Rob Kearney tackle during Italy vs Ireland Six Nations clash sparks debate

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As Ireland beat Italy in a tight encounter at the Olympic Stadium to move into third spot in 2019's Six Nations, there was one incident in particular that sparked debate.

As Italy's scrum-half Tito Tebaldi charged towards the line, he kicked the ball over the head of Ireland full-back Rob Kearney, who then appears to shoulder barge into the Italy playmaker off the ball.

The tackle was not punished, correct or incorrect?

The laws of rugby union say: "When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder."

However, the same rule, Foul Play, say: "A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from having the opportunity to play the ball, other than by competing for possession' and 'a player must not tackle an opponent who is not in possession of the ball."

Some of the replies to the tackle led to the majority siding against Kiwi referee Glen Jackson.

However, some fans were adamant that there was nothing wrong with the incident, and the ref was right to resume the game.

Below you can watch the incident in question, and also see how fans were left debating the block.

Ireland's Six Nations hasn't quite gone to plan.

Grand Slam holders, 11 points clear of their nearest challenger in 2018, including three bonus point wins, this year's campaign saw Joe Schmidt's side go down 32-20 to England at Croke Park in week one, before beating Scotland 22-13 in week two. 

It's been familiar start for the Italians.

Bottom of the Six Nations every year since 2015, they have failed to win more than one game in the competition since 2013.

In that time, 27 matches have yielded just one win and 1,041 points against at an average of almost 39 per game.

The latest defeat will see the Italians go winless once again with just two games left in their 2019 Six Nations campaign - a trip to Twickenham next week followed by a home match with France to finish.

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