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Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup draw with Samoa

ducking into the tackle isn't a law per se, it's a guidance for referees to use. Underneath the already complicated laws are a set of guidelines for referees to consider and it's down to the referee's interpretation of those laws and guidelines. Now you could judge that the tackler's strike is at around shoulder height, but the referee will be considering how much influence the ducking had on where the tackle is made and whether the tackler had an opportunity to adjust.

For me, he's standing up in the tackle to hit high and make an impact, he could have kept lower in the tackle and it's a penalty. Looking again, it's very high as it's impacting with the head. When referees call ducking in the tackle, they're usually looking at a tackler who has already committed when the carrier has ducked down and gotten caught.

My other problem though is how he uses his arms. Impact is made with the shoulder and there's no attempt to wrap the arms in the tackle and the result is a shoulder charge. So combine the contact with the head, with the manner in which he made the tackle and the lack of arms, it's quite easy to give a penalty and the yellow card can't be too far away

4 Months, 1 Week ago

ITV Sport's contenders for the 2013/14 Aviva Premiership try of the season

Elliot's try was called right at the start of the campaign and it was brilliant. Similarly, Mumm's try used half the team and a good run in from the second row, brilliant try. Elliot's is arguably the best because of all of the deft little touches and offloads that continue the move - sublime

However, I have a softspot for seeing someone crushed when failing to tackle a big man on a strong run and Mulipola's switch from Goneva followed by a pretty compelling sprint 30+ metres to the line is exactly the thing I like to see and if I were a judge I might possibly have been swayed with that one.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

Not really, I get that being lifted, having some upper body strength allows for a degree of maneuverability. However, there's a huge difference between being voluntarily lifted in a lineout - which you've practiced a million times and know what to expect - and being lifted by a leg and driven upwards as is the case in this tackle. If you jump in a lineout you have good form, you jump straight up and your lifters take you the rest of the way and provide a neat little seat for you. If you drag a leg out from underneath and sweep it away you can't do anything about it.

If you take a leg in the way that Court did and lift up, blaming the liftee is ridiculous for the simple fact that the lifter has lost control and put the player at risk. Similarly, a lineout lifter can be penalised for being reckless with his jumper. Look at Mtawarira's lifting where he flicked his jumper back over his head and he was warned.

If you lift, to the letter of the law you have to be in full control and anything that happens as a result is your fault. If Court follows his teammate's example in the same tackle and holds a low body position and drives through instead of up Toner won't be able to flip deliberately or accidentally.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

Virtually incorrect means correct. What's your point?

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

Nonsense. The terminology has changed and the definition has been clarified because of inconsistencies in what referee's called a spear, but this is a spear. He's turned in the air, driven into the ground and it can do serious damage. I've seen plenty of yellows and reds given for these incidents in the last 15 years. More cards and penalties appear now because the definition has been clarified and referees know specifically what they look for. Also, now that referees can go back to these incidents with the TMO, you're bound to see more penalised

Point 1, you've not seen serious injuries in the professional game because the players are better conditioned and represent a fraction of the rugby playing population. When you see these tackles in lower leagues they sure as hell do cause serious injuries. You've also surely seen fairly serious injuries from these tackles that have seen players forced to leave the pitch because I have. Point 2, how many players have you seen retire with chronic shoulder and neck injuries? These tackles contribute a great deal so just because someone hasn't broken a neck doesn't mean that they didn't injure their neck in one of these tackles and retire later as a direct result or later suffer serious chronic problems. Point 3 You don't react to those serious neck breaks, you look for the best ways possible to prevent them in the first place. It's like making a car and not thinking to put brakes in it until someone crashes.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

The key is what they do with the leg that they grab. Both go in on the leg, but 2 keeps his body position and holds. 1 however is the one that follows through with a lift that takes it through the horizontal and causes the tip. Likely that in mitigation they'll say that the second tackler makes it easier to make the mistake, but it is ultimately him that's done it.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

I said virtually none. There is some freedom and the reaction to turn to fall to your front is instinctive rather than control. However, it doesn't change the fact that in the lift, the tackle was loose and that led to Toner turning in the air. If you drive through and put your opponent's back on the ground, you're fine, but if you lift his leg, he will always tip, especially someone Toner's size.

Tacklers have to remember the simple rule to not lift the legs, because anything that happens afterwards is their responsibility and that's clear enough within the rules

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tom Court shown straight red card for tip tackle on Devin Toner

have to agree with Eddie G. Court has lifted and lost control. As soon as you lift a player you are responsible. If you lose control in that tackle, you've misjudged it and made a mistake and you're in red card territory unless you recover the tackle safely. When Toner lands on his head, Court holds on and drives into the ground sealing his red card. Malice is unnecessary for a red card and the defence of "dropping" the player is erroneous because dropping a player through the horizontal is still a red card.

When you are lifted, you have virtually no control over anything so to blame Toner is crazy. If you lift, you have to hold the player tight so he doesn't turn and flop in your arms, you then have to continue moving forward to bring the player down on his side/back or drop them to their feet.

in short, lift, turn, head into ground, drive forward is a red card

5 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Ian Evans facing suspension after red card for stamp on Mike McCarthy

'intent' is much more a question for the disciplinary panel to ascertain. The citing commissioner is there to ascertain if something may be considered foul play, but I think some of them are just lazier than others.

With regards to stamping and trampling the laws are fairly clear. law 10.4b indicates that players should not stamp on or trample the opposition. There's obvious lee-way, as there is with anything and referees will allow players to use their boot to try to remove players covering the ball and the referee will ping anything they deem excessive with a penalty. However, more direct and obvious attacks, putting weight into it, stamping on sensitive areas like the head/knees/ankles or hands usually draws more interest, particularly towards the cards and bans (think the Cían Healey stamp on Dan Cole's ankle).

I thought the stamp on Barrit in the Connaught match deserved more attention than it got. It was almost certainly in the head area and was reckless and I think warranted a longer look by a disciplinary panel.

The rule that a lot of people have to be aware of here, including Ian Evans is 10.4L - A player shall not retaliate. Even if the opposition is doing something illegal they must not do anything to endanger them

9 Months, 1 Day ago

Ian Evans facing suspension after red card for stamp on Mike McCarthy

He wasn't in the wrong place illegally - like I say, he binds straight on the ball carrier, in the process of the tackle the ball is passed back. He had every right to make that tackle and go to ground.

9 Months, 2 Days ago

 
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