Stade Francais win in clash with Pau

RWC Players to Watch: Anthony Watson

Rayno Benjamin's sneaky trip gets yellow

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC

Alipate Fatafehi huge hit vs USA Eagles

Sona Taumalolo fend like right hook

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Sky Sport NZ's Super Rugby Player Awards

Sonny Bill Williams warned for big hit

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rob Simmons escapes on-field punshment for dangerous tackle on Yannick Nyanga

Wallaby Rob Simmons was the second big citing of the week following a bizarre few minutes during France's emphatic 33-6 victory over Australia in Paris. Simmons will join Adam Thomson in London for their respective disciplinary hearings tomorrow.

The incident occured in the 65th minute of the Test as French loose forward Yannick Nyanga knocked on a high ball before Simmons, seemingly unaware, lifted and drove Nyanga to the turf.

The second rower, who came off the bench shortly before for veteran Nathan Sharpe, has since been cited for commiting a dangerous 'tip' tackle under Law 10.4 (j), placing him in doubt for the Wallabies next match, against England, this coming weekend at Twickenham.

In a strange twist of events, somehow referee Nigel Owens and neither one of his touch judges managed to identify Simmons, despite every other person in the stadium knowing exactly who it was, thanks to the huge television screen replays.

Unlike in some domestic competitions currently, the TMO is not allowed to get involved in rulings for foul play. Referees are also not meant to use the big screen TV replays for guidance, whereas with the new trial laws that has even been encouraged.

As a result, Simmons played on, and while rugby is a far cry from Cricket - where we see players walk if obviously guilty - the cut-throat environment of Test rugby has yet to see someone stick their hand up in a situation like this.

It would have been a grand gesture and yes, it's unfair to expect such a thing, but in a sport that prides itself on integrity and honour, it would have been refreshing. It might have also helped at the disciplinary hearing.

Instead, we heard Owens having to apologise to the French team for not seeing who actually did it.

- Watch the full game
- View match highlights

Discussion points:
- Do you think Simmons should (or would) have been Red carded for this tackle?

- How long would you suspend him for?
- In an ideal world, do you think that the captain or player owning up would have actually been good to see, or is that idea simply an unfeasible, romanticised view of the sport?

Posted by Rugbydump at 6:24 pm | View Comments (76)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 76 comments

BanterTroll November 14, 2012 12:02 am

Yellow! Was late and took it past the 90 degree mark.

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Fago93 November 14, 2012 12:02 am

Un scandale... Quand on voit la suspension de Tolofua pour sa 'cathédrale' 400 fois moins dangereuse ! Bref, très beau match si on oublie ce geste stupide !

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Chris November 14, 2012 12:04 am

Player tipped past the horizontal and driven down into the ground. Textbook spear tackle, and a red card.

Nigel said it himself... he can't send anybody off because neither he nor the 2 ARs had a number. But Nigel clearly felt it was a Red Card offence, and I agree with him.

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RB November 14, 2012 12:05 am

Definitely a yellow at the very least

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neilkiltie November 14, 2012 12:07 am

If, like suggested here, he would have admitted to fault DURING the game; he would have been stupid and probably dropped from the national side. Why would you ever put your team at a disadvantage deliberately!
Rugby and commentators and the like are getting soft. Its genuinely sad to see people complaining so much after incidents happen nowadays. It's rugby, these things happen!

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Merja November 14, 2012 12:23 am

Simmons at least owes Nyanga an apology. The tackle was clearly deliberate, as you said, it happens, heat of the moment, frustration, but it was dangerous and completely against the spirit of the game. There is no softness about it, it is against the law, period.
Warburton apologised to Clerc for his semi-final red card offense, Simmons should do the same.

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paimoe November 14, 2012 3:26 am

I don't think Australia is in much of a position to start dropping players for that

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Remi A November 14, 2012 12:08 am

1) A clear red card. It was dangerous, illegal and reckless.
2) I'm not sure but I'd go for at least 4 weeks.
3) I'm not totally sure that it would be such a great thing to turn yourself in. In rugby there is a grey zone where you can play the ref and get the edge once in a while so turning yourself in for any offense doesn't feel right. Being a ref myself (albeit not much experienced) I sometimes ask the captain to find the guilty person if I didn't get the number. I tell him that if no culprit is found he will be the one sent out. I pretty much get my guy 100% of the time. But at this level he professionnalism expected from the refs does not allow such a move I'd think.

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Martin November 14, 2012 12:12 am

wow, that was far worse than most red cards we have seen at crucial moments ruining the game.

referees should be allowed to use the big screen, its there in front of them, and shows the evidence clearly!

owning up would have been commendable, but in such a competitive game, no one wants to let their team down even further?

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Merja November 14, 2012 12:12 am

I was in the stadium, and there was no replay at all, it's an habit at Stade de France, they have huge screens but they only use them for advertising... I actually didn't realize it was so brutal until I came home and watched the highlights, so can't blame Owens on that, it happens. Simmons got lucky on the moment, but he's out of the tour for sure, not that he cares much since the season is over in the South anyway.

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Kemp November 14, 2012 12:17 am

What a lack courage from the whole ref, bloody stupid !!!

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zimzam November 14, 2012 12:19 am

definate yellow due to the legs being past the 90. but he does follow him to the ground with the tackle, doesnt let go on him, also yannick lands on his back not his head. it does however looks worse than it is, from him landing on top of him

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unebrindille November 14, 2012 4:00 am

He does follow him to the ground....

Yes... so much so that he lands full weight on Nyanga's chest....

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Reality November 14, 2012 12:23 am

Should he have admitted it since rugby prides itself on integrity and values? I think the whole integrity and values thing in rugby is just a myth. Realistically, fair play is not on anyone's agenda, more and more people are diving on the ground pretending to be hurt by others, and nobody has ever admitted to foul play (except Scott Murray for his red card in the Six Nations that he didn't even deserve).

I think the idea of a player owning up is extremely unrealistic, but I'd love to see it happen. It'd be a great advertisement for the sport, and would renew a lot of people's faith in it which has been ruined by all the eye-gouging and world cup final fixing. Especially in this case, where the result of the match is beyond any doubt, and playing innocent just serves to sour the match and people's opinion of the Australian team. Although as neilkiltie said above, the coach would probably not appreciate it at all, and you'd be putting your career at risk, which is a damning indictment of the current rugby world.

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Eggman November 14, 2012 12:23 am

Like the commentator said "that's just silly stuff".

Very lucky not to get a yellow or even a red during the game, and kinda puzzling that Owens didnt refer to the TMO to see who did the tackle.

I'm expecting at least a 4 week ban. Not really a loss though since he's pretty average and hasnt shown any improvement since his first test. Just a pity that Douglas injured himself during the match and won't be available for England. Wonder who'll play instead of hm and who'll be on the bench since all the available locks seem injured or banned.

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RedYeti November 14, 2012 6:39 pm

Referees are not allowed to refer to the TMO for incidents of foul play in IRB internationals, yet. It is currently being trialled in some domestic competitions, including the Aviva Premiership.

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Anton November 14, 2012 12:28 am

It was indeed a straight red offense, fair play to the ref however who went to see Nyanga for an appology after having talked to the captains.

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Kade November 14, 2012 12:31 am

If there is a red card offence and play is stopped but they dont have a number, it should be up to the captain to get the player to come forward and accept it or he should take the red card himself

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Dom November 14, 2012 12:42 am

Definitely a yellow, potentially a red. And RD ask about sportsmanship; I think he should have been honest and gone up. Pieterson did at the weekend for his tackle in the Ireland game, he was already off the pitch straight after the incident!

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Be Serious November 14, 2012 9:02 pm

Come on Dom, He was trying to get off the field to avoid having his team down a man for 10 mins! Be serious now.

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ChillDoubt November 14, 2012 12:52 am

As most tackles like that are these days, measuring that against Warburton's means this is a red all day long. Warburton let him go and immediately competed for the ball.
Simmons turned him well beyond 90, didn't release him and made sure he felt his full body weight.
Straight red and 4 weeks in my book.

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Canadian content November 14, 2012 1:04 am

I agree that based on the warburton precedent that this should have been a red. But I agree with the previous poster that owens should have told the capt it was either him or the player.

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Alex November 14, 2012 1:05 am

you can't send the captain off because you've missed something!

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joeythelemur November 14, 2012 5:53 am

Which is why the captain would turn up the culprit in about 5 seconds. For a red card offense, this seems a no-brainer to me.

But let's face it, this situation is extremely rare; the offending party typically has all eyes on him from the moment of the incident. Not sure why that didn't happen in this case, maybe because the ball was well gone already??

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ItalianRef November 14, 2012 11:48 am

you can't just send off a player because you didn't get the perpetrator... why the captain and not the scumhalf, or the fullback or the most caped player? he is the captain, not their guardian

I am really curious why he just didn't call the TMO and solve the thing in a second. he already had his mind set on red so it was just a quick call "can you tell me the number on the yellow shirt that did the spear tackle" "yes: 19" end of story

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RedYeti November 14, 2012 6:50 pm

He could not contact the TMO because referees are currently not allowed to refer foul play (or indeed anything outside of the act of scoring a try). This is being trialled in some domestic competitions however.

There is a pretty strong precedent for carding captains for 'team offences' where it wouldn't be particularly fair to send off the final perpetrator of a string of professional fouls. The captain is absolutely responsible for the discipline of his team and as such would almost certainly not complain.

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Flaco November 14, 2012 7:31 pm

are you sure? I thought that the laws variations had enabled the TMO to be consulted on foul play

can you point me out to the precedents of captains being sent off? I am very interested in this particular aspect

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Jon November 14, 2012 1:25 am

Not that much in it, imo.
Tips him too far, not intentional (if you think Simmons intentionally spear tackled him you're a fool).

I could see a week or two on the sidelines.

Straight red? Don't agree. I didn't think Warburton should have got a straight red, and the same here for Simmons. Just overkill.

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Carlos November 14, 2012 2:08 am

It’s not within the Law to red/yellow card the captain if the referee doesn’t get a number. Nor the captain has any obligation to say who did it. That is just silly stuff, and it reveals lack of knowledge of the game and it’s Law.
I think Owens handled the incident really well, but the Assistant Referees didn’t do a good job, and that is difficult to accept at this level.

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Kade November 14, 2012 9:41 am

I was stating what I think should happen. I was not trying to quote a contradictive lawbook.

My knowledge of the game and its law is fine.

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RedYeti November 14, 2012 6:49 pm

The laws give the referee final say over anything. He can card somebody for whatever he wants, including the captain. There is a pretty strong precedent of captains being sent off for 'team offences'.

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Pretzel November 14, 2012 2:21 am

Is the referee not allowed to look at the big screen? I mean there is hardly going to be any room for error, its not like the video replay that the referee would see will be in any way untrue to the incident itself....

As for the "turning yourself in" definitely a romanticised view. Of course it would be lovely to see this in some sort of honourable way... but that would mean the AB's would be without a 7 for most of their games... :P

But honestly it isn't feasible, as someone mentioned, the player would then be a liability to pick for the next game, you never know what he might own up to etc... Unless of course it became a level playing field where everyone owned up to their indiscretions, or just didn't commit them...

I thought the Warburton card was harsh, so in turn I think a red for this might have been harsh... but who knows nowadays...probably a 4 week ban as someone stated.

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RedYeti November 14, 2012 6:53 pm

No they are supposed to deliberately avoid looking at the screens. In the Premiership (where they are trialling the new TMO-foul-play-referral system the referees are making full use of the screens however, which in many cases makes the TMO call irrelevant).

A poster above said that the Stade Francais screens usually show advertising rather than replays anyway so it's a moot point.

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Pretzel November 14, 2012 11:04 pm

Interesting, thanks very much for that.. I had always wondered... especially when the referee is looking around and the crowd start booing horrendously when an act of foul play is re-shown on the big screen... I always think "if only he'd look up (or be allowed to look up) he'd see it right there"...

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GuestBoy November 14, 2012 3:06 am

Firstly, RD thanks for the great work. Site is superb and an amazing resource.

Quick point though - do all other fans want to focus on red/yellow card incidents? I know longer highlight/summary links are posted, but there were some great moments of skill and some brilliant tries in the last few internationals, and all that's being focused on is a few incidents concerning refereeing. It's important... but would we rather see more offloads/passes/legal tackles highlighted? Just a question...

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Rugbydump November 14, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi GuestBoy (registering will allow you to be notified of replies),

Hard to say, and it does get tiresome, but news is news and a lot of people want to see the big incidents, even if they're negative in nature.

Unfortunately it's not feasible to do as you've suggested, so at least covering highlights/full matches takes care of that, but I take your point and will keep it in mind. Cheers

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adam22 November 14, 2012 6:56 am

I guess the lesson learned is that if your going to commit a card offence, do it really late. That way all the officials will be looking somewhere else.

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Ando November 14, 2012 7:23 am

I didn't ever hear the ref ask Moore (the acting captain) for the number of the offending player, or address the Aussie team for the offending player to step forward - he only seems to ask the assistant refs and act on the information (or lack thereof) he receives from them. I've had that happen before, where the ref has asked the captain to bring the player forward.

I'm also not sure the tackle warrants the vilification Simmons is getting from a lot of the posts. It's clumsy yes, but the player lands squarely on his back (not his head) and Simmons goes to ground with him (vs. dumping/dropping him). Re. the "lateness" of it, he also had no idea the ball was long gone. I've seen a lot worse get a lot less than what the hordes are screaming for here.

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Pretzel November 14, 2012 11:07 pm

I have got to agree with you with regards to the tackle... it was not "good" in a legality sense, however it was not the worst I've ever seen. I actually somewhat ignored the "late" part of it because like you, I truly felt that he was not aware of the ball being spilled...

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felipeG November 14, 2012 9:33 am

+1 Guestboy, that's a bit frustrating, no one talking about the game. Which was, imo, clearly more intense than Arg-W and Samoa-Can (havnt seen the others in full). There are people saying the wallabies were sleepy/tired/not wanting to play. Do you agree? I think they were running as fast as usual...
As to the incident, of course at least a yellow. Given the jurisprudence of RWC 2011, would say red. When i first read the article I thougt NO WAY, turning oneself in, not gonna happen. But then i watched the video again...the aussies really look like kids having eaten all the chocolate pie and waiting for the blow. Simons and the captain are particularly ridiculous on this occasion. I can understand the wish not to see such a stupid look in the eye of a player again. And I don't think a player would be put aside by his team for turning himself in. Not in europe at least. When someone do something to good to be true, the others have to support him or they 'll be seen as the really bad guys. Can you imagine telling the press "ok our guy here is a real gentleman so we decided to exclude him because we aren't" ?

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Eggman November 14, 2012 12:50 pm

I don't think people are complaining that the Wallabies weren't fast enough or didnt put in an effort. The problems are
1) Injuries to key players
2) Absolutely zero 1st phase attack. Whenever the Aussies were attacking they had 2 options: Pass to McCabe, who ran straight into a defender, or pass to Beale, who ran across half the field without doing anything until he got tackled.
3) Horrible scrum (some are blaming Owens for being a bit too harsh on the Aussies)
4) Robbie Deans (at least that's what everyone outside of the ARU is saying)

Hope they manage to do something about that until sunday.. I really don't want to watch the Aussies lose to the English AGAIN

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Eggman November 14, 2012 12:51 pm

Article by a kiwi highlighting some of these problems. Interesting that the Kiwi's now feel sorry for the Aussies.. Can it get any worse?

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FelipeG November 14, 2012 1:17 pm

Interesting indeed. I dont like the fuss about Michalak's come back. But is this how everyone in the south sees him?
"Now Beale is a confused man playing out of position. He was out of his depth against little Frederic Michalak, a 30-year-old troubadour who was long ago discarded from international rugby."

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Eggman November 14, 2012 3:17 pm

Hmm not sure about how ppl down south view him.. I don't think he's really on the radar. If he keeps playing like that I'm sure he'll make it back though ;)
He was palying in South Africa (for the Sharks I think) for a while.. Not sure how well he did there, though I think he was alright.

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Benny November 14, 2012 4:35 pm

Be careful about calling that journo a kiwi. It says NZ-based and from what I understand, he's English. He became a little unpopular when he recently labelled Richie a cheat, which as you know is treason in the land of the long white cloud. He's another one of these journos, like rattue and s. jones, who write as much controversial rubbish as he can to drum up hits

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stroudos November 14, 2012 6:08 pm

Yep, Reason's English (moved to NZ couple of years ago) and a recidivist shit-stirrer. Thought this piece was quite funny though!

I'd also like to add Mick Cleary of the Daily Telegraph to Benny's list of twat journos. He may well be the worst of the lot.

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Eggman November 14, 2012 6:43 pm

Even worse.. a pommy bastard feeling sorry for Australian rugby.. Maybe campese has to say something in order to rectify that again ;-)

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truth November 15, 2012 7:19 pm

This article it's so unfair... instead of saying how great were the French on the week-end, he just explained it by a poor Australian team! the truth is the French did only have 8 DAYS to prepare for this game when the australian team prepare them self for more than 2 months! and the french also did have the TOP 14 going on a week before... and when you see the level of TOP14 .... the stats are here, France did around 120 tackles for only six missed, I don't think you do that much tackles when the other team don't attack ? about Michalak? He was a main actor of the sharks season last year and started almost all the game even the finale and semi final were he was a main actor of it! and what about this year ? he is amazing in Toulon... When france play like this (rarely) they can beat everyone... new zeland knows it and they don't like it...

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Chris November 14, 2012 9:36 am

Red card, fullstop.

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TheLaw November 14, 2012 9:41 am

If the IRB wants to stay consistent, with both their on field decisions and their citing commissions, this incident warrants an on field red card and a couple weeks out of the game. Consistency is all we ask.

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stroudos November 14, 2012 11:08 am

Do cricketers still walk? I don't really follow the game but I thought that had all but disappeared now? If you want non-cheating integrity, you have to look to golf, where players actually penalise themselves!

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katman November 14, 2012 12:23 pm

There was still 15 minutes left in the game. I shudder to think what the final score could have been had Simmons been sent off.

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Rick November 14, 2012 12:29 pm

I think that he should seen a yellow, he was allready dedicated to the tackle so he was not aware that the ball was played allready. Two or three weeks on the side line is more than enough.

Players and captains will never report themselves, the stakes are to big on this level. If Nigel watched the big screem he would have seen who did it....

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Colombes November 14, 2012 12:30 pm

1- If we take in account the Warburton, Fritz or Tolofua last cases, it should have been a red card offense. Simmons tackle was cynical. But There is still a big problem with worldwide refs who don't all respect IRB recommendations (red card for tip-tackles) as they don't dare to kill a match interest; and unfortunately, when u see yellow cards given, it creates doubts in rugby fans. the ball is in IRB camp.

2- As he wasn't sent off, a 4-6 weeks ban should (unfortunately for Simmons) be welcome. but i still prefer to see an appropriate red card and a much shorter ban

3- Integrity in rugby..? Even if i admire "our" beloved sport, it would be naive to believe that rugbymen should be more honest than others. Professionalism has brought a part of strategies and mind games in rugby. But i understand the point, as rugby has this power to gather on the same pitch 2 great opposite sport images: tackles and... handshakes

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Colombes November 14, 2012 12:34 pm

on a side note, fairplay for Nigel Owens to apologize about it

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07015678 November 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Yellow. It was dangerous for sure and legs went past the 90 degree mark, but I don't think there was particularly nasty intent there.

On another note, I really don't like the way that French players are play acting to the referee. I get that perhaps in this case he was in a lot of pain but too often we are seeing French players rolling around crying like footballers. It's disgusting. Rugby is a mans game, so get up and show your opposition you ain't hurt. Really disgusts me and I hope the IRB stamp it out before this disease spreads, filth.

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moddeur November 14, 2012 1:50 pm

Nyanga is no playacter, it kind of hurts to be spear-tackled by a 2nd rower while your feet are off the ground.
In fact Nyanga was subbed 2mn after that hit because he was in pain.
You're out of your league in this particular case.

But you're right about playacting in the Top14, it's rampant, and it's a growing problem (foreigners in the Top14 are increasingly doing it too).

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browner November 14, 2012 6:30 pm

Moddeur watch video again........Nyanga Glances up at the referee to check that he's watching, and then goes back into painful face expression....... aka Ronaldo style !!

You're outta your 'integrity' on this one, golden globe nomination for Nyanga

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moddeur November 14, 2012 7:18 pm

I watched it again for your benefit, he rolls back on his stomach probably hoping to get up, and at this time his eyes seem closed right when you suspect him of glancing at the referee.
Sometimes when you can hit on the field, you first think you can get up -- but you can't, and then you stay down and twitch a bit. Happens to me at least once in a while.
So either Nyanga's an imbecile (because who would need to keep rolling around on the floor when the referee has already blown his whistle and 80,000 people are already booing?), or I'm right.
Knowing Nyanga's character, what you're suggesting is simply impossible in my book. If you had said that about Vincent Clerc I would already be buying you beer :)
But then again, I can't really be sure. Given that he was taken off 2mn later, I suspect him of actually aching.

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RedYeti November 14, 2012 6:57 pm

If you have just been spear-tackled by an 18 stone second row and had him land on your ribcage the last thing you would do is writhe and roll around on the floor. You're at risk of a serious spinal injury. You can tell when players are truly hurt as they lay pretty much completely still waiting for medical assistance.

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London Callin November 16, 2012 12:13 am

Nyanga is truly injured, he goes out of the field shortly after the incident. I agree with you that rugby is a mans game, but it doesn't mean people playing it don't feel any pain any more. Have you actually ever played this game before? Sorry to sound a little irritated, but this kind of comment is not helping.
Also, please alllow me to question your assessment that all French rugby players are actors. This kind of behavior has nothing to do with the nationality of the players. Some French players do act but no more than Australians or Brits or NZ. If you are talking about the top 14, just look at the number of foreigners playing out there.

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Demosys November 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Yellow/red well deserved. A shame that any refs could see the number.
On the other side i'm happy because Les Bleus won against a full Wallabies squad (which is already weakened). The win as much more value :)

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cheyanqui November 14, 2012 5:16 pm

The issue i see from the video replays is that the tackler's jersey number shows as "7". If the Referee and his Assistants are looking from the corner of their eyes, or from more than 30m away, they may have not been able to tell. I found it disappointing that none of them said "it was a guy wearing "7", but I can't tell which. Perhaps between the three of them, tey could have triangulated into the culprit, because "17" and "7" don't look alike.

This is a clear cardable offense (we can't tell the color from the referee banter), and the only open issue is which of the fifteen Australia players should serve the sanction. If this is not the place for a TMO to get involved, I don't know what is.

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cheyanqui November 14, 2012 5:58 pm

The greatest hustle would have been if Nigel Owens had of asked the captain "bring him here", and hope he doesn't ask "which number"

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stroudos November 14, 2012 6:11 pm

Good thinking. And even if the captain asked which number, Owens could have replied with something like "Don't get smart with me or you'll go to the bin too"!

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cheyanqui November 14, 2012 5:59 pm

And my mistake -- it was "19", but the refs thought it was "7" -- WTF

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Rugbydump November 14, 2012 6:55 pm

Simmons has reportedly been suspended for 8 'active' weeks.

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browner November 14, 2012 7:19 pm


Defender tackles player onto his back , with proper hold & no 'spear' involved [when you drive the player into the ground head/shoulder 1st] .

His torso was horizontal, It's a wonderful tackle ............ add it to the list of other great hits

Josh Lewsey v Matt Rogers
Julian Savea v Rob Kierney
Wilkinson v Ntamack etc etc

Be clear what the differences are.... lets not make tackling illegal !...shoulder hits through the neck head area are the worst ill in our game ......not these

applaud !!!!

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Sparky November 14, 2012 7:22 pm

Rugby: a ruffin's game played by gentlemen...
Taking responsibility for one's action is a correct principle - in any activity.

The issue here is, the team is penalized by being a man short if sent off during the game, but only the player is penalized if suspended after the game. It would help the players do the right thing by eliminating the conflict of interest.

I agree the acting injured is turnig our sport towards soccer/football which I find undesirable. Playing the game should not be about playing the rules. If a player is injured, how about having him taken off the field for a set period of time?

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cheyanqui November 14, 2012 8:14 pm

Althought I think this deserved a ban, I am frankly surprised when compared to Adam Thompson's.

Thompson gets only one week, for doing something that we have long been told has no place in rugby. Sure, it was not a nasty stamp, more of a "message" boot. But still there was no reason to do it.

Compare to Simmons's play -- sure, outcome looked worse. It was a reckless play, but at least it was a play that can still be considered a "rugby play" - i.e. a tackle.

Something tells me that it sniffs of the passes that the All Blacks seem to habitually enjoy. If it were Bakkies Botha putting a boot to Richie McCaw's head, Bakkies would have gotten 12 weeks.

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BarryT November 14, 2012 9:47 pm

Personally, no red card, but the rules say it is a red card! Could Nigel have gone to the TMO for that? Tackles like that need to be looked at through replay and each case given its own speciality, i think players landing on their back is ok but odds are if they land on their back, the legs have gone above the waist, needs reviewing cause its ruining the game!

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dema November 15, 2012 3:03 am

Apparently the TMO can only be consulted about scoring or not scoring a try or a goal or a touchdown. Not for foul play far away from the goal line. In some competitions (English Premiership?) they are testing this possibility, though.

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katman November 15, 2012 8:54 am

So this gets 8 "active" weeks, and Thompson gets one week (in which he was going to be rested anyway? The outcry on Twitter and the IRB's subsequent promise to relook Thompson's sentence is welcome but not good enough. These double standards are beyond a joke. Like Kevvie Mealamu's headbutt ban. And Kevvie and Tana's collective spear tackle tap on the wrist.

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Mike November 16, 2012 4:47 pm

I'm afraid rugby union is getting a little soft he landed completely on his back, the tackle was not dangerous. Referees need to be able to interpret the laws of the game because there is no way that should get more harsh a punishment then for example the spear tackle on richie mccaw from lote tuqiri i think a penalty would be sufficient for the lateness of the tackle and that is all.

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Nick November 16, 2012 5:10 pm

they dont have the time to be using tmo for every single offence and possible forward pass

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