Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kane Barrett gets straight red card but cited for separate stamp

Blues flanker Kane Barrett was red carded against the Chiefs after appearing to have made contact with the head of lock Craig Clarke. Blues coach John Kirwan was incensed at the decision, but Barrett has since been cited for a separate incident.

The Chiefs booked themselves a home semi final with a 26-16 victory in what was a competitive game despite the red card, which affected what could have been an even greater contest.

Barrett, the older brother of Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett, was sent off after just 22 minutes for an alleged stamp around the head of Clarke, who sympathised with him post match.

"I felt a little bit on the shoulder. Personally I feel for the man. If that was a club game in Taranaki you wouldn't look twice at that thing. I know he's hurting about it," said Clarke.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said "They are pretty unforgiving with anything close to the head but it seemed pretty harsh," while Blues coach John Kirwan felt it should only have been a yellow.

He has called for referee Chris Pollock to be held accountable. "A yellow would have been sufficient and it ruined what I reckon would have been a great game. It was just trying to get him out of the way. There was no intent in it whatsoever," Kirwan said.

"This is a professional sport. We've got millions of viewers all around the world watching. I challenge Lyndon Bray to do what we do; being dropped from selection next week because you don't play well or losing your job because you don't coach well.

"All I'm saying is that please take a leaf out of the book of the NRL so we can at least challenge this stuff. It's time we started to mature and be a professional sport and everyone is held accountable."

Captain Ali Williams, playing in his final game for the Blues, could be heard making a comment similar to that of Tana Umaga's classic 'tiddly winks' quote as he reacted to the decision: "What do you mean? F*ck. What sort of game are we playing!"

In a strange twist however, Barrett has now been cited for a stamp that occured just two minutes earlier as the Blues attacked the tryline. It wasn't spotted by the officials at the time.

Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna created a turnover, but appeared to get a boot or two for his troubles.

"Upon further review of the match footage, the citing commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play," SANZAR said in a statement.

Barrett was recently named captain of Taranaki so a suspension could rule him out of an important first NPC game in the ITM Cup, when his side take on Canterbury away on August 16th.

You can view the red card incident in the video below, and the other alleged stamp over on page two. Click here to go straight there, or use the navigation below this video.

A quick look at the alleged trampling incident that Barrett has been cited for. He appeared to make contact with the head of prop Ben Tameifuna after the turnover was made. It wasn't picked up by the officials or the commentators at the time, but you can see a hashed together replay in this clip.

Posted at 2:22 pm | 34 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 34 comments

DaRabman July 14, 2013 5:41 pm

Oh look, it's Chris Pillock over-reffing again. Huh.

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The Green Mafia July 14, 2013 6:24 pm

Over-reffing? Maybe. Some may argue that even without intent any stud to face contact (he wasn't even looking, it can't be intentional, but he barelly missed the bloke's eye, he could have been blinded) can warrant a red card. Others may argue that without intent it's a yellow.

What seems strange to me is that in just 2 minutes, the man had two separate incidents where he tramples someone, stepping in the head/face area (tameifuna was grasping his face, the camera doesn't show much). Naughty, naughty!!

Even without intent that's reckless, and every player has the duty of ensuring a legal and safe contest at ruck time

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suntzu July 14, 2013 6:38 pm

When will commentators understand that a referee does not judge intent... If Clarke had turned his head or at the same moment turned to roll away he would have caught a stud to the face or the eye and could be blind...
And anyway it's irrelevant since the ball was no where near the player he was trying to ruck so it's a red card end of story!
Indeed it's a professional game and players should understand that acts that are outside of those allowed by the laws of the game and that are a threat to other players welfare will be punished...

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Snoop July 14, 2013 11:31 pm

So if referees don't judge intent... then how did Horwill get away scot-free?

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cheyanqui July 16, 2013 12:29 am


If there weren't microphones on the referees, I might agree with you and refer to the Laws of the Game.

but we have mics and I hear referees all the time speak to a player and the captain and use the word "intent" in their rationales for dialing a Penalty / card up or down.

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DanKnapp July 14, 2013 7:21 pm

That's a LOT harsh. He's using his boot to tell the other player to move. There was no chance of hurting him with that. There wasn't enough downwards pressure to do any damage. It looked like he was trying to keep his boot away from the head, which is good enough for me.

It was a daft thing to do, but nothing that a talking to from the ref couldn't have solved. Bad decision from the touch judge.

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Bish Bash Bosh July 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Nah, the touch judge got it spot on. Saw something that looked like it wasn't quite right, flagged it, and suggested the ref should have a closer look (presumably because he knew he didn't see enough himself for a straight recommendation - you can clearly hear him say he's not sure about the intent). No more or less than he should have done. Definitely an incident that it was worth going to the TMO for, and the decision after that was purely the ref's own.

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DanKnapp July 14, 2013 7:23 pm

The second video, which I've now watched, seems far worse. What a tit.

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Waggy July 14, 2013 7:48 pm

The intent / no intent bit should make the difference between a yellow and a red card. There doesn't seem to be intent in the play for which he was carded. The second video is another story. From what we can see, he is aiming straight for the head, repeatedly. Not only that, but he does it while making eye contact with the referee, presumably to assess whether he's getting caught or not. Naughty indeed. I wonder whether the ref saw the first incident or if he was told about it later, which might have affected his decision on the red card. That kind of playing doesn't have its place in a rugby match anymore. Good call and good riddance.

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skronydn July 14, 2013 8:01 pm

how do you know if someone has intent or not? Dangerous play is dangerous play and it has to be 'stamped' out of the game! Player safety should also come first

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Ruggernut July 14, 2013 9:07 pm

Looks to me as if he only gets the guys shoulders. Didn't look like much to me but hey...

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DrG July 14, 2013 9:46 pm

Seems harsh, the 3rd effort he was trying to get his boot inside the ruck in between the players body and the ruck. Intent doesn't way in at all, so it's not worth commenting on.

I'd say the red card is very harsh, but given his behaviour earlier which was missed (which I admit looks a lot worse) I'd say the laws of justice and karma have evened out on this one...

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finedisregard July 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Rugby was much better when players lying on the ground on the wrong side of the ball were encouraged to roll away by the opposition and referee. When there are 5 players on the deck at the breakdown it's not progress.

Ask anyone that played rugby <2003, getting rucked really isn't a big deal. I'm not arguing for jumping on people's heads, but the game was better when the refs used to allow us ruck away players. You can't play rugby when you're on the ground.

I don't care what the law book says. We change the laws every year. Change it back.

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DrG July 15, 2013 10:20 am

Agreed! It's an incentive to get back to your feet quicker! Disuades laziness...

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Kevin July 17, 2013 3:49 pm

whatever about rule changes over the last few years and the legalities of raking, the fact remains that this was called a "maul" by the ref so when it collapses the defending player doesn't have to move an inch. so in that regard, kane barrett should never have made contact with the boot on the other player.

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Qeu July 14, 2013 11:27 pm

Ref called maul. Nobody has to roll away. Straight and easy red card.

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koxmoz kox July 15, 2013 3:56 am

It's doesn't matter... It was stumping Not Rucking... And it was dangerous... So RED CARD... Mi friend....

Good luck, good bye!

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jymmymaurix22 July 15, 2013 5:18 am

Sorry, but it is clear that more than 90% of referees have never played competitive rugby at any level. Although I have always been a firm believer of not complaining about them and keep on playing despite their decisions, lately I have turned to thing that probably without their intention they are killing our game.
Safety? That is not what we play for. We are rugby players, we play for our passion, for our friends and because we want to beat the shit out of each other in the most "gentleman" way we know about. Safety? sorry, but you got the sport wrong. Please reconsider what sport you are refereeing or change to other sport. Thanks

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ChrisUKRef July 15, 2013 7:41 am

I'm a ref and I have played competitive rugby to a decent level.

