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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And now for the bad side of Fijian rugby

And now for the bad side of Fijian rugby

No one can deny that the flashes of brilliance we saw from the Pacific Island teams in France have been a breath of fresh air and great for the game. But I don't think anyone can criticize referee Alan Lewis or the judiciary for taking action on some clearly illegal play.

Of course, big tackles are part of the game and we all love them here at Rugbydump. There is however a line that players must be punished for if they choose to step over it. The citing's at this years World Cup have been plentiful and inconsistent at times, but at least the IRB are making a point of dangerous play.

The first incident here involves a perfectly legal tackle on Schalk Burger that stops the try and is actually great defence. Once again, Schalk not offloading when he should, but thats another discussion altogether.

It was a very impressive, hard, double tackle dislodging the ball and keeping the Boks out.

You'll notice that the supporting Springbok Danie Rossouw doesn't touch the ball but still manages to get a blatant swinging arm in the face from the Fijian cover defender, flyhalf Seremaia Bai. He wasn't punished on the field, but was cited later and now faces a one week ban. This is basically a stiff arm punch to the face and is probably no worse than a traditional punch. But, one week is what they say so we can't argue it can we. What we can do is ask for consistency though.

Seru Rabeni has had his fair-share of golden moments in the contact situation in this World Cup, against Australia , for example. He fails to impress Butch James with this hit though, as he attempts to jolt the South African fly-half into next week with a body-check as James off-loads the ball. Butch James gets some air with the impact of the ferocious Fijian's shoulder. Rabeni, however, gets 10 minutes in the bin and rightfully so.

If a team like Fiji could eliminate this element of their game they would no doubt be a dominant force in world rugby and one of the most exciting teams around.

Posted at 11:08 am | 45 comments

Viewing 45 comments

Anonymous October 10, 2007 11:22 am

I know they aren't legal but its still impressive to see these guys hit hard! great video. will they get cited?!, i know the world cup is over for them, but will there be consequences perhaps bans from club rugby?

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Rugbydump Admin October 10, 2007 12:06 pm

"He wasn't punished on the field, but was cited later and now faces a one week ban."Because they're out the tournament, it will apply to his next week of rugby, whatever that means.

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Dingles October 10, 2007 12:14 pm

"The first incident here involves a perfectly legal tackle on Schalk Burger that stops the try and is actually great defence."Not sure we are looking at the same incident but the tackle on Schalk by the Fijian 14 was around his neck. How is that perfectly legal?

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Graeme October 10, 2007 12:22 pm

"but the tackle on Schalk by the Fijian 14 was around his neck. How is that perfectly legal?"1st - he's already ran past Burger, to anticipate the off-load to Rossouw...but it didn't come. So he's leaned back to make the tackle which results in a tackle with the arm, not with the body.2nd - his arm hits him in the chest and slides up anyway (albeit high on the chest)3rd - the brilliant head-on tackle from the flanker, cancels it out anwyayThe tackle on Burger is high, but not dangerous. Certainly not as intentional as the one on Rossouw anyway.

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James October 10, 2007 12:35 pm

Yeah, I agree with Graeme, the first tackle was fine. It ended up high but started off on Burgers arm.

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dingles October 10, 2007 12:38 pm

1: I agree that Schalk should have off-loaded but I don't see the relevance to whether the tackle was high or not. Only begs the question of whether the tackle was late too.2: The 14 still pulled Schalk to ground around the neck which is dangerous and high.3: Cannot argue with the tackle by the flanker but I fail to see how that cancels out the high tackle from the 14.I wouldn't have a problem with calling it unintentional or even marginal but it's certainly not "perfectly legal".

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Rugbydump Admin October 10, 2007 1:08 pm

Dingles, plz dont take everything I write on here as gospel and start analysing every word. I do agree with you though that the hand around the neck, pulling Schalk to ground was wrong. I didn't mention it cos I figured the hit on Roussouw was the main focus. My bad.

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 1:38 pm

Graeme, the rules define high as dangerous - a tackle doesn't have to be high AND dangerous.There were a number of incidents, and SA copped it with Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. This is not a case of sour grapes - they did win, but the IRB seems to be adopting the old patriarchal "Noble Savages" route here - they need to apply the rules consistently and eliminate the foul play for the Pacific Island rugby.

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dingles October 10, 2007 3:53 pm

'nuff said. Thanks for the RWC coverage. This is a great site.

