KNOW YOUR LAWS: Did this tackle really warrant a red card?

Club Roar Roar Guru

14 Have your say

    It’s the tackle that’s proving more divisive than Joe Moody’s attempted tracheotomy on Kurtley Beale.

    When Club Roar declared it one of the softest red cards you’ll ever see, our loyal Roarers were quick to debate the topic in the comments section:

    “The referee has clearly adjudicated on policy surrounding lifting tackles. Like it or not, that was a red card if adhering to rugby union’s current position on such tackles.”
    – Ryan

    “If you think that’s a bad thing, your issue is with World Rugby, not the ref making the call on the field as he applied the law 100% correctly here.”
    – Kenny

    But where does the ruling actually sit in the laws of the game?

    Law 9.18 states:

    ‘A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact with the ground.’

    Therefore, it was technically the right call from the referee on the day to blow a penalty, however, the degree of punishment isn’t as clear and the decision to throw up a red instead of yellow or no card appears to be up to the referee’s discretion.

    The tackler lifted his opponent and drove him back-first into the ground. The back is anatomically part of the upper body, so the tackle must be considered dangerous play.

    The truth is the attacker’s head didn’t touch the ground in the initial contact.

    In fact, he landed flat on his back. There was no crushing of the neck or shoulders. It was just a good, solid tackle. However, because of the law’s broad use of the term “upper body”, the ref had no choice but to reprimand an otherwise textbook bone-rattler.

    Let us know what you think in the comments Roarers.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Guru

      May 25th 2018 @ 10:14am
      Ralph said | May 25th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      In this instance, the law is an ass.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 25th 2018 @ 11:09am
      Paulo said | May 25th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      Damn, Peter, even in a thread with nothing to do with the Tahs and Okeefe you still manage to bring them into it. Well done, that is impressive.

      • Roar Guru

        May 25th 2018 @ 12:20pm
        PeterK said | May 25th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        just adds much needed clarity on how poor okeefe was in not responding to hooper for reviewing the tip tackle.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 25th 2018 @ 1:18pm
          Paulo said | May 25th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          Fair enough, although I don’t think we needed clarity, we have all agreed the tackle was dodgey and probably needed a review. And the Moody hit should have been picked up, particularly by the TMO, as OK was probably following the ball, and that was off the ball, hence why we have ARs and TMOs. The general consensus was he was poor, we agree on this, the only disparity is why we think he was poor. You think he was favoring the Kiwi team, I just think he was poor. He got hassled last year for his calls in the Australia/England game.

          But the Crusaders game was two weeks ago, the result is in the book. Time to move on and look forward not backwards lamenting what might have been. And I know not all Kiwi fans do this for perceived slights against the ABs or who ever, I would have the same advise for them. It does no one any good trying to remember a future that cant happen.

    • May 25th 2018 @ 11:37am
      jameswm said | May 25th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

      I thought it was the 3 points – shoulder, head, shoulder – and it’s red. Back etc is a yellow.

    • Roar Guru

      May 25th 2018 @ 11:46am
      Connor Bennett said | May 25th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      My first thought was that the call was definitely way too harsh giving a red for what looked to just be a very well-timed tackle. Once he’d made the tackle and lifted, momentum took him forward and there’s not much he could have done to avoid the ball-runner landing the way he did for mine

      • Roar Pro

        May 25th 2018 @ 12:17pm
        Melburnian said | May 25th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        I hear what you say Connor, but that is rather the point. If the tackler lifts the ball carrier, then the tackler has responsibility to bring them to ground safely.

    • Roar Pro

      May 25th 2018 @ 12:15pm
      Melburnian said | May 25th 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

      Firstly this is no longer covered by Law 10.4, since the January 2018 rewrite, the Foul Play law is now #9 and the relevant section (Law 9.18) says: – A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact with the ground.

      Secondly, this looks like a juniors game, i.e. U19, and you have to reflect on what the Game Management Guidelines say. In Australia, the GMG’s which are in part drawn from what WR hands down, are much stricter on what the referee must do in the case of foul play. This call looks harsh, but the referee is probably just applying the local association GMG’s hence the red card.

      Finally, the referee doesn’t have the option of a TMO so can’t take a second look. To him, it may have looked worse in real time that it actually was.

      • Roar Guru

        May 25th 2018 @ 12:19pm
        PeterK said | May 25th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

        good points

    • May 25th 2018 @ 12:46pm
      Ben said | May 25th 2018 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

      Sometimes I think we’ve gone overboard trying to protect players in our game. The head, and dangerous tackles of course…..but is that really a dangerous tackle? You can make that exact type of tackle 100 times and nobody would get injured, yet a tackle say like Johnny Fa’auli on Timu which is entirely legal and legit would hurt 100 out of 100 players every time every game.
      Cant we just go common sense? The tackle although by the law book is dangerous, but in reality is no such thing, lets just play on.
      Its like the Crimes Act. It is nothing but a guide to whats legal and whats not. Cops have a duty to enforce the law but they also have an ability and a duty to be fair… to see things for what they are and act accordingly.

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