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Thursday Oct 30, 2014

Romain Taofifenua banned for three weeks for kicking Stuart Olding in the head

Romain Taofifenua banned for three weeks for kicking Stuart Olding in the head
22
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Toulon second rower Romain Taofifenua has been suspended for three weeks following an Independant Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin today. He was cited for making contact with the head of Ulster centre Stuart Olding in the Round 2 Champions Cup match.

The France capped lock could be seen competing for the ball at a ruck, and by swinging his foot forward in what appeared to be an attempt to kick it loose, he kicked Olding in the head, resulting in the centre needing medical attention.

Taofifenua was cited by match Citing Commissioner Peter Larter of England for contravening Law 10.4 (c), Kicking an opponent. A player must not kick an opponent.

The IRB Sanctions for Foul Play state that this offence carries the following entry points – Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-Range: 8 weeks; Top End: 12+ to 52 weeks.

Independant Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan, heard evidence from the offender, his club’s legal representative and from the tournament Disciplinary Officer. He determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card.

He did say however that it was at the low end of the table (4 weeks), and reduced the suspension by one week due to Taofifenua’s good conduct during the hearing. He is free to play again on Monday 17 November 2014, but has the right to appeal the decision.

Do you think 3 weeks is a bit harsh, or a fair punishment for such reckless play?

22 Comments

  • drg
    6:44 PM 04/11/2014

    The second you pull on a pair of boots with studs you know there is a risk you could cause someone serious damage... There is a chance 2 people could have the entire weight of 26 people on top of them causing serious injury or death... ..This is the game of rugby, if you don't accept the fact you could be seriously injured through legitimate non malicious play, then you shouldn't step onto the pitch. I'd imagine Olding doesn't hold any grudges, so neither should we...

    Reply
  • drg
    6:55 PM 02/11/2014

    It's not really a wanker move... Granted it's not text book, but I've created tries with my big boot by kicking through the opposition ruck. You're 'HeavyHooker'... you can't really tell me that every scrum you've gone into, and every lineout ball you've thrown has been perfect can you? This 'ruck' from Romain, could be chalked down as one of his less than perfect rucking techniques and from the bad technique he attempted to create something out of a near guaranteed lost ball... had he made contact with the ball and it gone skimming down the pitch he'd have been a master of a great bit of pressure... as it turns out he's the master of a headache...

    Reply
  • drg
    6:49 PM 02/11/2014

    Players have been getting career ending injuries since the dawn of time...

    Reply
  • drg
    6:47 PM 02/11/2014

    Very well written. I can't agree with you more about it. The only way rugby can be truly sanitized is to ban it altogether. This halfway, sort of clean sort of not thing is causing no end of problems. Players, fans and officials, have no real idea what's happening half the time or where they stand. The game is a fairly complicated one and not just for those with double figure IQ's, so these sorts of interferences are less appreciated than a bout of haemorrhoids. Letter of the law, boot to the head generally = a red, but I'd be happy to see this one result in a yellow card, or a post game yellow (something on the players record so that future offences can be weighed up). I think when you read about O'Connells effort and the rulings, it's quite shameful that it's not be copied across: "O'Connell has escaped sanction after the incident was viewed by citing commissioner Eddie Walsh to be careless and nothing more. It was decided that he was making a genuine attempt to kick the ball, and there was no deliberate intent."

    Reply
  • clearly
    11:41 PM 01/11/2014

    It was reckless not intentional and merited a red card. You have to be an idiot not to know that there was a chance of kicking someone and hopefully it gives players inclined to be this reckless second thoughts about taking those kind of actions.

    Reply
  • bunn
    1:31 PM 01/11/2014

    People can get hurt because they are tackle hard or in a legal collision, not as they played the game and someone recklessly kicked them on the floor! It's a very dangerous situation when people kicking the ball with players on the ground.

    Reply
  • bunn
    1:28 PM 01/11/2014

    It is not intentional, but you have to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions. It was dangerous play (the proof being that he hurt someone) so you have to expect sanctioning.

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    11:56 AM 01/11/2014

    I am not sure if this needs a ban for kicking a player or a red card for a wanker move. I look at the clip from the 30 - 35 second mark I see Romain has been cleared off the ball, he is on his back foot, cannot see the ball or the player, his position is in line with head and ball and still he panic kicks. This is the sort of thing I see at the U12 and 14 levels when kids simply kick blindly at a ball. I say a one week just for being an idiot. I am also trying to figure out why the tackler did not get a penalty for not releasing Olding? On a teaching point, a great example of good offensive rucking and why you don't go into a ruck standing up.

    Reply
  • bloblabli
    2:38 AM 01/11/2014

    that is a dumb comment! We are playing rugby! sometimes people gonna get hurt that's the game. You just can not put player's welfare above all else or then you must remove all tackles then simulate set pieces such as the scrums, the line out... and before you know it we will be playing touch rugby. no, thank you very much but not for me! I'm not saying player's welfare isn't important but let's be realistic the IRB has basicaly removed all unecessary danger out of the game (aerial competition, tip tackles, scrum laws....) please please i'm begging you stop this weak nonsense. He was contesting a breakdown within the law and accidentely hurt another player. no big deal let's move on. the guy has just been a bit knocked out, no life threatenning or career ending injury no big deal, no need for cards or bans. let's move on.

    Reply
  • friedrich
    6:17 AM 31/10/2014

    So lovely to see these bans. Just a ridiculous attempt from a pro player to cause injury. Ya know what I mean, rugby has go so cleaned up that pro players in their sponsored polluted tight fitting polyester shirts are having to do fiffi kicks to someone's head making us believe he went for the ball. Nice job random replaceable mercenary in Toulon's squad. Thanks for your valuable input in rugby.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    1:32 AM 31/10/2014

    I think he is saying that the outcome, not the intention determines punishment. I agree with that sentiment. Next to substitutions the refs' use of yellow and red cards and the multi-game bans that follow them has been the worst change in rugby in 20 years.

    Reply
  • 11:37 PM 30/10/2014

    Completely agree, player welfare above all else. this was extremely reckless and ended up in injury, has to be punished.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    10:01 PM 30/10/2014

    Very harsh. It was a bit clumsy, but he's clearly trying to kick the ball and make a nuisance of himself at the ruck, there is no malice in this. Probably a penalty, but nothing more needed.

    Reply
  • moqxo
    9:15 PM 30/10/2014

    It is clearly unintentional, he can't see anything since the rucking player hides the ball from him. It is at most careless. When I see the action were O'Connell were he clearly sees the player's head and kick nonetheless, I cannot understand how he got away with no suspension at all while Taofifenua gets 3 weeks. It was clear at the time that O'Connell was being 'protected' to prevent him from missing Ireland's VI nations games... images speak for themselves

    Reply
  • vladimir
    9:01 PM 30/10/2014

    You forgot one crucial detail, which explains the 'aggravating circumstances' in the eyes of the IRB: he is french! Not playing the persecution card here, but truth is french players do take more frequent and much longer bans than any other country.

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    8:54 PM 30/10/2014

    So here we have a forward, disgruntled at the fact he hit the ruck too high and has someone under him, trying to kick through at a ball in a last ditch effort before he is cleared out. At the bottom of the ruck we have a player trying to roll back and place the ball, somewhere in between the paths crossed. Clumsy from Taofifenua, unfortunate for Olding. These things happen, it is nobodies fault, when you have 3 or 4 forwards performing judo throws on each other to clear bodies, i'm surprised this isn't a more frequent occurrence. How many of us who have played the game can put our hands up and say we have never taken a boot to the head, accidental or otherwise, when buried in a ruck? I don't think it is worthy of 3 weeks, 1 week at most for being a crap footballer. It seems like an extreme reaction, next there will be meetings about law changes saying you can't kick through to ensure the safety of the players on the deck. I am by all means backing player safety, but as i keep going on... this is rugby. Very large people run at each other very fast, the rulebook is thicker than most front row's necks, and tries to make sense and order of what is essentially controlled and focussed violence. You are not taught to tackle a player, you are taught to smash them so hard they think twice about being within 10ft of you. Watch the best opensides, hands in faces, headlock clear outs, knees in the ribs of tackled players to keep them on their feet etc. I don't condone cheating, but you see it every single week. I suppose what I am saying is that compared to 90% of other ruck based infringements, the first honest mistake this season has been given a lengthy ban. That is of course if this was an accident. If it was a 'deliberate accident', he deserves an Oscar for making it look so real.

    Reply
  • bokskick
    8:18 PM 30/10/2014

    First off, rugby has laws not rules - a small but important difference. You are also hopelessly wrong on all three of your assertions.

    Reply
  • ferg
    8:15 PM 30/10/2014

    On the O'Connell one I don't think it was quiet as bad as he actually made contact with the ball but I do agree a yellow or a ban would have been warranted.

    Reply
  • ferg
    8:10 PM 30/10/2014

    To me it is reckless and warranted a yellow at the time and when there is no punishment at the time a longer suspension is appropriate as the offending player and club should be impacted by reckless acts (although such is Toulon's squad they will hardly miss him) - the player hopefully learns to be less reckless in swinging his boots around players heads.

    Reply
  • ronan
    8:07 PM 30/10/2014

    How did paul oconnell get away with this one??? http://www.rugbydump.com/2013/04/3135/paul-oconnell-knocks-out-dave-kearney-with-clumsy-kick-to-the-head

    Reply
  • cheyanqui
    7:39 PM 30/10/2014

    IMHO, if you use your feet, you take the risk. Just like these guys kicking a scrumhalf's hands. But this seems more clumsy than malicious - a one week ban would suffice. The extra two weeks are for aggravating circumstance of having more vowels than consonants in his surname: 6V - 4C = 2 weeks

    Reply
  • 7:24 PM 30/10/2014

    So what is essentially being said by the IRB is that if you're playing within the laws and accidentally injure somebody then you deserve a 3 week ban. The sooner this nonsense gets stopped the better in my opinion, the whole thing has gone beyond a joke. How about a system whereby if a club feels foul play has been committed on their player during a game they can refer the incident to be investigated, as opposed to somebody sniffing around for an excuse to justify their salary (the current system). This would mean on the balance of things most clubs wouldn't bother referring things like this because they know what goes around comes around and if they report this, the next week it may be their player on the receiving end of IRB insanity. When there is serious foul play, e.g. gouging then they would obviously refer the incident. The current system has no benefits other than to the IRB's employees who're have a contrived job.

    Reply


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