Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


Why you should always tackle low


Southland sensational try after big bump


Female Streaker has no regrets


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

James O'Connor yellow carded for dump tackle on Zane Kirchner

James O'Connor yellow carded for dump tackle on Zane Kirchner

The Western Force beat the defending Super Rugby champions 26-21 in Perth on Saturday, with young James O'Connor slotting six penalties. He was however yellow carded at one stage, harshly perhaps, which freed up space for the Bulls.

Wallaby O'Connor, not yet 21, is key to the Force's success, as was evident again on the weekend. He was carded by referee Mark Lawrence though for this dangerous tackle on Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner, which brought up further questions surrounding the tackle law.

At first glance it looked a solid hit, but Lawrence, who by all means was unlucky to miss out on a World Cup slot, deemed it dangerous. Law 10.4 (j) states that a player may not lift an opponent and drop or drive him into the ground while his feet are still in the air, such that the players head or upper body come into contact with the ground.

The law is pretty clear, but that doesn't necessarily mean its correct to make sure it's enforced each and every time that a player is lifted in a tackle. Could there not be a provision made for referee's discretion? There is a difference between lifting a player in a tackle, and a spear .

Opinions may vary on this one, and so they should, but its not the first time that we've seen a tackle that is only dangerous in the rugby sense get blown up, and the player carded.

Nathan Sharpe could be heard saying 'That's just a great hit, surely?' to which Lawrence responded 'He's lifted him. It's not my law, that is the law.'

Do you think it's worth sacrificing 7 out of 10 tackles to make sure that we avoid those 3 really dangerous ones, or do you think that its time the tackle law was revised slightly? I'm sure there's lots of different opinions on this one, so please share yours as a comment below.


Time: 01:54

Posted at 9:08 am | 128 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 128 comments

Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:02 am

IRB are simply determined the ruin the sport. This is getting worse and worse, and they have recently changed the law which means basically 90 per cent of tackle could be described as lift tackles. It's a joke.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:04 am

There's no need to lift the player like this for the tackle. It's done to remove his ability to control how he falls, and use his legs to drive. If you lift the player, it's your lookout if you get pinged for it. The commentator is talking nonsense. The law's clear and this is a yellow. Rugby tackling is about taking a player to ground, not judo throwing him to show what a man you are.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:05 am

nothing malicious in the tackle. I agree with the commentators, should not have been binned.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:09 am

RE Second post. What are you on about. Dump tackling has forever been one of the spectacles of the sport and done correctly is completely safe. The IRB are determined to remove the physcality of the sport so that it is more attractive to house wives who want to send little Tommy to play a sport. The Law is an ass on this regard and it was changed just before Christmas.

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james April 26, 2011 9:11 am

the tackle was safe and never was the opposition player in danger of getting hurt as he was was lifted in a controlled manner and brought back to the ground in a controlled manner. Can't see how this is a yellow. When I played we all loved putting in and seeing big hits like this, it lifts a team and the crowd love seeing them too. It would be awful if tackles like this we're removed from our game. Everyone knows its a dangerous sport but if a tackle is safe, surely the ref should be given discretion to say play on.

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Laz April 26, 2011 9:12 am

This lifting law (and enforcement thereof) has only been around for about the last ten years, and has been really strictly enforced only in the last two.

Rugby was fine before that. Lifting a players legs when tackling is not always dangerous. Kirchner might have been winded, but hell, its a contact sport! His neck and back were never in any danger.

The argument that they MIGHT have been, well yes that is the reason for such strict laws.

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Alastair April 26, 2011 9:12 am

This is a perfectly legitimate tackle whoever made this law clearly has never played at this level if at all! it's just a standard dump tackle, is he just supposed to put him back on his feet?

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:12 am

bullshit, great tackle, great hit, we are becoming worst than football, nothing in this!

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JoelTaylor April 26, 2011 9:12 am

Anon (11:02) - IRB haven't changed the law at all. They sent out a directive or two to all us referees, but it's still completely open to our discretion. Same to Anon (11:09) - nothing has been changed.

Perhaps also you want to tell that to Brian O'Driscoll after his shoulder was dislocated by dangerous tackles?

I agree, in this particular tackle the yellow, with the benefit of replays etc, looked a little hasty. However, the ref doesn't have that benefit, and can see it from a different angle. And in his defence, the tackled player did land on his head and shoulder.

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creggs08 April 26, 2011 9:13 am

the commentators are right this is a joke. he landed on his back and it was a hard and fair tackle. if he had landed more on his shoulders on neck, which thank god he didnt, yes that would of been dangerous and worthy of a yellow, but that was perfect as he landed flat on his back and the player went down with him.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:13 am

THIS LAW WAS AMENDED BEFORE CHRISTMAS. GOOGLE IT! IRB SCUM.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:14 am

There is nothing wrong with that tackle the apparant twists comes from the 2nd tackler. O'Connor places him down on his back safely. A brilliant and timely tackle.

WTF is happening to our game.

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The Green Mafia April 26, 2011 9:15 am

Nothing in this tackle. Sideshow Bob lands on his back, there's no danger. The comment by Lawrence illustrates how the IRB is putting presure on the ref's to take the law by the letter, and it's killing the gameflow. I believe that spears, high tackles and the likes should be punished severelly, but this is just a good tackle.

Wich raises a question: The way to make sure that these legal hits don't get misjudged is to handle case by case instead of upholding the law to the letter. But surely judging case by case opens the way to more errors from the ref (who is only human, bound to make a mistake or two). So, is it worth empowering the refs further so that we don't end up being unfair to players like O'Connor?


Also, Bulls beaten again, this time by the Force, 4th in the Aussie conference and 11th overall. Danger signs for the boks, in a world cup year? Cut loose the dead weight, guys

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:18 am

I guess the IRB is turning in a same old mens club as the FIFA. They think of themselves in a tackle like that and can already feel their hip bones crunching. Come on!! It's a contact sport! We want to play it safe so we want to get rid off spear tackles. That is what the law was in play for to start with. Keep it that way, this was just a good hit.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:20 am

As of December 2010

The amended Law 10.4 (j) will now read:
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 old law read: (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 first is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick.

STOP IRB SCUM NOW

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:20 am

It wasn't a dangerous tackle but still an illegal one. As soon as you lift a player you're asking for trouble everyone knows the laws of the game. Ref got it right with a yellow.

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Madflyhalf April 26, 2011 9:21 am

Kahui shoulder charge last week was more dangerous (though he didn't hit the player, he went close to it), but no one catch it.

Someone has also to check SBW tackles, which are often without trying to grasp the player.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:23 am

Anyone saying this is a GOOD DECISION is a referee and is scum and is being paid by IRB scum.

There is a special rung of hell for these people.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:23 am

It's not 'lifting', it's 'tipping'. The point is that he tipped his legs above his head and drove down onto his upper back. If it had been his neck it could have ended Kirchner's career. That's why the law exists.
Dominant tackling involves smashing them back, not breaking their necks.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:26 am

All tackles should be allowed, shoulder charges and all, but it should be up to the ref to deem what is dangerous or not, this would save a lot of complaints and bring the sport back to its roots again.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:26 am

Hard, but controlled dump tackles are one of the best things about the game. It attracts people to play and play it properly. All these bollocks 'spear' tackles are rubbish, it should only be a foul if the tackler drops the player or tackles him onto his neck/head. not for a standard, controlled dump tackle like this one, straight onto his back

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:27 am

This is ridiculous.

JoelTaylor, O'Driscoll was driven head first into the ground, which is a different issue. 'Spear,' Tackling is dangerous. When the head and neck are driven into the ground this is when problems occur.

However, being hit, lifted and dumped on your back should be fine. If you allow somebody to get under you then to be honest you deserve it, and for the most part players will agree.

The game is developing into a quicker and more physical sport and if the referees can't improve at the rate the players are then something has to be done about it. Another official on the park, like American football, or more responsibility on touch judges/assistant referees who for the most part seem to be below par.

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Laz April 26, 2011 9:31 am

As soon as feet are pointing skywards, players get penalised (usually carded). That's wrong in my opinion, as not every case is dangerous. It just happens sometimes because of momentum, speed, size, etc. Surely that needs to be taken into consideration?

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Irish ref April 26, 2011 9:31 am

there is already room for the ref's discretion and it was exercised in this case.

The starting point for a sanction for a tip tackled is red. The ref must then consider if there were any circumstances that can reduce the red to yellow.

In this case, the action of the #8 helped to exacerbate the tip started by O'Connor, so it wasn't entirely his fault that the player was brought to ground head/body first.

Ergo, correct decision and LOGIC applied by the ref.

Some of you guys really need to brush up on the laws and consider that rugby is a game that can be exceedingly dangerous if not "policed" properly

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RedYeti April 26, 2011 9:35 am

If that is a yellow then Mike Tindall's famous RWC Final dump on Gregan should have been a red.... The law is ridiculous and needs to be more open to interpretation by referees, so they can call it in context, rather than 'he lifted him, yellow card' every time

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:42 am

A couple of inches more of a pivot and he would have landed on his head. This was a legit tackle but if we want to prevent players from being seriously injured in the future these lifting tackles have to be eradicated even the ones that are legit.

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RuFiO ruFiO ruFio April 26, 2011 9:43 am

Its a super tackle either way you look at it & O'Connor isnt a malicious player so im sure he didnt mean it.....except there is a BUT!!

Rugby is a contact sport and that element will always be, but having previously been on the end of a similar tackle where it dislocated my shoulder i think you have to look at it slightly differently.

A dump tackle is usually where a player is confronted (usually head on) and driven back on a players shoulder with the tackled player landing bum/back first (with the tackled players legs wiggling as he has no purchase). IT DOES however get dangerous when that tackled players legs get Horizontal/higher than his head. This is what makes it dangerous, when a player becomes horizontal because you have less control of how they land (because they could possibly land on their upper back/neck).

So while this wasnt really a spear tackle, it is still dangerous & I think a yellow was fair.

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RuFiO ruFiO ruFio April 26, 2011 9:50 am

What is it with all the "Anonymous" posters or should i say "armchair rugby players"!? Or do you have something to hide. Your "Anonymous" posts are as you, they mean nothing!!

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Samuel Taylor April 26, 2011 9:50 am

okay so many people are complaining that he has put him to ground safely on his back. Well thats the problem though because the law clearly states:

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. Sanction: Penalty kick

Your back is part of your upper body and Kircher's feet are in the air. The Referee should be well within his rights to penalize. However also the sanction is a penalty kick therefore going by the letter of the law it was unnecessary for the yellow card.
I agree though that in the future the law should be changed to allow more safe dumps, who doesnt like a good hit? Just dont get on the refs back about following the rules.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:56 am

i thought this wasnt too bad. yellow is quite harsh

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Luxi April 26, 2011 10:06 am

absolutely nothing wrong with that tackle
i completely agree with the commentators : the yellow card was a joke

IRB has to revise its' tackle policy

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Alastair April 26, 2011 10:11 am

the issue isn't whether it's against the law- it clearly is, the issue is whether that law should be there and the fact that it's harsh and stops players from playing a free flowing physical game of rugby spear tackles are dangerous clearly but dump tackles are good- i think most rugby players from an early age have been taught that or is it just me?

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:15 am

It was a great tackle but the referee had no choice under the current rules as it looked like his shoulder hit the ground first. He wasnt driven in to the ground and he wasnt dropped, felt sorry for o'conner and the ref as well as he seemed like he didnt want to bin him

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Ruckfield April 26, 2011 10:18 am

Actually, I find him quite lucky to get away with a yellow, given the decisions we've already seen. Remember?
http://rugbydump.blogspot.com/2011/01/florian-fritz-gives-finger-after-red.html
I've always thought that one was also "a controlled magnificently dominant tackle". The funniest thing is the gap between the comments while the two tackles are somehow similar.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:19 am

I used to do 2 or 3 of these a game in my younger years. The dump tackle should be looked at, there is nothing wrong with them. They are why I play the game ffs! Nothing more satisfying than putting some fattie on their arse with one of these! Spears should be banned. IRB a dump and a spear are not the same thing.

Tom EIRE

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:33 am

Although I disagree with the law in this case, Mark Lawrence got it spot on. As a top referee, he had no choice.
It's a shame but it doesn't excuse the typical whining from the Australian commentators. I guarantee they would have been going mad if the roles were reversed.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:33 am

People who are banging on about the what ifs and maybes of Kirchner landing on his head are being pathetic. The fact is he did not land on his head or neck, nor from the moment O'Connor picked him up was he in danger of doing so. O'Connor was committed to a classic dump tackle. They do not have to be eradicated to ensure the game is safe. If you land a player on his head, the book gets thrown at you. Fine.
However, rugby is a contact sport, it is a dangerous sport, no amount of changes to the lifting tackle laws will change that fact. The law is ridiculous.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:44 am

JoelTaylor and second commenter = Epic Pussys, in there ideal world you would kiss the opposing player until he went down. A dump tackle executed well is a huge boost to the team and exhilarating to all watching so if players fear being binned every time they make brilliant hit then the game is dead.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 11:03 am

i think its a bit unfair on o'connor to get that yellow. a penalty would have been sufficient. He was in control during the tackle but it was the second force player who came into the tackle area who seemed to push kirchner down into the ground

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 11:15 am

The number of morons on this site is becoming concerning. Normally rugby players and followers are supposed to have some level of education. Saying that the IRB are determined to ruin the sport is ridiculous, the law is fine considering the amount of injuries these days. In this case discretion perhaps could have meant the ref only gave a yellow as there wasn't much wrong with it. But it is a penalty because Kirchner landed on his shoulder.

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themull April 26, 2011 11:37 am

Disgrace...Great tackle...And I'm usually the first to complain about the old folk on here saying rugby is turing into a pussy's sport but if this kind of tackle is going to warrant yellow cards, players are simply not gonna risk making them thus eliminating the dum tackle from the game...

He brought him down on his back, never let go of him and hit him below the neck..There is nothing whatsoever illegal about that tackle

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SamChit April 26, 2011 11:59 am

i think its less to do with the way you put the lifted player down but more about the extent of the angle of how upside down the player is when you finally put him on the ground.i lift players when i tackle them but when i drop/smash them i make sure their body is sort of horizontal with the ground cause if you tip them any further thats when the spine, neck and head come into contact with the ground first and make it a dangerous tackle!!

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 12:07 pm

Great shot, the law needs to be amended to allow referees some discretion in interpreting it, there was never any danger of injury here.

It's moments like this that make the hairs on the back of your head stand up as a spectator - this is an 85kg kid hitting well above his weight and he can't afford to be hindered by thinking 'what if i get sin binned?' as he approaches every tackle.

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Von April 26, 2011 12:07 pm

Bosh. Great tackle.

I think it is fair to argue that the people making and implementing the tackle rules aren't showing any real sense of empathy with the way the players actually play the game.

I've been on the receiving end of tackles like this one dozens of times and bloody loved it. Of course sometimes being eased into the ground hurt a bit - mostly winding and I had a bit of a sore shoulder from one once that wouldn't bloody go away for a few weeks - but, as they say, a little bit of pain never hurt anyone. Anyway most of the time you're braced for the impact, you know you're about to be dumped on the ground and you do something to break your own fall.

I can genuinely tell you that I've actually quite enjoyed being tackled in this way! Obviously it's more fun smashing the oppo rather than the other way round, but there's something oddly satifsying about being lifted and dumped into the turf, especially if you're able to absorb the hit and keep possession.

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Luke G April 26, 2011 12:18 pm

I can see why the referee sin binned him. From the referee's angle and in real time it probably looked really bad.
However, O'Connor's intention was never to twist him round and dump him down. It appears O'Connor just wanted to drive him back. The second player came in and made the tackle much worse to look at. If he hadn't have interfered, I am positive it would have been a perfectly legal tackle and still a big hit.

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wow-jiffy-lube April 26, 2011 12:34 pm

In my opinion, a great tackle, but also one that was against the law. Thay said I'm also of the opinion that the law needs to be changed.

There's a lot to be said about the circumstances of the tackle, Kirchner going in high and at speed, stepping inside O'Conner so the centre had to take him with the inside shoulder. You can see O'Conner has to start low and drive upwards to complete the tackle, resulting in the altitude that Kirchner gains, however I think a lot of the tip was simply due to the South African's momentum a l the tackle featured on here of Earls and Tuitupou on Fussel a few weeks ago.

All that said, this kid is becomeing a ridiculously complete player. Talk about versatility!

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DEO April 26, 2011 12:38 pm

can anyone honestly remember when any dump tackle, where the player has hit the ground with their back, has caused a player to be removed from the field ? i'm keen to know whether the nay sayers in these comments have ever played rugby , or realise the effect that a big driving dump tackle can have to galvanise their team.

