Sunday Sep 2, 2018 Alaska Taufa carded after demolishing Romain Ntamack with 'dangerous tackle'

Alaska Taufa carded after demolishing Romain Ntamack with 'dangerous tackle'
16
Comments

Grenoble’s Alaska Taufa was punished for this massive hit on Toulouse’s Romain Ntamack in their match on Saturday. After some deliberation, the tackle was deemed too dangerous by the referee, and the Tongan international left the field.

It’s become business as usual in the Top 14, it would seem. Another week, yet another perplexing yellow or red card. First it was the much-maligned red card issued to Sergio Parisse for essentially standing his ground.

Malakai Fekitoa was also given a perplexing yellow card – much to his surprise – after a seemingly legal tackle against Racing. Both of these examples have left players and fans scratching their heads.

World Rugby Law 9.13 concerning foul play states: “A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”

Then enter Taufa’s tackle. Was this indeed a dangerous tackle? As this was deemed dangerous, it seems the line between legal and dangerous is getting ever thinner.

It seems more and more cards are being given based on things such as speed and force of hit, not whether a tackle was actually illegal. 

Thankfully, common sense has not been completely abandoned as Parisse’s card was ultimately overturned. Player safety is paramount, but big hits are part of the game. It’s going be a long Top 14 season if this trend continues.

Toulouse went on to win a tight contest 23-20.

Credit: Top Rugby

16 Comments

  •  gonzoman
    gonzoman

    Pickay, that is a wonderfully rational exposition of how the tackle laws apply to contact. Remember folks, not all contact/hits/charges are tackles... The tackle law defines a specific type of contact, and lays out the responsibilities of both tackler and ball carrier during and after the tackle occurs. It is not the be-all and end-all for contact.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    What Pickay wrote is my understanding and take on the whole thing.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    (See Pickay's response below)

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    Right. But as stated above, according to the laws it is only considered foul play if you tackle "without attempting to grasp that player". So there seems to be an empty space between the definition of a tackle and the definition of foul play in the tackle. The way I played the game, the way I picked it up while watching rugby, it always felt clear to me that attempting to wrap the arms was enough not get in trouble as a tackler. You could argue this way: If you attempt to wrap your arms in the tackle, but you don't fully manage, it's not considered foul play (because the law says so). At the same time, the ref could say it's not a complete tackle, as the player was not held. This would mean other tackle related laws do not apply, e.g. the player brought to ground does not have to release the ball, because he was not successfully tackled. Anyway, that was my attempt to find an explanation for the discrepancy between the definition of a tackle and the definition of foul play in the tackle.

    Reply
  •  malister
    malister

    Lawes v Plisson resulted in no sanction because Lawes has a full control of the ball carrier and holds him until he is on the ground. Different situation here. "For a tackle to occur, the ball-carrier is held and brought to ground by one or more opponents" "Being held means that a tackler must continue holding the ball-carrier until the ball-carrier is on the ground" https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=14&amends=on

    Reply
  •  malister
    malister

    Interesting debate, the rule does state: "For a tackle to occur, the ball-carrier is held and brought to ground by one or more opponents" "Being held means that a tackler must continue holding the ball-carrier until the ball-carrier is on the ground" https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=14&amends=on

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    Nop. Lawes v Plisson resulted in no sanction at all as far as i remember, no penalty, no card, right? Outcome for the victim even worse there in terms of landing on head plus whiplash. Good to see that the ref wasn't put off by the impact of the tackle but instead kept calm and actually looked at the tackle itself, which imo was fine. Nigel Owens for president!

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Impact and technique, That was a brutal and textbook tackle. And in some ways, it recalls me the controversy with that monster tackle of Lawes on Plisson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCsQ_Gg4tik The debate could be: should the tackler care about the way the tackled will fall on his shoulder, neck or head, because of the impact ? You've got 2 hours. Personally i think "nop"

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    Law 9.16: "A player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without attempting to grasp that player." So trying to get your arms around explicitly is enough according to the laws. Agree with The_Osprey and others that he probably got carded for hitting 'too hard', which is a frustrating outcome of what was a great hit.

    Reply
  •  peetwindhoek
    peetwindhoek

    Wow, that was proper. All legal and happy that I was not on the receiving end of such a brutal hit! Very similar to the Bismarck du Plessis hit on Dan Carter a couple of years back. He also got an unnecessary yellow for that.

    Reply
  •  pgrugby
    pgrugby

    Agree - it looks like a fair tackle to me, especially with that left arm wrapping around

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Law 29387 b. When destroying a player, he must be wined and dined first, and offered a cigarette afterwards..

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    There's no law that says you have to 'catch' a player with your arms, or that you have to control a tackled player unless you have lifted him. I think here the tackler got unlucky - it looks like he hits the player shoulder-first but from the reverse angle it gives a misleading impression that there's contact with the head. In the end he's got a yellow card for hitting 'too hard' and maybe too upright, which is symptomatic of the new refereeing style made necessary because the physicality of rugby players has got out of hand. I mean, I would not like to be on the receiving end of a hit like this and I can see why the referees automatically react, but the inconsistency is really frustrating.

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    Nonsense. His left arm wrapped round. There was no lift involved, just a perfectly timed monster hit

    Reply
  •  malister
    malister

    Of course it's a dangerous tackle lads... Completely illegal, the tackler doesn't have any kind of control of the ball carrier with his arms. Trying to get your arms around the player is not enough. You actually do have to catch him properly. Excellent ref decision, a red would have been a bit harsh, yellow is the good call.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Outstanding hit. Lining up a guy and timing it perfectly is not easy.

    Reply

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Alaska Taufa carded after demolishing Romain Ntamack with 'dangerous tackle' | RugbyDump