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Wednesday May 6, 2015

Chris Hala'ufia huge hit then red card for shoving player's head into the dirt

Chris Hala'ufia huge hit then red card for shoving player's head into the dirt
55
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Hard hitting London Welsh number eight Chris Hala’ufia today faces a discplinary hearing for the straight red card he was shown when his side took on Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership recently. It was the same match in which he tackled a streaker.

*UPDATE: Hala’ufia has been suspended for 5 weeks after pleading guilty

Tongan born Hala’ufia has a bit of history with big tackles, and his disciplinary record will no doubt work against him when it comes to sanctioning in front of the RFU hearing.

Despite the big hit appearing to have caused most of the damage, he has actually been charged with striking an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (a).

The massive tackle knocked Tigers number eight Laurence Pearce to the floor, legally or not. Hala’ufia then took it upon himself to shove Pearce’s head into the turf, possibly displeased with his view that he stayed down for too long. Or, it was just a big ‘f*** you’.

The referee checked the incident to look at the tackle, which in itself ran the risk of being penalised, but was alerted to the shove to the head, so was given little choice but to red card Hala’ufia. It’s the type of thing that you really just don’t want to see on a rugby field.

Earlier in the match a streaker took to the field, so Hala’ufia delivered a huge hit on him too.

*UPDATE: Chris Hala’ufia was today suspended for five weeks after pleading guilty to striking an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (a). Antony Davies, sitting as a Sole Judicial Officer at the London Bloomsbury Holiday Inn, imposed the sanction which will encompass the remaining two rounds of the Aviva Premiership and the start of the 2015-16 season.

You can view official highlights from the match on page two of this post, and more of Hala’ufia’s big tackles in the Related Posts, listed below the video.

55 Comments

  • centrefreeman
    2:18 PM 02/06/2015

    Poor sentence so just wanted to point out I meant 'I now am just a normal guy, playing on Saturdays, putting my body on the line and loving the social side'.

    Reply
  • centrefreeman
    2:15 PM 02/06/2015

    So I will no doubt regret signing up to this website and deciding to post my comments on here as it is an old post and I have just read through the comments on so called 'Trolls', the hit being bad, etc. and just couldn't resist but get involved. I look at this website a lot and am a huge rugby fan myself as is everyone else on here I am guessing. Before I get my experience questioned (which to be honest has nothing to do with having an opinion on the sport) I have played at Midlands level and almost had the chance to trial for England under 21's until an injury stopped me. I know am just a normal guy, playing on Saturdays putting my body on the line and loving a social side. There is nothing wrong with the hit so to that extent I agree with this 'Big Bad Phil'? He clearly tried to wrap his arms around him but because of the impact he just bounced of him. Not really that high either and I agree with the amount of people moaning about big hits being legal etc. is just daft. Let them smash each other up (within reason) as that is what a physical sport looks like. However the head push is just a tad uncalled for. I think a red is harsh personally but either way a real man would have got up knowing he has just destroyed his opposite number and walk off the bigger man. I have seen a fair bit of this Chris Hala'ufia on this website and the guy lets his team down so much and is a liability it hurts to watch. For that reason someone who is clearly a top level player shouldn't be acting like a huge c**t and if you had kids going round pushing heads into the ground at grass roots level you'd be disappointed as they could be the future of the game. Let's be honest as much as we would want them to put in hits like this week in, week out, we don't want them having the poor attitude of this guy. People don't have to agree with my comment just understand I have an opinion. Bring on the 'Trolls' :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:30 PM 09/05/2015

    You realise of course that you're in a very different time zone from me, right? So there will be delays between our replies, but "several days"? Your post was at 5:50pm on the 7th, I replied at 7:25am on the 8th! Trolled to find the article? Do you mean trawled? Either way, no.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:57 PM 08/05/2015

    Phill, if you notice on RD when someone makes an initial comment it sits far left, a reply is slightly to the right, if you reply to the reply again it's even more right, after that its directly underneath. This can get a little confusing sometimes, using @PhillNZ or @anyone, is usually used on here just to say "this is my reply to you"... For instance, if I was to jump in and write the comment "you are a xyz" it would be posted directly under your comment.. but I could be commenting to yourself, myself, Canadian content, Jimmy etc... I don't think on RD that the @ sign is intended to be used in any childish manner..

