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Tuesday Nov 10, 2015

David Halaifonua red carded for high swinging arm hit on Bradley Davies

David Halaifonua red carded for high swinging arm hit on Bradley Davies
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Gloucester’s David Halaifonua received a straight red card for this high and dangerous tackle during their 23-3 loss to Wasps in the Aviva Premiership at the weekend. It wasn’t the only red card of the match, as a Wasps prop was sent off for punching near the end.

Tongan winger Halaifonua flew in to make the hit as Wasps spread the ball wide, and Wales lock Bradley Davies showed some quick hands to release the pass.

Halaifonua, who played for his country at the Rugby World Cup, committed himself to the big shot but ended up making it slightly late but more significantly, too high.

He was actually featured here on Rugbydump in June last year too, after making another brutal hit against Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup. You can view that big hit here.

Davies needed medical attention and after a rather confusing exchange between referee and Television Match Official – the referee was happy with yellow until an extra description was given – Halaifonua was sent off.

Second rower Davies walked off the field but later returned after receiving a medical assesment.

Wasps already led 16-0 at the time so going a player down didn’t help Gloucester’s cause.

Wasps did lose a man themselves later in the match, as Lorenzo Cittadini was also red carded, for punching in a ruck in the 74th minute. It didn’t have any bearing on the result though, as Wasps won comfortably to climb above Gloucester on the Premiership table.

View match highlights, which include an excellent Christian Wade try and the other red card.

Do you think a red card was harsh, or did the ref make the correct call?

UPDATE: Halaifonua has been banned for two weeks for the tackle

8 Comments

  • drg
    10:04 PM 12/11/2015

    Well it clearly wrapped round Davies head... so one can only assume it would have wrapped round his chest also.. or at least look like an attempt to grasp... which makes it a correct use of the arm... Just in the wrong place.. :p

    Reply
  • ithilsul
    5:22 PM 12/11/2015

    That's how a "high & shoulder" charge with a straight arm makes it a "swung arm". True, same tackle lower could have been a shoulder charge "only", depending on player's use of the arm: wrapping or hitting? Hard to decide out of the situation, and it depends on player's gestures.

    Reply
  • drg
    5:17 PM 12/11/2015

    Very interesting point there actually Stroudos... Swing your arm in an attempt to grasp: Scenario 1: Tackle height is fine - Outcome: Good hit, no law broken. Scenario 2: Tackle is high (perhaps player ducks) - Outcome: Apparent swinging arm, sanction: Possible red. Quite interesting to see how a totally legitimate hit can go slightly wrong and result in what is usually deemed to be a premeditated nasty bit of thuggery.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:48 PM 11/11/2015

    I don't like Brad Davies. He makes strange facial expressions and I still consider him an unnecessarily violent thug on the basis of that off-the-ball assault in 2012: http://www.rugbydump.com/2012/02/2332/bradley-davies-stephen-ferris-controversial-tackles-discussed So, while it's never good to take pleasure in someone's misfortune/pain, I'll admit I rather enjoyed watching him get crunched here. Leaving that prejudgement to one side, I reckon a yellow would have been sufficient here. Yes, he clearly hit him too high, but as DrG pointed out, Davies is the height of an adolescent giraffe and I suggest that if he hadn't bent his knees so low, and I don't understand why he sunk low like that, we'd be enjoying a nice chest-height smash. Also, that swinging arm? That is an "attempt to grasp the ball-carrier", which is what is required in the tackle law. It's not like he clotheslined the bloke, even if the outcome was much the same.

    Reply
  • nzbougnat
    10:07 AM 11/11/2015

    Straight red / no citing any day compared with all-too-often yellow / citing / suspension. Good call by the ref .

    Reply
  • drg
    1:48 AM 11/11/2015

    "shoulder / no proper use of the arm for the tackle" Codswallop... had this been about a foot lower it would have been a cracking tackle! (rib cracking!) with no complaints.. the arm swung round, which constitutes an attempt to wrap and he went down with the player, therefore the only complaints are the fact it's high and the arm swung and hit the jaw... nothing else..

    Reply
  • ithilsul
    1:46 PM 10/11/2015

    High + shoulder / no proper use of the arm for the tackle. Sounds like a textbook red.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:43 PM 10/11/2015

    Bradley Davies 6'6" DH 6'2" To me, these days, I think this is a red card, (not based on player height, that was just a bit of info if anyone cares)... He ran the risk of a higher up shot and the risk didn't pay off, didn't look calculated and the tackle in terms of attempting to wrap and 12x3's rightly said he went down with the player, but the shot was just too high...

    Reply


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