Insane yellow card

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Stubby April 26, 2011 12:46 pm

that is the problem with replays especially the slow motion. Doesn't look bad at all in slow motion.

First time at full speed it looked bad. The teammate didn't help matter.
Maybe the teammate should have been binned.

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stiffarmtackler April 26, 2011 12:54 pm

Credit to the second commentator for pointing out the ref doesn't have many options with the IRBs rules as they are. The other one isn't as considered in his opinion, a lazy commentator.

Also why is pulling jumpers down in the lineout considered just a penalty offence whereas a tackle like this is a card?

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RuFiO ruFiO ruFio April 26, 2011 1:30 pm

Anonymous said...= epic pussys

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 1:36 pm

The decision is a joke, but i can see where the referee is coming from it could potentially be dangerous. However you also see the tackler's head (O'Connor) going into the ground, is this not a contact sport we play? don't we always hit the ground? I just love the aussie commentators 'keep it up son' haha.

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shrimpo April 26, 2011 1:48 pm

I thought the idea of "Laws" as opposed to "rules" is that a Law is open to interpretation. So couldn't the Ref interpret the Law in this instance and find that no malice was intended, no harm was done, play on! Hiding behind "it's not my law, it's the Law" seems a bit of a cop out.

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I hate ppl who write April 26, 2011 1:56 pm

"There's no need to lift the player like this for the tackle."

Well Anon, as long as I've been playing rugby, we've been told to drive through the tackle, pushing with your legs, one of the reasons being it's safer for the tackler as well as a good ground gainer. Sometimes using good technique like this coupled with the momentum of the player can lead to the tackled player lifting off the ground. A clean player will hold on and accompany the player to the ground, an idiot will spear him.

The laws are there to cover all area's of the game, the ref is there to use a bit of intelligence and discretion. I don't agree with the yellow, and think that at this rate we'll have people hesitating at the tackle area and risking injury twice as much as before. If you're not ready to push through the tackle then you'll get steam rolled and possibly end up with you're head in the wrong position(as happens with newbies). Are we going to bring in a law to avoid players entering the collision too aggressively with the ball in hand? Or maybe we could pad up like the NFL guys? I certainly hope not. A line needs to be drawn or we'll have seen the last of the great game.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 1:56 pm

The IRB think that by sanitising the sport and making it appeal to your Mum is going to benefit the game. It's not. They're killing what attracts many a neutral to the sport, the toughness and physicality of the game.

I can see why most these sort of tackles are penalised, but a yellow card for this is absolutely ridiculous.

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No.7 April 26, 2011 1:57 pm

I find it hard to judge now...

I mean I was one of those that thought Lote Tiquiri tackle on mccaw was red worthy years back...

and slowly i think im getting softer and softer in terms of what i judge as illegal...

I mean i havent seen a tackle like tiquiri mccaw in years, but i still judge things worthy of a red...

I do however feel for refs, it cant be easy....if you ignore Zane's upper body and just watch his legs, he looks like it could be head first... if you ignore his legs and just watch the body its a wonder what the ref saw...

I personally dont see anything wrong with that tackle, i guess i just think refs have an extremely hard time and it needs to be sorted soon... its not right to card things like this....

WHATEVER HEMISPHERE!!!

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 2:12 pm

this is a great tackle, the big collision and momentum is what makes the landing seem bad. I can't believe the ref gave a yellow.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 2:16 pm

@stiffarmtackler

couldn't agree with you more. im in crutches at the moment after a dodgy competitive lineout where i won the ball but didn't come down straight. dump tackles can always be made controlled, its not so easy when you are pushed 10ft in the air
ewan

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CT April 26, 2011 2:34 pm

I don't want to say too much on this topic but I would just like to say to all those guys claiming to be rugby players who are abusing the ref for his decision i have to say; This is Rugby, show some respect.

I agree this tackle is fine when watched on slow motion but the first time I watched it, (and I realize I may be somewhat of a moron), I couldn't say 100% positively, and that was form a camera angle. All the ref was able to see was a player's feet lifted off the ground, spun around, (horizontally, not vertically), and dumped to the ground. In a split second decision its near impossible to get it 100% right all the time. The IRB have instructed the refs to err on the side of caution, would you guys really prefer it otherwise?

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CT April 26, 2011 2:40 pm

Also just a quick note to shrimpo, a Rule can be open to interpretation a Law can't.

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Gobackto90'srules April 26, 2011 3:12 pm

I don't know if it's overzealous refs, or the IRB that wants an easily marketable game but...

You guys are killing my game.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 3:26 pm

sorry but that is dangerous an inch further forward and he'd be landing on his neck and we wouldn be discussing whether the tackle was legit or not

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eastswk10 April 26, 2011 3:48 pm

haha of course in the states that would MAYBE be a penalty...depending on the referee haha. it is interesting to see the differences.

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Eben April 26, 2011 3:50 pm

I used to judo tackle all the time in Highschool. It was my trademark. I always made sure the guy's neck and head was protected when I slammed him to the ground.

When the laws changed I merely stopped doing it. James O'Connor is a professional. He know the laws. He clearly lifted Zane - you can see him straining his legs to get Zane in the air.

If I can change my game to suite the laws, why can't James?

Further: I can't stand the Bulls, but holy crap people! If this tackle was the other way around everyone would have been screaming for a red! I don't like this, because now it makes the Bulls team look like the good guys...

... and that would be simply very very wrong!

(Stormers fan)

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Eben April 26, 2011 3:59 pm

Also would like to add: The judo throw tackle, where attacker lands on back (not shoulder of neck) is actually safe - and I used to love doing it. BUT: Not everyone can execute it. WHY take the chance?!

I've accidentally injured a player when I lost my balance doing this tackle. He left the grounds in an ambulance.

Thank god he was OK afterwards.
I almost quite rugby. Just think: I could have broken his neck.

Not worth it.
Not worth it at all.
And you can scream: "What's happening to rugby we were so tough and arghhh! Where is my club and my spear... (grunt)" But if it was your brother who broke his neck from some oke who f'd up a lifting tackle, you might be seeing these 'harsh' rules in a different light.

Besides: Is it the ONLY way to tackle someone? We see dozens of brilliant (legal) tackles every week on RD.

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Stag April 26, 2011 4:02 pm

completly agree with the comentators, excelent tackle. an average tackle would have probably stopped him but you dont win games at this level by being average. every player at any level of rugby knows what risks you have to accept when you step on the field, rugby has never been nor will it ever be a safe sport, if these new IRB regulations were to spread to other sports it would be rediculous, boxers would have to punch softer, F1 drivers would have to drive slower, golfers would have to use rubber balls, swimmers would have to wear life jackets... where will this end!!!

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Emmet April 26, 2011 4:20 pm

Super Tackle.

Think that O'Connor's own man got him in trouble here to be honest. He tipped the player in the air and O'Connor lost control of him (as would be expected).

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Christ April 26, 2011 4:29 pm

Love how everyone accuses the referees of killing the game. This years Super 15 has been some of the best in recent years. Killing the game my arsehole. O'Connor is at the top of his game and instead of moaning about it he took the time came back on and still played well. If a ref decides it's a yellow it's a yellow.

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Cheis April 26, 2011 4:31 pm

o'conner plays his best rugby at 12!!!

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 4:31 pm

To follow on from stag, its a shame the IRB didn't get into breeding in the NH.... then all your dads would have had to wear condoms just to be safe.... But at least there would have been a benefit there...

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 4:36 pm

Thats the kind of tackle I loved making when I played rugby back in school..... smash into their midsecton, grab a leg, lift, and either drop them or drive their back into the ground with a shoulder. Knocks the wind out of them and makes you feel like a million dollars.

got to find a compromise with the law, I never tried to drive someone's head into the ground, that should never be tolerated and is what I consider a SPEAR whilst this is a DUMP tackle

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fry April 26, 2011 4:50 pm

Weird...as the commentator said, "he didn't drop him." I had thought the law mandated that if you bring a player up into the air, you've got to accompany him to the ground...but I guess not.

Lawrence is a wonderful referee, but I think he got this one wrong.

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Mike April 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Everybody surely knows the rules by now? And I'm sick and tired of hearing this shite about the IRB 'ruining the sport' - they are trying to avoid the day when you turn on your computer and learn that Dougie Howlett or Bryan Habana or Ben Foden or Florian Fritz or whoever has been crippled or killed having been smashed into the pitch.

You can still tackle hard in the game legally, but it takes more timing and skill than just picking up and dumping someone.

If you want to see lots of stupid body slams, WWE wrestling is there for you.

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Douglas April 26, 2011 5:30 pm

Nothing in that, not even close to yellow. Horrible refereeing.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 5:38 pm

I believe this was a clean tackle that displays proper follow through. If the tackler fails to follow through, he runs the risk of injuring himself as the runner continues to struggle. This tackle brings the contest phase of the tackle to an abrupt and definite end, and improves the flow of the game. I'd rather tackle and be tackled like this than get involved in another clusterf**** maul.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 6:01 pm

Those commentators are idiots, it was ofcourse a dangerous tackle, a card is borderline should have been mabey a talking too insted.
But it IS a penalty, picked him up and landed him on the top of his back near his head.

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Gavin April 26, 2011 6:01 pm

Douglas, do you even know what the rules are? Based on what you just said, the answer is no.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 6:05 pm

Just to assist the hard-of-thinking who are rugby 'fans' or 'experts' but still don't know the fucking laws, here it is:

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.


Does he 'drop or drive' the player into the ground while the tackled player's feet are off the ground, and the tackled player's upper body comes into contact with the ground?

YES.

DANGEROUS PLAY, YELLOW CARD, CASE CLOSED.

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EARugbyFan April 26, 2011 6:19 pm

Like a Golf or Tennis Swing, you have to "Follow Through" with your initial action.

I know for a fact that players are faster, stronger and bigger than they were decades ago.

At risk of being trucked over a la Lomu and to prevent an offload, increase chances of a turnover or minimise the gain line one should to "follow through" with the hit.

To those who say there is no need to lift a player during a tackle, bear in mind that in tackle situations the one with a lower center of gravity typically executes a better tackle.

How does one do this? by getting lower and lifting. If the ball carriers momentum does not sufficiently counter your action, we end up with situations like this.
He kept the ball carrier wrapped. This was clearly not a deliberate dump tackle as intended by the laws to protect against.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 7:34 pm

There is no need for a dump tackle at all. It is totally dangerous and should be banned altogether. Some people on here won't be happy until a player is killed from such a tackle.
To leave the judgement to the referee is unfair as well. Just ban them and there would be no spurious debate on whether a player has been 'safely' deposited on the ground.

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Chris Boy April 26, 2011 7:48 pm

there is no way that should be illegal.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 8:07 pm

For the 'hard cocks' who think you should be allowed do whatever the hell you like to an opponent on the rugby pitch, I found a video they can watch in stead of following a real sport...
http://tinyurl.com/3z7nv7h

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Malicious?My-Lush-As April 26, 2011 8:41 pm

"There's no need to lift the player like this for the tackle. It's done to remove his ability to control how he falls, and use his legs to drive. If you lift the player, it's your lookout if you get pinged for it. The commentator is talking nonsense. The law's clear and this is a yellow. Rugby tackling is about taking a player to ground, not judo throwing him to show what a man you are."

I'm sorry, I was convinced that this is RUGBY. You know, that sport that MEN play. Not some fairy fuckin' princess game like football. If you honestly think that DESERVES a yellow, go have fun in your soft-tackle old boys games, 'cause I've never met a man under the age of fifty who thinks, aside from literally dropping them on their head, that these tackles should be illegal at all.

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Sam April 26, 2011 9:00 pm

I see no problem with this tackle bu those of you talking about 'lifting players' gives better tallest etc are under an illusion. Whenever I am lifted like this I offload... There is no one on my arms or in the way amd it's an easy offload... If ofcourse I don't then it gives me all the more time to lay the ball back....

I understand a good tackle is to get low and drive up which may effectively lift a player but to do a tackle like this you meed to physically put your mind into lifting him... If you ge low and he flips over your shoulder it's a different matter but this is clearly a conscious effort to lift and dump the oppo player....

As I said I don't see anything wrong with the tackle but let's have none of that 'you need to lift' spell please...

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:05 pm

Florian Fritz made the same tackle a couple of months ago againt the wasps in hcup but it was a red card instead...(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_OOKEbRzGQ&feature=related) Both SH and NH referees are trying to kill rugby.

View Video

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:06 pm

When O'Driscoll was speared he landed on his back just like Kirchner and some people are still upset about that. Just because there were no injuries this time doesn't mean it was a legal tackle.

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Digger April 26, 2011 9:21 pm

Drive the player backward not down and you can knock him off his feet-that is a good tackle. Regardless of how you think the IRB is ruining the game, look at the NFL and how they are trying to get BACK to wrapping the player, not leaving your feet and delivering a solid hit driving the opposition backward.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:22 pm

_ why does some tool always bring it up...

Regardless of your country of following its clear o'driscoll was hit without the ball, and actually his shoulder/arm hit the floor first...

its relevance...zilch...

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:37 pm

great tackle, whoevers saying about putting people on there necks etc, thats a SPEAR not a DUMP
i didnt just see o'connor stan up and drive the opponents head into the floor. so a dump tackle isnt going to kill someone, and for a start there wasnt exactly a big issue with players getting killed left right an center before. change the rules abit, stop being so fussy, good entertainment, good tackle nothing wrong with it.

to the person who said 'you dont go out there to kill/hurt people etc' then find another sport. if you dont want to hurt them and make an impact then your not going to be the best player in the worl are you, go play football.

'It's not 'lifting', it's 'tipping'. The point is that he tipped his legs above his head and drove down onto his upper back. If it had been his neck it could have ended Kirchner's career. That's why the law exists.
Dominant tackling involves smashing them back, not breaking their necks.'

shutup you total goon. it wasnt his neck, so stop moaning. DUMP not SPEAR

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:55 pm

it shouldn't hav been a card it was close but he landed safely just hard

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 9:57 pm

shutup you total goon. it wasnt his neck, so stop moaning. DUMP not SPEAR
Yeah, it wasn't his neck - THIS TIME you goon. That's why the rule is there: not for the times when the player lands on their back and gets up, but for the time when the tackler accidentally (or deliberately) puts them on their neck, and they never get up again.

Seriously, some people here have no clue. Back to the wrestling with you, child.

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:18 pm

stuff like this makes American football vs rugby wars so much harder...

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:18 pm

...like most american NFL fans need any more misplaced ego...

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 10:26 pm

@ arrgh 'goon' man:

go back to cave. you so tuff. must hurt peepol. rugby ball excuse to maim.

arghhh.

Just take a gun onto the pitch and be done with it then, tough guy. I don't need to lift or DUMP to tackle someone hard.

Seriously.
Why do some people need to act so tough behind their keyboards?

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Anonymous April 26, 2011 11:00 pm

Refs are gay

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Jono April 26, 2011 11:03 pm

Great tackle.
The wowsers who've probably never played the sport are the only ones who'd find cause to criticise this.
A joke the way the game is getting so soft.

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Jono April 26, 2011 11:06 pm

The lifting law is a ridiculous joke.
The IRB are idiots.
Lifting tackles have always been a part of the game, for a hundred years.
At times they are unavoidable.
There is nothing particularly dangerous about them
Spears are completely different. That is when a player is dumped on his head or neck.
That is what was originally legislated out of the game.
Now we are banning simple quality tackles like this.
There is also absolutley NO consistency at all. This can be yellow carded one game, aplauded another.

The IRB is turing the tackle laws into a bad joke.

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David April 26, 2011 11:48 pm

The laws regarding the tackle are really getting out of hand.

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Sam April 26, 2011 11:50 pm

Whilst im against keyboard warriors it is a fact that you do NOT have to lift or dump someone to put in a big hit.... in fact my best hit that i can recall was on a fairly slight number 8 who wasnt expecting it and i caught him in the rib cage... his feet left the ground but not because i lifted him but because the hit was hard...

Now im not trying to sound 'tough' or hard... but for all you know i could be a scrawny midget scrum half like peter stringer or i could be built like jerry collins... the fact is that tackle i stated actually happened and i didnt need to lift or dump...

that being said this is not a bad tackle whatsoever...personally i dont blame the ref... the irb has made it pretty hard to get these right...

How about ALL spears cited, but referee's air on the side of 'awesome tackle' ? idk...thinking out loud here..

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Sam April 26, 2011 11:53 pm

Jono i think the problem is there is a fine line between a spear and a non spear... i.e if i land on my neck its a spear, how about upper shoulders with no other body part in contact with the ground? what about neck AND shoulders hitting the ground at the same time? what if im so flexible i can bend my neck so far that if it was on any other player he would be dead?!?

idk, im not trying to be facetious, i mean it seriously, there comes a point where refs will get it wrong which we accept, but where do the laws go to protect players...?

its a tough topic...

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Jono April 27, 2011 12:03 am

Sam, I agree that it can be difficult to say where you draw the line.
But for a long time, there was a very good balance.
Essentially, if a guy lands on his head or neck, that's when it should be deemed a spear.
Shoulders, back are fine.

It's just gotta be common sense.
Banning any tackle from going to the air is completely ridiculous.
It's legislated the game itself away.
This is rugby, tackling hard is a major part of the game.
This was brilliant technique, like every player gets trained to do. The law itself has been changed to a point where now any tackle that involves a guy who loses his feet can be yellow carded.

Why play rugby at all? Why not just ban tackling?

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Sam April 27, 2011 1:22 am

I get what you mean, i just think they are trying to protect against the 'what if' scenario, i.e. what if a player does get a broken neck, would it not be better to make players scared of tackling like that?!?

I dunno, those are more my understanding of why, rather than my opinion

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 1:45 am

The lifting law is sort of bullshit. The call should be made by the ref deciding if there was malicious intent or not. A lift tackle should not always a bad or illegal tackle.

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Ross Golding April 27, 2011 4:06 am

Perfect Tackle, had complete control. The player didnt land on his neck, landed straight on his back. Legal!

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Jinger April 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Hey... I am not sure what type of housewife you think doesn't like to see a good tackle, but she damn sure isn't this one.

Great hit, bad call. Let the boys play...

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 1:04 pm

Zero sympathy for O'Connor. If you don't want to get yellowed for lifting a player in the tackle and tipping them over the horizontal then DON'T LIFT THE PLAYER.

When you grasp the player fall to ground and pull him with you, don't lift them up. Simple.

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 1:06 pm

Incidentally, how can you defend Fritz? That was a straight red if ever there was one, the lifting was deliberate and the tacklee was sent to ground with force.

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ENS Ltd April 27, 2011 2:48 pm

Absolutely ridiculous desion, he brought him down on his back, he did not spear him. James O'Connor clearly isn't that kind of player and you would have thought the ref would show some common sense

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whatever April 27, 2011 2:53 pm

For the one or two guys who keep posting anonymous comments (it sounds like it's just one guy posting over and over), any time a smaller player makes a wrapped tackle around a larger player, he'll run the risk of lifting and tipping him. Unless smaller backs are going to limit themselves to tackling below the knees, stuff like this will continue happening.

This wasn't an especially dangerous tackle and O'Connor did well to follow through with it.

I wouldn't have thought a card was necessary (or even a penalty), but the law is the law and Lawrence can't really, in good conscience, ignore a law at his pleasing can he...so it's not really his fault for calling the penalty.

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No.7 April 27, 2011 2:58 pm

As stated in other videos im a strong anti spear person.. but its just stuff like this... I personally think this is why professionalism is killing the game in some respects..

The problem is in the fact that on one hand we want to see *big* hits etc and on the other hand we want to see the same good players again, and not watch them being stretchered off with broken backs/necks....

So on that point i agree with Sam, i think the IRB is doing the whole:

'well lets scare players out of lifting people, therefore they wont lift people anymore, therefore the chances of the REAL danger (a spear tackle) is greatly reduced, meaning our referees dont have to have such a tough time sorting illegal hits from legal hits'

Which as stated, has torn all us fans, because as much as we love shouting about red cards when a player spears someone, we dont want to see or hear about repurcussions such as career ending injuries..

So, this brings us back into professionalism, in the sense that do we want a 'soft' (i use the term loosely here) game, where players simply hold other players legs, and flop over each other. or do we want a computerised ruling on each tackle....dun dun dun...much like NFL... where there are like thirty refs, cameras play backs (i think im guessing here)...

I don't know what the solution is, i think i read someones comment about how they used to be anti massive spear tackles like the one on mccaw but nowadays find themselves wondering if this stuff is illegal... so back to where i was saying about having players just hold onto legs... that in turn will dumb us down and make things like rucking and scrumming look more dangerous...which may in turn be changed...


Its a hard topic and I can see everyones point of view when they shout angrily at others on these comment sections. I dont know the answer, maybe its time for professional players to rally up together and say c'mon this is getting ridiculous. Will they be listened to? probably not, because they probably aren't a threat, because if they refuse to play under such laws they dont get paid, and this is their job...

circling right back round to my original professionalism is killing the sport in some respects...

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 3:15 pm

rugby is a war. if you cant handle it then dont play. there is always a risk for injury in contact sports, what are they going to do next take out the element of tackling. i know from experience that tackling can be hard, so high tackles and stuff like this do happen and thats why rules such as a yellow card are made. leave it alone

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 4:36 pm

There is a law. It has to be respected. Lifting a player's legs above his upper body is ALWAYS dangerous. I myself suffered a back injury after one such tackle so I think they should be sanctioned, always.

Note that the commentators are, in any case, wrong as they should criticize the law (if they insist on criticizing something) rather than the referee. The referee did exactly what he had to do.

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Gav April 27, 2011 4:55 pm

ENS Ltd:
Absolutely ridiculous desion, he brought him down on his back, he did not spear him. James O'Connor clearly isn't that kind of player and you would have thought the ref would show some common sense

Actually it was an absolutely correct decision. Read the laws.

rugby is a war. if you cant handle it then dont play.

Rugby has laws. If you can't handle them, don't play.

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Ave88 April 27, 2011 4:56 pm

Against the Stomers he did the same, except no one caught it as it was not center footage.. So that was the second time aroun, and I think it's fair he was reminded of the law.

That being said, he's simply the best Australian player this year (check rugbyheaven ratings), and is maturing into the best 20 year old player in the history of the sport. Period.

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shsu_rugger April 27, 2011 5:29 pm

Give it enough time and you'll start to see cards for "too much power" in tackles on the international and professional levels as the strength and conditioning fields take hold in the sport. We already see it here in the US. Ex-gridiron players dash into tackles so hard and fast that there is scarce time to fully wrap up; I've also seen heads bounced off the ground from such hard(legal) tackles that they concus players. Especially here in Texas where gridiron is king. O'Conor put the man down on his mid back, no car needed.

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i love bacon April 27, 2011 8:50 pm

Yup. I know it's a tired sentiment that gets expressed here, mostly by nostalgic older fellas, but professionalism has a way of "ruining" the natural fun in a game.

I've said it before, I love gridiron as a sport, but sometimes I can't stand to watch NFL games...so much as give a punter the hairy eyeball and you'll be looking at a 15 yard penalty. They regulate the game so much (out of fear for injuries, mostly) that in any given play, there are bound to be half a dozen penalties committed.

It's an exaggeration to think rugby is at that point already, but I can understand where people are coming from when they say that's what they're afraid of.

...until then, can't we all just enjoy as much of this sport as we can while it lasts? (for what it's worth, I think it's just the last few posts on this site have seemed to stir up some negative sentiments...)

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 10:15 pm

Attention Aussie commentators - yes, he didn't drop him, but he put him down past the horizontal and the moment you do that you've gotta know that you're gonna be blown up for it 'cause it's always gonna look like a spear. There was no need for the lift anyway...

Honestly, a lot of Aus commentators are downright embarrassingly unprofessional - you're there to give running commentary on the game, NOT to spout your personal opinions every chance you get!

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Jono April 27, 2011 11:14 pm

Aussie commentators (like most Aussies) call it as they see it. They aren't very PC and like the tough side of the game. Aussies are also used to league, where a huge portion of the tackles that result in penalties and cards that get given out in union would be considered perfectly legal.

When you watch league and see a dozen shoulder charges and ten lift tackles a game and everyone suck it up and gets on with it, it is hard to go to union and watch the incredibly soft line the IRB is taking now with the tackles laws.

A few years ago this would have been applauded as a great hit.

It's getting softer all the time. Kirchner was fine. He got tackled, you know, because he's playing rugby.
He got picked up and landed on his back. Good tackle, great technique.

The worst thing is it's alos totally incocnsistent. One ga,e this tackle is fine, the next it';s a penalty, the game after it's a card. It makes the whole tackle law an utterly unfunny joke.

This is not being legislated for any good reason either. It's not particularly dangerous to land on your back. It's a part of rugby. It always has been.

There's about fifty things more dangerous than getting dumped on your back. Scrums are way more dangerous, and perfectly legal too.

Spear tackles were legislated out of the game about 20 years ago, for very good reason. The rule then (and what it should STILL be, if anyone at the IRB had any common sense), was that you couldn't tip a guy or dump a guy onto his head or neck. End of story. Perfect rule, the IRB should have left it alone.

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Anonymous April 27, 2011 11:51 pm

good call by the referee. Stop complaining - there are hundred good and safe ways to deliver a tackle and this is not one of them.

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Hendi April 28, 2011 12:24 am

I am a little late to the stream. The Aussie commentators are completely biased. A dump is a dump. Don't sike the rules, have them changed, which is what the Ausiie contingent always seem to want.

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Jono April 28, 2011 12:28 am

What??? A dump?
Firstly there's nothing the laws about a dump.
And for over a hudnred years opf rugby this kind of tackle has been perfectly legal.

You are the one who wants to change the rules and soften the sport for some reason.

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Anonymous April 28, 2011 12:52 am

rugby dump will soon have to change its name as to not offend the IRB. I propose the new name should read "rugby dont lift players legs and put him down softly" for men with odd shaped balls and tutu's. OR.... call it "rugby league"

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Christ April 29, 2011 11:17 am

The law states you cannot drive a player onto his neck or upper body if his legs are in the air. Your back is your upper body you tools!

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Anonymous April 29, 2011 2:40 pm

No one is disputing that towelie...

Most people are just moaning because when they/I went to school and hit club rugby this was a standard dump tackle and was considered a fairly normal tackle...

and now its considered life threatening...

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Anonymous May 01, 2011 9:05 am

Anyone that thinks this was a legitimate tackle should revisit the law books. The rule state that if a player is picked up and brought down with his head below the wasteline = yellow. Don't go after the ref for enforcing the law. Also the ref doesn't have the luxury of replays, the tackle looked dangerous at first glance. And those that think he should have been cited are also wrong. This doesnt reach the red card factor so no need for O'Connor to be cited. Although that has never stopped the IRB before. Aussie commentators are a joke.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 2:07 am

The law is a joke.
This is a good tackle. Anyone who can't see that hasn't played before.

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SharkAttack May 02, 2011 2:38 pm

within the confines of the law the tackle is illegal he was driven to the ground and his upper body and head made contact with the ground so technically lawence was correct.

However I do believe that the tackle itself was clean and effective without being dangerous.

Recently after some high profile injuries from bad examples of this tackle technique have damaged the prudent application of this law.

In my opinion the referee needs to act with his touch judges and at his own discression. A dangerous tackle is generally quite easy to notice...

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udaya210 August 16, 2011 3:05 pm

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