Sunday Mar 8, 2015 Controversial yellow card for James Lowe tackle leads to Highlanders upset

Controversial yellow card for James Lowe tackle leads to Highlanders upset
31
Comments

The Highlanders snatched a 20-17 last ditch victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday, as a late penalty gave magic man Marty Banks a shot at goal, which he duly slotted. The visitors were in that position due to a shocker of a call however, which you can see below.

If you watched the game on Friday, and had half an eye on twitter at the same time, you will have noted the gobsmasked, mostly outraged reaction from those watching on. This was a tense New Zealand derby that certainly deserved a better finish than what we saw transpire.

At 17-17 with just two minutes left, All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa drew the opposition before feeding out wide. The defender in question was Chiefs winger James Lowe, who had had another top quality match, until it was brought to an abrupt end by a highly contentious referee decision.

Lowe’s tackle, knee high and wrapping with both arms, ended up flipping Fekitoa over the top of him, with an akward looking faceplant the result. Cleary the Highlanders back jumped in the tackle, so Lowe couldn’t grasp him and he flew over the top. This was deemed to be dangerous play.

Lowe was perplexed, and the lipreaders amongst us knew exactly what he was saying. While respecting the referee is what makes rugby great, on this occasion he was fully entitled to feel aggrieved, as this will go down as one of the worst calls of the season.

Following that, as you can see in the video, the Highlanders made their way down field before being awarded another penalty, one that is also up for discussion. Marty ‘Screech’ Banks stepped up and slotted the 41m kick with ease, resulting in the Chiefs’ first loss of the season.

“It’s disappointing to finish the game like that,” said captain Liam Messam post match, opting to avoid any talk about the referee calls. “There were too many errors, basic handling errors and showing them too much pill (ball) and they punished us.”

While player safety is key and we all know there are reasons for clamping down on genuine dangerous tackles, this did not fit into that category. It’s also a great example of how inaccurate refereeing, perhaps sometimes prompted by directives from above, can cost a team a match.

Take a look below and let us know what you think of the final few minutes

31 Comments

  •  bunn
    bunn

    Fekitoa put himself in a vulnerable position by trying the hurdle the tackle, not Lowe. He went for an eponymous tackle.

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn

    I think people's issue is that the tackled player made and illegal move and then it was referred to the TMO who then after having all the evidence, made the wrong call. Next time some one makes a slide tackle in football will you call that a tip tackle?

    Reply
  •  marty
    marty

    Yeah, Fekitoa's smile says it all

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    least he didn't get a poke in the bum..

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    (That was meant to say *fair* enough...)

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Haha, very enough mate! :)

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Entry-level trolling really. You'll have to get some more practice in before you can slip in bait that's as blatant as that. :)

    Reply
  •  gothehighlanders
    gothehighlanders

    I don't see much difference between Lowes disgusting tackle and this, both sickening cheap shots.http://youtu.be/2LViNhAZDaU

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Sprint full pelt at a coffee table and see what happens. Fair play to Lowe, it isn't a fun job tackling at that height... sinking at a runner usually ends up with a face full of knee or flailing boot (just as Lydiate)... probably the only kind of hit I was effective at, go low, grab hold of something, and let their centre of gravity fly over the top rather than into/through you. "Hoping for the best" goes without saying. You are only strong in contact when your feet are on the ground. Perfect example of how to take a big man down. Ref may have been confused with a Hockey style Hip-Check where a player goes low and stands up underneath the attacker to flip them. Wraaaaah, this has really got my goat. Fekitoa should have put a hand out so he didn't face plant.

    Reply
  • Way to raise the discourse

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Oh come off it Quentus, I wouldn't know the bloody Chiefs from the Injuns and I thought this call was bullshit. No one commenting here is talking about shoulda coulda woulda's they're talking about the actual incident... As for the 'rules', kindly open the 'rule book' and educate us to which part you're referring too...

    Reply
  •  quentus
    quentus

    The focus of the IRB, and they said it in the commentary, is that any contact made by opposing players cannot leave them in a vulnerable position or it is penalty material, more refs than not would have carded this incident because although it didnt take much, he landed in a dangerous position. Just like touching a guy in the air, most of the time they are bullshit cards but thats the way its officiated.

    Reply
  •  quentus
    quentus

    This article clearly has cheifs written all over it, the highlanders deserved that win because they took their chances and played for 80, the tackle your talking about is written into the rules, tip a player past 90 in the tackle and its a yellow, what do you want the ref to do about it, its in the rules... secondly, a contentious penalty to end the game???? Listen to yourselves, the games full off contentious penalties, depending on the way you look at each play could easily result in penalties to both sides!! The thing is that the highlanders took their chances and won whilst the cheifs bombed about 4 different overlap tries and didnt do enough to push the highlanders out of the game, one would hope the cheifs turn up focused to play us again and not instead have a couple of light training sessions.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Sometimes falcons are accidents. Sometimes, they aren't. I don't condone targeting of players or officials, but it is one way to send a message!

    Reply
  •  heavyhooker
    heavyhooker

    Maybe I am missing something, but what actually was the penalty for? Can't be a spear, can't be no arm wrap . . . what was it? In sloooooow motion it was late but in regular motion it wasn't a late tackle. What was the penalty for? Oh, Lowes hair is as nice as the ref and he doesn't like that.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I think Lowe summed it up very well - if you can lip read the obvious remark he made. It's quite dangerously amusing actually... Had he gone in just under the neck and annihilated the bloke, the rugby universe; or at least those wrapped in bubble wrap in the rugby universe, would be screaming about how these higher up tackles are dangerous, whiplash, dangerous, danger danger danger... instead this guy chops the ankles, which is a traditionally safer method of tackling in both player aspects and safe from getting sent off aspects and he still gets screwed for it...

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    We've seen Habana 'milking' incidents in the past. I personally believe he has thrown his upper body towards the ground when he has been picked up in an attempt to get players sent off. Now clearly this is different, as the tackled player hasn't done anything to attempt to get the tackler into trouble. I guess I'm trying to support your original point.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Hahaha, not too sure what relevance the video had to your comment but damn it had me laughing out loud!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    rules..laws..

    Reply
  •  fat_flyhalf
    fat_flyhalf

    Brutal call... the legs go up.... due to the ball carrier not being as low as the tackler... Ref should have said.. I'm good with that... and carried on...

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Fekitoa fell over the top of the tackler, his momentum and centre of gravity was far too high for the contact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh6zf0NcCgA&spfreload=10

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    It's not. Highlander fan is just having a laugh.

    Reply
  •  jonnyenglish
    jonnyenglish

    Seriously how is that a point even up for debate? It's not even a yellow!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Ha ha.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Pause the video around 0:48 and 2:33... The banter between Fekitoa and the physio speaks volumes.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Unusual to read such an opinionated intro from RD. Couldn't agree more though. The application of tackle laws is starting to resemble the U.S.-style litigation, where one party is completely absolved of any responsibility. Here, Fekitoa should take more responsibility for his own safety. Very dangerous portents now- Won't be long before players are coached to actively seek tipping situations and exaggerate the effect. The pressure to milk penalties will ironically put player safety at more risk than the actual tackle. Final penalty was harsh on Williams - Fekitoa came from the side, put him off balance (off his feet) and pinned him in so he looked like he was killing the ball. Two penalties earned at a crucial moment of the game - some would say Fekitoa's played a blinder; others that he's a sneaky little git. His grin as Lowe was being sent off unfortunately puts me in the latter camp. On a different note, first time I've come across Marty Banks - Screech is incredibly accurate!!

    Reply
  •  alasdairduncan3
    alasdairduncan3

    "That's fucking bullshit! How? HOW is that a yellow?"

    Reply
  •  ethmoo26
    ethmoo26

    That ref needs to be demoted. Nothing wrong with that tackle what so ever. Clean hit and it wasn't late. The outcome of the tackle was all Fekitoa's own doing as he jumped to try and avoid the tackle.

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Ridiculous, stupid decision. Not late, tried to wrap the arms and went for the legs. Pure physics is the reason why Fekitoa flipped up like that. What could James Lowe have done? Honestly I feel like it's going to get to a point to when they'll have to put "se common sense when necessary" into the ref manual.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    You know that slow-motion isn't actual speed, right? That wasn't even remotely worth a penalty. If anyone should be penalised, it should be the attacking player.

    Reply
  •  ajm1985
    ajm1985

    Joke of a decision, especially taking into account the video evidence.

    Reply

Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Training Videos

View All

Player Features

View All
Controversial yellow card for James Lowe tackle leads to Highlanders upset | RugbyDump