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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Chris Hala'ufia suspended for five weeks after straight red card

London Irish number eight Chris Hala'ufia has been banned for five weeks following a straight red card for a big tackle against London Welsh last weekend. Both team's coaches however felt it was a tough call and probably shouldn't have been a red card.

Hard hitting Hala'ufia has a history of suspensions, usually for high or dangerous tackles, so it's no surprise that after the latest incident he has been banned for five weeks.

The actual severity of the offence itself though has been questioned by many, including opposition coach Lyn Jones, who said that he was unlucky to be sent from the field.

"It was a good tackle, which turned into a suspect tackle," said Jones of the hit on Seb Jewell.

"Sam Warburton was red-carded for exactly the same incident in last year’s World Cup semi-final.

"It was just unfortunate. I don’t think there was any malice or intent in it. Sometimes referees’ hands are tied in these situations. It certainly influenced the rest of the game."

The 34-year-old Tongan was shown red just ten minutes after kickoff, which no doubt had an affect on his side's 15-9 loss to London Welsh.

The tackle itself appeared to be okay but as Jewell jumped into it, the force meant he landed on his back, which sent his legs flailing and past the horizontal. These days that sends off red flags in the officials' minds. Whether the law is correct at the moment or not remains a hot talking point.

What are your thoughts on this tackle in particular?

UPDATE: Hala'ufia has successfully appealed his ban and is free to play immediately.

Posted at 9:37 am | 90 comments

Bradley Davies & Stephen Ferris big tackles discussed

Chris Hala'ufia suspended internally for six weeks after hit

Sam Warburton red card in Rugby World Cup Semi Final

Chris Hala'ufia banned for seven weeks for Morgan tackle

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 90 comments

DanKnapp December 06, 2012 1:43 pm

Seems harsh as he didn't let the man drop, and the rotation was a result of Jewell jumping into the tackle (as RD states). Easy to look at it in replay and say it should have been a yellow, but the ref only gets one look (unless he uses TMO) and have to admit it looks worse than it is.

Dangerous tackle undoubtedly though, so perhaps a red is right (although does seem harsh).

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Andy December 06, 2012 1:46 pm

Bigger man v smaller man there i'm afraid.

No malice intended in my view.

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AngloExile December 06, 2012 1:46 pm

Awful decision, referees really need to stop over-policing these incidents and start looking at other areas which are still bringing down the game

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browner December 06, 2012 10:36 pm

area's........ such as?

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jeppy89 December 06, 2012 1:47 pm

its dangerous because of the mismatch, i dont think it compares to warburton's and certainly not davies disgusting tackle.

Warburton lost control of his man, (not in my opinion deliberately) but thats what makes it so dangerous. Hala'ufia seems a touch hard done to here.

Id also like to say how commendable his lack of protest was and his attempt to find jewell and shake his hand. Makes a big difference from the thug that hit morgan.

the five weeks is all on his history, shame this has made any future decisions even easier for the ref, hes a marked lad now

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matt December 06, 2012 5:54 pm

I think Hala'ufia has lost control of his man just as much as warburton did, the only difference is that Hala'ufia has done so because of how hard he hits.
As far as his history goes I'm a big fan of banning people according to their track record, and he has a pretty poor one. He's had his warnings, I don't see why other players should be put at risk by a man who the officials know is unable, or unwilling, to control his own tackling.

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Full Back December 06, 2012 6:21 pm

I don't agree at all, Warburtons tackle was very different from a dynamics point of view and in how Warburton followed through.
Here we see a tackle at a certain speed that a player has to commit to. Hala'ufia didn't even go in high here, it was Jewell's jump that led to him flying back the way he did. He went in expecting resistance and found himself with a light player who's feet were off the ground, momentum did the rest.
In this case Jewell put himself at risk by his own actions, I don't see why another player has to be banned as a consequence, record or no record.
What does a ban serve here? Do coaches now start teaching players to fall back in the tackle because driving through can lead to terrible refereeing decisions?

