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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Martin Landajo banned for one week for stamping on Wallaby hands

Puma's scrumhalf Martin Landajo has been banned for a week for stamping during Argentina's 54-17 Rugby Championship final round loss to the Wallabies in Rosario on Saturday. He was cautioned by referee Wayne Barnes at the time, but was later cited. 

Landajo appeared to be frustrated with the Australian players slowing the ball down, so took his frustrations out on the hands of both Saia Fainga'a and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

The latter confronted him angrily, clearly in a bit of pain after receiving some studs on the knuckles.

Referee Wayne Barnes had a good view of it, but upon referall to the TMO and seeing some TV replays, he was happy that a talking to and the penalty for the Wallabies should stand.

The citing commisioner however deemed it to be a red cad worthy offence, and it was referred to a discplinary hearing, where judicial officer Nigel Hampton said that it was a reckless attempt to free the ball at the back of the ruck.

"This was a lower end offence and, given the early guilty plea, Landajo's contrition and his good playing record, appropriately could be dealt with by a one week suspension," he explained.

Landajo has been suspended from all forms of the game, up to and including 14th October 2013.

The other incident of foul play in this match was when Rob Simmons hit Felipe Contepomi off the ball, knocking him to the turf. Simmons received a yellow card for it.

View highlights of Argentina vs Australia

Posted at 5:07 pm | 37 comments

Rob Simmons off the ball shoulder on Felipe Contepomi

Wallabies run riot in Rosario with big win over Argentina

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, The Rugby Championship

Viewing 37 comments

finedisregard October 08, 2013 7:18 pm

Cheap sure, but a week? Come on. They're handing out bans for everything and anything. I hate sanitized rugby!

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Kevin October 11, 2013 1:39 pm

ye but 3 blatant stamps, clearly after the whistle... very lucky not to get more.

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matt October 08, 2013 7:22 pm

I thought at the time that Barnes got this wrong. IMO the 'stamping' was fine because it's something that seems to happen at every ruck without issue. But my problem was with the way that he heard the whistle, looked up, and then did it 3 times. I think it should be more of a ban

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Full Back October 08, 2013 8:18 pm

Maybe he thought the whistle went for killing the ball and felt that he was in the right (as he would have been in most games that I've played in).
A week is good as a message for the kids...although I preferred the message we got when we started off, be courageous and every action has an opposite and equal reaction!

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Reality October 08, 2013 8:49 pm

Personally, if the referee blew the whistle and awarded my team a penalty and the opposing scrumhalf then repeatedly stamped all over my hands I'd be pretty annoyed and would want justice.

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matt October 08, 2013 9:00 pm

Unfortunately he looks at barnes who has his arm up and pointed towards australia and then gets revenge, so even that slightly feeble defence doesnt apply

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Full Back October 09, 2013 7:00 am

well Matt, there's heat of the moment thinking and then there's watching it from the couch reasoning.

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matt October 09, 2013 12:47 pm

Very true, but that doesnt excuse it

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stroudos October 08, 2013 8:19 pm

See, I thought they'd changed the law a season or two ago, so that you had to support your own bodyweight at the ruck. If you're resting on your hands, that means you're in an illegal position.

In this case, the Argentine player knocked "the advertising agency" into that position so not his (AAC's) fault, but if they are applying this rule then Faingaa would be deemed fair play for a bit of shoe-to-hand service.

Have only seen highlights of the game, but I would surmise the Aussies must have been slowing Argie ball down quite a lot for him to go stamping quite this vigorously?

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Full Back October 08, 2013 8:35 pm

I think it was more frustration at not being able to get into any sort of rhythm, more to do with solid Aussie play than anything else in my opinion.

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ViennaCelt13 October 08, 2013 11:21 pm

I would say all the frustration started when the Wallabies repeatedly forced scrum resets for over seven minutes five metres from their in-goal, soon at the beginning of the match. The ref didn't help with taking so long to card the Wallabies for sabotaging the scrums, and the Argies failed to keep their heads cool and capitalise their initial scrummage dominance.
Throughout the match, every time Argentina would be getting momentum, the Wallabies (naturally) seek to break that up with both legal and illegal tactics. Like any other side would do. Again, the Argies failed to keep their heads cool, focus and keep it up, not to mention the crappy defensive line.
So this stomping, which I don't condone (I would have slapped the guy in the back of the head instead), did come out of frustration, but in my opinion, both of not being able to keep the score in control and of the Wallabies getting away with illegal interferences in key moments.
I felt Barnes, for whatever reason he had, was a bit condescendent with the Wallabies.

