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Drill: Fji's Favourite Warmup Game

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Marcos Ayerza plays for both teams

James Schrader's sensational try saver

Alesana Tuilagi crunches big winger!

Sensational Stepper Nehe Milner-Skudder

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dominiko Waqaniburotu suspension upheld for tackle on Pat Lambie

Fijian Dominiko Waqaniburotu had an appeal against a three match ban dismissed earlier this week following his suspension for a dangerous tackle against South Africa. His World Cup is effectively over. This is the tackle if you haven't seen it yet.

As with another of the dangerous tackle that was cited in the tournament, Todd Clever's, this incident happened late in the game. Waqaniburotu dumped young Pat Lambie during Fiji's 49-3 loss to the Springboks in Wellington, and despite only being penalised at the time, was later found guilty of commiting a tip-tackle.

Waqaniburotu had initially admitted his guilt and had the suspension dropped from six weeks to just three. Earlier this week he appealed the decision, but an IRB judiciary maintained that it was a fair call. Unfortunately for the flanker and his team, the ban runs until October 10th, the day after the quarter finals, which Fiji won't be taking part in anyway.

Lambie, who was on the receiving end of it, didn't say whether he felt it was illegal or not, but did say that it felt like the biggest hit of the world cup so far.

"There were a few. I got late tackled on one occasion. I was relieved I didn’t have too many one-on-ones with those big Fijians, but I really enjoy tackling and I don’t have any issues with it," said Lambie, who is only 20 years old and still looks like a schoolboy.

"It doesn’t matter if he is my size, or 10 foot taller than me. There’s a lot of timing that’s involved in tackling and a lot of technique, getting your head on the right side when you tackle. To know when you can be dominant in the contact or when you just need to get the guy on the ground," he added. 

Lambie said before the match that he's not worried about the Fijians, and remembers that an old school coach once told him that all men have ankles roughly the same size, so go for them.

"When a six-foot-three player who weighs 112kg is running full pace at me, I’m not going to smash him backwards. The physics just don’t make any sense, so that’s when you need to be a little bit sensible, and go for the ankles and drop them to the floor," he said.

What do you think of the Waqaniburotu suspension, harsh, or spot on?


Posted by Rugbydump at 8:30 pm | View Comments (31)

Posted in Rugby World Cup, Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 31 comments

David September 27, 2011 9:49 pm

My life is horrendous.

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Guest September 27, 2011 9:53 pm

I think it is too harsh a punishment. As one of the commentators have said, there have been a few of those but none has been penalised like he has.

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guest September 27, 2011 10:05 pm

That's a terrible spear tackle and it was late. There is no defense for that. Imagine the uproar if Bakkies Botha had done that...?

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Full Back September 28, 2011 10:38 pm

Bakkies would have driven him into the ground, this guy let go.
Late yes, dangerous? Let's agree to disagree there

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Nico September 27, 2011 10:09 pm

Anybody else saw the mid air collision in the NZ vs France game? Where the all black and french player competed for the ball in the air. The french player won it and when the all black player realized this he wrapped his arms around the player. I would love to see a comparison of that and what happened in 2007 RSA vs Samoa. back then Schalk Burger got suspended two weeks for the same thing. Just wanted to see how they compare.

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Krang September 28, 2011 10:05 am

Yes, I saw that. The french player banged his head as a result.
It was definitely a mid-air tackle and dangerous play by the AB. It should have at least been a penalty.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 10:56 am

I agree. I couldn't believe the AB got away with that one. He couldn't help but collide with the player as they were challenging for the ball but then he deliberately wrapped his arms around the Frenchman in mid-air.

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Pipo September 28, 2011 1:55 pm

I remember that very clearly, it was early in the game, when France had pressure on ABs. Should definitely have been a penalty, even a yellow card for me. Refs have to get their act together... I guess it's a reflection of how the IRB works, favouring some teams (like Wales who got a much longer rest from game to game than Samoa). This has got to stop.

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BuzzKillington September 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Nothing in it, no wonder the Kiwis are more excited about the NRL final than this weekends round up of games. Disgraceful from the IRB, once more.

