The Wales and Fiji game on Friday wasn’t too spectacular as for whatever reason, both sides failed to hit their straps. In an uneventful game, one of the moments that stood out was this tackle that resulted in a yellow card for Seremaia Bai.
Bai, so often an integral part of the Fiji setup, was sent from the pitch for ten minutes after what was ruled as a spear, or dangerous , tackle.
He certainly lifted Brew’s legs past the horizontal and by recent rulings that alone is enough to show a player yellow, and in some cases can even result in suspension, as we saw a few months back in the Tri Nations.
If we look at it a little closer though, was this not a case of a great hit being over policed because of a technicality? By all means it looked like what we’ve all come to know as a good, solid, dump tackle. If a player’s legs happen to go up in the air at the last moment but he still lands in the same position he would have if they hadn’t, should the tackler be penalised for that?
A lot of it is about momentum and balance. If anything, Bai seemed to land more awkwardly. It certainly wasn’t a lift, twist, and drive like we’ve seen rightly penalised in recent years. Bai actually went on to kick the all important penalty for the draw later in the game, so it was quite an interesting night for him.
Technically this decision was correct and spear tackles should definitely be stamped out of the game, but do you agree that perhaps officials are told to judge on the position of the legs rather than the tackle for what it is? All opinions are welcome as I’m sure we all see it differently.