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Sunday Jul 15, 2018

Brutal shoulder charge gets Johnny Fa'auli red card and hefty suspension

Brutal shoulder charge gets Johnny Fa'auli red card and hefty suspension
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The Chiefs beat the Hurricanes 28-24 in an epic encounter on Friday night, but one negative was when centre Johnny Fa’auli smashed Hurricanes centre Wes Goosen with a nasty shoulder charge to the head. In what is becoming a recurring event for the Chiefs star, he was once again sent from the field.

Fa’auli has developed somewhat of a history when it comes to high head shots. Just last season he pleaded guilty to a similar offence committed against the Bulls, leading to a four-week suspension.

He has since been suspended for six weeks, after pleading guilty to contravening Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

Given the nature of the hit and Fa’auli’s involvement, fans and coaches alike were brutal in their collective response. Neither did his immediate actions following the hit solicit him any favors.

The Hurricanes deleted a tweet and later apologized for calling Fa’auli a “player with a bad history of that crap.”

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd had this to say:

“I mean, I don’t like to see a red card in any game, but red is red, and you don’t get a more obvious red card than that. That was shoulder, no arms, straight to the head, with force, with intent. There’s no butting out of any of that. So that was a deliberate act.”

Chiefs coach Colin Cooper was also less than pleased, saying: “It’s disappointing… He’s better than that. He looks to stamp his mark defensively, but he’s got to do it within the rules, he just can’t drift up, particularly towards the head.”

Even though the Chiefs were victorious, it wasn’t enough to climb ahead of the Hurricanes who will now host the Chiefs in a quarter-final playoff matchup.

Some good news for the Chiefs is they were resting some key players – Damian McKenzie and Sam Cane – and still managed to get the win being down a man after the 63rd-minute expulsion.

While next week’s clash should carry plenty of added tension and drama, Fa’auli will not take part. 

Full match highlights:

Credit: Rugbypass/Super Rugby/Getty Images

8 Comments

  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    When you tackle, you smash/push the opponent with your clavicle and a part of the humerus which for a line (flat parts of your shoulder and arm). When you shoulder charge, you use the humeral head or acromion as a spear (the sharp bones at the extremity of you shoulder). http://www.kcbj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/shoulder-anatomy_27770457_m.jpg

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Not sure I agree with that, I'm some ways, I think if you hit hard and still wrap, then you've satisfied all aspects required, if you hit hard and don't manage to wrap then you've not satisfied the requirements... I think this tackle (had it not been on the head) would be one that I'd have allowed, based on the fact the wrap was coming it just got deflected.

    Reply
  •  rememberthemer
    rememberthemer

    I don't thinks it's the lead with the shoulder that's the issue so much - after all as DrG points out - you are supposed to tackle with your shoulder. Its how guys who do this hold their arm and shoulder. The arm is very stiff, straight and by his side. The point of this is to lock your shoulder so that is as rigid and hard as possible. Then once you have turned your shoulder into a lump of rock, you use it like a bettering ram. This a hit rather than a tackle. The arms coming after are purely cosmetic to avoid a penalty. The whole point of the arm wrapping rule was to stop people locking there arm by their side, stiffening their shoulder and leading with it. To me these tackles are just a variation on the classic shoulder charge, you do everything the same except turning your shoulder in. They are technically legal in terms of arm wrapping (not this time obviously), but are against the spirit of what that law is about.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    My shoulder always hits first, doesn't yours? Admittedly I don't tend to make a habit of allowing momentum to wrap my arms for me, but that's how you get a solid hit in.

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    He 'expressed remorse' during the hearing, so got 2 weeks reduction.

    Reply
  •  tphillipsstl
    tphillipsstl

    but this is the problem with these "lead with the shoulder throw your arms after" sort of tackles. They are always reckless. They can't really be legislated out because it's so much of a judgement call, but if you do it you accept that you are dangerously close to the edge of the law and risk injuring another player and getting disciplined. 6 weeks too soft in MHO. I'd have given him 8.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    Right, I think that should be taken into account when calling "no arms". In this kind of double tackle situation it is often not possible to get both arms around, but you see it being punished a lot. I think maybe Fa'auli's right arm would have swung around enough if it wasn't for Lienert-Brown blocking it. Didn't really matter much here though, red anyway. Apart from that a very entertaining game. Had everything: intensity, suspense, some good scores, classic New Zealand derby!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Definitely a well earned red, but I sort of disagree with the "lead with the shoulder part" his arm may have wrapped had it not been knocked by his team mate... Either way, it was always going to be a red..

    Reply

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Brutal shoulder charge gets Johnny Fa'auli red card and hefty suspension | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos