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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bradley Davies & Stephen Ferris controversial tackles discussed

Wales lock Bradley Davies and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris have been cited following their yellow cards in the classic match between the two sides on Saturday. Here's another look at the incidents, as well as an interesting post-match discussion.

Davies and Ferris will face a discplinary hearing in London tomorrow, with Davies most likely to face further punishment, and Ferris possibly just going along as part of the process.

In the case of Welsh lock Davies, his tip-tackle, or spear as some are calling it, was by all accounts malicious, and deserving of a straight red card. Wales coach Warren Gatland concurred,and you can view a snippet from his post match interview in the video below.

Both Davies and Ferris could face suspensions as the IRB aim to stamp out these type of lifting tackles, however Ireland team manager Michael Kearney believes his man is innocent. He says that Ferris has played for his country 31 times and never received a yellow card, and for Ulster has never been on the wrong side of the law.

After the game BBC's pundits had an interesting discussion about both incidents, and brought up a few talking points that could make for good debate:

Sam Warburton tackle - There's an obvious comparison between the Davies tackle and the Warburton sending off in the RWC. Keith Wood says there was maliciousness in Davies' tip-tackle, not Warburton's, but later says that intent shouldn't come into the equation.

Warren Gatland - it was good to see a coach take responsibility for one of his player's actions, rather than just brush it under the carpet and defend him, as we've seen far too often in the past.

Rugby League - Jonathan Davies makes the point that in Rugby League, where the tackle laws are far more lenient, there aren't frequent issues. He also says rugby union is becoming soft.

Different laws - Davies also brings up the point that laws should be different at Club/Test level as schoolboys don't have the explosive power that full time professionals do.

Respect the whistle - It's easy to sit back and rip into the officials. Keith Wood makes the point that we need to remember the values taught as youngters though, and once a decision is made, we should respect it.

In this area of the game particularly, the instructions are coming from above and most of the time the referee's are simply following orders. Unfortunately Dave Pearson's decription of the tip-tackle, and the lenient showing of a yellow card by Wayne Barnes, has confused the issue completely.

Both incidents and the discussion are included below. As always, it's great to hear your feedback on these topics, so if you're not Registered already, do so now and leave a comment below.

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