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Wednesday Feb 17, 2016

Jamie Roberts knocks out Blair Cowan with big tackle in Six Nations thriller

Jamie Roberts knocks out Blair Cowan with big tackle in Six Nations thriller
15
Comments

Wales’ tight 27-23 victory over Scotland in Cardiff in the 6 Nations was arguably the pick of the action from the weekend. It was also a brutally physical encounter, and one which took its toll on a number of players.

Among the casualties was Scotland flanker Blair Cowan, who came off after a head-on-head collision with Welsh centre Jamie Roberts.

And while it was deemed a perfectly legal hit from Roberts, who walked away unscathed, Cowan had to leave the field to undergo a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) to determine whether any concussion occurred.

It also came on the weekend when a new documentary was released by former Scotland international and key concussion spokesman John Beattie, highlighting the dangers and long-term effects of the serious impacts rugby players have to endure.

Cowan stayed off the field having suffered a concussion. He will be subject to the graduated return to play protocols in place with his club, London Irish.

In 2008 Roberts famously clashed heads with Stirling Mortlock then stayed on the field for another 15 minutes, before a headache set in and he later found out that his skull was fractured.

What is your take on this tackle, and what measures should be taken to reduce concussions in rugby? Let us know your thoughts as a comment below

credit: lerugbynistere

15 Comments

  • weejockmcplop
    10:46 PM 17/03/2016

    Tackle isn't high or late but is clearly dangerous. Because of big hits creeping into tackles and the desire by defensive teams to 'smash' the opponent backwards forcing the ball loose, players are standing up and hitting high. In this case Cowan is caught on the side of the head by Roberts head. Not deliberate but accidental but that isn't the point. Cowan is clearly concussed and has to leave the field. Rugby has to have a duty of care for the players and tackles like these have to be stopped before someone is seriously injured

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    12:18 AM 05/03/2016

    Wait a minute. Isn't Roberts going for his medical degree? Quite frankly, I don't want him near me with a brain rattled as much as his has. When he and many other professionals are 50+ years old, drooling into their porridge and not knowing if they should wind their ass or scratch their watch, we can remind them that they were the stupid ones who forgot how to tackle. As I said on the Tuilangi post, "Kids, don't do this at home."

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:42 PM 19/02/2016

    That's the one. And people kept going on about his bravery and commitment. What I see on that Barritt video is poor tackling technique, putting the ball carrier and himself at unnecessary risk of injury. Surprised Quade didn't get bloody whiplash. My main point is that in both cases the safer option, smashing the bloke a bit lower, would also be far more effective.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    8:27 AM 19/02/2016

    I remember that game. It was against Australia in 2014 and Quade Cooper was on the receiving end. Barritt essentially did what Roberts did here, went into the tackle with his head upright. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGmn9GHK-0Y

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:47 AM 19/02/2016

    Mr Osprey, I love a big tackle as much as the next guy, but this type of tackle is just not that clever. It reminds me a bit of Brad Barritt and how people used to rave about his commitment and willingness to put his body on the line. There was that game a while ago where he left the pitch with blood pissing down his face from 2 or 3 different cuts and the commentators were going on about what a hero he was - brave warrior and all that nonsense. I'd have been far more impressed if he'd got himself 6-10 inches lower in each of those tackles and not smashed his face in.

    Reply
  • 8:44 PM 18/02/2016

    Sorry that was for welsh osprey. The nfl has outlawed helmet to helmet hits, surely we can outlaw head to head clashes?

    Reply
  • 8:43 PM 18/02/2016

    Brilliant well-considered repost

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    11:03 PM 17/02/2016

    I don't think he would have gotten bumped. All he had to do was put his head to the side, I really don't think any power would have gotten lost in the tackle as a result. Cowan would still have gotten smashed, just not knocked out. But I agree, policing that isn't really feasible. It would be yet ANOTHER thing that players and refs have to keep in mind and I think there's enough already. I think it's agreeable to say that it was a bit careless from Roberts though. Not just for Cowan, but if Robert's head wasn't made from concrete then potentially he could have gotten just as fucked up as Cowan did here.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:51 PM 17/02/2016

    I don't often publicly back WelshOsprey because his comments are generally so wildly one eyed that whilst they may make sense, it's embarrassing to agree.... However I'll make an exception on this occasion. Head clashes are horrific, the result at the time and the long lasting effects are equally sickening, however, this is a risky impact sport, accidents can and will happen. Scotland made a large balls up of getting wrapped up by the Welsh, mauls getting formed and then the ball being turned over... Jamie Roberts came out of the line to stop a Scottish attack, if he'd gone low, perhaps he'd have got bumped, or perhaps Cowan would have got the offload etc... I don't think policing things like this feasible, or the answer, as horrendous as headclashes are...

    Reply
  • rememberthemer
    9:00 PM 17/02/2016

    Yep that's ugly. Sometimes these things happen when a tackler puts their head to one side and the tackled player lurches that direction and then crunch. Sometimes they both stand up straight and come together face first. Roberts just lead with his head into someone's face and from their blind side. Cowan had no chance to avoid this and Roberts made zero effort not to nut him. Physical intimidation and perhaps a bit of hurt are fine. Wounding is never ok.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    8:21 PM 17/02/2016

    I'm not sure there is anything embarrassing about wanting to protect players from concussion or worse. There is no reason for Roberts to tackle him like that, he had more than enough time to get lower and tackle 'properly'.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    5:59 PM 17/02/2016

    Well I wouldn't call it a high tackle but let's face it, the reason Cowan got knocked out was because what was saw here was basically a running headbutt. Considering the post before this one concerns the effects of concussion on players, I don't think it's an unreasonable point to bring up. I know this is rugby and there are times when things like this are unavoidable, but Roberts had Cowan lined up for days. All it would have taken was for him to put his head to the side (and Jonathan Davis said) and it would have been an awesome hit with no one having to be taken off for a head injury.

    Reply
  • welshosprey
    5:45 PM 17/02/2016

    These comments are embarrassing. High tackle? Illegal tackle? You're having a fucking laugh.

    Reply
  • demosys
    2:26 PM 17/02/2016

    Refs are too kind about these cases nowadays. Players' size and power evolved a lot last years, contacts are more and more violent year after year. IRB has to do something to protect the players, rules have to evolve about this. On this particular case, difficult to say but i think it could have been penalized. Not a high tackle but Roberts had pleeennnnty of time to crouch and do a proper tackle. He didn't even try or acted like.... But anyways: Forehead right into the temporal area, ouch. Cowan didn't have a chance, even with a helmet

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:04 PM 17/02/2016

    Cowan needs a haircut. Who does he think he is, Victor Matfield? I don't like this sort of tackle. Not sure why it isn't penalised as a high tackle - if you're not allowed to tackle with your arm across someone's face, why should you get away with using your head at the same height? Especially if your head is made out of concrete, like Roberts's apparently is.

    Reply


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