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Learn more about incomparable Brad Thorn


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hugo Southwell gets introduced to Lee Byrne's boot

Hugo Southwell gets introduced to Lee Byrne's boot

While the Scotland vs Wales game at Murrayfield was a rather dull affair, there were however one or two moments that are worth watching again. This is one that will surely spark debate, as Hugo Southwells reckless challenge went unpunished.

Its a tricky one to judge as Southwell took a boot to the face from his challenge on Wales fullback Lee Byrne, resulting in a nasty looking gash and a premature exit from the game. While the challenge was dangerous, he was not yellow carded, with referee George Clancy perhaps sympathising with the fact that the injury was punishment enough.

Two years ago an almost identical incident occurred in the same fixture when Geoff Cross was up against the same player, fullback Byrne. He too came off second best, knocking himself unconscious in the process. Referee Alain Rolland issued the card nevertheless, despite him being driven off on a stretcher.

While in many ways on this occasion Southwell did receive some form of punishment, is there still room for refs to make those type of emotional calls Perhaps it was admirable, but it looked incorrect as Byrne could have horribly. By all means if his boot wasnt out, he might have.

Which brings up another question to ponder should players, most often fullbacks under the high ball, be allowed to lead with their boot so far out in that fashion? It is one of the perks of the job, or should the technique be looked at and possibly outlawed?

Whatever the case, it was a nasty incident that resulted in Southwell receiving stitches for the self-inflicted facial lacerations. Opinions on this incident will vary, so please share yours.


:: Related Posts ::
Wales get much needed win over Scotland at Murrayfield
Geoff Cross knocked out in Lee Byrne collision (2009)
Time: 01:59

Posted at 5:28 pm | 110 comments

Viewing 110 comments

Maverick February 14, 2011 10:02 pm

Byrne is a dirty player. He knows what he is doing with that boot up...

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rehanbb February 14, 2011 10:03 pm

karma took care of it all play on

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:04 pm

lee byrne always comes off better against the scottish. Not meant in a mean way!

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Weedo February 14, 2011 10:06 pm

Byrne has his foot up for protection and all fullbacks do this, so don't be so blind to suggest he is the only one. The only person to blame for this is Southwell as he takes no notice of where he is going and ends up committing an extremely dangerous tackle. In the end this should have been yellow carded but the ref was distracted by the injury so Scotland were let off the hook. (not that they capitalised on it)

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SmellyNerfherder February 14, 2011 10:06 pm

Not a tackle, not a yellow card. The look on Hugo Southwell's face just before the boot hits him says it all: he had no idea Lee Byrne was going to be in the air, so there was no intent.

It's just a shame it wasn't the other way round... I can think of quite a few players who wouldn't mind a chance to put a boot in Lee Byrne's face!

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:06 pm

HAveto say it was pretty clear Lee Bryne knew what he was doing, Having said that Southwell ashould have been yellow carded but Bryne has always been right on t he edge of the law. Last year his dive to get godman yellow carded would not have looked out of place on the footbal pitch !!!

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Dave February 14, 2011 10:07 pm

Byrne isnt dirty at all! If you watch most players going up for a high ball, they will lead with their boot up to protect them from that kind of incident. Unfortunate for Southwell but a yellow card for me...

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CB February 14, 2011 10:08 pm

Byrne has a reputation, but from day one every rugby player is taught to field the ball that way for self protection purposes.

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Tweeds February 14, 2011 10:09 pm

The jumping technique used by byrne in this case is just as dangerous as southwell's tackle, it should be outlawed. And secondly, southwell was looking at the ball, and when he sees byrne (too late) he tries to stop, as you can clearly see in the replay.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:12 pm

Intent doesn't come into it. He is being dangerous, and anyway he knows exactly where Byrne is. Had Byrne done his shoulder there would be no argument

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Nathan February 14, 2011 10:14 pm

bryne should of been yellowed! he always jumps like that (and to the person above, all full backs do not jump like this).

There's no reason to jump with your studs pointing at a players face" Protection" is not an excuse!!!

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:14 pm

I think there is two yellow card in this play. The first is obviously for Southwell because he did a dangerous tackle usuly punish bay a yellow. But there is a second is for Lee Byrn. Because he's not allowed to put his boot so high in front of him, even if he's a full back. It's also a dangerous play and as a dangerous play it must be punish by a yellow.

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No9 February 14, 2011 10:19 pm

It kind of sorted itself out, yes southwell took him in the air (accidently) just look at hos face in the last moment. But byrne did kick him in the face, dangerous play? In my eyes its a yellow for both of them or neither of them.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:20 pm

do any of you idiots who say lee byrne is being dangerous actually play or watch rugby?

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Christopher February 14, 2011 10:22 pm

I've always been coached to bring my foot up for protection as well. I thought everyone knew that this is the norm? Also, Lee Byrne is looking up at the ball and Hugo Southwell ran into his boot...

He deserved to get yellow carded.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:25 pm

Andy Nicol (a scot and an expert) believes that Hugo should have been given a yellow card and no punishment for Byrne. He may have not meant to tackle byrne in the air but he did and it it one of the most dangerous things you can do. Imagine falling on your shoulder or head at that height.

In truth the cut to Hugo's face is his own fault. He should not have run into it. The boot is there to deter people doing this stupid stuff. In a way it is good that the boot is up. What is worse a cut on the face or a dislocated shoulder...

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:26 pm

Yea lets all kick someone in the face, why not ;-)

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creggs08 February 14, 2011 10:26 pm

did Lee Byrne not get taken out of the air like this a year or 2 ago against Scotland to? i think it was Euan Murray that done it back then though.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:28 pm

its not worth a yellow in my oppinion, the first time he looks down the area in the direction he's running is clear, then he looks up and continues to do so until the moment of surprise (his face is classic), i think its clear he was only focusing on the ball. he didnt try to put a shoulder into byrne, itf anything he tried to lean away. whilst i know every full back puts their thegs up, it doesnt make it right, he knows what he's doing and is behaving more dangerously then southwell.

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Shergar February 14, 2011 10:31 pm

card to byrne for leading studs up at the guys face - indecision from southwell and an "oh crud double take" suggests he was trying to pull out of it.

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Jjo February 14, 2011 10:35 pm

@ CB I coach rugby to all ages for a full time job. I have never coached or seen anyone coaching a player to jump with his foot up. Besides lifting your foot acctually makes you lose hight in your jump therefore defeating the point in it.


Also saying that his foot is up there gor protection is not a good excuse its not needed as southwell wouldn't have hot him unless his leg was extended in front of him.



I dont like byrne for staying on the ground only to get up fine aminute later. Simelar kind of of thing as last years dive against scotland at the millenium stadium. Also a simelar dive vs france the year before.

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Jjo February 14, 2011 10:35 pm

@ CB I coach rugby to all ages for a full time job. I have never coached or seen anyone coaching a player to jump with his foot up. Besides lifting your foot acctually makes you lose hight in your jump therefore defeating the point in it.


Also saying that his foot is up there gor protection is not a good excuse its not needed as southwell wouldn't have hot him unless his leg was extended in front of him.



I dont like byrne for staying on the ground only to get up fine aminute later. Simelar kind of of thing as last years dive against scotland at the millenium stadium. Also a simelar dive vs france the year before.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:37 pm

hugo southwell is not quite anywhere near the level of play before him

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:39 pm

byrne is a dirty player.. boot up on purpose

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:39 pm

byrne is a dirty player.. boot up on purpose

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Tony February 14, 2011 10:47 pm

As a referee that is not an easy call to make. You have to remember that both sides are allowed to go for the ball and to me it looked like Southwell was more going for the ball than the player. What would you say if he would of jumped for the ball and got speared by the boot.. The IRB is telling us to punish people that lead with their boots in any other case. Why not here. Granted give Southwell a yellow but give Byrne a Red for the dirty play.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:47 pm

@creggs08. It was geoff cross

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 10:51 pm

Any coach teaching foot up for protection should have their qualifications revoked. It's clearly dangerous and the intent is there in having the studs facing outwards. Should have been a red for Byrne, and a 4 week ban.

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RD February 14, 2011 10:52 pm

A link to the Lee Byrne/Geoff Cross incident has been placed in the Related Posts under the video. Keep an eye out for those in future. For now, you can view it here (along with a big knockout hit from Simon Webster

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:00 pm

The majority of people posting here are clearly letting their bias against Lee Byrne or for Hugo Southwell clot their judgement. First of all Southwells overeagerness in the chase meant that he could not possibly slow down and therefore takes out lee byrne mid-air. Thats a yellow card in any referres book regardless if the player is renowned for their honesty. If Lee Byrne had not led with his foot he probably would have led with his knee which would have left southwell far worse off

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:01 pm

Not a fan of Byrne's brief play acting roll/clutch the face when he clearly wasn't too badly hurt.

Southwell's not a dirty player and this just seemed a clusmy, mistiming of his attempt to get there to challenge for the ball.

You can see him lose the flight of the ball and look up to see where it is, find it and then at the same time realise he is about to run into Byrne's boot and thinks 'oh shit'.

The real winner here is slow motion camera work.

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(u-p)rick February 14, 2011 11:27 pm

I have no real issues with Byrne having his boot up... Have any of you guys been dump tackled? When you know it's coming and you know the guys shoulder is going to be on your guts when you hit the deck do you leave your knees out the way? I sure as hell don't. If the guy is going to land on me i make sure his tackle lands right on my knee and I brace my knee and roll the guy off with it when we hit the deck..

Byrne puts the boot up as a deterrent... And there are no issues there. What I don't like was the way he fakes an injury to make southwells attack on him just that bit nastier.

I don't think Southwell did it on purpose but I wouldn't argue with a yellow card. However Byrnes little diving act has been seen game after game after game...and I get a little sick of it...

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Shorty February 14, 2011 11:29 pm

Not a fan of either team but simply a casual fan and a rugby referee in the US. To me this is a double yellow or a yellow and a red.

The tackler clearly tried to stop too late but that doesn't (and shouldn't) matter. He hit a player who was in the air and that is dangerous play and deserved a yellow.

The player jumping clearly put his boot out for protection and he is responsible for his boots. Just like a player driving through a ruck is not allowed to put a boot to a player's head intentionally or accidentally. I would have given the receiver a red card for his carelessness (or in my eyes, his purposeful dangerous play).

You can't hit a player in the air but that doesn't give a receiver in the air rights to do whatever he pleases. You can't hit a jumper in the air at a line-out either but that doesn't give him rights to start sending his feet flying.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 11:54 pm

Lee Byrne is justified in leading with the leg...had southwell waited for him to touch the ground there would have been no facial lacerations the fact of the matter is that southwell did not play by the rules and Lee Byrne like all good fullbacks do jumped as he was trained to ..no problem.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 12:20 am

No intent at all. Southwell should have been more aware of his positioning and so the penalty was rightly awarded. Byrne equally should be made to watch where he is going too. Studs out at head height is very dangerous whatever the circumstances. The player in the air should be made accountable too.

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miguel February 15, 2011 12:44 am

handled appropriately. There was no intent from southwell. If he had accidentally tackled a man in the air(which can happenn) then give him a yellow. But not only was there no intent there was no tackle. The replay seems to vindicate this. If Byrne didnt have his foot in that spot southwell might have been able to pull out (not to blame byrne- southwell could have continued with his movement and then should have been yellowed).

as for byrne as far as I'm aware his jump is fine, if dangerous. tackling a player who is trying to catch that is too high is dangerous but why should that action be penalized? if the IRB changes the rule so that the player can only lead with a knee, so be it, but I feel the way things are allowed are just fine. what byrne did was dangerous but so is charging ahead with you shoulder (just ask ali williams what he thinks of chabal's) these acts are far different from spearing and gouging and should not be treated as such.

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miguel February 15, 2011 12:46 am

that *too high of a pass* is what I meant- ala derrick hougard and brian lima

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No.9 February 15, 2011 12:56 am

I think Southwell had no intention in colliding with byrne.
respecting to the boot up matter, i think that very dirty, in a match played in argentina, the pumas were v england and cueto jumped for a high ball, with a sort of karate kick in the air, that could have been REALLY dangerous.

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auckblues22 February 15, 2011 1:05 am

if you were thrown a hospital pass and saw somebody charging in at you you wouldnt be allowed to stick your boot up so i dont see any difference. if he hits you by the time you have touched the floor then its fair game, if not he will get a yellow players have been told they arent allow to referee the game through stamping etc so this should be no different. had byrne jumped upward and not jumped forward is leg would have been coming down, to penalise southwell would mean that you basically have to leave the fielding player at all times which is just ridiculous. not a fan of southwell at all but byrne doesnt play the game the right way, lying on the floor and rolling around until the ref sees him then getting up and running off isnt very sportmanslike. considering he ended someones career and nearly paralysed them through wreckless play you would think he wouldnt angle his studs into the faces of oncoming players but obviously not!

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:15 am

Byrne, if not dirty definitely reckless, what kind of jump do you call that with your boot stuck out as if to kick someone in the face which he managed to do, rather successfully i might add.

If Southwell was to be carded Byrne even more so.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:17 am

Byrne is a cheat simple as that. His foot being up isn't an issue there was a very similar video of Rory Lamont doing the same thing a few months ago. So no bais.

However Southwell didn't mean to tackle him in the air if anything its the fact that he hastried to pull out that has got him the injury. If he went through byrne at full tilt he would have probably been fine.

Byrne should have seen a straight red for his high challengee on Max Evans thats what you call "intent".

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Tom February 15, 2011 2:18 am

Nothign wrong with any of that at all.

Byrne obviously did not mean to kick him in the face, you'd be nuts to think that. It's just one of those things that can happen in rugby. It's not the first time and won't be the last.

And Southwell ran in, couldn't pull out, so still deserves a penalty against him (the same way an accidental head high deserves a penalty) but that's all. A card would have been ridiculous.

All in all, absolutley nothing to worry about, shit happens.

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Tom February 15, 2011 2:21 am

Here's a question, why are European rugby players/fans so damn obsessed with cards?
Is it the soccer watching or something?
Cuz in the SH most people would just shrug and say 'shit happens'.
Nothing in that was intentional, it all worked out ok.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 3:11 am

Maverick, you are a clown. Too right he knows what he's doing with "that boot up" he's protecting himself from someone running into him. Thats the whole point of a leading knee/boot. It should stop people making dangerous challenges

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 4:43 am

with the angle of byrnes leg sticking out i dont believe southwell would have hit him had he just gone with the traditional knee up and in fact it would have been well timed with southwell arriving just as byrne hit the ground. its bloody dangerous going around like that though, just like forarms to the face aren't allowed, this shouldnt either

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roberts28 February 15, 2011 5:40 am

@maverick Byrne is not a dirty player a fullback will instinctively lift up a foot or a knee when jumping to catch a ball in the air as self defence, 50-50 on both players part

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lwroberts February 15, 2011 5:58 am

@auckblues22 you can shut the hell up that was an accident thom evans said so himself in an interview if anything it was unlucky head positioning on his behalf and rugby has lost great player in him.

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roberts28 February 15, 2011 6:01 am

and yes im aware that both above comments are from myself i just used the wrong name the second time

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auckblues22 February 15, 2011 6:05 am

well roberts perhaps if these things keep happening, perhaps if players keep getting injured because of him maybe hes at fault?

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 7:41 am

What on earth was Bryne doing lying on the ground with his face in hands afterwards? Stand up man!!! He should have been shown the pink card immediatly (ie. sent off to play football)

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Oodles February 15, 2011 9:02 am

Funny how that welshman 15 dived like a football player afterwards.

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Roy February 15, 2011 9:12 am

Yellow for Southwell! Well played by Byrne!

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 9:49 am

Its very Clear on the Video replay that Southwell backs off to let Byrne Land, before making a tackle. Byrne's foot was High, Studs out. He knew exactly what he was doing. He has done it before.

Coaches teach played to bring their knee up when catching a high ball, but to put out a boot studs first is reckless and dangerous. Having said that Southwell was clumsy in his tackle approach. If I had not seen Byrne do this before, I would have said its not his fault, but he is on the Knife edge of the law and is doing this with full intent. Even after the incident, he just trots away, without even checking on Southwell. Not very Rugby Behavior

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welshwizard February 15, 2011 10:05 am

i play full back and i normally leave my knee or foot out as my protection and this seems to work as i am able to land safley also if i have my knee up when i land it means it will hurt them as much as it hurts me.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 10:08 am

If the Southwell doesn't tackle him in the air he doesn't get a face full of metal and leather, if he makes an illegal tackle he does. It's a fairly simple protection system against the occasional knuckle dragger who thinks its ok to take you out in mid air.

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Gaz February 15, 2011 10:23 am

With regard to the boot up, if you are moving forwards it's a natural action to gain height, similar in some respects to a hurdler's technique.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 10:39 am

Hugo Southwell is without doubt the worst international Rugby player I have ever seen.
A boot to the face is the least this skidmark on the underpants of international rugby deserves.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 10:59 am

Really? have you seen Shane Geraghty play internationals?

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 11:23 am

Yes i think that Southwell had that coming to him for taking a player out of the air, even if it was accidental, but Byrne should have been carded as he deliberatly extended his leg into southwell's face. Is it not against the laws of rugby to show studs. Byrne, as good a player as he is, is arrogant, narky and dirty.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 11:46 am

Not going to comment on who should have got a yellow card, maybe they both should have? but did you see the reaction of the players after the incident? Byrne played dead, acting like a footballer, holding his face (even though he landed on his back), he clearly wasn't hurt that bad. Southwell got to his knees and tried to get up, before Byrne, even though his face was smashed in.

I think playing to the ref is something that should be left to the footballers, Byrne has done it before (the dive) and will most likely do it again. I hope this doesn't start a trend and rugby takes a turn for the worst.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 12:08 pm

Jesus christ Tony, you're a referee? I can only assume you officiate at a very low level as anyone who honestly thinks Lee Byrne leading with his foot up is illegal obviously doesn't know the rules of the game.

I'm a full back and I stick my foot/knee out in front of me EVERY time I go up for a high ball. I can show you several examples from this season of why it's a GOOD idea.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 1:27 pm

I'd rahter have Shane Geraghty in my back line than Hugo Southwell! In the 20 minutes he seemed to be on the pitch I saw Hugo kick it straight out twice, miss a tackle and then head butt Byrne's boot.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 1:46 pm

Firstly, I am not a Wales/Lee Byrne fan, but you've got to side with him on this. As you're not allowed to touch him in the air, the only way that leaving a boot up is dangerous is if somebody else breaks the rules of the game and touches him in the air. Therefore most of these comments about Byrne are way off the mark - if anything this is great evidence of exactly why he should have his boot up.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 1:51 pm

Loving the usual RD clairvoyants and armchair 'experts'.

How on earth can anyone even guess what Byrne's intent was? His leg wasn't out at 90deg, and it's only due to the fact that Southwell was practically underneath him at the point of contact that his studs caught him.

Not certain it was as cynical on Southwell's part as some have made out either. Judging by his body-language on contact (protecting himself), it seems like it may not have been an aggressive/premeditated decision to connect with Byrne while he was in the air. Perhaps we can call it 'clumsy', and say that this was fairly dealt with by the officials (note that neither touchjudges' flag was out for either 'offence').

As for this business of Byrne's 'acting' - I would suggest that most who are claiming he "wasn't hurt" should try being dropped flat onto their back from 4-5ft.
He hits the deck and puts his hands on his head (not face - those claiming otherwise should look again - as he is lying FACE DOWN), which may have simply been a result of having the stuffing knocked out of him by the fall.

You guys crack me up with some of the 'conclusions' you arrive at on the basis of such massive assumptions...

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F February 15, 2011 2:01 pm

It's natural to jump leading with a knee and in this case a leg. They are both fullbacks so Southwell should have been expecting something like that and Byrne's technique was floor less. Though I don't condone rolling on the floor clutching your face.

yellow - Southwell.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:05 pm

Hmm yes what a 'dangerous' tackle it was. . . .with his face . . .
Don't be silly. It was a poor timed run by southwell and he got punished for it. Any sooner and it would have been a contest in the air.

Both men were intent on going for the ball and Byrne came out on top.

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Matt February 15, 2011 2:37 pm

Looking at the general issue of raising studs whilst in the air, I'm not sure I can agree that this is fair way of protecting yourself when jumping for the ball. It might buy you some safety from a person planning to tackle you before you land, but it also gives you an unfair advantage over a player who is actually challenging for the ball.
It seems to me that, when the ball is in the air, everyone who is attempting to catch the ball (as opposed to attempting to tackle a player catching it) should be treated equally. Does this imply that Southwell would have been ok to have jumped and raised studs while attempting a catch? That surely increases the overall level of danger in the situation. Also seems strange that that would be considered ok, whereas attempting to pull out and receiving a facefull of studs is worthy of a penalty!

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 2:40 pm

Well, by the letter of the law Southwold took Byrne out in the air, so should have recieved a yellow card.

Did Byrne know what he was doing with his foot up like that? I think so!

Ad

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Tom February 15, 2011 3:08 pm

Here's a question, why are European rugby players/fans so damn obsessed with cards?
Is it the soccer watching or something?
Cuz in the SH most people would just shrug and say 'shit happens'.
Nothing in that was intentional, it all worked out ok.

Sorry, I forgot to add 'unless it happens to Richie McCaw' at the end of 'Cuz in the SH most people would just shrug and say 'shit happens'.'

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Sammy February 15, 2011 3:21 pm

To those of you denying Byrnes acting, I propose you play a game of rugby. As a second row I've had my legs swept from under me whilst I'm at my highest point in a lineout and landed in similar fashion. I wouldn't say it's a pleasurable feeling, nor would I like to experience it every game, but holding your head has nothing to do with how he was affected... If anything he should be checking over his right shoulder as that was where he landed initially. Byrne stayed down to make more of a scene.

Remember Nathan Hines swipe on lee Byrne, no doubt that actually hurt I do not deny that, but watch the fashion in which Byrne goes from being hit to ending up on the ground and watch how he rolls... Are we not all aware that if we suffer an injury rolling may increase the injury?!?

RD how about we have a compilation of Lee Byrne acting like a football fag?

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Lee Byrne is a Cheat February 15, 2011 3:55 pm

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=302535368716

Created last year after his disgusting dive, some of you may be interested! If RD could conribute a Lee Byrne play-acting, foul play, unsportsmanlike, extra man compilation that would be great, although i'm not sure if you can upload videos more than 10 hours long!

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ryebye February 15, 2011 4:10 pm

I alway thought there was a Law about lifting your studs up when jumping?

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 4:18 pm

watching this clip over and over again, neither player is in the right. Only Southwell's face makes contact with Byrne yet JDavies as usual wants to be judge jury + executioner and yells for a yellow.

I'm losing sympathy for byrne through the years though. Loved him early on but he's gaining a reputation for causing injuries to other players (thom evans) and is little more than a thug these days.

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 5:30 pm

A lot of people say : "Lee Byrn is right with his foot because it's a protection against somebody who is coming to do a bad tackle". But think about this fact : if Southwell jump for the ball it's the same foot perhaps right on the stomac.
I am 15 of formation and you are never supose to defend you with your boots, even if you think that the player in front of you gonna come a bit hard. Imagine the number of injury if everybody does that.
So obviously it's a yellow for Southwell for bad tackle and everybody seems to say that. But it's also a yellow (perharps a red) for Byrn because of this really dangerous.

I am not a fan of Scotland or Wales, don't worry.

Tom

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Luxi February 15, 2011 5:44 pm

jonathan davies is the most biased commentator EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Nathan February 15, 2011 5:45 pm

so going on what people have said on here about "protecting yourself" i can go around punching people just so they don't spear tackle me?

If Southwell had jumped for the ball, where would of Byrnes studs gone then?

There is no part in rugby where you should be allowed to go into possible contact with your studs showing..

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Andy M February 15, 2011 6:02 pm

In all fairness I don't rate Byrne much whatsoever, but he has the right to protect himself in the air whilst going up for a ball. Although he came down with a thump, he did milk it a little bit because I bet he gets bigger hits than that when being tackled. Southwell looks like he was going to go for the ball, then decided at the last minute not to because Byrne beat him to it and ran out of time to get out of the way. Not a bad turn of events for Scotland though because the replacement player was the best for Scotland that day!

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 6:12 pm

Irrelevant of where Lee Byrne's foot was, if any player is jumping to compete for the ball then the foot would be nowhere near their face! if a player is not jumping to compete and is looking to tackle once the player's feet touch the ground, then their face wouldn't be near the boot either!

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martin-offload February 15, 2011 6:38 pm

The slowmo makes it look loads worse than it is. Byrne does jump with the foot up, but all the force of the collision is caused by Southwell. If Southwell had jumped to claim the ball he wouldn't have got near the boot. As a fullback and a coach, I see no problem with the foot up technique

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Anonymous February 15, 2011 10:29 pm

Judging by some of the ridiculous comments, I'd say 10% of commenters on here have ever played rugby and just don't like Lee Byrne.

1) Full backs are trained to lead with the knee or studs when jumping for a ball in order to put idiots off tackling them in the air. Fly halves also leave their kicking foot (studs up) a second longer in the air to put off potential late tacklers.

2) If Southwell had waited for Byrne to land on the ground before tackling him, then he wouldn't have got studs in his face. Mis-timed tackle in the air - yellow card decision for Southwell.

3) If any of you have ever been taken out in the air, you would realise that its a fair way to fall and you get the wind knocked out of you. Hence Byrne was on the ground for a few seconds after the illegal tackle.

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scrum February 15, 2011 10:50 pm

even i southwell did jump to compete for the ball. byrne would have kicked him in the chest, that would have been a red card. how is a kick to the face not worth any punnishment?

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 1:29 am

'3) If any of you have ever been taken out in the air, you would realise that its a fair way to fall and you get the wind knocked out of you. Hence Byrne was on the ground for a few seconds after the illegal tackle.'

yeup, definately a back...

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 1:41 am

Horrible incident! Something needs to be addressed here. Southwell was chasing parks kick and you can see the shock on his face as he is about to hit Byrne. Byrne has jumped most likely knowing Southwell will hit him and be yellow carded. According to the rule book Southwell should have been carded, he hit a man in the air which is deemed dangerous.

However, he was always going to hit him, he had no chance of slowing down or avoiding Byrnes jump. In fact the only person being dangerous was Byrne by leading with his studs. Yet the rule books says Southwell is the guilty party.

So what should have Southwell done? Should he have jumped with his boot out in front to protect himself from Byrne? Or should he have just given up chasing a ball he would have been able to catch? Personally I think jumping late with studs out is dangerous and should be prohibited! My evidence is the several stitches in Southwells face.

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jono February 16, 2011 1:51 am

Pfft, stiches are evidence of a penalty???
That's soccer talk.
Stiches are something that almost every rugy player gets at some point, get over it.

Southwell shouldn't have run into him, end of story, he committed a penalty.
Byrne wouldn't have studded him if he hadn't run into Byrne.

So he gets a couple stiches, and he's fine and we all forget about it, cuz it's rugby.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 11:36 am

'so going on what people have said on here about "protecting yourself" i can go around punching people just so they don't spear tackle me?'

So you're saying Bryne kicked him in the face? I think it's more the case Southwell ran into his boot. It's the equivilent of driving into a stationary vehicle and blaming the vehicle for being in you're way.

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(u-p)rick February 16, 2011 1:58 pm

Whilst I didnt have much gripes about Byrnes boot and only his footballers behaviour, I'm left pondering.

Now alot of people have said as a fullback you're taught to have a high knee or a boot sticking out....what position was Southwell playing? 15...

My point is, what if The whole situation was exactly the same, except Southwell jumped and stuck a boot out and Byrne didn't jump but ran onto Southwells boot... Do you think as the attacking player Southwell would be sanctioned for sticking a boot out?

I mean you don't stick a boot out if you're jumping for a hospital pass... (thinking aloud here)

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Flipje February 16, 2011 2:46 pm

@ (Up)rick,

Fair point raised.

I "feel" in the reverse situation, this will have lead probably to a penalty against Byrne... but some will still question the extending boots. Matter of interpretation from the ref....

About the incident, I believe Byrne/Southall are both partially at fault. But nothing malicious from either side (just unintentional)

Still what is the law on competing on high ball? Are you allowed to extend your boot? Sounds difficult to believe?

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Gustavo A. Reginato February 16, 2011 3:27 pm

Like in football a law could create to punish players to show the studs in jumps, or lifting the leg.
No problem with jumps, knees or what else, but, the problem would be the studs.
Something like this...

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 5:27 pm

byrnes head doesn't hit the ground till he starts acting ... looks like the collision is accidental so weather u card or not for that is up to u .. but diving in rugby should get a red

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 6:49 pm

If others did the same as Byrne here it may put off the idiots who take the man out in the air...a stud to the face is not as bad as landing on your head from 7 odd foot

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Tom February 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Studs up is a soccer rule.
There are enough bloody rules in rugby already.
This is a NOTHING incident.
Get over it.
Southwell shouldn't have played the man in the air, he got what he deserved for being reckless.

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Tim February 17, 2011 12:48 am

Tom, dont be a idiot. people are having pretty thoughtful discussions here. As uprick questioned, I wonder what would happen if Southwell stuck his boot out.

A lot in rugby seems to go the defending teams way in terms of these gray areas. Don't ask me for an example but it seems that the attacking team gets penalised more for up and unders than the defending side.

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Tom February 17, 2011 5:34 am

Look, my language was a bit much, if so I apologise.

But the rule about playing the man in the air must favour the man who gets to the ball first, in this case Byrne.

If you're going to challenge the kick, you must be playing the ball.

This rule is for safety, it's extremely dangerous to take out a catcher in the air, that's how guys get broken necks.

If Southwell had been in the air playing the ball legally, it wouldn;t matter if he stuck his foot out, he could do it to his hearts content and it wouldn't have much of any effect.

He is in the wrong for taking the man out in the air.

He obviously didn't mean it, it was simply reckless, which is why I would say a penalty would be fine, a yellow would be overkill.

The boot to the face was as a result of him taking a guy out in the air.

Regardless, there's very little in it.

The cut is vicous looking, but basically superficial. Everyone gets cut at some point in rugby. It bleeds and looks bad, but is not very dangerous at all.

However, being taken out in the air and landing on your neck is extremely dangerous and could result in crippling or death.

Southwell should have got out of the way or played the ball legally.

Besides the likelihood that Byrne meant to kick him in the face is massivley remote. Southwell shouldn't have been there anyway.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 9:56 am

Clumsy tackle yes, intentional no. Hugo is not a dirty player.The video says it all.It would have been courteous of LB to check on Hugo's injury after the event.He has subsequently had to have a facial operation.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 10:46 am

'He has subsequently had to have a facial operation.'

So much for superficial eh Tom!

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Gustavo February 17, 2011 12:31 pm

I'm still thinking about studs up

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 7:41 pm

Lee Byrne knew exactly what he was doing. He is a dirty player who has already ended the career of one Scottish player by a ridiculous tackle last year and later in the game tried to take the head off the said player's brother. He should have been red carded immediately. Shame on the ref and shame on Lee Byrne.

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Jimbo1 February 17, 2011 8:59 pm

Byrne's technique is text book! Those commenting that it is dangerous have never ever picked up a rugby ball! At least read up on sport before you comment on it! Plus Byrne isn't dirty but whats with Phillips attitude?

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A_Real_Full_Back February 17, 2011 9:00 pm

@Jjo please tell me where you coach so I don't bring my children down. Having been a P.E. teacher, coach and full back for a veeerrrryyyy long time Byrnes technique is text book!

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 9:32 pm

Nothing wrong with any of it. Byrne jumped and raised a boot (like a lot of fullbacks do), and Southwell was competing for the ball.

Nothing wrong with raising a boot / elbow when in the air, it's the opponent's choice to run into it or not!

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Tom February 17, 2011 10:02 pm

I maintain that a cut to the face, even if it requires cosmetic surgery is entirely superficial in comparison to the potential for a broken neck as a result of being taken out in the air.
Southwell shouldn't have been anywhere near Byrne if he wasn't in the air playing the ball.
This wouldn't have happened if he had obeyed the rules.

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Buster Broon February 18, 2011 2:47 am

Not sure what the fuss is with this to be honest.

Byrne was in the air long before Southwell was anywhere near him and his foot positioning was completely safe. Well, completely safe as long as people abide by the rules that are in place to protect them.

The rules that Southwell broke are there to protect all parties including the people making the illegal tackle and if you break he rules, intentionally or not, you need to take the consequences.

He may be Scottish but Southwell was lucky he avoided the yellow card but he did get a face full of foot which was down to him not abiding by the rules.

Now if somebody could arrange for Dylan Hartley to perform an illegal tackle like Southwell and get his face kicked off then universal balance would truly be restored.

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Stephen February 18, 2011 1:18 pm

It's clear that Byrne swings his leg to give him a boost up. It's normal and natural (using angular momentum to provide direction momentum: yes using big words to obfuscate and befuddle). Southwell simply shouldn't have been where he was, and his injury should not have prevented him being carded.

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Anonymous February 18, 2011 3:27 pm

Guys, no one completely disagrees with the fact southwell should have got a card. however i think many people thinks it was quite a close call, he was looking up until the last minute.

I think the question is more 'why is byrne such a fag!' lying on the floor like a f*cking soccer player!

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Cheyanqu February 18, 2011 4:43 pm

karma took care of Southwell. However, I think the IRB should look at what Byrne did and change the rules going forward.

studs up is dirty play in any sport -- ask Ty Cobb or any soccer player.

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Hamish February 22, 2011 9:11 am

Byrn knows exactly what he is doing, Southwell made the mistake of not jumping.
Yellow for Southwell.
RED for Byrne!!!!! Whether you are coached jump with your studs out in front or not it is irrelevant. You simply cannot kick the opposite player in the face whether you are on the ground or in the air. Look at the Video in slow mo and that is what Byrne did.
It is questionable whether there would have been anything like as much contact had Byrne not stuck his foot out.
If you want to protect yourself, you lift your knee up towards your chest.

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Hamish February 22, 2011 1:54 pm

#Buster Broon
Byrne was in the air long before Southwell was anywhere near him no he wasnt.
his foot positioning was completely safe. No it wasnt
as long as people abide by the rules that are in place to protect them This is rather like saying you cannot high tackle but if you do, its OK for the tackled player to stick his fingers in your eye.

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The Golf Geek February 23, 2011 2:31 pm

Southwell was lucky to avoid a card; I think the replay justifies the referees' decision but it happened right in front of me & in the split second it happened it looked awful.

Leading with the foot- I think in time it will [& should] be looked upon like using the outside arm in the lineout. I know Byrne is far from alone in doing this, but his play-acting & gamesmanship make him a disgrace to the proud traditions of the Welsh game. Granted, I'm a Scot, but I would be furious with any Scottish player who chose to behave like that. Byrne is a man of no integrity, and as such should not be anywhere near the Welsh side.


Might I suggest that any future contact with Byrne be considered a card-able offence if he's unable to take any further part in the game? Would be an apposite way to deal with the sporting cancer that is simulation?

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Buster Broon February 24, 2011 12:32 am

@Hamish
Not sure what you're suggesting to be honest as what you say doesn't seem to have any reference to what happened in the incident.

If somebody tackles you, whether it is high or not and they decide to push their face against the tackled players hand/foot/anything else then it's quite rightly their responsibility.

I appreciate you don't agree but that doesn't affect anything as very few people seem to agree with you and more importantly the officials and the citing commissioner disagree with you.

I appreciate that national support is affecting people here which is good but the rules don't change because of the colour of the shirt being worn.

I appreciate it didn't happen but if Southwell had knocked Byrne just a couple of inches further and he'd landed on his neck then this thread could have been very different to the one it is now.

As I said though, it doesn't really matter what we think as we aren't the match officials and their decision correctly stands.

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Anonymous May 20, 2011 4:39 pm

"NO PADS NO HELMETS JUST BALLS "HOODIE. REALLY . MY 14 YR OLD SON DIED AS A RESULT OF A BRAIN INJURY SUSTAINED DURING A SCHOOL RUGBY MATCH. HE WASN'T WEARING A SKULL CAP... THESE SLOGANS ALONG WITH "CONCUSSION IS COOL" IS JUST INOFFENSIVE, HURTFUL AND IGNORANT.

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