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Saturday Jan 14, 2017

Francois Steyn red carded for attempting to take Johnny Sexton's head off

Francois Steyn red carded for attempting to take Johnny Sexton's head off
52
Comments

Montpellier flyhalf Francois Steyn was shown a straight red card for a high tackle he made on Johnny Sexton during last night’s European Champions Cup match in Dublin. Referee JP Doyle conferred with touch judge Wayne Barnes and the TMO, with red being the final outcome.

The officials went through the checklist of requirements under the new dangerous challenge directives, leaving referee Doyle with little option, despite the protestations of Steyn, who felt that Sexton bent as he passed the ball.

With Steyn off the field for a large part of the match, Leinster romped to a 57-3 victory.

Watch the incident above, and full highlights below (not available in all regions)

52 Comments

  • oliver
    8:21 AM 23/01/2017

    that's just it: you can barely see anything and he still gets 7 weeks. Also, 4 weeks for Steyn seems really harsh! Considering he was already punished on the field with that red card. Or will all high tackles result in a red + 4 weeks ban??!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:46 AM 23/01/2017

    Agree. Very little Betsen could do about that. I love that commentator by the way. Can't remember his name now, is he still around? The way he described the big hits was beautiful. Best one was when Josh Lewsey cut Mat Rogers in half that time - as he get the ball he gets smaaaaaashed!

    Reply
  • 1:41 AM 23/01/2017

    Triggs has always been a big dumb thug but that just looks untidy to me. Looks to push his face as he gets up to make a point (not nice) but the eye looks like an accident. Still no idea how he got a NH contract? Can't see what happened in the 2nd one.

    Reply
  • oliver
    2:03 PM 22/01/2017

    well here you go: http://www.lerugbynistere.fr/videos/video-champions-cup-hayden-triggs-risque-gros-pour-ce-contact-avec-les-yeux-de-nic-white-1801171020.php http://www.lerugbynistere.fr/videos/video-champions-cup-asm-clermont-etienne-falgoux-cite-pour-une-suspicion-de-fourchette-2012161525.php I could also mention Sempere's 22 weeks ban last season.....with no no priors and no video/photo evidence at all

    Reply
  • drg
    11:03 AM 21/01/2017

    I'd like to see the Triggs incident before I can really comment, but if it was genuine gouging then 3 weeks is a joke... Also would like to see the French comparison you mentioned...

    Reply
  • oliver
    10:25 AM 19/01/2017

    So : 4 weeks ban for Steyn. And only 3 weeks for Triggs, for that gouging on Nic White!! As a reminder, Falgoux from Clermont recently received a 7 weeks ban for that same offence. French fans aggravated again......Move along, nothing to see here.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:31 PM 18/01/2017

    Tbf, aside from the "untouchable Wilkinson" attitude that some will adopt, as a neutral, I personally didn't see anything wrong with that hit by Betsen.... Looked to me like a borderline "I was committed" hit...

    Reply
  • drg
    10:31 PM 18/01/2017

    Tbf, aside from the "untouchable Wilkinson" attitude that some will adopt, as a neutral, I personally didn't see anything wrong with that hit by Betsen.... Looked to me like a borderline "I was committed" hit...

    Reply
  • drg
    10:25 PM 18/01/2017

    Hey...I don't think out the "what ifs" I just blurt them...

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    6:18 PM 18/01/2017

    If you're putting your shoulder into someone's chest, and your head hits their head, then you're in a really awkward position and I'd love to know how you ever thought you'd make a tackle like that. I'd also love to know how you thought you would be able to wrap the guy you're tackling (unless you have arms like Matfield). I think the slippery slope in terms of high tackles also applies to wrapping - time was, you had to remember three things when making a tackle: spine in line, cheek to 'cheek', and bands of steel. Slowly over the years it's become "get all up in his grill with as much force as possible, and if you can throw an arm more or less around him."

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:08 PM 18/01/2017

    If your tackling action (ie you are virtually upright, your should hits their chest, but your head hits their head) is part of the considered circumstances, I believe. World Rugby are trying to get people to tackle the way that we were taught in minis. Think of it that way. Hitting the ball with your chest to try and wrap it up is probably going to cause a head clash. In that event, you've endangered the player recklessly and may face sanction.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:05 PM 18/01/2017

    Man bended, man sorry.

    Reply
  • oliver
    7:54 AM 18/01/2017

    and sometimes........he got carded for it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_f4cbieoBg unlike Lawes....wink wink nudge nudge

    Reply
  • drg
    2:34 PM 17/01/2017

    Betson got a few hits in though iirc. Honestly he was one of those flankers that would ruin your day, whether it be physically or whether it be because you have it in your mind that he's coming for you...

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:34 AM 17/01/2017

    IMO he's not targeted more than others but he's been trying to tackle high, like the whole Irish squad with that choke tackle thing. Except he's not huge and when you try to do that against players like Bastareaud, well... As a result he's probably gotten more than his share of knocks.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:27 AM 17/01/2017

    He does seem to get some abuse doesn't he! I remember some opposition flankers - Serge Betsen stands out - clearly being tasked with trying to dismantle Jonny Wilkinson during England's "golden era". He seemed to be able to withstand it and I think he was also well protected by Messrs Dallaglio, Hill, Johnson et al.

    Reply
  • mise
    1:38 AM 17/01/2017

    Of all number 10s at this level of the game, is there another who is targeted as much as Sexton? (I know they all are targeted a bit, and that's part of the game, but I'm also curious.)

    Reply
  • mise
    1:36 AM 17/01/2017

    i think the clue as to whether it was a dangerous head high tackle is in the title of this article.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:17 PM 16/01/2017

    Bloody hell, and, with all respect, you're an old bugger too! ...Or maybe I'm just a dirty bastard!

    Reply
  • dancarter
    10:37 PM 16/01/2017

    You get some good transfer chat on the pod too. They were talking about Williams to Saracens and Kvesic to Exeter Chiefs weeks before it was announced. The bit where they get 'Steve Hansen' on the phone and he starts ripping into Jim and Andy is hilarious.

    Reply
  • 8:20 PM 16/01/2017

    I actually feel sorry for the amateur levels of the game and changing mid season, although they still knew it was coming. I'd hope they get a bit more tolerance to begin with - plus who is going to video analyse those games anyway. The pros train daily and can change habits and memory much quicker so should not be caught out and certainly have no complaint of not knowing about the changes. I agree that players have been tackling high for too long and it needs to change.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:53 PM 16/01/2017

    First EVER mate. Saintly boy that I am.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:51 PM 16/01/2017

    He did bended.

    Reply
  • drg
    7:44 PM 16/01/2017

    So, shoulder to chest = fine Shoulder to chest + head to head = not fine? Therefore card? I guess that makes sense if say shoulder hits chest and arm hits head... But still, certainly a shake up in the way the game has been for a while..m

    Reply
  • drg
    7:42 PM 16/01/2017

    Wait, did you mean first EVER yellow card? Or first yellow under the new directives?

    Reply
  • drg
    5:42 PM 16/01/2017

    Haha, no I do understand, I suppose you're right that we've been on a slippery slope to persistant high tackles, however I always preferred the slight freedom referees were given before now, where they could say "yup that was blatant and intentional, red card" or "I totally understand he ducked last moment and you just caught him high, penalty only..."

    Reply
  • danknapp
    2:03 PM 16/01/2017

    Not if it was an accident, but hitting them in the chest with your shoulder (which itself would of course be fine) would be an illegal action if your tackling action caused contact with the head. In short, your tackling technique failed to keep the tackled player safe, and is therefore punishable.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:24 PM 16/01/2017

    One of my team-mates made a very similar observation after the match. I'm not actually averse to this directive myself; after all it's really just enforcing an existing law - if they did the same with things like straight scrum feeds I wouldn't complain about that either! Honestly, I was pretty pleased I was able to reach high enough to high-tackle this bloke....

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:21 PM 16/01/2017

    Have you seen the "Andy Goode for the 2017 Lions" group on Facebook? Bloody brilliant. Not sure who manages it, sometimes get the impression Andy Goode runs it! Has links to the podcast he does with Jim Hamilton, which is hilarious.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:15 PM 16/01/2017

    Cous cous..

    Reply
  • drg
    12:13 PM 16/01/2017

    I'm inclined to agree with Stroudos here.... ...If I pulled out of tackles on the 10 then I'd probably not do anything all game...

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    11:24 AM 16/01/2017

    The timing was right. He is just too unfit and out of shape, despite starting at the right time, he arrived too late to execute the proper technique and height of hit Apart from winning the World Cup in 2007, a few 60m+ drop goals, and avoiding any fitness/conditioning... what has he done in the last 10 years? He was a monster when he was younger, a genuinely dangerous runner as well as a cannon. You are only allowed to look like Andy Goode, if you play as well as Andy Goode.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:39 AM 16/01/2017

    I got my first ever yellow card on Saturday. For a high tackle. I'm a bit of a shortarse so to some extent I took it as a compliment. We've all read about the new tackle directive, we've seen examples of new interpretation of the law by refs on TV, I even watched Wayne Barnes and Ben Kay discussing the directive with examples on that BT Sport clip. Could not be clearer frankly. We had a great ref at the weekend, he's done our games before and is always clear and consistent. In his pre-match chat he highlighted the high tackle directive and he was fairly strict on them from the off. Unfortunately mine was probably about the sixth high tackle of the game and came pretty soon after a general "next one of those will be a yellow card" warning. I've no complaints really - it was high, neck rather than head - I was defending 5m out from our tryline I was aiming chest-high to try and get my grubby paws on the ball / prevent an offload, did kind of start chest-high and slipped upwards, (which of course is specifically called out in the directive). The point is, I think a lot of us have become so accustomed to getting away with high tackles (which have always been illegal, this directive simply requires refs to enforce the existing law), that it's become a bit of a habit that's hard to break. Maybe even a muscle memory thing, but certainly as a general tactic it's going to take a bit of time to break the habit. Mine was one of about ten high tackles penalised and one of two yellow cards for the same offence. I would estimate that a few months ago, probably half would have been ignored, half penalised and doubt we'd have seen a single yellow. That's all at a low / sociable level of the game. I think you could argue both ways in that, on one hand, professional players and coaches should study the directive more thoroughly; and on the other, that they've spent so much time getting away with high shots that it's going to take a bit more work for them to get used to it.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:04 AM 16/01/2017

    I totally agree with the extra sanction for arguing with the ref.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:01 AM 16/01/2017

    45678: "The dumbest thing about trying to tackle the 10 like this is that 99 times in 100 the ball has already gone."So? What difference does that make!? :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:00 AM 16/01/2017

    No no no, Colombes, do pay attention. That O'Brien hit is clearly *early*, not late. :)

    Reply
  • drg
    12:30 AM 16/01/2017

    Lol, looks remarkably like Hartley's effort... Tbf though, I'd still assume SOB was trying to tackle and dislodge the ball...

    Reply
  • drg
    8:28 PM 15/01/2017

    Would we be looking at a card if Steyns shoulder had hit Sextons chest, but his head hit Sextons head too? Someone mentioned headclash above, I believe they meant head contact, but it got me.thinking about head V head hits?

    Reply
  • 7:37 PM 15/01/2017

    Agree with others it was high. What I am struggling to understand is that all players knew the rule change was coming, when interpretation changed and have seen the various incidents...yet are still shocked when a stupid tackle may get them a red card. As Nick Evans said over the weekend - some players have forgotten how to tackle low - or properly as we were taught a 'few' years ago.

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    6:20 PM 15/01/2017

    Sorry folks, how many of you don't bend a little when you pass, especially to your weak side? Are ball carriers supposed to run around upright at all times to allow the tacklers an easy hit on you? Steyn is executing the tackle in an upright position, with no attempt to go low and hit low At 24 seconds you can easily see he is in no way trying to go low. Add to that his height difference on Sexton and you have a perfect example of why the laws are being changed. Too many big players are going in high on the tackle in an attempt to prevent an offload. There was no late tackle though, Steyn was well committed before the offload. That being said, He was committed upright with Sexton in the same height position. In real time there was no way he could change his line.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    4:09 PM 15/01/2017

    Any head clash is NOT a red card. Let's not go crazy about the new directives. I agree, Steyn is a prat.

    Reply
  • colombes
    1:12 PM 15/01/2017

    ok then https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekmR8J-Cjis

    Reply
  • weejockmcplop
    11:42 AM 15/01/2017

    Dumb tackle, clear red as late and head high. New interpretation or not (Laws haven't actually changed just the ref's have been told how they should be applied more clearly) tackling technique needs to change so players stop standing up in the tackle and knock the man back.

    Reply
  • 45678
    10:45 AM 15/01/2017

    everything marginal is late in slow motion

    Reply
  • drg
    4:43 AM 15/01/2017

    Very late is currently what it is now 4:30am.... That was pretty much right after the ball went!

    Reply
  • pdg
    2:32 AM 15/01/2017

    Swinging arm..head shot...very late...could have pylled out of challenge...CHEAP SHOT.....DEFINITE RED CARD

    Reply
  • drg
    10:51 PM 14/01/2017

    No, I'm with you, he did bend. Under old laws I suspect at worse this would be red.... Most probably yellow....

    Reply
  • 45678
    10:17 PM 14/01/2017

    It looks like I'm in my own in thinking this is harsh he's marginally late in real time and sexton does bend to take a dump after passing. He would have hit well below his chest had sexton not bent so much. I actually think sexton was protecting himself from a tackle as he saw it coming It only ends a swinging arm because he is trying to wrap and there ends up being nothing there The dumbest thing about trying to tackle the 10 like this is that 99 times in 100 the ball has already gone.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    8:19 PM 14/01/2017

    Red card for thinking 'bended' is a word.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    6:54 PM 14/01/2017

    Yeah nah...that's a red I reckon. New laws or old.

    Reply
  • the_osprey
    6:04 PM 14/01/2017

    Agree that it is a clear red under current rules, a probable red under the rules of the last few years and a yellow 5 years ago. But I've no particular problem with the rules changing to give reds in this type of situation. Sexton maybe dropped his knees a little but not significantly. Steyn should have been more careful. No arguments from me here. But the new rules are still a joke and an embarrassment when applied in other situations.

    Reply
  • 4:29 PM 14/01/2017

    Before there's an argument about the new laws (which everyone agrees are stupid), this was a blatant red card under whichever version of the laws you like for the last fifty years. Late and swinging arm to the head; maybe could have escaped with lesser punishment before the advent of the video ref., but there is little doubt in this case that the right decision was made.

    Reply


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Francois Steyn red carded for attempting to take Johnny Sexton's head off | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos