Karl Dickson's call for Paul Willemse's yellow card was heard by crowd

For some time now, there have been calls for the crowd to hear the referee’s decision over the tannoy when it’s a biggie. and it seems the Six Nations have decided to agree. During the Six Nations opener between France and Ireland at the Orange Velodrome in Marseille, the crowd got just that.

Paul Willemse was sent to the sin-bin for a shoulder to the head of Irish prop Andrew Porter. It was sent to the bunker for a review, as we awaited a decision from upstairs on whether the yellow was worthy of being upgraded to a red card.

It wasn’t, and while there was relief from the French crowd – and no doubt, the big lock as well – it may not have dawned on many of them, the novelty of hearing a referee’s decision over tannoy announcement.

That relief was short lived, however, as we witnessed Willemse red-carded for a second yellow card.

While the lock was in the bin the first time, Ireland capitalised, scoring a try through scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park. With real momentum for the visiting team, it was worked through the hands and the impressive centre Bundee Aki managed to get his shoulders through and work a fine offload to his nine. With a show to the right, he corrected his run to the left and went in for the score.

Even when Willemse came back in, Ireland maintained their momentum, and just before the half-hour mark, Tadhg Beirne was going in inder the posts for Ireland’s second try of the night.

By that stage, France had barely been out of their own half or threatened the Irish.

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