Monday, December 10, 2012

Cardiff Blues' Lloyd Williams red carded for alleged dangerous tackle

Cardiff Blues scrumhalf Lloyd Williams was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle against Montpellier in their Heineken Cup third round clash on Sunday. Montpellier won 35-24 after having a numerical advantage for much of the match.

The 23-year-old Welsh international flung opposite number Benoit Paillaugue to the ground, resulting in a straight red card from referee John Lacey with just a quarter of the game gone.

Montpellier scored three tries while all the home side's points came through the boot of young Rhys Patchell. The loss of Williams however meant the Blues struggled.

"It was a bit of a rustic challenge, I think we will contest it but we will have to have a look at it. I am not sure it was the right decision," said Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies.

Montpellier's Fabien Galthie had a different view on it though, saying it was the correct decision.

"The law is the law. The player knows the law and he has to respect it. It would have been the same for us. It is a dangerous tackle that deserved a red card," he said.

Williams will face an ERC Disciplinary Hearing this week to see if he will face a further suspension or not, with the low end entry point for a dangerous tackle being a two week ban.

"That was tough for us, but fortunately no one was hurt and we just carried on after it I suppose," added Davies, hinting at the possibility of appealing the outcome of the hearing.

"I've just got to have another look at it, their guy finished the game which is important, but we'll just have a little look and see what we'll do with it after."

Montpellier host the Blues in France next weekend for the return fixture.

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:05 am | View Comments (70)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 70 comments

Anonymous December 10, 2012 12:52 pm

Penalty, maybe a yellow if the ref deems it reckless or dangerous. Not a red. Red cards should be reserved for reckless and malicious challenges.

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mrmrchoice December 10, 2012 10:35 pm

And flipping someone headfirst over your shoulder isn't reckless?

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stce23 December 10, 2012 11:39 pm

flipping someone over their shoulder is reckless i know. but that wasnt. You see tacklers trying to turn the player to his teams side every game. but i think that it was unlucky that Paillaugue had landed with his legs in the air. It looked bad at first. RED harsh, yellow maybe

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lambchop1234 December 10, 2012 1:13 pm

Certainly dangerous. Perhaps a little harsh but every player knows the laws. It is the tackler's responsibility once you have picked a player up to return that player to the ground safely. You have a duty of care to that player. In this case Lloyd Williams has certainly not done that and has put him down on his head. Not malice whatsoever though. Harsh, but fair call I suppose! Anyone agree?

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Rodofle December 10, 2012 1:24 pm

Yes lambchop1234, harsh but fair. The Welsh apparently have a problem with French players when it comes to tackle properly...

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Pretzel December 10, 2012 1:58 pm

.....pathetic... turns the player so he lands on his teams side with a "not brilliant looking" tackle and he gets red carded...

I vote we change this sport to tag and then invent a new rugby based on the old laws when the ball didn't used to get jammed up in on and so forth...moan gripe bitch whine...travesty...hypocrisy...and I really am no longer surprised by this shit...

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nomoretoughness December 10, 2012 1:58 pm

No Lambchop1234 I absolutely do not agree. Penalty at most. The game is shit now, anything aggressive has just been taken out to please the mothers and the old boys. There is no way this should be a red card. I miss real rugby.

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Pretzel December 10, 2012 4:10 pm

....the old boys?? O.o Not that I am an old boy (far from it) but I have had the pleasure, or perhaps the displeasure of playing against some "old boys" and geez, if they weren't aggressive then I don't know what is....

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Dave84 December 10, 2012 2:01 pm

lampchop1234, he actually lands on his shoulder not his head. Yellow card would have been fair i think. I feel referees are trying to safe face since Warbuton's tackle and any similar tackle given a red card. Rugby is a physical game, big hits are going to happen.

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lambchop1234 December 10, 2012 2:18 pm

Ok sorry I got that wrong. He didn't land on his head. But was still dangerous. I do respect everyone's opinions though. Everyone has their own intepretation. I said what I said from a referee's point of view as I am one myself

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mrmrchoice December 10, 2012 10:40 pm

As a lvl 7 myself I'd agreed. Best advice I was ever give is "at a flashpoint situation, if you have to stop and think whether it's a red card or a yellow card, it's a red card. You must be certain it's a red card". I'm not surprised he gave a red, as an immediate reaction.