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moddeur September 27, 2011 10:39 pm

I agree with Buzz here, at most a yellow card (maybe even just a penalty), but certainly not a suspension.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 10:58 am

Agreed - It was a bit of a naughty tackle. Marginally late and the hint of a tip. Penalty, no yellow (slapped wrist) and no ban should have been the outcome.

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Juggernauter September 28, 2011 5:58 pm

I think this is just unbelievale inconsistency from the IRB and the Citin Comissioner once again...

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Jim Graham September 27, 2011 10:14 pm

Harsh punishment in my opinion, however it was late, it was dangerous and there have been a lot of instances in club and international rugby, so maybe a bit of making an example of someone.

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UHtiger September 27, 2011 10:27 pm

Corey Jane was trying to make sure that the French player didint land on his head. He had eyes for the ball only, the french player had jumped much higher and was gonna tip 180 onto his head. Jane grabbed him around the waist to stop that.

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Guest September 27, 2011 10:39 pm

Harsh punishment. Deserved a penalty for being late but he just tipped him back and dropped him. No real malice or risk of injury. Not half as dangerous as a spear or high tackle so length of ban is harsh.

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jimmybfg September 27, 2011 10:47 pm

Harsh, bloody harsh. Typical double standards of the refs in the world cup. Which I must say has been quite poor, especially that kiwi guy Brice whatshisname, nit fit to ref mini's

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Anton September 27, 2011 10:52 pm

A little bit harsh but it is late indeed (and the player clearly sees that the ball is far gone), it is also dangerous.
Knowing that a single game suspention would have had the same impact for the player (Fidji won't make it to the next round) I reckon the second and third games of suspention are to make an example out of the case, a warning.

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katman September 27, 2011 11:17 pm

It was late and he picked him up, tipped him over and dropped him head first. Everything the law says you cannot do. Of course it warrants a citing.

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jem September 27, 2011 11:40 pm

Spot on sorry.

The law is pretty clear on this.
His feet were lifted above his head, and he was not brought down safely = Suspension.

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Jim lesi September 28, 2011 5:01 am

c'mon p'pol everyone makes mistakes....itz r bit 2 harsh!!!

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Hendogo September 28, 2011 5:38 am

Very harsh. A little late, and kinda speary (not a word), but not a suspension. I think him being and islander might have something to do with it.

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jackson September 28, 2011 6:26 am

jesus that's harsh. i know the law but take into account precedence... i've seen worse hits been given lesser penalties. it's bad, don't get me wrong, but not three games bad during a world cup... c'mon IRB.

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beerholder September 28, 2011 6:30 am

Fair decision, but I hate that only the minnow teams get suspensions. We've all seen the high tackle on Beale in the AUS-IRE match or the air collision in the NZ-FRA game but these things go unnoticed.

It's a shame and it also creates the idea that if you're playing for a big team you might get away with it...

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Natural7 September 28, 2011 10:42 am

courtney lawes flaws you argument..

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medicaluke September 28, 2011 8:40 am

Dangerous Tackle, yes. Penalty, yes. Yellow card, possibly because of the tackle (which seemed more unfortunate but its still dangerous play) and the lateness of it. 3 matches, very harsh.

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JCB September 28, 2011 9:07 am

3 matches for that.....OTT!

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jem September 30, 2011 12:16 am

Just FYI, Jaque(sp?) Fourie received a 4week suspension for practically identical tackle(actually slightly safer than this one) in 2009.

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Dave Beal September 28, 2011 10:03 am

Only the minnow teams get suspensions? Courtney Lawes gets two games while Todd Clever gets nothing, hardly supports that statement. Taking this incident into account, Clever's was the worst offence and he's the only one not to get suspended.
The IRB's left hand doesn't know which butt-cheek the right is scratching.

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Unsuspecting September 28, 2011 3:27 pm

That is an annoying commentator. Sounds like he's asking a question every time he says a player's name.

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Tommy D October 18, 2011 10:59 am

If that was not a card, why was sam Warburton sent off against france for his tackle as it wasnt late and he didnd drop him on his head like that?? Shows the poor level of reffing in the RWC this year

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filth December 31, 2011 8:41 am

Rugby is a contact sport. That tackle deserved no suspension JUST A PENALTY! Wish the IRB would stop being sooks.

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