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Wednesday Jun 24, 2015

Henry Speight banned for five weeks for dangerous flip on Juan de Jongh

Henry Speight banned for five weeks for dangerous flip on Juan de Jongh
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Brumbies winger Henry Speight received a red card in last week’s Super Rugby playoff match against the Stormers due to this dangerous tackle/clear out, and has since been suspended for five weeks following a SANZAR disciplinary hearing.

Brumbie’s Jesse Mogg had kicked ahead and gathered the ball in the 74th minute before he was tackled by Seabelo Senatla. As Juan de Jongh and Speight came in to the ruck, Speight tried to prematurely clear the centre out but only succeeded in flipping him onto his head.

Referee Jaco Peyper and the TMO had no option but to show a red card, with the referee saying “I understand that it was accidental but it was still dangerous play”.

Speight tried to argue the case saying he was only pushing De Jongh out the way but it is worth noting captain David Pocock completely agreed.

The hearing took place on Wednesday, with Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC finding: 

“After taking all relevant facts into consideration, I found that the referee’s decision to issue a red card was correct. I found the incident to have a lower end entry point for breaching of 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle.

“The tackle caused De Jongh’s feet to lift and his head to make contact with the ground first.  It was not a legitimate clean out at a ruck and the player was fortunate not to have been injured. The offending was however not premeditated and occurred in reaction to De Jongh having impeded Speight’s progress.

“The momentum of the players may have contributed to the result.”

READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE

The Brumbies won the game 39-19 so will face the Hurricanes in the semi final this weekend.

credit: lerugbynistere

A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Henry Speight of the Brumbies guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, after he received a red card during a Super Rugby match at the weekend. Speight has been suspended for five weeks up to and including Saturday 25 July 2015, which translates into four matches.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the match between the Stormers and Brumbies at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on 20 June 2015.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was heard by Robert Stelzner SC via video conference at 4:00pm AEST, 6:00pm NZST, 8:00am SAST on 23 June 2015. Mike Mika was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser. The outcome was delayed as Stelzner requested information of the player’s forthcoming playing schedule in order to determine the sanction.

In his finding, Stelzner ruled the following:

“As the Judicial Officer, I considered all the evidence before me including the video footage of the incident, referee and TMO reports for issuing the red card and the submissions made for the player by his legal representative, Peter McGrath.

“After taking all relevant facts into consideration, I found that the referee’s decision to issue a red card was correct. I found the incident to have a lower end entry point for breaching of 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle which stipulates a four-week suspension.
 
“It was submitted on Speight’s behalf that the tackle was part of a legitimate attempt to clear Juan de Jongh from a ruck. The player tackled his opponent before De Jongh had joined the ruck. In my assessment, Speight did so in response to De Jongh impeding his access to the breakdown and joining the ruck which had been formed.

“The dominant movement of his right arm, the positioning of his leg under De Jongh and that of his left hand behind De Jongh’s neck together with Speight’s driving movement on to De Jongh, caused the player to make contact with the ground, head first, in a cartwheel movement. At the moment of impact with the ground, De Jongh’s feet had been raised off the ground by Speight which constituted dangerous play in contravention of Law 10.4(j).
 
“The tackle caused De Jongh’s feet to lift and his head to make contact with the ground first.  It was not a legitimate clean out at a ruck and the player was fortunate not to have been injured. The offending was however not premeditated and occurred in reaction to De Jongh having impeded Speight’s progress. The momentum of the players may have contributed to the result.

 “An aggravating factor is the ongoing need for a deterrent for dangerous play such as this which carries with it the real risk of serious injury. As a result, two weeks were added to the sanction.

“Mitigating factors included Speight’s unblemished disciplinary record over a lengthy first class career for the Brumbies in Super Rugby and Waikato in New Zealand’s provincial competition. Brumbies coach, Stephen Larkham, spoke to the outstanding character of Speight and his position within the team as a leader and his work in the community. This, amongst other factors, resulted in a reduction in sanction of two weeks.

“The player’s schedule is such that the Brumbies play in the Super Rugby Semi-Finals this weekend with the potential to play in the Final the following week. Speight is likely to be included in the Wallabies’ squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship with the first match to be played on 18 July 2015. If not required for the Final, Speight would play club rugby in Canberra for the Gungahlin Eagles and have leave the week thereafter when Gungahlin has a bye.

“If the Brumbies make it to the Final he would have played and still been rested during the week of the 11th.  As a result, the player will have at least one rest week over the next five weeks during which no match is to be played. A five-week suspension up to and including the match between Australia and Argentina on 25 July 2015 will therefore result in him missing four matches.

“The player is found to have contravened Law 10.4 (j) and is suspended up to and including Saturday, 25 July 2015.”

12 Comments

  •  larry
    larry
    3:02 PM 02/07/2015

    I think this sort of play has resulted from how so much of the game has evolved over the last few decades. Setting up phase play is certainly an important part of the game, but really, when a ball carrier goes to ground with the ball so often, "clearing out" is bound to happen, whether it's obstruction (the defender wasn't bound on to anyone near enough to the 'ruck,') or whether the clearing out is deemed dangerous by a referee. I've been watching matches from some previous eras, which one can do because of You Tube. It's amazing to see the ball kept alive, whether through the forwards or a combination of backs and forwards, or forwards finally getting the ball out to backs, in international matches and first class matches in previous decades to the last few. Sure, much of the time someone finally gets tackled, with the ensuing maul or ruck forming (and most all forwards 'all in'), and therefore phase play ensues. But the ball is kept alive so much more by what I would refer to as inter-passing amongst backs and forwards. And there's rarely obstruction, because the aim of the players with the ball is to get behind in support, not ahead of play to block off defenders (this is rugby, not American football!). Check the France-Wales match of 1969, or the New Zealand-British Isles first test in 1971. Lots of passing, lots of exciting movements and play, and rarely someone just "going to ground" with the ball. And that passing is so often vertical, not horizontal as in passing the ball out wide. How the game indeed has changed!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    11:26 PM 25/06/2015

    (*uninteresting)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    10:34 PM 25/06/2015

    *, intent, mitigation etc...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    10:33 PM 25/06/2015

    It does; as others mention, bring the question about what is going to be considered high entry. As Eddie said, I don't think there was malice nor intention, however the outcome certainly doesn't look pretty... Cards are not supposed to be given with intent in mind I believe entry points for bans should be the same. Then afterwards you can get into the nitty gritty and work out whether he has a good record

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    5:30 PM 25/06/2015

    Agree with most of this, though I would say perhaps less an opportunity to send a message, and more a head-scratching definition of a low-entry offence. I suppose I'm prepared to accept the lack of malice explanation, but I thought this was precisely the type of incident when the suits wanted red-cards handed out. It was clearly dangerous, and clearly avoidable, and the only mitigating might be that Speight has a good disciplinary record.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner
    5:15 PM 25/06/2015

    " need for a deterrent for dangerous play such as this which carries with it the real risk of serious injury." I'm wondering what needed to be worse to qualify this as a Mid Entry or Top End Offence ? Broken neck, C3/4/5/6 dislodged" ........ paralysis ????? Low Entry point, hardly sends the toughest of deterrents for these coached in WWF/judoesque throws. Missed opportunity to send the game message.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    4:51 PM 25/06/2015

    That's a very plausible theory!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    4:51 PM 25/06/2015

    Sadly it still goes on Mr Flanker. Pains me to say it but English broadcasters, including BBC, seem to be the worst offenders. I think it's to do with them being accustomed to putting together football highlights, where many fans just want to see the goals. So they reckon with rugby they need to document the actual points being scored, when that's actually the most dull and interesting part of the game to watch.

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712
    3:14 PM 25/06/2015

    There was a point a few years back where about 90% of each highlights reel of a 6 Nations game was made up of those lingering close-ups you seem so fond of. You wonder who reviews the final product and thinks "Yep, this is what the fans want to see."

    Reply
  •  gunshowmckenzie
    gunshowmckenzie
    2:47 PM 25/06/2015

    I definitely agree about the highlights video. The more of these longer videos focussing on the actual highlights, the better. I often think that highlight videos are done in an attempt to disgust viewers into buying cable television just so they can actually see what really happened!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    8:31 AM 25/06/2015

    I'd just like to say, I love this highlights reel - if only all were done this way. Build-up to tries included, not just the bloke diving over the line, most of the key action points, and not a single lingering close-up of a flyhalf lining up a kick.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    8:23 AM 25/06/2015

    Yep. Well this is exactly the sort of thing that should be attracting red cards and bans, in my opinion. Not the good old-fashioned dump tackles. This is off-the-ball, dangerous and just bloody stupid. I'm not buying that "only pushing the bloke out of the way" line either. It was the opposite direction of a push, more of a judo throw - see the trip with his left foot that set the whole flippy action in motion.

    Reply


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Henry Speight banned for five weeks for dangerous flip on Juan de Jongh | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos