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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Three red cards in heated Leicester Tigers vs Bath battle at Welford Road

Referee Tim Wigglesworth showed three red cards during Leicester Tigers' hard fought 17-12 win over Bath in the Aviva Premiership on the weekend. There were also two yellow cards in a second half at Welford Road that few could have predicted.

Bath were looking strong after tries to Stephen Donald and Tom Biggs despite two penalties from George Ford. Things went downhill in the second half though, as they first lost Simon Taylor to the bin for obstruction, then Francois Louw got sent off for something far more sinister.

The cameras didn't catch the actual incident but the referee's assistant had no hesitation in recommending a red card for Louw dropping an elbow on Tigers fullback Geordan Murphy.

Fast forward a few minutes and Matt Bahanan high tackled Anthony Allen from a restart, knocking him out cold. Brett Deacon took exception to it in the form of a punch to the face before chaos ensued, and both players were red carded upon recommendation of the Television Match Official.

"Certainly I will never condone or coach foul play and I know the professionals involved," said Bath coach Gary Gold post match. "I thought Matt's definitely wasn't a red but when you lose a game I don't want to have a go at officials.

"It was irresponsible and it was unfortunate but I didn't think it was red but it was a penalty and Matt knows he has made a mistake and feels terrible about it."

Tigers boss Richard Cockerill wasn't as delicate in his description of the officials' rulings.

"Three red cards in a game where there was a lot of pushing and shoving and a clumsy tackle is madness to me. It was just shenanigans. In a way what went on made the game more interesting. We all live in the playground. Boys will be boys and you shake hands and get on with it," said Cockerill.

"The first sending off was something about nothing. There was a bit of a scuffle and Louw dropped an elbow on a player and it’s a straight red card. Should he have been sent off? Probably not.

"It’s a bit harsh but it’s the world we live in. I don’t think it will put anybody off from wanting to play the game but it’s a man’s game. It’s a physical game.

"Banahan is a big, physical man who made a clumsy challenge. It hurt Anthony and it looks particularly bad but I don’t think it was particularly malicious. Brett Deacon retaliates a little bit and throws a punch because his mate has been pole-axed and suddenly they are both off.

"You strike a player and it’s a straight red. It’s political correctness gone mad and in my opinion it’s out of kilter in terms of how the game should be played.

"If you go back to the 1990s when this side was very aggressive we would have three blokes a side. I don't necessarily agree with how it's refereed but that's the way it is," he added.

A few minutes after the main incident, Donald was sinbinned for pushing a player in the face.

SUSPENSIONS

Earlier tonight a discplinary panel banned Tigers flanker Brett Deacon for one week for striking, while Matt Banahan received a three week suspension for the dangerous tackle on Allen.

The case of Francois Louw was dismissed, but quite surprisingly Bath hooker Lee Mears received a two week ban for striking, which wasn't spotted by the cameras or officials on the day.

Posted at 3:06 pm | 82 comments

Stephen Donald yellow card for Dan Bowden face shove

Shane Williams' great try saving tackle on big Matt Banahan

Matt Banahan big charge knocks out Kelly Brown

Matt Banahan's tip tackle on Berrick Barnes

Matt Banahan red carded for stamping

Leicester vs Bath - Big hits and Dupuy's winning try

Julian White floors Andrew Sheridan with one punch

Matt Banahan bounces Donguy then smashes Medard

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 82 comments

Fred December 04, 2012 11:21 pm

I don't think that was intentional by Banahan.

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Bowhay December 04, 2012 11:24 pm

Didn't see Louw's, Banahan's was definitely a red. Think Deacon's was harsh, it was instinctive to hit Banahan, yellow would have sufficed in my opinion

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Guy December 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Well...I guess Banahans tackle was also instintive...

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Bowhay December 04, 2012 11:51 pm

I suppose, but there is no excuse for that kind of hit in my book

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UpTheLowEnd December 04, 2012 11:53 pm

Deacons looked more like a slap to me.

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Ottawa Rugger December 05, 2012 2:37 am

Yeah, it did draw blood though. You can see Banahan's lip bleeding as he walks off

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macmurchu December 05, 2012 10:52 am

Banahan was punched beside his right ear, nothing to do with the blood on his lip. Yellow for everyone but Louw I reckon

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Lenulid December 05, 2012 2:13 am

No excuse? Have you played? You are running full speed you see the ball near you you extend you arme to make the tackle, it was an accident that he passed out If he hadn't it would have only been a yellow.

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Jon December 05, 2012 4:08 am

Bowhay, it was accidental.
Yellow at most.
There's too many cards in the game.

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matt December 05, 2012 2:13 am

They get a hard time for not having the balls to make big calls, I think it's good to see them doing it here, too often we hear them say exactly whats happened, and then give a yellow, it's what keith wood and nigel Davies was complaining about at the end of this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6xxo75RkCw

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Guy December 04, 2012 11:49 pm

Not sure wether all cards were right but certainly happy to see the linesmen, ref and tmo at least make some real decisions in this video.

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cheyanqui December 05, 2012 12:08 am

So referee penalizes (+ red card) Banahan for the initial hit, and then gives a red card to Deacon for the retaliatory punch on the dead ball.

How on earth was the penalty not reversed? Was that a refereeing mistake, or a change in law application?

If it's the latter, it seems that one of the hallmarks of the amateur spirit of rugby (that retaliation was always a no-no) is now lost.

Are we now in the realm of rugby league where the first infraction is always punished?

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Rugbydump December 05, 2012 11:13 am

The ref basically said that he wasn't prepared to reverse the decision after that tackle.

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Reality December 05, 2012 2:20 pm

To be honest with you, I think the whole, "retaliating is worse than starting it" thing is nonsense. If two guys punch each other, then the one who started it is obviously more to blame, because without him starting it, nothing would have happened. I have no problem with a person retaliating a bit (within reason) after being attacked or wronged in some way. It's like when Paul O'Connell got a yellow card after his fight with Cudmore. Cudmore was obviously the one responsible, but should O'Connell have gotten a red card and the penalty reversed because he retaliated after being attacked? The idea is complete madness to me. It's human nature to dish out a bit of justice after someone has wronged you, and I don't think that you should be punished more than the original transgressor. Banahan puts in a massive high tackle on Allen, so Deacon sticks his hand in his face to express his unhappiness with it. Are you really saying that Deacon is the worse offender here?

And anyway, wasn't one of the hallmarks of amateur rugby that you do retaliate? For example, the 99-call being admired as a stroke of genius.

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Facepalm December 05, 2012 7:48 pm

I agree with you in the sense that if you get punched, you should have the reasonable right to defend yourself. But Deacon did not need to defend himself. This situation is completely incomparable to the O'Connell one. Banahan is almost backing away as he receives a face full "justice". Justice does not need to be taken by players. Justice is taken by the referee. This isn't amateur rugby. This is fully fledged professionals and they should be far more level headed. What Banahan did was stupid yet not malicious. What Deacon did was both stupid and malicious. So yes, Deacon is the worse offender.

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Reality December 05, 2012 8:59 pm

Ok, they're different situations, but they're still very similar. It's very rare that a player actually needs to defend himself, because after he's punched, others will immediately arrive to stop what's happening, so saying that it's ok to punch back to defend yourself but not to defend someone else doesn't make a lot of sense.

And anyway, you're saying that Deacon is an awful human being because he clumsily stuck his hand in Banahan's face? You think Banahan's misdemeanour isn't malicious because you've seen replays and the aftermath. Deacon sees Banahan pratically take his teammate's head off, and doesn't get the benefit of hindsight like you do. Do you really expect him to just stand there in the heat of the moment and give Banahan a dirty look? I'd say lashing out is completely understandable, and that when there are mitigating circumstances, they need to be taken into account. And anyway, it's not like he went up and knocked Banahan out cold; he just sort of stuck his hand in his face. Give him a yellow, yeah, but a red card, week's ban and a reversal of the penalty even though Banahan is solely responsible for the thing being started? That'd be simply ridiculous.

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Facepalm December 05, 2012 11:06 pm

...!

Deacon isn't defending Allen? At no point did I say Deacon is defending Allen. I'm pretty sure that was the emphasis of my point. It's idiotic to hit someone unless it is through self defence. And this wasn't a case of self defence. This was a case of testosterone and a roar of the crowd.

You just described the idea of not being allowed to retaliate as "madness". Yet you then say it's very rare that a player actually needs to retaliate to defend himself. This could be a case of misinterpreting what you've said, but you've contradicted yourself with those two comments.

I have never said Deacon is an awful human being. Please do not put words in my mouth. I've seen what Banahan has done. I've seen what Deacon has done. I've seen the replays. I can see nothing sinister in their intentions, just sheer stupidity.

Do I expect Deacon to stand there and give Banahan a dirty look? No. Do I expect Deacon to punch Banahan in the face? No. You can let people know what you think without asking them to read it off your knuckles.

Stupid high tackle = Yellow - No suspension
Stupid punch to the face = Red - No suspension

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Reality December 06, 2012 12:03 am

I didn't contradict myself at all. I said that it's rare that a player needs to retaliate to defend himself. If he retaliates as a result of being wronged or attacked, he doesn't necessarily do it to defend himself; he just does it to retaliate, which in my opinion is very understandable. So, no, I didn't really contradict myself at all. I don't condone retaliation, but I certainly have sympathy for those who do it.

Anyway, what it boils down to is that you want to give Banahan an extremely light punishment after giving someone a massive clothesline at full speed which knocked him out cold, and give an extremely harsh punishment to Deacon who saw him do this and struck (you can't punch with an open palm) him not particularly hard out of frustration and a sense of outrage. I don't see any logic in that at all. As I said, give him a yellow to show that people don't have a carte blanche when it comes to retaliating, but recognise that the root of the whole problem is Banahan, and give him the harsher punishment as a result.

And don't start saying that a 'punch' is a 'punch', because if people can't recognise the difference between that jab and a big haymaker, then they're obviously too black and white to be argued with.

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Facepalm December 06, 2012 1:12 am

"I have no problem with a person retaliating"

"I don't condone retaliation"

Can you see my confusion? It's one extreme to the other. It's kind of rich of you to call someone else's argument black and white.

Also, the argument is not as simple as what you believe it "boils down to". It's not solely about the punishment, it's the reason for the punishment. Particularly for Deacon. I really don't know what your view on retaliation actually is. But I see this as an unnecessary inexcusable punch to the face. You can see Banahan's head whip as he gets hit. Red card.

If you once again change your mind mid-post, this thread is going nowhere.

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Reality December 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Well if you're going to take my comments out of context, then maybe it will appear that I'm contradicting myself. "I have no problem with a person retaliating" was followed by, "a bit (within reason) after being attacked or wronged in some way". If someone gives his attacker or wrongdoer a taste of his own medicine, I don't have a problem. I said I don't condone retaliation, yes. I don't condemn it; I don't condone it; I just think it's an understandable part of human behaviour.

The argument in my opinion is as simple as I said it was, but even if it isn't, are you saying that striking (as I said, an open palm can't punch) somebody after he's just practically taken off your teammate's head is inexcusable while an extremely dangerous tackle which knocks someone out cold is excusable? You can say it was an accident as much as you want, but the fact of the matter is that Banahan is solely responsible for the outcome of the tackle, and saying that it was a mistake isn't a very good excuse, because it happened, and he's responsible. Yeah, Deacon's punch was unnecessary, but the knock-out blow on Allen was even more unnecessary, and was the cause of the aftermath.

As I said, if Banahan wasn't so stupid, there would have been no unconscious players on the ground, and there would have been nothing to retaliate for. You talk about the difference between malice and stupidity, but I don't think that carelessness for other players' safety is much better than malice. I'd take a malicious jab over a stupid knock-out blow that sends someone to hospital any day.

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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:31 pm

I wouldn't call Banahan's actions stupid, at best a little awkard but really a little unlucky that his big hit target ducked.
Deacon reacted in a hot headed way, while it may be understandable from a macho point of view it's inexcusable from a professional point of view.

By the way and open palm can do quite a bit of damage if it catches your nose in the right place

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Reality December 06, 2012 9:23 pm

Ah yeah, but a big spear tackle can be a result of awkward clumsiness rather than malice, but it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be punished. If you punish the offender and say that it's his responsibility not to tackle illegally, then he'll make sure he doesn't make another clumsy, awkward tackle again, and it'll discourage others from doing the same.

And I agree that an open palm can do damage, but it's still not a punch, because punches are done with closed fists. And considering that Allen was knocked out, I'd say the high tackle was the more dangerous thing in this instance.

Anyway, if Deacon engages in a bit of pushing and shoving, give him nothing, if he gives the guy a jab, give him a yellow, if he absolutely goes to town on the guy's face and beats the living daylights out of him, then ok, give him a red. There are differing degrees of retaliation, and mitigating circumstances should, in my opinion, be taken into account when giving out punishment.

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Pretzel December 05, 2012 12:19 am

-Can't judge the first incident.
-Bananaman tackle, did not look like a swinging arm to me, it looked clumsy and late, wouldn't have questioned a yellow card, red seems a bit harsh.
- Deacon's punch... again, wouldn't have questioned a yellow, red seems a bit harsh.

I was in some ways happy to see a touch judge with some balls, even if I didn't see the incident. Also the TMO again, happy to see a man with balls not afraid of recommending red's (even if I don't agree with them).

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matt December 05, 2012 2:09 am

The consistency is nice to see, both were reds by the letter of the law, so that's what he awarded, it at least allows the players and fans to know what to expect, although I think Banahan's could have been mitigated for the obstruction

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Full Back December 05, 2012 2:17 am

You reckon Banahan's was intentional then? I don't think he's a dirty player at all, tough yes, but not dirty. A little off the subject but not really, when you think that Hore got to play the whole match against Wales after his cowardly strike this just seems all the more unfair.
Would like to see the elbow to Murphy at this stage!

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Lenulid December 05, 2012 2:20 am

What about Donald's yellow?? That's a decision that shows that the TMO didn't know how to interpret a scuffle that is rather common and somehow part of the game. I don't like the TMO making this kinds of decisions that have such an impact on the game.

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Full Back December 05, 2012 2:25 am

I agree with you, scuffles are part of the game. There's a limit of course but it's always been there in any physical sport.
It's one thing making a decision in the heat of the moment but with a video there's no excuse at all. Isn't the TMO match official a qualified ref?

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Ben McMahon December 05, 2012 12:37 am

From cockerill's description and having watched the game myself i totally agree red cards were highly unecessary after all getting legally smashed does more damage to a players body than a punch to the face yet its a requirement of the game- do we red card people for that-no so as long as a serious injury isnt incurred leave the lads on the pitch to face legal repercussions. and when its all over lets shake hands and have a laugh at the bar like men

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ChillDoubt December 05, 2012 12:43 am

Have to say I felt a little sorry for Banahan, certainly didn't appear to be any malice in it and Allen, taking evasive action sort of ducked into it a little bit so 3 weeks is a tad harsh.

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BarryT December 05, 2012 12:52 am

Louw's card, didn't see, but was geordan murphy play acting? seemed to be in bits holding his face then got up instantaneously.....again didn't see so I dunno! Sounds like a red card.....?

Banahan's was clumsy, but a red card, the lad got stretchered off and it was high, Banahan's responsibility I suppose

Deacon's was ridiculous, hardly a yellow in my opinion but it was in the face so there ya go, banahan wasn't even in the fight after that incident, and even made peace with deacon before the red cards! Madness altogether

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Full Back December 05, 2012 2:10 am

Murphy's not the type to play act, sometimes when you get a bang it takes a minute for the stars to clear, if you can you take your time, a scuffle was breaking out over his head so he jumped up as quick as he could...at least that's how I saw it.
I have to say I'd agree with Cockerills analysis, a couple of sin bins and away you go. Banahan and Deacon had already started chatting by the time the ref made a decision.
Way to ruin a rugby game

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rugby08 December 05, 2012 12:16 pm

Seriously?

That's all that Murphy does now when he's on the pitch. Trying to get under the opponents skin and being a pest.

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Full Back December 05, 2012 12:33 pm

Well I know the guy so I just don't see it that way...maybe I'm biased though, it's all a matter of opinion. He's anything but an asshole.

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rugby08 December 05, 2012 1:23 pm

Yea he seems like a decent guy.

He was cleary trying to wind up Bath though when he came on to the pitch, and it worked!

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browner December 06, 2012 10:22 pm

Murphy said in the bar afterwards, that he didn't think it deserved a red, a caution perhaps, but it never connected !

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Flying Dutchman December 05, 2012 1:03 am

I'm surprised that the (3 week) penalty for the dangerous tackle, although stupid and dangerous but seemingly not intentional, is harsher than the (1 week) penalty for a punch, which is obviously intentional and malicious. Any thoughts?

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stroudos December 05, 2012 12:30 pm

Three weeks ban for Banaha-hanrahan is outrageous. The red card was a correct and sufficient punishment. The right sanction was applied at the time of the offence, no need for any further attention.

Deacon's punch was nothing, just an instant reaction. Banners rolled with it, didn't do any harm. Yellow at most, in my view.

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Facepalm December 05, 2012 11:16 pm

I've just sat gormlessly at my computer for a good few minutes trying to pronounce Banaha-hanrahan :O

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stroudos December 07, 2012 1:45 pm

His name always reminds me of Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan, from the awesome 90s spoof news programme The Day Today - remember that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bq_dkPkQUU

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yaheim December 05, 2012 1:10 am

you all are stupid!! i say red card anyone who doesn't feel like they can be discipline enough to play.. it takes a feeble mind to not be able to control your tackles and your anger.. i mean, how long have we been playing this game?
the second doesn't cancel the first.. they both deserved it..

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Full Back December 05, 2012 1:56 am

Well luckily for us we have you to intervene and set us all straight, just let me apologise on behalf of everyone for having our own opinions of a game some of us have played for more than 20yrs.
Come on lads, lets not be so stupid from now on, we should ask ourselves "what would Yaheim think in this situation", then we're on the right track.
Thanks again Yaheim, you're a fucking hero!

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Yaheim December 05, 2012 2:05 am

thank you.. and don't mention it.. oh and I'm just a hero without the "fucken" part..

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Full Back December 05, 2012 2:11 am

sorry, I got emotional, I'll try and improve on that

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macmurchu December 05, 2012 10:57 am

Yes, you've been commenting on this website for long enough for your feeble mind to be able to control your anger and reply, I mean, what would Yaheim do?

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Jon December 05, 2012 4:11 am

Yaheim, you're wrong.
This is accidental.
Anyone who's played has done a high tackle or ten. You can't help it sometimes, it just happens.

It's a tough game. Stop being such a sook.

And how's the idiot commentator, "In any league in the world, that's a red card!"
No it bloody well isn't. In the SH this would almost certainly be no more than a yellow.
We don't hand out cards like confetti like they do in the north.

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browner December 06, 2012 10:29 pm

just because you don't ....doesn't make it right.....maybe you should start.

Amateur days have gone, professional discipline = professional players .
Everyone is so much more powerful, but cheekbones / eyes / necks & noses aren't that much more muscled......

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al_woody7 December 05, 2012 1:11 am

A red and two yellows - no one seems to mention Allen was crouching and then ducked and it wasn't a swinging arm. The punch to the face was tiddlywinks.

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Pretzel December 05, 2012 1:42 am

Crouching and ducking makes no difference, I agree it was not a swinging arm, but unless Allen crouches down to knee level then it's not an excuse, you can always go lower. Bananaman went for a higher up crunching hit, and as much as I disagree with the red card, the onus is still on the tackler regardless...

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Full Back December 05, 2012 1:59 am

It's a grey area but I see where you're coming from. Red is madness though right? The onus may be on the tackler but as long as it's legal to tackle at chest height you're entitled to go for it, if the player ducks it should be taken into account. Much like accidental offside and professional fouls.

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Pretzel December 05, 2012 5:22 am

Well Full back, yes and no. I think a yellow would suffice for that tackle. Yes chest height is legal, however it's more risky. It is like a spear tackle, you're more than welcome to pick up a player (and I believe) spin him around "base over ace" as long as you place him down correctly... however, you mess up and he lands on his head then you're the one that ends up in the sh*t for a risky move. So with that, if you decide to take the risk by hitting higher up (rather than heading for the ankles) then you're the one that has to take the blame if it goes wrong.

It's sad to see a red card for what we would probably agree was an accident, but with head injuries/neck injuries etc and trying to reduce such injuries, I think it will make players think about what they do, for instance this was just an arm which produced a KO, what if in another scenario it was a full shoulder to the face, more damage etc.

So all in all, I agree that this red was harsh (and the subsequent ban was worse!) but I think there needs to be a cushion to protect players from losing their heads...

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Full Back December 05, 2012 11:25 am

Fair enough, some good points. With the increased physicality serious injuries need to be avoided I guess...it's a fine line though.
On the spear I'm not sure, I think you're no longer allowed to spin the player anymore, you can lift but you have to wrap and fall with the player so that his shoulders are above his hips at all times.
It's one that I benefit from more than anything being a full-back! ;)
If reds were given for all the times I ducked after taking a high ball and got a clout I would have played against 14 men god knows how many times!

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The Green Mafia December 05, 2012 1:41 am

Gotta love the "consistency" of citing comitees!

- Banahan banned for 3 weeks - I can understand that. Didnt look malicious, but it was certainly reckless play that endangered Allen. Banahan overrun his man and just threw an arm out. He has the the duty of care, so he gets a ban for knocking Allen out. Fine. Move on.
- Deacon banned for 1 week - Well, it's really really harsh to ban someone for what looked like a slap. He was given a red card, was that not dealling with it sufficiently?
- Here's the kicker in all this -> Louw get NO BAN - I'm a big fan of Louw but this is ridiculous from the citing comitees. Deacon gets 1 week for striking, Banahan gets 3 for unintentionally but recklesstly tackling high, and Louw gets away with intentional elbow to the face? Lord have mercy! The liner didn't even hesitate and promptly said that it had been intentional and recommended a red card! What's the factor here? It's only worth a ban if it's on tv and people make a big deal out of it? Is elbowing someone in the face not striking (and potentially more dangerous than a punch)? The way flying elbows and dropping elbows to the face are being managed this year is just RIDICULOUS! 1 week for a slap on the face, only 2 for a flying elbow (no excuse for that, if you want to clear an offside player, just ruck him, dont lunge elbow first towards his face, you damn thug) and 0 for droping an elbow on the face of someone lying on the floor? For once I think that we aren't being strict enough. I think we'll need someone to get a concussion from an elbow in the face to start paying atention. Either that or having someone who is not south african elbow someone!

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poccio December 05, 2012 12:12 pm

I agree with the spirit, it's not fair. I don't know if this is the case but I would think that the citing commissioner can't do anything without some kind of video evidence, so in a way you are right by saying 'It's only worth a ban if it's on tv'.

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Gonzoman December 05, 2012 9:00 pm

I'm not sure what footage the citing commission had available, but if they have the same footage as us, they don't really have enough evidence to make a judgement on Louw's elbow. I wish there was, because personally I feel that there is no call to drop elbows. If you feel like smashing someone's face, at least have the decency to use your hand...it's softer.

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browner December 06, 2012 10:16 pm

To be fair to him, Geordan Murphy said he thought there was nothing in 'the elbow' , it hardly grazed him ..... The overriding issue here is
Whenever a TMO reviews things COLD [& sometimes in Slow-Mo, then he will always be harsher than the ref .....
TMO referrals are 'experimental' so outcomes will be interesting, my personal view is it's here to stay.

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Ottawa Rugger December 05, 2012 2:51 am

By they way, I read somewhere else that it is Leicester that banned Deacon internally for losing his cool which resulting in negating Banahan's sending off. This means it was NOT the citing commissioner.

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HeavyHooker December 05, 2012 3:10 am

I get tired of people blaming the ball carrier for "ducking" into tackles. If you look, Allen is cushioning a catch and at 1:54 Banahan is rocketing in with no crouch, not even attempting to hit at the shoulder or chest. As I coach the kids I say you go in high all the time you will one day take someone's head off and be penalized so expect it. These guys play enough to know how to tackle properly. The hit was reckless and dangerous and whether you like it or not, head shots are no longer part of the game. Banahan deserved the red for shear stupidity.

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Reality December 05, 2012 2:11 pm

Couldn't agree more. When you catch a high ball or run forward, your body automatically crouches forward a bit. It's simply not humanly possible to stay completely upright when catching a ball or running. Saying that people are responsible for high tackles because they duck into them is just stupid. Will we blame him as well for not being tall enough to take Banahan's tackle?

As you said, go for a normal height tackle. If you're a bit low or high, then no big deal. If you go for a high, chest hit every time, then being a bit high with that means hitting the guy in the head.

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Wilshd December 05, 2012 7:42 pm

you cant say that you "get tired of it".... if you charge at someone and duck at the last minute you can just expect everyone to just stop and let you through! if you duck the arm will follow you down in an equally sudden movement thus this "swinging action"..if allen hadnt ducked so low it would have hit his chest, he would have been rucked over and banahan would have been lauded for a magnificent tackle....

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Reality December 05, 2012 9:14 pm

Are you having a laugh? He dips down to take the impact of the ball, which is what every player in the world does when they catch a high ball. How can you consider him to be responsible for it and not Banahan?

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Wilshd December 05, 2012 9:25 pm

ive rewatched it another 5 times, if you see when he catches it he is actually leaning backwards, his first motion after catching it is forwards, across and down, if banahan had hit him as he caught it it would have been on the chest. pause the video on 1.54 - the moment of impact. u will see allen has a very crouched up posture in comaprrison to the 3 players surrounding him. Cockerill himself said it was a mistake therefore i dont see why he got a three week ban

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Reality December 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Ah come on! So should they write a law saying that crouching on taken a high ball is illegal? He ducks slightly to take the impact of the ball and then braces himself for the oncoming tackler. It's not like he ducks down to knee height. Saying that he's responsible for his own misfortune is ridiculous. Banahan is the only one at fault here. I'm not saying he did it on purpose - on the contrary, his demeanor seems to suggest that it was a big accident - but he still did it, and blaming Allen for getting himself high-tackled is crazy.

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HeavyHooker December 06, 2012 2:17 am

You are daft. From a standing start to get going the body bent is usually bending to accelerate, to say that he ducks is just crazy. Why not critique Banahan's poor technique. As I said he does not even try and crouch to tackle.

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Pete December 05, 2012 11:08 am

All three would have been yellow 3 years ago, I think cleaning up the game is important but worry that the new laws and how they are being implemented are slowly removing the referee's room to use common sense. The Leicester 6 threw a weak slap/punch which didn't hurt the Bath 12 and two minutes later they were shaking hands and apologising to each other. What's the point in then sending them off?

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SpencaH December 05, 2012 11:11 am

Fine line for refs between being soft and being hypochondriacs......

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poccio December 05, 2012 12:13 pm

if Deacon thought he was going to get a red for that sissy punch I bet he would have at least make it count!

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stroudos December 05, 2012 12:23 pm

Here's one small issue of using the TMO for foul play. Once it goes to TMO, if there is any foul play there's always going to be a severe punishment meted out, because the TMO is looking at the incident dispassionately and with a strict application of the laws. In a game situation, the ref will naturally have a certain level of empathy with the players and will instinctively take into account the context of a situation.

In this case, I reckon if the ref had had the courage of his own convictions, he'd probably still have red carded Banaha-hanrahan but probably yellow at most to Deacon. Which I think would have been about right. The punch was not that aggressive (if that can be said about a punch). The meaning conveyed was not "I'm trying to hurt you", it was simply "FFS you just knocked my team-mate out you clumsy prick".

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SpencaH December 05, 2012 5:17 pm

This raises the question of whether the TMO watches the game live? or just sits there twiddling his fingers waiting for the call, which may/may never come? He must be lonely, and bloodey good at Sudoku's!

Because if he IS watching the game then his decision will undoubtedly be influenced by a number of factors that could work for/against teams. And I feel that removes the objectivity that should come from all TMO's. Not to mention the pressure of making quick calls what with the TMO being used more and more and managers, players and spectators wanting fast flowing matches leading to rash calls. I'd rather be an Air Traffic controller myself, less stressful.

