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Monday Jun 1, 2015

Laurie Weeks sent off and banned for multiple punches on Jannie du Plessis

Laurie Weeks sent off and banned for multiple punches on Jannie du Plessis
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Melbourne Rebels prop Laurie Weeks has been banned for three weeks following a red card for multiple punches on Sharks tighthead Jannie du Plessis at the weekend. While Du Plessis struck first, Weeks’ retaliation and flurry of punches is what got him sent off.

As both tightheads ‘chased’ a high ball in the first half, Weeks appeared to obstruct Du Plessis which obviously frustrated the veteran Springbok. He lashed out with a meaty slap to the back of the head, leading Weeks to turn and start swinging.

Du Plessis did well to refrain from throwing punches himself, as Weeks threw roughly six shots, most of which landed. The doctor was yellow carded, while Weeks received a straight red.

Both players were surprised with the calls, with Du Plessis calling his shot ‘a push’, and Weeks obviously feeling that his reaction was justified after being struck pretty hard on the back of the head. His reaction did him no favours though.

Discipline has never been Du Plessis’ strongpoint, and he actually did something similar against the Hurricanes in 2012, with an open-hand slap that started a brawl.

SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden accepted a guilty please from Weeks, and he has been suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks up to and including 20 June 2015.

“I found the incident to have a mid-range entry point which stipulates a five-week suspension. This was then reduced by two weeks due to Weeks’ prompt admission of guilt, remorse for his actions and excellent disciplinary record.

“The applicable entry point for determining the seriousness of the offence was determined by the excessive overreaction of multiple strikes by the player when compared to the act that initially provoked him to commit the offence,” Casselden added.

Rebels skipper Scott Higginbotham scored a brace of tries, but the tourists went down 25-21.

*NOTE: This post went live before the ruling, so has since been updated

40 Comments

  • spicksandspecks
    7:27 PM 04/06/2015

    Both players deserved red cards here. Because Weeks was sent off alone, that meant the Rebels played the whole second half 15 vs 14. Giving Jannie a yellow card only ended up rewarding him and his team for starting a fight with an unprovoked hit to the back of the head. It arguably cost the Rebels the game.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    3:06 PM 04/06/2015

    Yep. Fair point.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:21 AM 03/06/2015

    I'd rather put in a big hit also! But I think we can probably agree putting in a big hit on your 'nemesis' isn't always so easy, you need timing, speed, humidity, windspeed all in your favour (I jest), but unless the bloke has the ball and is in your proximity then it's not always possible. Guy, I suspect you often operate with a clear head which is noble. Some players (most I guess) are able to withdraw themselves from a situation and then solve it with a big tackle, ruck etc etc, some players blood boils and they need retribution for a perceived wrong instantly... But Yeh, you don't want to miss, or have no impact!

    Reply
  • guy
    9:07 PM 02/06/2015

    I can see your point. Personally I find making a huge hit on any player of the opposing team the most satisfying feeling. I tried to punch someone only once, after being on the receiving end of a punch...I missed. Felt so emberrased that I never ever felt the urge to do it again.

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    8:01 PM 02/06/2015

    While I can see where you are coming from, you have to realize that a big factor in such an incident in the past warranting only a talking to from the ref is that the ref and his assistants were often unaware of what started the fight and who had done what. With their eyes on the game, a lot of times they would look round and see a bunch of players pulling guys apart. With no hope of dishing out just punishment, the solution was to just call the captains in and tell them to put a stop to it.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:23 PM 02/06/2015

    ...no I didn't... Guy said boxers don't resort to kicking each other in the head... that is correct. However my point was boxers are doing what everyone wants to do in order to resolve a conflict... land blows... why do you think things flare up during weigh ins, these guys are raring to land a punch on the other one.. I'd say the majority wouldn't even consider kicking the other guy because their strongest weapon is their punch and it's the most likely thing to use in close quarters.. A props best rugby weapon may be his scrummaging, but if you attacked a prop in an alleyway he's hardly going to turn around and challenge you to a scrum.. Poke a boxer in the eye in an alleyway and chances are he'll lamp you...

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    4:05 PM 02/06/2015

    "Oh come on ref, you're acting like I punched him 7 times... it was only 5!"

    Reply
  • stroudos
    2:33 PM 02/06/2015

    Mate, you missed (or ignored) Guy's point on the boxing.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:20 PM 02/06/2015

    Which props do you think will get selected to the WC squad? No-one at the moment seems to think Koch gets in, but from S15 form, he might just be the best scrummager we have, and I don't think that's something Heyneke will have ignored. Perhaps the Stormers-Lions game this weekend will be a Bok trial of sorts, both sets of front-rowers have looked very good this year.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:20 PM 02/06/2015

    The thing is Guy, boxers have the ultimate out... someone (opposition) is pissing them off, so they hit them... it's sort of their job... Rugby has a a couple front rowers barging each other but they can't resort to the natural direction they want to go..fists.. In any other walk of life, if someone is "up in your face" barging you around, you'd be a saint if you didn't give them a clout. That's not to say that it should be allowed to happen at all and of course I understand I've used an example of front rows and I'm not suggesting that front rows should be allowed to scrap, and then have varying degrees of 'allowable' illegal play as the shirt numbers increase.. There are already different rules for different levels regarding scrum driving, lineouts etc, I'm not suggesting that different law books come into effect, but perhaps different tolerances. However kids will mimic what they see on tv....

    Reply
  • guy
    10:29 AM 02/06/2015

    There's testosterone in boxing but that doesn't mean the boxers start kicking eachother in the head. There are laws. Obey them. When I started playing there were fights in every match and hardly anybody got sent of, ever, which was ok by me. But things have changed over the year, for the better. There are legal ways to 'dominate your opposition' and hitting, kicking, biting, gouging have nothing to do with 'dominating the opposition'. I guess I started looking upon this differently when my son started playing. He nearly got his eye poked out and I certainly don't want him to come home missing some teeth because some idiot decided to 'dominate the opposition'. And don't even start argueing that there should be different rules for different levels. It just doesn't work that way. Just look what happended to wendyball, at all levels..

    Reply
  • drg
    9:12 AM 02/06/2015

    I'm torn, I roughly agree with you Phill, but almost in this incident I think Weeks took it too far. I mean Plessis through a little bitch slap but that was in, from then on in it was all Weeks. I know you can't expect everyone to keep completely level headed in the heat of the game, but sometimes I think players NEED to exercise a degree of level headedness. I can understand Weeks throwing the amount of punches if both him and Du Plessis were having it out, but Du Plessis, almost looked like he was trying to get away from Weeks initial blows. Just so you can get more of an idea of roughly where I stand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZYpljlcVHk I can sympathise with Hazell regarding his reaction, I've had someone try to gouge me and I was not best impressed. However, as fair as the reaction was in terms of retaliation for something horrendous, it is safe to say he had just about reached the point in that game where it was time for him to go sit out and calm down. - So I agree with the red, but also agree with Hazell going batshit crazy on the guy!

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:03 AM 02/06/2015

    Possibly, but that wasn't how I saw it. He still took those punches well. I'd have been on the floor whimpering if he'd just looked at me funny.

    Reply
  • mattyp
    8:48 AM 02/06/2015

    Is that what you think? it looks to me like he bit off more than he could chew.

    Reply
  • mattyp
    8:47 AM 02/06/2015

    "without malice". Lol.

    Reply
  • phillnz
    8:24 AM 02/06/2015

    Disagree rugby is about strategy, tactics , one on one physicality , competitiveness to dominate your opposition. By the very nature of the game it leads to testosterone explosions that's why we like playing it, yes there are idiots that go overboard but they don't last long , they tend to play league.

    Reply
  • phillnz
    8:19 AM 02/06/2015

    Thanks Stroudos rugby is becoming to PC and to holier than thou. Look even commentators down here are starting to make disparaging remarks for alleged foul play by refs , ass refs and are saying penalty and move on. South African, Samoan , French , Tongan teams play a very physical style that others don't and it penalises them. I like NRL report system , you don't get sent off but penalties will be stiffer if there was foul play and you don't plead guilty.

    Reply
  • katman
    8:18 AM 02/06/2015

    I never thought I'd say this, but the Stormers front row is looking as good as any in the competition this year. Kitshof and Koch have destroyed just about every scrum they've faced. Probably a little too soon to talk about the option of Koch at Bok tighthead, but he's certainly a guy to watch. If it's pure scrummaging you're after, the other tighthead to consider is Julian Redelinghuys of the Lions. Short and very powerful, you never see him going backwards.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:07 AM 02/06/2015

    As both tightheads 'chased' a high ballLove the inverted commas here! :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:04 AM 02/06/2015

    Phill, guess what I'm with you on this one. I'm sure when you first started appearing on this forum we used to agree on a lot of stuff. Maybe I'm getting old, but it can't be that long ago that a couple of tight head props "exchanging telephone numbers" would have attracted only a short chat with the ref. That was a dick move by Du Plessis to start it off. I would initially penalise him, but then reluctantly have to reverse that penalty because of he degree of retaliation. Penalty Sharks. No cards. Play on.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:37 PM 01/06/2015

    hmmmmyyyyerrr.... I kiinda of want to agree with you, but hitting someone on the pitch has a bit of a place on the pitch... But yeh, the generally direction of your reply is sound, also I agree with the referees decisions.

