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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seremaia Bai's dangerous tackle on Aled Brew earns him yellow

Seremaia Bai's dangerous tackle on Aled Brew earns him yellow

The Wales and Fiji game on Friday wasn't too spectacular as for whatever reason, both sides failed to hit their straps. In an uneventful game, one of the moments that stood out was this tackle that resulted in a yellow card for Seremaia Bai.

Bai, so often an integral part of the Fiji setup, was sent from the pitch for ten minutes after what was ruled as a spear, or dangerous , tackle.

He certainly lifted Brew's legs past the horizontal and by recent rulings that alone is enough to show a player yellow, and in some cases can even result in suspension, as we saw a few months back in the Tri Nations.

If we look at it a little closer though, was this not a case of a great hit being over policed because of a technicality? By all means it looked like what we've all come to know as a good, solid, dump tackle. If a player's legs happen to go up in the air at the last moment but he still lands in the same position he would have if they hadn't, should the tackler be penalised for that?

A lot of it is about momentum and balance. If anything, Bai seemed to land more awkwardly. It certainly wasn't a lift, twist, and drive like we've seen rightly penalised in recent years. Bai actually went on to kick the all important penalty for the draw later in the game, so it was quite an interesting night for him.

Technically this decision was correct and spear tackles should definitely be stamped out of the game, but do you agree that perhaps officials are told to judge on the position of the legs rather than the tackle for what it is? All opinions are welcome as I'm sure we all see it differently.


:: Related Posts ::
Wales and Fiji battle it out for a disappointing draw
Aled Brew spear tackle goes unpunished against Glasgow Warriors
Time: 01:55

Posted at 6:06 pm | 70 comments

Viewing 70 comments

Luxi November 23, 2010 6:11 pm

good hit, some may argue that a penalty might be necessary when looking at it from different camera angles, but definately not a yellow card.

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decepti0n November 23, 2010 6:24 pm

Close, I'd call it a penalty, but Islander = CARD MANG

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Von November 23, 2010 6:28 pm

@RD:
Bai actually went on to kick the all important winning penalty later in the game, so it was quite an interesting night for him.

I'm sure he'll be thrilled to learn that he actually *won* the game for Fiji rather than saving a draw!

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RD November 23, 2010 6:39 pm

Well spotted. Cheers

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Von November 23, 2010 6:41 pm

The English commentator was doing my head in all game. This bit was quite amusing, where he was trying to get Jonathan Davies to toe the politically-correct line and immediately condemn the hit, but Davies was having none of it.

I agree with Jiffy (as I tend to do on most things): Textbook tackle.

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Cameron 2000 November 23, 2010 6:47 pm

Spectacular but not illegal tackle. Ironic as Aled Brew has been spear tackling people for years, most recently against Glasgow which he got away with.

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Juggernauter November 23, 2010 6:49 pm

Now come on lads, that was a magnificent tackle. And Seremaia Bai is a top player. You just have to see him. He makes a big, dumping tackle, he gets called, gets binned, lowers his head and runs off the pitch. That's what rugby is all about. Do your job and the ref is always right. No point arguing.

Cheers

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 6:53 pm

I'd actually back the ref on this one. Whilst the initial hit and the landing weren't actually dangerous, Bai scooped out Brews legs to knock him over and the action lifted them beyond horizontal. The ref doesn't have the benefit of video replays to decide whether or not it was safe and he has to err on the side of player safety.

Horizontal legs are an easy and fair method of determining if the tackled player has been put into a dangerous position.

Players know if they lift the legs then it's a yellow card. I don't think the ref had a choice here.

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 6:53 pm

Fuck, Steve Walsh is such a fucking retard.

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 6:58 pm

I love a massive hit as much as anyone, but when Bai lifts him off his feet, he has the responsibility of bringing him down to the floor safely, and in a controlled way. Not slamming him onto the top of his neck. Technically a good start to the tackle, but ultimately a loss of control at the end of it led to his Yellow.
It could have been a yellow or a pen, but i don't think he can really complain.

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Happyskaman November 23, 2010 7:10 pm

While the technique is good, i'd say that is a yellow card offense. I think the spear tackle rules are here to prevent players hurting their spine and neck. When a player is lifted off the ground and lands on the top part of his back like in the present case, he is in danger of getting seriously hurt in these areas (just look at the player's position when his shoulders hit the ground). If the legs hadn't gone over his shoulder, he would have landed on his back like a normal tackle and would thus be in no danger.

Like other have said, there is a responsability to bring the player down safely and this tackle wasn't safe.

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 7:13 pm

dangerous tackle. yellow card. the hit was good too. whahey.

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EARugbyFan November 23, 2010 7:29 pm

The welsh player thought he was going to charge through the Fly Half.

Oops.

It was a fair challenge and that to me looked like simply excellent tackle follow through.

He obviously did not drive him into the ground, so why the penalty? Are humans machines with microsecond reflexes?

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jm November 23, 2010 7:34 pm

Not a legal tackle....just.

it wasn't like he dropped him on his head.

I would have given a penalty and say, next time a yellow.

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bennybunny November 23, 2010 7:44 pm

The commentry in this game was so so biased, if I was Fijian it would have seriously pissed me off! But fair play to Davis, on this occasion he called it how he saw it.

For me this is a fair tackle, not dangerous, he just dumped him.

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Rugbeia November 23, 2010 7:53 pm

Cracking tackle that was completely legal. Isn't the defence meant to tackle the attack? A player was sent to the sin bin for doing his job better than most.

The ball carrier landed on his back. Nothing remotely close to being a spear tackle.

Penalising this sort of tackle out of the game will rob it of one of its best attributes.

There is more risk of injury via front row collisions at every set scrum than in that tackle.

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(u-p)rick November 23, 2010 8:12 pm

Im mixed feelings about this....

Personally Aled Brew's top half i'd say yeup, thats a fine tackle...

from his legs I'd say illegal...

and as we're all focussed on players backs/necks id say it was ok....

however it wasnt the flat of his back (was it?) I cant remember now...so for me it would be a penalty at the most...

NOW: from the refs point of view....it must be hard...he was on the 'leg' side of Brew, so i can see where he is coming from, and as stated by others, he does not have the benefit of slow mo replays from every angle...

so whilst Id not necessarily agree with him, i can see where he is coming from...

p.s RD what is with the pop ups now? every time I come on RD it loads then pop ups come up :/

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Zavala November 23, 2010 8:20 pm

All of you backing Davies, and I normally do, he did go on to say about a minute after the event, from a different angle that it WAS an illegal tackle, and warranted a yellow card.

There's a book by Richard Dawkins called "Scaling Mount Improbable", about the need to think of evolution as a gradual incline over many millions of years to understand the deviations in species, and not as a great leap from foothills to peak. Anyway, I see sort of the opposite happening in Rugby Union. Incrementally, ever more 'dangerous' tackles are being penalised, to the point where now, this receives a yellow card. It's on the border of being an illegal tackle but come on, it's NOT a yellow card. Bah upon bah.

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GED November 23, 2010 8:20 pm

It was marginal...technically it was illegal because he was just a little past the horizontal...but no by much.

Close so I'd agree....penalty...warning...no card.

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PineTree November 23, 2010 8:32 pm

It's a physical game!

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Chris Boy November 23, 2010 8:36 pm

noth that bad at all. put him on his back, not head or shoulders

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 9:17 pm

nothing wrong with that tackle! rugby is turning into soccer! jesus christ its a test match.... harden up

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 9:18 pm

Great hit and perfectly legal. This is a contact game and we cant have the ref blowing up everytime there's a hard tackle

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David November 23, 2010 9:27 pm

Shame he got dropped on his neck/shoulders, if Bai controlled it a bit better and didn't tip him quite so much it would be a beautiful textbook tackle.

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Happyskaman November 23, 2010 9:56 pm

Ok...maybe a penalty was enough. It wasn't directly on the shoulder. Althought if you stop the video at 1:41 you can see that the player is put in a position that looks dangerous to me for his back.

But yeah a penalty was maybe more in order. And I do agree with David about the textbook aspect of it...just a little bit to much and not enough control.

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 9:57 pm

the commentator is a bit of a silly arse, Jonathan Davis has got it spot on, tackle is straight from the text book. Apologies if i'm wrong but I always thought unless the torso goes below the horizontal its not dangerous, nothing to do with the legs as you see the legs regularly taken above the horizontal!

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Tom November 23, 2010 10:11 pm

Great tackle, very harsh with the yellow.
If you're gonna err on the side of caution maybe a penalty, but a yellow is very, very harsh.

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Noms November 23, 2010 10:36 pm

"you think that could be a red" jesus, what is rugby becoming!? :-(

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 10:39 pm

What a load of shit. Might aswell make the guys bring them down as soft as they can while massaging them and put pillows all over the field.

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 11:15 pm

nothing wrong with that whatsoever

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 1:13 am

When you all say 'nothing wrong with that' does that mean the ref was an idiot? or are you saying 'retrospectively with better angles it was fine' ?

Only the angle the ref got was legs high in the air, and remember he doesnt have the benefit of replays from different angles....

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Dancing Is A Contact November 24, 2010 2:06 am

So sad what is coming of rugby. Soon we are going to have to been pulling flags for tackles.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 2:51 am

there needs to be some consistency about what tackling is deemed dangerous. I think soon we are just not going to ever see big massive hits.

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Trent November 24, 2010 5:47 am

That yellow card is absolutely disgusting.

'No legs above the horizontal'
No such thing.

'Must bring the player down safely'
Where did this rule come from?

Its funny hearing people make up rules and excuses for their favored team.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 6:43 am

I seriously doubt that rugby is going to turn into 7-a-side touch, despite the whinging from some of the commentate. What I think rugby is ultimately evolving away from are contact incidents where a player cannot protect himself. I think we see that with spear tackles (which are right nasty when properly done) and with the new rucking rules regarding when you can put a boot in.

As a lock forward, I don't particularly care for the rucking rule changes, but life goes on, and most referees have been around long enough to know when a good hard ruck is warranted on a particularly naughty flanker. You just have to adapt to rule changes, like the spear tackle rule, by adjusting your game. I highly doubt Seremaia had malice in his heart when he hit the boy, but his technique was off. Harsh for the yellow? I'd say not after seeing Percy Montgomery sin-binned for SA in the second minute against Australia in this year's Tri-Nations (with QC to follow for his first spear tackle later in the game). The standard has at least been uniform.

In the future, he'll just have to take out his aggression on some poor bloke's ribcage and drive through him. The "dump tackle" is going the way of winning a scrum against the head; nearly impossible to pull the technique off correctly. So be it; there are still 1,000 different ways to leave a bit extra on an opposing player in rugby, and life goes on.

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Kearney for tests November 24, 2010 8:52 am

Good tackle in my opinion.

Is Steve Walsh having a laugh here actually? "I totally agree with you. That's the right decision". That sounded so patronising.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 9:03 am

I've wavered on this one, at the time I thought it wasn't a spear but viewing it again now I can see how it was (marginally) called a spear, I don't think the Fijian applied enough control bringing Brew to the ground and if Brew had started a few inches higher in the air he wouldn't have been coming down on his back.

However, given the red card worthy spear that Brew performed on DTHvdMW in the Magners league (helpfully linked unde the video) but didn't even get penalised for (due to bent Welsh touch judge) then the Fijian's tackle should have got him nothing more than a hearty pat on the back.

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Nick November 24, 2010 9:10 am

Wait a minute, to spear someone don't you have to force them head first towards the ground. That looks like a seriously hard dump tackle but I'm not convinced its a spear.

In fairness to the ref I imagine these things are a nightmare to officiate at full speed, but I reckon its a bit tough to lose a guy for 10 for that.

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edbok November 24, 2010 9:30 am

As ever, the ref gets one look and given the way this is policed these days, you can understand why they penalised and carded Bai.

But on replay, that looks like a fair tackle. It certainly was not a spear, and it only appeared at full speed like a tip-tackle because of how Brew's legs were pointing. I guarantee we will see similar types of tackles this weekend, and none of them should be penalised, sometimes the collisions just end up this way.

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Von November 24, 2010 9:37 am

Funny how far people's interpretations of a good versus dangerous tackled have shifted though isn't it.

Have a look at Jonny Wilkinson inserting an Irish wing into the gound at 0:44 here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E8uHGJBXRI&feature=related

I'm not sure when this game was but it's not that long ago. Today that would be a yellow card wouldn't it. And howls of outrage at Brian Moore commenting "Bang! Get down!" on what would now, I'm sure, be deemed a spear tackle.

I don't think Bai's one the other night was any worse than this. Yes, I know laws/interpretations have changed, but interesting to see just how much attitudes have also changed.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 9:39 am

Another example of how (contrary to the retarded majority) UNBIASED JD is. He ripped into Wales throughout the game and complimented Fiji (as he does always). Legend of both League and Union, unlike most on here who are legends of the biscuit barrel and sofa.

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edbok November 24, 2010 10:00 am

Anonymous: "if Brew had started a few inches higher in the air he wouldn't have been coming down on his back."

Well yes... but because he did land on his back, that's the proof that Bai's tackle was legal, surely?

Unless you want refs calling the game on the basis of what might have happened, which would make for an interesting spectacle...

BTW, Jiffy is a top commentator, pro-Wales as he should be, but very fair whoever's playing.

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RedYeti November 24, 2010 10:21 am

I don't really understand how the legs being horizontal or not really affects anything. It's perfectly possible to land safely flat on your back (as with this tackle) and still have your legs at 90 degrees to your body, and it's also possible to be speared onto your head with your legs straight and not beyond the horizontal.
Do the IRB not recognise that we have hip and knee joints that allow our legs to bend?

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 12:11 pm

This is how a player should tackle, perfect technique, huge hit, fair play.

I realise that alot people see this as potentially dangerous, but you shouldnt be penalising things that are "potential"

End of the day, rugby is a contact sport and sometimes dangerous, but thats just the sport, and the people who play accept that fact. Lets stop taking the tough out of rugby.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 12:55 pm

agree with Juggernauter

good to see the fiji number 10 just take it all in his stride.

Don't think it was a yellow and nothing leading up to this for the ref to need to gain control of the game. The line ref didn't help, was it Walsh? he probably had a better view.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 1:11 pm

Ref setting his stall, lets face it Fiji are known for their hard tackles and the ref was letting the players know what he would and wouldn't allow.

If it hadn't been for the extra leg lift at the end it would have been fine, but there was no need for that, it was already a great tackle #10 brought the YC on himself.

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NiWiTa November 24, 2010 1:16 pm

Penalty but not a yellow card methinks....Anyhow, fortunately Wales did not make use of this unfortunate decision.

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Hackney Griffin November 24, 2010 1:22 pm

Those stating this is legal are wrong. The law has been changed to take spear tackles out of the game and now reads:

"Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that players feet are still off the ground such that the players head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play."

There is, as people point out, nothing wrong with the initial action - Bai goes low and lifts Brew off his feet. However he then clearly twists the lifted player and drives him into the floor whilst continuing to hold his legs high. It is dangerous play and a yellow card is the right call.

Bai chose to twist and send the tackled player (and himself) directly into the ground. He could have driven backwards, keeping the legs horizontal. To claim players are not capable of making that decision and determining the tackle in this way seems to me to fly in the face of the evidence. Almost every top flight game will now contain at least absolute hammering of a tackle.

Those arguing that the rule change is changing the game are ignoring that these hits themselves mark a change in the game. It wasn't that long ago that Pacific Island style hits were considered a rarity. Forwards like Mickey Skinner were renowned for putting in the type of hit that we now expect of any player, be it a fly half, a winger or a prop...

And finally, the spear tackle was outlawed because of the injuries it had caused. Those comparing it to the front row engage could do with looking at the numbers, and should consider wether there is a difference between two players engaging in a direct hit and a player being the victim of a hit he has no control over.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 1:46 pm

I think the hit is totally legal. And i would hate for this tackle to be outlawed in rugby. We play rugby for the big hits, like this one.

In future shall i just put my legs at a right angle to my back so that when my back hits the ground, my legs are above my head and thus spear tackle?

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 2:00 pm

definate penalty, lands on his neck/upper back

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 3:29 pm

great hit but there is no need to lift the player' if he had just knocked him back and into the ground without lifting him he could have saved himself the yellow card

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Von November 24, 2010 3:33 pm

I love watching Steve "I agree with you totally, 100%, that's the right decision" Walsh on this clip. Something about his demeanour and his enthusiastic response to the ref here that makes him come across like a complete knob-end! I also enjoyed the bit where he cocked up the out-on-the-full kick decision and you saw him trotting back with his flag in the air and a sort of sheepish look on his face. Looks like some kind of tour guide.

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Anonymous November 24, 2010 3:49 pm

Maybe, we should all go down to the nearest ballet shop and buy tutu's and everyone can play nicely together.

PdV - genius.

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cheyanqui November 24, 2010 6:53 pm

Anonymous said...
Fuck, Steve Walsh is such a fucking retard.

Yeah, I'm sure that French accent is an affectation to pick up chicks

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cheyanqui November 24, 2010 7:00 pm

I stand corrected. They both look exactly alike.

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themull November 24, 2010 9:25 pm

Absolutely nothing wrong with that tackle...Wraps his legs perfectly, never lets go of the player and drives him into the ground back first not head first...Please tell me why that should of been a card or even a penalty?

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Jono November 24, 2010 10:01 pm

The Welsh guy lands on his abck, so it's not a spear tackle.
I can see why the ref thought it might have been one though, but the ref fucked up.
He made a bad call, though I'm sure it was a tough call.
In this case he might have just penalised Fiji, as he couldn't have been sure it was a spear.
The yellow was very, very harsh, and in hindsight, completely unfair to Fiji.
The smaller countries often get the short end of the stick with officials.

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 12:19 am

definitely not worth a yellow, he wasn't dumped on his head!

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 1:22 am

It was a fair tackle which is a shame.

Brew deserves to get speared, he does it all the time, to Glasgow's Van der Merwe et al.

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 4:31 am

Is this tackle legal? Possibly yes, i'd say it's quite close to being a 50/50 call.

On reflection I don't mind that it's a yellow. At the time I was fuming at biased refereeing. The point is though that such tackles are dangerous. And if they carry on we will see someones career over, possibly even death.

If you need to dump someone in such a manner to produce a big impact then the tackling laws as they are - are flawed.

Get rid of wrapping and bring in the shoulder charge. In such an alternate reality Wales would get physically bullied and beaten every time they played Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

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4LC4TR4Z November 25, 2010 6:46 am

Typically french bad refereeing.

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 10:05 am

People are so melodramatic, players were being carded for lesser infringements 30 years ago. It's nothing new, stop panicking.

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Dumasscomentators November 25, 2010 10:42 am

Ive had it with these one sided European commentators putting the other teams down. If you see the last kick from infront of the post that bai took for the draw they were saying its a difficult kick for a player like him!!then when they drew the game they said it would be a public holiday in fiji but im pretty sure they beat yo ass when it counted - IN THE WORLD CUP...

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Krang November 25, 2010 11:15 am

@Hackney Griffin
Very well put and I agree with you.

Yes, it is a very good hit, but against the rules. Those saying it is 'legal' really ought to learn the rules as they now stand.

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 1:03 pm

Look at the "still" shot at the top of this story......

Brew's feet are in the air and (above shoulder height?) his back/shoulders/head are yet to be on the floor. A good call by the ref, spot on with the YC!

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Anonymous November 25, 2010 7:49 pm

This sport is getting SOFT. Nothing wrong with the tackle.

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Tom November 25, 2010 9:56 pm

Players weren't getting carded thirty years ago!
There were no cards in rugby until the very late 1990s!
Learn your history anon or STFU.

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Anonymous November 28, 2010 6:03 am

Oh what a surprise and islander trying to kill someone

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Tom November 28, 2010 10:09 pm

Oh what a surprise a faggot European who's scared to get tackled.

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Anonymous December 01, 2010 2:08 pm

silly. that isnt a card.

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