Thursday Jan 5, 2017

New directives under fire once more as Brice Dulin gets carded for challenge

New directives under fire once more as Brice Dulin gets carded for challenge
38
Comments

A lot has been said about World Rugby’s new law directives introduced this year to curb the amount of dangerous tackles. Last week saw Bristol’s Tusi Pisi controversially sent off for a challenge in the air. This week, Racing 92 fullback Brice Dulin was shown yellow for a similar incident against Toulon.

Unlike Pisi, Dulin was clearly challenging for the ball against opposite number Leigh Halfpenny. The Welsh full back landed on his back and appeared briefly winded by the fall. Dulin can be seen keeping his eyes firmly on the ball and even jumped higher than Halfpenny.

Nevertheless, referee Romain Poite ruled that, on outcome-based incidents, Dulin had not placed Halfpenny safely onto the ground and thus showed the French internationalist a yellow card.

For his part, Dulin highlighted his disbelief by almost laughing at Poite’s decision.

The new directives determine that if a player lands dangerously, regardless of the offending player’s intent, that offending player must be subject to either a yellow or red card, depending on the severity.

At best, it is a directive that needs ironing out as in both incidents from the past week have seemingly punished those who have shown no intent.

It remains, and will continue to remain a heated debate throughout the coming months.

Has this new directive gone too far? Did Dulin deserve to be sin-binned?


38 Comments

  •  larry
    larry

    One more thing: basketball players compete for ball in the air quite a bit during a game. There are fouls called against one player or another at times if there is body contact generated by one player. Can't World Rugby check with basketball referees about how things are judged in that game? One difference is basketball players generally don't land on their necks or back on the floor, and the ball is rarely going up in the air so high as an up and under in rugby.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Well, one exception would be for kick offs. On kick offs a player could jump for the ball, because, again, in the old days that's about the only time players jumped for a kicked ball. I played full back and wing for quite a number of years, and never jumped for a ball once in 'traffic.' At 5'8" I wasn't going to out jump someone much taller than me anyway.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Basically that's how the game was played before. I do not recall many players jumping for a ball years ago. Just look at old footage of rugby on You Tube. You wouldn't see many players jumping for a kicked ball back in the 50's, 60's, 70's or even the 80's. This stuff started in the 90's. And you know there was much more kicking of the ball way back when. Simple solution: outlaw jumping for a kicked ball. Players need to keep one foot on the ground. Two feet off and it's a free kick penalty to the other team. This is rugby, not Aussie Rules!

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    I think there needs to be some perspective on the issue of tackling. First of all, this jumping high into the air to collect ball is rather new to the game. One hardly saw it years ago, as a full back, wing, or other player took a stance and let the ball fall into hands. Defenders knew not to hit early. So, what about banning jumping into the air to retrieve a kicked ball? If one cannot leave one's feet to make a tackle, why not ban jumping to catch a ball? One must keep one or both feet on the ground. That would eliminate the issue of players contesting for the ball in air!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Interesting! Looks extremely clear to me! I know we all like to have a moan about World Rugby, but that directive reflects exactly the way I (and I think most other people) want to see these incidents officiated. It's also very clearly written and the video examples are perfect illustrations of that. So yeah, it seems that it's the referees - and post-match disciplinary hearings more specifically - that are getting this wrong. Thanks for finding the link im1, very helpful indeed.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    Can anyone confirm if this is the most recent guidance on 'Challenging players in the air - Law 10.4(i)' from May 2015. It specifically states that if there is a fair challenge for the ball it play on even if the a player lands dangerously. There is no doubt this is a fair challenge so it shouldn't even be a penalty under the May 2015 directive. http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9&guideline=8 So if you look at the guidance and the examples given in the link, World Rugby are actually talking a lot of sense, unless that has been an update post May 2015. By the letter of the law/World Rugby directive, the referees are getting it wrong.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That's sort of my point... Punching isn't that heinous... So I'd propose a punch up equalling maybe a yellow at most for the instigator... If no card then a warning, but a yellow the second time, then a red. I don't mind rucking, but stomping? I don't think so... Fact is, the game can be brutal without it appealing to fat 45 year old props who drip sweat at merely the thought of sticking their unwashed fist into another blokes face for no reason other than to "impose" himself.. professional fighters can wonder off whilst the rest of us get on with the game. Afaik, punching and stamping have never been part of the game, unlike rucking.... By power plays, what are you referring to? Set moves? I guess a lot of people agree or disagree with both of us depending on what era you're from, but I personally felt the most enjoyable rugby was the 2003ish era before every team realised they should rely on a JW to slot the ball from 50m.... There was a professional element to the game, but still some champagne rugby, hits were tough, but fair, fights were around, but not dominant, cards were shown, but not every game.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Punching is not necessarily heinous, but can be. Stomping on players on the ground on the wrong side of the ball (no head or balls) is not heinous and should be encouraged. If a player is constantly disrupting play he should be constantly penalized. That's why each team needs players that can kick goals and win lineouts. Or you have your guy punch out the player that was disruptive. This is the way that rugby was until very recently. Maybe primitive, but better than power plays. All of this should be up to the ref's discretion.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Pre 2000... Players should also be sent from the field due to constant disruption, hence 2 yellows.. I don't see the problem with that usage? Heinous crime? Is punching someone considered heinous? If no, then is punching someone on two separate occasions heinous? I thought the game was pretty good the way it was, I'd say it's money that's turned it into a litigation fest rather than cards themselves...

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    How long have you bee around rugby? Cards were first trialed in 1999 in the SH and only became a part of the game globally in 2000. So 17 years, not 15. this was not a long time ago. The referee has always had the ability to send a player off. This was only in really heinous situations. Really heinous situations are the only time in which a player should be sent off.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    RD, Have you been advertising on more high-brow websites or something? I'm seeing quite a few new names recently, mostly making very good points using articulate and well-constructed arguments. Frankly I find it a bit unsettling... :) #BringBackPhillNZ

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Do you even calendar?!?! 15 years.... Hate to break it to you, but time does fly.. it's 2017 now... I disagree that cards should be scrapped seeing as the ability to eject a player from the game has been around since the 1800's iirc... Perhaps we are splitting hairs if we say that can be done without a card?! I also like the yellow 'cool down' card... I've been on the receiving end of a few of them and the majority were pretty deserved... Cynical play after warnings and the such - tbh, they probably saved me a bunch of black eyes! But, a litigation game is something I totally agree on. Look at how are individual goal posts have moved as a result of the drivel that the citing mob has subjected us to. Someone gets punched and we talk about bans.... Years ago we'd talk about how satisfying it was to see the bloke get his arse handed to him after the punch... We're all getting softer..

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    I would be interested to see how a referee would adjudicate a situation in which two players compete for the ball and the player who does not catch the ball lands dangerously. Clearly the directives have gone too far but it would be foolish to do away completely with outcome in the decision procedure. Rather than a rigid, rule based system it should be left to the officials to come to a sensible case by case decision that blends action with outcome.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    This is a great post! Rugby HAS become completely litigious. Remember what a referee used to be? An old guy with 20+ years of playing experience that was trying to give something back to the game. Now it is a person (often the same age as players) that is usually ambitious about their reffing career and believes that the more they talk to players and blow their whistles the better job they are doing. Rugby refs went form enabling games to policing games. The tenor should be that of a schoolteacher or servant to a good match, not a cop or tattletale. The answer is simple:no more yellow and red cards in rugby. These horrible coloured pieces of paper are the worst thing to ever happen to our game. They've only been around 15 years or so too.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Brilliant and well thought-through.

    Reply
  •  petersam
    petersam

    Rugby is clearly going down the route of litigation culture, which we have seen develop in other areas of life after they have become monetized. Diving to provide "evidence" of foulplay in football is an obvious one, but also working life, education, healthcare and many more. By this I do not mean that players/clubs are taking each other to court, but that the culture of litigation is taking over the running of the game. Take as an example the role of the referee. In my playing/refereeing/coaching career, this has moved markedly from that of the "enabler", allowing the game to flow and evolve over the course of 80 minutes and only interrupting when necessary to allow that evolution to move in a different direction (for example by changing the direction of play shortly after a knock on) or on the grounds of safety if there was a serious injury, towards that of a judge retrospectively making decisions on the "legality" of actions taken by players and administrering "punishments" to them, often well after the action has taken place and at great cost to the flow and evolution of the contest. The entirely punitive logic of awarding a red/yellow card for something illegal several minutes after it has happened, play has progressed through several phases, and despite no injury to, or complaints by, any players on either side slows the game down, puts players and coaches on edge and frankly makes the whole thing less fun for everyone. It also doesn't appear to function as a deterent or make anybody noticably safer, (I get the impression that the number of dangerous actions does not seem to have gone down over the years, but has simply become better documented - I would love to see data on this from World Rugby). The process after such a "carding offence" has also become much more like that of a legal case, with players appearing before tribunals and being "sentenced" to bans/fines. Basically, lawyers now "manage" Rugby and the game must fit the laws, not vice versa.

    Reply
  •  breakaway
    breakaway

    An opponent gets winded through no illegal or even reckless act of yours, and you get a yellow card! The ridiculousness of this decision is obvious, and the criticisms have already been well stated on here. So I'm just adding my vote to the "Sort it out, World Rugby!" demand. Otherwise the fair contest for an up-and-under will be legislated out of the game, and the game will be the lesser for it.

    Reply
  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    Or even better, what would have happened if Dulin catches the ball, and Halfpenny still lands on the back or neck? As the law doesn't state whether the offense is related to the player actually catching the ball or not, Dulin should then still be penalised. Utter nonsense. There is no way World Rugby can maintain this.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    $2.36 a kg I believe...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I hate this sort of thing being punished however I think your statement is wrong.... I am under the impression that referees are not there to judge intent at all, that is decided by the citing/banning mob, referees are only there to uphold the law in what happens... I know it's rarely that black and white on a rugby pitch, but that is what I was lead to believe...

    Reply
  •  nubbin
    nubbin

    Outcome bias is no way to manage any decision making process - and isn't confined to rugby or even sport in general. The intent to cause harm is what must be judged by the referee, who must be given support for his/her decision making process by World Rugby, but also by the players. Rugby is exciting partially becauase it is a heavy physical contact sport, an aspect of excitement it has in common with boxing for example. The players have a choice whether or not to challenge for the ball - very few go in to a challenge purely with the intention of harming their opponent, and any intent to harm is usually quite clear. the worrying aspect is the idea that ANY challenges causing harm to the head and neck are is considered malicious - so running head first at an opponent to get him sin-binned becomes a reality, as does diving or other feigning of injury. This is a dangerous path to tread...

    Reply
  •  gonzoman
    gonzoman

    Or you could make it illegal for the kicking team to contest in the air - the defender may still jump, but is 'safe' until he touches the turf. It would certainly change the strategy around kicking - which may or may not be a good thing. Kickers would likely be more tactical about placement of the kick; teams would likely chip and chase a little less often; chasers would have to focus more on timing the hit and turnover skills post-tackle; defenders would need to be very aware of body position in the air so that they land prepared to take contact. You might also see the development of different sets of aerial skills - a quick catch-and-pass in the air to a waiting teammate, tap-backs or deflections, and who knows what else. I imagine the grubber would start to get used a bit more, but the biggest difference would probably be that teams faced with poor attacking options will opt to recycle the ball again instead of trying the up-and-under. That alone is worth it, as far as I'm concerned.

    Reply
  •  gonzoman
    gonzoman

    I wonder...if Dulin had ended up with the ball, would Halfpenny have been penalized? If they both catche the ball, do we just send 'em both off? If a kick lands on the field and there's no-one there to catch it, do we penalize the kicker? What's the airspeed velocity of a coconut-laden swallow? If a train leaves London for Reading at 10am travelling 35 km/h with three cars which are each half-full and another train leaves Reading for Basingstoke with a full load and travels at 32 km/h, what's the price of bananas in New York? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    That was one of the ways I was thinking the laws could go... Only issue I see with the entire sport is that the more it is governed and policed, the more stupid the players become (or clever) and as such the more they need to be governed... Look at society as a whole. I watched a comedian online the other day (Steve Hughes), he talked about common sense and how it doesn't exist anymore. It is true... Laws create loopholes which can be exploited because "well, the law book doesn't say I can't do that does it??" The spirit of the game will get lost because player become mindless law abiding players. Why has their been a new law for feigning injury? Because players are no longer able to get away with a yellow for belting the shit out of someone who was doing them wrong, so it's easier to go down like a sack of sounds and let the referee sort it. Comments from a player (or ex player - not sure) regarding head contact equalling a card are that he doesn't think players will deliberately duck to get an opponent carded, but that if there is any head contact they might just stay down for an extra 5 seconds to highlight the incident... The game is wrong...

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    This is completely wrong. Toulon are the attacking team. They put the ball in the air. Its a challenge to Racing to see if they can take it. It is the Toulon player who has to be the careful one not Dulin (unless he does something completely reckless). He has the right to jump for the ball as the defender. That is the only way that this can be policed effectively. The team that puts the ball up in the air should have a duty of care to the players of the other team. If the attacking player takes out the defender in the air and they land badly then its fair they get in trouble. But if the defender goes up for the ball and the attacker lands awkwardly then tough. It is the attackers fault as they have to be the one responsible.

    Reply
  •  pdg
    pdg

    The game is detiorating into madness..the present law that applies is totally flawed in its wording of safely returning the player to the ground. When any player is jumping in the air with his eyes focusing on the ball, it is a physical IMPOSSIBILITY in the time it takes to return to the ground to look at the opposition player, determine where he is in relation to the ground, then try and turn the player in the air so that he can land in a safe condition....the only creature that is capable of turning itself in midair to land on its feet is a CAT...IRB...get your heads out from the sand and stop trying to clinicalise and sanitise the game..taking away all of the risks is not possible and will in the future deter both playets and spectators from the sport

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I made a comment around Christmas time regarding RD using the word 'reckless' in an article... I did state that RD probably used it as that was the common terminology being used around ANY unintentional incident. But it's definitely a word that I perceive to be used incorrectly - or it's been adopted to mean something different... Like I said previously, if a player sees the ball on the ground next to a bunch of heads and fly hacks at it and kicks someones face then there is argument for recklessness... "Come on man, surely you could see that your chances of kicking someone were higher than average"... however as you stated, two players competing for a ball is NOT reckless... Further to your point just above, one could argue that in the essence of consistency where players are carded for recklessness then "self recklessness" could be considered... "ducking into a tackle"? Well, surely one could consider that a sudden ducking movement would not give the tackler enough time to react and therefore you're risking your own head - Sounds ridiculous but if you start red carding people for their own actions, they might start playing differently as well!

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    "RIP air contest" We will miss you.

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Let's have a new rule: scrap 'outcome based' sanctions and just give a red card for 'reckless endangerment of the head'. If the injured player ducks into a tackle, this indicates it's not reckless. If a player lands awkwardly but it was an honest challenge in the air, it's not reckless. There are usually 3 decision-making officials, so why not say that all 3 need to agree in order to give a red, to try to make things more consistent. If there's a TMO then it always goes upstairs. Sorted. You can't avoid risk in rugby, but you can sure as hell mess up the sport with terrible rules.

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    I don't like where this is going at all. I see the need to protect players but this new focus on giving cards to players for chance occurrences while they are legitimately playing the game will lead to games being ruined, as well as play-acting. The current state of the rules is an embarrassment to the game. How long before the fans walk because of all the arbitrary decisions?

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Possibly the most bullshit card in rugby union history.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Its all completely wrong... One week it's the kicking teams ball, next week it's the defending teams ball, one week it's not that bad looking, next it's horrendously.. it's just anyone's guess what happens...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Yup! I enjoy controversy probably more than the next person, but it's starting to become so normal everyone's doing it and it's boring the piss out of me.

    Reply
  •  rich_w
    rich_w

    Mad. You cannot remove risk from a contact sport but World Rugby are hellbent on trying at any cost. Re: this particular incident. I would be more in favour of World Rugby ruling that it is now illegal to jump for a high ball. At the moment the message is so confused, you are entitled to challenge in the air, but depending on the random outcome of two legally airborne players colliding, one of you might get sent off. On a side point, is anyone else as depressed as I am that the majority of rugby chat (including videos on this website) is now about what sanction should have been received, or what length of ban should be handed out. Rather than, you know, about rugby.

    Reply

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  • World Rugby has gone full retard.... Never go full retard!

    Reply
  •  spenny89
    spenny89

    If I was a professional coach I would be very tempted to coach my team to not challenge in the air and sit back and smash the catcher when his feet touch the ground. This seems to be the only way to insure you keep 15 lads on the pitch.

    Reply
  •  welshblue
    welshblue

    I despair at this. Teams will stop playing box kicks if they risk having players sin binned for even attempting to catch it. World Rugby have to find a balance between safety and what "rugby" actually means because as it stands they are killing the game

    Reply
  •  tphillipsstl
    tphillipsstl

    Rugby is heading down a very dangerous path. Player safety has to be the ultimate priority, but we also have to understand that some risk is inherent in the game. Taking away contested kick catches and penalizing tacklers for ball carriers ducking into tackles will damage the game.

    Reply

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New directives under fire once more as Brice Dulin gets carded for challenge | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos