Thursday Dec 29, 2016 Tusi Pisi sees red for in the air challenge during breakthrough Bristol win

Tusi Pisi sees red for in the air challenge during breakthrough Bristol win
32
Comments

Bristol finally picked up their first Aviva Premiership win of the season, beating relegation rivals Worcester 28-20, but had to do so with 14-men after Tusi Pisi was sent off.

While chasing an up-and-under from Billy Searle, Pisi went to challenge Worcester’s Jamie Shillcock for the ball. Pisi was out-jumped in the contest and carelessly took out Shillcock in the air, leaving the fly-half to land heavily on his back.

Referee Wayne Barnes acknowledged that while there was no intent from Pisi, who was clearly aiming to catch the ball, the recklessness of the challenge and the fact Shillcock landed dangerously meant it was worthy of a straight red card.

To many, this latest “letter of the law” decision is testament of World Rugby further sanitising the sport. But it must be remembered that the governing body is taking player welfare much more seriously, and will sanction incidents such as this one according to the written law.

The “outcome based” decision will no doubt continue to frustrate rugby fans across the world when no clear intent is demonstrated. Whether the rule goes too far is a debate likely to be had between the unions and World Rugby.

What do you think of the incident and the “outcome based decisions”?


32 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    Probably come under the 'cous cous eaters guide to dangerous rugby' playlist....

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Ah yes, SuperGav! Here is a more recent example - first try of this compilation. You may particularly enjoy it as it's finished off by one of the smallest blokes I've seen in professional rugby (in the modern era at least). When I first saw the number 8 steaming through to collect this kick, my immediate reaction was "Huh? He didn't jump!" http://www.rugbydump.com/2016/12/5496/five-outstanding-tries-from-week-13-of-the-top-14

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Trysavers and what? Sounds vaguely familiar, like the name of an old friend but who you haven't seen for so long you can't quite picture the bastard any more. ;)

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    The potential is there for permanent disability in many aspects of rugby but we still allow the tackle, the cricket, the ruck, the maul. My question is whether statistically it has been proven that being tacking out in the air is any more dangerous than the rest. There have been many incidents since the laws were changed where someone has been send of because a player has landed on the shoulder or neck, but I can't recall any of the incidents ending up with a significant injury. So it it really sondangeroua that it demands a red card solely because of the outcome, so that players should be so scared to even think about getting anywhere near a high ball for fear of brushing against someone jumping for the ball and getting sent off?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Not strictly true... Might actually get back onto try savers and rib breakers series, good rugby and the good old French beating the daylights out of each other in D2....

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    If World Rugby had everything right, we would have nothing to talk about!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    New tactic, send 2 blokes chasing, one runs in a manner which makes him look like he will compete - therefore opposition player jumps, the other player will hang back slightly and can set the world record for the amount of opposition ribs he breaks in a season...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    But DC, is Nigel Owens wrong....? It was last year when we saw Parisse red carded for jumping and colliding with a player when they were both going for a high ball, I don't think he was the only one in 2016 either....

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Not sure if it has happened, but the potential is definitely there for permanent disability. Landing on your neck from that height and at considerable speed is capable of causing a C-spine fracture.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    I think players jumping for the ball is fine, it increases their chances of winning the ball. I just think opposing players need to take more care. If they can't get in the air in time to compete 'safely' for the ball then I think they need to let their opponent land before making contact. Nigel Owens usually allows contact between 2 players in the air if they are both competing for the ball, which is the correct call imo.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    However had anyone been jumping for the ball and he'd taken them out, under the new directives he'd be sitting out for a period of games due to his ban. The directives are a mess. I just hope World Rugby are listening to their referees. I'd like to see more transparency about how the referees make these decisions. The NRL has an excellent video each week where the head of officiating explains controversial rulings and how they apply the laws. I'd like to see something similar in union.

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    Exactly! When you are converging at full speed under the ball, you are bound to travel horizontaly if you jump to contest. That means you are very likely to clash with the other player. That's why talking about the intent of the player from the direction his eyes are pointing at is irrelevant: he commited at full speed, hence in the worst way possible to contest under the high ball. IMO, it is the same as a player commiting into a tackle from a very high body position: he could still tackle properly, but the chances are very unlikely. He puts himself in the position to commit a grave injury because of a clumsy technique.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    https://youtu.be/x3infDyrB1Q?t=1m38s

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    What I don't understand... is why people are still taking to the skies to catch the ball. If it is a close contest, go for it, rise above the challenger and claim the ball. If you have a bit space, for f*ck's sake, stay on the deck. Players are afraid of getting hit. Taking a running leap means you can only travel in one direction, and are due a heavy landing. Staying on your feet means you can actually step and AVOID the hit completely. If you can time your jump to catch it in mid air, you can time your run to catch it on the floor. Rather relevantly, the greatest example of this I have ever seen was by Gavin Henson for Ospreys about a million years ago. Carving an angle, he caught an up and under somewhere around his own 10m line and went 60m through EVERYBODY. He didn't jump so nobody saw him catch it, and were caught cold.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    Has anyone genuinely be hurt this year from an aireal challenge where the other guy has been sent off. It looks bad but is it really that dangerous?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Uhhh, it's 2016... Nearly 2017, we haven't had to look after our own safety in life for about 15 years now.... The day and age of watching where you walk and looking left and right at a crossing have long gone. In fact give someone a pint bottle filled with some glowing green liquid and as long as it has 'milk' written on it the moron would drink it.... I'm surprised no one has killed themselves with an electric toothbrush yet - not that I've read about anyway...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Just realised that his team mate was probably being a feigning prick and thought let's get on with the fking game already!

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712

    The most shocking thing in this video is how Worcester scrum-half, after seeing his team-mate land like that, arrives on the scene and almost rolls him over by grabbing his shirt. Is taking a quick tap penalty that important? Did he forget everything he learned in his first aid class?

    Reply
  •  pumpkinstew
    pumpkinstew

    As I understand it there's the law as it relates to foul play and the directives that IRB have handed to referees instructing them how to apply it. And the consensus is that Barnes is correct in the way he applied both to the situation. Assuming we agree that there should be a law against tackling players in the air the issue must be with the directive. The first issue is there is only a requirement for players to take care of their opponent - no-where does the directive tell referrees to consider whether a player is endangering themselves. The second issue is that in it's current form the outcome will tend to 'favour' the player which gets higher making this contest increasing risky as players leap higher to 'win' the decision. So the directive in it's current form is counter productive. Also does this law take precedence over reckless endangerment? Had Shillcock put his knee into Pisi's jaw in taking the ball before landing in his back who is the offender? Shillcock as the first offender, Pisi as the committer of the offence more likely to be reviewed by assessors post match or both equally? A final thought. Every article referring to this incident has stated 'player welfare is paramount' in reference to the directive. Really? If this were true then surely the law would ban jumping to compete for the ball altogether or restrict it to standing jumps only. I think the words missing in parenthesis are: player welfare is paramount (except where detrimental to the game as a spectacle for paying punters.)

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    Blocked by the user for viewers in France: I call it a conspiracy! Aux armes!

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I assume this video, from World Rugby, would be entitled: 'UP AND UNDER DANGER: WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS END!' if it was released by them now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ptckxuOBAQ

    Reply
  •  heavyhooker
    heavyhooker

    DanCarter, watch the video and you will see that Shillcock was in the air less than 2m from Pisi. AT less than 2m nobody can react; so "you statement of "opponent already in the air" is weak. He who jumps higher will always benefit the penalty. I contest that Shillcock had no reason since he was in the better position to retrieve the ball. He jumped to draw the penalty as I think many players are doing. i am with Dr G, this sport is getting ridiculous. I have stopped coaching because of all the crazy law changes.

    Reply
  •  rg16
    rg16

    'You've got to look after the man in the air'....at what point does the man throwing himself horizontally through the air towards other players need to think about looking after himself?

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    I think that this is the correct decision. Shillcock was always getting to the ball ahead first and Pisi takes him out in the air. Pisi doesn't even leave the ground because he was never in a position to compete in the air. I don't think the 'his eyes were on the ball' excuse is an acceptable one anymore. To run blindly after an up and under without ever noticing or considering that an opponent is already in the air is reckless, I think. It reminds me of Payne's red card after taking Goode out in the air in the Ulster-Saracens game a while back.

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    I do not agree with many comments. There has been an huge increase of incidents of the sort because coaches took cynically advantage of the previous law: 'you are tougher, you can't be blamed for if you keep your eyes on the ball, so you charge blindly into it at full speed'. A few years ago, players made choices : either jump if they were in advance or anticipate the landing of the opponent and put pressure on him (the way Habana did). Now, it is all about retrieving the ball at all costs. I am with World Rugby on this one.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Oh in addition, I noticed RD has used the words 'recklessness of the challenge's in the description. I understand why you used them, but are we all perhaps starting to use words incorrectly to fit in with the strange decisions we see? Recklessness is being used a lot more now where accident would have once been used.. A player tries to kick a ball on the floor of a ruck where it's clear there are lots of heads nearby, he messes up and kicks a face... That is an accident, however given the proximity of faces to the ball, his actions could be deemed reckless...."kicking" in general can be applied to fighting etc so it's a potentially dangerous action.... Holding a gun on a hunting trip and firing it into a bush that rustles is reckless.... Running to catch a ball and continuing your stride while someone jumps into you, spins over and lands on their head is not reckless.... Not in the real world anyway... Again, I understand why you used it RD, as no doubt World Rugby will use it; if not already, but it's another example of BS creeping into the game...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Yup, what a surprise... Barnes did his duty here and did it correctly as far as the ridiculous laws are concerned. We as a sport or the governing bodies are backing themselves into unbelievably tight corners.... 'We must do all we can to reduce head injuries' so naturally outcome based things like this mean red cards. Players who jump higher are at an advantage, so we should really be looking at BIGGER wingers, or bigger backs on a whole...Right round full circle to greater collisions due to player size.... Small people have less and less part to play in this game. I assume an increased jump height is now going to be an elite squad entry requirement.... Anyone else getting bored of this sport now?

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    You are absolutely right. It is impossible to take all these things in consideration. If player welfare is so important, why not ban up and unders altogether? That would definitely solve this conundrum and promote running rugby.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    We can't critic refs to apply the new world rugby laws. Even if these laws are good for players safety, do World Rugby really expect players to watch the ball, watch the player, evaluate his speed and care about the player fall... at the same time? I predict others controversial red cards during the 6N.

    Reply
  •  heavyhooker
    heavyhooker

    Just. Ban. Jumping. This should not be a penalty. If you look at the slow motion just at about the 1/3 mark of the clip, you will see Shillcock jumps about one stride from Pisi. There is no way, even if Pisi was watching him that he would have had time to react to the jump. The laws need to be changed as I have discussed on previous examples like this. You want to help protect players then you stop them from jumping into dangerous situations; automatic no contest when a team kicks the ball away; or no forward movement when you jump. Something needs to change. This is getting ridiculous.

    Reply
  •  mozz87
    mozz87

    I agree. It seems here that Pisi was red carded for not jumping as high as his opponent. Eyes never left the ball. If this contest in the air is so dangerous then surely make up and unders illegal, rather than handing such an unfair advantage to one team. Just another part of the game chipped away though... As I'm sure everyone agrees, player welfare is top priority but at what point is it becoming a bit ludicrous? How many red cards in the last few weeks, how many more weeks like that before people decide not to spend their money to go and watch 14-man contests?

    Reply
  •  petersam
    petersam

    I have a real problem with these new laws (but not the way they are being applied - referees are trained and paid to follow the laws of the game). The player's intent is irrelevant, fair enough. The problem from my point of view is the situation it puts the kick defender in. Either he watches the ball in order to catch it, as required by the rules, or he looks at the opposing player to see where he is, which is also effectively required by the rules as he needs to know where and how high the opponent is jumping to be able to "be responsible for the man in the air". He must do both but can actually only do one. The rule also seems to mean that, regardless of whether you are trying to catch the ball or not, if the other guy goes higher than you, you are always at fault if he lands awkwardly, which basically means shorter fullbacks/wingers are no longer allowed to jump for the ball as they will always be the one giving the penalty away (unless they can jump significantly higher than their opposition, which they cannot really know in advance).

    Reply

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Tusi Pisi sees red for in the air challenge during breakthrough Bristol win | RugbyDump