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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ilai Tinai suspended for five weeks for dangerous tackle against Wales

Fiji came back from 19-0 down to win the Hong Kong Sevens Final 26-19 last weekend, but in fairly controversial circumstances after star Ilai Tinai received a yellow card for what could have been a red. He has since been suspended.

An awkward looking first half tackle on Lee Williams was deemed to have been worthy of only a yellow card, despite the dangerous nature of the landing.

Williams wasn't injured and Tinai was sin-binned only, which in Sevens equates to just two minutes off the field. A red card sending off could have possibly given Wales the advantage needed to hang on and claim their first ever Hong Kong Sevens title.

It's scant consolation for the runners up now, but Fiji will be without Tinai for the upcoming Tokyo Sevens leg as he was banned for five weeks by an IRB disciplinary committee.

Fiji have called up Japan based Josefa Lilidamu as a replacement.

It's not often that we see big suspensions in Sevens, but in this case it can be said that the tackle, and lack of on-field punishment, might have affected the outcome of the result. Your thoughts?

Posted at 10:13 pm | 29 comments

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Viewing 29 comments

TotesMcGoates March 28, 2013 1:12 am

Definite red card in accordance to the precedent that the referees have been setting in the last couple of years. Much worse than the 'dangerous tackles' by Lance and Mapoe in the Reds vs Bulls clash over the weekend which were also met with yellow cards. I think we'd all love to see a bit more consistency when it comes to this kind of tackle.

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Rugbyantics March 28, 2013 1:16 am

Couldn't stop thinking about how ridiculous this looks only getting a yellow card after Jono Lance was given the same for a much, much less dangerous tackle. Some level of consistency at all by the IRB would be pretty fantastic.

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DrG March 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Consistency and the IRB are like taking a trip to the Sun to cool down...

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baph0mt March 28, 2013 1:17 am

It's realistic to think that the dump tackle was intentional, given Fiji's position at that point the game. He might have wanted to lay a dirty hit while his team was down. Hard to judge not given the atmosphere of the match.

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baph0mt March 28, 2013 1:20 am

Correction: There's no way that tackle wasn't intentional.

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rufio March 28, 2013 1:35 am

intentional or not. Red Card.

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matt March 28, 2013 1:28 am

Referees need to man up, we see them bottling the big calls so often, they are beginning to have far too much of an impact on games.
But in the Fijian's defence it does look to me as though he doesn't get as much of a grip on the man as he was expecting, which meant instead of carrying the ballcarrier he ended up rotating him.

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brawnybalboa March 28, 2013 2:34 am

I can see how Welsh fans could feel hard done by. In 15's Warburton got red carded for dumping a player onto their upper back, whilst in sevens here dumping a player onto the head gets only a yellow. It is not the card that is given that is the problem, it is the consistency across the game, club, international, sevens or fifteens.

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Andyloughranvet March 28, 2013 3:07 am

Definite red card. Ridiculous decision by ref

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cheyanqui March 28, 2013 3:20 am

Not asking for the TMO to jump into everything in sevens -- the game is too quick, and a TMO decision would give players the chance to recover (which is a huge advantage in sevens). They already rely on in-goal refs (vs TMO) for tries.

That said, I think that for foul play, the referee should be able to refer it to a TMO. But not for PK vs yellow -- to me it should be if the referee has already judged it to be a yellow, and then it's up to the TMO to escalate to a red (vs yellow).

You then use the two minutes of yellow card time to get the TMO to review and decide if it's a red. If it's worthy of a red, then the player simply doesn't come back. The game isn't needlessly slowed down.

Thoughts?

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browner March 29, 2013 3:03 pm

Seems reasonable, although most TMO reviews are in slow mo & they invariably make things look worse. Real speed reviews are more appropriate , but i still suspect that TMO's will air on the side of 'worsening'

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Simcap March 28, 2013 3:36 am

So you get a five week ban for something that could take you out of the the game for good. And an eight week minimum ban for swearing, which doesn't hurt anyone. Something wrong there.

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Gonzoman March 28, 2013 4:39 pm

I think some of the ban length has to do with the number of games missed/impact to the team. In 7s, missing one week means missing at least 4 games whereas in 15s, it's only one.

In addition, I'm going to assume you're referring the the Parisse incident? That is technically a citing for abuse of a match official, which is a very serious offence in most sports (except soccer/football, apparently!). While in my estimation, swearing at a ref is toward the low end of that scale, it's still abuse of an official.

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tinltn March 28, 2013 4:25 am

I was watching from directly behind the tackle and it was a definite RED..if anything the camera angle doesn't really show how much he was 'driven' into the ground. Basically the ref and touch judge bottled it, more than likely due to the very vocal Fiji support in the stadium. Shame 'cos Wales were deservedly right on top at this point and the tackle was a mixture of frustration and intention...should have been off for good.

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Miguel March 28, 2013 7:51 am

As a developing referee i have learned that anything that puts a player in danger should be sanctioned accordingly, so I do think that the referee has made a bad call by only giving a yellow card. But referees sometimes have afraid that their decisions could be a game changer. Even that said I do think that the red card would be the most correct decision. In accordance with laws of the game.

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gerrymentle March 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Miguel, as you should know a referee must be completely objective and ref a game by the rule book. If a player commits a foul that warrants a red card then it is the player who has changed the game not the ref. Some discretion should be allowed but not for professional fouls and plays that puts the health and safety of other players in danger. You are right in the fact the ref by showing a yellow and not red as he should have done took the responsibility of making a game changing decision which is not part of his duty.

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browner April 03, 2013 3:40 pm

.........."sometimes afraid that their decision would be a game changer"...........

Boooooooooooooooooooo Hissssssssssssssssssssssssssss to the thought !

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Guy March 28, 2013 9:31 am

Ref asked the linesman for advice and acted accordingly. Normally that would be totally okay. But in this case it happens right in front of both of them. Actually, the ref has an even better view than the linesman.

To me it looks like he was not willing to make a decision that would decide the outcome of the match.

By the way: not completely sure it was intentional, it just happens too fast. Intentional or not should not have bearing on the color of the card though.

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Canadian content March 28, 2013 1:17 pm

Agreed it all happened very quickly and the welsh player was comig with quite a bit of momentum and the Fijian player seemed more careless than anything in his manipulatiOn of the tackled player. Whereas warburton by contrast had complete control of his opponent and deliberately drove him into the ground (Sam manned up and said the red was the right call).

That being said, it was dangerous and if they erred on the side of. Auction and gave a red to discourage these kinds of tackle I'd have no problem with it

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browner March 28, 2013 8:27 pm

"To me it looks like he was not willing to make a decision that would decide the outcome of the match"

Fairly clear, & fairly obvious ..... However if you know anything about referee's it's ....... that they can expertly make a case to justify all the wrong decisions that are made !

You can imagine the conversation
Ref.... "i'm thinking YC - do you disagree AR"
AR ......"No - RC "
Ref...... thanks , No RC it is then.


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Scotty Jay March 28, 2013 1:27 pm

A player may be cited even when the Referee’s decision was to show a Yellow Card only. When a player is cited for dangerous play, a Judicial Officer may make a finding contrary to the Referee's decision if he is satisfied that on the balance of probabilities the Referee's decision was wrong.
An RWC 2011 example of such a finding were the ‘tip tackle’ yellow card citings of Fabrice Estebanez & Sukanaialu Hufanga in the Tonga v France match on refereed by Steve Walsh. That is to say, Red Cards and not just Yellow Cards should have been issued.

It is well settled that the lifting of a player beyond horizontal is prima facie, dangerous and it is the tacklers responsibility to ensure that the lifted player is returned to ground safely.Three Scenarios, when a tackler horizontally lifts a player off the ground in reverse order of seriousness are-
1.The player is lifted and then driven, forced or speared into the ground. The directive to match officials is that a Red Card should be issued for this type of tackle.
2.The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety. The directive to match officials is that a Red Card should be issued for this type of tackle.
3.For all other types of lifting tackle the directive to match officials is that it may be considered that a Penalty or A Yellow Card is sufficient.
Where IRB match officials get it wrong, it is not uncommon for them to be stood down for a period

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DrG March 28, 2013 1:36 pm

I don't know whether we all just end up speculating. But more often than not it seems that referee's are too "scared" to make a decision which will decide the outcome of the match, or help to decide...

I obviously the tackle was deemed as dangerous by the referee or the touch judge, but the referee SAW where the final body positions were, are they not allowed to put 2 and 2 together?

This is OBVIOUSLY red card worthy otherwise the player would not be on the receiving end of a 5 week ban.

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Gonzoman March 28, 2013 4:35 pm

I think we can all agree...that should have been a red card. I personally believe Tinai was surprised a bit by the Welsh player's speed and momentum which caused the rotation. It should still be a red card. Everyone watching that knows it.

Come on, IRB. It shouldn't be that hard to get consistency for the obvious ones!

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Canadian content March 28, 2013 7:22 pm

Certainly it would make the game more interesting if more red cards were handed out

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browner March 28, 2013 8:20 pm

Maybe x2 RC each in the first two mins, & then to ensure regular possession changes - how about handing over possession every 6 tackles !!!

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Jasz March 30, 2013 8:36 am

due the so called dangerous tackle, if watch the same tackle was done to Fijian Player was not called off, well one Ref one decision, better play next time

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jasz00 March 30, 2013 9:04 am

My days off playing players could only penalize if players are pin down without holding of the support by the tackler now Rugby has move into more practical safe mode, red card was a good decision later on, the other side this game is not a easy game The Fijian tackler really didn't meant to be like that, he kept holding to the Welch player as they both went down together. if any of you guys watch some of the other clips a Fijian Player was also taken down same kind of tackle but was not called fore...so what will we say than just penalized certain teams

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browner April 03, 2013 3:37 pm

That decision had the awful stench of 'other influences'

Denials are futile, suspicion will always remain.

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