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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Edinburgh's Nick De Luca flips Tom Grabham in dangerous tackle

Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca has been banned for 13 weeks following the red card he received for a dangerous tackle late in the game against the Ospreys at the weekend. He attended a disciplinary hearing in Dublin earlier today.

De Luca lifted and flipped Ospreys replacement back Tom Grabham, who we last saw on RD for his incredible ball control at the Glasgow Sevens in June last year.

After a quick chat, the touch judge and referee opted to send De Luca for an early shower just four minutes from time in Edinburgh's 24-7 defeat to the Ospreys, their tenth loss in a row.

The tackle contravened Law 10.4(j), which states: "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."

De Luca returned to action recently following a fractured eye socket that occurred while training in January. He is now back on the sidelines again though, this time with a ban for what was a nasty, albeit clumsy, looking tackle that could have caused a bad injury.

The PRO12 disciplinary committee took into account all the evidence presented, including videos of the incident, and concluded that the tackle was at the top level for this type of offence. The top level ranges from 12 to 52 weeks.

Having taken into account aggravating and mitigating factors, they concluded that 13 weeks was an appropriate suspension for the Scotland international.

The suspension runs until midnight on Sunday 26 May 2013. De Luca has the right to appeal.

NOTE: The video has now been removed by the BBC unfortunately.
You will need to view it on their website here (available to UK users only)

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:49 am | View Comments (33)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 33 comments

EggsAndBacon February 27, 2013 3:00 pm

Terrible tackle, he knew well what he was doing going into the tackle. Silly stuff, Grabham could have broken his neck. He should get a decent ban for that, despite regretting his actions.

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Ramram February 27, 2013 3:04 pm

Not sure how the commentator can say he's seen worse. That is definitely one of the worst tackles I have ever seen, utterly horrendous. De Luca's facial expression looked like he disagreed with the decision too, hoping he gets sat in front of the replay after the match so he can understand how bad that is

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DanKnapp February 27, 2013 11:30 pm

THAT tackle on Brian O'Driscoll was worse, but this is still utterly horrendous. I'm sure he'll face a decent ban.

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DanKnapp February 27, 2013 11:33 pm

Didn't read the article right, he faced a 13 week ban.

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No9scrum February 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Having acctually met and followed him since he was real young i can say that he really didn't mean it. It was bad cause he did land on his head, but some players do things like this where they try to hurt others, nick just isn't the type of player or guy who does something like that on purpose. Still deserves a ban though.

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Joe Sweeney February 27, 2013 3:33 pm

as is often the case with these sorts of tackles, the problem is that DeLuca's technique is lazy. He grabs legs and lifts without putting in the shoulder and driving his legs. The result is that the ball-carrier is statically flipped instead of driven back onto his arse. Reckless danger is the result, but lazy technique was the cause.

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BB12 February 27, 2013 3:33 pm

Prob what he meant was the fact he flips him but doesn't drive him into the ground which applies more force and can be far more harmful on the player being tackles.
Bad tackle, 50/50 on a ban or not. If he does should only be a couple of games.

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Colombes February 27, 2013 3:38 pm

Atrocious tackle, brave ref decision, red card deserved

On a side note, the "disagreement" reaction of nick de luca just shows that some players still don't understand irb rules, the danger and the uselessness of this type of tackle.

A consistent and constant red card application could help

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Citing Commissioner February 27, 2013 3:46 pm

What a muppet!

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johndoe February 27, 2013 3:56 pm

I think most people here are misreading the situation. It wasn't a malicious tackle. The lower you grab below the waist, the faster the lifted player will rotate due to gravity, not the tackler purposely rotating the player, and the worse it looks. This was a bad tackle and a red card, but it wasn't malicious and it was an easy decision for the referee - textbook red card under the current definition. A simple decision, not brave.

As for the tackler disagreeing with the referee, I don't think he's doing that at all. Judging by what I see, the player knows he's made a bad play. He tries to walk away from the situation immediately after the tackle and he doesn't respond when number 15 starts shoving and pulling him. No player lets that go unless they are trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Also, the look on his face looks more like frustration at himself, not disagreement with the ref. He doesn't shake his head, just blows at his cheeks and keeps looking down at the ground.

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TechnoMouse February 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Agree with you johndoe, his expression to me looks to be one of disappointment in himself/disbelief that he'd actually done that. Definitely worthy of the red card though, and suspension seems about right to me as a deterrent.

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Paddy Top Comment | February 27, 2013 6:22 pm

Not surprised De Luca dropped the player, he drops everything.

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Gramps88 February 27, 2013 7:14 pm

13 week ban was a bit harsh for that.

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Gramps88 February 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Also, why is it that the English boy in the under 20s only got a 7 week ban for something that was equal if not worse?

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HeavyHooker February 28, 2013 6:00 am

As soon as I saw this I thought the same thing. More 13 week bans would sort this out soon enough.

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browner March 01, 2013 1:50 pm

He shouldve got 26 weeks , as part of his 'EDUCATION'

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Tom February 27, 2013 8:10 pm

Yea, I saw that one - It was a lot worse and it was off the ball.

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Juggernauter February 27, 2013 10:11 pm

Silly technique really... Keep the reds coming for these potential neck breakers and they'll soon be off. Oh and bring back the dump tackles!

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browner March 01, 2013 1:54 pm

My Referees society is encouraging the distinction between a legitimate 'drive on to his arse', or onto his back ....tackle

& these tip overs

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WelshOsprey February 27, 2013 11:01 pm

13 weeks seems about right

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Maha February 27, 2013 11:24 pm

hope he never plays for scotland again decent player shit attitude, hardly showed any remorse for what was a stupid tackle.

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ChillDoubt February 28, 2013 12:29 am

That is total brain fade form De Luca. What on earth was he thinking?
His reaction at being sent off could hardly have helped either, very blase and matter-of-fact.
13 weeks is appropriate, should give him plenty of time to 'reflect'.

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Josh February 28, 2013 12:42 am

To be honest I am happy that he has got himself banned. Keeps out the Scotland fold that little bit longer. He is crap, it was malicious and it isn't his first sin binning for doing stupid things like that.

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Gallego February 28, 2013 12:53 am

Doing that with five minutes left in the game... I just don't get it.

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brawnybalboa February 28, 2013 2:01 am

In my book, any tackle like this where the defender lifts a players legs above the vertical and either drops or drives them head or shoulder first into the turf should get a maximum ban. There have been some really prolific events involving spear and tip tackles in recent years (BOD, Warburton etc) so it is hardly a little known piece of foul play to players, fans, pundits, citing commissioners, officials etc alike. All players know that a red card is the likely end result.

If the IRB have any realistic concern for players safety, they should begin escalating these bans until the tackles stop happening. Once players start routinely getting banned for 6 months or more they will stop doing it. The maximum for gouging is 3 years, biting 4 years, and head butting is 2 years. Arguably tackles like this can cause more damage than these, and should receive harsher bans to reflect this.

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Aonghus February 28, 2013 11:30 am

He knew the minute he did it, that he was going off. He put his hands up and didnt respond to the other Ospreys player pushing him. Was a bad tackle. Unnecessary as well.

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galwegian February 28, 2013 3:12 pm

It is likely that it's only a matter of time before someone in professional rugby breaks their neck and is paralysed. We will respond then with much more severe laws and punishments, but the price paid will be huge for some unfortunate player. If De Luca was faced with the threat of losing 1-2 year's earnings, he would have figured out how to control that tackle. Laws should create appropriate deterrents, clearly the tip tackle law is not a sufficient deterrent at present.

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browner March 01, 2013 1:48 pm

Does anyone know whether banned players still collect their salaries?

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Stubby February 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Already happened in Canada, a high school player died.

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dunc March 01, 2013 5:21 am

Anybody who thinks this is bad who is welsh clearly has a short memory....the was off the ball and worse.

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browner March 01, 2013 1:47 pm

I'm really quiet dissappointed in the referee ........... he does not need to go & speak to the AR ...

The ref clearly saw it, his conversation with TJ clearly confirmed he'd already decided it was going to get the maximum penalty of a RC, so why involve the touchjudge [apart from it being annoyingly fashionable]

Have the courage .... consult if in doubt, Deal with it if not in doubt

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DrG March 02, 2013 6:34 pm

What donChristo said... plus might have been something that occurred elsewhere that needed dealing with/reverse penalties etc etc..

I don't see anything wrong with conferring so as to be 101% sure..

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donChristo March 02, 2013 2:06 pm

Browner, just to clarify a little point, the TJ has his flag out. Therefore before any decision is made by the referee he must consult with the TJ to see if the reason for the flagging is the same reason as to why his hand was out for a penalty advantage.

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