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Friday Oct 13, 2017

Raised elbow from Juan Pablo Socino leads to suspension

Raised elbow from Juan Pablo Socino leads to suspension

Newcastle Falcons centre Juan Pablo Socino has been suspended for two weeks after a RFU disciplinary panel found him guilty of striking the head of Exeter Chiefs centre Ian Whitton. It brings into question the fine line between fending with the forearm and the elbow.

From the restart of the second half of their Premiership contest last weekend, Socino carried the ball into contact but led with his forearm, catching the face of Whitton in the process.

A yellow card was issued and Independent Citing Commissioner Peter Larter then cited Socino for striking with his arm, contrary to law 10.4(a). The disciplinary panel then issued a four week, mid-range ruling.

They then reduced that, as explained by chairman of the panel, Antony Davies.

“The panel found this was a reckless act in which the player made contact with the opposition player’s jaw with his forearm. In line with the new sanction table, this mandates a mid-range entry point. Thereafter the panel gave full credit for the player’s previous record, his good character (displayed both on-field in remaining with the injured player and at the hearing) and reduced the ban to two weeks.”

Socino can be seen showing genuine remorse and concern for Whitton directly after the clash, in a similar vain to what we saw with our 5 Times Sportsmanship Prevailed after Brutal Hits post, and looked a bit bemused by the decision.

Captain Will Welch questioned the decision, stating that Socino was bracing for impact, but the reply was simply that it was an illegal fend (plus something else that the commentator spoke over).

Socino was charged with contravening Law 10.4(a), Punching or strikingA player must not strike an opponent with the hand, arm or fist, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

In 2013 Bismarck du Plessis was controversially sent off for a second yellow card after he raised his elbow into the throat of an All Black tackler, and a year later Canadian Jebb Sinclair hit the headlines after he was red carded for something even milder, as he ran over a Scottish player.

Going into contact with the forearm is commonplace, so this looked more unfortunate than anything, particularly considering the player’s reaction.

It’s probably one for the law gurus and armchair referees out there to discuss.


  • im1
    3:30 PM 17/10/2017

    its not CSI

  • moo
    2:30 PM 17/10/2017

    (zoom... enhance...)

  • im1
    2:05 PM 17/10/2017

    there are loads of incidents like this, where a red card was not issued, but a subsequent ban has been given - which indicates it should have been a red card. But this is after a full investigation. They referrees can't spend an afternoon on the pitch trying to work out if there is enough evidence to send a player off. Look at the Sinkler gouge incident. That was dealth with well at the time. As there wasn't enough evidence available at the time to send him off, but once they had had enough time to look through all the footage in detail and magnify/slo-mo and improve the quality it could clearly be seen it was a red card.

  • petersam
    2:07 PM 16/10/2017

    The one time I have ever known of someone dying due to a rugby injury was at school when a lad slipped while entering a tackle (as the tackler) and landed with his throat directly on the point of the ball carrier's elbow, whilst both were running at full speed. This crushed his windpipe and he died several days later in hospital. This was a freak accident and not something one can really do much about in terms of rules. The point is just that elbows are as hard as shoulders, with a smaller surface area (meaning more pressure applied to whatever they hit) and when raised they are always going to hit something breakable (throat, neck, face or head). This is why entering contact with a raised elbow is (rightly) illegal and viewed as dangerous play.

  • reality
    12:26 PM 16/10/2017

    Red card all day long. You don't fend or brace yourself by sticking your elbow into a guy's face at full speed. It's just stupidly dangerous and will break some poor tackler's nose/cheek sooner or later.

  • canafrikaaner
    11:56 PM 13/10/2017

    uhhh when you lead with the elbow its to cause damage...

  • drg
    11:19 PM 13/10/2017

    Out of interest, what would the call be had it been a forearm to the face rather than an elbow? Also, just to add, due to Socino receiving a ban, surely it can be said that the referee got this call wrong and it should have been a red card? According to the powers that be anyway...

  • 45678
    9:23 PM 13/10/2017

    The tackler is almost stationary before contact and goes quite high. I wonder if we should start imposing yellow cards for poor tackling technique? It would certainly improve safety more than these arbitrary wimp out yellow / red cards


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Raised elbow from Juan Pablo Socino leads to suspension | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos