Folau has been cited for a tackle in the air on Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony in the ninth minute, after he was sent to the sin bin during the match itself over a similar contest in the 31st minute.
However the Rebels utility believes that the fault was not with Folau but Irish lifter CJ Stander, who failed to support his skipper adequately.
“Being a player that’s often in the air, you want to be protecting the players,” said Haylett-Petty, “but I felt like last night that one-man lift, they’re obviously putting their own player in danger there.”
“Any time there was any sort of contact in the air, he fell pretty badly. So, I feel like if anything we should be getting rid of that.”
Israel Folau getting punished for dangerous play for a superb piece of athleticism against a player who is so high in the air because he's being lifted. The lift is just as dangerous as playing him in the air— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) June 23, 2018
The former Force flyer said the Wallabies were being unfairly scrutinized in this area of the game due to Folau’s aerial potency.
“I think obviously that’s a huge strength for us and they’re going to try and take that away from us,” Haylett-Petty said.
“I feel like the fans probably want to see 15 on 15 and a good battle and it was, it was a great Test series and obviously we don’t want to make any excuses.
“The Irish were really good and it could’ve gone either way in both those last two Test matches.”
Folau was cited for ‘placing his left hand on O’Mahony’s chest’, an action that “pulls O’Mahony over and he topples to the ground,” according to citing commissioner Michael O’Leary.
Because he received a yellow card during the match, Folau will now have to front a disciplinary hearing, which could see him scrubbed out of NSW’s crucial clash with (ironically) the Rebels this weekend.
That was dangerous because O’Mahony was being lifted by Stander. The single, unsafe lift created a dangerous situation where O’Mahony was out of control, not Folau’s actions. Bad call.— Chris Jones BBC (@chjones9) June 23, 2018
This could cause more headaches for the Waratahs, with captain Michael Hooper also set to miss the match with the hamstring strain that saw him exit the Ireland test after just 16 minutes.
The Folau saga adds further fuel to the debate around players in the air with the All Blacks and France series also marred by an overturned red card to Les Bleus fullback Benjamin Fall in the second Test.
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