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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

Today Jared Payne was suspended for two weeks for the dangerous challenge he was red carded for against Saracens. Payne was sent off by referee Jerome Garces after just four minutes of the Heineken Cup Quarter Final.

Ulster stayed in the match despite being down to 14 men, and came within points of victory but will no doubt feel aggrieved to have been in that situation in the first place.

Referee Garces has come under harsh criticism for his decision to send off Payne, who along with captain Johann Muller, pleaded that he had his eyes on the ball in an attempt to compete for it.

Payne will faced a disciplinary hearing today, charged with the contravention of Law 10.4(g) and Law 10.4(i). The former is for Dangerous charging or knocking down an opponent with the ball, and the latter for Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.

Opinions have been mixed as to whether it was the correct decision to show red or not. Some say it should be treated like a tip tackle and that he was reckless, while others feel that his eyes were on the ball and Goode simply came off second best in what could be viewed as an unfortunate collision.

Players are however responsible for the well-being of the opposition both when tackling and when contesting a high ball. By not getting off the ground, Payne put Goode (as well as himself) in a dangerous situation, and this is clearly the way Garces viewed it.

You can view highlights from this match, as well as other quarter final highlights, here.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect the outcome of the disciplinary hearing in Dublin, where Payne was earlier suspended for two weeks.

Judicial Officer Simon Thomas (Wales) determined that Payne had committed a reckless act and concluded that the offence was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three weeks as the appropriate entry point.

As there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player's clean disciplinary record and his exemplary conduct at the hearing, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of one (1) week and imposed a suspension of two (2) weeks.

He commented that the case had been a particularly challenging one and conveyed his thanks to the Ulster Rugby representatives for the quality of their defence during the hearing.

Posted at 8:14 am | 113 comments

Heineken Cup 2014 Quarter Final Highlights

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 113 comments

crsk April 09, 2014 10:20 am

Payne only has eyes for the ball. As far as he is concerned, Goode isn't challenging for it. It's an unfortunate collision, any further punishment is excessive IMO.

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crsk April 09, 2014 10:20 am

Payne only has eyes for the ball. As far as he is concerned, Goode isn't challenging for it. It's an unfortunate collision, any further punishment is excessive IMO.

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WelshOsprey April 09, 2014 10:45 am

Clearly a red and a ban.

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DeminBoy April 09, 2014 11:03 am

On what grounds is it clearly a red and a ban? If you are going to be making allegations like that at least have some evidence backing it up. Clearly his eyes were on the ball the whole time and even his head smashed off the guys butt when he was in the air..

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iceypickle April 09, 2014 11:14 am

From the point of view of the ref, the red card had to be given. Yes Payne had his eyes on the ball, but he still took the player out in the air, and the fact Goode landed badly just makes the challenge seem worse. If Goode had been able to walk away then maybe it would have been different. Further disciplinary action might be a bit far, but i think the ref made the right call.

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Diego Dubard April 09, 2014 3:03 pm

The laws don't talk about the result of the offence but the offence itself. I think it was a harsh call on Payne.

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matt April 09, 2014 3:59 pm

Payne takes Goode out in the air about as much as Goode flying knees Payne in the chest. I don't see how the logic can be that if you launch yourself into the air you have effectively called 'shotgun' on that area of the pitch.

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:34 pm

Couldn't bloody well agree anymore matt, by this argument you could say Goode acted recklessly trying to arse Payne in the face which is surely an illegal move.

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LJNumber8 April 09, 2014 11:10 pm

trying to arse Payne in the face - gold!

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aidy668 April 10, 2014 5:01 pm

possession of the ball in the air - which Goode had - does in fact call 'shotgun' as you cannot tackle a player who has the ball in the air you have to wait for them to land! that said I do think it seemed a little harsh as I don't think it was intentional, I think a yellow probably would have been a fairer outcome....

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will00713 April 09, 2014 2:46 pm

when u make contact with some one in the air these days that is a pen, when some one is off the ground and you make contact with them u have a duty of care to bring them to ground safely. although Jared Payne has eyes only for the ball he does make contact in the air - pen and does not bring the player to ground safely - red. if u make contact with some one in the air and bring them to ground safely then its just a pen.

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Chris H April 09, 2014 4:35 pm

Have u ever heard of the yellow card? Comes between penalty and red card. .. straight from pen to red? Get real!

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Draik April 09, 2014 10:08 pm

Normally it happens when a player has a bad record and is constantly penalized but in this case , to me, it looks accidental

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Angelo April 09, 2014 10:58 am

True, he is only looking at the ball but you can't just run without looking what's infornt with you. He knew he wouldn't be the only one challening that ball. Maybe a ban but definately not for long - he just has to learn you have to look before you challenge.

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flyingpepper April 09, 2014 11:02 am

Where is the debate?!? Taken out in the air and he lands on his head. If he only has eyes on the Bacall he knows Goode is in the air and would know he isn't. Hard to see how he saw a different outcome from the way he approach the collision

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flyingpepper April 09, 2014 11:02 am

Sorry eyes on ball

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Mike April 09, 2014 11:02 am

He doesn't take his eyes off the ball, at that speed he's comitted to the catch and couldn't avoid the collision. Not sure I'd have sent him off!

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Guy April 09, 2014 11:08 am

Had Payne jumped for the ball, the situation would have been different. There probably wouldn't even have been an injury. Red was justified IMHO and it was quite a brave decision by the official. Not sure he should have a further ban.

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matt April 09, 2014 4:02 pm

He didn't have time to jump for the ball, he was going flat out and got there at exactly the right moment, Goode had just stuck himself in the air at the same time. I feel bad that he got hurt, but I think that's the risk you take when you give yourself the advantage of jumping.