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stroudos December 07, 2012 1:48 pm

Well I think it's the former actually. Judging from this guy's appearance (and he's the only one I think I've seen so far, a few times now), I reckon he's sitting in his little room cranking out Sudokus faster than he can boil the kettle for his next mug of Horlicks.

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Wilshd December 05, 2012 7:37 pm

I have to say having seen this replay a few times and paused it on the point of contact where banahan hits allen, allen adopts a VERY low body position. As a rugby player i can fully empathise with banahan as if you see his arm would have only hit Allens chest just below his shoulders...however because he ducks he gets an arm in the face thus knocking him unconcious.... i have to say three weeks ban for that was deeply unfair, if you go ducking out of tackles you have to assume that the arm is going to be coming towards your face. and not your chest...its nice to know that you can smash a guy unconscious off the ball and get 5 weeks, or you can attempt to make a tackle and get it slightly wrong and end up with 3 weeks ban!

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Wilshd December 05, 2012 7:37 pm

I have to say having seen this replay a few times and paused it on the point of contact where banahan hits allen, allen adopts a VERY low body position. As a rugby player i can fully empathise with banahan as if you see his arm would have only hit Allens chest just below his shoulders...however because he ducks he gets an arm in the face thus knocking him unconcious.... i have to say three weeks ban for that was deeply unfair, if you go ducking out of tackles you have to assume that the arm is going to be coming towards your face. and not your chest...its nice to know that you can smash a guy unconscious off the ball and get 5 weeks, or you can attempt to make a tackle and get it slightly wrong and end up with 3 weeks ban!

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katman December 05, 2012 8:39 pm

That's what you get when you make a Wigglesworth the referee. Personally I'd stick to Brandybucks, Proudfoots and, at a push, a Baggins.

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katman December 06, 2012 2:57 pm

I take my cue from Bilbo here.

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smashhulk December 05, 2012 10:45 pm

I actually welcome the unwillingness to tolerate high tackles - As one of the commentators alluded to it's the tacker's responsibility to make a safe, legal tackle.

I think he was unlucky, but his poor technique was also to blame. There's more to a tackle than swinging your arms, as many of the smaller players demonstrate week-in week-out.

I'd like to see an offence of dangerous play, which the refs can then judge based on all the factors. Under that definition Banahan would have got a red, Louw a red, and Deacon a yellow.

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browner December 06, 2012 10:20 pm

But SmashHulk.....there is already a Law

10.4 Dangerous play
a] - o] specified

(a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including
the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

fairly clear - me thinks

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bananaraman December 06, 2012 5:43 pm

incorrect in the report that Mears wasn´t spotted by the tv. I watched it live and Austin kindly brought it to everyone´s attantion. 2 cowardly punches on a player unable to defend himself on the floor, 2 weeks, intentional, cowardly and gets less of a ban that clumsy oaf.

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browner December 06, 2012 9:57 pm

Lawbook is clear ...... Retaliation is reversal of the Penalty

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smashhulk December 06, 2012 10:34 pm

Cheers Browner - making up for my laziness.

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mrmrchoice December 07, 2012 2:16 pm

as a referee what bothers me most is that Leicester ultimately had the penalty. It's pretty clear that the penalty should go against the subsequent offence i.e. Deacon's punch

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Feddderico December 07, 2012 4:16 pm

Red card on Francois Louw for that??? Are you kidding me??
I think its too much! Judges are getting too much straight about discipline in my opinion.

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Charliej212 January 06, 2013 1:11 pm

This TMO guy isn't working. It's like he sits in his little shed and doesn't watch the game at all until he's told to make a decision. In this instance he clearly has no appreciation for the temperature of the game.

Deacon doesn't deserve a red in my book. I don't see this obsession with making the game squeaky clean; why should it need to be?! Banahan's tackle, fair enough that was dangerous, justifiable red card. What Deacon did was not dangerous, yellow at most.

Players' safety should be the paramount concern, I see eliminating all dead ball confrontations as a futile effort which is just likely to ruin games as a contest.

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