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Monday, October 03, 2011

Delon Armitage suspended for dangerous tackle on Chris Paterson

There's been another suspension in the World Cup, the second for England, as winger Delon Armitage has been banned for one game following a high tackle he made during their win over Scotland on the weekend.

Armitage was suspended for one week following an Auckland disciplinary hearing that was chaired by independant judicial officer Bruce Squire. Armitage pleaded guilty to the charge of a dangerous high tackle. The offence was deemed to be on the lower end, which is usually a two week sanction, but the potential ban was halved after taking mitigating circumstances into account.

Chris Paterson was the one on the receiving end of the tackle which in real time looked fairly innocuous. The vetaran Scotsman was left prone on the floor for a while though, and the replay showed that he felt the force of Armitage's right shoulder.

Neither the referee or his assitants saw the incident. If they had, do you think it would it have been a penalty, yellow, or red card offence?

The England wing will miss their quarter final meeting against rivals France next Saturday, but will be available again if they make it through to the semi finals. Mark Cueto will be his replacement.

Armitage has 48 hours to appeal the ruling.

Posted at 11:35 am | 77 comments

Posted in Rugby World Cup 2011

Viewing 77 comments

nathan October 03, 2011 12:32 pm

I'd say a fair call. Don't think there was any malice in it, just clumsy.

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Citing Commissioner October 03, 2011 1:15 pm

You're a wally. It is not a fair call. It is a load of rubbish. Like you said, no malice - I wouldn't even go as far to say clumsy. I reckon if Paterson hadn't lied on the ground for a minute or two afterwards nobody would have even noticed. The reason the referee and linesman didn't see the incident is because there was nothing to see. I'm getting seriously peeved off with the way rugby is going at the moment, what is happening to our lovely game?

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Full Back October 03, 2011 1:26 pm

To be honest I think it was a fair call, if there is any doubt about the contact, well the photo above fairly proves it don't you think? Having watched it and taking into account Armitages increasing tendancy at cheap shots I can't but think that it was intentional.
What's happening our lovely game? This sort of crap that has been in our game for quite some time would go on my lists of "things we can improve on" not "great traditions to hang onto".
I swallowed my tongue from a similar cheap shot myself when I was about 17, kind of stuck with me so maybe I'm not too objective.

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stroudos October 03, 2011 2:59 pm

Full Back, you have my sympathy for that experience, but I believe it has clouded your view. You must have been very unlucky on that occasion because I see at least two similar incidents in almost every game I play.
Of course, it should definitely have been penalised, but that's all that was required.
By the way, I agree with you on Armitage's previous. Remember that incident where he slyly clubbed a bloke in the back of his head as they slid into touch? (Not sure who it was now, Abendanon maybe?) And he does have a general kind of air of the nasty cynical cheap-shot merchant about him. Nevertheless I think this is harsh.

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Full Back October 03, 2011 3:05 pm

Hey you may be right Stroudos, I generally agree with the comments I've seen you make. But I'm not sure frequent and legal are the same thing. Of course it's
happened loads of times and I haven't got anything more than a daze from it, but the point is if it was a case of him already being committed to the tackle then the tackle was high.
Maybe a week was harsh, but I think that's down to a bad linesman, if he'd been given a yellow then that would have been that....but then again England might have lost if they'd been a man down, so who's to say? A week ban is weak ban :D At least England get to keep 15men on the pitch....or do you think it was just a kick and a warning?

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stroudos October 03, 2011 4:33 pm

Yeah, Myler wasn't it. Cheers.

Full Back,
Well I have been arguing that I don't think a yellow was warranted. Penalty yes, but no card. I do think being a player down for the last 6-7 minutes could have made a huge difference.

Tell you what though, the more I watch it I think a moral yellow/suspension could be justified on grounds of punishing shit tackling technique.

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BuzzKillington October 03, 2011 4:30 pm

The picture proves nothing. Can take a picture like that almost every other tackle. If you've ever been tackled you'd know you get hit in the face half the time.

Paterson should be fined for bringing the game into disrepute. Nothing in the tackle.

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stroudos October 03, 2011 4:38 pm

Agree with the first paragraph, not so sure about the second - Paterson looked properly dazed, unlike that deceitful prick Brussow the other day.

