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Wednesday Oct 18, 2017

Suspension down under shows that recklessness will always be punished

Suspension down under shows that recklessness will always be punished

Sydney Rays flanker Gareth Bautz has been suspended for three weeks following the red card he picked up during the NRC Round 7 match against the Canberra Vikings at the weekend. Bautz showed remorse immediately but will still sit out for the next few weeks.

Bautz planted his feet to make the dominant tackle on Wharenui Hawera, but lifted and drove him into the ground, with Hawera only saved from injury due to getting his arms out in front.

Referee Jordan Way saw it that way and was clear with his decision, one that Bautz accepted.

A National Rugby Championship (NRC) judicial hearing in Sydney saw the flanker plead guilty to contravening Law 10.4 (j) ‘Lifting a player from the ground and either dropping or driving that player’s head and/or upper body into the ground whilst the player’s feet are off the ground.’

Judicial Officer Steve Hardy found that the conduct was in the low end for this offence and as a result, Bautz has been suspended for three weeks.

Judging by the reactions all round, this was another case of bad tackle execution leading to a dangerous situation, and it showed that regardless of your intent, you must take into account the other player’s welfare and make sure that you bring him to ground safely.

The lifting and physical dominance may have been okay initially, but twisting and driving to ground is a textbook example of how not to tackle in 2017.

We saw it done correctly – albeit controversially – on the same weekend when Owen Farrell dumped Ben Foden, even if that did lead to a big scuffle.


  • finedisregard
    11:57 PM 19/10/2017

    Nothing nasty here. I wish rugby could go back to the laws of about 1996 before the ref became the most important person the field. That referee should still be playing not blowing the whistle.

  • drg
    8:41 PM 18/10/2017

    See...this is one of the tackles I can see as a potential red/yellow... Farrells' was what we 'old' (in my 20's here) men call a dump tackle... Credit to the flanker, realised he ballsed up, said sorry all round and took his punishment without complaint! As for the title, not entirely sure I am convinced considering that incident where that bloke that recently got KO'd because he apparently 'dropped his chin at the last moment' didn't have an oppo player punished...I'm not convinced... Either way....card seems to fit the crime in this scenario - to some respect...not sure I like the referees using "what it's" but either way, done is done...

  • reality
    2:57 PM 18/10/2017

    Red for the tackle, another red for crap play by the ball-carrier. If the guy in front of your is bigger than you and is ready for the tackle, go around him.


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