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bonzai October 10, 2007 3:58 pm

i think the second tackle did not deserve a yellow card, it certainly wasn't THAT late, the video is in slowmo, in real time it would be just as he offloads and you dont have that split second to think once youve set yourself for the big hit.about the lack of arms, i think his arms are on the player, he doesnt wrap and go down because by that point he has realised that the ball is gone and quickly gets back to work at the next breakdown.at the end of the day, a one week ban is nothing, and fiji certainly didnt suffer when they went down to 14 men, but it was a harsh decision anyway, i think when the referee is poised to make a game changing decision like binning a player, he should go to the TMO if he hasnt seen it himself

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 4:40 pm

He had aready been told to keep about the tackles! what is this "late hit on burger" ?!?! burger knocked the ball on, how was the flanker to know?

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 4:45 pm

ah my bad, you guy were talking about the tackle on Rossouw, still wasnt exactly late though.... play till the ref blows the whistle! was a ridiculous tackle though, was there a bit of revenge there?! i mean that was seriously intentional, i keep looking at it thinking "was it accdental and he meant to hit him lower or did he duck into the tackle" and its a definate no!!!

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 7:41 pm

The Rabeni tackle in books was fine. For him to be sent to the sin bin was a joke. It certainly wasn't high, no swinging arm.Just a cracking hit. The referee stated that he needed to keep the takles down. Clearly another bad decision by another terrible referee in this world cup

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 7:48 pm

Smash the f*ckers up. Fiji love the contact, not as if the saffer's don't love filth too. Shame Bai didn't take Rossouw's head off

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 8:04 pm

so butch james got on the receiving end of a shoulder charge. comeuppance?

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Anonymous October 10, 2007 8:54 pm

How did that ref give a yellow for that rambeni tackle and not for decapation of wilko by lima. i dont like this ref and im glad he not refing the final. also great site graeme

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James October 11, 2007 12:04 am

Yeah, the yellow card was a bad decision. I dont think it was a shoulder charge, he had his arms out, its just he hit him so hard that he went backwards before he could wrap his arms. Not like the Welsh 15 on Barnes type of hit where they tuck the arm and just launch with the shoulder.

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 12:32 am

The stiff arm on Rossouw, does warrent sanction, but Rambenis tackle on James seamed fine to me, there seamed an attempt to wrap round with one arm wich is all the is needed and attempt, but James fall down to quick.And the no sholder rule is sad and pathetic it's no more dangerous than a normal tackle in my opinion and its been leagal in rugby league with no majour problems. I think im with micheal jones when he says the game is gong soft, particularly when Rambeni's tackle is punished with a yellow card, nonsense.

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MaXZi October 11, 2007 2:15 am

i want to ask why don't you upload any video from argentina?i think you must do it

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 4:04 am

woah its an obligationcalm down dude

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 7:55 am

Whether you guys like the rules or not, they must be applied consistently. Would you be happy if your favourite players copped a tackle like Rossouw or James did? I agree that the game shouldn't go soft, but if you look at some of the offences other teams have been penalsied for, there is no way you can say those tackles should not have been pinged.Consider Burger's ban for the tackle in the air or even Vickery's trip.

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 8:16 am

all three of them should have been sent off, in the tackle by no14 on schalk burger the no14 seems to stand up in the tackle and carries on holding burger around the neck when he is supposed to go low in the tackle, the hit on rossouw was in his face nevermind the neck that is a definate yellow card, rambeni's check on butch james is illegal because you are supposed to use your arms in the tackle, which quite rightly was a yeallow card, DOES THE STUPID NEW ZEALAND COMMENTATOR EVEN KNOW WHAT A HIGH TACKLE IS ALL HE SAYS IS THAT IT WAS A LATE TACKLE!!!!The commentators at this world cup are just as bad as the refs!!!

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 10:46 am

Yes but the Fiji winger makes the initial contact with Burger makes it below the neck on then as burger goes to ground he slides doen so the arm is round the neck, not dangerous and so consiquently no a penalising offense, and if you pinalised every time that happened in a game a match would become conpletly stop sart and the game would be reduced t pentaly kicks and line outs.Rambeni's tackle i belive had an attempt to wrap round with the arms so it was leagal and it wasn't high inital contact was with the shoulders not the neck or head.And I uphold that a shoulder tackle is no more dangerous than arms tackle, as a player of both league and union, when playing league i am tackled with the shoulder several times a match and rarely have i been injured by it, I would go so far as to say that useing the arms is more dangerous because when you are being pulled to the ground and the tackler is trying to turn you and you are resisting the turn that is when your legs can get trapped and broken or knee and ankle ligaments can get snapped.