    Reply
  • 8:25 PM 08/05/2015

    scummy. ban for life. what a big man he is - hit a man when he's down. now that's brave!

    Reply
  • drg
    7:28 PM 08/05/2015

    Bit like Cudmore really...

    Reply
  • foxy
    7:11 PM 08/05/2015

    What a Moron. I think a 5 week ban is a pathetic cop out. I love big hits in rugby and think the tackle was a beauty but the lack of respect he shows to his opponent and the disregard he shows for a fellow professionals health afterwards shows him to be an utter cretin.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:25 AM 08/05/2015

    @PhillNZ - you are wrong in your thoughts. Yeah, to be honest I am better than this and it's actually a pretty unpleasant story so maybe shouldn't be joking about it. It's just that when I came across it the other day, the parallel struck me immediately - the way I see it, your attitude to rugby tackling is actually the same as this guy's attitude to sex. Even if you've performed brilliantly in the tackle / shag, don't leave it there, make sure you deliberately injure the person in a completely unnecessary and cynical way. All part and parcel of the game! Then I discovered yesterday that the bloke's name was Philip and I just couldn't help myself!! In my definition, this is banter, but there you go - different strokes, different folks.

    Reply
  • tonysamboras
    4:05 AM 08/05/2015

    The tackle wasn't too bad but push his face in the dirt is and that s not a tackle. www.worldcup.com.au

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    1:19 AM 08/05/2015

    Sorry Phill, but that comment you just wrote is the epitome of the phrase; "Pot calling the kettle black". If this really has all been in the name of 'banter' and you aren't trolling then I think you need to work on your phrasing because it just comes across as weirdly aggressive and un-humorous in nature. Perhaps it works in spoken work but it's hard to interpret these things over text. Maybe you disagree with that but the reactions to your comments suggest otherwise.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:51 AM 08/05/2015

    Your reading comprehension is awful my friend, I will resist the temptation to make reference to NZ schooling, because the kiwis I've met have been well read and not half wits.... Read Pyes comment again, he made no mention of it being a bad tackle...

    Reply
  • drg
    12:49 AM 08/05/2015

    Phill, Whilst they are not 'links' you haven't exactly held yourself back with regards to dishing out insults... Whilst I am not offended by any of your comments, below is a list just from every above comment you've made (not looked nor counted the below lot, and not bothered with any of your previous comments either).. "Stroudos, Drg, Dan Knapp are all of the same ilk. Soft ,non physical players." - You don't know any of us, nor our playing style, yet you make a comment like that... "I'm glad I have made an impact on you soft Northerners/poms." - nice sweeping generalisation... "Its you poms that cannot handle the rough stuff." - If you say so.. "At such a young age too................never mind old boy at least you can watch wugger at wugby school , what a bunch of nice lads they are too.........." - Not insulting at all, however condescending none the less... No idea wtf 'wugger at wugby school' is supposed to imply? Yes I did play rugby at rugby school, as well as for my town, for my uni, played in Europe, played some games in NZ too... (although apparently not according to you).. "Your Canadian wouldn't expect anything less..........." - shit spelling aside, that is a personal dig at someone.

    Reply
  • jonnyenglish
    9:51 PM 07/05/2015

    Not even trying to use the arms, that's a yellow at least, pushing is head to the ground when he may have been injured, hence the not getting up quickly, is not only terrible sportsmanship, but also shows a genuine disregard for the other player, that's an immediate red card, and to be honest, the ban isn't anywhere near long enough. Pathetic play by a pathetic player for a pathetic team.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:44 PM 07/05/2015

    Does anyone know if Hala'ufia took to twitter to apologise? It may explain the length of his ban...

    Reply
  • drg
    6:41 PM 07/05/2015

    ...then he'd have broken his neck and I'm sure us as a rugby community would be quite upset... Your point?

    Reply
  • shroomzilla
    6:05 PM 07/05/2015

    Ban him for an entire season and when he displays the same kind of disregard for the concept of sportsmanship and player safety as this, ban him for life.

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    3:35 PM 07/05/2015

    PhilNZ, the trolling is getting a bit tiresome. If you'd like to be taken seriously please create an account and contribute in a positive manner. Thanks

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:32 PM 07/05/2015

    @Phill - hope they let you keep your laptop / phone with you in your prison cell! I assume you are of course the Phill from this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/new-zealand-man-who-liked-gummy-ladies-found-guilty-of-pulling-womens-teeth-during-sex-10228673.html

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:29 PM 07/05/2015

    @Phill - hope they let you keep your laptop / phone with you in your prison cell! I assume you are of course the Phill from this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/new-zealand-man-who-liked-gummy-ladies-found-guilty-of-pulling-womens-teeth-during-sex-10228673.html

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    12:51 PM 07/05/2015

    Okay, because of the two incidents in the last 10 years, I shall rephrase my comment. Richie Mccaw never does this off the ball stuff, so I guess he is a softie.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:15 PM 07/05/2015

    Don't feed the troll.

    Reply
  • warhorse
    10:27 AM 07/05/2015

    I wonder if Big Bad Phill's suffering from some sort of twisted Stockholm syndrome, in which his old functional brain was taken 'captive' by a big fat illegal hit and some additional cheap shots sprinkled on top. Hala'ufia has been an absolute liability for a long time and I'm surprised he still has a professional contract.

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:31 AM 07/05/2015

    what?? no off the ball stuff?? remember Andrew Hore hitting Davis?? O'Driscoll being speartackled off the ball by Umaga and Mealamu?? Not to agree with Phill at all here, but I could not let that pass.....

    Reply
  • weltot
    3:25 AM 07/05/2015

    "Tackle". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. A tackle occurs when the ball carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. A ball carrier who is not held is not a tackled player and a tackle has not taken place.

    Reply
  • 2:12 AM 07/05/2015

    Sounds like u should watch the WWE. PS I like cous cous

    Reply
  • drg
    11:02 PM 06/05/2015

    What is rather amusing is that you refer to anyone who isn't in your camp as 'old farts'.. whilst I'm still around my mid 20's so don't consider myself an old fart, I find this amusing... More so that when you consider how the 'old' game was played, whilst I was still in nappies or yet to be born it was far nastier and blatantly brutal than it is today... so... old farts are the softies? mhmm... I'm sure they'd agree...

    Reply
  • reality
    10:44 PM 06/05/2015

    Absolute knob! Time and again he's shown himself to be one of the biggest scumbags in rugby union. Sack the prick, London Welsh!

    Reply
  • colombes
    10:10 PM 06/05/2015

    Didn't know that London irish kiss

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    9:04 PM 06/05/2015

    I love the fact that because we're against this sort of behaviour we are soft and are uncomfortable with physicality. You know who we never see do this kind of off the ball stuff? The All Blacks. So I guess that automatically makes them a bunch of softies as well.

    Reply
  • drg
    8:47 PM 06/05/2015

    "I wonder if any of these guys played professional rugby?" Um, are you insane? Of course we all have... Stroudos is actually Rupeni under a pseudonym (can you not tell by the picture?). Dan again, is actually a nickname, the picture hue is a little off but if you look closely you can tell that it is indeed the one and only Jason Robinson... I myself, being a Dr an all can only be Jamie Roberts... but um, err, a second row/back row version... oh no wait, that's just my nicknames cover story...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:26 PM 06/05/2015

    I have no problem with the tackle. None at all. As I've stated before I love the big hits as much as you do. Slamming the bloke's head into the ground like that - completely unprovoked and intentionally hard enough to try hurt the bloke, not just a little "have summa that mate" - must be a sending off offence. With the five-week ban it would appear the citing commissioner concurs. Phill, here's my problem. I enjoyed the tackle. He's smashed a big guy who was looking to make some yards up the middle of the pitch. I don't care about wrapping arms or riding up the body and there was no contact with the head as far as I could see. Every London Welsh fan watching and probably half the Leicester fans would have loved that tackle. So he's made a very robust, uncompromising, authoritative tackle. He's made a massive statement. He is "da man". All of that is immediately undone by the cowardly schoolyard bully antics. He gains absolutely nothing from it.

    Reply
  • pyes
    8:16 PM 06/05/2015

    I think that's pretty good and could of even been longer - the action falls into the category of undue care for a player in a prone position ala Frans Steyn's tip tackle on Cruden that earned him 5 weeks. One difference I see here that may have called for a longer ban is that in Steyn's case, it was in the heat of the moment with milliseconds to react. This action was post-tackle and not even play-related.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:15 PM 06/05/2015

    His comments I put above are all verbatim quotes from a single thread.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:14 PM 06/05/2015

    And Hala'ufia has been banned for five weeks. I think my main point on Hughes was you're not allowed to try to kick the ball out of try-scorer's hands. Any violent intent or otherwise was secondary. You're right in the fact that I've not played professional rugby. I'll give you even more ammo - I've not played at a high level of any description, I just really enjoy playing rugby - and sharing my ill-informed opinions on the game with strangers on the internet. Despite - or maybe even because of - your big talk, I suspect that might not be dissimilar to your own experience....... As for this incident, I'm again reminded of the wise words of the great 21st Century philosopher, Castrogiovanni: I just don't like c***s. And unfortunately Big Chris puts himself firmly in that category with this move.

    Reply
  • pyes
    8:08 PM 06/05/2015

    That's no excuse for the action - what if Pierce had a neck injury at that point?

    Reply
  • pyes
    8:07 PM 06/05/2015

    It's totally a sending off offence - the tackle wasn't too bad, some might argue no arms but I think he attempted a wrap. The problem is - it was a big tackle which clearly rocked the player, at that stage he could have concussion, he could have a neck injury - there could be any number of problems which could have been exacerbated by Halaufia bouncing his head on the turf. And it clearly wasnt just a case of rubbing his head in the dirt, Pierce's head was a ways off the ground and he bounced it into the turf, that action in itself is enough to give someone a concussion. Clear intentional dangerous play = red card.

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    7:51 PM 06/05/2015

    The update from the hearing, as mentioned in the post, is that Hala'ufia has received a 5 week ban. Accurate?

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:38 PM 06/05/2015

    Clarification not good enough! *slams head into turf*

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:38 PM 06/05/2015

    I've got to build on this comment. Calling it a bit of a dick move is like calling the ocean a bit wet. He'd destroyed him in the tackle. Absolutely nailed him. Took him to the cleaners, made him his bitch, slept with his mother and then instagrammed it. The lot. Why, after such a massive show of dominance, would you need to slam his head into the turf? Because you are part of an under-achieving, shit team and know that your time in the premiership is limited. Because you are frustrated that a decent team won't sign you and you know your season is coming to an end soon. Because you have no ability to understand that you've just proven everything which matters. The guy just makes himself look like a pathetic, tiny-brained twat of the first order.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:34 PM 06/05/2015

    Partridge has been played. Go home everyone, nothing left to see here.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    7:33 PM 06/05/2015

    I don't think there was much wrong with the tackle. Didn't mean to sound like I thought there was. I just think that when a guy is dazed, lying on the ground, with the ball metres away, slamming a guy's head into the ground is a bit of a dick move.

    Reply
  • drg
    7:23 PM 06/05/2015

    On the tackle: I think 'arms' were attempted to be used, so that's not a problem. Was it a bit high? Not 100%, but shoulder came very close to head, but then the guy has massive shoulders soooo.... I dunno.. Shoving players head into the dirt: This isn't something I could ever imagine being a red card offence, but then this incident was almost too hard to be anything other than a red card offence... I'm sort of caught in the middle... I think when players deliberately provoke players by pushing their heads/faces in to the ground it could be a yellow because it's not a particularly sporting action... "act contrary to good sportsmanship" if you will... but this seemed to be more... 'slammed' into the ground seems more apt... so what then? It has gone beyond an act contrary to good sportsmanship, it's no longer a little niggle, a little dig, it's become a more violent (on appearance) action. So it's difficult to say "be a knob and you'll get a yellow, but do the same thing more violently and we'll yellow card you by looking at it differently"...so it sort of automatically falls into the red card territory :/

    Reply
  • drg
    7:16 PM 06/05/2015

    Stroudos you missed out the bit about cous cous, vegans and warriors, therefore I'm only giving you a 9/10.

    Reply
  • facepalm
    6:55 PM 06/05/2015

    Partridge has spoken!

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    6:29 PM 06/05/2015

    Not condoning JP's behaviour on that occasion, but I don't think you can compare that to this.

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    4:49 PM 06/05/2015

    Edited to try to explain the point better

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:45 PM 06/05/2015

    Going to have to get a load of new rugbydump log-ins so I can keep on adding likes to this. Made my day. :)

    Reply
  • facepalm
    4:43 PM 06/05/2015

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9Heybq1s79Y

    Reply
  • mise
    4:17 PM 06/05/2015

    sorry RD but I think you are giving him a serious benefit of the doubt there ...that comment what could probably be described as disgust at Pearce reacting like he did to the hit"," lays too much blame on the part of the player who was tackled, and who presented the ball! Had he not presented the ball ,maybe, but I can't see how anything could be construed as playacting? Especially when the time between tackle, ball placement and headslam was so short (even in slo mo).

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:14 PM 06/05/2015

    Love the disapproving shake of the head around 2:18. By the way, and I know some people don't like this holier-than-thou rugby attitude, but can you imagine a football villain - Luis Suarez springs to mind - being sent off and walking right up through the middle of the opposition fans, without getting coins and other bits of crap thrown at him, let alone all the inevitable verbal abuse.

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    4:08 PM 06/05/2015

    Pearce did nothing wrong, but Hala'ufia might have thought he did by staying down for a bit too long, that's why he shoved him. That's all it meant - not condoning the shove at all, just a comment on his possible [unacceptable] thought process.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:04 PM 06/05/2015

    Big Bad Phill's gone a bit quiet recently, so if it's not too presumptuous I'll take the liberty of stepping in for him. [Big Bad Phill mode activated]That's what you call in your face hit and he rubbed it into him by shoving his face into the ground. Rugby's competitive and you always celebrate a big hit and I like it. He celebrated a massive hit and rubbed the guys face into the ground. Down here we don't play Queensberry rules, we don't care. This is why we breed them tough. Grandstanding after a big hit lets everyone know who's the man. Maybe we take our rugby a lot more serious than you northerners and are not used to the niceties and politeness on the field that you exhibit. Mothers if you don't like little Johnny being pulverised and having his face rubbed in the ground - play soccer. At least he will get paid a lot more money and have great hair style and will look good.[/Big Bad Phill mode off] Must admit, out of all that BS, it was the bit where he called me a "northerner" that really got my back up.....

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    4:03 PM 06/05/2015

    When I read that he had received a red card for shoving a player's face in the ground, I thought it sounded harsh. But I was imagining the more common incident of face already on the ground, palm on the side of the head and lean down a bit just enough to rub it in (which I don't like to see but I don't get so offended by it as you never really know what has gone on in the game between the players in question). But this is completely different, in the level of agression and the potential to even injure. It's pretty much a strike to the back of the head/neck and, as Dan mentions above, to a player that is not expecting it and might even be dazed or more from the original tackle. A ban would be welcome.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    3:59 PM 06/05/2015

    *puts popcorn in microwave and waits for said comments

    Reply
  • danknapp
    2:45 PM 06/05/2015

    A totally disgusting moment of madness. He'd destroyed him in the tackle and the guy was possibly not all there. To then attack him on the ground is just stupid. I hope he gets a decent ban. I wonder whether we'll get any comments on here about how this sort of thing always goes on in certain places and at certain levels of the game, and how trying to stop it is basically the same as making everyone play ballet...

    Reply


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