High shots

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Oct 05, 2019, 19:26

Remember when Schalk slipped while carrying the ball and won a penalty that cost the ABs the match?

Remember when SBW went one knee down on the ground to put in a low hit but got sent off when the ball carrier basically fell with his face into SBW shoulder? That cost the ABs a Lions series.

For me, today's incident in the Argie game was very similar. Not entirely unavoidable but not million miles apart either.

Tackle technique is one thing, but when a player changes direction on you at the last moment, trying to get low is difficult sometimes and impossible on other occasions. So you do the next best thing. You pivot and put your shoulder into the carrier's stomach or chest. Obviously using your arms at the same time. You attempt a fully legal defensive shot. The only shot you can make...sometimes.

If the ball carrier slips or ducks into your hit, your tackle now turns into an instant red card. And there goes the game, the series or the competition.

This happens because you cannot readjust your entire body position in the 100-300ms that you're afforded. It's just not possible. 

Again, it's not always about technique. There isn't always time to get down to leg or waist height but you cannot simply stand aside either. And it's fine because you are acting entirely within the rules of the game when attempting to wrap or put in a strong hit to the chest. We ultimately see just as many hits come into the upper body as we do the legs. Actually, most hits happen around the stomach or lower chest area. No problem.

It only becomes illegal if your opponent slips, dives or tries to duck under your shot. None of which you have any control over.

My suggestion would be that the defender's initial position /height in relation to that of the attacker, is taken into account when making calls like this. 

If the attacker slips. He did some by accident. Asking the defender to protect the attacker from his own mistake is unreasonable. It also opens the game up to a new type of card baiting as well. 

In all of this we are also ignoring the defenders right to defend himself in the event of an unforseen error on the attackers part. Which is exactly what SBW was doing in Lions game.

Yes I know today's Argie boy has a poor record. I know that the incident was at least halfway avoidable. I understand that it's not a great example for the point I'm trying to make.

It's just that it would better for the game if we could avoid sending players off and ruining matches for situations that are all to often unavoidable.

Apologies for the rant :)

Oct 05, 2019, 22:43

My suggestion would be that the defender's initial position /height in relation to that of the attacker, is taken into account when making calls like this.

It actually is. Shoulder to the neck/face is by default a red now, but then there are various mitigating factors that can have it scaled down - one of which is a change in the carrier's body position. In the Argie incident it was considered, but the ref didn't feel there was enough of it to warrant scaling down the red.

I don't like red cards either for the reasons you mention, but when are players going to wake up to the fact that there is a virtual no tolerance policy on high shots active right now? If you hit a face with a shoulder, you're 80-90% certain of a red unless the guy just about slipped and slided into you. So why risk it by going in that high and leading with a shoulder?

We can talk all we want about the unfairness of it all, but that is the law right now. Players will either have to adjust the way they play/tackle or risk the card. Those like Lavanini who still wants to get in a cheap shot, well, you're playing with fire.

Oct 06, 2019, 00:11

ruined the game.. no doubt... but Thomas Levini tackle was legit red card... shoulder to the head looked pretty bad... it was farrel on the receiving end too wasnt it??

Poor argies... they promised so much this RWC... ended up in pool of death - then that.. had the feeling poms would have been made to work a lot harder without that..

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