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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Midweek Madness - The old SOMERSAULT over a tackle trick

There has been quite a bit of talk about jumping into the tackle recently, and then this happened in Western Australia. It took place in a Rugby League game of 9s and the footage has gone viral, so there has once again been a huge amount of debate around the laws.

While this is League, in Rugby Union jumping into (or over!) a tackle is more often than not penalised for being dangerous. We've seen it happen on a number of occasions and recently cited some examples when it came up again during a Mitre 10 Cup match in New Zealand.

This one was clearly for a bit of fun, as it happened in a shortened form of the game and thankfully, nobody was injured. As pointed out on social media, it was illegal, dangerous and he was of course also in front of the kicker as he rejoined play.

All of that aside, young Quindan Smith has put the tournament on the map and they have received loads of attention from around the globe, with the video going viral.

Just to clear it up one more time, in Rugby Union the lawbook doesn't specifically state anything with regards to jumping into or over a tackle, but it is commonly known to fall under Law 10.4, Dangerous Play, with section (k) covering "Acts contrary to good sportsmanship."

It states that a player must not do anything against the spirit of good sportsmanship. So it is down to the referee's interpretation of what is seen to be dangerous, and he is entitled to penalise it if he feels player safety was compromised.

When Vaea Fifita jumped over a tackle (above) for Wellington recently it was not penalised, but you can be sure that if there was even the slightest bit of contact, it would have been.

It is however time that World Rugby made some clearer rulings on this, as whenever something similar happens the same old debate and loose quotations of law come up.

Until then, we can find some amusement in the audacity of moves like this one.

It is however not to be recommended and hopefully this instance is used as a warning to everyone about what you should not do on a rugby field, unless you want to risk knocking out out the opposition and quite possibly, yourself. Nine out of ten from the Russian judge anyway.

credit: kimberley rugby league
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