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John April 09, 2014 11:10 am

He always had his eyes on the ball if players start focusing on the players they will never catch the ball. If this ban goes through then the garryowen should go with it. Compare it to this from Super rugby and I think we can all agree there was a similar situation.In both cases there was no malice or intent. I believe Payne should be let off the hook.

http://www.mobypicture.com/user/mickobrien1/view/16745988

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Slippery April 09, 2014 11:14 am

Flyingpepper have u played rugby before? Eyes in the sky and no matter how good your peripheral vision is you cant judge distance untill its to late. No intent, no tackle just a unlucky accident... Anyone who thinks different pull ya head out of your ass... Reff and tmo needs a red card and suspension!

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Rugby person April 09, 2014 11:25 am

If you have played rugby before you would be expecting the opposition full back to be jumping for the ball, so why would you just run flat out without looking at him, yes he was looking at the ball but it is reckless and resulted in flipping a player onto his head. Just because he didn't intend to take him out, doesn't mean it wasn't dangerous play.

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flyingpepper April 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Check the rules. Yes a second here or there could have been okay. But that's rugby! Hit someone in the air and he lands on his head you must expect a yellow card at least. I don't always agree but when you are the guy in the air you are happy for some protection

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matt April 09, 2014 4:03 pm

Like I said above, Payne didn't hit Goode any more than Goode hit Payne

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Lorcan April 10, 2014 6:54 pm

Payne may have had his eyes on the ball but he was not contesting it... Running full speed into contact like that is neglible at the very least. Who do you think is responsible for Goode's injury?

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matt April 10, 2014 7:13 pm

Unfortunately, Goode. He put himself in a position where he was vulnerable. Payne has his arms ready to catch the ball, but collides with goode first, so was trying to contest it.

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:35 pm

ahem, laws...

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Rugby person April 09, 2014 11:16 am

Yes his eyes are on the ball, but it was completely reckless and he would have known goode would have been in the air competing, how did he expect to get the ball without jumping anyway?!.

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sheepyboii April 09, 2014 11:23 am

He would of known who was going to challenge therefore because his eyes appeared to be on the ball and there was no intent yellow card and should have been reviewed.

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Rhysm5 April 09, 2014 11:24 am

If it only mattered where your.eyes were then all you have to.do.is look away when you push/pull down the lineout or step across someone chasing a kick etc etc - irrelevant of where you are looking, you have to be aware of what's around you just as if you jump into a crowd they don't have to clear out of your way and you will get penalised for jumping into them

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Saffie April 09, 2014 11:31 am

Man the F@#% up! Nothing wrong with that! Bloody pommies are a bunch of softies and moans just like the Premiership football players....

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Saracen April 10, 2014 1:37 pm

Saffie, You do realise that you have simply reinforced a common perception amongst those of us who reside in the civilised world, that Aussie's are a bunch of macho racists. For your information, both teams contain players from both hemispheres. Incidentally, the old 'soft pommie' thing is a bit dated don't you think?

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Saffie April 10, 2014 1:48 pm

Saracen, no mate not at all "dated"...I played in UK myself for a long time and no offence to you guys but I dont know why but the intensity, aggression and the skill level is just not close to what we have over here....why do you think they all want the South African, Kiwi's and some Aussies in Europe...spectators love watching us and it brings money in to the clubs as everyone want to go see the superstars but in the other hand it dont do your national teams any justice as when the international teams are good...Twickers is a very tough place to tour to and get a win but lets be honest there is more away wins for us than there is for you guys travelling away....Honestly I would like to see the top 5 teams be closer and as good as each other.....dont you agree?

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aidy668 April 10, 2014 5:08 pm

yeah we have seen Aussie aggression too many times especially when your losing, or as in 2001 lions tour a player who knows he is not going to get in the test side deliberately injuring a player as Mcrae did to R.O'Gara with a completely over the top and unprovoked attack! As for us "pommies" whinging we are amateurs compared with aussies!!!!.....

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Saffie April 11, 2014 6:30 am

Lol You poms really are clever hey...I hate the Aussies just as much as you do...thats probably because I am a South African and not and Aussie...hence the name Saffie......anyways good luck preparing for the WC.... :)

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DrG April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

Don't want to dive too deep into this little disagreement, but is 'Saffie' really Australian? Sounds more like the word 'Saffa' to me, which smacks 'South African'...

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Schultz April 09, 2014 11:32 am

If you compare this to the very similar collision that happened in Super Rugby last weekend, that received no card there are 2 very subtle but important differencies; firstly, in the SR collision, the lower player jumped for the ball, secondly, at no point did he lower is head/eyes or turn a shoulder.
The explanation from the SR ref was that it was a penelty because he had taken the player out, but only that as the player was clearly going for the ball.
In the Payne incident, he doesn't jump and does look down before impact, which I cant help but feel removes some of the "I'm going for the ball" mentality that is used to defend thse situations, so while he may have been going for the ball, he wasn't fully committed to just going for the ball and as such got caught in no mans land between fully competing where he would have collided at a more even hight, and waiting for the player to reach the ground.
Whither this merits a red and or ban I'm not so sure on, but it was closer to requiring one than the SR incident.

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Mamru April 09, 2014 11:35 am

He has eyes on the ball the whole time, but its the players responsibility to actually look where he's running. Definitely a red card and a ban for me.

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Dave April 09, 2014 11:36 am

Yes he has eyes on the ball but he doesn't even attempt to jump for it. He clearly didn't intend to take him out in the air, but that's not the point, the point is that he did, intent or no. Not a long ban but surely a short one will be the call?

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Whagwan April 09, 2014 11:41 am

It's a Red. Agree with Guy. He hasn;t challenged for the ball and whether it's intentional (eyes on ball) or not players need to take responsibility if they make a mistake and it creates a dangerous situation. Shame as Ulster were superb but a brave and correct call from the ref.

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Dan April 09, 2014 11:44 am

Eyes on the ball makes zero difference. It's a probable red, or a lucky yellow depending on the referee. The laws are made to protect professionals, amateurs, juniors etc. And so the ruling has to be clear. If you make contact and the guy is in the air you're walking off the pitch. I'm sure there was no intent to injure but that's not the point, the point is if this happens a thousand times a season across all levels then eventually someone's going to end up paralysed. That simple.

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Will April 09, 2014 11:47 am

I apologise to say but there has to be a ban following his red card. I completely understand he had his eyes on the ball but he must know that there will always be other people contesting for the ball. What makes this incident so bad is the fact he didn't even attempt to jump. If you watch the game for a further 15 minutes you will notice Owen Farrell contest for a ball in the air on the wing where he jumped for the ball and collided with an Ulster player. What you notice is the Ulster player bounced off him and landed fairly hard but on his ass. The reason being? When you're hit from the side you just get pushed back, but when you're hit on the legs it creates a spiral effect. As a professional player Payne should have thought about the consequence of that type of game play.

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pantxo April 09, 2014 11:48 am

Having his eyes on the ball is irrelevant. Fould play is a matter of fact and it has to be dealt with.

YOU MAY NOT TACKLE A PLAYER WHO IS IN THE AIR.

Might have gotten a yellow if Goode had not left on a stretcher.

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Bob April 09, 2014 12:00 pm

Hi all.

Personally I don't think it was a red card. Here's why: Tackling a player in the air is clearly illegal, but because his eyes were on the ball the whole time and his arms were even making the motion to catch the ball, I'd call this a collision - not a tackle.

There was zero attempt to play Goode in the form of a tackle, so in my mind it's an accidental collision. Maybe a yellow card for reckless/dangerous. But certainly no intent to tackle so therefore no red card.

Thoughts?

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thegaffer89 April 09, 2014 1:59 pm

Agree with everything you said. It cannot be compared to a tip tackle because it is a completely different situation, and there should be differennt sets of rules for the 2 areas.

That said, I also think any criticism of the ref is harsh as it is certainly a difficult decision. The ref's first job is player welfare and when an incident is that dangerous it is very difficult. Goode leaving on a stretcher shouldn't really effect the ref's thinking but it probably did.

Payne should be punished for stupidity/recklessness but in no way did he mean to take Goode out or indeed injure him.

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Josh C April 09, 2014 2:40 pm

You've called it as you see it, and I don't think many people would disagree with you. For the record, I agree with your assessment of 'accidental collision'.

But you've got your laws wrong I'm afraid. Tackling a player with no use of the arms on the ground is foul play, a penalty, and possibly a card of either colour depending on the severity of the challenge. Because it's dangerous. There's no such thing as a 'collision' with a member of the opposition: it's either a legal tackle, or an illegal one. This applies in the air as well.

The fact that there was 'zero attempt' to play Goode is actually a point AGAINST Payne, because the point of grappling with someone is to take them to ground safely, and there was clearly no attempt to do this.

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pantxo April 09, 2014 11:48 am

Having his eyes on the ball is irrelevant. Fould play is a matter of fact and it has to be dealt with.

YOU MAY NOT TACKLE A PLAYER WHO IS IN THE AIR.

Might have gotten a yellow if Goode had not left on a stretcher.

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fellwalker April 09, 2014 11:49 am

If his eyes were on the ball he would have seen Goode in the air and tried to out jump him. He didn't. So he took him out in the air illegally. Having his eyes on the ball is a nonsense. Any offence could be committed and let off - honest ref I was looking at the ball. Red card yes; ban?

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 1:57 pm

"If his eyes were on the ball he would have seen Goode in the air and tried to out jump him."

Is this a serious comment?

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themull April 09, 2014 11:51 am

All you people calling for reds for this challenge? Would you also call for reds for guys grabbing players who are lifted in the lineouts before they hit the ground..Essentially the same thing (tackling a player while in the air) but in that scenario it is completely intentional..



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browner April 09, 2014 11:56 am

Nothing in pro rugby happens by chance
4 minutes in ....!!
if this isnt sanctioned heavily it will give a green light for players to run through/back into opposition jumpers without punishment.
And that will be d a n g e r o u s for all players in all levels of the game.

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Jonny April 09, 2014 12:18 pm

Right....if this isn't sanctioned we will definitely see loads of players running into players in the air with their faces....

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:48 pm

So your solution to an accident is to apply a knee jerk reaction... Probably why you're not a professional referee.

Oh and by the way, are you suggesting that Thom Evans who played for Scotland had his neck broken on purpose?

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Kevin Pring April 09, 2014 12:02 pm

How did this transfer to the 'Bloodie Pommies'? I saw a ref with a red card, the Ulster Captain and the defender. Tunnel vision Saffie sees 15 soft moaning pommies? Maybe it was a different game.Keeping his eyes on the ball would also bring the jumper's arms into view and, unless he thought the catcher was a Giant, he could have pulled out and side stepped . Good call ref. I played my rugby in RSA.

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 2:02 pm

"Keeping his eyes on the ball would also bring the jumper's arms into view and, unless he thought the catcher was a Giant, he could have pulled out and side stepped."

You are being ironic, right?

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DanKnapp April 10, 2014 10:12 am

Do not feed the troll.

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Reality April 09, 2014 12:11 pm

Regardless of whether or not it deserved a red card, has anyone ever actually seen a red card given for this before, or is this the first case? If it's the first case, then why?

It's an unfortunate accident, but that's all it is, so I think giving the same punishment for this as for eye-gouging, head-stamping and punching is a bit much.

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Saracen April 10, 2014 1:56 pm

Reality, For someone with your name I think you may have missed the point. The reality is, that this tackle could have rendered the Sarries 15 paralysed for life. Eye gouging, although extremely unsavoury, rarely results in blindness. Head stamping, thankfully rare these days, or punching for that matter, usually results in concussion at worst, or a visit to medics for some stitches.
This type of tackle needs to be stopped in order to prevent many more players ending up in spinal units.

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Reality April 10, 2014 7:44 pm

You can say it could have paralysed him for life but the fact of the matter is that it was an accident, and accidents happen. High tackles can break people's necks but it doesn't mean they should all result in an automatic red card. Spear tackles should be red cards because you if you spear someone it's not by accident, but getting the same punishment for a clumsy clash due to a lack of spatial awareness?

People complain all the time about punishments in rugby being completely hypocritical and that's exactly the case here. There are links to other videos of people doing the same or worse and getting penalised and nothing more and nobody making any fuss about it.

And if that's the way you see it, why wasn't Mouritz Botha red-carded when he took out a player in the lineout? That player could have landed badly and been paralysed but Botha got penalised and nothing more. Does that not seem a bit hypocritical to you?

And saying that an accidental clash like this is more deserving of punishment than eye-gouging someone or stamping on someone's head is really just horrible. Do you really think that a yellow card in this case wouldn't be enough of a deterrent for players to avoid purposefully doing what Payne did? Do you think that in the absence of red cards they'd all start taking everyone out in the air knowing that they'll only get yellow?

Look at the other videos of players being taken out in the air and ask yourself if red cards in those situations would have been appropriate or wildly exaggerated punishments.

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liveinhope April 09, 2014 12:11 pm

A few people not reading the relevant law - nowhere in either 10.4 (g) or 10.4 (i) does it mention intent. The issue is around dangerous play not foul play and Payne was rightly penalised, the sanction was at the refs discretion and he chose red.

Brian Moore has written an Telegraph article about this and he has it bang on. The ball was put up in the first place to put the defence under pressure and create a contest. It is perfectly reasonable to expect a defender to go airborne whether Payne was watching or not therefore Payne (who is a fullback himself don't forget) has a duty to ensure that his actions are not likely to be dangerous i.e. LOOK.

I felt that Red was harsh but only based on the fact that they're rarely given, doesn't make the ref wrong.

I expect the citing people to uphold the red with a minimum ban reduced based on good record.

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DanKnapp April 10, 2014 10:13 am

Best comment of the thread.

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Jonny April 09, 2014 12:16 pm

How dare Jared Payne focus on catching the ball while watching the flight it was on the whole time and then collide with Goode with his face!!!

It would've been interesting if Payne had stayed down for treatment would the result have been different. You can't take into account the injury to then decide the punishment but the injury clearly played a major part in the refs decision.

It wasn't even a tackle, it was a collision. Payne decided to catch the ball on the ground, Goode went into the air which caused Payne to collide with Goode, inadvertent contact. Personally I would've given a yellow card due to there being absolutely no intent what so ever in dangerous play, it was a collision not a tackle.

If a prop drops a scrum illegally and damages the opposition prop who is carted off, should the prop be sent off for dangerous play when there is no intent to injure?

I just believe a red card should be used when it's clear and obvious foul play with some form of intent involved. A tip tackle for instance, the tackler has lifted a player, attempting to tackle the opposition so he intends to put him on the ground.

Payne's intent is to catch the ball but inadvertently collides with Goode, who is in the air. At worst it's a yellow from my point of view.

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No Red April 09, 2014 12:16 pm

I cant believe some ppl are saying this was a definite red, ridiculous. goodes back end hits payne in the face. if payne had been knocked out and goode landed fine, would anybody be saying that goode should of been careful of his surroudings? I very much doubt it! both players committed to a high ball and collisions are ineviatable, just a shame there was an injury. no red for me and certainly no ban! sort your heads out!

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Batchy66 April 09, 2014 12:18 pm

Correct decision by the referee - no further ban required though.
Reckless challenge but no intent.
If they had both challenged in the air - the decision would of been different.

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no red April 09, 2014 12:28 pm

what difference does a player jumping make? it was clearly accidental

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Colombes April 09, 2014 12:29 pm

No discussion on the red card, regarding Payne took Goode in the air, the fall on the head and the fact Goode can't play again.

On a ban, the erc will be only judge

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Mark April 09, 2014 12:49 pm

It was a collision not an attempted tackle it was basically split second shit both had eyes on the ball one of them jumped as they were about too collide. ITS RUGBY FFS its a contact sport, yes! It was an ugly incident but it wasn't intentional, any further suspension is rediculous. Let the boys play rugby maaaaaaan...

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Guest April 09, 2014 12:50 pm

Im inclined to agree with Bob here. I think there is clearly no intent to deliberately take Goode out in the air, and i feel it was unfortunate how he landed. However Payne has a responsibility to other players when running in like that, when in professional rugby do players not jump for the ball? He must of known Goode was going for it? Poor judgement on his part and deserved a card for reckless play. Not 100% on colour tbh, im not a saracens or ulster fan so i don't really care to the outcome, but when i first saw it i did think that's a red.

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Guest April 09, 2014 12:53 pm

For anyone saying that is doesn't matter about intent or, in this case, how serious the injury was, it is just that tackling a man in the air warrants an automatic red card, was wasn't Mouritz Botha given one when he took a player out from a kickoff. I know the Ulster player doesn't go head over heels like Goode did, but according to people on here, it's not the consequences of the action but just taking the man out in the air. Plus he clearly DID intend to do it

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s_conner April 09, 2014 12:57 pm

If Payne (a full back) thought he could just catch the ball without jumping and/or a contest then he's a fool. Where did he think his opposite number was likely to be?!?! IMO it's a reckless collision, but intent or no, it's still Payne's (and everyone's) responsibility to take more care in scenarios like this.

He should've kept in line with his other chasers!!!

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guest April 09, 2014 1:00 pm

A lot of people are rightly stating that Goode being tackled in the air is a red card, regardless of intent or outcome. However, these same people are ignoring the fact that it was not a tackle/challenge/hit on Goode. Payne was going for the ball, that is obvious from his approach, the focus of his eyes and the way his hands were held upwards in a position to catch the ball. At no point did he directly challenge Goode, so the laws governing challenges or tackles to a player in the air are not relevant here.
If Goode's knee (which was at Paynes head height) had knocked out Payne would this have also been a red card for Goode?

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bigfella April 09, 2014 1:09 pm

Personally, I believe it was intentional to take the player out in the air.
Jared knew another player on the defending team would go for the ball. There is absolutely no assumption of an uncontested ball.
Jared did take his eyes off of the ball too - just watch the slow mo (for those of you saying otherwise) WATCH THE SLOW MO! lol
Jared knew he would make contact and kept running full tilt to disguise the attempt to take the player out. It was a professional foul, fully intended and the ERC will decide further action.
It's like driving a car. You know that if the light is amber - irrespective of where you're eyes are or aren't focussed on them - the red light is the next event. If you run that red because you had your eyes on a text message (or anything else for that matter) and you collide with another car or a person, it is still breaking the law. You as the driver are still accountable. If it results in a broken neck or brain aneurism subsequently leading to death, it's manslaughter. Forget the ban, that's jail time.

You know the rules as a professional player.
You know the defending player will be contesting.
You are lucky that the defending player was not severely injured.

You deserved a red for your actions.
You also deserve a ban. The length of ban depends on the injury severity.

Lets not wait until someone dies due to too many players having 'their eyes on the ball'.

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DrG April 17, 2014 10:25 pm

Says 'rules' instead of 'laws' therefore comment is null and void...

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moddeur April 09, 2014 1:11 pm

When I barge into a ruck, I generally look at where my studs land. I don't think any referee would allow me to walk all over someone's face and argue for my defence that my eyes were on the ball the whole time.

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Scott S Sherwood April 09, 2014 1:15 pm

see ya! 'ref! ref!i had my eye on an object about 500g, 30cm long and couldn't see the 5'11'' and 95kg man air borne beside it...honest!' yeah, that seems a good defence....

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Paco April 09, 2014 1:17 pm

It is voluntary, but it's red card.

Given that rugby is always looking for the safety of their players we must consider the possibility of regulating these actions. Should prohibit players jump without support as the line. That way would be more potegidos and there would be no such danger.
This particular action is worthy of a red card. Not to touch a player in the air but because he knows that there is the possibility that there is and do not worry.
In the same way that the scrums have been regulated and placajes should better regulate these actions.

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Roguelvy April 09, 2014 1:18 pm

Agree, Payne only ever had his eyes on the ball and although it looked bad, it probably wasn't cynical. Red card warranted, no need for further punishment.

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Paco April 09, 2014 1:19 pm

Sorry, i want to say "it is not voluntary" ;)

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Eddie-g April 09, 2014 1:23 pm

Opinions have been mixed because people don't all know what the laws say. When it comes to collisions with players who are in the air, intent does not need to be considered. If the ref thinks you were reckless, it is a red card offence.

This law was drafted as it is to deal precisely with the situation where you have an "opponent jumping for the ball in open play". The fact Goode went off on a strecher should not have mattered in terms of the ref's decision, but it should certainly explain to anyone not already aware why this law is on the books. These are potentially very dangerous incidents, and the law puts the onus on the chasing player to avoid them.

No idea what sort of ban might come out of this - they may want to make an example of the incident, or they may decide the red at the time went most of the way as sufficient punishment - but hopefully what it will underline is that Garces' decision was correct. The ref applied the law here, he does not deserve the stick he's gotten from some quarters.

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Reality April 09, 2014 1:48 pm

What is the law though? Does it say you're not allowed to collide with a player in the air or you're not allowed to tackle him, because this is clearly an accidental collision rather than a tackle.

Then, does the law say that as long as you jump you can do whatever you want to the other player as long as it's in the air? I'm not sure if there is actually a ground/air difference specified in the rules, although I could very well be wrong.

I don't know what the law is, but it seems like common sense is the thing to use here, and emotion rather than common sense seems to be what influenced the referee's decision. I've no doubt that if Goode had gotten up and walked away the referee would have given Payne a yellow card, and as someone mentioned, if it took 5 minutes of replays to determine the punishment then it obviously wasn't a clear red card.

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Fin April 09, 2014 1:44 pm

I think it's a tough one. It's the question of whether the player has responsibilities to not collide with another player in a way that endangers them even if they are going only for the ball.
On the one hand, you can argue that Payne always had eyes for the ball, always was going for the ball, had no intention to collide with Goode, had no way of knowing the precarious position Goode was in and made no attempt to tackle him, only to catch the ball. Based on this, one could argue that it's not only not a red card, it's not even a penalty. Simply an unfortunate collision of two men going for the ball and both were equally responsible. That would be a credible argument.
However, it is also reasonable to ask whether or not the fact that Payne was unaware of Goode's position and the fact that he had no way of knowing is a sign of wrecklessness, carelessness and that Payne has a responsibility to be aware of his surroundings, seriously endangering Goode by his lack of awareness. In which case, the collision is wreckless and careless from Payne and (although clearly not deliberate) absolutely deserves a red card and perhaps suspension. Again, this is also credible. And then there's every point of view in between with various elements of both arguments

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Fin April 09, 2014 1:55 pm

Having said that, I don't agree that the injury outcome should have a bearing in rugby on the punishment, however sadly it does. I think punishments should be judged solely on an incident, regardless of the outcome. If Goode hadn't been injured, I doubt Payne would have been as severely punished. If Goode had landed slightly differently and not on his shoulder/head, I doubt Payne would've been as severely punished. Because it was a high speed collision, Payne was obviously unable to really influence the specific way in which Goode landed. I don't agree with this style of judiciary. Although it obviously isn't the case here, punishing players more harshly for an incident simply because a player is injured more severely encourages in some instances, milking of penalties. Something that is unfortunately beginning to become a part of some rugby spheres and I don't think I'm alone when I say I wouldn't want to encourage the kind of soccer antics of milking in Rugby. Again, this obviously isn't the case here! but this kind of refereeing does encourage it. Wishing a speedy recovery to Goode

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Nate April 09, 2014 2:09 pm

Listen to what Garces says. I think he doesn't award a red just for the tackle in the air it's because Goode also hit the ground with his head. I think he's interpreting it as flipping the player over in the tackle.

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Steve April 09, 2014 2:10 pm

I don't think it should have been a red, but I'm not outraged or surprised that it was; I can see how it would have been given as just a penalty, a yellow, or a red, depending on the refs interpretation of "reckless".

Here's my opinion on it... Firstly it wasn't a tackle, it was a collision between two players contesting the ball. I don't think Payne took his eyes off the ball until Goode came into his field of view, at which point Goode was already in the air and Payne couldn't do anything to pull out of the collision. It looks a lot worse in slow motion - because it looks like Payne moves his head down, sees Goode and has time to pull out but this is the problem with basing your opinion on the slow mo replay. In real time you can see that he clearly had no time to pull out. Also, if there was intent to take Goode out and/or time to slow down and avoid the collision, Payne would have been braced for hitting the ground as opposed to ending up with his feet in the air, landing spread eagle on his back.

Anyway that's my opinion on it, but I'm not saying it's not open for debate, especially because Goode went off injured. I still think it's just an unfortunate thing that can happen sometimes in a collision sport

Also, well done to Ulster for only losing by 2 points, despite being down a player for 75 minutes. It's an improvement on the last time they played Saracens

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 2:14 pm

10.4(i) - Tackling the jumper in the air.
A player must not tackle nor tap, push or pull the foot or feet of an opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play. Sanction: Penalty kick.

10.5 - Sanctions.
(a) Any player who infringes any part of the Foul Play Law must be admonished, or cautioned and temporarily suspended for a period of ten minutes’ playing time, or sent-off.

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:59 pm

A player must not tackle - ok no tackle here
nor tap - didn't see a tap
push or pull the foot or feet - implies arms, didn't see them being used in any way, not on the feet nor legs.

I've never seen anything in the laws regarding using your face to make initial contact with someones arse and what the punishment would be..

Or are they currently making an amendment to the laws:

10.4(ii) - Tackling the jumper in the air part 2.
A player must not occidentally run face first into the backside of another player who is jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play. Sanction: Red card.

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flyingpepper April 09, 2014 2:38 pm

Yes slippery played rugby for over 20
Years. If you hit a guy you are at fault end off. If he jumps and you don't then how are you contesting for the ball???? He then lands on his head. How is this different to spear tackle? Not much. The rfu is trying to reduce injure and this seems like a good place to start. If a player is in the air you either jump and contest or you leave him until he hits the ground. Very simple

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Boynielaad April 09, 2014 3:02 pm

Payne was lucky Goode hadn't led with his studs as seems to be the norm these days. He'd have no face left.

And that's as good a reason as any for checking where the defender is.

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elvis15 April 09, 2014 3:20 pm

These guys are good, good players, and if he doesn't realize he's got an opposition player who'll get under the ball before him and could likely be in the air at least 10 yards prior to contact, then the penalty/card is deserved. I might have left it to the red I guess, since he is still hoping to play the ball and it'd be insane to try and pretend to catch it in an effort at foul play - but then again, I've seen stranger things.

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d041298 April 09, 2014 6:47 pm

What a joke dinosaurs making a decision to back up an incompetent referee. God when did this game start to follow football and backing doggy refs. JOKE. Time to have a few empty internationals to get the board all removed form their cushy jobs.

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Stuart April 09, 2014 7:04 pm

Agreed. But then surely the refs need to be as strict on ball carriers who jump into tackles. The past couple of weeks there have been cards for super rugby for spear tackles when clearly the ball carrier jump and caught the shoulder of the tackler. There is a law that prohibits a ball carrier from doing this as it endangers him and the tackler

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 10:47 pm

Like the time Cueto jumped to avoid getting smashed by Tulagi and ended up kicking off a bit of handbags!

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45678 April 09, 2014 8:25 pm

Would the same people saying that it shouldn't have been a red because it was too early in the game, give the same justification for schalk burgers gouging in the lions tour in 2009?

I think not. It was a red card offence and bottling it would have ruined the game as it would open accusations for ulster unjustly winning the game, the same way that all of us British lions fans thought vs the springboks

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Reality April 09, 2014 10:34 pm

It's actually the British and Irish Lions, and I think there's a bit of a difference between eye-gouging someone and clumsily taking someone out in the air by mistake.

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45678 April 10, 2014 1:48 pm

you are missing my point. I'm talking about the timing of the red card, not the offence. clearly burger was a very naughty boy, however I disagree with you, taking someone's legs out in the air, intentional or not is still a red card offence.

British & Irish Lions, British Lions, Lions - all the same to me. sorry if I upset you, you poor thing

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Reality April 10, 2014 2:48 pm

Saying it's the same thing is a bit disrespectful to the non-British part of the Lions, but in any case, apology accepted. Just don't let it happen again.

And I agree with you in saying that red cards shouldn't be avoided where necessary because of the time when they happen. If it's a red card in the 70th minute then it should be the same thing even in the 1st. The problem is that in spite of your claims that taking someone's legs out in the air is a red card offence, I can't actually find another example of where it resulted in a red card, and there are actually several videos on this thread which show similar offences that definitely did not result in red cards and for which the players involved weren't banned.

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DrG April 10, 2014 8:16 pm

Wasn't the last lot just the Welsh Lions anyway??

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:46 pm

It is an absolute bullshit call and further punishment.

Matt summed it up brilliantly, 'Payne hit Goode as much as Goode hit Payne.'

Another comment, 'he didn't even jump for the ball' ? And? It is not a requirement to take a high ball by jumping, Payne no doubt wanted to take the ball going full tilt and run it in at the other end of the pitch, by jumping he would have lost speed and probably wouldn't have made it far enough, you gauge your speed to the ball and sometimes by taking the time to jump, you reduce your overall distance and may miss the ball...

Some have argued Payne looks down at the last moment, so that counts as 'not having eyes on the ball the whole time'.. Watch the slow motion, Payne's eyes follow exactly where the ball WOULD have been, had Goode not jumped and caught it, so my argument is that he was entirely focussed on catching the ball.

Others have typically found fault with this tactic 'yeh, but now you can just look away and take someone out and plead you didn't see them' ... the difference in this case is I know damn well I wouldn't use my FACE to knock someone else over.

People quoting 'you cannot tackle a player in the air', yes I totally agree, but which part of this was a tackle? When did you last tackle a player with your face?


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SupaC April 09, 2014 8:52 pm

I do wonder about this ruling. Had both players been injured (say, for instance, Goode had landed on Paynes head when he hit the deck) would it still have been considered a red card or an unfortunate collision?

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DrG April 09, 2014 8:53 pm

Anyone see Ashton take the guy out after his try when the player jumped over him, that was a red card if ever I've seen one, the guy jumped and Ashton who didn't have eyes on the guy got up and spun him out, surely that is a red card, you cannot take a player out in the air, the fact you don't see the player doesn't matter..

Well done for taking any competitiveness out of high balls... Good job world..

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 10:36 pm

The incident which bears the most similarity to this one is, in my opinion, the Habana collision with (or tackle on, depending on one's view) Percy Montgomery a few years back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q0nl4gnUn4

In that case, Steve Walsh gave a penalty asked for calm. This is going back a few years, so maybe he couldn’t use the TV replays to review it. Had he been able to do so, maybe he would have decided differently. But from his warning to the players, I think he had seen it very clearly. It was also very early in the game and in a final if I remember correctly. I am not suggesting that a referee should take into account the importance of the game or the stage of the game in which the incident occurs, but more often than not I think they do.

Another similar incident, but which in my opinion illustrates perfectly what the law is intended to prevent, is the following tackle on Peter O’Mahony in 2013.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYHrZIcvqz8

Yet again, penalty but no further punishment. But to me this illustrates perfectly where the line should be drawn. I think a card was warranted here even if an argument could possibly be made that he was looking at the ball most of the time and couldn’t avoid making contact.

The consequence of the Payne/Goode incident (i.e. the injury to Goode) is for me what influenced the referee's decision.

View Videos

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Reality April 10, 2014 9:13 am

I think the O'Mahony video shows the hypocrisy of this whole situation and many of the comments here. Harley purposefully tackles O'Mahony in the air and it was just a penalty and everyone moved on. Then in Payne's case where he accidentally takes the player out he's red-carded and people are calling for his head. I don't remember Harley being cited either and given a two-week ban.

You're absolutely right in saying that the injury was what determined the red card and not the action itself.

Don't forget about this one either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCo5n1QmaoM . Penalty and no more.

View Video

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Guy April 10, 2014 12:58 pm

With the growing concern over player wellfare it is not strange to see punishments grow more severe. The fact that penalty's/cards/suspensions weren't given before, does not mean they should never be given.

Maybe, in light of the recent serious neck injury in the NRL, referees have received instruction to be extra strict on anything that involves risking serious neck injuries.

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flanker2712 April 09, 2014 10:37 pm

The incident which bears the most similarity to this one is, in my opinion, the Habana collision with (or tackle on, depending on one's view) Percy Montgomery a few years back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q0nl4gnUn4

In that case, Steve Walsh gave a penalty asked for calm. This is going back a few years, so maybe he couldn’t use the TV replays to review it. Had he been able to do so, maybe he would have decided differently. But from his warning to the players, I think he had seen it very clearly. It was also very early in the game and in a final if I remember correctly. I am not suggesting that a referee should take into account the importance of the game or the stage of the game in which the incident occurs, but more often than not I think they do.

Another similar incident, but which in my opinion illustrates perfectly what the law is intended to prevent, is the following tackle on Peter O’Mahony in 2013.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYHrZIcvqz8

Yet again, penalty but no further punishment. But to me this illustrates perfectly where the line should be drawn. I think a card was warranted here even if an argument could possibly be made that he was looking at the ball most of the time and couldn’t avoid making contact.

The consequence of the Payne/Goode incident (i.e. the injury to Goode) is for me what influenced the referee's decision.

View Videos

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Ollie April 09, 2014 10:54 pm

Injustice on Payne if further action is taken. Fair enough, it's a hairy challenge and in the moment, I think the ref probably made the right decision. However, further disciplinary action would be ridiculous. He's already been punished for what you could perhaps call carelessness, as he probably should've checked who was challenging. But there's no malice in that. You can't maliciously face someone's arse. Especially when his eyes were on the ball the entire time.

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10stonenumber10 April 10, 2014 12:31 pm

It looks like Goode attacks the ball from Payne's blindside.

Take two people. Make them run at a single target. Let one jump just before they both reach it. I wouldn't say it was an even 50/50 between the two, at most 60/40 blame to Payne.

If two people go for the same thing, sometimes somebody comes off worse. Like diving/sliding onto a loose ball, if two people go for it and one catches a knee, whose fault is it?

Red seemed like a knee-jerk reaction to the stretcher, but if anything it may have worked in his favour, because it left it up to the sanctioning body to say it wasn't that extreme and definitely wasn't deliberate.

Had there been no red, Saffacens fans would have been in uproar.

Maybe bring in the 'white card' a la Super Rugby? 10 minutes in the bin with the TMO reviewing the situation, giving the decision as to whether it is permanent exclusion from the match at the end of the 10 minutes?

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flanker2712 April 10, 2014 3:47 pm

On the white card suggestion, I'm not sure it would have helped here. Garces saw it multiple times on the big screen and took a good 4 or 5 minutes while Goode was being treated to come to his decision (conferring with his touch judge for most of that time). I don't think an extra 5 minutes would have made any difference!

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10stonenumber10 April 10, 2014 7:46 pm

Granted this one was clear-cut by the officials at the time, but for future incidents, maybe employ the white card.

It seems that every accidental and deliberate dirty hit posted here is up for contention, personally I feel Payne was harshly dealt with, and on another day he may have got off with just a yellow.

The pressure of the game, the stretcher and the response from Saracens no doubt helped sway the two officials, no matter how impartial you may be, there will always be some peer influence. I was suggesting the decision be made by the TMO whilst the rest of the game is allowed to continue. Yellow with a look to red, and the red card either confirmed or scrapped depending on the severity.

Obviously in practice this may be long winded, and likely open to even more 3rd party influence, but it is an idea to perhaps develop.


How do they police it in Basketball? When does competitive leaping become full contact barging? Maybe we should ask Martin Castrogiovanni.....

Either that, or avoid nasty up and unders completely by banning kicking within your own half. You have got legs, use them!

(that last part was a sarcastic suggestion for the trigger happy flamers...)

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larry April 11, 2014 1:01 am

Banning kicking in one's own half? Might as well turn rugby into American football then. I laugh when I read comments that teams used to kick away possession so much in the past. With less kicking now there's more tackling, less rucking, static play, and a game that looks more and more like rugby league than rugby union. Barry John wouldn't approve of that suggestion, one of the best tactical kickers the game ever saw. And no one grubber kicks like he could anymore. I'd suggest that using all forms of kicking tactically and correctly could really put defenses under pressure, and they wouldn't be charging up so fast in defense, opening up some gaps that seem to be non-existent in so many first class matches. It's bad enough defensive rucking doesn't happen anymore and that defensive forwards clutter up the mid-field instead.

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Larry April 10, 2014 2:26 pm

These situations happen more and more as players jump up for a high ball. The law states that a player cannot be tackled while being in the air, so usually two players jumping up for the ball simultaneously means no one is trying to tackle, but instead secure the ball. Now whether this offence warranted a red card is questionable in my opinion (and I like the idea of a ten minute period to determine whether the incident warrants a sending off, tenstonenumber10), and I'm reminded of the Hogg challenge in the Scotland/Wales match, and whether that incident warranted a red card. Maybe jumping up high for a ball isn't such a good idea. Keep your feet and attempt to catch it. Opposition players can time their tackles to hit a player once the ball is in hand. That's the way it used to work. Just review old films of games on You Tube. This jumping up for a ball started in the 90's. Didn't happen much before then, and therefore wasn't an issue. Now it is.

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flanker2712 April 10, 2014 3:47 pm

I see the incident as follows:

Did Payne intend to take out Goode while in the air? No.

Was Payne reckless (i.e. forsee that his actions would result in particular consequences yet carry on regardless)? No. My opinion is that Payne had no idea Goode was even close to getting the ball. Maybe he thought Goode started from much deeper; maybe he thought Goode was much closer to the other side of the pitch. Who knows? But is not knowing where your opponents are and what they are doing recklessness? I would say no.

Payne was at most negligent in attempting to catch a high ball on the run and in doing so not considering (or checking to see) whether an opposing player would jump for the ball. And as far as I am aware, that is not a standard of behaviour that warrants a red card.

In addition, anyone who has posted above that once Payne saw Goode he should have either jumped to contest or pulled out of the contact is out of his mind. He didn’t see Goode until his face was about a yard from Goode's hip/backside, and to suggest he should have then jumped or avoided contact is madness.

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ChillDoubt April 12, 2014 10:51 pm

If that's a red card offence then jumping to catch a ball must be outlawed in the game i.e. a player must have at least one foot on the floor when catching a ball.
It's the only way to prevent accidental collisions when two players are attempting to catch the ball and clearly have their eys on it and nothing else.
Goode could just have easily caught Payne in the face with a knee, so where does it end?
That was never a red card, Payne showed no intent other than catching the ball.
As I say, the only way to avoid it is to stop players jumping with both feet off the floor when catching a high ball.

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sportsfan1 April 13, 2014 9:58 am

For me this isn't a red. I'd give a yellow as there was clearly no intent but he still committed an offence. Goode's injury is totally irrelevant but i feel the that the ref has taken that into account when making his decision.

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