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Morri December 07, 2012 10:43 am

Your an idiot Matt. 'Im a big fan of banning people according to track record.' That is definitley one way to ruin rugby. Good hit which no London Welsh players seemed to have a problem with, including Jewell who all continued to play the ruck. Penalty at most due to Jewell being the smaller man and thus rotating slightly.

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TechnoMouse December 06, 2012 1:47 pm

To me seems like a harsh call... the tackler doesn't go near the legs of the player, so you can't say that he's "lifted" or "tipped" him, it's a combination of the force of impact and the way that Jewell kind of jumps into the tackle. The fact remains the player has landed "beyond the horizontal" (albeit just) so I guess it is worthy of at least a yellow. But in the thick of it like the ref I can see why a red was given. A 5 week ban seems a bit much, but maybe that's a reflection on Hala'ufia's previous record more than this particular incident?

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craig December 06, 2012 1:53 pm

very harsh! i think mitigation has to be given for the fact that jewell jumped into the tackle, the fact that the ref did not have the option to go to the TMO and the fact that jewell clearly was not harmed in the tackle. If a tackle is DANGEROUS and therefore is a straight red card offence it should in my eyes have either A) Been malicious, B) been reckless or stupid (like that of Banahan on allen at the weekend), or C) Injured the player (like that of warburton in the world cup).

i think that the laws of the game there for the safety and are a good thing, however i still think that the interpretation of these laws is for the match officials and some level of discretion needs to be used. there was clearly a tip in the tackle (which the laws say is a red card) however there was not malus, there was not reckless or stupid action and there was not injury to jewell. therefore as it was a tip tackle there should be a penalty against Hala'Ufia, the ref should give him a warning and nothing more should be done about it.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:27 pm

Don't get how it was a tip tackle? He didn't lift the player. The force of the hit resulted in him landing on his back. He didn't grab the player and lift and dump.

I agree with your a and b - not c. Players can get injured through perfectly legal tackles.

Shouldn't have even a penalty. Should have been play on. Rugbydump could have uploaded the clip as a monster hit, which we could have all enjoyed rather debating a poor ref's decision.

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Chris December 06, 2012 5:58 pm

You can say all you want about the player being tackled, but the responsibility is ALL on the player making the tackle. Even at that, I don't think that Jewell was jumping at the point of contact. It looked more like an attempted step. He had 1 foot on the ground when the initial contact was made. Anyways, that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, since the laws of the game clearly say that "Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play."

Jewell's legs were straight up in the air and so was part of his lower back. This made the decision by the ref very easy. Add on to this that at the pre-match briefing he was probably told to look out for the #8, and that the refs have been told to punish this type of tackle more seriously due to the increasing number of serious head and spinal injuries resulting from tip/spear tackles. It is all up to the #8 to make sure that his tackle is legal. No responsibility on the guy getting hit. And refs have also been told to judge based on what they see, and not question motive or intent, and you hear the ref saying exactly that.

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matt December 06, 2012 6:06 pm

I think your point C is a very worrying prospect, if sanctions start getting attached to injuries we will very quickly start looking like football.
And Mr Mauler most people seem to agree with the ref at the time, on first instance it did look like it fit all the requirements of a red card offence, and he had no TMO to call on, its the very general wording of the laws and the citing that seems to be what most people don't like.

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magicmerv December 06, 2012 8:07 pm

General wording or not, fact is the law needs changing!

As per commentary that's a great hit from a big man on a smaller one; these decisions might be correct by the law but the law is an ass!

I agree with Brian Smith a rugby league style 'on report' system needs to be introduced. This hit, Warburton's in the world cup and many others had no great effort on the game but the red card's clearly did.

Everything in rugby training now is based around power in the contact area, these laws are armed at powering down the defence – if every time a player is knocked backwards in a tackle, and the tackler and/or official’s first thought is to this law there’s a problem.

You’ll get more tries but the game will be the worse for it!!

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Johnny December 06, 2012 2:04 pm

I can see why the ref gave it - it looked terrible, and he had no replay. If the tackled player's head got in a bad position on the way down, he could be a paraplegic now.

Still, a bit unlucky for Hala'ufia - it's not obvious that he meant anything other than a huge tackle.

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Gert December 06, 2012 2:09 pm

No justice. Was great hard tackle. Gents we are not playing netball, it is part of the game

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NicG December 06, 2012 2:27 pm

Shocking decision - textbook tackle.

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BDC December 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Terrible decision. This isn't the first time Hala'ufia has been hard done by either. I fear for the game when someone recieves a red card for putting in a great hit. All this achieves is to put players in fear of showing real aggression in the tackle area.

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Jimmy Rolland December 06, 2012 3:04 pm

In all fairness, that was a very dangerous tackle that could have resulted in a serious injury to the other player. It is the responsibility of all players to tackle responsibly.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:22 pm

Rubbish! Injuries I'm afraid are part of playing a contact sport. If you don't want to get injured then don't take the pass on a crash ball into a packed midfield due to a shortened lineout. It's the responsibility of each player to make as big a hit within the rules as he can not to think "oow I better not smash this guy in the off chance I'll get injured" because you know for sure the ball carrier is doing everything he can to smash you into the ground.

Punishment should be handed out to people who cause injury due to illegal play - gouging, spear tackles, stomping on heads, violent acts etc... but the second you start worrying about injuries in the tackle is when more injuries will happen and worse the game will get.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:23 pm

"oow I better not smash this guy in the off chance he'll get injured" << whoops

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katman December 06, 2012 3:05 pm

What a rubbish decision. The little guy only "tipped" because he was off the ground and the big guy hit his chest like a train. There was no lifting or driving down in any of this.

But even worse, how the hell did they give him 5 weeks for this? I can understand a ref getting it wrong on the field, but a bunch of blokes with a TV and access to rewind? What game are these people watching?

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flanker2712 December 06, 2012 4:28 pm

Completely agree with your comment. The player's momentum made his legs swing up to the all important "beyond the horizontal", so probably looked worse than it was for the referee. But the guys watching the video have no excuse.

The players themselves know what a dangerous tackle is, and their reaction is often a reliable indication of foul play. In this case, there was absolutely no reaction from the other players - indeed, as he is making his way off the field it looks as if more opposition players are making their way towards him to say "Unlucky mate".

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Full Back December 06, 2012 6:26 pm

Yeah I got the same impression, Jewell in fairness jumped straight up after the hit, no handbags no crap.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:17 pm

Bad decision. Great hit nothing illegal about it. No malice, no intent to injure. Arms were wrapped etc...

The player lands and plays the ball. Both sets of forward continue with the game. No players reacted in a manner which reflected something dangerous or illegal happened - you know the usual pushing and shoving etc...


Not only did the person tackle accpet the apology other players in the Welsh team seemed to sympathise with the player.


In rugby sometimes when it's a big man hitting a small man, the small man comes off worse. That's part and parcel. And there's very little the tackler can do - we're talking milliseconds in terms of defining an outcome. The only way you can guarantee a textbook non-dangerous tackle is going round the ankles, which in this day and age is totally pointless as the team will just offload/get quick ball or not go into the tackle fully committed, which is contrary to the sport and will likely result in injury to the tackler. How long until players cynically manipulate the contact to encourage others to be sent off - it's easier than you think to let yourself be lifted or to take produce a high tackle.

Speak to the players. Very few will ever have an issue with something that results in a yellow or red card. The ref's really need to get a grip. They're ruining our game!

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:29 pm

Go back and watch some of the Try Savers and Rib Breakers. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone of these tackles was classed as legal (these are from the game within the past 10 years). If today's rugby game every one of the Rib Breaker tackles would have probably classed as a red card offence.

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stroudos December 06, 2012 11:19 pm

Valid point, but not entirely true!

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Henkie December 06, 2012 3:31 pm

Good thing about this video is that you see the values of rugby and the sportmanship of Hala'ufia.

The refs word is law and the player accepts it. When he leaves the field he shakes hands with the opposite player and indirectly shows there wasn't any malicious intention.

