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Wednesday Jan 3, 2018

Dangerous 'chop tackle' causes bad knee injury, sparks debate

Dangerous 'chop tackle' causes bad knee injury, sparks debate

This tackle, that took place in Spain recently, has caused a large amount of debate on our social media pages after we shared it yesterday. The challenge, made by Alex Silvestre in the Spanish 2nd Division match in Valencia, unfortunately resulted in a bad knee injury.

As you can see, Silvestre comes in from the side, while another player takes the hard running opposition from behind, causing him to end up in a really awkward position.

The tackle itself, despite being courageous, was not perfect from a technical standpoint as he got his head on the wrong side, but it’s the way that he chopped the legs that has caused the stir, and no doubt angered the referee.

‘Chop tackles’, when players dive in and hit the knees or below with their shoulders first, have been penalised in recent years due to the dangerous impact they can cause.

While we can only see one angle and the player appears to make an attempt to wrap his arms around the ball carrier, the result was unfortunately a very serious knee injury, reportedly an ACL tear (according to our sources).

The referee immediately blew his whistle upon impact, as in his view, it was dangerous. The consensus online, however, has been that the tackle was fair.

Was this even a ‘chop tackle’? Have a look for yourself and let us know what you think of it.

We wish the injured player well in his recovery!

UPDATE: Argentina stalwart Horacio Agulla also shared his thoughts on the debate:


  • larry
    4:32 AM 08/01/2018

    That sort of tackle is made in American football all the time, and therefore there is a high incidence of ACL injuries in that sport and that's been historical. What gets me is that the tackler from behind had the player going down already. Then comes within no time at all the tackle from the side. I'd say that the second tackler, if he really knows the game well, would have seen that a tackle already was being made, so slow up some, and go to snag the ball away from the ball carrier as he hits the deck.

  • drg
    12:58 PM 04/01/2018

    Tacjling around knees can cause injury, tackling around head/neck can cause injury, tackling around groin area could cause testicular damage, tackling around lower back could cause kidney damage, tackling around midriff could cause all sorts of injuries to organs, tackling around chest level seems to be the only safe area, but with such risks to the surrounding areas with only a minor movement up or down, it is in my opinion about time we banned tackling altogether!

  • reality
    11:46 AM 04/01/2018

    I'm not sure about the legality or illegality of it, but tackling people around their knees is obviously going to cause injury. Your hips and chest can move in the impact when they're tackled, but with your foot planted, your leg has nowhere to go and so something in it will have to give. Dan Lydiate was guilty of that. He always dived at people's legs shoulder-first with no wrap, sometimes upper leg which is less bad, sometimes knee-height. It's amazing he never broke anyone's leg.

  • anton
    6:42 PM 03/01/2018

    Exactly what Moo said, both tacklers commit at the same time. If this is foul play, they have a hell of a good training to pull that off.

  • moo
    2:44 PM 03/01/2018

    Looks like a case of unlucky timing to me. The first tackler seems to put the player in an awkward position for the second tackle coming in. Yes, the hooker's head is on the 'wrong' side. But that's about it. It is a contact sport, after all. But what do I know?


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Dangerous 'chop tackle' causes bad knee injury, sparks debate | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos