The customer is always right?



  • No one is going to criticise dangerous play being punished, and the players' safety is of fundamental concern.

    That said, the hamfisted efforts of World Rugby and the refereeing cabal are in serious danger of destroying the product for the customers; I.e. us the fans. The Chiefs Blues being a good example.

    Luatua was a bonehead with his high tackle. But seriously, does anyone think that it was in danger of causing serious injury to TNW?

    Some might say that the red card and imbecilic four week ban are a necessary deterrent/incentive to reform technique. That doesn't stand scrutiny in my book.

    The punishment will do nothing of substance other than to make tacklers hope that they aren't the ones who are unlucky enough to suffer from an accidental head contact.

    If you want to be mollycoddling, simply ban tackling above the chest and watch the product be heavily diminished!

    To me it is simply incontestable that the referee retain discretion as to the punishment in such cases. These guys are professionals and ought to be/are quite capable of determining when a red is merited -- deliberate efforts to injure or reckless negligence being key criteria.

    If I had been referee Luatua would have seen yellow. That was proportionate and I suggest that TNW would have felt more than satisfied with that outcome.

    If an example really needs to be made, please remember the customers

    , who pay good money to see a contest, not to be the victims of well meaning dogma. That could be achieved by something along the lines of the idea of a 'super yellow', whereby the culprit sits the rest of the game out, but after 10 a replacement could be brought on.

    Rant over -- just one fan's view!



  • I think this is a step towards no above the chest tackling, even as far as nothing above the waist. It's just coming in baby steps.



  • @Kirwan said in The customer is always right?:

    I think this is a step towards no above the chest tackling, even as far as nothing above the waist. It's just coming in baby steps.

    They have certainly set out their stall and you may be right - while tacklers might aim lower, with the speed of the game, a chest high hit will never be far from slipping up towards the neck. Whether it moves as low as waist, we'll have to wait and see - players are so good at passing out of the tackle, it might make defence impossible.



  • BTW meant to post this topic in Sports Talk, but thwarted as computer said, 'invalid category'. World Rigby is everywhere?!



  • @KiwiPie said in The customer is always right?:

    @Kirwan said in The customer is always right?:

    I think this is a step towards no above the chest tackling, even as far as nothing above the waist. It's just coming in baby steps.

    They have certainly set out their stall and you may be right - while tacklers might aim lower, with the speed of the game, a chest high hit will never be far from slipping up towards the neck. Whether it moves as low as waist, we'll have to wait and see - players are so good at passing out of the tackle, it might make defence impossible.

    Some of the Chiefs trys make that point well, with the offloads in the tackle. It would make me laugh if WR make that change and it adds 30points to the All Blacks (and probably Wallabies) scores.



  • @pakman said in The customer is always right?:

    BTW meant to post this topic in Sports Talk, but thwarted as computer said, 'invalid category'. World Rigby is everywhere?!

    Moved.

    Got to watch out for Rigby.



  • @booboo Ta. Fat fingers!!



  • I'd rather see the current product be "heavily diminished" than continue to watch talented players like Afeaki, Broadhurst, Ngatai, etc. sit out years or retire in their prime because of concussion issues (or worse, be crippled or die early deaths). Fuck that.

    I don't think it'd be heavily diminished anyway, just a bit different, same as when any major law change comes into effect.



  • This seems like a round about way to have a moan about Luatua getting banned - I can't really see any other purpose.

    Luatua got what he deserved in my opinion. Off the ball, swinging arm, around the head. Red +Ban.



  • @MajorRage i don't disagree, but a red, and 6-down-to-4 is a hell of a punishment



  • @mariner4life you wanna play the SANZAR judiciary lottery...



  • @mariner4life If you hadn't seen the incident and you read swinging arm off the ball around the head ... what would you expect?



  • I don't mind them enforcing the current laws, but the problem is if they introduce a ruling that lowers the area that can be tackled. At least over the shoulder is pretty clear - anything lower becomes more subjective.

    And as it is, people will still suffer career-ending injuries and concussions from head knocks, or heads on knees and hips. We already know that the tackler is more likely to be injured as it is.



  • @Unco said in The customer is always right?:

    I'd rather see the current product be "heavily diminished" than continue to watch talented players like Afeaki, Broadhurst, Ngatai, etc. sit out years or retire in their prime because of concussion issues (or worse, be crippled or die early deaths). Fuck that.

    I don't think it'd be heavily diminished anyway, just a bit different, same as when any major law change comes into effect.

    So rugby pre-1980s.



  • This point was made by someone else in another thread months back , and at the time I thought you could be on to something,

    This new law could end up being world rugbys worst nightmare , no one is better at keeping the ball alive than us , with tacklers being nervous trying to lock up the ball in the tackle, imagine how many phases we may string together now



  • A few responses.

    This isn't about the Luatua ban. I don't agree with it, but it has a relatively minor effect on future viewing enjoyment.

    As I said, no one disputes the safety element. I believe the current tackling law of height is appropriate.

    However, what I very strongly disagree with is the edict from on high that (as I understand it) contact with the head is sn AUTOMATIC red.

    The key reason is that mandating a red not going to have any real impact on safety.

    I very much doubt that nowadays many professionals attempt to target the head. Mailicous play deserves the book thrown at it.

    But the automatic red is designed to catch careless contact. If one thinks about it, however good the technique, a certain number of times shoulder tackles are going to accidentally ride up and make contact with the head. So what is the intended effect of the MANDATORY red?

    The obvious answer is EITHER to keep coaching shoulder high tackles and take your chances OR to coach chest high and eliminate the risk.

    I believe coaches will stick to shoulder high and emphasise better technique. I suspect World Rugby would prefer the latter.

    I should argue that the situations which are NOW automatic red but were formerly yellow or discretionary red will not diminish in frequency much and the impact on head injuries will be immeasurably low.

    Nonetheless, head knocks will remain a cause celebre in the press.

    Hence, the concern that World Rugby will react in due course by lowering the rule to chest high.

    In the meantime, the requirement for red, in sutuations where most refs would give yellow because they believe it is the appropriate sanction, is certain to ruin more than a few 'Super' games this season. And watch out ABs!

    Instead, I'd like to see a minimum 'double' yellow trialled. Idiots like Luatua off for duration. But after 10 a player could be brought on from bench for remainder of game.

    Strong deterrent but avoids spectators switching off.



  • @pakman No.

    If TNW had the ball, then it would have been a yellow, maybe a red on the right day to the right ref.

    But he didn't. It was off the ball. Thats a red all day.



  • Yeah I can't quite follow that argument. If it's a high probability that you'll get punished for something, it's less likely to happen.

    When was the last time we saw anyone rucked?



  • @Bones It's a low probability that tackling round shoulders will hit head. If it were high probability then clearly coaches would require players to target chest...
    and then we're into the offload debate...



  • @pakman said in The customer is always right?:

    @Bones It's a low probability that tackling round shoulders will hit head. If it were high probability then clearly coaches would require players to target chest...
    and then we're into the offload debate...

    So you're saying that because of law changes, the style of play might change? And the issue there is....?

    Lifting the leg and tip tackles used to be common place....again, something very rarely seen.



  • @MajorRage I watched it again.
    It really is boneheaded by Luatua. My best guess is that he wanted to take TNW out of the move by an 'accidental' block. Not only was it a professional foul (sure you'll find plenty of these if you watch tapes) but it was also really clumsy. No swinging arm -- rather just kept arms outstretched as he stood up and seemed not to occur to him that as as TNW much shorter could catch him in head.
    No qualms if ref would have given discretionary red anyway, but for me not worthy of MANDATORY red. On the other hand would be an excellent use of 'double yellow'.



  • @Bones To me tip tackles were better out than in. So no qualms with legislating against them via rule change.
    By the same reasoning, if the consensus is that tackling ought to be penalised if above chest (which I don't agree with) then just change the rules. Don't try and get there by subterfuge via a failed mandatory red for accidental head impact experiment.
    But if the decision is to stick with shoulder high, leave the refs with discretion. They're professionals and are unlikely to miss any significant number of genuinely dangerous and reckless tackles.
    Or bring in 'double yellow'.



  • @pakman Have you read the rules at all? There is no such thing as an automatic red! Here are some quotes:

    In a change to law, World Rugby has redefined illegal (high) tackle categories and increased sanctions to deter high tackles via a law application guideline. This will apply at all levels of the game from 3 January 2017 introducing minimum on-field sanctions for reckless and accidental contact with the head, effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle.
    
    Reckless tackle
    A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.
     
    Minimum sanction: Yellow card
    Maximum sanction: Red card
     
    Accidental tackle
    When making contact with another player during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game, if a player makes accidental contact with an opponent's head, either directly or where the contact starts below the line of the shoulders, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.
     
    Minimum sanction: Penalty
    

    http://www.worldrugby.org/news/213339

    Law no. 10.4(e)
    Dangerous tackling of an Opponent including early or late and including the action known as the "stiff arm tackle"
    
    Entry point based on scale of seriousness of the player's conduct, which constitutes the offending
    Lower end - 2 weeks
    Mid-range - 6 weeks
    Top end - 10+ weeks
    
    Maximum sanction: 52 weeks
    
    Law no. 10.4(e)
    Dangerous tackling of an Opponent including:
    (i) a tackle or attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders;
    (ii) grabbing and rolling/twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders
    
    Entry point based on scale of seriousness of the player's conduct, which constitutes the offending
    Lower end - 2 weeks
    Mid-range - 6 weeks
    Top end - 10+ weeks
    
    A dangerous tackle which results in a strike to the head shall result in at least a mid-range entry point sanction.
    
    Maximum sanction: 52 weeks
    

    0_1488796191462_upload-a97f8167-6305-478f-9de4-6b1b6806d5fd





  • @Stargazer You are dead right. My bad. The rules don't mandate red. However, as your second post indicates there appears to have been 'informal' guidance concerning what is yellow and what is [mandatory] red. Can't seem to find anything for Super Rugby, but I'm pretty sure guidance has been given to refs.



  • Of as much concern is the carding of players for mid air collisions. The guidelines place absolutely no onus on the jumper to not put themselves into a dangerous position.
    eg the Fekitoa YC on the weekend. According to the guidelines the YC is correct yet it was the 'victim' that created his own danger by leaping high into a converging group of players. The chance of him coming out of that leap safely was quite low.



  • The problem with all the rules and videos of what is a minor "accident" and what is reckless "red" is the big subjective gap between these two.

    In the current environment when the min sanction is a yellow and the max is a red, the refs will go for the red which ruins the game.



  • @Crucial Agreed. Tackling got me going but in air collisions as much an issue if not more.



  • @Crucial said in The customer is always right?:

    Of as much concern is the carding of players for mid air collisions. The guidelines place absolutely no onus on the jumper to not put themselves into a dangerous position.

    And that's the problem. The player that jumps highest has all the rights in the eyes of the refs. You could make the absurd argument that Ben Smith could have been yellow-carded when he was concussed as DMac was taken out in mid-air, which is why he fell awkwardly.

    Players really only have 2 choices: jump as high and aggressively as possible in order to catch the ball, so at worst the ref considers it a fair competition for the ball, or don't jump and wrap the player when he lands. Any half-hearted attempt to jump will likely result in a YC.



  • @Bovidae said in The customer is always right?:

    @Crucial said in The customer is always right?:

    Of as much concern is the carding of players for mid air collisions. The guidelines place absolutely no onus on the jumper to not put themselves into a dangerous position.

    And that's the problem. The player that jumps highest has all the rights in the eyes of the refs. You could make the absurd argument that Ben Smith could have been yellow-carded when he was concussed as DMac was taken out in mid-air, which is why he fell awkwardly.

    Players really only have 2 choices: jump as high and aggressively as possible in order to catch the ball, so at worst the ref considers it a fair competition for the ball, or don't jump and wrap the player when he lands. Any half-hearted attempt to jump will likely result in a YC.

    When that happened I actually thought that if it had happened in the NH it would result in a card.



  • I still think the tackling is an even bigger issue, the difference between a yellow card, and not, is only 10 mins of playing time, but send a player off early in a game for what should be a yellow but due to new environment could be 70 mins of playing time, plus ban say another 320 mins for a low end ban, andthe game your watching is ruined as a contest.

    With such a massive discrepancy between max and min sanctions it is obvious the refs need more discretion to help make the game safer and protect the paying customers.



  • I find it a ridiculous idea to suggest that "protecting the paying customers" would have any role in decisions about what kind of penalty should be imposed on an offending player, whether it's about penalty, yellow or red, or the sanction for a red.



  • @Stargazer For a start if nobody watches the game because red cards are over used then the players won't be playing professional rugby for very long because it's actually a business.

    Second, the punishment needs to be flexible enough to result in the removal of dangerous behaviour without ruining the contest. It needs to be balanced and at the moment it's not because the current rules are to black and white imho.



  • @Cudnel said in The customer is always right?:

    @Stargazer For a start if nobody watches the game because red cards are over used then the players won't be playing professional rugby for very long because it's actually a business.

    Second, the punishment needs to be flexible enough to result in the removal of dangerous behaviour without ruining the contest. It needs to be balanced and at the moment it's not because the current rules are to black and white imho.

    It's the role of the team to play attractive and winning rugby to keep the spectators happy. They can do that by fielding the best possible team, without players who give away too many penalties or are sent off too often. That's where the responsibility to keep paying customers happy comes in, not in refereeing or the judicial process.

    It's not the cards/penalties/sanctions that ruin the game, but the player(s) who do the offending.



  • @Stargazer although, a ref, like a player can make a howler of an error that can impact the outcome of a match too...



  • @Stargazer Good call, but I think the game can be made better, and less prone to problem refereeing decisions having too big an influence on games just by giving refs more flexibility under the laws. The lawmakers should narrow the gap between the min and max sanctions.

    From what I can see the refs have only seem to have a min or max choice if they want to impose a sanction, and these have radically different impacts. I think the game needs something in the middle to make it better for everyone.



  • @taniwharugby I agree with that, but that's a performance issue and the responsible organisation (SANZAAR, for example) can sanction that by not awarding certain games to underperforming refs. Didn't they do that last year? I vaguely remember a ref missing out on officiating an important game (quarter finals?) ...

    There's also the responsibility of organisations to provide ongoing training and education to officials.



  • @Stargazer dunno, all very much cloak and dagger stuff, rarely do they come out and say this guy got dropped cos he sucked last week....but I do recall someone maybe getting to be AR instead of main ref?



  • @Cudnel said in The customer is always right?:

    @Stargazer Good call, but I think the game can be made better, and less prone to problem refereeing decisions having too big an influence on games just by giving refs more flexibility under the laws. The lawmakers should narrow the gap between the min and max sanctions.

    From what I can see the refs have only seem to have a min or max choice if they want to impose a sanction, and these have radically different impacts. I think the game needs something in the middle to make it better for everyone.

    It's more that fact that a very subjective borderline decision is expected of the ref and depending on which way he goes the gulf in outcome (for game and player) is very big.
    It's an all or nothing call made during the heat of the game.
    I don't see a problem with using an on report type system for these incidents



  • @Crucial Fair enough, an on report approach would be a another reasonable option, along with a double yellow, that would help referees do their job well.

    As I said there really should be some sensible sanction between sitting in the naughty chair for 10 mins and the nuclear option given there are so many factors at play during incidents in a rugby game.


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