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Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

I couldn't agree more. You and I have different ideas about how the game should be referred in terms of tackles (dangerous and otherwsie), but I think all the regular commentators on this site have a shared sense of what the game should be. I think this is common across 99% of rugby fans, which is why we sit together at games and get drunk together without fighting.

Bloodgate is a good example of how the game can go wrong, but I would add Richard Cockerill's antics towards referees are as bad or worse, because they suggest an acceptance of that behaviour. I think the authorities should be entirely within their rights to dock points for such outbursts.

The beauty of rugby, for me, is the way in which 99% of decisions by the referee go uncontested. In football you have to watch the players raising their hands and claiming possession every time the ball leaves the pitch. Of course there are the odd videos which nerds like us like to pore over on sites like this, because those videos are examples right on the edge of legality and therefore make for interesting discussions.

Rugby should be, first and foremost, about a collection of standards and assumptions that unite all participants before they step foot on the field. There are acts of cheating which are generally considered acceptable and those which are generally considered unacceptable - think fisticuffs and playing hurt to get a card.

For me the single biggest problem facing the game is the increasing practice of coaches criticising referees during and after games. I believe that this should be entirely unacceptable. Talk about it in private, yes, but not in public.

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Prop Logovi'i Mulipola's big charge flattens Sales Sharks hooker

Awesome. Got any highlight videos you can share?

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Prop Logovi'i Mulipola's big charge flattens Sales Sharks hooker

Runaway train.

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

Thanks DrG. In my day job I teach ethics courses and we talk about the strengths and weaknesses of any ethical theory. The sad truth is that every rule will have an obvious exception, and if you only ever focus on the consequences then you end up with a dirty milieux of different rules which satisfies nobody.

I think that at the end of the day we have to trust our referees to enforce the spirit of the game as best they see fit. This will lead to inconsistency at times, but those inconsistencies can work in the game's favour. Think Mr Owens telling Brown and Huget that they were being 'immature' after a little scuffle. He wasn't applying the letter of the law, but the spirit of it. He allowed the game to flow. At other times this won't be appropriate. Forget 'consistency'. We're never going to get it. It is an impossible dream.

At the same time, I think that in the above clips Habana 'seems' to be playing outside of the spirit of the game. Ioane seems to be playing within the spirit of the game. Ioane definitely breaks rules which have been put in place to attempt to safeguard player safety (lifting Habana) but not in a way which placed the tackled player at any risk of serious injury.

The responsibility lies, ultimately, at the feet of the players and at the feet of the spectators. The referee should not be expected to police the game for the rest of us. We should police it ourselves. Other players and captains should tell their teammates when their behaviour has fallen afoul of the spirit of the game. Spectators shouldn't put up with these antics to see their team win and should boo accordingly.

Lastly, I think that players at the top level should remember that their actions will be viewed, and copied, by others at the lower level of the game. They have a responsibility to the sport that has so handsomely rewarded them to conduct themselves in the most professional way possible. They will make mistakes, at which point we spectators should allow them some slack.

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

I agree with you both. As I've said before, I think that players should be savvy enough by now to realise that if they lift a player off the group they are pushing their luck. As DrG says though, I think Ioane does everything he can to return him safely to earth. Careless play, mildly dangerous perhaps, but nothing in it that a 'be careful' wouldn't fix.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

I should be clear, the 'second incidence' is the second tackle, not the second video.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Rugby HQ Plays of the Month from April 2014

Can you imagine if they had these cheerleaders in NH rugby? The poor girls would die of exposure.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

Second incidence, looks about right.

First incidence, as the description says, Habana does seem to drop and go completely limp in the air. It looks a little like a dive to me. Now Ioane's arms DO lift his legs, so he is culpable, but I'm a little disappointed with Habana.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Seven of the Best Tries PLUS Highlights from the Glasgow Sevens

I love the idea of the USA getting totally into 7s and American-izing it. Think rolling subs, four 15 minute quarters, cheerleaders, hotdogs, tannoy announcers, mascots... It'd be absolutely hilarious. Hundreds of points would be scored every game.

I do enjoy a bit of sevens. It's a good gateway drug for real rugby.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Canadian Conor Trainor's sublime foot control at the Glasgow Sevens

I've seen videos of footballers controlling a rugby ball with sickening skill, so I would imagine that all professional footballers could have a decent go at this... buuuut that doesn't detract from the fact that anyone who attempted this would need a shitload of skill.

Love it. A great piece of skill.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

 
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