Harlequins v Bath: RFU apologises for timing mistake over player in sin-bin

Harlequins' Irne Herbst
Herbst returned to the field three minutes early as Harlequins held on to beat Bath

The RFU has apologised after Harlequins lock Irne Herbst spent seven minutes in the sin-bin instead of 10 during a win over Bath – but the result will stand.

A timing error by officials meant Herbst was allowed to rejoin play early after receiving a yellow card.

Quins survived a Bath comeback to win the Premiership match 40-36.

“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.”

Harlequins appeared to be cruising and held a commanding 40-13 advantage when Herbst was yellow-carded in the 64th minute at Twickenham Stoop.

But Bath then hit back with two tries in quick succession before the South African returned to the field and made a crucial tackle as the home side clung on for victory.

Bath director of rugby Johan van Graan raised the error with referee Anthony Woodthorpe after the final whistle.

However, the PGMOT statement confirmed the result will stand, leaving second-placed Bath five points behind Premiership leaders Northampton Saints.

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