Yesterday hooker Darren Dawidiuk received a six week suspension for a tip-tackle that took place during Gloucester’s 25-31 defeat to Bath at the beginning of this month. Dawidiuk was red carded at the time, before both he and Lua Lokotui were cited.
At first glance the tackle didn’t look too bad but the Rugby Football Union deemed it to be worthy of a six week suspension after it was found to be in the mid-range entry point.
The 25-year-old lifted and tipped lock Dave Attwood which resulted in the red card. Dawidiuk pleaded not guilty to the charge, as did Lokotui, but he was cleared of any foul play.
“The tackle was deemed to warrant a mid-range sanction entry point of eight weeks which was then increased to reflect the recent IRB memorandum dealing with such cases, and subsequently reduced by three weeks to take account of mitigating factors,” explained Judge Jeff Blackett.
“Unless we continue to apply these sanctions to this type of tackle we will not change the behaviour of players and reduce the potential risk of catastrophic injury.”
Dawidiuk will miss five regular season matches, so it is believed that he will appeal. That in itself has an element of risk, as if they appeal and lose, the ban could be increased.
Former Gloucester second row Attwood is no stranger to foul play himself, after having been suspended for nine weeks in 2011 for a stamp on La Rochelle’s Petrisor Toderasc.
Martin Bayfield has put together an interesting clip with a practical explaination of this red card decision, as well as how the current rulings around tip-tackles are made. You can view that here.