Monday, August 17, 2009

Early hit sends player to hospital with ruptured spleen

Early hit sends player to hospital with ruptured spleen

The grandson of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke was in intensive care last week following an atrocious hit by Manly winger Leon Bott.

Bott, a former NRL player, lined up Randwick player David Dillon in their Shute Shield match in Sydney, then flattened him without the ball while he waited to take an up and under.

Dillon amazingly played on, but was taken to hospital two days later for emergency surgery to have his ruptured spleen removed. Another hour without treatment could have been life-threatening.

"He's recovering well. Obviously he's still pretty sore," said head coach Gary Ella.

"He's in good spirits, talking about coming and watching the Randwick game in a fortnight - I don't know if that's going to happen though."

One can survive without a spleen, which is a key part of the immune system and generates vital disease fighting antibodies. When severely ruptured, it is surgically removed, but the person can become susceptible to infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.

Dillon, 26, was expected to stay in hospital for a week following the surgery, and it was unsure as to whether hed be able to play rugby again. Bott, the man who made the tackle, is understood to be deeply upset.

In a repeat of the Matt Giteau tackle on Fourie Du Preez, which was fairly similar although far less lethal, Bott has not been cited.

The Citing Commisioner found that the hit did not require a red card, so therefore the yellow card handed out by referee Stuart Dickinson was sufficient.

Do you agree with the ruling that a yellow was sufficient, or should this moment of madness have been punished further?

Time: 0:32
Note: Thanks to

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:37 pm | View Comments (70)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 70 comments

Chris August 17, 2009 6:30 pm

Oh my god I think I gagged a little when he got hit

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Bonzai August 17, 2009 6:32 pm

That definitely should have been cited, I know I'd definitely take a ten minute rest to do that to Habanna lol

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 6:39 pm

Shockingly bad tackle, i hope someone smashes him this season.

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Sander August 17, 2009 6:44 pm

I can't imagine he made that tackle unintentionally.

It's a disgusting hit and deserves a ban. Same goes for Giteau, although I thought that looked worse than it was; bit of petulant behavior.

There's no way the tackler thought he'd hurt the nr 14 that bad, but it remains a disgusting act.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 6:59 pm

I think it was just a case of his timing being off. He was trying to hit him just as he caught the ball. not intentional.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 7:01 pm

he should have been cited and banned for at least 4 games

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Bonzo August 17, 2009 7:10 pm

I think he did not mind at all to the timing of the tackle. He just goes to hit the opposite winger, no matter if he arrives before the ball or not. No care for timing of the tackle at all, and it is intentional. I'm for a red card and quite a long ban.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 7:24 pm

Red card, no question.. he wasent even looking at the ball, he just lined up the man and took him ridiculously early.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 7:25 pm

I think it needs a ban... its way to obvious that he didnt give a fuck about timing..
Also, why didnt the green team mates kick his ass? for fucks sake!

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 7:29 pm

Ugly tackle, no timing
Should have been a red and a short ban (2/3 weeks)
Bad but not horrific

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 8:01 pm

Nothing funny about this incident. The tackler was wreckless and should have left the playing field immediately. A ban may be harsh, for what was hopefully a momentary loss of judgement.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 8:23 pm

Looks like one of those ridiculous American football tackles where the tackler stupidly throws himself at the opposite player.

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creggsrugby08 August 17, 2009 8:35 pm

to be honest im in two minds about this!!

of course on 1 hand its a clear off the ball challenge where he does not look up for the ball all completly smashes a guy off the ball!!

but on the other hand who on this site can safely say that they never wanted to smash the person whos unlucky enough to have to catch an up-an-under?? if that tackle was 2 seconds later everybody here would be praising it as the best tackle ever!!

a little of time but id say at most it desevered red!!

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themull August 17, 2009 8:48 pm

bad timing or not he deserves to be punished severly for that......Then maybe next time he'll learn to get his timing right....

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b August 17, 2009 9:17 pm

this guy is clearly abit retarded.

no sense of timing whatsoever??

wreckless hit altogether and should be seriously cited

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Joost August 17, 2009 9:17 pm

Off the ball, intentional tackle. He could have waited one more second until he caught the ball and then smashed him within the rules, no problem with that. But its clearly intentional, deserves a red card, at least a two month ban and a couple punches in the face.

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ybr August 17, 2009 9:28 pm

that defo hurt

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Dalma August 17, 2009 9:33 pm

Ugly, dangerous, uncontrolled. Red card & ban deserved, rugby clearly doesn't need retarded players.

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js August 17, 2009 9:47 pm

you cant use mistiming as an excuse, he's a proffesional and should be capable of hitting the man AS he catches the ball, which would have been praised and would probably be put up here as a great hit. citing at least, should have been given as long as it takes the other guy to recover

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cheyanqui August 17, 2009 9:55 pm

Clearly deserves a ban

"Timing being off"?

The guy's timing is off in large part because he lowers his head about 5-10m away from the point of contact. (the reverse angle shows this)

A less reckless player keeps sight of the ball & man until the last possible second.

The player is lowering his head sooner so that he can get a more powerful, lower stride into the point of contact. He maximizes his impact by getting his back flat (just like a prop at a scrummage).

In sum, if you are throwing safety to the wind, in exchange for a tatooing hit, well that's reckless and you deserve the consequences -- be they the referee, the opponent, or the citing commissioners.

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cheyanqui August 17, 2009 9:56 pm

The news reports say the guy was very upset about what happened to his opponent.

At least he didn't say he was gutted!

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Ed August 17, 2009 10:01 pm

I think a red card was appropriate at the time, but the guilt he has to live with is worse than any ban they could enforce.

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 10:12 pm

Good one Chayanqui! ha

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 10:29 pm

LOL smashed

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jp August 17, 2009 10:43 pm

He should get 10 years for attemped murder !!!! LOL
Very shocking.players like that we dont need on the rugby scene

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Anonymous August 17, 2009 10:43 pm

Give over. If the chap didn't go to hospital with a ruptured spleen would this tackle even be on Rugby Dump? Of course not.

It was marginally early. If he arrived about .3 seconds later the bloke would have had the ball in hand.

It was so marginal its unbelievable. Can't believe people are saying it's malicious lmao

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theboss August 17, 2009 11:04 pm

to ananymous above, the fact that the guy got a ruptured spleen shows what this sort of tackle can do and therefor there should be a decent punishment for it as a disincentive to people who think this is ok, when it clearly is not.

I don't think the tackle was malicious, but definitely bad timing. A yellow was sufficient at the time, but a citing should have been taken against him and maybe a 1week ban.

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Mise August 17, 2009 11:07 pm

one OTT murder comment and he's an, no!
The Mull got it spot on re learning a lesson

V Surprised he wasn't slapped around a bit.

Cregg: u're trying to see two sides, and u still point to him deserving a red card. Nuff said.

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realrugby August 17, 2009 11:36 pm

No excuses. You can't look up to see where the ball is? I mean, that's the whole point, right? The ball?

I agree with cheyanqui - 'timing?" Hard to time something when you're not looking. How do you tackle a guy who doesn't have the ball?

No matter what, ruptured spleen or not, players that do this have to be cited for something, don't they?

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Jon August 17, 2009 11:48 pm

It wasn't intentional, just very, very bad timing. He wasn't watching tos ee if the guy caught it and just hit him early.
No citing is surprising, you'd think he'd get a couple weeks on the sidelines for that.
It wasn't intentional though, there was no maliciousness in it. If the guy getting hit hadn't been injured so bad, people wouldn't be so upset.
Understandably peoplea re upset, but ultimatley, it was a mistake, one of those things that can happen when you play a contact sport.

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Kearney for tests August 17, 2009 11:56 pm

Good man Cheyanqui, that was excellent.
In my opinion the fact that the guy got a ruptured spleen from this incredibly early tackle means that the perpetrator should get something large as punishment for this. I mean if I got a ruptured spleen cos some guy was a dickhead, I'd want vengeance. The reason for punishments is that 1. It separates the perpetrator from society thereby preventing a repeat, 2. to reform the offender, 3. to deter others from committing the same crime, and 4. to satisfy society's desire to see the perpetrator get his just desserts. If he doesn't get a large ban and a savage beating, then justice won't really be served will it?

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Jon August 18, 2009 12:15 am

Jesus mate, no need to go into the philosophy of punishment, next thing you're gonna be quoting Betham. It's not a criminal act mate.
It's a contact sport in which soemtimes players make poor descisions. This is one of those and it has unfortunatley resulted in a serious injury. It was not malicious though, there was no intent, it was just terrible timing and execution.
The guy who got hit knew something liek this might happen if he played rugby.
It's unfortunate, and the guy probably deserves a couple of weeks on the sidelines, but it's not like he commited some henious crime.
The guilt of knowing his error resulted in serious injury is punishment enough. Anything more is between him and the guy he hit.

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 1:35 am

i play in the same comp as this .. but in the colts divisions and i cant believe this wasnt cited!
generally the comp is realy strict on foul play..

massive hit, by his rection dont think it was all intentional, perhaps he thought he had caught the ball and was focusing on a strong hit, but deserved a red for sure for the mistiming.

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Ally August 18, 2009 1:38 am

It was a case of bad timing I think - he wasn't looking at the ball, so he got there quicker than he realized.

A second later and he would have smashed man and ball and have terrific plaudits.

It's absolutely tragic that someone can lose their spleen over such a tackle. Unfortunate situation all round really.

We should concentrate our sympathies on Dillon not castigating Bott. I am sure he feels terrible about what he has done (few of us intentionally set out to remove someone's spleen playing rugby). That said, I appreciate people's outrage about this. Mistiming is the reason, not an excuse.

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 2:16 am

Shocking. No citation at all? A man is in the hospital without an organ and may never be able to play rugby again because of intentional, reckless foul play. At LEAST a red card.

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Portuguese Lobo August 18, 2009 2:39 am

Disgusting. Player lowers his head 10m before hitting the other player and just delivers an absolutelly wreckless NFL-like tackle, with no concern for the ball's position, and puts his opponent's health at risk. That risk was later confirmed as a ruptured spleen, which endangered his opponent's carreer AND even his life. Such a wreckless play should be dealt with accordingly, or in other words, with an immediate red card and a long, long ban. Maybe a year or so sitting put would give him time to calm down?

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UKrugger August 18, 2009 2:40 am

that's a definite citation, Bott clearly could read that the ball was still in the air when he would make contact. that was a tackle with malicious intent to take a player out of a game.

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Bill August 18, 2009 4:17 am

Bott is not a bad guy, there was not maliciousness in this hit.
Accoridng to the blokes at Manly, he's extremely upset about what's happened has apologised to Dillon. He's not a mean guy, and he feels terrible about what he's done.
He had no intention to hurt the bloke like he did, he jsut took his eyes off the ball, he had his head down and was so focussed on putting on the hit he didn't realise Dillon had yet to catch it.
It's a serious error of judgement, probably deserving of a ban for a few weeks, but nothing more.
Basically he just hit him early. If Dillon hadn't been so badly hurt, this would be seen for what it was, just poor judegemnt on Bott's behalf.
You've got realise the pressure these blokes are under to hit the guys as they catch the ball too. It's become one of the main strategies in modern rugby, to put up the hill ball and smash the guy taking the catch. South Africa are masters at it, and it's put them in very good stead.
If a guy doesn't time it so he hits the bloke just as he is taking the catch, at his most vulnerable, the coach is in the defenders ear straight away, telling him he screwed up.
That's no excuse, of course, but it is some perspective on why Bott came flying through like that.

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Don August 18, 2009 6:52 am

Oh No.

He has to go.

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Andy August 18, 2009 8:45 am

Oh lordy. That's nasty.

I think he needs a ban whether he meant it or not. It's still a reckless tackle regardless and he needs to be punished.

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FrankyH August 18, 2009 9:08 am

Place your cursor at 0:11 then watch a second, then click, then repeat. The remixed version.

Gives you a feeling of how hard that really was. Filthy.

I picture a CSI moment going on in Dillon's body, as you see the insides rupturing at the moment of contact.

Giteau's looked clumsy and badly timed. This looks just plain daft by Bott.

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rugbyazzuri August 18, 2009 10:54 am

how was that not a red card or a citing? what a tw*t

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 10:57 am

What a hit! And what damages

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what a fucking idiot August 18, 2009 11:40 am

what a fucking idiot
should be banned for the season. reckless, and the proof is in the fact the guy ended up with a very serious injury.Thats why there are laws!!!!!!!!!!

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Pastorius August 18, 2009 12:01 pm

That needs a ban, no question. You can't aim to hurt the man with no intention of playing the ball at all, this reduces the game to pure violence.

I'm all for huge hits, but this is unacceptable.

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Phil August 18, 2009 12:53 pm

I don't know the history of the competition or the two teams involved so hopefully this is a balanced view.

Having watched it a couple of times I'm still not sure.

If he'd have timed it right and tackled him when he caught it, would he still have suffered the same injury. It wasn't a maliscous tackle in terms of leading with his shoulder, or it being high - it was just the timing that was out. If the guy who was tackled didn't get a ruptured spleen, it wouldn't appear on Rugbydump.

You see this sort of tackle occur 10/15 times a game and they are usually legal. To be effective, they have to be timed just as the guy catches the ball. This is a sport where at this level, the margin for error is tiny and its a game played by guys who know the risks.

It was an appropriate punishment and I dare say the knowledge that he caused so much damage will be punishment enough.

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zacaria August 18, 2009 12:53 pm

everybody get over it, start making a rule about dangerous tackles, they are only ever pulled if someone gets seriously hurt if the person is fine nobody gives a hoot.

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Fletch August 18, 2009 1:25 pm

Silly boy. Should have been a red than a few weeks ban.

