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Friday Dec 18, 2015

Crunching tackle plants fullback into the ground in Florida, USA

Crunching tackle plants fullback into the ground in Florida, USA
14
Comments

This short clip was brought to our attention via our Facebook page and features a spectacular looking tackle from the recent Boca Raton vs Naples match in the Florida Rugby Mens second division in Boca Raton, Florida.

There was quite a bit of debate about it online, with some saying that it was an illegal, dangerous hit, while others complained that tackles like this should not be ‘glorified’.

Most seemed to enjoy it, and if you watch closely it looks as though the fullback on the wrong end of the hit might have actually had his legs swept out from under him by his own player, thus causing the flipping motion that made him land in that way.

The tackler was penalised, but it was for not releasing the player, not for an illegal hit.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there’s no doubt that the impact was massive and as has been reported, the fullback in question got up with no complaints and finished the match.

See more huge tackles in our Big Hits Section

credit: rugbyfl.com

14 Comments

  • gonzoman
    4:38 PM 22/12/2015

    I read an interesting novel once. It was set in a futuristic world that had a giant computer system that ran games as part of a tournament, including one that the main character played in that simulated American Football (a historical game played by the ancients). In that game, the main character won because the referee (a robot) was programmed to occasionally make a mistake, so as to better replicate the reality of the game as it was played. I think that's the best way to approach rugby - occasionally, the referee will make a mistake and that's part of the game. No TMO necessary, people just accept the call on the field and move on. The role of the judiciary is one that's up for debate - I think they should only be involved in suspendable offences and should make a real effort to be more consistent - maybe include one judicial officer, one former player, and a referee or something like that.

    Reply
  • drg
    5:34 PM 21/12/2015

    Thank you Gonzoman and all the above replies, I've enjoyed the reads. As said initially, I echo all of your comments and I feel there was nothing wrong with this incident itself, it is just that I personally have a big problem with the way the laws are used to punish some incidents and not others... For instance, this tackle was perfectly legal and rightly so, it received no punishment - However, the outcome of the tackle was potentially very dangerous, therefore, through legal play, a bad landing occurred. THEN (sorry), we take the Goode Payne incident, where Goode landed awkwardly because Payne collided with him when chasing a high ball. Payne was carded as a result. The argument in this tackle incident, is that the 'tacklee' landing laws do not apply because the first part of the law was not satisfied (the player was not lifted). So to look at the Payne Goode incident and the law that would be applied (I believe): Law 10.4 - Dangerous Play and Misconduct - Part i (i) Tackling the jumper in the air. A player must not tackle nor tap, push or pull the foot or feet of an opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play. Sanction: Penalty kick This is where I find it messy, because Payne did neither tackle nor tap, he did not push or pull a foot or feet of an opponent, he clattered into Goodes arse face first... So to me, I'd say that the outcome of the incident - the landing, resulted in the referee bending the laws to accommodate what looked like a nasty incident, which was entirely accidental...and not even the "the guy ducked into my tackle" type of accidental. Payne was punished because he did not guess that an opposition player was in the vicinity. *rabble rabble rabble*

    Reply
  • drg
    5:22 PM 21/12/2015

    On the BOD missed punch, I'm inclined to agree that a penalty could have been issued there and I wouldn't have had a gripe about it. I don't know whether my issues are with referees', judicial committees' individually or whether it's a combination. I don't like it when referees make incorrect decisions, however given the nature of the pace of the game (before TMO was introduced for foul play), I could understand and let it slide, however when their incorrect decision (or what I deem to be incorrect - Tuilagi knee for instance) is further backed up by the judicial committees, it leaves me stunned. I guess I'm now the one trying to put a black and white blanket on a far more complex system >.<

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    3:46 PM 21/12/2015

    DrG, I share your frustration. Part of the problem is that people tend to get emotional where foul play (or perceived foul play) is concerned. If there is an injury, then proceedings become even more emotional - where there is a victim, we tend to need to find a villain. Legally speaking, it's nearly impossible to prove intent in the course of a game unless the action is specifically outlawed (ie: punching someone in the face is almost exclusively "intent to injure" since there are very few other reasons to dummy a bloke in the chops). In the case of a high tackle or a lifting tip tackle, it is easy to prove that it broke the laws of the game, but very hard to prove that it was done with the intent of causing harm, and not just out of clumsiness or poor technique. As a result, referees in most sports are typically asked to assess the impact the action had on the game, and not the thoughts running through a player's head prior to an infraction. In the example you provided (BOD missing a punch), there should be no sanction because there was no tangible effect resulting from the swing. As a referee, I might be inclined to penalize him for general poor sportsmanship [10.4 (m)]. In another example that happens all the time, a player ducks into a tackle and gets smashed in the face. You might say that the tackler didn't intend to hit high, but the fact remains he did and it's a penalty. This has been controversial in the past, but it's against the law as it's written. Unfortunately not all referees (even at the top level) follow the law consistently, and it's even rarer that the judicial committee applies the law consistently. Us plebs are left scratching our heads and wondering what just happened!

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    3:32 PM 21/12/2015

    To echo what's posted in reply already and to bring the relevant law into the discussion: Law 10.4 (j) deals specifically with tip-tackles - "Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play." There are two parts to this law; we'll deal with the second first because it is what most people are reacting to. The tackled player has been dropped/driven into the ground in such a way as to land on his head/upper body. This tackle contravenes the second part of the law. HOWEVER, the second part of the law is conditional on the first clause of the law - this means that the part about landing on the head only applies if the first part is true, and that is that the tackler lifts the ball carrier. This has not happened in this case, so whether or not the tackled player lands on his head is irrelevant. To sum up: in order to be sanctioned under the tip tackle law 10.4 (j), an action must satisfy two conditions (lift, and drive/drop onto head/upper body). Since the tackle in this video only fulfills one of the two conditions, it's play on. Of course, the ref appears to be doing the right thing and penalizing the guy for lying all over his victim...

    Reply
  • drg
    3:19 PM 20/12/2015

    See that is precisely my argument, I agree with you on the Lawes Plisson front...but I can see why others do not, purely because significant injury could have been caused in both scenarios, which brings me onto other aspects of the game where the law seems to indicate that it is governing the actions one minute rather than the outcomes, then the next minute it is governing the out comes as opposed to the actions. I don't know what the World Rugby (irb) wants from us. Tuilagi gets punished on field for running into another player, this is then supported by the officials who gave him a ban... The whole system is a complicated mish mash, which I believe leaves players, officials and fans scratching their heads at every decision. If everything was judged on intent and subsequent out come from that intent (I.e, not much point banning BOD for that missed punch years ago), with a small amount of flexibility for just plain recklessness then I think the game could be better off...

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    4:36 AM 20/12/2015

    Well I guess I would say it's legal because bar hitting the player to hard, it wasn't the tackler's fault that the tacklee (I'll call him that from now on) ended up in that position. He hit him at chest height, wrapped his arms and simply the force of the tackle along with the tacklee's feet being swept from underneath him caused the final result. Physics + a slightly freak occurrence are things that the tackler couldn't control. Unless if you asked him to not hit so hard, good luck telling that to ANY rugby player. Considering the massive debate it caused, I'll risk being labeled a wind up merchant here. I see a lot of similarities between this tackle and that Lawes/Plisson tackle in the 6 Nations. Granted, Plisson didn't have someone sweeping underneath his feet, but some people were branding it illegal because the way Plisson landed. Whereas I argued it was the sheer force of the tackle that caused Plisson to flip like that, something which Lawes can't really control unless if he goes a bit softer on him. Therefore, it isn't illegal because Lawes is unable to control physics. It's different when you actually go through the motions of lifting someone because then you are having control over the body position of the tacklee. If they land 'illegally' as it were, it's your fault. Even it's as a result of you losing control in the latter stages of the tackle, you still initially made that decision to lift them.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:05 AM 20/12/2015

    Ahhh, I totally agree with all of the above guys... But can someone tell me what the differences are between this and an illegal tackle, especially when we see that sometimes it's the final outcome the seems to judge legality, rather than the initial actions... I want to say legal and I will say legal, but everything screams 'shoulders/upper body hit ground first'...

    Reply
  • iisakiam
    2:02 AM 19/12/2015

    Legal tackle mate. Beautiful footie play.

    Reply
  • tphillipsstl
    7:47 PM 18/12/2015

    tackle is legal. Playing the ball on the ground after not so much.

    Reply
  • lockdog
    6:54 PM 18/12/2015

    Good tackle. No problem there at all

    Reply
  • ronan
    5:37 PM 18/12/2015

    big guy verses little guy... welcome to rugby... dont forget your gumshield...

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:25 PM 18/12/2015

    That was just an outstanding tackle. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Legs wanted to keep going, upper body was having none of it. The tackler has his head below the other chap's shoulder, and doesn't lift at all. Just an absolute beauty of a tackle.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    3:12 PM 18/12/2015

    Wouldn't say that's illegal. The sheer force of the tackle and, as RD pointed out, his fellow team member's legs getting in the way caused him to land like that. If you penalised the tackler for that then basically you would have to penalise him for 'physics', which I don't think is in the rule book.

    Reply


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