Monday, December 19, 2011

Chris Hala'ufia suspended internally for six weeks after citing for dangerous tackle

Tongan forward Chris Hala'ufia was cited recently following a hit he made against Racing Metro in a Pool two match in the Heineken Cup. London Irish have decided to impose a six week ban after holding an internal disciplinary hearing.

Hala'ufia was only just back from a seven week ban for another high tackle earlier in the season when he put this hit in on Racing Metro fullback Gaetan Germain. As you can see in the clip, he went off injured with a sore hand/wrist too.

Irish have also imposed a sanction of an undisclosed fine which will be donated to a charity and they will review their rulings once the outcome of the ERC hearing is known.

The abbrasive 33 year old has now served four bans in the past two years. If found guilty by the ERC, which is likely to be the case, he will more than likely receive yet another hefty suspension.

He was cited for a contravention of Law 10.4(e), which states the following:

Law 10.4(e) - Dangerous tackling of an opponent including a tackle or an attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. Under the IRB Recommended Sanctions for Offences Committed within the Playing Enclosure, Law 10.4(e) carries the following penalties: Low End: 2 weeks; Mid Range: 6 weeks; Top End: 10+ to 52 weeks.

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:22 am | View Comments (30)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 30 comments

Dubdub December 19, 2011 10:29 am

Not worthy of a citation

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medicaluke December 19, 2011 12:09 pm

He was going high (for the shoulders), his opposition ducks down and gets a forearm to the face...probably his fault for going high in the first place, but it isn't the worse case I've seen of ducking into a high-tackle

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Pretzel December 19, 2011 12:33 pm

Harsh I'd say! Number 8's head was down looked like he was going in for a cracking tackle then his arm hit high.

Worthy of a penalty! I'd understand but call it slightly harsh if he got a yellow, then again the referee would have seen it at full speed so it could be forgiven. But a citing and an internal ban seem very harsh!

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jumping04 December 19, 2011 2:23 pm

Normally I would agree with the above comments, but given this guys track record... He is a thug. He just got off of another ban recently and is now playing recklessly again.

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bob December 19, 2011 8:58 pm

these guys are pros. they know exactly what they are doing when they make a tackle like that.

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goulix December 19, 2011 9:03 pm

Dangerous tackle?? When did he try to tackle Germain? It was only a punch... Hala'ufia deserve more than that...

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Stuball December 20, 2011 1:44 am

I also think it's no coincedence that his club bans him for 6 weeks and he walked off the field holding his arm. I think he broke a bone (which takes 6 weeks to heal) and was going to be out for 6 weeks anyway so the club tried to make it look like they were being proactive. I don't think there was much in it, but if he's broken his forearm or any bone for that matter, hopefully he has learned the lesson of sometimes it hurts you just as much as it hurts them.

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stroudos December 20, 2011 1:12 pm

Yep, pretty transparent tactics by the club, but then again why not.

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bob December 20, 2011 3:43 am

what do ya mean "nothing in it". he hit him so hard with his forearm that he broke it. that is enough to concuss someone. it is pretty easy for these guys to do that type of thing every week if it only means a yellow card..... you lay out one of the opposing teams best players and you can wind the game with 14 for 10 mins. NO, they have to be strict on this stuff, the game is rough enough without cheap shots like that.

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BuzzKillington December 20, 2011 7:39 am

There's nothing in it because it was an accident. If you want to ban everyone who accidentally goes high or doesn't wrap properly you'll run short of professional players before the season is over.

I don't see any cheap shots in the video

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Frenchie December 20, 2011 3:51 am

How can people say it's harsh when the guy's arm is in the face of his opponent who is 6.2 Ft tall, even if he's a bit going low!!! We can't say there's a ducking here.
it's a clear ban straight, 6 weeks is fair.

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Sankeor December 20, 2011 10:26 am

Totally agree with you Frenchie !!
And come on, he just slighlty ducked and took the wrist in his face. If he had not, I presume he would have taken it in the throat !
Moreover, I guess the referee "forgot" to hand back the yellow card, because Gibson replaced Hala'Ufia after he left the field : I don't think the situation is "harsh" here !

@Medicaluke : If it was you or me, we would probably be dead, Germain is quite a stern player. Yeah me too I've seen worst, for instance when JB Elissalde got hit more or less in the same way and left the field on a stretcher with a cervical neck brace. It nearly ended his career.

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stroudos December 20, 2011 1:08 pm

"I guess the referee "forgot" to hand back the yellow card, because Gibson replaced Hala'Ufia after he left the field"

He didn't give a yellow card. Owens and the touch judges claimed they didn't see the tackle.

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stroudos December 20, 2011 1:10 pm

Don't really understand why there's a debate on this one. You clothesline someone hard enough to break your own wrist/forearm, you deserve some quite serious punishment. Doesn't matter if it's malicious/deliberate/accidental/careless, whatever. If you've played enough rugby to reach this level of the game, you're surely capable of avoiding this type of thing happening.

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Frenchie December 21, 2011 12:58 am

@ Sankeor: Perpignan?

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Josh December 21, 2011 10:15 am

Bones can be broken not only from force but also if the impact is at a weird angle.. i dont believe 6 weeks is fair and bans shouldnt be given out on somebodies record.. they should be on each event that takes place.

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jumping04 December 22, 2011 6:46 am

Look at it this way. Dan Carter spear tackles someone dangerously into the ground. Rules are rules, that is a red card and a suspension. However due to the fact that Carter is Carter and he has no history of foul play (aside from one accidental high tackle two years ago) they can assume that the dangerous play that just happened is accidental, however still dangerous. Ergo it should be punished, but due to the fact it was almost certainly accidental he shouldn't be punished too much.
On the flip side you have a serial offender like Jamie Cudmore or Hala'ufia. He has made the same dangerous tackle, but the difference is you have seen him make that tackle 10 times before. This leads you to assume he is either a) technically poor and thus shouldn't be playing because he is a danger to his colleagues, or b) he either doesn't care or deliberately go high, and thus should be punished more severely. It would be crazy to treat the two cases the same. It is just like in real life, the more times you break the law the longer your sentences are going to be because the judge will become more and more convinced that you are a menace to society. The same applies to rugby.

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Pretzel December 22, 2011 12:21 pm

Or C) this time he genuinely did fuck up with no malice etc, I.e a pure accident!

I get that prior form is important but this guy has not been banned for EVERY single tackle he has made, just a few bad ones, which leave me to believe he tackles on the edge of the laws which is dangerous I am sure but is hellishly entertaining when it's done right (try savers and rib breakers).

Really I don't see anything here other than a clumsy accident...

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patedelievre December 21, 2011 10:32 am

Has anyone seen this:
It's about the lesson of fair play that came from the Quins. I would like RD to put it online, just to stop with the cliché that the English are the kings of fair play: they are no better, no worse than any other nation/team, here's what they can do, too!

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stroudos December 21, 2011 3:40 pm

Good link M Lievre. Had read about this but not seen. Outrageous behaviour really. It's the sort of bad sportsmanship I wouldn't usually associate with rugby and, as an Englishman, I feel suitably embarrassed.

By the way, what's the English for "chiffonnier"? Does it mean people who are not playing?

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Pretzel December 22, 2011 2:22 am

Who says that the English are the kings of fair play? I think its common knowledge they aren' more or less...

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stroudos December 22, 2011 12:30 pm

Well, the French word for fair play is "le fairplay" - indicating that it's an English concept that we've constantly preached on about to anyone who'll listen. So in that context it seems pretty hypocritical when English players and staff pull stunts like this.

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Pretzel December 22, 2011 1:13 pm

So because the English have a definition for fair play or rather invented the word "fair play" it means they are kings of actually playing fair?!?!?

You do realise how absurd that sounds....

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stroudos December 22, 2011 9:47 pm

No, they're not good at actually doing it. But they do harp on about it and fill themselves with righteous indignation when other countries don't play fairly. When it comes down to it the English tend to be cheating bastards as much as any other; they're just more hypocritical about it.

Anyway, I don't know what you're arguing against here, you seem to be making the same point that I am.

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Pretzel December 23, 2011 2:01 pm

I guess I missed the comments when England are cheated....

Saying that, they haven't actually won much recently and when they have they have been the much better team, so not much to gripe about....

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Frenchie December 21, 2011 7:16 pm

Skinner has been also cited by the IRB (or ERC?) for his behavior.

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localgymmonkey January 03, 2012 11:43 pm

thats harsh, he was going in high but the player ducked in. A red card if seen would have been fine but 8 weeks is extreme

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Barracuda January 06, 2012 5:29 am

I agree, people always duck when they see the shoulder coming.

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Dalma March 02, 2012 1:10 am

11 weeks now, and it's a pretty good thing. At least his club can expect that he won't be banned again until the end of the season.

To those who think that it wasn't done on purpose : according to his disciplinary record, funny to see how this guy is "unlucky" on the field, eh?

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