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Friday, October 05, 2012

Friday Funnies - Sione Kalamafoni penalised for hurdling a tackler

Whether it's a strong hand-off, sidestep, or raw speed, there are various ways to beat a tackler. Gloucester number eight Sione Kalamafoni had another idea last weekend against London Welsh, but it didn't go down too well with the official. 

The big Tongan loose forward's human hurdle attempt was executed perfectly. The problem was execution is exactly what could have happened, as his flying boots came pretty close to taking out at least one of the opposition players.

Most of the time when this happens a penalty is the result. Shane Williams got away with side-step-jumping once, but on this occasion referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts ruled against it.

"You cannot jump over a tackle.. you run, don't jump," was his explanation after seeing London Welsh scrumhalf Tyson Keats' flailing arms in an attempt to tackle the flying forward.

Is jumping into/over a tackle illegal in terms of the law?

Not specifically, but it's dangerous for both the jumper and those around him. Law 10.4 covers Dangerous Play, with section (k) covering "Acts contrary to good sportsmanship."

It states that a player must not do anything against the spirit of good sportsmanship. So while jumping into a tackle isn't categorically covered, it is down to the referee's interpretation of what is seen to be dangerous, and he is entitled to penalise it if he feels player safety was compromised.

Ten points for the effort from Kalamafoni anyway.

Posted by Rugbydump at 3:14 pm | View Comments (28)

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Posted in Funnies, See it to Believe it

Viewing 28 comments

Guy October 05, 2012 6:35 pm

It does look spectacular...!

That being said: I am surprised that there is no clear law against this. From this video it's quite easy to what the result good have been (injured tackler, potentially injured player).

Now that being said: enter comments on how soft/boring/shit/etc. rugby is becoming and how much better Leaugue/Aussie Rules/American Football/soccer is and always has been.

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arch21 October 05, 2012 6:38 pm

what kind of number 8 jumps over a halfback though? run him over son!

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stroudos October 06, 2012 7:40 pm

Ha ha, excellent!! Best comment on this thread by a long way.

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Pretzel October 05, 2012 6:40 pm

It annoyed me when I saw the video of Shane Williams doing it ages ago and not getting called up for it. Of course, I'm not baying for blood, I don't want a card shown and a subsequent ban, I just think this is dangerous and should be viewed as not a viable option to avoid a tackle. Dealt with well by the referee, glad to see it getting penalised. You could tell by the reaction of the scrum half that his life had flashed before his eyes..

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poccio October 05, 2012 7:01 pm

I understand how it's dangerous, but a part of me thinks it's a nice bit of skill and maybe it shouldn't be a penalty if executed perfectly as this...although that would make a lot of people attempt it and a lot would fail and injure other players badly, so I understand why it' banned but still it looks awesome!

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Ottawa Rugger October 05, 2012 8:08 pm

Yeah, it could have been dangerous if he gets his boots up in someone's face. But it also could have been bad for him if a tackler who's not expecting it clips his ankles mid-air and he falls on his neck. It was well handled though, ref just gives a penalty, short word to the player, player acknowledges and plays on. Super simple stuff

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Clearly October 05, 2012 8:24 pm

I've had it happen to me once. It's not scary as a tackler, you're just left bewildered at what just happened. One moment you're set for the hit the next there's no hit. Agree that it's dangerous and correct decision by the referee

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DaRabman October 05, 2012 10:58 pm

Yeah, that sort of dodge is really dangerous in the tight, but it's such a rare occurrence that I'd be reluctant to call on making it illegal.
Some of those little bits of cheeky evasive play give the game colour, as long as we don't simultaneously condone clumsy back-rowers thrashing their way through centre-field with all four limbs flailing away. Leave it to the backs :)

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Canadian content October 05, 2012 11:26 pm

Agree that this attempt was dangerous, there's players right in the vicinity. I saw rocky Elsom get a similar penalty in a test match against Fiji I think. I disagree that Shane's was dangerous and also disagree that it's dangerous in every circumstance. One on one, someone hurdles a fullback with no one else behind him and lands safely, is ok. But then again if the 15 puts his face up at the last second, we could see a horrific injury. But I say if the boots don't go near anyone, it's all good

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Pretzel October 06, 2012 12:21 am

Problem with that type of definition "if the boots don't go near anyone, it's all good" CC is that it opens it up for debate. So next week we see players hurdling people left right and centre, with perhaps a generous 50% making it, and 50% killing someone (ok, maybe not death, but it could have horrific consequences) so it is easier and somewhat safer if it is ruled Dangerous, or contrary to good sportsmanship etc, therefore people just DON'T do it...

I agree that this one came off "fine" in the end, the 9 didn't lose his head, the 8 jumper didn't get flipped, and the final tackler didn't get flattened by "flying number 8"... however jumping into the "what if's" there is no way the jumper could have known it was going to all be fine.

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Pretzel October 06, 2012 12:24 am

Law 10.4 covers dangerous play.. is that a blanket on ANYTHING the referee deems dangerous? I agree with others that this happens so infrequently that it would be a bit daft to waste time and money making another air tight law, or amendment... But I just wonder whether referee's can delve into the "what if's"... because as we saw, nothing came of this, everyone survived etc, so was it dangerous? The action COULD have been dangerous, but it wasn't dangerous... Splitting hairs I'm sure..

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Jon October 06, 2012 12:36 am

It's not illegal according to the laws.
It's not particularly dangerous.
Should have let it go and enjoyed the athleticism.
Over officiating things like this, things that only make the game more spectacular and entertaining, makes me sick.

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Guy October 06, 2012 6:57 am

Yeah, well, the rulebook also doesn't state that you can't use a pole vault to jump over a bunch of players and that's also enjoyable athletisism.

Come to think of it:
- it's no gouging if the victims eye is still in the socket;
- it's not a dangerous tackle if the tackled player doesn't break his neck;
- drink/driving should be legal as long as you don't run over any children.

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Pretzel October 06, 2012 10:35 am

Technically the law book talks about striking someone with the knee, the elbow, the forearm, the fist... I don't recall any quotes on striking someone with the shin... surely that means you should be allowed to "shin" someone in the face, don't you reckon guy lol :)

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Guy October 06, 2012 12:52 pm

Ha ha, technically you might be right. Maybe the shin is not mentioned because if you tackle real low, you put yourself at shin height? That doesn't explain why the knee IS mentioned... Maybe the rule makers have deemed it wise only to mention the body parts that seem logical to use in foul play.

You know what that means: very soon the only body parts you can use for foul or dangerous play without getting punished, are the crown jewels ;-)

To be honest I was not so much concerned with the shin. The scenario I had in mind was being hit in the face with 35 km/h by 8 2cm long studs, with 110 kg of meat attached to it. Sort of like being old-skool rucked in the face in mid air. That would give a big mess.

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Pretzel October 06, 2012 1:02 pm

Oh yeh, I was thinking studs/boots in this scenario, I just meant in foul play when someone uses a fist to strike someone, or a forearm, elbow, or indeed a knee (as we have seen recently). But no mentioned of kicking someone with your shin...

So perhaps that would have to come under "contrary to good sportsmanship" as it is "technically" not covered...

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Santiago October 06, 2012 8:41 pm

Weird way to avoid a tackle. The few times I have seen this is in youth divisions, with players that have only very recently started playing the game.
"Don't jump over a tackle" is in your Rugby Day 1 manual here in Argentina, not too far after "Run forward", "Pass the ball backwards" and "Tackle down low". :-)

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Jaded Forward October 07, 2012 1:52 am

I see this from a few sides. First, I have to agree whole-heartedly with arch21; if he were jumping a prop that would be one thing, but in this case he should be be fined at least two pints to all the other forwards (first XV and reserves).

1) Boots and spikes up = dangerous. He's effectively leading with his spikes at chest/neck level. Penalize it.

2) You're not allowed to tackle someone in the air (or on the ground), right? So he is effectively taking himself out of play, but holding onto the ball. Illegal. Penalize it.

3) Here's the tricky one... it's not that different from what I've seen from a lot of fullbacks under high balls. They're getting way up, and while the upper body is going for the catch, the lower body is in Bruce Lee flying dragon kick mode, except with spikes. IMO you can't penalize Kalamafoni for dangerous play when a similar leap-in-a-crowd is perpetrated by each team's 15 a few times every match. They never seem to go fully over an opponent, but that line is pretty fine. (And how 'bout the Beast hoisting his pal who keeps ending up upside-down, and thus cleats-up over another player. Penalty to the jumper?)

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Pretzel October 07, 2012 3:03 am

Disagree with you on the last point. Jumping to take a catch is totally different from jumping into a tackle...

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UpandAway October 07, 2012 5:36 am

Despite occasionally professing my knowledge of the rules I was really surprised that there isn't a specific law against this....... its one of those things that all players know is illegal but strangely there is no law........ very odd indeed!

Well done the referee for picking this up straight away......... all you need to make this very ugly is a mistimed jump and a knee or studs to someones face......... not to mention the guy jumping could get flipped and land very awkwardly.

IRB: new law please

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brilliant October 07, 2012 8:26 am

ive played rugby my whole life,and love the game.always will.but rugby is stuck in the dark ages.the game is stale and anything resembling flair, individuality and brilliance is discouraged.i blame the boring,miserable brits!!! if they cant do it,it shouldnt be in the game!!

PS...before you get uppity my northern comrades,please understand that this is a piss dont try come up with any witty retorts.take it as a joke and save your whinging for another day

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Pretzel October 07, 2012 4:14 pm

.....I don't get it.

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kadova October 07, 2012 7:29 pm

Don't worry, he's talkig about something else, trying to start a fight with us....and also forgetting we're far from being all english here in the North :)

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DaRabman October 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Tell me if you've heard this one before ;) /qvuNDYjoyRU?t=56s

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dave October 07, 2012 4:00 pm

you see that over here in canada in highschool games, were allowed to do it in gridiron and when it's called in rugby, players look confused as hell. funny stuff

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Ronan October 07, 2012 10:25 pm

horse of a man............ : )

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