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Full Back October 04, 2011 12:50 pm

A picture proves nothing does it? Shoulder in face, obvious impact, and if you're in any doubt there's a video to boot.
Been playing rugby for quite a while now and I can assure you you don't get a shoulder in the face half the time....then again I'm probably not as hard as you Buzz, certainly not from the keyboard anyway!
Paterson is an example of how the game should be played, what a ridiculous statement on your behalf, he's been on the circuit for over 12yrs now and you think he brings the game into disrepute? Come on!

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Impartial Witness October 03, 2011 6:21 pm

He tackled him in the face. That's a pretty serious infringement of the laws of rugby. Really surprised people are defending this, accident or no accident.

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Applestan October 06, 2011 4:28 pm

Are you kidding we are talking about Kermitt the Frog Armitage. He has been trying break palyers necks or injuring any key figure of the opposing team as if it is his job. He has really soured english rugby, and if they go anywhere in Rugby it is becuase of cheats like him. I hope the coward dies a horrible death.

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jenx October 03, 2011 12:36 pm

looks like a complete accident to me - didn't exactly go in with the shoulder. Week ban a bit harsh.

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Ben! October 03, 2011 12:38 pm

I'd have just called it a high tackle but, considering there was a lot of pressure on Delon, it's understandable (and without intent). I suppose the IRB has to iron this sort of stuff out regardless.

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Badabing October 03, 2011 12:40 pm

I think we can all say that we have seen much much worse, and the player simply gets a Yellow card.
Decisions made need to be fair and constant across the board.
Looking at the photo above, it does look quite dangerous as there is impact on the neck.

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Dan at the Corner October 03, 2011 12:51 pm

This is the problem with the arbitrary citing process, it seems just because there is an officer present they cite everything. Had this been seen on the pitch it would have been a yellow card AT THE MOST. Maybe even just a penalty because when he passes Armitage is committed to the tackle.

There are no swinging arms, no shoulder charge, and he wraps the arms so at worst armitage is guilty of a bad body position. It should be made clear how the offence escalates from 10 minutes in the bin to a 1 match ban purely because the referee didn't see it or didn't deem it necessary of a penalty.

Citing should be for extreme instances of foul play such as stamping, punching, headbutting, gouging, malicious tackles etc. NOT for stuff like this.

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Malcolm Bradbrook October 03, 2011 12:55 pm

Can't argue with that clumsy tackle, lucky not to do more damage. One week feels like a let off in compared to some dished out.

Which ever way the IRB takes discipline they really need to get to grips with consistency.

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Colombes October 03, 2011 12:56 pm

1 match ban seems ok for me, he caught paterson with his shoulder, so could have been dangerous.
but please don't say it was harsh or innocuous, armitage pleaded guilty...

In comparison, Estebanez took 3 weeks for a supposed cathedral tackle, and Hufanga 5 weeks for the same action!
seems that the scale of IRB sanctions is still very variable from a nation to another

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nathan October 03, 2011 7:04 pm

Pleading guilty means nothing, You plead on whichever's going to get you the least punishment.

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stroudos October 03, 2011 1:02 pm

To me, this looks like one of those tackles where you realise you're going to hit him late, pull out at the last minute but momentum takes you and you bump the bloke anyway and probably with a worse effect than if you'd just lined him up and nailed him. Probably one of about a dozen very similar incidents over the course of the weekend, but stood out because of the impact on Paterson.

I'd be interested to see what percentage of England's tackles v Scotland were made by Manu Tuilagi. It's almost embarrassing how important he has so quickly become to England! So glad he's there though.

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moddeur October 03, 2011 1:03 pm

Does look a bit bad, but do we have to suspend Armitage or any other player for stuff like that? Aren't penalties (or eventually cards) enough already? When I look at the Hufanga and Estebanez tackles, getting each 5 and 3 weeks, I feel even sadder. The IRB should be dishing out suspensions to some of its referees instead.

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stroudos October 03, 2011 2:43 pm

Hufanga got five weeks!?!?!?!? What the fuck is going on??? That was an absolutely perfect tackle. Hard and aggressive, but had complete control of the player landing him directly on his back.

Estebanez maybe has more of case to answer because his hands up gesture (trying to protest his innocence) instantly demonstrated that he had no control over the player, after lifting his legs into the air. But Bonnaire did bring the tackled player safely to ground so it's kind of a moot point.

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Rich_W October 03, 2011 1:03 pm

I cant believe this warrants a 1 match ban, if every instance like this resulted in a match ban there would be no-one left playing. I think it's a penalty at the most, they both run into each other stood upright, no swinging arm, no clothesline. Ridiculous.

p.s. Colombes. The only reason Armitage pleaded guilty was because it is the only way to reduce the sanction from its supposed minimum of 2 weeks.

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Kiwi in Aus October 03, 2011 1:20 pm

The problem here is not the tackle or where it hit Paterson but that all parties on the field missed it, this is something the Assistant referees are meant to pick up. As they didn't the citing commissioner stepped in as they should.

In rugby these days player safety is paramount. Make a legal tackle or attempted tackle no problem, make a poor attempt and suffer the consequences of your actions.

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charliebah October 03, 2011 1:23 pm

The guilty plea reduces the penalty, it's the low-risk option whether you're actually guilty or not

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flyingpepper October 03, 2011 1:28 pm

The problem is we are all watching something that happen at pace in slow motion. you cant fairly make a decision when looking back on it at this speed. Of course it looks bad, when i saw it during the game I thought nothing in it bad timing and a good offload. but in slow motion it looks like a ban.

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Zakalwe October 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Commentator got it right, no intent/malice. Paterson's head ws a bit low when making the pass and Armitage is a tall lad. If a high tackle like that constitutes a ban, then so be it. Cueto can come in and do a job for us

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Big Cat October 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Come on, it is a high tackle, intentional or not it is dangerous. Look at the hit on his neck. You brits are quite subjective. It is a high tackle, it is dangerous and he did damage to the player. It should have been at least a yellow and maybe a change on the result of the game.

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Owen October 03, 2011 2:03 pm

Typical English cowardly tactics. Off the ball, high and full of malice and intent same as Lawes in the first game. Should have got a Red.

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AndrewG October 03, 2011 2:11 pm

Whether the tackle was made with intent or not is immaterial. It was high, leading with the shoulder. It was therefore dangerous and deserved a suspension. What gets me is why are the minimum sentences always lessened? It is called MINIMUM for a reason, the suspension should not be less than that level for the offence that was committed. If there were mitigating circumstances then the ban should be set at the minimum level, if not then it should feature somewhere between the min and max levels.

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BuzzKillington October 03, 2011 4:34 pm

You lead with the shoulder in every tackle, how else are you supposed to stop someone?

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GG October 04, 2011 6:19 pm

not at their face you don't!! the tackle was high and intentional - end of of!

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nathan October 03, 2011 7:07 pm

Wondering where you hell you picked up your technique for tackling, i'd probably look elsewhere as i bet your look a right plonker!

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stroudos October 03, 2011 2:52 pm

Here's what I think should have been penalised heavily over the past few days:

- Heinrich Brussow - minimum four-week ban for "simulation" to use the football vernacular, which is appropriate since that is where that sort of cheating belongs.

- Jacque Fourie - minimum two-week ban for waving imaginary cards at the ref in the same incident - bugger off and play football if you want to get involved in that sort of crap.

To clarify, I'm not being anti-South Africa! They're just two very clear, current examples. But if this sort of bullshit is not stamped out immediately it will slowly poison the game. Respect for the officials is one of the most precious things about rugby; football-style conning of the ref must not be allowed to creep into the game.

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Full Back October 06, 2011 8:34 pm

Just watched the Brussow incident, what a prick, hope he gets his in the rucks come S15 time!

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Cineseb October 03, 2011 3:07 pm

Please some explanations here:
- Courtney Lawes against Argentina: the argentinan being hit had his tournament over, it was clearly done on purpose. Results: no card, 2 weeks suspension.
- High Tackle, dangerous, by Armitage, against Scotland. Paterson clearly hit, on the ground. Result: no card, 1 week suspension
- "Spear" tackle by Hufanga against France, not so dangerous as the player is not injured. Results: yellow card, 5 weeks suspension
- Same "spear" tackle by Estebanez against Tonga, not so dangerous as the player is not injured. Results: yellow card, 3 weeks suspension

I can admit that any of these decisions, taken independently, would be acceptable. Clearly. But please, bring some consistency in here!!! Why so unfair? What are they doing to avoid being suspended during long time as the others?

