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Monday May 2, 2016

Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing

Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing
16
Comments

Stormers back Leolin Zas was shown a straight red card for this challenge on Bernard Foley on Saturday prompting discussions over the decision, as both players appeared to be making a fair attempt at claiming the ball. However, Zas has been banned for 2 weeks.

The 20-year-old flyer pleaded guilty to contravening Law 10.4 (i) Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an Opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play

Both players had their eyes on the ball but Zas slipped as he got close, causing contact with Foley and an ugly looking landing for the Wallabies number ten.

Referee Mike Fraser consulted with his TMO and although it was pointed out that Zas slipped, Fraser ruled that it can’t be taken in account, as Foley’s landing was extremely dangerous.

After the match the Stormers captain, Juan de Jongh, referred to the Jason Emery/Willie le Roux incident from a week ago: “It is a tough one, and after what happened last week with Willie, obviously the refs (want to) do something about that, and safety is first priority.

“But I also feel that it was a little bit unlucky for Zas as he slipped a bit, and his eyes were on the ball. That was the ref’s call, and it’s not something that we will focus on or worry about. It is what it is, and it was always tough with 14 men.”

The Stormers nearly pulled off a courageous win, but instead it was the visiting Waratahs who scored with a minute left, snatching the 32-30 victory at Newlands (full highlights below).

Before the disciplinary hearing coach Robbie Fleck had hoped that the powers that be would take into account all the circumstances of the incident, particularly the slip.

“I think they will take into account that he did slip, and they might call it reckless, but there was no intent from our side. Like Juan says, it was a little bit unfortunate, but the law is the law, and the safety of the player is paramount.

“It was just the way he landed, I guess… If he had landed on his hip, it would probably have been a different call,” said the former Springbok center.

TWO WEEK BAN

SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC assessed the case, finding the following:

“I found it was a lower end offence on the basis that the video footage showed the Player’s right foot slipping as he was readying to compete for the ball in the air. This resulted in him moving on through and under the opposing player, causing that player to fall dangerously to the ground.

Fortunately the opposing player was uninjured. The low end entry point for the sanction was a three week suspension. There were no aggravating factors.

“As to mitigation, I took into account the Player’s youth and his early guilty plea, as well as his already expressed apology and his contrition. I allowed a reduction of one week, making a suspension from all rugby of two weeks, up to and including Saturday 14 May 2016.

“The Stormers  have a bye next weekend. I was provided written evidence that the Player would have been chosen to play for Western Province in a Currie Cup match against the Natal Sharks that forthcoming weekend. So that match should be, and is, taken into account as a match which he will be unable to play in. In addition, he will be ineligible to play in the Super match against the Sunwolves on the 14 May 2016.”

Quick clip of the incident below, and full highlights with more replays below that

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

credit: rugby.com.au/sanzaar

16 Comments

  • ispotts27
    11:14 PM 03/05/2016

    I feel that the protection surrounding them in the laws gives them a sense of self preservation, seeing as players not competing for the ball cannot just smash through them due to the laws.That being said I agree with you, players are liable for their own safety, at least in part.

    Reply
  • akared
    3:46 PM 03/05/2016

    He didn't jump at all, therefore he didn't make any effort to catch the ball but still got himself into a position to take out Foley who was making an effort to catch the ball.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    11:45 AM 03/05/2016

    Ban all 30 players for taking to the pitch. It is obvious that the consequence of their doing so resulted in this player landing on the floor. Not a single twitter apology from any of them, so throw the bloody book at them. Leolin tried to jump, slipped and made contact with another player. At no point was he attempting to tackle the other player and was attempting to compete for the ball. As no blame could reasonably be attached to him in this instance, it seems safer to protect players by preventing them from playing rugby at all. Unless... Leolin sounds like it could be French. 4 years.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:02 AM 03/05/2016

    I think the issue is Veji, that none of these players ever really think they're NOT in the contest for the ball... All these incidents are last millisecond incidents - Foley's foot left the floor right at the very end of the 3 second mark on the video - He then was in the air, sort of caught the ball, made contact with Zas (or vice versa) and his head, shoulders and hips all made contact with the floor during the 4 second mark, just as it turned to 5 seconds his feet flapped back onto the ground again as he was prone.. Effectively the whole incident occurred and was over in about 1 and a half seconds.... So literally right up until the final point Zas was competitive, his slip changed the dynamics of the incident, however we've seen in the past that the defender or catcher always gets the benefit... As mentioned above - it's probably deemed reckless by Zas, but would throwing yourself up into the air at the last moment when someone is hurtling after the ball not somewhat 'reckless' in itself?

    Reply
  • drg
    10:54 AM 03/05/2016

    Hmmm if we keep this up we might be in double figures by 2020! haha

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:51 AM 03/05/2016

    History in the making: we agree for the second time on RD!!

    Reply
  • drg
    8:22 PM 02/05/2016

    I've got to agree that there never appears to be any sort of investigation towards the jumping player... I think players throw themselves into the situation without any self preservation. Yet when another player jumps but mistimes and collides with someone else it's deemed as 'reckless'. I for one would rather players are deemed responsible for their own safety to some degree.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:38 PM 02/05/2016

    I suspect it was more of a flippant comment myself, however it is not without it's truths. Whilst no one wants to see the game get more and more bastardized it is strongly heading in a direction where turning it into some sort of tutu wearing game is becoming the only option left.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    3:52 PM 02/05/2016

    No worries, I had to double check myself. Personally, I don't have a problem with the emphasis of the rule - if you kick away possession, I agree the responsibility should be on the chasing side to not run into defenders jumping for the ball. I do however put a question mark against taking discretion out of the hands of the ref in terms of punishment. Not all these incidents are the same. And definitely, a red card has a huge impact on the game, so it's not something you want handed out lightly. For the JOs, the reason for a 2 week ban versus a 4 week ban for Emery... I'm not sure, under current rules, that I understand why there's a difference. In line with your point, I would however argue that the red should be just about enough - maybe an extra week or two in some more extreme circumstances, but the red is already harsh punishment. Anyway it's pretty clear for a while that World Rugby wants a big deterrent - Sam Warburton's red in a WC semifinal they agreed with, so I don't think a couple of similar incidents in Super Rugby will make them change their minds.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    3:27 PM 02/05/2016

    I feel for Leolin here, that was harsh. Not only did he slip but Foley jumped at quite literally the last possible second (if you look closely, Foley's other foot is pretty much on the floor when Leolin initially makes contact with him). Compare that with Emery's red card last week when LR was well in the air before Emery even got close to him. My point is, even if Leolin was watching Foley and not the ball, I don't see how it was avoidable considering the timing of Foley's jump. And the slip.

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    3:25 PM 02/05/2016

    I detected sarcasm in Citing Commissioner's proposal, but may be wrong.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:17 PM 02/05/2016

    I'm with you. It's not as if shaking our head at an incident like this (or the outcome of it) makes us callous and uncaring of player safety, however there has to be some form of common sense applied, unless we are genuinely happy to see players carded for real accidents. I've said similar to yourself, or alternatively only the defending team can jump for the ball... or as was trialled in that hideous looking varsity exhibition, have that bullshit free catch thing...

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    3:07 PM 02/05/2016

    Today's SANZAAR release had it as Leonil, so it was then changed to that above. Thanks for mentioning it - after triple checking, you are indeed correct. A red card seemed understandable, but a 2 week ban a bit harsh. Not enough emphasis seems to be placed on how much a red card (or even sometimes yellow) can affect a team on the day. The ban seems to indicate that playing with 14 isn't such a big deal, so further punishment is needed.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:13 PM 02/05/2016

    The bloke's name is Leolin (not Leonil). I guess the only real talking point here is how to factor in the slip - because to me it looks like he might have been able to avoid the collision if he hadn't lost his footing. But not to argue about otherwise, the law here is pretty clear.

    Reply
  • 12:29 PM 02/05/2016

    Here's a thought, if players' safety is paramount why not just ban people jumping for the ball (which is the source for the danger), it'd solve everything. Oh yeah, I forgot, it's a sport where adults run voluntarily run into each other as hard as possible and generally get up and do it again. I've played and watched rugby for my whole life and the worst injuries I have seen are never from "foul play" like this but normally someone getting trapped in a ruck and bent the wrong way. Red cards like this annoy me so much, which law was broken when someone jumps higher than you, hits their arse on your head and flips over?

    Reply
  • drg
    11:34 AM 02/05/2016

    I suppose him not being in a position to catch the ball was somewhat as a result of being underneath Foley who had: a) Jumped higher than him and b) had clattered into him.... Either way, that speed stripe in his hair clearly didn't work... or perhaps he needs two?

    Reply


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Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos