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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

George Stowers cited for try-saving dangerous tackle on Andy Fenby

Ospreys loose forward George Stowers has been cited for striking Andy Fenby as the Scarlets player crossed the tryline in their RaboDirect PRO12 game at Parc y Scarlets on Friday. Stowers will face a disciplinary hearing tomorrow.

Samoan Stowers has been cited under Law 10.4(a) for his tackle on Fenby, which resulted in the wing dropping the ball over the tryline in the act of scoring. The referee called for the Television Match Official to check whether the try was scored or not, but there was no mention of foul play.

"I think Andy was over the line and got a swinging arm in the chops," said Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby. "So I think it certainly had an effect on him grounding the ball. That's disappointing, but I don't think it's the referee's fault."

Ospreys won the game 23-16, so the try may well have had a significant outcome on the match. TMO Derek Bevan wasn't asked about foul play, so simply answered the question asked of him.

Stowers will face a disciplinary hearing tomorrow in Dublin, facing a charge of Dangerous Play & Misconduct, with law 10.4(a) stating that "A player must not strike an opponent with the first or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s)".

While it's obvious that Stowers was trying to prevent a try, do you think that he should be suspended, or would a penalty try (or a yellow card) have been a better option at the time?

Credit: BBC Scrum V

Posted at 12:47 pm | 30 comments

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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 30 comments

katman September 25, 2012 7:29 pm

I reckon that's a penalty try. Similar thing happened in the Currie Cup on the weekend in the Bulls Cheetahs game. Bulls winger looked sure to score, but Cheetahs flank managed to scrag him by the collar and yank him out of touch. Clearly a high tackle, which the ref spotted. And it certainly would have been a try, as the winger was only a few meters from the line. But the ref chose to simply award a penalty to the attacking team, and no penalty try. But if it's deemed to be a penalty offense, and it prevents a certain try, does the rule not stipulate that the try be awarded under the posts?

Bulls still won, but it was a very close game.

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Canada1014 September 25, 2012 7:30 pm

Seeing that Stowers has just commited a penalty for a dangerous tackle to the head, it should be treated as a penalty try. It says here in 22.4 (h). "A penalty try is awarded if a try would probably have been scored but for foul play by the defending team." Clearly you can see Andy about to score if it wasn't for the head strike.

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A punch is the best September 25, 2012 7:38 pm

Looks a lot like Leguizamon try saver on Cooke last year :
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xp2qfn_le-fulguro-poing-de-leguizamon_sport

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welshlad September 25, 2012 8:03 pm

Ok, I may be being naive here, but when Stowers commits to the tackle, Fenby is still standing and the hit would have been perfectly legal. However, at the same time as Stowers commits, Fenby starts diving for the try, resulting in his head being in the way.

If this was elsewhere on the pitch people would be saying "he ducked into it"

Who's responsibility is it here to make sure they don't smash someone or get smashed in the face? I guess it is the tacklers, but there must be some give in the fact that the try scorer was diving??

Im not saying it shouldn't be a try, or that it should be a try, I think its what F1 would call a "racing incident" I.E. Sh*t happens?

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Guest September 25, 2012 9:46 pm

It's the tackler who's at fault, he is clearly making no attempt to wrap his arms and complete a legal tackle. He has led with a swinging arm in to a player who is in the act of scoring a try. A suspension would be very harsh though, a penalty try and a stern word from the ref would have sufficed. A bit of a cop out from the TMO, doing the minimum asked of him.

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toggle September 25, 2012 8:30 pm

Looking at the video a few times, Stowers is in for a LONG ban. As he shapes for the tackle he has a closed fist and swings in as he gets to Fenby.
Now, that on its own doesn't mean much, but he only connected with his arm/fist and struck a potential try scorer in the face. If hed swung his body in and wrapped up it would be a great tackle.
He didn't, its not.

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vaiz September 27, 2012 1:27 am

well you are wrong. he is found not guilty

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Pretzel September 25, 2012 8:40 pm

I think the guy at the end was completely right, the TMO needs to have more of an input in the game if he is ever going to be considered useful. Sadly we are seeing more and more retrospective punishments which I don't think are fair.

If I play for a team of Saints (I mean real Saints, not that bunch from Northampton) and we are playing a jolly friendly game against the devils who are high tackling, illegally doing this, that and whatever but are not picked up by the referee clearly enough to issue a card then it is an "unfair" match, especially if we go on to lose the game. If punishments were handed out WITHIN the game, it would make rugby more of a TEAM sport again, and it was also reduce the need for some pathetic "yellow card on your record" bullshit, or some over the top 30 year ban for something which could have been dealt with on the pitch.

THIS could have/should have been a yellow card and a penalty try, and then that's it... No more, no less... Was it deliberate? Not sure, Was it reckless? yeh, looks it to me... so yellow card sorts that reckless bit out, and a penalty try sorts out what should have been a clear try...

I'm all for never giving up regardless of whether the opposition player is over the line or not, and I don't want players to feel at risk from trying to tackle, but there are ways to do it and ways not to do it, and that to me, looked like a way not to do it...

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Pretzel September 25, 2012 9:23 pm

"A player must not strike an opponent with the first or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s)"

What about a shin?

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Canadian content September 25, 2012 11:02 pm

Kingsley was just speaking common sense. As for the duck, are u serious? Of course he was gonna go low, he was trying to touch down. Stowers knew exactly what he was doing.

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Ottawa Rugger September 26, 2012 1:18 am

I think it's a little harsh to get on either the referee or the TMO's case here. As it happened quickly, the ref wouldn't have seen it. And people are usually getting on the case of the TMO to keep their input to a minimum (maybe even rightfully so, as it slows the game down). I saw a video a while back that showed an incident where the TMO offered more advice than what the referee had requested and denied an otherwise "legal" try. But the commentator at the end has it right - TMO ought to ask if the ref wants further advice. At very least, this makes me curious as to what the recommendations/rules are on how much info the TMO is supposed to provide the ref on the field

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memberbenefits September 26, 2012 2:02 am

Anyone else think the final pass was forward? Therefore not penalty try

I think scrum to Ospreys should have been the call but then overturned to a red card and penalty to Scarlets.

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memberbenefits September 26, 2012 2:07 am

Actually, having looked at the replays at the end, it definitely wasn't forward.

Just ignore me, it's late

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The Green Mafia September 26, 2012 2:44 am

@Ottawa Rugger: What you have to keep in mind is that the referee had already asked for the TMO, so there is no difference (in terms of "slowing the game") between doing some crappy work or applying some justice. I'm all for calling the TMO the least amount of times possible, as I think some referees try to shift responsability from their shoulders, but if you're going to do it, at least you should get some results/justice from it.

I also have to agree, in part, with what has been said here. Because of rugby fans, who pride themselves of being chivalrous and all, starting to become vociferous and bias animals towards referees (i.e. a south africans calling for a life ban for bryce lawrence, but defending bakkies "justice4" botha with their teeth and nails... again, an example, there are others from other countries), who remain human and therefore imperfect, some referees are chickening out and prefer these post-match, let's-patch-up-our-mess bans than taking some action on the field. This is ruinning the game. There is allways going to be mistakes, could haves, should haves, would haves in every sport, but it's a referees job to sort out as much of them as they can instead of spectating and waiting for the citing comission to come butting in. And the fans just have to deal with it. A mistake is not allways some big conspiracy or corruption cancer. Maybe, just once, it can be a mistake.

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Pretzel September 26, 2012 3:41 am

You make a very good point which is close to my heart.

Referees are only human, however I honestly feel they have taken a step away from the game. There is all this talk about "tightening up the game, stamping out dirty play" but none of it is being performed during the game. We recently had a few cards being shown, so perhaps this is being altered, but up until now referee's having been playing the easy card otherwise known as the WHITE CARD, because what it means is "Well, I didn't get the bessssst look at it, and I don't really want to get told off for making a mistake, so if I say I didn't see it and then put it on a white card my hands will be washed clean from any mess"...

It is pitiful. Of course, I don't want to see players being carded left right and centre for trivial things, but the fact THIS incident could leave a player facing a ban is a tad farcical to me.

Referee's need a kick up the ass and told to make a decision (as you stated, and thus fans need to bite the bullet if a mistake is made) or they need another means of assessing a situation, "white card means TMO investigates the incident" or something like that. I severely doubt it will slow the game up much... but personally I'd rather the game get slowed up slightly and a correct decision than the referees making no decisions at all..

Someone once said, they don't understand why, if a referee think something has happened and play is continuing, he cannot ask the TMO to review the last few phases of play (or some other choice of words) and then when the ball next goes dead the TMO can inform the referee of his findings...that way not slowing the game down much.

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D0m3 September 26, 2012 7:34 am

I think there are too many dangerous tackles in the try area : shoulder charges, swinging arms, dives on a player who is already on the floor, ... It is hard to define a clear limit, but those kinds of faults which are worth at least yellow cards are never punished. Moreover, when you are going to score a try, you are more vulnerable than usual (arms extended, legs not supporting your weight). I've been hurt at the ribs like that, even at a very low level. So i'm glad this player gets cited, and I hope things are now going to change.