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Anonymous December 10, 2012 2:23 pm

Definately a red..... unfortunate, as you can obviously see he's trying to turn the player to his own side, but rules are rules and poor technique shouldn't excuse the fact it was dangerous. He picked him up, took him beyond the horizontal, threw him over his his shoulder and the guy landed on his head \ shoulders, as well as the fact that Williams had one arm half-way around his neck. Doesn't get much more clear cut to be honest.

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Guy December 10, 2012 2:26 pm

That could have ended with a nasty injury. Broken collar bone, dislocated shoulder, etc. Don't think Williams intended to hurt him but it definitely looked dangerous and I can understand why the ref issued a red card. Don't think he should receive any more than the card, though.

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Some Bloke December 10, 2012 2:41 pm

Definitely just a tackle and did not warrant a penalty let alone a red card. Very poor decision by the officials. Here's why - Dynamics of a tip tackle:
The tackler
? Comes to a stop
? Grasps the ball carrier below the hips
? Lifts him straight upwards
? Turns him upside-down.
? Lets him go or drives him to the ground.

Williams did not do any of these things. The IRB and refs need to realise their poor tinkering and interpretations are ruining rugby union.

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mrmrchoice December 10, 2012 10:45 pm

On one had, he DID turn him upside down and did drive him into the ground. Source: I watched the clip.

You can't quote a post written by an amateur referee as law. Not least because I, as a senior referee, disagree with it. Why would it be necessary that the tackler grasp the ball carrier below the hips?

What the dangerous tackle laws are trying to stamp out are tackles which are dangerous. I.e., the mischief they are trying to remedy are tackles which have an unacceptably greater chance of causing serious injury to the ball carrier.

Here the ball carrier ends up upside-down, with the neck/shoulder area taking the brunt of the force.

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James Murray December 11, 2012 9:54 am

Spot on! I think I would have given a penalty thought, because of the flying legs.

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Terry T December 10, 2012 3:22 pm

This is a crap decision. I'm not sure if it even deserves a penalty. The only thing that makes it penalty-worthy is the arm around the neck. Yeah, slow it down and it looks like a bad tackle but having been on the receiving end of a few tackles like this, it is not even comparable to a tip/spear tackle. Yeah rules are rules, but there is a clear distinction between this tackle and a tip tackle, which the law was written to prevent. Fully agree with Some Bloke.

These Northern Hemisphere decisions are crazy. Hopefully these types of decisions don't migrate to the Southern Hem. and turn global rugby into a handbag-swinging game of football.

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Facepalm December 10, 2012 7:38 pm

Dynamics have nothing to do with it. Just because it isn't what you're used to seeing as a spear tackle does not mean it isn't a spear tackle. This is a definitely a red card.

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jadawin December 10, 2012 5:56 pm

a judo-like tackle. but rules are rules...

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Colombes December 10, 2012 6:40 pm

sorry moaners but if the player is lifted and fall on the upper body part, the red card is justified at "the letter of the law" :/
and if the law doesn't seem correct for most of us, a thing that i quite agree..... it's to the IRB to find new sanctions to avoid these dangerous tackles.
The ref can't choose between red or yellow checking if the player is injured or not.

And i don't think rugby will necessarly become more soft. we're talking about technic not impact. Yesterday, i've watched Clermont-Leinster which was the most intense and brutal match of the HCUP WE in term of number tackles and desperate defence, and i haven't watched one action which appeared illegal.

axtual rules are actua

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Colombes December 10, 2012 6:41 pm

actual rules are actual rules ;)

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Big Joe December 10, 2012 10:09 pm

Who the hell do you think you are?!? Anyone whose ever stepped foot on a rugby pitch will know that's not even a penalty, and why are you talking about going out to hurt people and deliberately injuring them when that tackle was neither. YOU are the type of moaner our game can do without, now jog on you little cry baby.

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browner December 11, 2012 5:04 am

Big Joe doesn't speak on behalf of many.

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nemo34 December 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Anyone whose ever stepped foot on a rugby pitch know the referee is always right! Legs upside down = tip tackle = red card. End of story.

Cardiff blues probably lost the game on this very action, as Montpellier was blatantly dominated before this event and struggled to win despite playing 14 to 15. Too bad, but the guy to blame is Williams , not the referee.

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DanStan December 10, 2012 6:56 pm

The overreaction of the Montpellier forwards make this look 10 times worse than what it was. Yellow card at the very extreme in my opinion.

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Gonzoman December 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Interesting discussion so far...I'll give my opinion first, then bring up a larger discussion point...

My opinion: the referee did well. According to the letter of the law, it was definitely penalizeable: there was no control and no-one can honestly argue that the tackled player was brought to ground safely. A centimetre or two in a different direction and we could be dealing with a broken neck. I've actually seen it in person: a player landing on their shoulder and head, and the game was called off and they were sent to hospital for surgery. Two years later he was able to go back to work part-time and was lucky to still have full motion in his limbs. It's not something to be toyed with.

The topic for discussion: do you think there would be as much outrage/controversy/whining, etc. if the citing commision got things right? For example, in this case the red should be ample punishment. There was no malice, just dangerous recklessness. I'm sure the player has learned his lesson. That would leave citings for bigger issues, and for things that were missed in the game (ie: A. Hore's flying elbow).

I think that the "justice system" at the IRB has gotten all out of whack. A card is a significant punishment, and unless it's an extreme case of violence/something that can't be dealt with within the laws of the game, there should be no citing!

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Gonzoman December 10, 2012 7:08 pm

On a side note, this whole citing vs. refereeing debate is one that I haven't run into as a rugby referee yet, but as an ice hockey referee I had a couple of run-ins with the citing/hearings system that I felt undermined the authority of referees. In both cases, myself and my two colleagues that were handling the games in question noticed that our officiating suffered for a good period of time after having our decisions overruled, or a token 1-game suspension being handed down.

There seemed to be two sides to it: first, you were careful not to make big calls, instead handing out smaller penalties because you didn't want to get dragged into another useless hearing. This had the effect of making it difficult to manage games properly, as everyone knew it should have been a tougher call. Second, borderline offences would get called more often, and we were jumpy on the whistle, because no matter how much you try to be consistent and professional, you are worried about getting into a situation where you might have to make a big call again.

I wonder if we're seeing a similar effect here: the higher-level referees seem to be suffering from the "I don't want to be the next Alain Rolland" syndrome, while the lower-level referees seem to have a case of the "If I go big here, I'll look tough on 'crime' and it'll bode well for later".


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stroudos December 10, 2012 7:20 pm

Couldn't agree more Gonzoman.

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Willwillrob December 10, 2012 7:09 pm

I think Red Card no sanction is a suitable outcome. He wasn't looking to injure the player but defiantly looking to bring him down hard.

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rufio December 10, 2012 7:25 pm

anyone that likes this tackle or thinks its not a red obviously doesnt play rugby, coz this has all kinds of dangerous written all over it!! Im all for rugby being hard hitting within he laws of the game, and to say its gone soft isnt true!! But this could of ended far worse.

If you dont agree with me, let me know and il be more than happy to come recreate this tackle you like this and we'll see what you have to say after!!

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Leo December 10, 2012 7:37 pm

No es una acción de roja, amarilla sería más que suficiente.
Estamos perdiendo el espíritu de este deporte, sin tortas, sin rucks, sin meles dura, una mariconada. Cada vez parece más rugby touch.

Red card is too much, the yellow card should be the correct thing to do. No more than that.
We are loosing the spirit of this sport, no more punchs, no more rucking, no more tackles on the air, no more hard scrums, looks like touch rugby very soon.

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stroudos December 10, 2012 7:58 pm

You forgot to translate "una mariconada".... ;)

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dcfurie December 10, 2012 9:19 pm

So you are saying rugby would become a game for Gareth Thomas? It is 2012 - gay men are and have been playing rugby at world class level. Rugby is a game played by all sorts of people - your attempt to emphasize your point w/an anti-gay phrase fails.
I do find part of this comment offensive but rather than report it I choose to attempt to enlighten. Which I don't often do outside of the pub w/Guinness in hand.

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Munster1923 December 10, 2012 11:42 pm

In what era did you play this wonderful game where you were allowed to tackle players in the air and punch the opposition?

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Guy December 10, 2012 10:00 pm

If that's how his comment translates, it's pretty pathetic. Rugby has always been a game for people like Gareth Thomas: great, tough athletes with a never say die attitude and terrific ambassadors of the best game in the world.

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stroudos December 11, 2012 10:21 am

Oops, didn't mean to open a can of vicariously-offended worms here...

@ dcfurie - calm down mate, it doesn't really translate literally. My comment was not meant to accuse Leo of homophobia, but more a challenge to try and find an English equivalent to "una mariconada" - not an easy task. Probably something like Tana Umaga's "tiddlywinks" comment, or Boris Johnson's "namby-pambyism" would be an apt translation.

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dcfurie December 11, 2012 9:43 pm

I didn't need your help translating the word, stroudos. I realize mariconada is a derivative of maricon & may be open to wider interpretation. But the majority of definitions I have come across reference something either anti-gay or anti-female. As gay and female and a rugby player for 25 years this worm isn't offended as much as she's dissapointed. Rugby is rugby - same laws, same equipment, same joy - no matter who you are.

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stroudos December 12, 2012 10:37 am

Ah, so you're not vicariously offended, you're actually offended (or disappointed). Fair enough. I wasn't calling you or anyone else a worm, by the way - not on purpose anyway!

But mariconada isn't really anti-gay, it just doesn't translate that way. It's a bit like if you said in Spanish that you're "constipada" it wouldn't mean you're constipated... And the word is definitely not anti-female, so I wouldn't worry about that.

If you've played rugby for 25 years I daresay you'd agree with a lot of the content of his post though?

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stroudos December 11, 2012 10:21 am

Oops, didn't mean to open a can of vicariously-offended worms here...

@ dcfurie - calm down mate, it doesn't really translate literally. My comment was not meant to accuse Leo of homophobia, but more a challenge to try and find an English equivalent to "una mariconada" - not an easy task. Probably something like Tana Umaga's "tiddlywinks" comment, or Boris Johnson's "namby-pambyism" would be an apt translation.

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stroudos December 10, 2012 7:52 pm

I don't like these judo-style tackles. Also, it seems to me that Williams did put a bit of extra "spice" into it, presumably out of embarrassment at how easily the other 9 had just nicked the ball from his scrum.

Personally I think red is harsh. Even according to the draconian IRB tip tackle directive, yellow would seem sufficient - it only recommended red if you force/spear the player downwards or drop him from a height. ("For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient" -

But players at this level must know that if they lift a player they're going to have to be very careful how they put him down, otherwise they'll very likely see a card. It is very similar to the two-footed tackle in the spheroid fetishists' game - all the players know that if they go into a tackle with both feet off the ground and their studs showing, they will almost definitely be booked, yet many top professionals still do it. Many of those tackles are very dangerous indeed, some are not; but 9 times out of 10 they'll be punished with a yellow or red card. So why take the risk?

In my own personal tip tackle attitude journey, I'm now arriving at a place where, even though I think many perfectly safe tackles are being wrongly and too severely punished, I'm slowly resigning myself to the fact that this is how they're going to be policed, so deal with it. To borrow a phrase from Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan (, I don't like it but I'll have to go along with it. And I'm afraid the professionals are just going to have to start taking a similar approach or they'll be missing 10+ minutes of lots of games.

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stroudos December 10, 2012 8:10 pm

By the way, what the fuck is the commentator on about at 2:00?
"“For people watching, the law really is if you raise your elbow above your shoulder in the tackle, you’re deemed to have really tried to lift him”.

No it isn't!! There's no mention in the laws at all - as far as I'm aware anyway - of anything about elbows and shoulders. I can see the logic, but don't introduce your individual interpretation as if it's a written law....

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daluaine December 10, 2012 8:15 pm

Disturbing how the trend now is for the potentially "wronged" team to all rush in with handbags. Get the impression that a lot of these decisions are being given one stage higher in some cases purely because of the reaction of the rest of the team?

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Tc December 10, 2012 8:17 pm

I think half the problem with decisions like these is the players starting a bit of Argie bargie, knowing the tackler is likely to get sent off. It seems anything where a player gets even vaguely lifted results players rushing in and a red card follows. This is a judo throw not a tip tackle

It's gamesmanship, the scrapping, It's purely started to get the tackler sent off

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CL December 10, 2012 8:35 pm

Our guy's been dumped in an illegal and possibly harmful tackle. Let's pile in over the top and fight the guy who did it! That'll help our guy's neck.

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Tom December 10, 2012 9:23 pm

According to the law the referee had little choice as it was a dangerous tackle and the player was put down in a position which could put pressure on or damage the neck (which is effectively what some of the directives from the IRB have ultimately led to).

The greater question is whether this is the right way to go for the game, I believe that pressure on the neck can occur in a number of ways throughout the game in any case (rucks, mauls, scrums, normal tackles) , therefore the law must stipulate the positioning more accurately in terms of, for example, negligent tackling leading to compacting of the neck due to the angle at which the player has been tipped and a red card being given for players being dropped directly on their heads, a red card is too harsh a penalty for when a player lands on the top of their shoulders or on their side.

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JimTonks December 10, 2012 10:40 pm

Defo a yellow card but certainly not a red in my opinion...

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ConorL December 10, 2012 10:52 pm

People may not agree with it, but by the letter of the law the ref made the right call. Whether the law itself needs changing is a whole other matter entirely.

And just to echo Colombes point up above, all the people on here bitching and moaning about the game becoming "too soft" need to find an hour and a half's free time one day and sit down and watch the Clermont-Leinster game from yesterday.

Neither team got anywhere near scoring a try, but it was 80mins of the most intense, physical, fantastically brutal rugby anyone could wish to see. And not a spear/tip tackle or red card in sight!

Roll on next weekend in Dublin! Allez Les Bleus!!

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Tim December 11, 2012 2:17 am

For me I think a yellow at a push a red is just ridiculous he's landed more on his shoulder. His legs come up making it look bad I think the ref was to quick to make a fair decision. He should have stepped back spoken to his linesmen and then I doubt it would have been more than a penalty he is slightly over the horizontal but a red is stupid. In the last few years the laws have become to sensitive for such a physical sport. Just my opinion.

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Pretzel December 11, 2012 2:37 am

I don't like these "one inch more" or "nearly was this" or any of those sorts of comments...

Referees are there to judge offences, not potential offences.. I mean, surely we could go into a whole realm of: "This tackle is soooo dangerous, because if he had landed on his neck he might of died instantly, and then having his legs flipped up like that might have sent a loose stud flying which could have hit another player in the eye and blinded him and that player could have been running at full speed and then suddenly being blinded he might have run into another player and clashed heads and that other player may have been knocked unconscious and fallen and bitten the neck of a team mate and ripped open his jugular vein (whilst falling and then swallowing his own tongue and dying from suffocation) and that player could have gushed blood out and another couple players may have swallowed some blood and one of those players might have developed a nasty infection whilst the other one might have developed a taste for blood and then gone on a killing rampage later on in the day ripping open family members, friends, and any stranger that gets too close and drinking their blood, a horrified motorist that witnesses that may have not focussed on the road and ploughed into a school bus which then swerved into a tanker lorry covering all the children in fuel, which might trickle down to a hot exhaust and ignite thus sending flaming children everywhere, one flaming child may have run into a busy material factory igniting all the loose material lying around the place and sending the whole building into a towering inferno, therefore the firebrigade would have to be called out, some of the fire fighters might lose their 70's tache's in the heat whilst veteran "one day away from retirement, wife and 3 kids" firefighter Sam Flamey sacrifices himself to save a puppy caught in the fire..(which later has to be put down as it cannot be rehomed).."

So yeh, Lloyd Williams..lifetime ban!!

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Jon December 11, 2012 2:53 am

Pretty soft.
They are way too quick with red cards in the NH.

My theory is that it's the influence of soccer in Europe that makes them so ridiculously officious.

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browner December 11, 2012 5:17 am

Pretzel for Prime Minister .................

............ in the 1900's though....

The Key Element on this 'tackle; was THE TWIST OF THE PLAYER to bang him into the dirt. Tackler shows poor technique- Tackler is always required to release the player 1st, so the Judo throw isn't likely to achieve possession [surely the aim?]

I'd much rather see my players manouvering the Ball carrier to give the tackler a better chance to strip the ball, or contest for possession, then he'd get more synpathy.....

The referee's immediate whistle tone and the players reactions all said the same thing....unacceptable BECAUSE IT WAS DANGEROUS


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Pretzel December 11, 2012 3:43 pm

If you say so browner...

If you think this isn't likely to achieve possession then I suggest you think rationally...

If you are tackled you try to fall on your teams side (facing your own try line), this enables you to place the ball back, leave a gentle hand on it to steady it and it means the opposition has to step OVER you to reach the ball. Now lets say one game you decide to always fall facing the opposition try line, now you are not supposed to roll over, (although sometimes players do) therefore in order for your team to secure the ball you have to effectively place it over your body and behind you,. It is generally more difficult to do with bodies swarming in to retrieve the ball. So if you honestly believe that turning a player does NOT help your team then I doubt you've ever played a decent standard of rugby in your life.

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Tenser December 11, 2012 6:05 am

Heard of the adage "prevention is better than cure"? You'll be hard pressed to find a contact sport considered more (physically) competitive than rugby and there are still people that criticize tackle laws as "soft" and that it detracts from the "spirit of the game" (I've seen this phrase used on RD often). Sure there's fewer fists and old-school player-retribution for wearing flashy boots or gamesmanship... But I never really understood why that was necessary to preserve what we all cherish about the game (integrity, respect, teamwork et al). I'm all for it to be removed, especially if there's a chance to break somebody's neck. With regards to the tackle; I've seen MMA commentators cringe and exhibit concern when a similar suplex is performed in a damn ring.

With regards to the problems of setting appropriate limits; it's all already in place and you know it. Well the large proportion of comments have highlighted an understanding of it anyway.

You either look at 1) likelihood of damage occuring, 2) the intent of the player (which may or may not be malicious) 3) recklessness which may lead to injury (which can be unintentional - which I believe was Chogan's point to the likes of Big Joe). Yes, we could go into that realm of make-believe, the law (in the sport, in criminal liability and any real world application) actually does it's best to stay away from it - getting the most proficient adjudicators/referees that can understand concepts of risk is also part of it. If adhered to, no decision will be as ludicrous as you described; the very fact you haven't seen a decision like that bears testament to the law of the game (as reviled in its current form as it is).

And by the way, hate to be pedantic but a tackle IS dangerous when there is a likelihood of danger, even if damage or injury does not eventuate. So yes, a referee is there to judge "potential" offences (a very loose interpretation of "offence").

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Jon December 11, 2012 6:12 am

No MMA commentator would critisize this, are you kidding.
This is a very average slam (it's not a suplex), very mild for the world of MMA.

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Chogan December 11, 2012 1:54 pm

I must to say that I can't remember what I said and now that the comment has been removed, I am unlikely to ever remember.
Having said that I agree with all that you (Tenser) have said and that your interpretation of what I said is a sentiment that I stand by.

The frustration with those that fail to accept the laws as they stand is now baffling. You may disagree with the law but that does not mean that decisions made are wrong. The law is the same for all sides (no McCaw jokes needed).

The particular law in question and its directives are in place to prevent serious injury. They manage this by stopping it at the root where any potential serious injury from tackles of this nature could occur. I applaud this 100%.

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Boss December 11, 2012 11:26 am

What do we need? A broken neck... Then ban this type of tackle, we want players playing not in wheelchairs... Red card correct call, harsh but the game has changed and we need to change our thought process....thank God none of my children will ever play a match that any who say it is not red will be refereeing!

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stroudos December 11, 2012 11:48 am

Sensationalist and hysterical.

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Askelkana December 11, 2012 12:13 pm

On a side note, wasn't the Montpellier SH a mile offside? He didn't stay behind the ball at all!

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UpandAway December 11, 2012 2:14 pm

Pretty touch and go......... I'll leave the borderline interpretations aside, but all I know is that I would have been sent off almost every match back in my playing days.

The intention was to physically dominate the opponent and slam him to the ground and turn him the wrong way......... the intention (like in Judo) was for his upper body to hit the ground hard, not the head and neck........ and he achieved his intention.

I'll let other decide if this type of play needs to be referee'd out of the game because it might have more dangerous outcomes.

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matt the mauler December 11, 2012 3:55 pm

Stupid tackle. Don't lift a player. Simple. If you do don't slam them into the ground - whether onto flat of back or head as the ref will ping you and card you. Appreciate it's sometimes easier said than done though.

Don't think it should be a card (though I very rarely do!) but the second I saw it I thought that'll sadly be red.

Interesting that the forward who was quite clearly throwing a few punches didn't even get a talking too!

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Promin42 December 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Oh how I yearn for days of old where wispy French half backs were laughed at when they got stuck on their arses by scrappy Welsh scrum-halves who then received a congratulatory pat on the back from a teammate.

Was what occurred dangerous - no. Was it a silly thing to do well given the "Laws" as they now stand and how they are interpreted - probably yes.

To be honest the most grating thing about the whole incident is the Montpellier forwards making such a meal of it when every one of them would have known Paillaugue was absolutely fine. Definitely an element of Soccer culture creeping in!

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Guest December 11, 2012 11:39 pm

What has occured was dangerous. William's arm around the neck of Paillaugue was dangerous on its own.

The IRB says that the referee's first thought should be a red card.

In this case it is hard to find any mitigating circumstances. Both players are upright. That means that Paillaugue did not run into a bending Williams. Secondly there was hardly any impetus from either player which could cause Paillaugue to be tipped. Thirdly Williams does not just tip Paillaugue above the horizontal for he is vertical.

It's not harsh at all.

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CharlieUSA December 12, 2012 8:04 am

Despite referring to the World Cup red card for Sam Warburton, the commentator misses the point- it is not about intent - refs don't have scope to make decisions based on intent. He did it, it happened, and as a result the card is red. The laws are the laws.

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Donny December 12, 2012 6:58 pm

Im amazed people are surprised by this.


In years gone by (not that long ago) we were taught that you tackle hard and low, getting the ball carrier to deck for the ruck to start.

Some guys do this really well - Dan Lydiate for example or Joe Worsley a few years back. This guys will never be banned for tip tackles.

Now it seems this isn't enough. Knocking the man is not enough and players are lifting the ball carrier by the legs and driving backwards.

Often times this tips him up in the air whether you mean to or not.

If you turn a man upside down in the tackle you will get a yellow card.
If you then continue to drive him downwards or let go of him mid air you will get a red card.

People talking about "oh boo hoo hoo its tag rugby now" live in cuckoo world. Tip tackling was NEVER a part of rugby nor should it be.

You can hit people hard and hit them legally - look at this ( tackle from last weekend. Perfectly legal and still very hard.

Even this crunching tackle (

So once again for those dumb dumb players get it into your head STOP LIFTING THE PLAYERS UP IN THE TACKLE. GET THEM DOWN NOT UP!

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Rick December 13, 2012 1:03 am

dangerous but wasn't brought down hard, not intentional, yellow card at most! harsh call by a ref too quick to try and make his presence known!!

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THe IRBandERC is a j December 13, 2012 11:07 pm

he's been given a 5 week ban for this , the same amount of time andrew Hore was given for his common assault on Bradley Davies , its a bit of a joke really isn't it ? yes it was a red card but he did not intend any injury on the player and gets five weeks out for what some could see as just a mistake. where as Hore punched man in the side of the head intentionally and gets 5 weeks for admitting it. i don't mind that williams was band but surely there just needs to be some kind of consistency from the rugby world when handing bans out to people for this kind of thing .

it seems very unfair that a bad tackle with no intent is punished the exact same way as other far more serious offences something needs to be done about that .

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Nate December 14, 2012 6:42 pm

What's even worse about the Andrew Hore ban is that he got his on the SH off season. I think he misses only 2 Competitive game, 1 being the England match. Williams got his in the middle of the NH season.

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Pretzel December 14, 2012 9:33 pm

Oh no Nate... Hore will miss 3 warm up matches... the NZ staff and club staff have assured the disciplinary panel that these matches are very important to Hore....


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