Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

Rob Simmons escapes on-field punshment for dangerous tackle on Yannick Nyanga

Rob Simmons escapes on-field punshment for dangerous tackle on Yannick Nyanga
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Comments

Wallaby Rob Simmons was the second big citing of the week following a bizarre few minutes during France’s emphatic 33-6 victory over Australia in Paris. Simmons will join Adam Thomson in London for their respective disciplinary hearings tomorrow.

The incident occured in the 65th minute of the Test as French loose forward Yannick Nyanga knocked on a high ball before Simmons, seemingly unaware, lifted and drove Nyanga to the turf.

The second rower, who came off the bench shortly before for veteran Nathan Sharpe, has since been cited for commiting a dangerous ‘tip’ tackle under Law 10.4 (j), placing him in doubt for the Wallabies next match, against England, this coming weekend at Twickenham.

In a strange twist of events, somehow referee Nigel Owens and neither one of his touch judges managed to identify Simmons, despite every other person in the stadium knowing exactly who it was, thanks to the huge television screen replays.

Unlike in some domestic competitions currently, the TMO is not allowed to get involved in rulings for foul play. Referees are also not meant to use the big screen TV replays for guidance, whereas with the new trial laws that has even been encouraged.

As a result, Simmons played on, and while rugby is a far cry from Cricket – where we see players walk if obviously guilty – the cut-throat environment of Test rugby has yet to see someone stick their hand up in a situation like this.

It would have been a grand gesture and yes, it’s unfair to expect such a thing, but in a sport that prides itself on integrity and honour, it would have been refreshing. It might have also helped at the disciplinary hearing.

Instead, we heard Owens having to apologise to the French team for not seeing who actually did it.

– Watch the full game
– View match highlights

Discussion points:
– Do you think Simmons should (or would) have been Red carded for this tackle?

– How long would you suspend him for?
– In an ideal world, do you think that the captain or player owning up would have actually been good to see, or is that idea simply an unfeasible, romanticised view of the sport?

    48 Comments

    •  katman
      katman

      So this gets 8 "active" weeks, and Thompson gets one week (in which he was going to be rested anyway? The outcry on Twitter and the IRB's subsequent promise to relook Thompson's sentence is welcome but not good enough. These double standards are beyond a joke. Like Kevvie Mealamu's headbutt ban. And Kevvie and Tana's collective spear tackle tap on the wrist.

      Reply
    •  dema
      dema

      Apparently the TMO can only be consulted about scoring or not scoring a try or a goal or a touchdown. Not for foul play far away from the goal line. In some competitions (English Premiership?) they are testing this possibility, though.

      Reply
    •  pretzel
      pretzel

      I have got to agree with you with regards to the tackle... it was not "good" in a legality sense, however it was not the worst I've ever seen. I actually somewhat ignored the "late" part of it because like you, I truly felt that he was not aware of the ball being spilled...

      Reply
    •  pretzel
      pretzel

      Interesting, thanks very much for that.. I had always wondered... especially when the referee is looking around and the crowd start booing horrendously when an act of foul play is re-shown on the big screen... I always think "if only he'd look up (or be allowed to look up) he'd see it right there"...

      Reply
    •  barryt
      barryt

      Personally, no red card, but the rules say it is a red card! Could Nigel have gone to the TMO for that? Tackles like that need to be looked at through replay and each case given its own speciality, i think players landing on their back is ok but odds are if they land on their back, the legs have gone above the waist, needs reviewing cause its ruining the game!

      Reply
    •  cheyanqui
      cheyanqui

      Althought I think this deserved a ban, I am frankly surprised when compared to Adam Thompson's. Thompson gets only one week, for doing something that we have long been told has no place in rugby. Sure, it was not a nasty stamp, more of a "message" boot. But still there was no reason to do it. Compare to Simmons's play -- sure, outcome looked worse. It was a reckless play, but at least it was a play that can still be considered a "rugby play" - i.e. a tackle. Something tells me that it sniffs of the passes that the All Blacks seem to habitually enjoy. If it were Bakkies Botha putting a boot to Richie McCaw's head, Bakkies would have gotten 12 weeks.

      Reply
    •  flaco
      flaco

      are you sure? I thought that the laws variations had enabled the TMO to be consulted on foul play can you point me out to the precedents of captains being sent off? I am very interested in this particular aspect thanks

      Reply
    •  browner
      browner

      STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS Defender tackles player onto his back , with proper hold & no 'spear' involved [when you drive the player into the ground head/shoulder 1st] . His torso was horizontal, It's a wonderful tackle ............ add it to the list of other great hits Josh Lewsey v Matt Rogers Julian Savea v Rob Kierney Wilkinson v Ntamack etc etc Be clear what the differences are.... lets not make tackling illegal !...shoulder hits through the neck head area are the worst ill in our game ......not these applaud !!!!

      Reply
    •  moddeur
      moddeur

      @browner

      Reply
    •  moddeur
      moddeur

      I watched it again for your benefit, he rolls back on his stomach probably hoping to get up, and at this time his eyes seem closed right when you suspect him of glancing at the referee. Sometimes when you can hit on the field, you first think you can get up -- but you can't, and then you stay down and twitch a bit. Happens to me at least once in a while. So either Nyanga's an imbecile (because who would need to keep rolling around on the floor when the referee has already blown his whistle and 80,000 people are already booing?), or I'm right. Knowing Nyanga's character, what you're suggesting is simply impossible in my book. If you had said that about Vincent Clerc I would already be buying you beer :) But then again, I can't really be sure. Given that he was taken off 2mn later, I suspect him of actually aching.

      Reply
    •  rugbydump
      rugbydump

      Hi GuestBoy (registering will allow you to be notified of replies), Hard to say, and it does get tiresome, but news is news and a lot of people want to see the big incidents, even if they're negative in nature. Unfortunately it's not feasible to do as you've suggested, so at least covering highlights/full matches takes care of that, but I take your point and will keep it in mind. Cheers

      Reply
    •  redyeti
      redyeti

      If you have just been spear-tackled by an 18 stone second row and had him land on your ribcage the last thing you would do is writhe and roll around on the floor. You're at risk of a serious spinal injury. You can tell when players are truly hurt as they lay pretty much completely still waiting for medical assistance.

      Reply
    •  rugbydump
      rugbydump

      Simmons has reportedly been suspended for 8 'active' weeks.

      Reply
    •  redyeti
      redyeti

      No they are supposed to deliberately avoid looking at the screens. In the Premiership (where they are trialling the new TMO-foul-play-referral system the referees are making full use of the screens however, which in many cases makes the TMO call irrelevant). A poster above said that the Stade Francais screens usually show advertising rather than replays anyway so it's a moot point.

      Reply
    •  redyeti
      redyeti

      He could not contact the TMO because referees are currently not allowed to refer foul play (or indeed anything outside of the act of scoring a try). This is being trialled in some domestic competitions however. There is a pretty strong precedent for carding captains for 'team offences' where it wouldn't be particularly fair to send off the final perpetrator of a string of professional fouls. The captain is absolutely responsible for the discipline of his team and as such would almost certainly not complain.

      Reply
    •  redyeti
      redyeti

      The laws give the referee final say over anything. He can card somebody for whatever he wants, including the captain. There is a pretty strong precedent of captains being sent off for 'team offences'.

      Reply
    •  eggman
      eggman

      Even worse.. a pommy bastard feeling sorry for Australian rugby.. Maybe campese has to say something in order to rectify that again ;-)

      Reply
    •  redyeti
      redyeti

      Referees are not allowed to refer to the TMO for incidents of foul play in IRB internationals, yet. It is currently being trialled in some domestic competitions, including the Aviva Premiership.

      Reply
    •  browner
      browner

      Moddeur watch video again........Nyanga Glances up at the referee to check that he's watching, and then goes back into painful face expression....... aka Ronaldo style !! You're outta your 'integrity' on this one, golden globe nomination for Nyanga

      Reply
    •  stroudos
      stroudos

      Good thinking. And even if the captain asked which number, Owens could have replied with something like "Don't get smart with me or you'll go to the bin too"!

      Reply
    •  stroudos
      stroudos

      Yep, Reason's English (moved to NZ couple of years ago) and a recidivist shit-stirrer. Thought this piece was quite funny though! I'd also like to add Mick Cleary of the Daily Telegraph to Benny's list of twat journos. He may well be the worst of the lot.

      Reply
    •  cheyanqui
      cheyanqui

      And my mistake -- it was "19", but the refs thought it was "7" -- WTF

      Reply
    •  cheyanqui
      cheyanqui

      The greatest hustle would have been if Nigel Owens had of asked the captain "bring him here", and hope he doesn't ask "which number"

      Reply
    •  cheyanqui
      cheyanqui

      The issue i see from the video replays is that the tackler's jersey number shows as "7". If the Referee and his Assistants are looking from the corner of their eyes, or from more than 30m away, they may have not been able to tell. I found it disappointing that none of them said "it was a guy wearing "7", but I can't tell which. Perhaps between the three of them, tey could have triangulated into the culprit, because "17" and "7" don't look alike. This is a clear cardable offense (we can't tell the color from the referee banter), and the only open issue is which of the fifteen Australia players should serve the sanction. If this is not the place for a TMO to get involved, I don't know what is.

