had quite a number of involvements.

“Bath at this point were certainly thinking, not only is a point available (but potentially a win). I can certainly understand from a Bath perspective why they will be frustrated, but a massive, massive tip of the hat to Van Graan after the game who spoke about it so measured, so calm.

“I totally get why people are focusing on it, it is a mistake from the match officials, but nothing more than that.”

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