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 1:55 pm

Makes me sick. A former team mate of mine was tackled in a similar manner, he ruptured his spleen and had to quit playing rugby all together. I honestly can't understand how people can stay on the field after these kind of tackles. Rugby is not about pussying around, but when you put someones at risk like this you don't deserve to play in my book. Disgusted.

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jim August 18, 2009 3:36 pm

thats sickening

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no.14 August 18, 2009 3:37 pm

RED CARD,no questions asked

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Eoghan August 18, 2009 4:22 pm

No doubt he didn't get out of bed intending to do that damage.

Also no doubt a) Red Card b) medium term suspension was not just warranted but mandated.

You can't use 'it wasn't deliberate' as an excuse for these kind of things. Playing rugby with anyone is an act of trust. This kind of recklessness is a complete violation of the trust and should be hammered by the disciplinarians.

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 5:07 pm

Completely wreckless and illegal. Ijured another player out of sheer stupidity. This is why the rule is in the books. Not only did he deserve a red card but he should be cited and banned also. I don't care how remorseful he is, players must take other players' safety into account first and foremost.

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Gongshow August 18, 2009 7:27 pm

I think that deserved a suspension outright, he made no attempt to catch the ball, nor even looked to see if he was timing his tackle right. Just a shocking play, one that deserves more then its been given

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Bill August 18, 2009 10:48 pm

Of course malice is taken into consideration.
There absolutley is a difference between reckless play and intentional foul play.
This was a reckless, dangerous tackle. It probably deserves a ban of a few weeks, but nothing more.
He never meant it and he wasn't trying to rupture the guy's spleen.
And for the bloke saying "you need to play the ball", what are you on about? You are clearly a soccer fan, that's soccer terminology, you don't "play the ball" in rugby. You tackle the man, you most definatley do "play the man".
You smash the bloke, you definatley do try and hit him hard.
It's about injuring them, but you definatley want to put the fear of god into them.
I wonder if you've ever set foot on a rugby pitch.

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Bill August 18, 2009 10:49 pm

I meant to say it's NOT about injuring them ^

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 11:31 pm

How is that not a red? He never even looked for the ball, just went straight into the tackle.

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Anonymous August 19, 2009 2:02 am

Wot a fecking amazing hit...way to early though and deserved a red of his team mates should have socked that guy

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Dan August 19, 2009 6:44 am

there's no excuses for that. he was miles away from the ball. in that situation the winger should have been contesting the ball anyway.

you can see a mile away he never intended to anything other than smash the guy with or without the ball. that is so weak.

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Jon August 19, 2009 6:47 am

Really Dan?
It's what players are coached to do.
You know kick-chase-bash. It's basically the South african's entire gameplan.
You play rugby?

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Anonymous August 19, 2009 9:44 am

There was no intention to wait for the ball, he wasn't even watching it head down and straight into the player. Fair play for playing on though!

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Abbyno7 August 19, 2009 3:35 pm

Red Card for sure. Not so certain about a ban but the more you look at it a short ban seems like a good option.

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TobyC August 20, 2009 1:20 pm

Everyone is citing the whole timing issue and a few people have suggested that if he was a fraction later it would be a great tackle... which it would, however, that fraction of a second is the difference between an over exposed ribcage or not!! he went in with the idea to smash the player, he had no idea where the ball was because he never even looked for it. in the time he has his head down the player could have caught the ball, jumped for the ball or as it happened was still waiting for the ball. reckless, deliberate and should get a decent ban!

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Anonymous August 20, 2009 1:28 pm

At this level of rugby such atrocious timing is just not good enough.

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Anonymous August 21, 2009 4:03 pm

A yellow? it was obviously intentional! how could the plyer have missed the small fact that the player didnt have the ball.absolute chump hope he is put into a coma this season.

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Anonymous August 21, 2009 10:08 pm

If he made the hit a second later you'd all love it. Stop whinging. You all sound like a bunch of wannabe referees.

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FrankyH August 22, 2009 2:33 pm

But, my anonymous, he didnt. He made it a second too early.

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Gav August 24, 2009 3:34 pm

If that isn't a red card, what is??

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Jimmy August 25, 2009 9:50 am

Twenty years ago there were no red cards.
Things were better then. :)

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Jacques August 25, 2009 2:13 pm

To all you gurus who claim this is the South African way - how many tackles have Saffas got wrong (like this) in recent years? Using the up and under to advance field position is one thing. Blindly flying into an opponent in the hope that it might be legit is another altogether. The Springboks do it right. And it's no coincidence that their opponents don't end up with ruptured spleens. Taking a tackle without bracing, with your arms raised, is suicide. Once you have the ball, you brace for impact. This guy should have got at least 6 weeks to think about how badly he screwed up.

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