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Tuesday Feb 20, 2018

Romania's dangerous high tackle that helped Spain to an upset victory

Romania's dangerous high tackle that helped Spain to an upset victory

Spain beat Romania 22-10 in the Rugby Europe Championship to find themselves in pole position for Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification. Their task was helped early on when Romania lost a man to the sin-bin thanks to this reckless tackle.

The loss to Spain cost Romania a place in the World Rugby Rankings, as they swap places with Samoa, who move up to 15th, leaving Romania in 16th. Spain, who picked up the win, remain in 19th position but have closed their position behind Uruguay ever so slightly.

It was Spain’s first loss over Romania in six years, leaving them in a strong position to qualify for RWC 2019 and join Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the Play-Off Winner in Pool A.

They were helped in the very first minute in Madrid by Romanian winger Fonovai Tangimana, who was yellow carded for this high shot on Spain fullback Charlie Malie.

The referee had little option but to send him to the sin-bin, giving the hosts the temporary advantage.

Spain’s next two RWC 2019 qualifiers are at home against Germany on March 11, and Belgium in Brussels on March 18. The winner of the pool will face the World Cup hosts to open the tournament, so it looks very likely that it will be Japan vs Spain as the grand opener next year.

It will be Spain’s first time back in the showpiece tournament since 1999.

credit: habi aftabi


  • pgrugby
    5:17 AM 23/02/2018

    I think he said there was speed as he made contact with the neck, even if the player coming in was low. He definitely said speed, neck and the player who got hit was low, not sure whether that other word is contact. That does sum up why he gave the yellow card, contact with the neck - high tackle - yellow. But he didn't see the contact with the head so no red. Why speed? I'm thinking something along the lines of if it had been a bit of incidental contact that was awkward with the neck at that point only a penalty? At the extreme reach up and slowly tapping someone on the top of their head after the play has stopped wouldn't be a red card even if you have made contact with the head!

  • flanker2712
    2:01 AM 22/02/2018

    Good point about not appearing to have TMO or the benefit of replays and therefore probably more reluctant to give a red. Can someone explain what he says to the player as he shows him the card. I think I get that he says he agrees the player was low, but that the tackle was very fast and very high. High OK, but since when was tackling fast an offence? Does he mean the arm as opposed to the tackle?

  • the_osprey
    8:52 PM 21/02/2018

    Very lucky to get a yellow for that these days

  • ruckinmaul
    1:17 PM 21/02/2018

    Eastmond is worse because of swinging forearm to the head which looks more worse and he did it twice in a row, but this one is contact with the bicep. I can totally understand why some are calling the Romanians to be red carded as it is what stated in the law.

  • pgrugby
    1:57 AM 21/02/2018

    Doesn't look/sounds like had a TMO. At full speed my first impression was that he'd hit the shoulder and then slid up and made contact with the head = yellow. With a TMO and endless slow motion replays I would think it would have been be a red as he did make initial direct contact with the head. You can hear him go and ask the touch judge in French, "yellow card?" and get an immediate "yellow card!" back. A referee having only seen it in full speed and, in my opinion, possibly not certain it was a direct blow to the head would go for the yellow rather than the red. Especially at the start of the match. It would be a big call to give a red that early in the match for that tackle when you've only seen it at high speed.

  • 3:20 PM 20/02/2018

    Duck into the tackle? It looks notoriusly high to me in the style of many a Pacific Island tackle by the Tongan/Romanian. as the law stands today a definite yellow.

  • colombes
    2:48 PM 20/02/2018

    I would say Eastmond was sent-off for his whole masterpiece. On this case, the spanish player seems to duck in the tackle, maybe explaining the yellow card decision. Anyway, head-contact tackles decisions are more and more strange.

  • moo
    1:34 PM 20/02/2018

    Isn't this basically the same as Eastmond's red the other day? Or did both of his tackles count as a yellow each?


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