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stroudos September 26, 2012 8:24 am

Pretzel:
" why, if a referee think something has happened and play is continuing, he cannot ask the TMO to review the last few phases of play (or some other choice of words) and then when the ball next goes dead the TMO can inform the referee of his findings...that way not slowing the game down much. "


Absolutely agree. You hear refs having similar conversations with the touchies over the radio- eg, "did you catch the number of the bloke who swung that punch?" while letting the game continue, then dealing with the incident at the next break in play. No reason why they can't include TMO on same radio link as far as I can see.

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Pretzel September 26, 2012 2:17 pm

I actually think it was you that said the same thing quite a while ago, I remember being in total agreeance with you at the time, I thought it was a brilliant idea, I cannot see why it hasn't yet been implemented, or even discussed amongst the pundits.. (that I am aware of anyway)...

You're right, they're always saying things to the touch judges, or the touch judges say things to the referee's and the referee's say "yeh I saw that too"... and then when play stops they call over an offending player. What I wouldn't like to see is the TMO being involved with the referee where by HE can tell the referee something, during open play, like the touch judges can do, I would rather he be used when the referee or the touch judges see something, and be asked to review it. If that makes sense...

So he cannot jump in with his findings in open play without being requested. However he CAN offer further assistance after being asked about an incident, much like the pundit said in the video, so the referee asks about a particular incident and then the TMO can say "would you like me to advise you on foul play".... so 5 and perhaps 6? have a dispute and that breaks up whilst play continues and the referee says "can you catch the numbers of those players having a scrap" and the TMO looks and see's indeed it was 5 and 6 but then he sees 7 stamp on someone on the ground (unrelated) he says to the referee "numbers 5 and 6, would you like me to advise you on another incident"...

Sorry thats a long winded way of getting my point across, I have a stinking cold and I haven't slept much... lol..

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stroudos September 26, 2012 8:25 am

Come to think of it, the TMO *is* on the same radio link, just use him as the game plays out.

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Lewisac September 26, 2012 9:19 am

For my money - he's diving for the try and Stowers' arm is low down. It's not a high tackle - he ducked into it. However, Stower's body position is never going to make a tackle - shoulder charge and swinging arm makes it a reckless/dangerous challenge - yellow card - penalty try.

Thank heavens for straight answers to straight questions

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Pretzel September 26, 2012 2:18 pm

Shame your not a referee or part of the governing bodies though isn't it.. I agree with what you said, it was reckless at the most in my opinion, but sadly it was not seen and we must go through the citing process and have players turning up to disciplinary panels with their club lawyers and all this bullshit for a simple yellow card and penalty try...

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rugby08 September 26, 2012 9:38 am

Big deal about nothing.

Can't you show some better videos rugbydump?

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Stubby September 26, 2012 2:47 pm

Why are you being a douche? Ingrate.

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IrishRef September 26, 2012 7:02 pm

even before the current trial of extended TMO powers, the TMO could have awarded the penalty try. They always had carte blanche to rule on any foul play in the in-goal area regardless of the question asked by the ref.

Penalty try would have been totally correct and red card for the very dangerous challenge, which I won't even call a tackle. Swinging arm coming in from the side to a guy diving and thus with a very vulnerable head. Very dangerous.

I reckon Mr Stowers could miss a couple of months for this.

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guest1 September 26, 2012 7:18 pm

if this happened in the premiership then it would of been awarded a try under the new TMO protocols! shame it not is use in other competitions/ six nations.

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GWD80 September 27, 2012 7:47 am

@rugby08
Losing to the Ospreys is never "nothing" son!!
Also, I doubt Andy Fenby thought it was nothing at the time Stowers' massive arm made contact with his chin either.
I'm just glad this clip doesn't show more of the match and remind me further of how badly the Scarlets got stuffed.

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WelshOsprey September 27, 2012 12:35 pm

Shane williams had this shit pulled on him all his career, but nobody cared because he actually scored the tries.
Unlucky turks, maybe get a better scrum to try again in a few months.

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UpandAway September 28, 2012 2:06 am

Definite penalty try.

1. it was arguably a swinging arm which is illegal
2. it was a high shot to the face of a diving player which is illegal

It gave the player a mild concussion and he dropped the ball......... decision should have been simple and the video ref bottled it IMO.

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RunningRugby4 September 29, 2012 10:24 am

the tmo should have informed ref about fowl play

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Pretzel September 29, 2012 9:00 pm

I agree, I guess he was just too "Chicken".... AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Thank you, I'm here all night...

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