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Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Tevita Kuridrani receives five week suspension for dangerous tackle

Tevita Kuridrani receives five week suspension for dangerous tackle
31
Comments

While the Wallabies are winning matches again, discipline is costing them as they not only internally banned some of their players, but now centre Tevita Kuridrani has been suspended for five matches for the tip-tackle he made against Ireland at the weekend.

The Wallabies were convincing winners in Dublin but in the last ten minutes Kuridrani was red carded for what could be described as a silly, innocuous lifting tackle. These days the law states that it’s a red card, which didn’t affect the match, but he will also sit out the rest of the tour.

Kuridrani was charged under Law 10.4(j) which states ‘Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst the player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.’

The tackle was deemed to be a mid-range offence (8 weeks). An extra week was added as a deterrent, but it was then reduced by four due to the player’s previous good record, and no doubt the fact that he wasn’t the only player involved in the tackle.

Barring a successful appeal, he will miss their upcoming matches against Scotland and Wales.

“We put a lot of effort into that, because we thought we had a pretty good case,” said coach Ewen McKenzie after the disciplinary hearing, stating that they will probably appeal if they have can.

“We went through it frame by frame for some time. It didn’t look great in real time, but when you go through all the elements, there were other people involved in the tackle, we presented a good case I thought but didn’t get the outcome we wanted.

“He’s available for Super Rugby, that’s the upside, but at the same token he’s got that sitting on his record, so if there was a next time your starting point is way down the track. I’m fully aware of other situations of guys who’ve had multiple situations and got lesser outcomes.

“I feel for him at the moment. You look at like for like, that was part of our case, some of the other judgements that have been passed down,” he added. 

Wallaby team to face Scotland:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Christian Leali’ifano, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nic White, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Bernard Foley.

Do you think a five week ban is a fair ruling, or was the Red Card sufficient?

31 Comments

  • kadova
    12:43 AM 26/11/2013

    I was surprised that Maestri (i think it's the one you're thinking about) got nothing, and then i realised most of his punches were in the air. Although i believe he should get a few weeks anyway, maybe his tears made the commission forgiving ?

    Reply
  • drg
    7:19 PM 24/11/2013

    I'm sort of in the boat of "this one isn't that bad" and I know the game in someways can't be policed with a "what if?" attitude, however there are plenty of folks around asking for facts or figures of players breaking necks in tip/spear tackles. The only concern here is whilst we're all probably unaware of broken necks due to spear tackles, is it necessary for there to BE one before there is any actions taken? I'd imagine it'd be a tough pill to swallow sitting in a wheel chair hearing that NOW because you got your neck broken, the IRB is going to do something to stop it happening to anyone else??? @Browner, you neglected to mention if that player broke his back as a result of a spear tackle. I know one player/friend who broke his neck in a scrum (fortunately he is "fine", however he refuses to play any contact again and coaches), then we have one of the Scottish brothers who broke his neck, again not as a result of a tip/spear tackle etc...

    Reply
  • drg
    7:10 PM 24/11/2013

    I think we're both sort of agreeing here. Referees 'either need to have total control of the game at their own discretion without any retribution from fans/governing bodies etc, or the laws need to be tighter than a ducks arse and referees' made to enforce the laws to the letter. See a tackle like this was reckless, (lifting a players legs, where do we honestly think his head is going to go) however, imo if the game was left to the referees' to control then I'd be happy with a yellow. However the laws are somewhat wishy washy, enforced by some officials to the letter, allowed to flow and remain slightly grey by others. So one week this tackle gets nothing on the pitch and a 20 weeks ban after, and the next week a red card on the pitch and a smaller ban.. (although I know 5 weeks isn't small)..

    Reply
  • browner
    5:37 PM 24/11/2013

    You Pirates Rugby are an apologist for deliberate foul play. I've just travelled back from a premiership match and had a chat on the train with a ex-rugby player in a wheelchair, broken back caused during a match ...... you look him in the eye and tell him that taking someones feet up in the air "without a damn good reason" is justified. The rugby lawmakers say it's not, officials must do likewise & you me ol pirate must move into modern times, this sport is unrecognisable from the one that our parents played. The Law is clear, Read Heed Comply or Goodbye.

    Reply
  • matt
    5:14 PM 24/11/2013

    I agree that the refs hands are tied, and I don't really have a problem with them having made the decision to follow the rules. My problem is that this is not the type of incident that that set of rules was introduced to prevent. That Tom James clip is interesting, and illustrates the issue about outcomes not being relevant, but James did at some stage make the decision to headbutt Azam (however lightly). It was a deliberate act, where as this tackle looks to me to just be a combination of confusion, poor timing and a complicated group of men fighting.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:26 PM 22/11/2013

    In answer to your question Matt, yes and no. Plenty of incidents in the past have been judged by the letter of the law with no thought into intent, and have sadly (and in my opinion wrongly) resulted in things like red cards. See Tom James headbutt for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rJrZdhtJQ4 The referee's hands are tied etc so I can't blame him. Then you have other incidents as you mentioned the Hore incident which ends up with the same ban as this particular incident. I personally, don't feel Kuridrani was trying to break the guy, I suppose he was probably attempting to stop a maul by grabbing the guys legs/ However lifting them that high in the air doesn't give the player many options other than to go head/shoulder/neck first into the ground...

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    11:16 AM 22/11/2013

    I have said this before on this site about those who moan at the "new rules", go start a new league called the RRF (Real Rugby Federation) and allow dump tackles, spears, head shots, straight arms, no wrap, rucking, stomping, racking, punch-ups and slap downs. Everyone says the sport is bigger, faster, stronger than even ten years ago when someone over 6'3" was an oddity. Now, we have 6'1"+ as a norm and the size and strength is exponential. One day a hit like this will go very bad and it will be to a "smaller" player and that is not the time to say Oops, our bad." This was a stupid play by a professional who knows better with no need to do what he did. The real time play shows he had no intention of helping this guy to the ground the way he flipped the leg up. The card was warranted and I see the ban as signal to those less smart and skilled but equally strong that this will not be tolerated. Rugby isn't what is use to be, but then again no sport is, so just accept the fact that the rules will not change and debate the call, not the "In my days."

    Reply
  • matt
    10:47 AM 22/11/2013

    Does that seem right to you though? Because in every other part of life outcome and intent have a massive bearing on the penalty imposed on you for your actions.

    Reply
  • stubby
    4:25 AM 22/11/2013

    I would have been happy with just the red. It was stupid to lift the leg that high into the air. It also looked Green 6 was being held up a little so as not to drop him on his head but by who... Careless but not malicious. He should have gone to say sorry and shake hands = instant reduction of ban. Or did I miss that?

    Reply
  • drg
    10:33 PM 21/11/2013

    Other thing is though, outcome (injury wise) and intent have no bearing.

    Reply
  • themull
    9:57 PM 21/11/2013

    Definitely agree...The IRB needs to update the rules drastically in terms of differentiating between different offences and differing levels of the same offence..

    Reply
  • matt
    5:33 PM 21/11/2013

    Under the rules the red card might be correct, but it still seems like nonsense to me to red him and then ban him as well. I'm all for player safety and ensuring we don't have a repeat of the BOD in 2005 incident, but there needs to be some common sense engaged to differentiate between what is malicious, what is careless and dangerous, what is careless and not dangerous, and what is just an error of timing or judgement that wasn't dangerous. Red him, ban him, hang him for all I care, but afterwards have a look at the rules and get rid of this cold, one rule fits all approach and put something in place that reflects the complexity of the game and this type of situation.

    Reply
  • matt
    5:28 PM 21/11/2013

    I get that this has the potential to be dangerous, but does the law really need to be this stringent? It was a stupid and poorley executed tackle, but it was in all likelihood an accident and had no consequences, is a straight red really necessary for an accident that had no repercussions? And then a 5 week ban? When they gave Hore the same thing for this seems ridiculous http://www.rugbydump.com/2012/11/2886/andrew-hore-cited-for-off-the-ball-stiffarm-on-bradley-davies

    Reply
  • pedro
    3:24 PM 21/11/2013

    http://www.rugbydump.com/2010/09/1629/fritz-lee-sees-red-as-he-almost-takes-luke-hamiltons-head-off

    Reply
  • drg
    3:00 PM 21/11/2013

    Thats the problem, dump tackles were fine, spear tackles were never fine, but slowly that line between the two has blurred and they're becoming one and the same...

    Reply
  • drg
    2:57 PM 21/11/2013

    No one said he was, but lifting legs up can only mean one of two things; 1: The player snaps because he body can't naturally bend that way, or 2: The player goes head down into the ground because his body can't naturally bend that way so the only plausible thing to do is go head first..... t'isn't rocket science...

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:52 PM 21/11/2013

    @Finedisregard Spear tackling, as far as I know, has always been illegal. The tip-tackle is its less serious but still dangerous cousin. No question at all that IRB have feeling their way around the punishment regime for tip-tackles, but they started getting serious about it around 5 years ago, and their intent I think is generally supported. Certainly there have been some very marginal calls in that period. This one wasn't.

    Reply
  • 1:47 PM 21/11/2013

    Spot on. As I've said go back and watch some of the TSRB (when is the next one coming by the way!) and the majority of these tackles, which we all think are wonderful, would today be considered illegal and result in a ban - think about Tindall's tackle on Gregan in the WC Final. Great hit but the 'nanny' rugby fans would today call for him to be banned for 8 weeks.

    Reply
  • 1:44 PM 21/11/2013

    He doesn't get driven anywhere. He does go vertical but he's not driven dangerously into the ground and if anything gently lands on his front - his arm is the first thing to hit the ground. He lands like this because Kuridrani does his best to bring his leg back down resulting in the "gentle" landing. With most dangerous tip tackle the players leg is usually driven down in force on head/shoulder. Kuridrani actually falls over backwards in an attempt to bring the leg down. Agree lifting a player is just totally stupid in this day and age and not worth the risk but to red card the player and then ban him extreme. A yellow card and penalty would have been fair.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    1:37 PM 21/11/2013

    How many games have you seen spoiled because of dump tackles? I think softies changing the laws every season for mothers in tv audiences are spoiling the game, not overzealous tacklers.

    Reply
  • conman
    1:36 PM 21/11/2013

    You have to look at the actual judgement in each case to understand what the ruling is, people focus too much on the final number. It was deemed to be a mid range offence = 8 weeks. This seems correct to me. One week was added for aggrivating factors (deterent to others). 4 weeks were deducted for mitigating factors (previous good record). All judgements follow this format and if you follow that you'll see that judgements are actually relatively uniform, at least allowing for individual interpretations. I think in this instance they got it about right. It is a mid range offence, it's pretty much the definition of a tip tackle which is minimum mid range but not an upper range offence as he didn't drive him into the ground and no injury occured, plus there was a secondary tackler to consider.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    1:34 PM 21/11/2013

    It's not like he kicked somebody in the head. The guy lifted a leg up. It doesn't make him a murderer.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    1:33 PM 21/11/2013

    You guys do realize that tip/dump tackling was legal in rugby before 2003 right? There weren't a rash of spinal injuries back then either. Dumping a player isn't tantamount to scratching their eyes or kicking them in the junk. Whenever I got dumped my coach would tell me to run lower. There has never been tackle in the history of rugby union that deserves a 5 week ban.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    1:29 PM 21/11/2013

    Spicksandspecks nails it. It's impossible to figure out what sort of consistency is applied to these situations. I don't there can be any complaint about the red card, the only real debate should be over the length of the ban. Is 5 weeks fair? No idea. What's pretty strange though is RD's describing this as an "innocuous lifting tackle". Sorry, that's wrong, it was incredibly stupid and potentially dangerous. If Kuridrani was not trying to tip the Irish player, then can anyone explain what he was doing? The issue about other people being involved in the tackle, seems any lifting by Matt Toomua was not caused by him, but is a result of Kuridrani tipping the bloke over. So not sure what McKenzie was on about there.

    Reply
  • xxxwookie
    1:10 PM 21/11/2013

    Under the laws, Lifting somebody through the horizontal is a penalty. Bringing them to ground such that their head or shoulders come into contact first is a yellow. Driving into the ground or dropping them is a red. 12 comes in on the tackle and keeps a leg to bring the player to the ground. 13 proceeds to take the other leg and lift, ensuring the player moves through the horizontal. He continues to hold the leg driving the head into the ground. Dangerous, red card ban followed up approprietly.

    Reply
  • 12:45 PM 21/11/2013

    By the looks of things it's just me but I don't think it was even a red card. And therefore to ban him is very harsh.

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    12:01 PM 21/11/2013

    Pisi got five or six weeks for something similar two weeks ago, they seem to be really cracking down on it this series. Five weeks is harsh, I reckon. And Masteri gets nothing?! 'No tip tackles at the weekend, boys. Punch on as much as you like though!'

    Reply
  • colombes
    11:33 AM 21/11/2013

    not that bad, but still dangerous for the player, so deserved red card

    Reply
  • richb147
    11:18 AM 21/11/2013

    the fact that he tipped the player and drove him into the ground was dangerous. players are responsible for their own actions. he knew it was dangerous but did it anyway. even in the heat of battle should still have control. yes the ban was a correct punishment. hopefully stop other players doing it. spoils the best game in the world.

    Reply
  • stereo_mike
    11:10 AM 21/11/2013

    it probably wasnt that bad (as far as tip tackles go) but the red card and the ban are there as a warning for any players that fancy doing it in the future

    Reply
  • spicksandspecks
    11:09 AM 21/11/2013

    The issue here is not whether or not he deserved a red card and a suspension. He did - as a Wallabies fan, even I can acknowledge that. The issue is consistency with other judgments for tip tackles, especially where other players were involved in the tackle. - Sam Warburton got 3 weeks for his RWC tip tackle that where no one else was involved. - Toby Flood got off for his tackle on Andy Goode because his claim that others were involved in the tackle was accepted. - Digby Ioane got 5 weeks for a tip tackle on his own and already had previous citings. Kuridrani had a clean record and Matt Toomua had already lifted the player. Fair enough for the red card and a suspension but we need consistent penalties not the lucky dip that's going on at the moment.

    Reply


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