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Jon October 09, 2013 1:22 am

That's nonsense.
The Aussies counter rucked and won the ball. They were on their feet playing the ball, the Argies didn't have numbers at the breakdown.
That's just rugby.
This stomping was just petulance. The scrum half was frustrated that his side had turned over the ball and after Barnes awarded the penalty to Australia, he got angry and just stomped on the hands of both Faingaa and AAC.

The Argies never got momentum because they kept turning over the ball, through knock-ons, stray passes and getting isolated in attack.
And their defense was getting opened up around the ruck all game, their forwards were struggling with the pace, and Australia kept finding gaps around the ruck.

With the scrums, Australia struggled in the first half, particularly in one facet of play, and got punished with a yellow card. The Argies didn't take advantage, because they then lost the ball in the scrum, they just let it spill out the back, the no 8 didn't do his job and keep it in.

And then in the second half, Once Ben Robinson came on, they lost the scrum battle. They got pinged a number of times and even lost one clean against the head.

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Rukhage October 09, 2013 6:09 am

Just had to say: Ogi Ogi Ogi! :P

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ViennaCelt13 October 09, 2013 9:10 pm

Oi! Oi! Oi!

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medicaluke October 08, 2013 8:46 pm

I agree with you. However, I think that ball carrier not releasing came before any further infringements. I consider this a good bit of refereeing in that Barnes seems to realise that the reason the players lose support is that the player didn't release the ball quick enough. I suppose it's easy to see when the ball carrier runs in on his own into two opposition.

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Gallego October 08, 2013 10:47 pm

Nothing wrong with that "stamp", Fainga'a was committing a blatant penalty and Landajo chose to act. Ridiculous stuff, banning him but not Simmons?

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Jon October 09, 2013 1:26 am

Jesus christ, do you know the rules? If you're isolated and two defenders come in on their feet and put their hands on the ball, you lose the ball. It's rugby.
It's called counter rucking. If the Argies want to keep their ball they have to get numbers to the breakdown and protect it.

Besides, the ref had already blown the whistle and Landajo looked at him, then stamped three times on the hands of the two players. After the whistle had gone. As he looked at the ref.

That's dirty play. That deserves a ban, whatever you think of the penalty.

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Gallego October 09, 2013 11:18 pm

If you want to counter ruck, you need to ACTUALLY be on your feet. Fainga'a committed two penalties before going for the ball (don't know what Barnes was thinking to be honest), therefore the stamping.

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Jon October 10, 2013 1:06 am

It doesn't matter what you think of the penalty.
Once the ref blows the whistle, you accept his decision. That's rugby.
The ref blows the whistle, clearly points towards Australia, so Landajo looks straight at him, then petulantly stomps on the hands of two players, three times.
That's dirty. That's not just against the rules, it's dirty, petulant nonsense.

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Canadian content October 09, 2013 3:11 am

Agreed, Simmons body check could have seriously injured old contepomi. One week easy

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Badge October 09, 2013 4:13 am

Not sure I agree with a ban; regardless, one week isn't exactly the end of his rugby career. However, Simmons should definitely have his ridiculous hit on Contepomi reviewed. That was a red in my opinion.

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TotesMcGoates October 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Just a penalty for me. I think the ref got this one right. I can see where Landajo was coming from but it was a bit over exuberant for my liking. Pretty much a nothing incident though.

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Razor October 09, 2013 7:14 am

Looks like the aussies and the argies will be battling it out for the wooden spoon at the bottom of the table for the next ten years.

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krip October 09, 2013 7:58 am

As a scrumhalf myself I absolutely support Landajo. A game is impossible without rules - why the hell not follow them? It benefits all. Oh... well... it doesn`t benefit the cheapshots...

Total fail by the ref. Supporting the stronger nation - not taking the right decision...

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matt October 09, 2013 12:59 pm

Just watched it again and the thing that annoys me most is that not a single aussie was near to being back 10m

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krip October 09, 2013 4:05 pm

Also, please notice that Landajo first warned Saia Fainga'a with a slap on the head! He didn`t want to hurt the guy, he just wanted the ball - to play it fast. Fainga'a continued his foul play and then he was stamped. I am pretty sure in Europe scrumhalves are instructed by their seniors and trainers to use the stamp as a final measure. And I never seen it penalized when done by a scrumhalf...

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Jon October 10, 2013 1:12 am

The ref had blown the whistle.
That's what makes this dirty and deserving of punishment.
Firstly, technically it's against the rules to stomp on anyone, ever, for any reason. Regardless if you think you are protecting the ball.

But that's not what makes this contrary to the spirit of the game. What makes it dirty is that the whistle had gone, Landajo looks at the ref, whose arm is raised indicating a penalty to Australia AND THEN he stomps three times on the hands of the Australian players. That's not rugby.
You respect the ref's call, even if you don't agree with it. You don't react by trying to break the hands of some players after the whistle has gone and play has stopped.

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Nja8 October 09, 2013 10:22 am

It does deserve a ban.

A scrum half is allowed to use his boot if the hands are on the ball illegally. I have cheated a few times and received this treatment most times, I have never had an issue with it.

By the time he starts to stamp the hand he targets is nowhere near the ball. So punishment seems perfectly fair. He is taking the risk of breaking someone's hand needlessly.

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ConnachtMan October 09, 2013 11:41 am

Yellow card for foul play would have sufficed

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Colombes October 09, 2013 11:49 am

Yellow card would have far more sufficient

I'm really worried for rugby spirit and fluid rhythm with all these stoppage-times
Refs and assistants stop to think and analyse (often the best) to give all powers to video

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Leinsterblue October 09, 2013 12:29 pm

Stamper deserved a ban or a yellow.

The wallabies weren't back 10 nor were the wallabies supporting their own weight. Two bad calls leading to foul play from frustration and lack of cool head from argies.

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finedisregard October 09, 2013 2:02 pm

The Argentine #9 was definitely in the wrong. A yellow (because the whistle had already been blown) or a 2nd penalty with the ref marching out another ten meters would have been fine.

My complaint is with players missing matches. This has become out of control and draconian, and the process is certainly inconsistent. In my opinion there are only a few things that players can do to warrant a ban (eye gouging, third guy in a fight, aggressive behavior towards a ref). High tackles, incidental handbags, "stamping" never should cause a player to miss a second game.

Not letting a player play is a big deal and should be a measure they only look at in extreme examples.

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matt October 09, 2013 2:37 pm

If there is one thing we can say for sure, it is that the citing process is anything but draconian, some of the bans handed out in the last few years have been laughably short.
It is amazingly inconsistent though.

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cheyanqui October 09, 2013 5:27 pm

Anyone watch the Leicester / Northampton match over the weekend?

As soon as David Mele subbed on for Ben Youngs, he was dishing out stamps with more vigor than an immigration official at a Soviet-era border post.

And yet, no citing there? Not even a TMO review or flag out from the ARs.

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DrG October 10, 2013 12:13 am

I did not watch the game you're referring too, however one huge difference I could pick up on from just your description, is that it sounded like Mele was doing it in-play. Landajo did this after the whistle, and it was AFTER the whistle not during the whistle, and it was clearly 3 stamps.

So the actions itself may not be so different but the timing was...

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DrG October 09, 2013 7:24 pm

Wouldn't have normally battered an eyelid at this, however because it occurred AFTER the whistle I think he should have been shown a yellow - end of story, no ban etc...

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45678 October 10, 2013 9:37 am

As lot wrong with this. Aussies not back 10, fainga'a should be penalised as you have to make a concerted effort to disengage from the tackle before reentering, which you could argue he then doesn't enter via the gate. AAC is fine, but the Argentinian lock (albacete?) doesn't even attempt to enter through the gate (that was the reason for the pen I think)

As for the stamp, the first is legitimate as he plays the ball, the second and third are just blatant, but it should have been an Argentinian penalty first

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