Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pieter Dixon's red card after TMO recommendation rules kick to face

Before yesterday’s Currie Cup semifinal, the last time the Natal Sharks and the Blue Bulls met was on a miserably wet day in Durban last month. On that occasion the Sharks ended with 14 players after former Bath stalwart Pieter Dixon was red carded.

Dixon, who spent many years at Western Province and with the Stormers before heading over to the UK to play over 150 matches for Bath, returned to South Africa earlier this year.

The 35 year-old was brought in as the Sharks were missing hookers due to injury and Springbok duty. Dixon has relocated to where he was schooled, and his experience speaks for itself, including a Springbok tour match when they travelled to Argentina and the UK early in his career.

Near the end of the Bulls game he made contact with the head of flanker Arno Botha as the players fell in the wet conditions. Referee Mark Lawrence referred the potential foul play incident to TMO Johann Meuwesen, who had many looks at it and recommended a red card for the kick to the face.

Dixon later faced a disciplinary hearing and after acknowledging that his boot came into contact with Botha's face, stated that it was accidental. He was cleared of any wrongdoing as on the balance of probability, the kick was deemed to be unintentional, and the red card decision was incorrect.

The card was scraped from Dixon's record, and would not be taken into account should he appear in future disciplinary hearings again. As a result, he was free to play their next game.

Unfortunately a week later against Free State, Dixon broke his arm 12 minutes into the match.

This isn't very current news but it was quite a talking point at the time and some of you (especially Bath fans) asked to see it, so below is a short clip of the incident

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:35 am | View Comments (19)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 19 comments

katman October 21, 2012 1:06 pm

I reckon he was trying to dislodge the ball with a kick, which is not really cool either, but not worthy of a red card.

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Browner October 28, 2012 12:41 am

Yes it is
law 22.4.[f] says illegal so he should never have attempted it .... 100% RED

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Guy October 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Based on this small clip I would definitely also dispense a red card, no problem with that at all.

I am curious though as to what the TMO told the ref exactly. And why precisely this ruling was overturned by the citing commission.

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Canadian content October 21, 2012 4:41 pm

I agree with you Katman that's what he was trying to do, but I disagree and believe it was worthy of a red card. It was reckless and could have seriously injured his opponent.

I hate the professional attitude of trying to do something reckless to get a competitive edge, injuring or coming close to injuring someone, and then whining about being penalized for it (for example; league style tackles that start at the chest and end at the neck, reckless challenges in the air).

Everyone's health is more important than any scoreline, sorry

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FoXtroT October 21, 2012 7:49 pm

The citing commissioner found that there wasn't enough evidence of intent to warrent a red card. You can't really judge too much from only one angle. Many people who watched the game on both sides tend to agree it was accidental.

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Rugbydump October 21, 2012 9:50 pm

Agreed - this clip isn't great unfortunately but watching live they showed it many times and taking all things into account, it looked accidental. Apparently TMO Meuwesen didn't think so though!

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Pretzel October 22, 2012 1:08 am

RD do you mean it looked accidental, as in he DID mean to kick, but not the other players face? (i.e kick the ball) or does it look like a normal step from other angles?

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Rugbydump April 15, 2013 1:19 pm

Meaning he meant to kick the ball

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Pretzel October 21, 2012 9:20 pm

Hard to say. Seems pretty clear (imo) that he tried to kick the ball...

However missing and kicking a player in the face is surely deemed reckless...

If you intentionally kick a player in the face then it is surely a red card... but we don't judge on intent, we judge on outcome..isn't that right?

I think maybe a red was the right call (imo) for recklessness, but I wouldn't call for any further ban...

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Elizabeth Leiper October 21, 2012 10:14 pm card right decision..definitely reckless.
It's surely not normal practice to kick the ball out of someone's arms! If the ball carrier was holding on then the ref would whistle up a penalty for not releasing yeah? why go kicking at the ball?? I think his red card should be re-instated.

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George W October 21, 2012 11:11 pm

Pretzel if it is done on outcome and not intent how did etzebeth get a ban for an attempted head butt that didn't connect?

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Pretzel October 25, 2012 5:55 pm

I am 99.99% sure (from the available camera angles) that his "headbutt" DID connect. He was also ruled to have made contact as well...

It of course was not a backstreet brawl headbutt where someones nose ends up pointing out the back of their head, but to some degree it WAS, by definition a headbutt..

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Elizabeth Leiper October 22, 2012 12:14 pm

Decision made..he misses two tests!'s time the authorities came down hard on this stuff!

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Benny October 22, 2012 7:13 pm

This came up the other day when Strauss tried to kick the ball out of Whitelock's hands as he scored. I asked at the time but never got a reply. Is it legal to attempt to kick a ball from someone's hands as they are scoring? There's no way to say if he was aiming for the head but I would assume not. If he was aiming for the ball it's reckless and I'm happy with red card, same as a spear tackle is usually accidental but dangerous.

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Browner October 28, 2012 12:38 am

No it's not
LAW 22.4.[f]


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Benny October 28, 2012 6:04 pm

Thanks for the reply. Now i can make an whinge about it during the game

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Browner October 28, 2012 12:37 am

22.4.[f] Must not kick the ball ......... & because he attempted & missed then ...
LAW 10.4.[c] ...foul play

Easy decision ...RED CARD

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Browner October 28, 2012 12:43 am

Is it legal to attempt to kick a ball from someone's hands as they are scoring?

NO ! 22.4.[f]

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Harry November 06, 2012 3:49 am

Don't think he meant to kick him in the head but it was reckless and dangerous and intent doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. He should have been suspended fo at least a month.

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