European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

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European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 4:53 pm

This is going to be more or less a straight cut-and-paste of a BBC article, but I'm fully behind this and I'm interested to know what others make of it.

I'll start off by highlighting this quote from Simon Halliday, which is (IMHO) exactly the way we should be looking at it:


"A 6ft 7in forward can bend to make a tackle," Halliday added. "It is a choice, and I think it is disingenuous to say it isn't."


Here's the article:


European chiefs have vowed to continue the crack-down on contact with the head when this season's tournaments start next weekend.

The continent's top referees met in France this week, with the policing of dangerous tackles high on the agenda.

And Europe rugby chairman Simon Halliday has promised a consistent and uniformed approach from officials.

"It is clear what World Rugby have guided. If you make contact with the head you risk a red card," he said.

He added to BBC Radio 5 live: "We are going to try, as a European organisation, to get the full consistency we need to protect the player."

The zero-tolerance approach from referees regarding high tackles has split opinion domestically this season.

Leicester second row Will Spencer received a red card in a match with Wasps last month, a decision criticised at the time by Tigers boss Geordan Murphy.

However, Wales and Dragons flanker Ross Moriarty told BBC Scrum V the modern game is "going soft".

Halliday, who won 23 caps for England at centre, says players can have no excuses, and believes lowering tackle techniques is essential in reducing the risk of concussion.

He says World Rugby guidelines will be "reinforced by the disciplinary panels, by match officials, and management" in Europe this season.

"A 6ft 7in forward can bend to make a tackle," Halliday added. "It is a choice, and I think it is disingenuous to say it isn't.

"Anyone who thinks concussion has gone away as an issue is in denial. It is getting worse. We need to stop that worsening and stop the misinformed commentary."

The 2018-19 Champions Cup begins on Friday, 12 October when holders Leinster host Wasps in Dublin.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/45737349

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 5:22 pm

The quote is spot on. It is a lazy excuse. I’ll be interested to see how consistently it is refereed though.

I will have to watch that Moriarty interview, as surely he can’t have meant regarding things like head knocks etc. That quote is getting used a fair bit, when it’s probably out of context. Certainly would be in terms of concussion.




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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by asoreleftshoulder on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 5:32 pm

Moriarty was talking about the yellow card he received for a late tackle on Sexton.It was more a complaint that if a small player hit a big player late he probably wouldn't get a card and he thinks Sexton gets special treatment from refs.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 5:34 pm

Just seems a little strange to mention.

If anything, what Murphy said about the red was sufficient to use that some people think the game has gone soft. That is more relevant.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 7:05 pm

Murphy recanted that heat of the moment quote.

I find it interesting that in the premiership this season it is the tackler getting badly injured, always when tackling low. Only concussion for a tacklee was Jackson Wray, and George Smith was cleared for that.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by TJ on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 7:09 pm

I quite like the "black card" idea where the offending player is sent off but the team is allowed a sub.  Individual punishment with little effect on the team.  ~Rd card still available for straight arm tackles adn other really dangerous ones but this could be used for the more innocuous ones that are red by the letter of the law now but really carry little risk of injury.

This all comes from attempting to smother tackle and stop the player offloading.  Classic tackles round the legs do not carry the same risk of high tackles

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by Brendan on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 7:50 am

I just hope that when they view it as a high tackle they don't forget to take into account if the player with the ball drops down at the last minute. A good chest hit turns into a head it in a split second.

Same as jumping to receive a higher pass so players can't hit you. Letter of the law you are in the air but should only apply to kicks and lineouts.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by VinceWLB on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 8:57 am

This is going to be fun.. and so random.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by Brendan on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:07 am

VinceWLB wrote:This is going to be fun.. and so random.

For the first two rounds and then ignored

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:38 am

TJ wrote:I quite like the "black card" idea where the offending player is sent off but the team is allowed a sub.  Individual punishment with little effect on the team.  ~Rd card still available for straight arm tackles adn other really dangerous ones but this could be used for the more innocuous ones that are red by the letter of the law now but really carry little risk of injury.

This all comes from attempting to smother tackle and stop the player offloading.  Classic tackles round the legs do not carry the same risk of high tackles

This is it, and it's been decades in the making (the gainline comes into it too). It's going to take time - hopefully not as much time - for coaching to change and players to unlearn what they've known all their playing lives, but it can be done. The key is consistency and perseverance from governing bodies and match officials. The worry is that it'll be in vogue for a bit, like crooked feeds, and then you'll see more lenience for high tackles again.

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Re: European rugby competitions promise crackdown on high tackles for 2018-19

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 11:03 am

I had 4 vertebrae fractured in a high stiff arm clothes line tackle. I am not a fan of any tackle delivered high with force to the head or neck. I especially do not like these flying tackles delivered by driving upwards at the player (as demonstrated by George Smith to get a red card and then cleared).

I do feel that the tackle line has crept up first following the influence of PI tackling, then in a desire to stop the offload and finally the "choke" tackle. It should be noted though that not all of these are delivered with force. I am all for lowering the tackle height to below the arm pit as is being trialled down here in the Championship Cup, and penalising all tackles above this. However would only want to see a red card (and certainly a suspension) for high tackles that are also delivered with force.

To say that tackling low is safe is not true - only this last weekend Brad Barritt had his jar and cheek broken when he made contact with the knee of the ball carrier. Tackles are much more violent affairs than when I learnt to play, with players being pilloried for making tackles that see them going backwards as the ball carrier is felled - yet this was the classic way taught to make a head on tackle once upon a time.

Some thoughts from Scottish players earlier in the year when the trial I refer to earlier was announced:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/44955541

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