Sunday Jun 15, 2014 Jebb Sinclair controversially red carded for 'leading with the elbow'

Jebb Sinclair controversially red carded for 'leading with the elbow'
69
Comments

Canada came agonisingly close to a famous victory over Scotland on Saturday, but had a late penalty reversed due to a controversial sending off. Scotland will be relieved to have won the tour game 19-17 after the home side pushed them all the way.

Both sides scored a try apiece in Toronto, but the Six Nations side failed to take control of the clash as the Canadians stayed in the game right to the death. They could easily have snuck a win too if it weren’t for the referee and TMO intervention.

London Irish loose forward Jebb Sinclair made a strong run through the midfield, taking out Ruaridh Jackson in the process, and while play continued and Canada were eventually awarded a kickable penalty, New Zealand referee Mike Fraser called on the TMO to have a look at the incident.

The 18 788 local fans watched on in horror as Fraser judged that Sinclair had led with the elbow, and deserved to be red carded for it. Canada were denied the shot at goal, and had to play the last few minutes with just 14 men.

“For me, it wasn’t even a penalty against Sinclair and decisions like these set a dangerous precedent,” said former Scotland international Mike Blair in his BBC column. He said that if referees are going to penalise and punish that type of thing, then they need to at least be consistent.

Canada captain Tyler Ardron, who could be heard saying to the referee something like ‘It’s happened the entire game. How many elbows have we had in the face? What do you have against us?’ said post match that they shouldn’t have left it that late in the game to go for the win.

“I’m sure that call is what’s going to be talked about this week. I don’t think it should have come down to that, we should have closed it out before that, it shouldn’t have made a difference.”

What do you think of the red card for ‘a deliberate elbow to the head’?

69 Comments

  •  reality
    reality

    What the hell is this? I'm Reality! You're an impostor!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Well we've already seen a tackler get a red card for receiving an arse to the face so surely it can't be too long before we see it the other way around... http://www.rugbydump.com/2014/04/3672/jared-payne-banned-for-two-weeks-after-red-card-challenge-on-alex-goode

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Next we'll see someone getting a red card because a 'tackling' player headbutted his hip...

    Reply
  • Jon, do people getting hurt add to your enjoyment of the game ?

    Reply
  •  jog1986
    jog1986

    I agree with you Adrian, the only hand-off which is legal is with an open hand. However, this has no bearing on this situation. As one of the refereeing fraternity, I do not agree with the outcome against Sinclair. This was not a 'forearm chop' hand-off, whatever one of those may be. Instead, it was Jackson tackling poorly, getting his head in the wrong place, and Sinclair brushing him off. Not leading with the elbow as claimed by the ref, and presumably the TMO.

    Reply
  •  jog1986
    jog1986

    You have that one bang on. As stroudos says below, that is exactly what leading with the forearm/elbow is and is exactly what the law is designed for. Sinclairs was never a penalty, let along a red, in a month of Sundays.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I agree entirely Adrian. Could you point us to a different video which actually involves a forearm chop, because this isn't one of them.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Might have to chime in here with another T-Shirt plug: Rugby - It's not For Pussies.

    Reply
  •  joeythelemur
    joeythelemur

    So you're saying it's OK to get this one totally wrong since Scotland has, in your opinion, "been on the wrong end of ref decisions in the past"?

    Reply
  •  joeythelemur
    joeythelemur

    Americans? You know this is Canada, right?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm so glad that many of us are like minded when it comes to the laws. There are certain things that they were designed to stop from happening and certain things that unfortunately get rolled into the same category when they shouldn't be.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    You're confusing that with a game for pussies. A game of pussies is a completely different bag, my friend. Although I'd be pretty happy to watch it on the internet, I probably wouldn't comment underneath the videos with my real name.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    A textbook example of what the laws were written to try to stop. Completely different to the example above. Good share, have a like.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Now THAT is how you lead with your elbow.

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    oh, and btw, I have refereed a few times. I don't like it and I suck at it : ) since I've tried it I know it's easy to make mistakes. All I would be happy with is the IRB and the ref coming out and saying the red was wrong and it is erased from records. Like when last year Bismarck du Plessis got a first yellow card just for tackling Dan Carter hard and legally. Actually, someone here posted that the IRB did just that. Would be nice if someone had link.

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    I'm not an expert either. But the picture is not 1/10 before the crash, the picture is right at the moment of impact. Again, scroll up and take a look. I have been watching the video several times and yes the elbow does go up and forward AFTER impact, since I'm not an expert I don't know if this is still technically "leading", but it sure as hell is not in plain English. To me, his whole arm goes forward after contact because that's what happens when you flatten a smaller guy who sadly tried tackling you with his face. He brushes him off, he does not lead with the elbow.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Excuse me? One picture does not say anything about the movement of the elbow. That's like saying two cars did NOT crash because in a picture 1/10 before the crash the cars are stil 2 meters apart. When I look at the video I see an elbow moving towards the head moments before impact and moving 'through' the head with force after it. I'm not saying I'm an expert (I'm definitely not) and I am not saying this kind of thing doesn't happen all the time. I'm just saying I can see how they came to the conclusion it was an offence. In hindsigth of course, I have to be honest: don't know if I would have made the same decision if I had to make the initial decision myself. But hey, I'm not a referee. Fortunately!

    Reply
  •  rocketryan
    rocketryan

    While I think it more likely a bad call than a conspiracy against second tier nations, as a Canadian I was immediately reminded of last June's match in Toronto against Ireland. In a similar play, with what looks to be greater malicious intent, it certainly was interpreted very differently. Took me a while to find this clip. Check at the 0:55 mark for the good angle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4oegyRb0ms

    Reply
  •  stubby
    stubby

    http://www.rugbyrefs.com/poll.php?pollid=281&s=405f36670675c9e6ab1feb9105d0fc45&do=showresults 78% play on

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    Come on, Guy. Just look at the picture at the top of this article, right at the moment of impact. Take a look, I'll wait. Now, is the elbow LEADING? Is the elbow in front of the ball carrier? Is the elbow in front of his shoulder? Is the elbow, the pointy part, that is the elbow, even directly hitting the Scottish player's face? Just look at the picture on top... No is the answer to all these questions.

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    shut up and take my money, Rugbydump! : D

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Of course there was no card given against Lomu, he's olaying for the All Blacks, they never get shown any cards...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    What can us as fans possibly do... I suppose we could all sign a petition asking the IRB to remove their heads from their anuses - (or is it ani?)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    IRB should issue an apology to all of us, regardless of whether we're second tier or first tier fans. It's appalling that any of us could play or watch the game with officials having such a varying opinion and view on the laws. I get it, one lets the game flow a little more than the other - I can live with that if it's evenly spread across both teams. But when a referee makes a decision like this, based on the footage which imo is NOT red card worthy, then it ruins rugby (and not just Canada's chances at a big win!)

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Well, it's rugby too, not American football. In American football, giving up yardage means the opponent might get a" first down." In rugby, it isn't that important to give up ground to a runner. Just stopping a runner is more important, and how it is done is a concern if there's more and more attempts to "crash" tackle a runner, especially if the tackler is much smaller. Taking away something I read, in "Bill Beaumont's Rugby Masterpieces," Barry John used to tackle bigger players, like Colin Meads, by letting them get by and jumping up on their backs. After a few yards of running, even Colin Meads would fall down after carrying 14 1/2 stones of man on his back. Regarding big hits, I don't think twenty or thirty years ago big hits were even on anyone's mind in the world of rugby. Great backline moves or forward rushes were what got rugby fans and players turned on.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Considering all the dirty play that used to go on in internationals, usually off the ball, this penalty/red card is very harsh. I imagine if the tackler hadn't been injured, there might not have been a reversal of whatever the original penalty was. So his being injured caught the eye of the ref. For Sinclair, he might think about how he goes into a tackle the next time. Use the fend off with an open hand, or keep the elbow into one's side and don't give a ref the idea the arm is swinging in any way. Regarding Canadian and American international players, I know some are playing overseas on clubs, but are they really getting paid very much, compared to international players in tier one nations? Can someone come up with some monetary figures? I only mention this because of what was posted right above mine. Yes, the sport can be dangerous. But I don't know if players go out on the pitch, whether playing in the lowest divisions on amateur clubs in America or Canada, or on a tier one national side, thinking they might wind up in a hospital. The irony in the modern game is that it looks as if it is more dangerous, especially with professional players being somewhat bigger and having time to train every day except the day of a match. Before professionalism the danger in the game was really the shenanigans that went on off the ball, for instance the punches thrown after a late tackle with the ball away, or in a set scrum while being set, though there really weren't that many collapses. As laws changed to make the game "safer," and with power given to touch judges to point out infractions, it seems not to be getting safer that it was before. But chances are no one is going to kick an opponent on the ground with the ball away. Players running into contact more often instead of around contact, via swerves or sidesteps, or passing off the ball before contact, is just how the game has developed over the last decade and a half. Is the game any more dangerous? NO!

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn

    How was he not supposed to make contact first with his elbow?

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn

    The refs have exactly the same footage as the viewers because the footage comes from the tv company, we see the same as the tv company because they have the cameras. Also Jackson's head was going to hit Sinclair's elbow whatever he did because Jackson put his head where is elbow was!

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    It's going to be the subject of Dan Brown's next novel. Can't wait!

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I think you're confusing slow motion with real time. Is that you, Jonathan Pierce?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    He probably means the time when Hines gave that diving little sh*t Byrne a backhander for holding onto him - and as such received a yellow for his troubles..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I agree with you that this is a non event and not red card worthy. Just to let you know the TMO was Davey Ardrey and he is from the US, so unless he's an expat, he'd probably have an American accent..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Haha, love it :D

    Reply
  • Ha, just listened again, yup think you're right. I feel like a right chump now, in my defence it was pretty much the only thing the co-commentator said during the match so I assumed it was the TMO. Woops.

    Reply
  • To try & deal with each separate issue here ; Firstly, imho it was 'leading with the elbow' and therefore dangerous play. (The effect of tackle is irrelevant .The tackler's poor position aggravated the effect of the collision. The tackler should be banned from rugby until he learns to tackle correctly) Even if the Ref had decided on a yellow card as sanction, the penalty against Scotland would have been reversed and any scoring opportunity afforded Canada from that position would have been lost. The Ball Carrier's (and his Captain's) reaction to his sending-off shows his ignorance of the Laws & constitutes an increasingly dangerous approach to the 'collision' game. This is Rugby, not Death Race 2000, and the safety of the players is paramount. We all love (too much) to see the big hits happen, and then endlessly replayed so we can compare our own game experience. Reality Check ; This is dangerous & someone will get seriously hurt. The one argument offered by the Canadian Captain was that this incident was one of many in the game & yet the only one penalised. He's correct about that - the practice of 'leading with the elbow' is becoming widespread, even at junior level.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    I think this one is for you http://pic.twitter.com/PebUJvP6Io

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    No sign of the TMO there - pretty sure that's the commentator

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Dreadful on so many levels. I guess what's worst about it is that it was made after reviewing the video evidence. It's one thing to get a decision wrong when you've had one look at an incident; it's another thing to not refer something to the TMO; it's a whole new level of fail to refer something for review and still get it wrong. One other thing very obviously in Sinclair's favour I think is that he had just received a pass. His right arm was where it was because that's where he needed it to be to catch the ball. The onus in this situation has to be at least as much on the tackler to be getting himself into a good position. But more than anything, if that technique = leading with the elbow, then this is an offence which happens at least a dozen times every game. Heck, Sinclair here, getting the ball in his left arm and leaning into the tackle with his right shoulder, that's pretty much textbook contact skill. It won't change the result, but the very least the IRB can do is rescind the red and apologise.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    I guess I am one of the few, if not the only one here to think he IS leading with the elbow. Just before impact he pushes his elbow away from his body into the head of the tackler. With such force that the movement of his elbow carries on way after the contact moment. Not sure if red is the correct decision (not completely at home in the lawboob tbh) but I can see where the TMO and ref are coming from.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Defining moments for me are when the Canadian player catches the ball, around 0:42 (all in slow motion, he takes the ball low on the outside of his right knee, so his body is low, his arms are low and he currently has the ball in both hands - 0:43 - so 1 second after catching the ball in slow motion (so would we be talking half a second real time?) he is transferring the ball over to the other hand to keep it away from contact. Still at 0:43 we see a Scot make contact with a very spongy part of the arm - the hard pointy part of the elbow is pointing down so that leaves the area where your forearm muscles meet your upper arm muscles (hence the spongy part comment)... All in all, it's unfortunate, not great technique by the Scottish player and has now (imo) set a precedent as there has been no further ruling, so I look forward to watching 7's next week (when 7 player on each team is all that is left on the pitch!)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Except rugby doesn't have rules, it has laws...

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman

    As a refereee the key around the decision should always be INTENT & MATERIAL IMPACT. Intent: Did the Canadian player intentionally lead/ swing his elbow, in contact ? No, you can clearly see the 'elbow' is no more than an awkward brushoff of the scottish tackler. Material impact: The Scottish player was already steamrolled by his own poor tackling technique. The 'elbow' did nothing to impact the situation. As a ref I would have said play on.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Agree with the commentator and majority on here. Incorrect decision. I would suggest though that the Canada captain needs to learn to STFU when the ref is talking to him and his players.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    "At least it only cost his team a few minutes with a man disadvantage." Yep. An turned over the penalty that they'd be awarded in a kickable position.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    No chance. I'm always called out for being on the soft side of the interpretation of the laws, but this was an absolutely bullshit call. There is no way he can be pinged for this. 'Leading with the elbow' is designed to stop people raising their elbow, pointing it outwards, and - you know - leading with it.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Pretty hard to lead with your elbow when it's tucked into your body like that. The Scotsman put his head where the elbow was, not the other way around.

    Reply
  • If he lead with his elbow ... then my reply leads with my middle finger .!..

    Reply
  •  juggernauter
    juggernauter

    This is crazy. TMO's must be ruled out from judging every thing that goes on the pitch and only be allowed to help the ref with the grounding of the ball on scoring situations. This is insane. Geez I simply cannot believe it. What are the IRB doing to my beloved game!!!

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    I'm with you. Refs used to be old players that wanted to help out and contribute to the game. Now refs are like cops with quotas trying to put their own stamp on a game. The refs have become more of a part of the game than ever before and it sucks. Guys don't train so hard to have a ref decide a game. Be #31 not #1.

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    "Hogg's incident V wales in the 6 nations should have been just a penalty" What game did you see? He jumped into him way after the kick was made and elbowed him in the face. Not only it was a red, but it was a very stupid red. If I see someone do that in my team I would be shouting at him in the changing room.

    Reply
  •  ryangwyn15
    ryangwyn15

    I hope that ref has a serious talking too i dont get how can refs be allowed to ruin an amazing sport!

    Reply
  •  jog1986
    jog1986

    Sorry, just find it impossible to let your comment go considering how selective your memory is. While the Godman/Byrne incident is up for debate, the others you have mentioned either did not happen or were clear cut. Hogg jumped at Liam Williams and elbowed him in the face. Straight red. Scott Murray kicked out at Ian Gough in 2006. Whether he meant to kick him in the head or not is irrelevant. Straight red. Nathan Hines has never been sent off against Wales, and had not even played them as early as 2000. As for this incident, I am torn. It looks like Sinclair attempts to shrug off Jackson who is in a really awful position. The slow motion just makes it look really bad.

    Reply
  •  jog1986
    jog1986

    I don't think that is the TMO speaking, but the co-commentator. Notice how the Welsh commentator replies at one point saying 'that is what he will be asking'.

    Reply
  •  jockandy
    jockandy

    Those question marks were meant to be a smiley face! :-)

    Reply
  •  jockandy
    jockandy

    Ok maybe it wasn't a red but strictly speaking it was a penalty. Scotland have been on the wrong end of plenty ref decisions in the past e.g Hogg's incident v Wales in the 6 nations should have been just a penalty, Phil Godman v Wales in 2010 when Byrne took a dive. Scott Murray v Wales (hmm) in 2000 something and of course Nathan Hines bullsh1t red v Wales in 2000 something too. Didn't mean to pick on Wales, just the ones that come to mind ????

    Reply
  • tracked down a link with the TMO's words audible http://tinyurl.com/op8hlyz http://sport.bt.com/video-01363814401986?videoid=3623039260001&videotitle=Sinclair%20shown%20bizarre%20red%20card&videoimage=2503979514001%2F201406%2F1078%2F2503979514001_3623155511001_DGT-CAN-SCO-RED-SB-vs.jpg

    Reply
  •  jockandy
    jockandy

    Good call ref, well done.

    Reply
  •  alasdairduncan3
    alasdairduncan3

    I agree with @Dolphin2010, he could be given a yellow for a pointless attempt at swinging his arm after the hit, but even that would be harsh. At least it only cost his team a few minutes with a man disadvantage. He will not be given any ban, you can be sure of that.

    Reply
  • I watched BT Sport 2 commentary - you could hear the TMO there, HE GOT IT SPOT ON and said there was no offence. This is totally the referee's wrong doing. If a transcript or audio clip could be found of their exchange it would be extremely interesting for everyone.

    Reply
  •  rugbynut
    rugbynut

    Another game decided by ref instead of players. Disgraceful ref and tmo. They Should both be called to a hearing to explain that decision , and receive a 10 match ban !

    Reply
  • I watched this live and emailed rugbydump straight after the game requesting this clip. I am so glad it has been put up, thanks rugbydump! The decision is unbelievably bad, quite often on here I comment on tackles... that although I (dis)agree with the referee I can understand the logic of the other side of the argument. This however is just 100% outrageous. What this clip doesn't show is the TMO's comments. It's really interesting to listen to- the TMO said there was nothing wrong with it and wasn't foul play at least twice, and advised the referee to go back to Canada's penalty on the 22 which would have let them take the lead with a couple of minutes left. The referee watched the replays on the screen and overruled the TMO saying it was dangerous and the Canadian lead with the elbow, the TMO disagreed then just kind of went quiet before eventually non-committally going with the ref. Basically what is the point of the TMO in this situation if the ref just watches the TV in the stadium? On a side note when did this current fashion of the ref watching the clip begin and what is the guidance on the situation?

    Reply
  •  blew1
    blew1

    This is one of the worst decisions I've ever heard of! Absolutely NOTHING wrong with that whatsoever. The fact the Scottish player got injured probably contributed more than anything but should've been irrelevant. No foul play there. A shame and a poor advert for rugby in an up and coming rugby nation. The IRB need to start throwing the book more at incompetent officials. I'm a neutral and I'm angry about it! Can't imagine how annoyed the Canadians and their fans are. Awful decision and totally wrong. Canada have every right to feel conned out of a victory.

    Reply
  •  totesmcgoates
    totesmcgoates

    'Wow', he says as he leaves the field. I'm inclined to agree. Looked to me like he braced himself for contact, nothing more.

    Reply
  •  bokskick
    bokskick

    I was at the game. Pathetic decision that cost Canada the game. Hang your head in shame ref.

    Reply
  •  pipo
    pipo

    if that is a red card, then I most probably should have earned a red card in every single rugby game I have ever played. Heck, even in trainings I should have been sin-binned

    Reply
  •  lantwit8
    lantwit8

    I think it was fine he just pushed the scot away. didn't lead with the elbow as his elbow was by his side. The issue was the scot got knocked out and all because he put his head in the wrong position.

    Reply
  •  karimabuseer
    karimabuseer

    Appalling decision. He was not leading with the elbow at all. Shame on the TMO too.

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    It's unfortunate to see anyone injured, but if that is worthy of a red card, then we are heading down a very slippery slope to a non contact sport Let these incidents be judged by citing procedures, not a man and a TV with a slo-mo function. The game is becoming farcical

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    What a joke

    Reply

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Jebb Sinclair controversially red carded for 'leading with the elbow' | RugbyDump