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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Martin Bayfield gives practical demonstration of the tip-tackle law

Following the recent red card - and subsequent suspension - for Gloucester's Darren Dawidiuk, Martin Bayfield and Craig Doyle put together this handy practical explanation for those of us wondering why we see certain tackles ruled as dangerous these days. 

Bayfield chatted to the referee after that game and this is how he explained the current rulings.

"What we're looking at is not the intent of the player, it's basically what happens. If you pick a player up off his feet, and he goes to the ground, whether you drive him into the ground or not.. if you let go of him and he hits the ground, upper chest, upper back to the head, it's a red card.

"As soon as you lift a player up to parallel, you are into penalty area," added Bayfield.

It sounds extremely difficult to make dominant tackles when it's explained like that, but these laws are put in place for player safety, so as long as you're not lifting both legs up and bringing a player parallel to the ground, it seems like you'll be okay, and so will he.

What are your thoughts on the above explanation, and the current law regarding the tip-tackle?

Posted at 11:00 am | 8 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 8 comments

Matt March 13, 2013 5:11 pm

This seems to suggest that, once you lift a player off his feet in a tackle, a penalty is inevitable, it is just the additional sanction (yellow, red, ban etc.) that varies. That clearly is not what the law says:

"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"

Specifically, there is a clear requirement that "the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground". So, in the case that the player is dropped the "right" way up, as Martin Bayfield demonstrates at the end of the clip, there should - contrary to what he suggests - be no penalty at all.

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Nate July 07, 2013 11:13 am

If you look at the IRB memorandum on this issue, the sanctions are clearly spelled out for each variation, and it clearly dictates that once a player is lifted and dropped in any manner, there is a penalty for dangerous play.

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Mbell1012 March 13, 2013 6:14 pm

It is almost impossible for the player doing the tackling to recover a situation in a game situation the way explained here. With the momentum of the man you are tacking and just how quickly a tackle happens its just not possible for anybody to turn the player back round so that they are no longer parallel with the ground. I think a yellow card is harsh for that tackle shown in the Gloucester game the player being tackles was presenting the ball and was willing to play on he didn't land in a particularly dangerous position compared to some other videos I have seen. Some common sense goes a long way I just hope rugby isn't turning too soft

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glasgowexile March 13, 2013 9:55 pm

Quite right Matt. You'd think that the first port of call for an analyst doing a piece about a specific law would be....yep, looking up the Laws of the Game. Apparently not.

Almost as annoying as those commentators who still look for "downward pressure" on TMO try decisions.

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thunor March 17, 2013 2:45 pm

Yeah, that is intensely annoying, it became some sort of fad for the commentators to look for "downward pressure" at every TMO review; despite being entirely spurious.

You still hear it mentioned, but to a lesser extent. I think some (most?) of them have realised it was nonsense.

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Nate July 07, 2013 11:16 am

The first port of call is the Laws of the Game. The second port of call is the IRB memorandum on the issue, which dictates the sanctions for dropping a player or spearing. THis is to be used in conjunction of the Laws of the Game with respect to interpretation hence is what makes these sanctions exist under the laws.

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John Davies March 29, 2013 10:59 am

I'm not sure if people realise, but speaking from experience, when you're lifted up into the air, it is very very easy for you (the player getting tackled) to rotate their upper body into any angle they want

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John Davies March 30, 2013 1:31 am

Making it very easy to make a tackle that has gone out of control, look like a tackle which comes across as malicious or very dangerous, by simply helping the tackler, and rotating you body above the 'safe line'

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