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New directives under fire once more as Brice Dulin gets carded for challenge

Or you could make it illegal for the kicking team to contest in the air - the defender may still jump, but is 'safe' until he touches the turf.

It would certainly change the strategy around kicking - which may or may not be a good thing. Kickers would likely be more tactical about placement of the kick; teams would likely chip and chase a little less often; chasers would have to focus more on timing the hit and turnover skills post-tackle; defenders would need to be very aware of body position in the air so that they land prepared to take contact. You might also see the development of different sets of aerial skills - a quick catch-and-pass in the air to a waiting teammate, tap-backs or deflections, and who knows what else.

I imagine the grubber would start to get used a bit more, but the biggest difference would probably be that teams faced with poor attacking options will opt to recycle the ball again instead of trying the up-and-under. That alone is worth it, as far as I'm concerned.

1 Week, 3 Days ago

New directives under fire once more as Brice Dulin gets carded for challenge

I wonder...if Dulin had ended up with the ball, would Halfpenny have been penalized? If they both catche the ball, do we just send 'em both off? If a kick lands on the field and there's no-one there to catch it, do we penalize the kicker? What's the airspeed velocity of a coconut-laden swallow? If a train leaves London for Reading at 10am travelling 35 km/h with three cars which are each half-full and another train leaves Reading for Basingstoke with a full load and travels at 32 km/h, what's the price of bananas in New York?

Inquiring minds want to know!

1 Week, 3 Days ago

USA Women's winger Naya Tapper banned for alleged kick

Mrs. Gonzoman is still completing her rugby education - she's figured out the difference between a ruck and a maul, so there's hope!

1 Month, 1 Week ago

USA Women's winger Naya Tapper banned for alleged kick

No, just a friend! We used to referee in the same ref's society - I've ARed for her on a number of occasions.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

USA Women's winger Naya Tapper banned for alleged kick

I can ask the ref herself if you'd like...I'll let you know what she says!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Tevita Kuridrani scores sensational try to seal Aussie win in France

alasdairduncan3 is correct. As a referee, I'm shocked that the TMO and the on-field officials didn't know that!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Hi DrG, I guess it comes down to the intent behind the law. For me, the law dealing with high tackles exists not just to punish tackles above the shoulders, but to discourage them. If I know that I'll cost my team if I break the law, I will actively try to avoid breaking it. If the law is enforced strictly, regardless of whether it was an accident, or hit low and slid up, etc. then players will approach tackling differently.

Here's are two examples of different approaches:
1 - I know that not all high tackles are called, and that I will probably not have to deal with a ban for one. When approaching a tackle, I aim at the player's chest because that's where I can get the biggest bang, and because it's more convenient for me to aim higher when I'm running cross-field. Therefore, I start from a running position and don't adjust until I have to.
2 - I know that high tackles are dealt with strictly, both by the referee and the citing commissioner. When approaching a tackle, I aim for the shorts to make sure I avoid coming in too high and being penalized/sent off/banned. Therefore, as soon as I get within a few meters of the player I will tackle, I am low and ready to make the hit safely.

In the past number of years, I've refereed a lot of rugby games at all sorts of levels, and have found that being strict and consistent with high tackles of all kinds is the most effective way to avoid them and, ironically, to reduce overall penalty count. Penalize the first 1-3 and make it clear you'll have none of it, and the players will adjust and 'keep it down'. Helps to cut down on the number of dust-ups too...

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Well, in the case of the French they get the short end of the stick - you see, they'll get assigned an Anglophone citing commissioner who will assume that "Désolé monsieur, j'ai commis un erreur et j'ai honte. Désormais, je ferai de mon mieux de jouer le jeux selon l'esprit de la loi" is French for "your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries".

The poor confused Frenchman will get a lifetime ban due to the above miscommunication, and because his maternal grandfather was a Pacific Islander.

;)

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Oh, I know it's there at every hearing - it's actually written into the directives for disciplinary committees (see World Rugby's Regulation 17.19.5 - Mitigating Factors). I just find it incredibly ridiculous that a group of otherwise intelligent adults thought that saying please and being polite was grounds for reducing a ban - where I'm from it's the bare minimum to avoid a smack from one or more older family members!

I can just see the thought process: "well, he came in and sat down in that chair without punching anyone, he didn't drop a single F-bomb the entire hearing, and I even think I heard him call me 'sir' once...what a good lad, let's reduce his ban to one week."

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Now to Fekitoa...
At no point in the attempted tackle is he crouched in a typical tackling position - he runs across high, starts high, and finishes with his feet off the ground and his arm around Zebo's face. Furthermore, his "tackle" looks more like he's going in for a combination of an uppercut and a hook - a swinging arm tackle, at best.

Fekitoa has violated not one, but two parts of the Foul Play law:
10.4 (a): Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

and

10.4 (e): A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.

In every league I've played or refereed in, that would earn him a straight red card.

Now to the suspension - I wholeheartedly disagree that "good conduct at the hearing" should be a mitigating factor...just spoke to a trial lawyer that I know - he thinks it's crazy. There's no precedent for that in the court of law - why should it be a mitigating factor in a sanction hearing?

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago