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Alesana Tuilagi banned for 5 weeks for 'kneeing' Japanese tackler

I'm sure the people hired as citing commissioners would love the banning of poor technique, but that was offered as tongue-in-cheek. It did make me think though...

Do we know how citing commissioners are selected and remunerated? Is it a panel of people identified as citing commissioners and paid on a per-match basis, are they contracted on a retainer for the year/event/etc., or do they get paid per ban?

Do they have a set policy or standard under which they observe games?

It seems to me that as long as they have been around, they've been a source of consternation and inconsistency to the rugby community.

5 Days, 23 Hours ago

Alesana Tuilagi banned for 5 weeks for 'kneeing' Japanese tackler

As a player, I always used to lift my knee up while in the air competing for the high ball. Now it appears that I have been lucky my entire playing career to not get binned, cited, and banned for the few dozen times when my leading knee bumped another player!

And now that I'm a referee, I'm going to be extra careful that no player is permitted to move their knees up and forward while running...such disgraceful and reckless actions are the scourge of the modern game!

In all seriousness, if the Japanese player had tackled properly ("spine in line, bands of steel, and cheek to cheek" as my old coach used to say) then this would all be a non-issue. To my mind, there are two ways to get rid of such poor tackling: either cite the guy for deliberately executing a tackle dangerous to himself (he's got a duty of care to himself, etc.) or just let things like this happen - I'll bet that when the would-be tackler was watching the game tape, he promised himself he would never do that again.

6 Days, 3 Minutes ago

VINE: Fight for ball results in US College rugby player slammed

You know, a smart player would have just waited for the other guy to release him - according to the player himself, he knew there was advantage; based on the reaction of the players around the ruck, the whistle had gone and the penalty given. Pretty safe bet that your team would benefit more from you leaving the other guy alone.

As to your question:
"Now my question is how do I put a player down if I'm the ball carrier and his arms are locked on my neck and he's already on my shoulders?"

I have a simple solution - one I use every time I pick up something and need to put it down: reverse what you did to pick the bloke up. Come on now: bend your knees, lean slightly forward, and now that his feet are on the ground, let him go. Easy, isn't it?

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

Two points:
First, when I was playing (a mere two years ago) you made sure that if you were passing you did so in a position to minimize damage to yourself. We understood that if we wanted to be flatter and closer to the defense when we made the pass, we'd be at a higher risk of getting hit. So first and foremost, Plisson should have been expecting some sort of contact.

Second, I have never been a forward, but I know that as a centre/winger/fullback I would regularly approach the line at close to top speed to cut down space and time. You don't see it all that often at first receiver because typically your forwards don't have the kind of pace needed to get there while the ball is still in the 10's hands. Lawes clearly does have the pace, and is willing to use it. Just because few other forwards can do it doesn't mean it's illegal when Lawes does - his freakish combination of athleticism and size means that he forces fly-halves to play the game differently. To draw a parallel, remember when Wilkinson could knock over penalties from anywhere with ease? He forced teams to be very careful not to give up penalties within 60m of their goal-line. No one complained, and now most international kickers can hit penalties like that. I'll bet in 10 years we'll see numerous athletic locks, and fly-halves taking passes deeper than they do now!

6 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Referee decisions in spotlight as New Zealand prove too good for England

Vagrant, there was no "double-movement" for Cruden's try. Law 15.5 (c) specifically states that "a tackled player may release the ball by putting it on the ground in any direction, provided this is done immediately."

While the definition of "immediately" can be debated, in this case it is pretty clear that Cruden's first action after landing and stopping is to reach out and ground the ball on the line. That, in combination with the fact that there was no English player attempting to compete with the ball means that his actions have not contravened the law quoted above, nor have they prevented an opposing player from attempting to play the ball. The decision was correct: try awarded, and no need to check with the TMO.

11 Months, 1 Day ago

Otago score unbelievable set piece try in opening round of ITM Cup

I had to watch that a half dozen times to figure out what the heck happened! Great set piece.

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Chris Ashton shouts 'push it' as Nick Evans attempts conversion kick

He's a thug. Nothing clever about him!

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Chris Ashton shouts 'push it' as Nick Evans attempts conversion kick

I think the big difference between a charge and a shout is that one requires some effort and athletic ability, and the other requires nothing but a pair of lungs and a set of vocal chords.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Chris Ashton shouts 'push it' as Nick Evans attempts conversion kick

Dear guest: before attempting what you described in the above post, please allow me to save you from looking a proper twat next time you attempt a conversion.

Once the kicker starts his run up, players may charge; the players may continue to charge even if the kicker stops. The charging players can actually pick up the ball to prevent the kick, so while you're out there congratulating yourself on how clever you are some cheeky kick-charger will pinch the pill right off the tee (follow link for example).

View Video

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Niko Matawalu beats Stuart Hogg in footrace to deny him a hat-trick

Nah, if I were chasing a ball and one of my mates tried to wave me off because he wanted a hat trick I'd score, then tell him he should have been faster. By the same token, if I was running in untouched and a mate was beside me calling for the ball so he could complete his hat trick you can bet your britches I'd hold on to the ball and score myself.

1 Year, 5 Months ago