I bring this up, because there is a big discussion going on in Holland about values and sportsmanship. Last weekend a soccer linesman was abused by three 16 year olds and died afterwards, probably because the linesman made some dubious decisions.

Glad to see that the first rugbyvid I watched today shows what great values our sport has.

Btw, tackle was in my opinion borderline. Can understand the red card, but I don't agree.

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DanKnapp December 06, 2012 4:56 pm

Great point, well made. There wasn't any whining or arguing with the ref. I'm also with others on this, 5 weeks (given that the citing panel could watch replays) seems bizarre. Can understand the ref sending him off given he's only had one quick look at it.

Also, kudos to the ref - he called it as he saw it and didn't go to the TMO. Takes guts to make that call, and glad to see nobody questioned it after.

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DanKnapp December 06, 2012 5:00 pm

Having rewatched the video, disapppointed to see that there was arguing with the ref on behalf of Danaher. Should have been marched 10 yards. Good to see Hala-ufia taking it so well.

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Pretzel December 06, 2012 5:41 pm

Dan, he couldn't go upstairs, at about the 0:52 mark we see the player with arms in the air and the referee turns and says "we don't have upstairs" so whether there was no TMO or whether the referee forgot about in game TMO, I don't know...

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Stubby December 06, 2012 3:37 pm

You guys are wrong. By the current definition, that was a dangerous tackle i.e. straight red card. The 5 week ban validates the on field ruling.

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matt the mauler December 06, 2012 3:39 pm

Please give the current defintion of which you speak?!

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James Murray December 06, 2012 3:44 pm

Stubby has no idea what he's talking about.

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Full Back December 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Well how on earth would we know? We're all wrong!

There seems to be alot of this on RD lately, yesterday I read "you guys are all stupid".

So the question is, Trolls or pure ignorance?

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Facepalm December 06, 2012 6:41 pm

What would Yaheim do?

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Full Back December 06, 2012 7:25 pm

I'm sure he's on his way to set us all straight

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browner December 06, 2012 10:49 pm

10 . 4 (e) Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously

Guys, if the official thinks it was dangerous , then it was ....... move on.

Surely this player must start modifying his 'through the top of the chest' tackling style , it's not a ball winning style it's purely to hurt & therefore treads the slippery 'dangerous' tightrope

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James Murray December 06, 2012 3:40 pm

Awesome tackle! OK, maybe it looked a bit like a spear but not a red card. And who was in that judicary panel? They must have been the biggest softies in the Kingdom. This is the best hit I've seen in a while.

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James Murray December 06, 2012 3:43 pm

And such a gentleman! What other sport has such sportmanship?

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Bootsy December 06, 2012 4:10 pm

@Gert - exactly right. We're playing a man's game - Jewell jumped into it and endangered himself.

Never a red card in reality, but refereeing is becoming a box ticking exercise (no fault of the refs but the rules themselves) and that was why he went off IMO.

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sithepie December 06, 2012 4:44 pm

Not a red, maybe a yellow at best. I think the legs were in the air only after the man was on the ground. Still, I disagree with the captain arguing with the ref. It's not football, so take the decision and play on.

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downwithdropgoals December 06, 2012 6:33 pm

The captain was not arguing with the ref, he was asking to go to the TMO, he would not be doing his job if he did not! Unfortunately this facility was not available at the stadium as you can hear the ref saying.

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Full Back December 06, 2012 6:35 pm

It's not football, hence the whole team didn't crowd around the ref and Jewell didn't roll around on the ground. It is Rugby though and as such the Captain has the right to talk to the ref.
Personally I don't think it was even a foul let alone a red, I can understand the captains point of view.
Where do we go from here? Wingers who can do backflips exaggerating bounce-offs to get rid of opposition players? Lets hope the sportsmanship lasts and has the final say because the powers that be seem to have their heads up their arses...in my opinion anyway

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Sud DMPRFC December 06, 2012 5:33 pm

He just smashed him, nothing wrong with that in my book!!

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Jimothy December 06, 2012 5:37 pm

Dreadful decision. Not even a penalty. Hard for the ref but he should have called in TMO for their opinion! Especially as he considered it a red card offense. As for the CC giving him 5 weeks! Well by all accounts if he behaved at the meeting and showed remorse it should have been reduced by 3 weeks. My personal opinion is that the tackled players movement was the result of him attempting to twist his body so he could present the ball.
Think the IRB needs to sort their sh+t out as the whole process is become a joke!!!

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Pretzel December 06, 2012 5:40 pm

From OUR angle, looking towards the referee's face it looks sort of bad in full speed, not sure how it looked from the referee's angle... However, I cannot begin to defend the referee's decision if he is completely backed up by the disciplinary panel (which he is, as the 5 week ban proves)...

Personally I find these sorts of tackles to be very risky. Not because of the risks of injuries (landing flat on ones back doesn't tend to cause ANY injuries) but more because of the interpretation; legs waving in the air look nasty and may prove to be what the referee sees, rather than the upper body flat on the ground...

I suppose for me to say "I think this is a yellow" is incorrect, the referee, the judges etc have all stated this was a red card offence, not in that choice of words, but the red card and the 5 week ban say as much. Someone made a point about TSRB's and how many tackles look the same as this, I think they're right, I think to judge a tackle by the positioning of the legs is not always going to yield fair outcomes...

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Pretzel December 06, 2012 5:43 pm

After re-watching it again, do I hear correctly when the referee says "judging on the outcome only"... as if he didn't really see the full incident?

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browner December 06, 2012 10:52 pm

Crikey, if Pretzel thinks it's "very risky" then it must actually be a fully fledged assault !!
Cos he's a mean tough buggerlugs
xx

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Pretzel December 07, 2012 3:06 am

If you say so browner. Although I suggest you practice your comprehension again, I said it was risky due to the ways it is over policed, not due to the risks involved (of which there are none)...

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Pretzel December 07, 2012 1:10 pm

*(of which there are none): Risks of injury that is...

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James December 06, 2012 5:43 pm

Outrageous decision, perfectly legitimate Big tackle. I can understand if the player had suffered a head injury but he didn't therefore no reason to stop play. As unfortunate as it is, that's what happens when you go into contact with a poor body position

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Caveman December 06, 2012 5:48 pm

Has anyone notice the forward pass (or it does look like it) before the tackle?

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Erik December 06, 2012 5:49 pm

Shouldn't this be the intro RD?

London Irish number eight Chris Hala'ufia has been banned for five weeks following a straight red card for a big tackle against London WELSH last weekend.

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Rugbydump December 07, 2012 1:42 pm

Yes, thanks for pointing it out! Bad typo.
Red card.

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Gee Dubya December 06, 2012 5:53 pm

Got boomed for taking a shit line with a little bunny hop, gratingly harsh call from the ref.

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Teddy December 06, 2012 5:53 pm

I think, watching that several times, a TMO if used would have gone on the side of caution and recommended a red card. While the tackle may not be a Spear or Tip tackle, he ends up the wrong way up with his head under the tackler, which in itself is a dangerous position to end up in at any time.
I can't blame the ref at all for his and the AR's decision on the field, at speed it looked bad and the player ended up in a potentially dangerous position.
As for the ban, well, that seems a bit excessive, but it was almost entirely down to the poor disciplinary record of the Tackler. A first offence would be no further action

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Sam December 06, 2012 5:58 pm

I can just about understand how on first viewing and in the speed of the moment a referee can see that as a red (even if i don't actually think it was deserved) but what's ridiculous is how it can be reviewed and a ban increased!

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rudwuan7 December 06, 2012 6:07 pm

1) i see how most people are saying refer to the TMO. i generally agree the TMO will definately make a difference when there's clear cut foul play aka all blacks could have easily lost a player 2 weeks in a row. at the same time we don't want rugby turning into american football. i think theres enough stoppages as it is.
2) the bath leicester game is a prime example of the tmo executing (technically) the right decision but then blowing all credibility by being unable to identify a name or number for the leicester player (dan bowden) and claiming donald threw punches???????.
3) the 5 week ban for hala'ufia sickens me. it sickens me because he is 34 and most likely won't get signed by a top team. he is a quality player and i know he's definately done some bad things in the past but it's obvious his demeanour is one of good nature... there would be a few players who would be all macho about a hit like that.

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flanker2712 December 06, 2012 6:10 pm

It's also funny how the opposite touch judge, when asked by the ref if he saw anything different, says "No, I had a lineout breaking up in front of me."

Lineout was well and truly over by the time the tackle was made! But as only fussy nobs like me check these things, it was a great excuse to get out of being involved in anything controversial.

5 week ban for lying to the referee.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh here - maybe he didn't see it because of the players near the tackle. My point is that even if he did see it, I am sure he would have said the same thing so as not to risk being put on the spot.

Is that what we wnat from touch judges?

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DAN December 06, 2012 6:23 pm

Thats is a joke.. that was a super hit.. RFU needs to get the finger out. Its rugby we are playing.

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LoganSinclair December 06, 2012 6:33 pm

That's a terrible call. Nothing wrong with the tackle at all. What do you expect to happen when you run that fast into a guy that size?

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downwithdropgoals December 06, 2012 6:39 pm

Looks a class tackle, the player actually jumps into the tackle which is a penalty itself due to it being dangerous. As much as i don't like to see ref's giving red in this situation with the current emphasis i can understand it. The disciplinary panel however are a disgrace!
Also this is nothing like the Warburton red, he was sent off for dropping the player when over the horizontal!

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Jackson C December 06, 2012 6:44 pm

the legs went past 90. by the letter of the law it should have been a red. I agree with teh carding decision because the referee only had one look at it and it looked suspect. he should not have been banned for 5 weeks tho. there was no malicious intent anything of that nature. just a big challenge by a big player.

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browner December 06, 2012 10:55 pm

show me the "letter of the law" that you refer to ?

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al_woody7 December 06, 2012 6:46 pm

What a joke, he got straight back up to his feet and his fault for not embracing it properly. If you gunna take a crash ball into someone 4 stone heavier than you, then expect a tackle like this.

Yellow would have been questionable let alone red.

And it was nothing like Warburton's, what a terrible shout, which too shouldn't have been a red.

What is this game coming to? First NRL bans shoulder charges and now you can't tackle hard!

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Full Back December 06, 2012 6:49 pm

maybe they think with more below the waist tackles there'll be more offloads making the game more of a spectacle....which will be all well and good until the bans come out for having twisted someone's knees.
Isn't there a tag league these citing commissioners can go and watch?

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Gonzoman December 06, 2012 7:01 pm

I definitely think the red was harsh. Technically, it was a penalty under law 10.4(j):

"Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play."

His upper body did come into contact with the ground while his feet were still off the ground...but really?

It wasn't particularly dangerous. Old mate was only really in danger of being winded, as he lands pretty much flat on his back. His head and neck and shoulders were in no danger. The only reason Jewell's legs went beyond the horizontal (not in the rules, but a guidline" is because he was folded like a cheap lawn-chair, and deservedly so.

I can see maybe giving a penalty for that hit to help set the tone and manage the game (it WAS borderline) but carding for that is definitely a stretch. I agree that his history makes for the lengthy ban, but disagree that there should even be a ban.

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matt the mauler December 07, 2012 3:16 pm

Was the player lifted though? The reason he went into the air was due to the force of a perfectly legal (in the sense he wrapped the arms) hit to chest. He didn't make a deliberate attempt to lift the man from the ground. The tackle forced the player off his feet, surely that has to be allowed.

There's very little difference to the excellent hit George North did on Owen Farrell in the 6 Nations http://www.rugbydump.com/2012/03/2377/the-big-hits-try-savers-and-collisions-from-england-vs-wales (at 1mins).

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Wuido December 06, 2012 7:35 pm

At this steps we'll end up using solid protection and IRL will be replace for NFL.. that was a awesome tackle, if they want to put a red card to someone that someone is called gravity.

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suntzu December 06, 2012 7:38 pm

The definition of a spear is bringing the legs above the waist which was the case and landing on the head, neck, shoulders or higher back which was the case... The fact that it was not malicious and no one was hurt is beyond the point... Why is everyone complaining. For once the call is consistent with a previous call (Alain Rolland on the Warburton tackle in the RWC) Every one knows that these tackles are being dealt with in a more severe fashion than they used to be, it's not new, the TMO would have gone with a red card as well... And yes rugby used to allow these or they went un-noticed but times change and there have been severe injuries to players at lower levels and that's why they're trying at top level to clean this sort of thing out of the game. Like it or not it's like that...

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RugBG December 06, 2012 9:02 pm

Somebody tell the Soccer Referee he is in the wrong game. I mean Really!?!?!? Guy makes proper, agressive hit with no malice intent and is rewarded a Red Card!!!!!! Whats this world coming to. And what the hell is up with this 5 week suspension! Unbelievable

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Kiwijase December 06, 2012 11:29 pm

Watch it once in real time - that's all the referee got.
No question, spear & reckless.
Sorry but reputation counts also...

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galwegian December 07, 2012 12:49 am

Any hit in the upper chest is legal, and that's a problem, as in this situation when it literally upends a player, or when the tackled player's head snaps forward onto the tackling shoulder and they get a head injury/concussion. But the high contact is legal, as long as some sort of arm wrapping gesture occurs.

In the current situation the tackled player upends, and the tackler's responsibility is to make sure he goes down no more than horizontal, but he seems to go a bit beyond that angle here. The ref had no option except a red card.

Tackles need to be lower, no higher than the crest. There should be nothing more important to the genuine rugby fan than the player's brain and spinal cord. I suspect that commenters here who have never really played hard are the most vociferous advocates of the big, borderline legal hits. Go look for your entertainment elsewhere, guys, there are players' lives and well-being at stake here.

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Full Back December 07, 2012 11:53 am

I agree with your sentiment on borderline hits, I've taken a few myself.
On this particular incident however, I don't think borderline applies, the initial contact is made below the chest. The force of the impact is understandable, the guy saw a player coming at him at speed and he went to meet him. The way Jewell flew back is more a consequence if his own actions than anything.
The only foul I see here is Jewell jumping into the tackle, which if I'm not wrong is not allowed.

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juan December 07, 2012 12:55 am

duuuudeeeeeeeee....where is my car?

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Rikovich December 07, 2012 9:15 am

I must say, I love the reaction of the Nr. 8 and how the players really listen to the ref.

In the Netherlands a soccer ref got kicked and beaten till he died. Now everyone here is saying the only solution for soccer is rugby. And I think they're right.

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Promin42 December 07, 2012 9:30 am

Red Card? In my opinion no but I've had my opinion clouded by several decades where a hit like this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow let alone a red card. That said Ref's can and do get decisions wrong the worrying thing is the citing commission have ratified his decision with the 5 week ban.

Before the IRB ends up with a sanitised version of the game nobody wants to watch or play I think they should consult the players themselves as to what they think should and shouldn't be allowed. Clearly current England International James Haskell doesn't have a problem with this tackle and responds accordingly by pointing out on twitter running into Hala'ufia isn't something he'd advise.

?@jameshaskell
@Eliota_Sapolu what a hit, reminds me never to run at him. Only looks bad because a bigger man hit a smaller man, when 2 opposites collide.

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ScrumDaft December 07, 2012 10:36 am

That was just a good tackle. He tackled him in the chest, which is legal, his difference in size and physicality meant that he won the collision zone easily. If the player running hadn't gone in so upright, this wouldn't have happened. It was made to look worse than it really was. Not even a penalty offence to me. Just a plain, good old big hit. Why we love the game. The IRB need to get their act together and change this new law.

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JM_2012 December 07, 2012 2:49 pm

I am a qualified society referee myself, and this incident is not just a disgrace, it's a complete joke. This tackle is simply a very hard hit to the ribs from? an incredibly powerful tackler (Hala'ufia) on a less powerful and sizeable opponent (Jewell) which has knocked him back, off his feet and onto his back without any attempt to lift him off the ground at all. Firstly, how JP Doyle cannot see this being approximately five feet away is hard to understand, but given that the tackle happens quickly he can be given the benefit of the doubt. However, what makes this incident so controversial and frankly quite ridiculous is that Hala'ufia was consequently banned for this tackle for 5 weeks, despite not having broken any laws of the game at all. Contrast this tackle to the extremely dangerous and malicious tackle by Mealamu et al. on Brian O'Driscoll on the Lions' 2005 tour, which was possible even to have been pre-meditated and was purposely designed to injure O'Driscoll, arguably the Lions' best player on the tour, and successfully ended his tour and therefore his threat. This (Hala'ufia's) tackle was not a tip-tackle, as the opponent was neither lifted nor turned past the horizontal. He was simply hit hard, straight backwards, off his feet and onto his back on the ground. Yes, Hala'ufia is an extremely powerful player and yes, he does not have a great disciplinary record but in this incident he is genuinely innocent - this should not even have been a penalty - let alone a card and certainly not a ban. If the RFU are looking to decrease the physicality of top level rugby, this is a sure way to go about it, but justifying and even further increasing the consequences of poor decision making is not the correct way to govern an area of the game which must be controlled accurately due to the increasing physicality of elite-level rugby.

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Colo December 07, 2012 3:59 pm

Same ban as Hore, that´s pure crap!

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Rugbydump December 07, 2012 4:09 pm

'Chris Hala’ufia successfully appealed his 5 week ban and is free to play immediately' London Irish tweet earlier today.

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downwithdropgoals December 07, 2012 5:35 pm

Glad to see common sense has prevailed, shows how hit and miss the judiciary system is. I can understand and forgive a ref for making a call in real time, the panel however had no such excuses

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Pretzel December 07, 2012 5:57 pm

HAAAAH, Says a lot really... How can the panel one minute feel it's worth FIVE weeks, then the next its not worth anything...

This says that either the panel think that he was WRONGFULLY carded or that a red card was sufficient enough punishment. But to go from 5 weeks to nothing is pathetic.

...but then why am I so surprised?

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stroudos December 07, 2012 11:43 pm

They don't know their arses from their elbows

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Str18kiwi December 09, 2012 5:32 pm

Ridiculous red card!

Not a malicious tackle, just unfortunate timing on the London welsh players part for jumping into the tackle....

What should the London Irish player do...? Hit him softly because he can't get his body position right? These descions ruin rugby!

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Will.F December 09, 2012 9:10 pm

Looks like an honest mistake to me. Don't think a card is inappropriate - players need incentives to try their best not to make honest mistakes that injure others. But a card shouldn't have to mean he's a terrible person (the guy showed great sportsmanship), so I'm glad they dropped the ban.

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Willwillrob December 10, 2012 7:16 pm

Glad the ban was lifted. player jumps into him Much bigger man hits him in the upper body. of course his legs are going to fly up. If you ran up and jumped into a road sign you legs will fly up and you will land on your neck.

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browner April 16, 2013 6:27 pm

Men of Harlech Re -le - ga -ted , All the English are e - lat - ed
Broke the Rules and have been sla - ted , men who’d flee'd from Wales

Championship they are re-tur-ning, Premiership road maps now need bur - ning
Quick return they will be yearning , perhaps in thirty years ?

Losing Premiership status hur – urts, but their Brains live on their Shir – irts,
Un-like the Scots they don’t wear skir-irts ... & now the dragon weeps

Wages slashed to what they're wo-orth, an M4 trip back home to Por-orth
Opposite direction drives George Nor-orth, Midlands homeward bound.

Hope the fans enjoyed their fa – ame, we’d like to see you soon aga-ain
Being bad is not a sha – aaaaammmmmme ..........
.......... Just ask London Scots !

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