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Sonny Bill Williams warned for big hit

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Adriaan Strauss suspended for three weeks after tip tackle

Cheetahs hooker Adrian Strauss will miss the first three Springbok matches of the season after he was suspended for three weeks for a lifting tackle against the Stormers on Saturday night. Strauss pleaded guilty to the charge at the disciplinary hearing.

Strauss will miss the Boks' clash with the World XV as well as the Wales series that comprises of two home Tests in June. He'll be available again for the Scotland Test on June 28.

He was hit with the three-week ban after pleading guilty to a charge of lifting Stormers winger Kobus van Wyk off the ground and failing to bring him back down safely.

It adds to the headaches for Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who has already had to contend with the loss of captain Jean De Villiers to injury, and today the news that Frans Steyn might also be out.

They've called in little known Bulls hooker Callie Visagie as backup to Bismarck Du Plessis, as other players in the position are either injured or unavaible due to club commitments.

"Of the players who have been part of Springbok squads in the last two seasons, Scarra Ntubeni, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Tiaan Liebenberg are injured, while Schalk Brits and Craig Burden are playing in club finals this weekend and aren't available for the camp," said Meyer.

Strauss was yellow carded by referee Stuart Berry at the time, but a SANZAR judiciary found that the incident had an entry point in the low end range, which starts at a four week suspension. "I then added two weeks as a deterrent to send a further message that this type of tackle cannot be tolerated in the game due to the risk it poses to player," said Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casseldon.

"Factors considered in mitigation included the player's excellent record extending over 33 test matches for South Africa and over 100 Super Rugby matches, his good character and the player's early admission of guilt for the tackle and remorse shown for the incident."

Based on that, Casseldon reduced the six week suspension for Strauss to three weeks.

What are your thoughts on the decision, and the 'tip-tackle' law?

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:07 pm | View Comments (44)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 44 comments

Mike May 27, 2014 2:55 pm

What a terrible, terrible decision.

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joe May 27, 2014 5:10 pm

have to disagree completely of all the decisions regarding tip tackles and tackles in the air lately this one was made perfectly the ball was gone strauss lifted him past 90 and dropped him. penalty not enough. red card too much. yellow card spot on

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Tom May 27, 2014 3:02 pm

what has rugby come to now-a-days? that was, to me, a perfect dump tackle. He landed flat on his back. Strauss didn't drop him or drive him into the ground, he fell with the player. The sport is being ruined by silly decisions like this.

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Full Back May 27, 2014 3:38 pm

not sure I agree, you can see his elbow raised well above his head so he is tipping the player. If he had simply lifted him and gone to ground it would have been a perfect dump tackle. Also the guy didn't go down on the flat of his back, he went down sideways on his shoulder and had to put his arm down to make sure he didn't hit the ground head first.

You risk injury by playing rugby, there's no need to add unnecessary risks on top of everything

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Claudio May 27, 2014 7:51 pm

Totally agree with you mate! A tackle like this should not mean a yellow card. No bad intentions whatsoever.Rugby a tough game...we all know it.

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Guy May 27, 2014 3:18 pm

Is this all the footage the committee had at it's disposal? There doesn't seem to be much in it to me but I guess the law is the law although the explanation of how they came to 3 weeks completely baffles me (low entry, upgrade, excellent

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Drogers93 May 27, 2014 3:23 pm

the only issue i have with this is his timing, the ball has gone and he has carried on with the tackle. now i can see the argument that he may not be aware of that but i still think maybe he didnt have to finish the tackle quite as he did.
However if he had the ball it would be in my mind a great tackle, as i said the ONLY issue is timing. At the very very very worst a penalty and a talking to for following through with the tackle to that extent after the ball is gone. If he only half dumped him then there wouldnt be any issue watsoever with this.

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Fred May 27, 2014 3:28 pm

In all honesty the tackle was pretty much a perfect dump tackle, Van Wyk wasn't dropped on his neck, and Strauss didn't exactly pummel him into the ground. A yellow card is a fair enough decision but a three week ban is ridiculous.

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Robert May 27, 2014 4:02 pm

Fkn babies. They should have played with me. They would have died!!!! Rules are getting iut of hand. Like habana the weekend iversea. Fell down when i guy clipped him like a soccer player.

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Michael LG May 27, 2014 4:16 pm

Great decision! It is a dangerous tackle. This isn't the NFL. Nobody has pads on, you don't have to lift a player off of the ground in any way shape or form to tackle him.

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Speedee May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Should have been a red going by the laws. There's a lot of macho talk after decisions like these, but ultimately the IRB have taken the stance that tackles which involve players being lifted into the air and being turned are to be stamped out of the game.

Players have to accept that. Strauss is an experienced player and captain and should know the interpretation of the laws. In my view he can have no complaints. By deliberately lifting and turning the player he put himself in a position to be sent off.

It's 3 years since the Warburton red card. Players need to cop on to the current interpretation and stop hiding behind the 'well in my day' and the 'games gone soft' comments. These laws are in place to minimise the risk of serious neck and back injuries.

There are enough ways to legally make your mark on an opponent. For a very good reason, lifting and turning tackles is not one of them.

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finedisregard May 27, 2014 9:09 pm

Why do we have to accept that? At the end of the day the central question is whose game is it, the players and fans or the refs and irb? You say we should just shut up and accept whatever law change these clowns come up with without question? No way Jose!

The irb makes these rules up monolithically and has an agenda. I ref and at every meeting it comes down from above "we" want to see more of this and less of that. Who is "we"?

Rugby should exist primarily for the experience of the players playing the game, secondly for fans, and not at all for administrators and officials who are there to serve the players and fans' interests because hopefully, they are/were players and are fans too...

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Speedee May 28, 2014 3:04 am

Agree with 99% of what you are saying. My view as an amateur is that no player should be exposed to the lift and turn type tackles. I agree that the IRB have pushed this ahead without a mandate from its worldwide members.

Ultimately, I support their stance. As someone with a 9-5 I've no desire to be turned in the tackle, and since the referees have started clamping down at international level, I've seen less dangerous tackles at my level.

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DanKnapp May 28, 2014 10:41 am

Speedee, I competely agree with you. There is a theme on these boards that "the game is going soft" but if there is one unifying message from doctors and medics within the game, it is that the collisions are harder, players are bigger and faster, and the intensity is increased. We don't want to end up with an NFL-like game where the average playing career in certain positions is 4 years.

Rugby is still an intensely physical game; it is simply a matter of making sure that it remains a physical game without becoming ludicrously dangerous. Lift and tip tackles are too dangerous to be allowed to continue unchecked - the 'legs about the horizontal' rule is an easy to enforce way to try to bring this about.

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ruppansy May 28, 2014 12:48 pm

Completely agree with you on this tip tackle DanKnapp, unlike the Habana incident (which would have been a penalty had he milked it or not). Lift and tip are too dangerous to go unchecked. And hey, I don't need to incite an insult from you this time either.

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memberbenefits May 31, 2014 7:16 am

It didn't take long for Sam to brought up. If people can't see the difference between someone being dropped on their neck ala Sam and this then they've got some serious problems. Realise what is safe and what is not and get over it.

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gaz p May 27, 2014 4:40 pm

There was nothing wrong with that tackle. It was a text book front on tackle. If he is banned for that then in my opinion you are taking a chunk of the game away that people pay good money to watch. If he had dumped him on the back of his head then that would have been a different matter.

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DrG May 27, 2014 5:32 pm

...Why do I actually feel surprised?

I come onto RD I see the title of this video and I know what is coming, it's not going to be nasty, it's going to be another pathetic decision by some clot with a beige cardigan to ban someone for something that is; at most, worth something halfway between a yellow and a penalty and that is that. Yet, I still feel surprised.

I can accept a yellow, there was a lot of tackle a long time after the ball had gone, had he clattered the guy it might not have been so 'bad', but it could just have easily been a penalty, but no, a ban is in order...

This was probably not as bad as the Bastareud tackle (apart from the lack of ball!) and I thought that tackle was fine...

I'll copy and paste:

"In my opinion, the whole point is to dissuade people from doing THIS:

Not the tackle that basta..uh...strauss did."

View Video

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browner May 27, 2014 5:38 pm

I keep seeing the description " dump tackle" ???

the laws of the game dont define what this is supposdd to mean type, so could one of the advocates please fully define exactly the characteristics that constitute a DUMP Tackle


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Juggernauter May 27, 2014 6:29 pm

As far as I'm concerned, a dump tackle occurs when you set up to tackle a player and get your arms and shoulders below his waistline, grabbing the back of his thighs and pushing your shoulder into his waist with your knees bended. Then you stand up and drive him forwards (or backwards for him), making he lose ground and then putting him down on the turf in line with your body, without twistig, shifting or lifting his legs above his waist, so that he lands on his back.

It's a tackle technique that demands total control of the situation of the ball carrier's body during the tackle, and that's really effective, as it stops runners dead on their tracks and makes him lose ground. It's also a very dficult tackle to perform correctly, as it's way more easy to just lift a player spectacularly and then just drop him, which is really dangerous, than to be aware of the position of the player during the whole tackle.

Here's what I think is a perfectly execured dump tackle - Dan Bowden on James O'Connor.


View Video

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Reality May 28, 2014 7:39 am

The problem - if it can be called that - with the Bowden tackle is that O'Connor reacts in the perfect manner. He realises what's happening so hangs on to Bowden's shirt for dear life and therefore prevents himself from falling back on his head/shoulders. That kind of reaction isn't guaranteed though, and if you get a player who in the situation panics and twists and turns, or you get Bryan Habana who actually launches himself backwards towards the ground, head-first, then the outcome would be very different.

The point I'm making is that to a large extent the outcome of the tackle is out of the control of the tackler, and the difference between a great dump tackle and a land-head-first tackle is very much dependent on how the tackled player reacts.

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DrG May 27, 2014 10:10 pm

For someone who claims to be a referee, claims to teach young'uns and claims to have been a 'old' front rower since the dawn of time, you sure seem uneducated when it comes to the rugby of old...

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WelshOsprey May 27, 2014 6:10 pm

Another pathetic ban. You could maybe yellow card him for a late hit but thats about it.

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Guest May 27, 2014 7:12 pm

Rightly or wrongly (I'm with the latter) the precedent was set at the last World Cup regarding these kind of tackles, every time the tackler lifts the player with the intention of dropping them they risk facing a ban and shouldn't therefore risk it. It's the inconsistency of the refereeing of said tackles that really annoys me.
IMO tackles like this are unnecessary and only serve to embarrass and injure (very rarely) the ball carrier. Done a few and received a few over the years but they don't allow the tackler to get themselves in a position to turn the ball over, they rarely result in a the ball carrier losing the ball and they don't slow down the momentum of an attacking play like a wrap tackle. All in all, if there's no need for them, apart from to feed machismo, and you run the risk of spending a few weeks in the stand, why bother?

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finedisregard May 27, 2014 9:11 pm

Because machismo is part of rugby? You don't get dumped if you go into contact at a low body angle.

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DrG May 27, 2014 10:06 pm

"they don't slow down the momentum of an attacking play"

Really? As far as I'm aware they often really balls up momentum, now your forward running is going backwards and you have to retreat to get into a position to form a ruck, the defending team are going forward at the breakdown and hey ho! turnovers..

View Video

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Remember May 28, 2014 7:35 am

Probably best to quote his whole sentence:

"they don't slow down the momentum of an attacking play like a wrap tackle"

I agree, they come no where near to a wrap tackle for slowing down play so he's spot on.

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DrG May 28, 2014 8:47 am

Thought I did, however I still disagree, driving a player back puts every attacker on the back foot., a wrap tackle can form a maul...

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Remember May 28, 2014 9:14 am

...which is universally acknowledged as being slow ball.

Your defence is 'driving a player back' which wasn't referenced in the original post. The topic is about lifting a player in the tackle. Nobody would argue that driving a player back in the tackle is an effective game changer but it can be done effectively and safely without putting yourself in a position where you may face penalty.

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DrG May 28, 2014 1:49 pm

You couldn't read around the words and interpret 'driving a player back' in that lot?:

"Really? As far as I'm aware they often really balls up momentum, now your forward running is going backwards and you have to retreat to get into a position to form a ruck, the defending team are going forward at the breakdown and hey ho! turnovers.."

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Remember May 28, 2014 3:34 pm

I could read around the words but instead choose to focus on what was actually written. It's a much surer way of ensuring there's no misinterpretation.

I'm afraid for sanity's sake I'm going to have to agree to disagree. That's the beauty of opinions both objective and subjective.

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DrG May 28, 2014 5:05 pm

...I'm happy to agree to disagree, only thing is, how could you not get 'driving a player back' from 'you have to retreat to get into a position to form a ruck etc'...

It's easier to read your own words I suppose, but to me it's similar to not getting 'gouging' out of the sentence 'he stuck his fingers in my eyes'...

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10stonenumber10 May 27, 2014 10:08 pm

Half a second earlier and it would have been a hell of a hit hit. Timing is key. He lifted after the ball had quite clearly gone. As i have mentioned before in a previous comment, everyone has the thought of "commitment benefit of the doubt?" on hits like these. It's his fault he was a Daft "Berkshire Hunt", a shoulder would have sufficed, a late lifted tackle is a very heavy mark in the naughty book.

Potentially milked a bit by the winger.... but then of course.... he is only a winger. The winding of the player falling on him kept him down, not the ferocity/dropping in the hit.

Weighing what I do/did, these tackles would happen to me with regular occurrence, quite a lot during training to. It pisses them off even more if you get back to your feet and into position quicker they they can. Even if it hurts like f*ck, save it for the next whistle. Don't ever show it, otherwise they have 'won'. Obviously not if you land on your neck, but he fell square onto his back/shoulders, and just so happened to have a luminous orange tank parked on his ribcage.

This kind of thing happens on a muddy Sunday morning 2nd XV game on the 'other' pitch with no padding for the goalposts. Cameras, late hit, lift, even if he didn't spear him is an act of complete idiocy.

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DrG May 28, 2014 5:09 pm

I think that was what I was trying to get at in another comment. There is a lot of 'tackle' there after the ball has gone. As you said a shoulder wouldn't have brought much attention - maybe a penalty, a normal tackle probably wouldn't have cause many eyelids to batter, but this tackle obviously was 'BIG' therefore draws a lot of attention.

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TotesMcGoates May 28, 2014 6:22 am

Worse than Bastereaud's hit from the weekend but not by a whole lot.

I guess the theory is that while this tackle in itself wasn't inherently dangerous, these types of situations can be 'potentially' dangerous if the player exercises less control than the examples we've seen from the weekend.

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Reality May 28, 2014 7:43 am

Did anyone notice Willie Le Roux running over to protect the Cheetahs player who was surrounded by Stormers players only to realise that it was actually just a medic with an orange t-shirt?

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Gary Allen May 28, 2014 7:51 am

Stuart Berry got it right on the day as a former judicial officer i feel its not right to comment on thier decision. My comment is based around the replacement hooker, why was Kyle Cooper not considered, he has been a great understudy to Bismark and is a great impact player. Should be given a chance ahead of the unknowns.

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POTASSA May 28, 2014 11:01 am

Strauss knows the ball is not with the player, them he knows what he is doing. Red card for me.

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DW May 28, 2014 12:37 pm

The rule is there to protect against head and neck injuries. The legs past 90 thing in utter rubbish and doesn't say anything about the player safety. How the player lands should be the issue.

All of this nonsense would be sorted much easier if the IRB said tackles in which the tackled player lands with his head, neck or upper back first should be punished as "tip" tackles

How the hell can a tackle where the player lands on his side (hip and shoulder) be punished the same way as dropping someone on their head?

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DrG May 28, 2014 5:07 pm

haha, you tell me.. Somehow the governing bodies manage it..

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kadova May 28, 2014 8:07 pm

Dropping the player on his head would be a red card, if i understand the IRB right.

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DrG May 29, 2014 1:16 am

Unfortunately this is where I have to get back onto my high horse again.

You say dropping a player on his head would be a red card - I would assume you're correct...

However because Strauss has been given a 3 week ban, the only plausible explanation to go with it, is that those who handed him the ban felt that a yellow was obviously insufficient.

Look at it this way the correct order of punishments from least severe to most should be like this:
1. Penalty.
2. Yellow card
3. Red card.
4. Red card and a ban.

There is no possible way that a referee who sees an incident clearly should give a yellow card - which is 10 minutes sit down - to a player who has done something so bad he needs to miss 3 weeks of rugby. If it needs a ban then it needs a red.

So somewhere along the lines, someone has said "a 10 minute sin bin is not a severe enough punishment!" So they're suggesting the referee made a mistake and this should have been a red...

So full circle back to what DW said: "How the hell can a tackle where the player lands on his side (hip and shoulder) be punished the same way as dropping someone on their head?"

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Joaco May 28, 2014 3:06 pm

Not so long ago this was a perfect tackle. Where is the brainwashing camp operated by the IRB located, anyone knows?

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