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Wednesday Nov 23, 2016

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban
25
Comments

Last night All Blacks Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa attended disciplinary hearings in London for incidents that took place during the fiery Test against Ireland in Dublin. Full details and videos are listed below, but Cane was cleared and Fekitoa picked up a one week ban.

There has been plenty of discussion about both incidents, namely on the post we added yesterday that talks about if the All Blacks are a dirty team or not. Head on over there for an interesting read or of course you can feel free to pick up on the discussion here.

Sam Cane Tackle on Robbie Henshaw

Sam Cane appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee (appointed by World Rugby), having been cited by an independent Citing Commissioner (appointed by World Rugby) for allegedly tackling an opponent dangerously in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).

Mr Cane did not accept that he had committed an act of foul play.
 
The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Antony Davies (England), alongside Derek Bevan (Wales) and John Doubleday (England), having viewed video footage of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from and on behalf of the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence.

They concluded that Mr Cane’s actions had been accidental and that he had not therefore committed an act of foul play. The citing complaint was not upheld and Mr Cane is therefore free to resume playing immediately.

Malakai Fekitoa – Tackle on Simon Zebo

Malakai Fekitoa appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee (appointed by World Rugby), having been cited by an independent Citing Commissioner (appointed by World Rugby) for an allegedly dangerous tackle in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).

Mr Fekitoa accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but asserted that it would not have warranted a red card.
 
The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Antony Davies (England), alongside Derek Bevan (Wales) and John Doubleday (England), viewed video footage of the incident, listened to evidence and representations from and on behalf of the player, and reviewed all of the other evidence.

The Disciplinary Committee found that Mr Fekitoa’s actions would have warranted a red card, albeit that he had acted recklessly rather than intentionally.

When considering sanction, the Disciplinary Committee concluded that the offending merited a low-end entry point based on World Rugby’s scale of seriousness, which carries a two-week playing suspension.

The Disciplinary Committee further found that there were no aggravating factors and that there were a number of mitigating factors (including Mr Fekitoa’s immediate acknowledgement of wrongdoing, his previous clean disciplinary record and his good conduct at the hearing) such that his playing suspension be reduced to one week.
 
Mr Fekitoa is therefore suspended from playing rugby for a total of one week, up to and including Sunday 27 November 2016.

Following the results of the hearings, there have been further discussions from New Zealand, with Jeff Wilson and Ian Jones stating that they don’t feel the ‘All Blacks are dirty’ feeling is fair.

“The All Blacks play rugby on the edge.. They go into a game with a physicality that is needed in a contact sport,” said former New Zealand lock Jones on The Breakdown

“They go in there with a mental toughness to take everything to where they have to. They don’t do anything reckless to win at all costs, but they put their bodies on the line to win at all costs. I’m astounded by the accusations.”

25 Comments

  • jonnyenglish
    12:47 PM 28/11/2016

    I just appreciate the chance to like what you say twice.

    Reply
  • oldflyhalf
    3:32 PM 26/11/2016

    You're right, Fekitoa's attack is downright an attempted homicide. Without question! Fekitoa should be arrested immediately.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:53 PM 26/11/2016

    Pretty much what the game already has, and in different elements of it (punching etc), it just doesn't get applied in the same manner and players continue to do what they do regardless of the laws ...

    Reply
  • 9:40 PM 25/11/2016

    Totally with you on this DrG. Glad to see some common sense regarding Cane on here from a neutral perspective.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:15 AM 25/11/2016

    I like your thinking Gonzoman, I just struggle to hold Cane at fault in this incident... I can only say that to me this rates JUST above Cane getting a sneezing fit, standing still and having Henshaw run face first into Canes shoulder and Cane going "ooh, I'll wrap that"... I mean knee to the head is red? What if Cane went in, Henshaw trips and lands conk to knee... Cant blame Came for that either... Perhaps you don't view it as quite as accidental as I do (which you're totally entitled to do imo), but I just can't see fault here when it really looked like Cane was caught off guard by the spin. Another example is dummy runners complaining if they get tackled, you convince someone, or trick someone with a dummy run, a step, a spin and all of a sudden it's a different situation to the one the defender planned.... Of course the grey area is "ooops refff it woz n axident"... But perhaps that is where the referee has to earn his pennies and put his own spin on it.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    8:02 PM 24/11/2016

    De Villiers' reaction in that game to Tuilagi's attempt at decapitating him is one of the classiest things I have ever seen on a rugby pitch.

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    7:46 PM 24/11/2016

    Hi DrG, I guess it comes down to the intent behind the law. For me, the law dealing with high tackles exists not just to punish tackles above the shoulders, but to discourage them. If I know that I'll cost my team if I break the law, I will actively try to avoid breaking it. If the law is enforced strictly, regardless of whether it was an accident, or hit low and slid up, etc. then players will approach tackling differently. Here's are two examples of different approaches: 1 - I know that not all high tackles are called, and that I will probably not have to deal with a ban for one. When approaching a tackle, I aim at the player's chest because that's where I can get the biggest bang, and because it's more convenient for me to aim higher when I'm running cross-field. Therefore, I start from a running position and don't adjust until I have to. 2 - I know that high tackles are dealt with strictly, both by the referee and the citing commissioner. When approaching a tackle, I aim for the shorts to make sure I avoid coming in too high and being penalized/sent off/banned. Therefore, as soon as I get within a few meters of the player I will tackle, I am low and ready to make the hit safely. In the past number of years, I've refereed a lot of rugby games at all sorts of levels, and have found that being strict and consistent with high tackles of all kinds is the most effective way to avoid them and, ironically, to reduce overall penalty count. Penalize the first 1-3 and make it clear you'll have none of it, and the players will adjust and 'keep it down'. Helps to cut down on the number of dust-ups too...

    Reply
  • gonzoman
    7:27 PM 24/11/2016

    Oh, I know it's there at every hearing - it's actually written into the directives for disciplinary committees (see World Rugby's Regulation 17.19.5 - Mitigating Factors). I just find it incredibly ridiculous that a group of otherwise intelligent adults thought that saying please and being polite was grounds for reducing a ban - where I'm from it's the bare minimum to avoid a smack from one or more older family members! I can just see the thought process: "well, he came in and sat down in that chair without punching anyone, he didn't drop a single F-bomb the entire hearing, and I even think I heard him call me 'sir' once...what a good lad, let's reduce his ban to one week."

    Reply
  • drg
    3:47 PM 24/11/2016

    Bloody is, seems to happen on every post at the moment.... Perhaps I feel my words are so full of wisdom that I should post them twice.... ...either that or I like pushing up the comment count to make this seem more active ;)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:47 PM 24/11/2016

    It's not victimisation syndrome if it actually plays out that way. Watch this space...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:44 PM 24/11/2016

    It does indeed and every time it's mentioned it sounds more ridiculous. However, the unofficial but universally-applied rule that an early apology on Twitter produces an immediate halving of the sanction is one that I'm sure we can all get behind.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    10:58 AM 24/11/2016

    I wish someone would grab me in an indecent manner. I've been married 10 years.

    Reply
  • jonnyenglish
    9:29 AM 24/11/2016

    Crikey DrG, is there an Echo in here?

    Reply
  • jonnyenglish
    9:27 AM 24/11/2016

    Yeah it does seem a bit odd. I think rulings like this are pretty detrimental to the sport. If they had said "No we don't care it's an accident, you took the risk you pay the price - here's a X week ban" it might actually start to reverse the trend of tackling players around the chest not the midriff. Just my two pence.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:45 AM 24/11/2016

    Well I'd go pretty mental if someone grabbed me in an indecent manner...

    Reply
  • joeythelemur
    1:30 AM 24/11/2016

    Ah yes, the Strauss ball grab game. Just brutal all around.

    Reply
  • jeri
    11:07 PM 23/11/2016

    I can't help but imagine the amount of nuclear meltdown we'd see on the media had the Irish played South Africa instead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYmmtJSRE2E

    Reply
  • benny
    9:44 PM 23/11/2016

    I agree with you on the conduct thing but you do know that it applies to every WR hearing right?

    Reply
  • drg
    9:11 PM 23/11/2016

    I think as a player and a fan, I think the Same Cane verdict is a sensible one...whether it follows the laws and directives issued is another matter I guess.... I do find it hard to see why he should be punished when Henshaw clearly stepped into Cane.... If we play the scenario out and Henshaw doesn't spin, then Cane drops a bit lower and smashes him.... Good tackle... But in this instance Henshaw spins and run into Canes shoulder... I don't think there was anything either player could have done to avoid a collision after the spin... That being said, ignoring the black shirts and green shirts and country flags, if a tackler does this in a future game, is it ok? Does it contradict any directives issued by WR? Or is it allowed as a freak accident because they can and will happen?

    Reply
  • drg
    9:10 PM 23/11/2016

    I think as a player and a fan, I think the Same Cane verdict is a sensible one...whether it follows the laws and directives issued is another matter I guess.... I do find it hard to see why he should be punished when Henshaw clearly stepped into Cane.... If we play the scenario out and Henshaw doesn't spin, then Cane drops a bit lower and smashes him.... Good tackle... But in this instance Henshaw spins and run into Canes shoulder... I don't think there was anything either player could have done to avoid a collision after the spin... That being said, ignoring the black shirts and green shirts and country flags, if a tackler does this in a future game, is it ok? Does it contradict any directives issued by WR? Or is it allowed as a freak accident because they can and will happen?

    Reply
  • colombes
    8:59 PM 23/11/2016

    I guess new IRB rules will be applicated when a french player will decapitate an All Blacks this weekend. Yep, victimisation syndrome.

    Reply
  • moo
    4:42 PM 23/11/2016

    Top trolling DK! (gets popcorn...)

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:39 PM 23/11/2016

    They were pretty filthy for much of the match. Lucky not to lose more players for longer.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    3:36 PM 23/11/2016

    He didn't see it. He was told by the TMO that there was clear grounding, and he obviously found it hard to believe because he asked again, but was told clearly by the TMO that clear grounding was visible.

    Reply
  • stalhandske
    2:55 PM 23/11/2016

    IMHO shoul've been a yellow to Cane and a red to Fekitoa so right decisions from the disciplinary. Ref Peyper had just one of those days. Can't understand how he saw the grounding in the 2nd AB try but not the blatant high tackle from Sexton.

    Reply


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