    Reply
  • guy
    10:55 PM 01/06/2015

    Well, the referee does not make the laws, he just needs to apply the laws properly. Why wouldn't the ref let play continue after a forward pass? Answer: because it would not be rugby anymore but American Football. The same goes for hitting someone on the pitch: that kind of stuff has no place on the field of play.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    9:09 PM 01/06/2015

    Imagine just for a second that the referee let both these players keep playing. What would be so wrong with that?

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    8:42 PM 01/06/2015

    Jannie and Bismarck are off to Montpellier, at least that was the news last week. The Lions have been the one SA franchise that has really impressed this S15 competition. What a great team they are, quite possibly and amazingly none of them will make the WC squad, but they have done themselves proud. And Johan Ackermann, how good a coach is he proving to be?

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    7:47 PM 01/06/2015

    In your haste to troll, you didn't mention which team would be awarded the penalty.

    Reply
  • i_bleed_green_and_gold
    7:30 PM 01/06/2015

    This is typical of the sharks style of play this year. So much dirty play, off the ball stuff. And by senior bok players no less. The Chiefs sharks game was similar with 3 red cards. Then deysel a couple weeks later... it has not been fun watching this team play this year. The lions, stormers and even the cheetahs have been playing a much better brand of rugby. The bulls surprisingly are also much more interesting to watch with a lot of youngsters doing well. The results have not been there all the time but they still have a shot. I really hope Janine is not the only option at tight head come rwc. I think his time has come to be put out to pasture in France. Will probably end up with some European silverware.

    Reply
  • phillnz
    7:02 PM 01/06/2015

    Penalty should suffice and a warning. Rugby is slowly turning into soccer , what's wrong with a bit of biff?

    Reply
  • poccio
    5:47 PM 01/06/2015

    I agree with others here who state two red cards would be more appropriate. I think initiating something should be taken into account and in such a cowardly manner to boot (also as previously stated that was open handed but must have hurt quite a bit). Reacting with flurry of punches to the face is an obvious red, no real discussion to be had about that.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    5:33 PM 01/06/2015

    I agree with the consensus about the cards, so this is a separate point. I've got to admire du Plessis here for his reaction to this. Watching him get hit six times without punching back is really impressive. I know he started it and a yellow is right, but he looked fucking hard as nails taking those punches. He barely even reacted. The guy is impressively tough.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    4:24 PM 01/06/2015

    I think he probably got a yellow in part because of the way this escalated; but he could have no complaints either, that was a solid whack, and the ref's fully within his rights. Even a red was possible; rightly or wrongly, people do get sent off for less.

    Reply
  • tphillipsstl
    4:14 PM 01/06/2015

    You're kidding right? a shot to the back of the head off the ball is a red card every time. Yellow was only given because Weeks landed more blows. Both should have been shown red and let the disciplinary committee handle who gets punished more.

    Reply
  • katman
    4:14 PM 01/06/2015

    It might have been an open-hand slap to the back of the head, but you get slaps and you get slaps. And the doctor appeared to dish out a pretty solid one here. I wouldn't have enjoyed that. Yellow sounds about right.

    Reply
  • c_gillon
    3:00 PM 01/06/2015

    I think a yellow for JdP is harsh, I know it's the letter of the law but it was without malice and these things happen off the ball a lot. Red for Weeks is definitely right.

    Reply
  • benny
    2:42 PM 01/06/2015

    What did JdP say? It was just a push? Both of them seem shocked that they were carded, do they not know the refs saw the replay?

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    2:40 PM 01/06/2015

    Ref got that just right. To be fair to Dr Jannie, who's been playing the game for good while now, his disciplinary record is not bad. He does give away a few dumb penalties, and he's slapped a couple of opponents, but generally he's no more a liability than your average front-rower and I don't think he's ever been banned for filthy foul play. Of greater concern is that he's still, apparently, our best tight-head.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:52 PM 01/06/2015

    Yup as with most above, I reckon the officials got it right, Weeks did 'obstruct' in some ways but it was nothing really, Du Plessis reacted or started by the push/slap/whack so happy for yellow for that. Weeks reaction was a gross over reaction and as katman says, how he manages to look so shock is beyond me...

    Reply
  • jonnyenglish
    1:11 PM 01/06/2015

    Got those calls spot on, can't disagree at all.

    Reply
  • bunn
    12:57 PM 01/06/2015

    I think that was well managed by the team of officials, both got the right punishment

    Reply
  • katman
    12:14 PM 01/06/2015

    How Weeks managed to muster such convincing incredulity at his red card after landing at least 5 clean punches to the face deserves special mention. Stayed in character very well.

    Reply
  • cmon84
    12:03 PM 01/06/2015

    So Du Plessis is a doctor/ farmboy / professional athlete / hard man - quite impressive.

    Reply


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