Monday, March 07, 2011
Force centre Rory Sidey has been suspended following his dangerous tackle on Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane in their Super Rugby game in Perth on Saturday. Ndungane has since been released from hospital after being stretchered off.
Sidey was on the field as a replacement for Mitch Inman, who dislocated his elbow. It was a match Sidey would rather forget, as within a few minutes of being on the park he coughed up a ball that led to Ndunganes opportunistic try.
Shortly after that, he and Gene Fairbanks combined to tip the Sharks winger in what resulted in a nasty looking spear tackle, and an injury to the Springbok. A straight red card followed, with the referee having little option but to send him off.
He has since been suspended for three weeks following a judicial hearing.
The red card and suspension were upheld under Law 10.4 (j): 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.
The lowest recommended suspension is 3 weeks, which is what he received.
Ndungane was carried off the field and spent the night in hospital, but has since recovered well and been released, and should be back in training fairly soon.
We often hear complaints about how the game is getting soft or that the rulings are too harsh when it comes to tip/spear tackles, but this incident shows that the laws are in place for a reason, and Ndungane is pretty lucky to not have been more severely injured.
It's probably fair to say that Fairbanks was also fairly lucky to get away with his involvement in the tackle, as was Alistair Hargreaves for his retaliation. The Sharks won the game 31-12.
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