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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Russia's Valery Tsnobiladze suspended for headbutt on Sean O'Brien

Russian hooker Valery Tsnobiladze has been suspended for three weeks for a headbutt on Sean O'Brien during their 62-12 loss to Ireland on Sunday. It's the third suspension of the 2011 Rugby World Cup so far.

Tsonobiladze joins Courtney Lawes and Dominiko Waqaniburotu in the naughty corner, with Lawes the only one of the three who will be free to play again in the tournament.

The Russian hooker had denied any wrongdoing, but video evidence (more replays than were showed on the live broadcast) and testimonies from the player himself, as well as O'Brien, resulted in judicial officer Jeff Blackett handing down a suspension that rules him out until October 17th.

Blackett called the incident reckless but not deliberate, and O'Brien wasn't injured so Tsnobiladze's potential sanction was reduced by a week due to his good disciplinary record.

The video doesn't show much but you can see the hooker flying in with the head, which must have made contact with O'Brien on the floor, who got up looking rather agitated by what had happened.

Russia play Australia this weekend in their final game of the tournament, while Ireland meet Italy on Sunday in what will be a deciding match for the outcome of Pool C.

 

Posted at 9:56 am | 27 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Rugby World Cup 2011

Viewing 27 comments

johndoe September 28, 2011 11:54 am

RD, I was watching the broadcast live and this is exactly what they showed. There weren't any more angles. Why do they not show things like this? Really annoying. People want to see more than one replay angle.

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Rugbydump September 28, 2011 1:36 pm

That's what is said above - this is what was shown live. There are however plenty of other angles available (7 reportedly) that were provided for the judiciary hearing.

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johndoe September 28, 2011 4:32 pm

Oh right, misread that. Would have loved if they broadcast some of those angles.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 11:56 am

So that is a longer ban than Mealamu served for his blatant and undeniable assault on Lewis Moody? This is how conspiracy theories start.

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Tim September 28, 2011 1:53 pm

Malcolm Malcolm Malcom.

Mealamu got off because the first point of contact was his shoulder. Fact.

If Richie McCaw threw himself over the ball on the English side of the ruck like Moody did so blatantly to stop the ABs momentum as in that incident I'm sure you would complain about that too.

Conspiracy theories start because of people like you.

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BuzzKillington September 28, 2011 2:29 pm

LMAO Tim, how's your eyepatch serving you?

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Tim September 28, 2011 3:00 pm

Buzz, seriously, the ban downgraded on the basis that the first point of contact was with his shoulder.

Whether you believe the shoulder was or wasn't the first point of contact doesn't matter. He ban was reduced on that basis.

And Buzz, it's not trial by democracy, they don't have to release any thing to the public. Both sides have access to the evidence, that's all that counts.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 4:42 pm

Richie McCaw spends his life offside so would need a crash helmet if diving headbutts were legalised as a punishment!

Quite how you can see the clip of Mealamu smashing his forehead into the back of Moody's skull and justify it is beyond me but heigh ho.

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Tim September 28, 2011 5:08 pm

I was expecting something like that. Remind me, just where did I justify or try justifying it.

You mean head gear right?

If you actually looked at all the angles and took your eye patch off you would understand where the defense was coming from and how the ban was reduced below the level seen here for Tsnobiladze. Then you might get the point.

Perhaps a bridge too far though for some people.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 9:21 pm

"If Richie McCaw threw himself over the ball on the English side of the ruck like Moody did...." sounded like you were justifying to me. If you weren't then fair enough.

I've seen all the angles and cannot change my opinion that it was a brutal diving headbutt identical to Bakkies' assault on Jimmy Cowan. I also won't change my opinion that Hartley should have been cited for the forearm smash on McCaw in the same game. I want dangerous, violent foul play out of the game regardless of the country of the offender.

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Tim September 30, 2011 8:59 am

The point was to entertain the fact that Mealamu was originally given 4 weeks whilst this guy was given 3 weeks (right?), but Mealamu had his downgraded to 2 weeks on an appeal based, at least partly, on the first point of contact being with the shoulder.

Which, from at least one angle has some merit, whether you agree the final decision or not doesn't matter. It's more about acknowledging the fact.

The McCaw comment was more about some obvious bias.

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Conman September 28, 2011 2:14 pm

ehh not deliberate?? What?? How can you say that wasn't deliberate?? He stood there looking down weighing up the decision! Then went for it!

The only slight case you could make was that there wasn't conclusive proof of contact but I think O'Briens reaction is proof enough in this situation.

3 weeks is about right though.

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Huk123 September 28, 2011 2:16 pm

video not conclusive

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BuzzKillington September 28, 2011 2:30 pm

And you can't be suspended for that. How do we know the IRB have seven other angles, they could well just make stuff up if they wanted to suspend a player.

The IRB need to release the other angles or revoke the suspension.

I see nothing in this incident that warrants a penalty, let alone a suspension

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Full Back September 28, 2011 10:32 pm

Not saying you're wrong there Buzz, from this angle he stays on his feet and does nothing wrong.
But then that begs the question, what on earth would anyone gain from banning a Russian player who will have no further part in the RWC anyway?
On the basis that there's no reason to make this stuff up, I would have to go for the more likely option that there are more angles (the pitch is surrounded by cameras) and after a complaint they looked into it and saw some intent.
3weeks isn't exactly a life ban either, so lets not get too bothered about it.

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Tullowtank September 28, 2011 3:12 pm

Buzz...settle, you'll burst a blood vessel

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Mike September 28, 2011 4:27 pm

RD already said both sides have seen the other footage. Even from this clip you can see he's gone in with his head. It's disgusting because it's a cheap shot. The Russian could say he wanted to get the ball back but I was told if you want to rip a ball off someone, grab his little finger and the rest of the fingers will follow. What that Russian did was bring the game in to disrepute. I think I'd have more respect for the player if he punched him. A headbutt to me is as bad as spitting at someone. It's how scumbags act, not rugby players.

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Dotser September 28, 2011 4:46 pm

Courtney Lawes only one free to play again in the tournament.
A nonsense.
The thug had two incidents in same match and a reputation for foul play - Clear cut, should not be playing in Scottish game.

Big boost for England, cannot be denied double standards for larger nations.

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 28, 2011 5:10 pm

Whatever your opinion of the two 'incidents' in the Argentina game, it is unfair to say he has a rep for foul play. He spends almost no time in the bin and hasn't previously been cited.

I know there's a temptation to label players but Lawes is a just a hard player who will get it wrong sometimes. He's not a Bakkies (or a Johnson or a Hartley if you want an English equivalent)

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AdamK September 29, 2011 8:16 pm

Ah c'mon, everyone knows what Lawes is like. Lawes Lately is his nickname for Pete's Sake! :P

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Full Back September 28, 2011 10:34 pm

I don't think there was anything wrong with his tackle on Tiesi, the Argentine was just unlucky that he was off balance when taking the blow. If you pulled out of those tackle everytime you'd be buying dummies all day. He was commited when the ball was still in hand, nothing wrong there.
The Ledesma incident warrented a 2 match slap on the wrist, now lets get on with the games!

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themull September 29, 2011 12:11 am

I'm sure the hearing saw all other angles involved and I'm sure both teams involved did also...

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mendorugger September 29, 2011 7:07 am

piss poor call - worst things occur down there then that. bad angle though, ref saw it?

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jimip September 29, 2011 11:33 am

funny thing is how tony buckley so easily pulled o'brien back with one hand. such an animal. headbutts are an offense, and valery wasnt trying to ruck.

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Giorgi September 30, 2011 3:03 pm

At me such in impression that, the law a writing only for small teams same Russia Fidji Georgia Namibia and, the others. You didn't see such performed by the big teams?

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sergeblanco September 30, 2011 4:39 pm

Hahaha if you listen at about half way in you can hear his unbelievably squeeky voice "He's after headbuttin me!" It's so squeeky you wouldn't believe it's him!!!

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