17 October 2011

Dangerous tackles in Rugby

Last season (2010-11) I wrote down details in my refereeing notebook of 44 Rugby matches where I'd officated.  This excludes tournaments and sevens, and I may not have recorded every card, but the score is 21 cards awarded, of which four were for reckless tackles involving lifting the tackled player's feet above his head.

None of these involved a clear slam, or a drop onto the ground as seen in the Sam Warburton sending-off in the RWC 2011 semi-final.  Instead the tacklers (multiple tacklers in two cases out of four) kept hold when bringing the player down.  The cards were for the danger caused by lifting the feet above the head.

I'm refereeing at levels 9 - 11 (with the occasional 8s and 12s) but it's just as possible for players at this level to be seriously injured by a tip tackle as for an international player.  I think Alain Rolland did exactly what he'd been instructed to do, unfortunately for Wales, who I would love to have seen against the All Blacks in the final.

All cards for the season:

Match 3: Dangerous tackle
Match 8: 2 x continuing handbags well after whistle, 1 x fighting, 1 x dive on try scorer
Match 15: 1 x Repeated offside at ruck and maul, 1 x repeated illegal bind (loose head)
Match 17: 2 x raking
Match 19: trip - clear but in otherwise well-tempered match, it didn't look worth a Red card
Match 25: poor attempt at a punch
Match 27: affray
Match 28: not retiring at penalty
Match 29: dangerous tackle
Match 30: high tackle in red zone preventing possible try
Match 31: 1 x repeated offending inc. high tackle, 1 x raking
Match 32: 1 x dangerous tackle + 1 x offside/fighting (Red), 1 x fighting + 1 x referee abuse (Red)
Match 34: striking with elbow instead of hand-off
Match 38: dangerous tackle

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