Thursday Mar 28, 2013 Chris Ashton carded for high swinging arm on Maurie Fa'asavalu

Chris Ashton carded for high swinging arm on Maurie Fa'asavalu
45
Comments

Saracens winger Chris Ashton was yellow carded for a dangerous high tackle he made on Harlequins forward Maurie Fa’asavalu in the Aviva Premiership last weekend. A suspension looked likely, but he has been cleared and faces no further punishment.

On his Premiership return following a disappointing Six Nations with England, Ashton stuck out a swinging arm as Quins upped the tempo after a Mike Brown break.

His hand seemed to connect with big Fa’asavalu and floored him. Ashton’s remorse was clear to see but referee Greg Garner refereed to the TMO, who then recommended a sin-binning.

It was Ashton’s fifth yellow card of the season and after a careful video review from RFU citing officer Bruce Reece-Russel, it was concluded that the appropriate action was taken by the officials.

“He mistimed the challenge, there was no intent to cause any harm it was just one of those things,” said Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall. “He’s been brilliant all week for a guy who’s taken some criticism over the last few weeks so it is disappointing.”

Ashton turns 26 tomorrow so will no doubt be pleased to be free to play against Wasps on Saturday.

You can view a highlights wrap of the Saracens vs Harlequins game here

45 Comments

  •  kilbran
    kilbran

    most hated player in world rugby, I think so...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    True, but then he did say a dictionary, not a thesaurus... If I did a tackle like this on purpose, I would personally would find it hard to explain that although it was on purpose I didn't mean to be nasty...

    Reply
  •  hrybrn123
    hrybrn123

    I think sharples is a more of a realistic want as a replacement to Ashton who should be out down and disposed of.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I hadn't thought of Johnny May, good call. I'm not overly keen to defend Ashton, because he is playing poorly at the moment, I just think the amount of stick he's getting is unfair given the lack of chances he's had, and the equally ineffective performances of the other back 3 players.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Sorry mate, but Brown didn't score in either of those games, for the most part because he has never scored for England, sort of like I said...

    Reply
  • Intentional and malicious are not synonyms

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Armitage comes across as a dirtier, nastier player - a proper cheap-shot merchant. But I take your point.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    Your honor, I didn't shoot the man. The deceased simply had an acute allergic reaction to the high speed lead projectile that I was playing with by myself, until he stepped into my path.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    My point is that if this guy were playing for a Pacific Island nation, or for a Tier 2/3 country, the full force of the IRB would have come down upon him, and they use words like "reckless". However, when it's a player from a favored nation, they talk of "bad luck", "no malicious intent", etc. etc. It all comes down to refereeing / citiation / punishment by assumption -- when "good players" do it, it's unfortunate; when "bad players" do it, it's cynical.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    "His hand seemed to connect with big Fa'asavalu and floored him" - is there a reason why the article doesn't just say that he high-tackled him? The video shows clearly that he tackled him, and tackled him high, so why not just call a spade a spade and say that he high-tackled him? If there was no video evidence or if there was some doubt, then fine, but...it's a clear as day.

    Reply
  •  jadawin
    jadawin

    a punch in the face. intentional and vicious...

    Reply
  • Agreed, that could be his problem, he still instinctively tackles likes a league player and gets himself in trouble. I played gridiron first and learned to put my head across the body and occassionally recklessly throw myself into the tackle, cost me a few concussiOns. Hard to change from what u first learned. Great finish to that game ehh? That said, I've always thought Ashton was more hype than anything. U guy are right he's always lived off others (youngs and lawes in his most famous try ever vs oz) and cannot create. Why not give may a chance?

    Reply
  •  johndoe
    johndoe

    He runs up because he likes to make the big hits. People associate that with a good defence but his defence is really an utter joke and he's afraid of getting run over too. He seems to have shrank his ego, but it's still not down to the right size yet. He has all he needs to become a great player, he just needs to get his head out of his ass.

    Reply
  •  johndoe
    johndoe

    There are plenty. I'd personally like to see Biggs there though. I think England would be better with someone unpredictable though, like Wade or Sharples. Matt Jess is a great runner too, and solid in defence. There are still some pretty average wingers in the Premiership who would contribute more to the English team. Anyway, even if they aren't much better defensively (which I would disagree with), they can score. Ashton's defence is completely non-existant. He has no problem putting in a big hit on an unsuspecting opponent, but he doesn't like getting hit hard. Most players overcome that, Ashton hasn't.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Yeah my bad...

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Yeah that's pretty much it. He can't make something for himself, but is the king of poaching from other players' breaks. Farrell doesn't have the running game that is likely to suit Ashton. Burns, on the other hand, if he gets a shout this autumn in Argentina could be the key. But on present form I'd rather see a Jonny May on the wing than Ashton.

    Reply
  •  ajb
    ajb

    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

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Can you name another winger in England that should replace him? The only ones I can think of are Wade and Sharples, neither of which are much better defensively.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    Do we ever see anyone making a break anymore? I think Dewi Morris or Will Greenwood got it right, they said that Ashton's game suited Flood's looser more spontaneous style, it allowed him to poach, where as Farrell's very pre planned and kicking based game doesn't give him anything to do. He feeds off of other players, he doesn't make opportunities like Shane Williams and Jason Robinson, but rather capitalises on others' breaks, but no one is making them at the moment.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Are you referring to the incident where Ashton punched Manu in the fist with his face?

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    By the end of the season Ashton will be able to decorate his entire house with bright yellow wallpaper if he continues like this.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Well my first reaction was "that didn't look too bad, hope we see a better view in a minute" - but I was watching his tackle at 0:11 (on Botica, I think?). They just disappear out of shot but clearly a head-high tackle there. So yes, the actual featured tackle around 0:18 is bad, I would agree a yellow's probably suitable punishment. Then of course, we have the usual outrage because it's Chris Ashton. I'm not so bothered by the poor tackling technique or perceived malice some see. I'm more concerned with why is he rushing up out of the defensive line and tackling the bloke inside his man? If you watch immediately after the tackle, there are even numbers of Quins and Saracens players. with the other Saracens defenders all in a flat line. Seems to me if Ashton had just joined that defensive line and remained flat, they'd have either snuffed out the attack or shepherded it into touch.

    Reply
  •  johndoe
    johndoe

    There are still plenty of better options than Ashton. People generally seem to notice the tries he causes by missing tackles, but he causes so many more by being out of position on the wing. Now, he can't score either. So what's the point on having him? His overall contribution to the team effort is negative. For all the good Stuart Lancaster has done, picking repeatedly Ashton is a bad mistake and it goes against his policy of picking on form. Ashton has been off form for a long time, and even then, he was a massive defensive liability. Lancaster needs to pick someone else for now. Ashton always had the attack (and the potential to improve) but if he can get his defence up to a good standard and get his attack back, he could fit in very well to the current English set up. His tracking, strike bursts through the middle could be exactly what this overcoached, rigid, English team need. For now though, pick another winger.

    Reply
  •  johndoe
    johndoe

    Quite possibly. Not really sure what your point is though... Rugby fans would be aware of the more relaxed rules on tackling in the Pacific Island countries and anyone with common sense could tell you that if there's a big size discrepancy, the hit will be harder and most probably, penalised more harshly.

    Reply
  •  johndoe
    johndoe

    Well you're not going to complain when ye could easily have got a red... Besides, who is there to bitch to?

    Reply
  •  thenunnchucks
    thenunnchucks

    Varndell is an even worse defender than Ashton. Though I agree Ashton needs to knuckle down and rediscover his form and rid himself of all this petulant stuff from the last few months, I'd have him over Varndell any day. If you look at any of Wasps games from last 2 seasons, Varndell actively shirks tackles and is only a decent finisher when he's in an out and out sprint with the defender. Ashton a much better finisher

    Reply
  •  totesmcgoates
    totesmcgoates

    I may have heard Aston being described as a twat or a knob by one or two people in the past...

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Haha yeah of course, got my Tigers vs Saints games mixed up. I'm thinking of the hair pull on Alesana Tuilagi! Long day.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Ah, but with Armitage the IRB has ruled that you have to take him being a twat into consideration. He could be banned just for being a knob.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Didn't bitch about it when he got sent from the field though, so respect to him on that count.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    His tackling hasn't been great, but I think he's been on the shoulder of a few people this season for England. The main issue is that there just aren't the breaks happening all that much! However I do think he should be dropped, to make way for a speedster like Wade, who might re-energise our attack.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    My memory was he head-butted Tuilagi's fist !!

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Has Varndell shagged Rob Andrews mum? what else does he have to do ..... proper winger... Brown was found lacking !

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Q? ...... why has he become so ineffective at International level? a] slower b] unfit c] worse technically or... d] had the 'unpredictability' & spontanaity been coached out of him......? Do we ever see him leaving his wing & being on the shoulder of all persons making a break anymore....nah.... wonder why?

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    If it were the other way around -- fill in the blank -- would it have been a straight red? blank: a polynesian on a ginger a forward on a winger

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Agreed, don't really see how Ashton is a "thug", he's come a long way since punching Manu Tuilagi (though in some ways, he's also taken a few steps back performance-wise!). I hope for the benefit of England (and himself) he finds his mojo again soon. On a separate note, what a game that Leeds vs Bradford game was. Top notch.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    I think the commentator got it right 'somewhere between a yellow and red'.

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    He wasn't going to run over him, he wasn't even Ashton's man, Ashton has gone out of his way to try, emphasis on try, and make a tackle, so he's making an effort in defence, isn't that what we want from him? The reason I personally defend him is that he has a great record as an attacking weapon, his defence is admittedly poor, but what's the alternative? Put another Mike Brown on the wing? Because his defence in the last two 6N games was far from exemplary, and he's up to about 18 caps now without a try, show me any other winger in the world with a record like that? Leave Ashton alone for now. England need as many attacking threats as we can fit into a backline at the moment, we can't rely on Manu to do everything on the front foot, and if that means having a winger or two that you aren't fully confident in going backwards then so be it.

    Reply
  •  alid131
    alid131

    Ashton's tackling has been an issue for a while now. He is repeatedly lazy in his technique, meaning he either slips off or risks something nasty like this. Not malicious but careless.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Just finished watching Leeds vs Bradford and it's not hard to see where Ashton gets his technique from. Thug? No. He's not a bad person. When you compare this to some of the tackles in the Leeds vs Bradford game it was absolutely nothing. (That's not to say I don't think this was a stupid tackle)

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    High and intentional, but maybe not malicious It just confirms that his defence and tackling are actually very poor

    Reply
  •  bnations
    bnations

    Nasty. That was a high tackle all the way given that he jumped into the tackle -- weird technique. He got away with a mugging there.

    Reply
  • I don't know much about his record but objectively, yellow is the right decision. Not malicious

    Reply
  •  sam00skelo
    sam00skelo

    Should have been a red. He's an absolute disgrace of a player.

    Reply
  •  sam00skelo
    sam00skelo

    Should have been a red. He's an absolute disgrace of a player.

    Reply

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