      Reply
    •  eggman
      eggman

      Hmm not sure about how ppl down south view him.. I don't think he's really on the radar. If he keeps playing like that I'm sure he'll make it back though ;) He was palying in South Africa (for the Sharks I think) for a while.. Not sure how well he did there, though I think he was alright.

      Reply
    •  demosys
      demosys

      Yellow/red well deserved. A shame that any refs could see the number. On the other side i'm happy because Les Bleus won against a full Wallabies squad (which is already weakened). The win as much more value :)

      Reply
    •  moddeur
      moddeur

      Nyanga is no playacter, it kind of hurts to be spear-tackled by a 2nd rower while your feet are off the ground. In fact Nyanga was subbed 2mn after that hit because he was in pain. You're out of your league in this particular case. But you're right about playacting in the Top14, it's rampant, and it's a growing problem (foreigners in the Top14 are increasingly doing it too).

      Reply
    •  07015678
      07015678

      Yellow. It was dangerous for sure and legs went past the 90 degree mark, but I don't think there was particularly nasty intent there. On another note, I really don't like the way that French players are play acting to the referee. I get that perhaps in this case he was in a lot of pain but too often we are seeing French players rolling around crying like footballers. It's disgusting. Rugby is a mans game, so get up and show your opposition you ain't hurt. Really disgusts me and I hope the IRB stamp it out before this disease spreads, filth.

      Reply
    •  felipeg
      felipeg

      Interesting indeed. I dont like the fuss about Michalak's come back. But is this how everyone in the south sees him? "Now Beale is a confused man playing out of position. He was out of his depth against little Frederic Michalak, a 30-year-old troubadour who was long ago discarded from international rugby."

      Reply
    •  eggman
      eggman

      http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/the-wallabies-are-england-in-disguise-there-is-no-bigger-insult-than-that-20121114-29bb0.html Article by a kiwi highlighting some of these problems. Interesting that the Kiwi's now feel sorry for the Aussies.. Can it get any worse?

      Reply
    •  eggman
      eggman

      I don't think people are complaining that the Wallabies weren't fast enough or didnt put in an effort. The problems are 1) Injuries to key players 2) Absolutely zero 1st phase attack. Whenever the Aussies were attacking they had 2 options: Pass to McCabe, who ran straight into a defender, or pass to Beale, who ran across half the field without doing anything until he got tackled. 3) Horrible scrum (some are blaming Owens for being a bit too harsh on the Aussies) 4) Robbie Deans (at least that's what everyone outside of the ARU is saying) Hope they manage to do something about that until sunday.. I really don't want to watch the Aussies lose to the English AGAIN

      Reply
    •  colombes
      colombes

      on a side note, fairplay for Nigel Owens to apologize about it

      Reply
    •  colombes
      colombes

      1- If we take in account the Warburton, Fritz or Tolofua last cases, it should have been a red card offense. Simmons tackle was cynical. But There is still a big problem with worldwide refs who don't all respect IRB recommendations (red card for tip-tackles) as they don't dare to kill a match interest; and unfortunately, when u see yellow cards given, it creates doubts in rugby fans. the ball is in IRB camp. 2- As he wasn't sent off, a 4-6 weeks ban should (unfortunately for Simmons) be welcome. but i still prefer to see an appropriate red card and a much shorter ban 3- Integrity in rugby..? Even if i admire "our" beloved sport, it would be naive to believe that rugbymen should be more honest than others. Professionalism has brought a part of strategies and mind games in rugby. But i understand the point, as rugby has this power to gather on the same pitch 2 great opposite sport images: tackles and... handshakes

      Reply
    •  katman
      katman

      There was still 15 minutes left in the game. I shudder to think what the final score could have been had Simmons been sent off.

      Reply
    •  stroudos
      stroudos

      Do cricketers still walk? I don't really follow the game but I thought that had all but disappeared now? If you want non-cheating integrity, you have to look to golf, where players actually penalise themselves!

      Reply
    •  ando
      ando

      I didn't ever hear the ref ask Moore (the acting captain) for the number of the offending player, or address the Aussie team for the offending player to step forward - he only seems to ask the assistant refs and act on the information (or lack thereof) he receives from them. I've had that happen before, where the ref has asked the captain to bring the player forward. I'm also not sure the tackle warrants the vilification Simmons is getting from a lot of the posts. It's clumsy yes, but the player lands squarely on his back (not his head) and Simmons goes to ground with him (vs. dumping/dropping him). Re. the "lateness" of it, he also had no idea the ball was long gone. I've seen a lot worse get a lot less than what the hordes are screaming for here.

      Reply
    •  adam22
      adam22

      I guess the lesson learned is that if your going to commit a card offence, do it really late. That way all the officials will be looking somewhere else.

      Reply
    •  joeythelemur
      joeythelemur

      Which is why the captain would turn up the culprit in about 5 seconds. For a red card offense, this seems a no-brainer to me. But let's face it, this situation is extremely rare; the offending party typically has all eyes on him from the moment of the incident. Not sure why that didn't happen in this case, maybe because the ball was well gone already??

      Reply
    •  unebrindille
      unebrindille

      He does follow him to the ground.... Yes... so much so that he lands full weight on Nyanga's chest....

      Reply
    •  paimoe
      paimoe

      I don't think Australia is in much of a position to start dropping players for that

      Reply
    •  pretzel
      pretzel

      Is the referee not allowed to look at the big screen? I mean there is hardly going to be any room for error, its not like the video replay that the referee would see will be in any way untrue to the incident itself.... As for the "turning yourself in" definitely a romanticised view. Of course it would be lovely to see this in some sort of honourable way... but that would mean the AB's would be without a 7 for most of their games... :P But honestly it isn't feasible, as someone mentioned, the player would then be a liability to pick for the next game, you never know what he might own up to etc... Unless of course it became a level playing field where everyone owned up to their indiscretions, or just didn't commit them... I thought the Warburton card was harsh, so in turn I think a red for this might have been harsh... but who knows nowadays...probably a 4 week ban as someone stated.

      Reply

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    • I agree that based on the warburton precedent that this should have been a red. But I agree with the previous poster that owens should have told the capt it was either him or the player.

      Reply
    •  chilldoubt
      chilldoubt

      As most tackles like that are these days, measuring that against Warburton's means this is a red all day long. Warburton let him go and immediately competed for the ball. Simmons turned him well beyond 90, didn't release him and made sure he felt his full body weight. Straight red and 4 weeks in my book.

      Reply
    •  merja
      merja

      Simmons at least owes Nyanga an apology. The tackle was clearly deliberate, as you said, it happens, heat of the moment, frustration, but it was dangerous and completely against the spirit of the game. There is no softness about it, it is against the law, period. Warburton apologised to Clerc for his semi-final red card offense, Simmons should do the same.

      Reply
    •  eggman
      eggman

      Like the commentator said "that's just silly stuff". Very lucky not to get a yellow or even a red during the game, and kinda puzzling that Owens didnt refer to the TMO to see who did the tackle. I'm expecting at least a 4 week ban. Not really a loss though since he's pretty average and hasnt shown any improvement since his first test. Just a pity that Douglas injured himself during the match and won't be available for England. Wonder who'll play instead of hm and who'll be on the bench since all the available locks seem injured or banned.

      Reply
    •  reality
      reality

      Should he have admitted it since rugby prides itself on integrity and values? I think the whole integrity and values thing in rugby is just a myth. Realistically, fair play is not on anyone's agenda, more and more people are diving on the ground pretending to be hurt by others, and nobody has ever admitted to foul play (except Scott Murray for his red card in the Six Nations that he didn't even deserve). I think the idea of a player owning up is extremely unrealistic, but I'd love to see it happen. It'd be a great advertisement for the sport, and would renew a lot of people's faith in it which has been ruined by all the eye-gouging and world cup final fixing. Especially in this case, where the result of the match is beyond any doubt, and playing innocent just serves to sour the match and people's opinion of the Australian team. Although as neilkiltie said above, the coach would probably not appreciate it at all, and you'd be putting your career at risk, which is a damning indictment of the current rugby world.

      Reply
    •  merja
      merja

      I was in the stadium, and there was no replay at all, it's an habit at Stade de France, they have huge screens but they only use them for advertising... I actually didn't realize it was so brutal until I came home and watched the highlights, so can't blame Owens on that, it happens. Simmons got lucky on the moment, but he's out of the tour for sure, not that he cares much since the season is over in the South anyway.

      Reply
    •  neilkiltie
      neilkiltie

      If, like suggested here, he would have admitted to fault DURING the game; he would have been stupid and probably dropped from the national side. Why would you ever put your team at a disadvantage deliberately! Rugby and commentators and the like are getting soft. Its genuinely sad to see people complaining so much after incidents happen nowadays. It's rugby, these things happen!

      Reply

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    Rob Simmons escapes on-field punshment for dangerous tackle on Yannick Nyanga | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos