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Salesi Ma'afu banned for one week for punch on Tom Youngs that went viral

There was a study being reported on in the Times in the UK yesterday which was analysing spinal injuries in union and league players. The study found little difference in the prevalence between spinal/neck injuries in professional union and league players, suggesting one of two things to me:

1. either the slightly laxer rules on tackling in league leads to more injuries, enough to equal out for the addition of rucks and scrums in union; or

2. actually for the most part rucks, mauls and scrums do not cause a significant number of spinal injuries compared to tackle situations (though that is not to say that they cause no spinal injuries)

I personally believe the second one for professional players. The new rules on engagements have certainly reduced the risk on engagement, and fewer collapses also helps. With rucks, stopping players charging in with shoulders also helps massively. Mauls would seem to be lower risk as they tend to be more straight-up pushing contests than high-impact collisions.

For amateurs, I would think that rucks and scrums are more significant in causing spinal injuries as technique is worse, and lower physicality means that tackle collisions are smaller.

3 Months, 1 Week ago

Liam Williams and Robin Copeland face disciplinaries after double red card

I generally agree with you that the IRB are being too cautious, but I can understand their perspective also.

Their aim seems to be to eliminate not just deliberate foul play but also recklessly dangerous play which Payne's arguably was.

The IRB, referees and most of us amateur critics also seem to be caught between whether to penalise the incident in isolation, or take into account the circumstances and consequences. Payne's tackle had much more serious consequences, which no doubt factored into Garces' mind, even if sub-consciously, whereas the Williams tackle caused no lasting harm, even though it was deliberate.

One thing I do believe, which others likely disagree with, is that, for consistency's sake, an offence should be viewed independently of the context of the match. By that I mean that it should not matter whether the incident occurs in the first minute of a World Cup final or a regular league game- the incident should be dealt with the same way. Having said that, the context within a game is obviously important; a fractious derby likely necessitates more strict refereeing with regard to foul play than a more amicable match, though Tim Wigglesworth's efforts in Bath v Gloucester possibly shows the limits of that supposition.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Liam Williams and Robin Copeland face disciplinaries after double red card

There was a bit of a discussion on that during coverage of the match. Apparently part of the IRB edict about tackles like this released after the Payne incident is similar to how refs are supposed to deal with tip tackles- if the player tackled in the air hits head or shoulders first (as Goode did) then it should be a red; if the player does not go beyond the horizontal, penalty or yellow depending on other issues (as for Williams). This may be post factum justification by the IRB, but that is what was said.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Mass brawl in French second division playoff between Pau and La Rochelle

The Pau 19 who got red carded was a little unlucky I thought. Yes he could be said to have escalated the incident by pulling a rochelle player away, but this was after the rochelle player had hit a prone team mate of his on the floor, and after that he seemed more to be trying to defend himself against the attacking rochelle players, backing away while they tried to hit him. Other Pau players seemed to do more. Maybe he seemed like the instigator.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Stade Francais' Jerome Fillol spits in Peter Stringer's face

Apparently there is history of this between them. According to The Times today, Fillol spat on Stringer during an U-21 international in 1999.

And apparently Fillol's remorse did include crying during the hearing

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Stade Francais' Jerome Fillol spits in Peter Stringer's face

Apparently there is history of this between them. According to The Times today, Fillol spat on Stringer during an U-21 international in 1999.

And apparently Fillol's remorse did include crying during the hearing

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Ian Madigan chip from behind tryline and winning try vs Glasgow Warriors

I know Schmidt said he wants Madigan to play his 'natural game', but he must have had his head in his hands on seeing him do that

1 Year, 5 Months ago

Chris Ashton carded for high swinging arm on Maurie Fa'asavalu

Johnny May? Brilliant attacker, real pace and not bad defensively. I think don't take ashton on tour this summer with england, give wade, may and biggs a shot beyond the premiership

1 Year, 5 Months ago

Sergio Parisse red carded and banned for insulting referee

Wasn't it Rolland who red-carded Will Skinner for doing that in a Heineken Cup match?

1 Year, 6 Months ago

Owen Farrell kicks England to victory over Ireland in Dublin

It might not be pretty but it certainly is exciting and entertaining. Even for a neutral, the game was nail-biting. I think the IRB have lost sight a little when trying to make the game as open as possible. While scrappy games can be rubbish, they can also be some of the most exciting in rugby. Wales v France and England v Ireland is an example of this divide, the former scrappy to the point of mediocrity, the latter thrilling

Healy certainly deserves to get cited for one of his infringements, the stamp was especially bad. A couple of the Irish players like O'Mahoney and Healy looked to be a little too fired up. It was nice to see Marler having matured a bit. A year or two ago he would have been involved heavily I would think

1 Year, 6 Months ago

 
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