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Monday, September 12, 2011

Rugby World Cup Daily - Injuries, citings, and fans

The first week of Rugby World Cup 2011 has passed, and it's time for a short break, so we now have a few days to catch our breaths, catch up on sleep, and reflect on what's taken place in the opening round.

In this latest edition of Rugby World Cup Daily there's a look at some of the fans that are touring around New Zealand, some interviews with the Romanians who played so well against Scotland, and a look at some of the injuries that may have an affect on the rest of the tournament.

Wallabies winger Digby Ioane, who scored in their match against Italy, will be undergoing surgery on the fractured thumb that occured during the match. That could disrupt their backline somewhat as Ioane usually defends at 10 Quade Cooper slips back to fullback. What it may mean though is a miraculous return to the team for Drew Mitchell, who had a bad ankle break in April.

South Africa escaped defeat against Wales, but had two key injuries early on, as Victor Matfield and Jean De Villiers both left the field. De Viliers has a rib injury and Matfield a hamstring. They will probably miss the clash with Fiji, while Bakkies Botha may well be heading home as he's not responding well to treatment.

In the England camp, their win over Argentina has come at a price as lock Courtney Lawes has been cited for striking hooker Mario Ledesma. The incident occured shortly after a huge, possibly borderline, tackle he put in on center Gonzalo Tiesi, which resulted in Tiesi leaving the field.

The alleged strike on Ledesma was with the knee, on the sideline as he raced across to make the tackle. It looked bad on first sight, but it was hard to see if he actually made contact. We'll find out soon if he remains in the tournament or not.

Posted at 2:00 pm | 16 comments

Posted in Rugby World Cup 2011

Viewing 16 comments

brookmcg September 12, 2011 4:41 pm

I am not surprised by Lawes citing as it was not necessary in the slightest and could have been avoided or at the very least prevented by some measure at least, but not he went with it, and knocked out Mario Ledesma (which is pretty clear and obvious). As he is young and not really a malicious offender for the most part, he was very much on the brutal and illegal side of things and deserves a 3-4 match ban (taking his record into account and tournament) otherwise it would have gotten 6-8 weeks had this been back in England.

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Xenophile September 12, 2011 5:01 pm

I hope Lawes gets a lengthy ban. He definitely crossed the line between playing hard, and playing recklessly with intent to injure. In the above mentioned incidents his opponents were both in vulnerable positions and Lawes intended to inflict injury upon both of them. It's quite fortunate that neither of the Argentines were injured more severely. I think his actions warrant his RWC to be over as well. On rugby's biggest stage the last thing the game needs is fools like him taking people out of the competition and potentially worse...

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softly softly September 12, 2011 5:15 pm

If Lawes gets banned for the Ledesma 'incident' rugby has gone soft. Lawes game is a hard game, but a pretty much clean one, he's certainly no Bakkies Botha. Looking at the video & slow mo's of it, he pulls out of hitting him with his shoulder but catches him with his legs/groin as he goes over him. I also think Ledesma makes the most of it. The hit on Tiesi was legal. I'm pretty sure Bryce Lawrence would have blown his whistle (for the 57,000th time) if he thought otherwise!

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scrum fan September 12, 2011 5:26 pm

He should ask for the same judiciary that looked at Quade Cooper's footage!

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Hugh MadBrough September 12, 2011 5:37 pm

It was a hard hit to be fair, but I reckon Ledesma was milking it as well. The guy was on the ground for a full minute or two, which could put some footballers to shame.

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Colombes September 12, 2011 5:53 pm

to the 2 comments above,

how can u dare to say that Ledesema milked it or that the tackle on tiesi was legal?
I would like to watch your reaction taking the knee or any part of Lawes on your face ;)
Rugby is a hard game but with rules in order to avoid serious injuries. Ask to Tiesi

I don't think Lawes was malicious on both cases. He has a physical and brutal defence but sometimes quite dangerous.
On Tiesi tackle, the technique is perfect and lethal, but he was shortly late. unfortunately, it happens often
On Ledesma, it's completly unnecessary. I think a short 2-3 weeks ban would be enough to learn him to limit the late tackles and to fall on his opponents face with his knees

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Frenchie September 12, 2011 7:24 pm

On the injury list that clip forgot Skrela...which is probably a blessing for the French team! I'm sure Lievremont can find a better replacement to fly over to NZ.

Lawes hopefully will get a ban.

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BuzzKillington September 12, 2011 9:52 pm

The tackle on Tiesi was definitely fine, nothing at all wrong with it. Committed himself to the tackle, wrapped and hit him below the shoulders. It was marginal, but so what?

The Ledesma incident was a bit more nasty, but I think Lawes is victim to himself there. He's a big oaf of a man and clumsily collects Ledesma with his knees, I don't think it was intentional, but he might have a case to answer for recklessness.

If I can be blatantly honest for just a moment though, I don't think either of those incidents on their lonesome would merit much of a discussion. But because he was involved in 2 borderline insults he'll probably see a week or two. Rightly or wrongly.

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Frenchie September 13, 2011 2:12 am

It was definitively an intentional act from Lawes, no doubt!

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Dave September 13, 2011 8:45 am

Lawes generally lives on the edge of being hard player, and quite often strays over into the realms of being a bit of a thug. A bit too often for my liking. There was no need to go in there at all, he didn't lead with his arms, he led with his knees and dropped them into the players head. Unnecessary, dangerous and deliberate, in my view.

So well done on citing him, but a terrible decision. A two match ban for that? Rules him out of the games against Romania and Georgia. So basically, he might as well not have been banned at all, they're gimme-games to the England side, no disrepect to Georgia or Romania. Should've been at least a 3 match ban, possibly more.

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Tim September 13, 2011 9:23 am

So how can it be reduced to 2 weeks for remorse when he pleaded not guilty??

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ropeycentre September 13, 2011 11:27 am

The Lawes citing was spot on- as is the outcome.
He gets it reduced for remorse for saying I did not deliberately knee Ledesma and I don't think I was reckless just trying hard to get across and make sure he did not score but I am very sorry for KO'ing the guy.

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stroudos September 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Softly softly and Hugh MadBrough - OK I haven't seen it since the game itself, but if my recollection is correct, I'm pretty sure Ledesma was actually unconscious for at least part of the time that you claim he was "milking it"/"making the most of it". I think you can allow a player a bit of leeway in how long it takes him to get back up after he's been knocked the **** out, don't you?

I agree with ropeycentre and in fact two weeks was exactly what I predicted. Personally I think this was a bit of a cheap shot, but his thought process would have been "I don't really care if I clatter him while stopping the try", as opposed to "right, I'm going to clatter this bar steward". Also, he has a distinct lack of previous for foul play. He's usually a clean, but abrasive and physical, player and that good record has obviously been taken into account.

There's a rumour England may even appeal the two-week sentence, but I sincerely hope they don't. I think it's a fair verdict and Lawes & England should take the medicine.

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Hugh MadBrough September 13, 2011 1:33 pm

Knocked the fuck out, or pretending to be knocked the fuck out? You decide, because iv already made my mind up. He was obviously just trying to buy time and allowing Argentina to regroup by stopping the clock. I agree it looked nasty, but it wasn't that nasty.

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blunder September 13, 2011 12:42 pm

I feel that Lawes has been treated more than a bit harshly as its a physical game and mistakes happen, Lawes did say that he's not guilty of doing it with deliberate intent and is by no means the most malicious player on the pitch. I would like to know if there's ever going to be action taken against the Argentinian player, who eye gouged James Haskell at the end of the game. That to me is infinitely more dangerous that the above incident! And, if nothing is done about such a serious incident, I'd be curious as to why as it was a very spiteful and cowardly move to make.

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stroudos September 13, 2011 2:52 pm

Mr MadBrough, RD's kindly posted the video - I'll reply over there.

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