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Malcolm Bradbrook October 03, 2011 5:04 pm

I agree about inconsistency.

However regarding Lawes. Ledesma was not out of the tournament. He was not even out of the game as he responded to treatment and played on. Lawes was cited for reckless play. It was not his knee that collided with and dazed Ledesma, it was Wigglesworth's head half a second before.

I feel that Armitage has been lucky but even more lucky are the ones that escape any citing such as Cory Jane taking out the French player in the air and tipping him onto his shoulders/neck area. I also don't think that Ghiraldini has been cited yet for the eye contact with Healy which is even more worryingly inconsistent.

However, you'll find that spears are being cracked down on hugely so any tackle in which the player is tipped is likely to lead to suspension as Banahan discovered against the Austrailan Barbarians (http://www.rugbydump.com/2010/07/1522/matt-banahans-tip-tackle-on-berrick-barnes)

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Cineseb October 04, 2011 11:13 am

Just a precision: Ledesma was not out of the Tournament. But Gonzalo Tiesi, outside centre, was: http://dai.ly/nY1Jb2 after this dangerous late tackle, by the same Courtney Lawes.

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Malcolm Bradbrook October 04, 2011 1:16 pm

OK but that was not the 'offence' he was cited for. It was not deemed to be a citing. Looks bad in slow mo but interesting to note that none of the Argentinians put their arms up when it happened (which modern players now invariably do if they want the ref to notice something.)

It looked bad but you can see he commits to the tackle before it is kicked. What would the reaction have been if it had been a dummy and Tiesi had got away?

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nathan October 03, 2011 7:09 pm

since when has injury caused been a mitigating factor for length of ban?

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medicaluke October 03, 2011 4:28 pm

If this had been dealt with at the time (I think its definitely a penalty, but not a yellow) then nothing more would have happened...Paterson has stooped low and its just unfortunate. I do find it bizarre that because the referee didn't deal with it on the pitch it becomes an 80 minute suspension. Are they saying that a challenge like that is a red card?
And yes if it happened to me in a game, i'd like to see a penalty given, but wouldn't like to see the man carded.

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Colombes October 03, 2011 4:42 pm

i clearly join Cineseb on that point
there is an historic problem in IRB, with unconsistent sanctions from nations to anothers
There's no plot, but the problem is these IRB "independent" courts should harmonize their sanctions between each others or it will lead to more suspicions.
The same debate occured with eye-gouging sanctions 2 years ago

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stroudos October 03, 2011 4:55 pm

Honestly, I think it's because England pay a highly-qualified lawyer a substantial amount of money to manage all disciplinary issues.

Having Judge Blackett in a prominent role in the international disciplinary environment probably helps, (I'm not questioning Blackett's integrity here, by the way).

I'm not sure what exactly England's legal people say or do that's so persuasive, (that's why they get paid shitloads of money after all), but I think the general formula is: immediately plead guilty, show remorse and point to your otherwise immaculate behavioural record, (if appropriate, which is clearly not the case for Armitage).

I suspect some of the French players who feel harshly punished, (and for the record I think the Dupuy and Attoub suspensions were fair), perhaps go into the hearings with an indignant attitude and a sense of outrage and injustice before the meeting's even started. All I'm saying here is that if they do take that approach it probably doesn't help.

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Colombes October 03, 2011 8:45 pm

completly agree. british players are systematically well briefed by their lawyers to plead guilty and express remorse (even if they don't have some). the bans are always reduced...
french always yelled to injustice (with reason or not). since the eye-gouge gate, french players and lawyers have changed of strategy, and bans tends to be less important, but still superior to british ones... but that's maybe blackett story ;)

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Ludwig October 03, 2011 6:25 pm

I am curious to see the head trauma studies on NRL players in a few years. There is no way one can be repeatedly hit like that without risking serious brain damage, no matter how tough you think you are. And the TV comments are particularly disgraceful.

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BuzzKillington October 03, 2011 7:54 pm

NRL has less concussions than Rugby. Most concussions come from textbook tackles, either putting your head on the wrong side of catching a knee or hip - not shoulder charges.

League is much safer than Rugby, surprisingly.

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moddeur October 03, 2011 8:49 pm

I'm not so surprised myself, as there are pseudo-scrums, no rucks and no mauls in League ... these phases are quite physical and would logically tend to make Union more dangerous.

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Full Back October 05, 2011 10:30 am

Ok so it's clear we have a difference of opinion on the subject and that's fine, each to his own, BUT, if you're going to say "textbook" which implies perfect technique, you can't follow it up with "either putting your head on the wrong side of catching a knee or hip", that doesn't make sense.
In Rugby union shoulder charges aren't allowed, so logic would dictate that it won't be the main cause of injury. Rucks are the main cause as far as I'm aware.
We had a "smart rugby" coaching session with some NZ coaches about a year back after a team mate was paralysed from the neck down. Bad technique as opposed to "textbook" is the main cause of injury in Rugby today. Winning collisions as a priority on rucks is a close second.(..according to the guys who came to our club at least)

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BuzzKillington October 03, 2011 8:15 pm

The commentary is also fantastic. I suppose you think boxing and MMA commentators are disgraceful too? Harden up mate.

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Ludwig October 03, 2011 8:56 pm

Typical ignorant response. I guess the IRB, NRL and AFL are currently strengthening their concussion standards out of boredom then. Fact is, most players are unaware of the risks of concussion or believe falsely that they can be offset by harder training or a tougher mental attitude.

I like rugby and other contact sports like any other guy, but one has to be aware of its dark side (see article here : http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/nrls-concussion-hand-grenade/story-fn6e0tx4-1226039856596 ) and denounce the irresponsibility of complacent media.

Studies show that more than protective gear, education of proper tackling and the enforcement of rules destined to protect the players are the best solution to reduce risks.

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Tavish October 04, 2011 12:16 am

If you think that those clips from the NRL are a good example of how to tackle than you're sorely mistaken.

They are shoulder charges, not tackles. There is no attempt to go for the ball or actually tackle the player properly. Might as well have flung a wrecking-ball at them.

Yes, you lead with the shoulder into the tackle - but not into their head or neck!

Unless you're a cheap-shot merchant - a la Delon Armitage who's really starting to rack up a list of cheap offences (anyone know why he pushed the doping official??).

I know two dudes from Melbourne and Victoria who, while playing RugbyLeague, are now both partially disabled because of great lumps flying in with nothing but a "big hit" in mind. On both occasions the "tackles" were mis-timed and injuries occurred. No rugby for those lads again.

We all love the big hits but get some perspective for crying out loud.

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BuzzKillington October 04, 2011 8:27 pm

Here's some perspective - Rucks, Scrums and "proper" Rugby tackling are more dangerous than shoulder charges.

If your only argument against shoulder charges is that they're not "proper" then you don't have much of an argument.

But typical of the one-eyed Ruggers to drink the Kool Aid. The physical and dangerous areas of Rugby are worth of marvel and a crucial and great part of the game. Something we boast about to other sports, with a ton of self-congratulatory arse slapping and 'Aren't-we-tough' rhetoric. But the tough stuff in other sports is just aimless thuggery. That's basically the argument, isn't it?

The fact is, Ludwig, if you really cared about concussions you would support a new IRB to outlaw ANY tackling below the waist. But you don't really care about concussions of player safety, you just want an excuse to put down a fantastic asset of another sport - The shoulder charge.

Rucks, Scrums and below the belt tackling are all more dangerous than shoulder charges, but I don't hear you condemning those and calling out people for supporting them. Why not?

As I say, it's no wonder the NRL final out rated the RWC games. The first 5 minutes of the NRL final had more big hits than the entire 40 games of the RWC so far, without exaggeration. I've yet to meet a non-Rugby fan who thinks the Rugby rules on tackling are superior to Leagues.

Can't wait till the NH influence on Rugby dies. You toffs are destroying the sport with your toffery and resistance to logical change. Yes We Can get shoulder charges into the sport of Rugby.

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Tavish October 05, 2011 7:45 pm

@Perspective; My point was that shoulder charges to the head/neck are very dangerous, and should not be condoned in any way. Mentioning other forms of injury is simply side-stepping that argument.

I wasn't talking about rucks nor scrums that of course can indeed be dangerous when players get careless with their power and/or technique, but they are an integral part of Rugby Union.
Shoulder charges, however, are not. As there is no logical reason why they should be.

Stick to League if you're going to moan about Union like it's played wrong. And no-one outside of Aus even noticed the NLR final, so how you can compare that to the World Cup is beyond me.

How many non-rugby fans did you meet who actually know the difference between League and Union? Let alone the tacking rules? Isn't there a simple reason why they are "non-rugby" fans?

"Can't wait till the NH influence on Rugby dies. You toffs are destroying the sport with your toffery and resistance to logical change."

I'm from Adelaide, and i think you're full of hot air.

Here are couple of tackle that are HUGE yet perfectly legal. No need for shoulder charges when critical technique is involved :D http://www.rugbydump.com/2008/01/318/maa-nonu-absolutely-slaughters-ben-blair
http://www.rugbydump.com/2011/06/2002/tom-marshalls-big-try-saving-hit-on-aaron-cruden

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Andyboy October 03, 2011 10:11 pm

That's just thuggery. For those so-called "tackles" to be applauded shows the mentality of Australian League.

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stroudos October 04, 2011 11:27 am

Sorry Buzz, but these clips just leaves me with a kind of empty feeling.

Not impressive at all. It's just a case of some meathead standing in someone's way. I realise we're just supposed to be amazed by the sheer physicality and brute force, but the fact that there's just no skill involved just leaves me cold. Anyone, if they're thick enough, can just stand in someone's way, clothesline or shoulder-barge them.
Also, with the exception of the "kamikaze" one (which is just fucking stupid), they're almost invariably big bullying bastards blocking smaller runners. Compare that with the way Jonny Wilkinson used to take down big forwards or, for a more current example, Conrad Smith wrapping Harinordoquy's legs up and marching him back ten metres the other day.

A well-executed union tackle is so much more enjoyable to watch than this simple-minded thuggery.

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BuzzKillington October 04, 2011 8:45 pm

Simon Dwyer is physically inferior to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, and levelled JWH who was one of the most dominant and agressive young bulls in the game; Brian Norrie is much bigger than Timana Tahu; Lama Tasi is a rookie and Greg Bird is one of the biggest criminals and thugs in the game; The second Tahu hit was again on a bigger man. Fraser Anderson was 6'3 and around the 105kg mark; Hodkinson is smaller than Michaels. Hodkinson is only a halfback; Pritchard and Graham weigh the same, with Frank having about 3cm on Graham. The only mismatch was Hayne on Lockyer, but what are you going to do... Not smash somebody?

Clearly you haven't played or watched much Rugby League if you think it's just the case of standing in somebodies way and using your size against them. Hitting someone with a shoulder or chest like that is every bit as difficult as hitting someone with a textbook tackle, maybe more so. Putting a strong textbook tackle on in Rugby is rather easy as most ball carriers don't even run hard. The problem is the shots are never that big because the wrapping rule discourages any sort of decent physicality.

To imply League hits are just big guys bullying small men is dishonest. Some of the most consistent big hitters in League are small men who play in the backs - Matai, Yow Yeh, Sandow etc. Mostly non-whites, probably the reason Rugby still has its archaic ban on shoulder charges, don't want to give the "South Sea Islanders" and black folks a physical advantage, we've son what happens in sports like football and league that embrace athleticism. The IRB wouldn't want that.

Well executed Union tackles are, ironically, much rarer in Union than they are League. Big textbook tackles happen all the time in League. They rarely ever happen in Rugby because there's no 10m rule.

Wilkinson is also a massive Rugby League fan. Not hard to guess why, is much more skillful and athletic than the thuggery and brutish nature of Rugby

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stroudos October 04, 2011 10:30 pm

BuzzKillington - your alias has suddenly become quite apt with this post...

Anyway, fair enough on the size ratio point. My mistake it seems.

On this point: Clearly you haven't played or watched much Rugby League... - No, I haven't and I make no apology for that, especially not while I'm commenting on a rugby site predominantly focused on union. I find league unbelievably dull and lacking in skill, creativity or enterprise. (I must caveat this by saying the majority of rugby league I've seen is the dreary shit played in the north of England; what I've seen of NRL and international matches has been a bit more entertaining).

Hitting someone with a shoulder or chest like that is every bit as difficult as hitting someone with a textbook tackle, maybe more so.
Seriously?!? Don't believe that for a second mate.

Your union racism accusation seems bizarre and contemptible at first, but you might even have a point, when you consider how union refs clamp down on Islanders' tackles, eg Huvanga the other day.

Big textbook tackles happen all the time in League. Would you describe the league tackles you linked to above as "textbook"? To me, they're just stupid.

I'm sure Wilkinson is a league fan. Martin Johnson's a massive NFL fan. Ben Foden plays a lot of FIFA on the playstation. So what, they all play(ed) rugby union for a living, so your last point is redundant.

Anyway, I've enjoyed most of your other posts, so we may just have to agree to differ on this one.

On another note, do you know why WS Gilbert was frequently drunk on his trans-Atlantic crossings.....

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Full Back October 05, 2011 10:45 am

"They rarely ever happen in Rugby because there's no 10m rule"...to coin a phrase I've read quite a bit lately- Clearly you've never played rugby union...but maybe you did and just weren't aware of the rules.

On kick off, there's a 10m rule, from a free kick there's a 10m rule, from the lineout there's a 10m rule from the scrum there's a 10m rule. In open play and from rucks there is no 10m rule for clearly obvious reasons.

"Putting a strong textbook tackle on in Rugby is rather easy as most ball carriers don't even run hard"...this is just a ridiculous statement on so many levels.
Carriers run hard, not only have you seemingly not played, it seems you haven't watched much either.
In anycase, getting down low, keeping you back straight, judging the possible side-step, getting your head on the right side and timing it right so you advance in the impact by pushing off your legs takes quite a bit of skill to do properly or perfectly as "textbook" would imply. Either you've never quite managed it or tried it, or worse still you're just trying to provoke with your posts, if you really think it's "rather easy". (would love to see how you might avoid being bounced off by Sean O'Brien or Pocock "rather easily")
It's clear you're not a fan of union, you even seem to have some disdain for it, why are you here? Why bother watching a game you get little enjoyment from? Sorry mate but I really don't get it.

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zacaria October 04, 2011 11:59 am

what planet are you on mate how in any way is this good,
not one of those hit anything but the head, and every player was suffering from a head injury after no matter how severe, and just because a player can keep going is irrelevant as a brain has the ability for a lot more than to run around into someone else.
And sports that to aim to injure someone to win does not require skill in anyway just a lucky hit which is unfortunate for many mma fighters who are highly skilled and get KO by one lucky punch.
Big hits are part of the business but being able to take someone's head off is not so special or tackle properly in the first place (Anthony fainga rwc 2011 Ireland).

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Johnny03 October 03, 2011 5:54 pm

personally i think this is as bad as xavier rush's tackle on courtney lawes in the heineken cup last season and rush got a straight red, and armitage has previous so one match ban is more than fair

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nathan October 03, 2011 7:14 pm

are you serious?

Rush nearly took Lawes head off (who's loads taller than him). I'm not sure there even in the same league!!!!

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Johnny03 October 04, 2011 12:28 pm

he nearly took his head because lawes was practically on one knee when he made contact which is why rush only got a one week ban, in this case armitage went in high with his shoulder and no arms, he is very lucky with his previous record not to be punished even more, not that it matters to much though, england wont get past France

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Demp October 03, 2011 5:57 pm

no one seems to be mentioning delon armitage's disciplinary record, pretty horrendous, and mostly ridiculous foul play, the chap's a scumbag, as well as the fact that i don't think i've ever seen him make a tackle with decent technique, he's a shocking tackler, almost always hits people high, the amount of time he's been cited recently they should start giving him whopper 6 month bans til he cops on

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higgy October 03, 2011 6:42 pm

Armitages tackle was high and dangerous, regardless of intent , At our club the referees have been informed high tackles like this are in the first instance a Red card unless they can justify giving it a yellow .
If this had been seen at the time and dealt with in the manner our refs have been told to deal with them, then you could say that England were lucky that it was missed and they had 15 men on the pitch for what proved to be the decisive time in the outcome of the game. England are still in the competition but the result could have been very different and it may have been England going home.

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thegoodshtuff October 03, 2011 7:37 pm

I honestly don't know how anyone can defend Armitage in this case.
It was a dangerously high tackle. Intentional or not, that is a fact.
The referee did not see it, meaning that the only way for it to be brought to attention and dealt with is through citing.
A one match ban is no worse (if not better) than recieving a yellow card, because at least you can keep all 15 men on the pitch.
This is all before you even take into account Armitage's horrible record.

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Dan at the Corner October 03, 2011 8:17 pm

The thing that gets me is that an incident that would be 10 minutes in the bin and a pen at most on the pitch suddenly becomes a 1 or 2 game ban because of the incompetence of the officials. It's just not right.

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AK-NZ October 04, 2011 1:14 am

That's exactly what gets me too. It makes absolutely no sense that a player should be banned for an entire game for a slightly high tackle that was missed by the officials. I personally don't like Armitage and his tackle is average to say the least, but this is a bit overboard in terms of punishment. What would most likely have only been a penalty had the ref actually seen it, becomes a punishment far in excess of the crime.

My view like someone else said earlier, is that citings and bans should be handed out in situations where there is very clear evidence of intentional dangerous or foul play. Spear tackles, eye gouging, punching or kneeing, that sort of thing. High tackles happen. I obviously don't condone them, but they still happen and more often than not, they are unintentional and accidental. That sort of thing should be dealt with on the pitch. If it is missed by the refs, well I guess thats just hard luck. You don't always get decisions go in your favour, it's often the nature of the game.

And if that isn't enough, rather than waste everyone's time with these sorts of trivial citings, why not get the TMO involved for onfield indescretions in situations where the ref may have missed something? He has all the video available to him while the match is still being played, and more often than not is in a better position to adjudicate on instances of foul play than the refs on the pitch. He could review evidence and make a decision that wouldn't need to be made post-match when everything is done and dusted. It seems to me that would be a more logical way of dealing with these sorts of incidents. The TMO is far too powerless in my opinion.

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Andyboy October 03, 2011 10:00 pm

High tackles seem to becoming more prevalent as tacklers aim to wrap up the man and ball. There might not be malicious intent in this but, at the pace the modern game is played, the potential for injury is great.

Anyone else think that more forward passes are going unpunished in this RWC? IMO referees have been asked to let the game flow.

That said, I've really enjoyed the tournament so far. Can anybody stop the Blacks on their home turf? I do hope so.

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Rob October 04, 2011 2:56 am

Have a look at what's going on in ice hockey with regard to hits around the head area. Rugby needs to be harsh on this too. Concussions are a serious issue for the long term health of the players, and in this case, Armitage made no attempt to go low or pull out of the hit or if there was no time - as I have done in games - simply 'hug' the guy to slow yourself down. Only takes one such 'clumsy' challenge to f-up someone's life by ringing their bells too hard or for the last time after a few too many.

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couchrugby October 04, 2011 9:43 am

it is a body check with open hand to the face... dangerous yellow card on the day... missed by ref so 1 match ban... fair enough...

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Crash12 October 04, 2011 1:01 pm

here it is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CrND1GQc2w

he's got form as wind up and cheap shot merchant - always looking for the late hit. he's not good enough to execute them most of the time.

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Ali October 06, 2011 1:13 pm

Clear penalty at least... if you look at the video clearly you can see he moves in again and goes right around his neck.. high tackle no defending it...

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Applestan October 06, 2011 4:23 pm

Kermitt the Frog look alike high tackled some one?! really, Its no surpise. English rugby needs to stop drafting jack the ripper types.

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Andyboy October 07, 2011 8:22 pm

Not really surprising the more "physical" players are favoured - just look at what sort of player Johnson was.

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