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Anonymous October 11, 2007 11:02 pm

Some people are pathetic! Watch a game of Rugby League where body checks and questionable hits are common and you wonder why people often look upon Union as the more boring of the two games. I love hard rugby and I have been on the end of a lot of big hits as well as dished them out myself, and as I watch the yellow cards being handed out I often find myself questioning the toughness of our game! Butch James was by no means hurt and in fact Rabeni's hit on Berrick Barnes was even worse than that. I just think some people need to toughen up, Polynesian Rugby is played tough with bodies in motion hell bent on causing damage, if you can't stand the heat get outta' the kitchen!

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G-unit. October 12, 2007 1:47 am

I too wonder about the wimpness of rugby sometimes too! I love the big hits!!! Head highs/spear tackles no...but everything else should be a go...can someone explain to me why no arms is illegal in rugby and not in league??? I've yet to figure this out...and don't get me started on rucks! where a guy lying on the ball isn't rucked anymore...nothing gets a guy of the ball faster than a rucking...oh the good ol' days! haha! What game was it (world cup) where someone just put his boot on a player while they walked up the field and was cited...just terrible...

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Anonymous October 12, 2007 3:26 am

Some of you guys seriously need to take off your Eng/NZ/Aus glasses and look at the tackles for what they were. Clear breach of the rules on all three occasions but it is always acceptable if it is an islander making the tackle. In that case, the hit in Wilkonson by Lima was fine as well..? And, if you hit a guy and the tackle slips to around his neck, you can not continue and choke the man... Does that not constitute dangerous play? Come on guys, open your eyes and act as if you actually know the game.Love this site! Thanks for the vids.

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Anonymous October 14, 2007 9:43 am

"can someone explain to me why no arms is illegal in rugby and not in league???"because leage is overcompensating for the lack of physical contest in a scrum? also tackling without arms won't get you very far in union even if it was legal. you knock the other bloke over and then what? you haven't held him, and you've made a convenient space for him to get up and run into, shortening your defensive line and making everyone else work harder. you also make it a doddle to offload in the tackle.i don't think we need to change the rules to allow certain people to vicariously feel some masculinity. if you want to feel tough, turn off the computer, get your boots on and pick up a ball in whatever code your heart desires. it's plenty easy to hit someone hard using your arms. ask stirling mortlock if he still dreams about butch james.

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Anonymous October 14, 2007 10:22 pm

Just because you cant body check someone in union doesnt mean you cant hit them hard.....here are some examples....Lima vs Hougard Lewsey vs Rodgers Chabal vs Masoe Lamont vs Devilliers the list goes on, i might add that during my 2006 season i got in 1 or 2 hard hits myself....

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Anonymous October 15, 2007 3:09 pm

Does no-one else see the enormous irony of someone being binned for a shoulder charge on Butch James of all people? The guy only learnt how to use his arms a few months ago. Served him right, he deserved it and more.

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Anonymous October 16, 2007 3:40 am

LOL to the guy above me!!! Butch never uses his arms!!! but whats better is look at Butch on the ground... he still knows where the ball is and gets up straight afterwards! good 'ol College Boy!

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Anonymous October 16, 2007 9:18 am

I can see you all plau rugby league, bacause you have had your brainpower so reduced by just such hits that you dont know dangerous from non dangerous.to all the people who says that he tried to wrap his arms around, IT DOESNT MATTER, HE DIDNT! if i try to tackle a guy low and tackled him high, IT DOENST MATTER! i stil tackled him high, the refs cant look at every "he tried to" situasion, they punish the players for what they did and not for what they tried to do.

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Anonymous October 18, 2007 8:32 am

(keep in mind creator of this is a saffer) so now you decide to show the bad side of fijian rugby. you only did because they gave you a run for your money. oh yeah and how did that fight kick off at the end? hmmmm i think schalk burger might have been a bit rattled after the whole game. Fiji = Flair and excitmentS.A = Boring tries and lets get 3 points from are own half.

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Rugbydump October 18, 2007 11:43 am

Mate, I showed it cos the guy was cited. Same way I showed Schalk's citing. Get over yourself.

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Sean October 24, 2007 7:20 pm

Both the Burger Rossouw incidents were illegal. No excuses can be made about "his hand slipped off his shoulder." It obvious that is arm completely wraps around his neck. What is disgusting is the commentary, as it has been all World Cup. Not a positive thing could be said about South Africa. Even when they won the final, the commentators were going on about how well England did.

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Anonymous October 25, 2007 2:30 pm

Speaking as someone whose jaw hasn't been right since a Fijian straight arm six months ago I think they should stamp down on it. It's a feature of all the islander's play and they need to stamp it out before someone gets seriously hurt.

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Dave October 27, 2007 9:29 pm

Thats because most of the time the SA's were quite dull...no real characters in their squad, their a dull team. They play good rugby, and the best team won the trophy, but there was more to be said about other teams - England's miracle recovery, NZs reputation, France's flair...and btw to say that the commentators didnt say a good word about SA is a complete lie. All of them had at least an essay of the greatness of Bryan Habana, to the point I am now sick of the name.

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Anonymous November 28, 2007 12:17 am

hey im from argentina, i think that union is better than league but thats not the point. those tackles are not illegal exept for the punch in the face to backies botha . rabeni did not diserve a yellow card

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Anonymous January 17, 2008 10:50 am

Everyone's moaning about 'islanders dirty play'; when Wilkinson picks someone up and dumps him its a great tackle. When Butch James creams someone with his big hits its great defence. Why is it that islanders get singled out for making huge hits, at chest level most of the time, and are called dirty players? WE ARE NOT DIRTY! We play hard, then we shake your hand afterwards and its over. If you can't take it, broken jaw man, don't play the game. Play hard or go home...

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Anonymous January 25, 2008 8:52 pm

you play to the rules,not whether he(James)he deserves it to be shoulder charged,give James credit he has become an outstanding player when a few years ago he was a liability and was often yellow carded for dangerous tackles -and rightly so.

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Anonymous January 27, 2008 12:50 am

The tackles were all bad (in the clip). Also how can the commentators be so biased? It is unbelievable! If that was the other way round they would be calling it murder, rather they just say ohh is the Islander style! Seriously sort it out comm entators as included.

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Jon January 31, 2008 12:59 pm

Good clip..but wouldnt you rather put up a clip of all of Fiji's tries during the World Cup 99,03 & 07? So only Fiji plays hardcore, unadulterated "thugby"?!! C'mon mate..South Africa was lucky to have won that game, they couldnt handle the fact that their own style of "thugby" was being dished out to them. My 8 year old nephew noticed and asked me why Springboks were very nervouse and didnt seem to be interested to be there at all during the game..my answer was simple- Springboks were talking it up in the media how they were going to walk all over Fiji and show no respect at all.. but in the end who was on the recieving end of their own medicine, with their pants around their ankles crying for Mummy.. which comes down to.. "U MAN ENOUGH TO GIVE IT, BE MAN ENOUGH TO RECEIVE IT!!" or " U CAN DO THE CRIME, THEN DO THE TIME.. bitch!!

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Kailoma February 08, 2008 2:45 am

Why so Biased on the Fiji Rugby Team rugbydump?...every team has a bad side and you only focus in on the island teams?...what about the BAD SIDE OF THE ALL BLACKS (Tana's Spear Tackle on O'driscole or Richard Loe's Forearm hit on the wallabies winger after he scored the try)...THE BAD SIDE OF THE SPRINGBOKS(Schalk Burger's dangerous hit against Samoa in the WC?..the List is endless and yet you just focus in on the Islanders...

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Anonymous February 09, 2008 2:06 am

THE FIJIANS CAME,SAW AND CONQURED........SPRINGBOKS REALLY FELT THE FIJIAN FLARE!!!!!!!!

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Alain June 30, 2008 7:05 pm

omf..its legend dat a sa guy made this site..makes me proud..btw at the end of this game it was the fijians who got angry and stared the fights not sa..those dam islanders..I got a clip on my pc of butch james teling them to relax and all he gets for his efforts is a push in da face....they wer sore losers at the end of da game..they can only dream of beating sa

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Greiffel June 30, 2008 7:14 pm

Kailoma, in response, every incident you've mentioned there is on the site mate. Fiji were praised for their WC play and will always be praised when performances are worthy of it. In the same respect, dirty play also gets shown. It's not the end of the world and any other team gets the same treatment.

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