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Catch up with Sam Warburton


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Two big hits from the Highlanders vs the Chiefs

Here is a very quick look at two big hits from the Highlanders vs Chiefs game, the same match that we featured earlier in the week with the Sonny Bill Williams scuffle.

You can view full highlights of the match here, and feel free to let us know below what you think of these tackles. The second hit, from Ben Tameifuna, was certainly a big impact, but it had the commentary team divided.

Posted at 2:00 pm | 27 comments

Highlanders vs Chiefs - Super Rugby Round 16

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in vs the Highlanders

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 27 comments

Joepie July 05, 2012 2:20 pm

Ouch! Looks like the prop came out second best though...

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Anon July 05, 2012 4:41 pm

Wait, where's the number on that big guy's back?

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Pretzel July 06, 2012 10:01 pm

Either a ripped shirt or he had blood on the shirt.. straight swap for a no number shirt...

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Juggernauter July 05, 2012 5:21 pm

First one is massive. Second one is a bit dubious, he clearly goes for the big hit but fails to put both his arms around the player so ends up being something of a clumsy shoulder charge, so I'd say penalty and no card whatsoever, as there was clearly no intent.

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Welshie69 July 05, 2012 5:40 pm

Nice to hear a comment I agree with on Rd haha Thats a fair judgment I'd say.

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Matt July 05, 2012 6:54 pm

First one is simply really good, nothing to say about it.

But the second one, there is clearly no intention to wrap with the arms (so i cant understand how u can say "goes for the big hit but fails to put both his arms around the player", his right arms stays straight along his body...), its a big shoulder charge!!! We see this too often in South Championship, probably coz of the XII culture or i dont know? But this has nothing to do with Union!

I'm always glad to watch huge hits and stuff, but this one clearly deserves a yellow card, and South referees are also too nice for this kind of tackles that happen way too often and will happen more if they dont put cards!!!

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Guy July 05, 2012 10:39 pm

First one is massive! Quite brave by the runner too: he doesn't slow down when he sees he is running into multiple tacklers.

Second one: I guess the tackler was allready havind trouble with his leg and wasn't even able to get his body in position for a proper tackle. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. If not, it has an air of illegatellity about it.

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Facepalm July 05, 2012 10:47 pm

Personal experience has taught me weedy scrumhalfs should never run at props *shudders*

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Facepalm indeed July 06, 2012 4:06 pm

personal experience has taught me that scrumhalfs don't wear the number 12 shirt

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Rich_W July 05, 2012 11:42 pm

Is it just me or is the physio saying 'go down, go down' to the prop after the second hit. Potentially to try and prevent a card, or am I being overly cynical?

Personally I think no more than a pen for the second hit, a touch lazy but nothing more.

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Jon July 06, 2012 12:54 am

Sorry, but that's just how everyone tackles at this level.
And the rules don't say you have to wrap someone up, just that you have to make an "attempt to grasp" at some point.
If a prop hits a backline guy and he goes flying backwards, how's he supposed to put his arms round him.
I'm so sick of the cries of shoulder charge all the time. It's ridiculous.

Matt, SH refs aren't card happy, cards are very rare down south. And thank God for that. This is not soccer. Cards ruin games. When refs hand out cards like confetti it takes the game out of the hands of the players. It's maybe just a tougher game down south.

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BigDan July 06, 2012 2:58 pm

In the first one the full back dug his own grave; tried to break through a wall he had no chance of getting through.

Second one was a penalty, no card. Typical props tackle; hard hitting but clumsy, no arms.

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Canadian content July 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Yeah Don't know what the 15 was thinking on the first hit, just retain the ball I guess. Which he did so well done!

At first glance the second looks illegal. However the replay shows he was just sorta adjusting to the change of direction of the ball carrier and trying to get in front of him and boom, the ball carrier runs into an immovable object while completely compromising himself.

It didn't look intentional whereas lots of the shoulder charges and swinging arms (like swb in this same game does) do.

Good non call by the ref, better eyes than me

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Michael July 06, 2012 6:38 pm

The second tackle was nothing more than an out of shape technically flawed player throwing his weight around. Sloppy and unnecessary from a player who clearly identified the opposition had identified a mismatch

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Jon July 09, 2012 5:33 am

See below, that's Ben Tameifuna. He recently won the U20 World Cup in 2011 as NZ's starting tighthead.
He is neither out of shape or technically flawed.
He is one of the best young props in the world and is likely to one day play for the All Blacks.

He's a big unit, but is mobile, fast for his size, strong and hard working, with a good scrummaging game and soft hands.

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Pretzel July 06, 2012 10:04 pm

I'm assuming the no number guy is a prop... but the strange thing is, we have better shaped props in the third team of our club than that guy... Why is he so special? What got him picked? Looks like they ran out of guys in the brains trust and grabbed someone from the hotdog queue...

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Jon July 09, 2012 5:30 am

Really Pretzel?
That's Ben Tameifuna a 20 year old prop.
He has represented NZ U20s and won the U20s World Cup as the starting tighthead.
He has been a revelation this season, memorably out-scrummaging the Franks brothers and Crocket of the Crusaders.

He's a very good player. I guarantee you he is fitter than most, and no doubt fitter than you and I. He carries alot of weight, but is mobile, hard hitting and hard working.

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Pretzel July 09, 2012 2:17 pm

Glad to hear it. You cannot deny the guy "looks" a bit out of shape... I suppose though when you look at players like Matt Stevens for England (a rather chubby looking lad) and Matt Dunnings in Oz, they both carry a bit of a "hot dog line" look about them...

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Pretzel July 09, 2012 2:18 pm

Sorry that was a "Glad to hear I'm wrong" comment I made,... not an assy "I've been proved wrong so f' you" comment...

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UpandAway July 07, 2012 8:08 am

That second tackle was disgusting use of the shoulder........... the player should be banned for the rest of the season imho.

There was no attempt to wrap and total disregard for the safety of the opponent......... he hit him square with the shoulder which was sickening to see........ the last thing we need is quadriplegics tragedies happening on a consistent basis.

When will these thugs learn that shoulders have no place in rugby union?

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chris July 07, 2012 9:36 pm

Ok Ok Ok.... I've got a question for all of you regular RD users... How is that second hit no penalty or card, however for the USA v. Italy game the American players received 2 RED CARDS for in my opinion lesser offensives. Can anybody give me a reasonable, well thought out answer?

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UpandAway July 08, 2012 7:08 am

Because the IRB has dropped the ball on this tackle issue............. they've seen rugby league style shoulder charges (leading with the point of the shoulder) and applied a blanket ruling to try and outlaw this......... though there is no legal distinction here between what the prop did with a square on shoulder hit and a rugby league shoulder charge, experienced referees with more sympathy and understanding for the game of rugby sensibly use their discretion, whereas overzealous referees are enticed by the IRB to ruin a match because these distinctions aren't made.

What you've seen above is totally fine because its traditional tackling technique though done slightly higher on the chest and the tackler hasn't followed the opponent downwards.

Very different to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxVdPYm4w4o where contact with the head often occurs.

The IRB needs desperately sort this issue out and re-educate both referees, rugby pundits and the rugby public......... 'attempt to wrap the arms' is the wrong way to approach the issue.

Outlaw specific tackles and be done with it.

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UpandAway July 08, 2012 7:40 am

btw the tackles in the USA-Italy game were probably deserving of reds.......... the first one was totally legal technique-wise, however it was seriously late on the kicker. The second was very NFL like in its execution and was very dangerous to both the tackler and opponent. I would have settled for a yellow in both instances but you can't argue with the reds.

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chris July 08, 2012 1:58 pm

Thanks UpandAway for the thorough answer. I do agree with you that the IRB needs to have a refresher course for all their international refs and require more consistency throughout the game. I think the reds were justifiable in technicality, however should they have been shown in the context of the game is a major issue. Would you argue that if USA v. Italy had been a Southern hemisphere super 15 game that those hits would get reds? I'd argue most referees in the S15 wouldn't show red, which there inlays the problem with consistency.

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UpandAway July 08, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi Chris,

My biggest ongoing gripe is to do with this confusing interpretation of no-arm tackles and 'attempting to wrap'.......... lawmakers should just come out and clarify what tackles are legal and illegal citing specific examples.

In the opinion of myself, most current players, ex-players and commentators square-on shoulder tackles should be legal irrespective of an attempt to wrap or not
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alPSq9nkLv4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXNGZYWqSWU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6_H0y9w0mY

Shoulder Charges with the point of shoulder and the arms tucked should be illegal (and nfl style missile launches)

Then there are spear tackle, high tackles which are easy enough to referee......

I get the point you're making that some officials are struggling in the rugby growth nations due to the vagueness of some IRB laws however I don't agree in this specific instance. I've seen a South African player get red carded against England right at the start of a match for a similar late tackle on the Fly Half (arguably in a more important game). And what Emerick did would have been judge dangerous in any comp and a yellow or red would have followed.

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Chris July 10, 2012 2:03 am

I completely agree with your argument for tackling. I would like to mention that I used the example of USA v. Italy only because it was one of the more recent tests that were shown on this site where cards were displayed by the referee and the OP posed the question of legality of hits. In my opinion, I would have no issue with the IRB coming out and saying that a square on shoulder tackle is legal. However, I would say that the referee would need to use ample discretion when deciding on cards and would have to avoid penalization based on injury (which has happened in the past).

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Pretzel July 08, 2012 4:22 pm

I actually thought the first USA tackle was worse than the second, and I'd have only given the first one a yellow card....

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