Both of these are straight reds, regardless of the cries of "it's not like the old days", and the suggestion that "safety isn't relevant, you've got the wrong sport" would be laughable if it wasn't so serious!

The point made above that as it was a maul, there was no obligation for the other player to roll away, is spot on - many players don't grasp this. Barrett had no "right" to seek to "move" the player with his boot anyway.

Both incidents see a straight downward motion with a boot in the head area of an opponent. Neither is "down and back" as a rucking motion would be - both are directly vertical. Both are stamps, not rucking. This guy got what he deserved and shouldn't even have been on the pitch to earn his red card in the second incident.

And before we give too much credence to Ali Williams' "what kind of game are we playing?", we should remember that he has history for this sort of thing, opening up Josh Lewsey's head with a stamp in 2003 when the ball was 10 feet away at the other side of the ruck.

This sort of thing has to be cut out of the game, players have a duty of care to their opponents. I don't mind a bit of rucking on the body - as a spectator and even when reffing - but stamps to the head have to stop. If they go unpunished at the elite level it encourages non-professionals at lower levels - with less skill and self-control - to do the same. And at this level the referees are on their own (not even TJs) and may often miss these incidents which inevitably leads to far more violent tempered games.

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DanKnapp July 15, 2013 3:01 pm

Informed post. Thanks for adding to the debate.

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cheyanqui July 16, 2013 12:38 am

here is my 90% statistic

The referees on the IRB International Panel, or on the SANZAR panels have played at a higher level than over 90% of the people on Rugbydump.com

myself included.

The real pressure on referees is not their inability to play or read the game at the highest levels.
The real pressure is the IRB trying to make the game more television friendly. That means favoring the offense to win the ball. That means not scaring mothers from letting their children play. The Referees are simply given the task of policing that.

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AndyBoy July 17, 2013 5:21 am

Well said Chris UKRef. The "it's a man's game" apologists for thuggery on this site make me want to vomit.

The fact that James Horwell got away with what was clearly dangerous play in the first Lions test shows the sport has some way to go.

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finedisregard July 15, 2013 12:27 pm

My argument is that rucking, and for the most part "stamping" is not dangerous. Ugly for mothers to watch on tv sure, but not damaging. Of course the head and private area is sacrosanct and I realize the offending player made glancing contact with the players head on the deck. Contact with the head is to be avoided.

I have had teams do entire tap dance routines on top of me when I was on the wrong side of the ball. I deserved it. I had no business being there. In 21 years of rugby I've never seen an injury come from cleats to body on the deck. The player on the ground is the one that is not playing rugby.

Instead of refs acting like cops, why don't we try rugby with 30 men on the field?

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braveheartlaw July 15, 2013 5:43 pm

I'm now a ref some 40 years later than when I was I taught the game by Bill McLaren as a youngster in Hawick.
I miss rucking from the game. I don't miss injuries to the neck and head area.
He wasn't on his body, he was on his neck and head.
He was nowhere near the ball either!
Agreed I've never seen serious injury to the body from rucking.
I have however been stamped on the face and was lucky enough just receive stitches across my eye-lid.
Refs have a mandate to interpret and follow the law. I think the officials here did a solid job and I can't find an excuse not to red card the player on this occasion.

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Eddie-g July 15, 2013 3:28 pm

I sympathise with the ref a bit here, the criticism he's getting is entirely misplaced. If he thinks he has seen a stamp around the area of the head, he has to hand out a red. It's a bit like the tip-tackle situation from a few years back - think Sam Warburton - where the IRB directive was unambiguous.

It does make a mockery of the Horwill decision, but that isn't a reason to criticise Pollock.

The far more egregious ref cock-up this weekend was Steve Walsh's penalty against John Ulugia... where after several replays showing nothing untoward, he still penalised the bloke. That was rank crap reffing.

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Lucius July 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Was a maul so nobody had to go away; but the red card is a bit harsh

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TotesMcGoates July 16, 2013 5:06 am

Anyone else find it ironic that it was the same referee as the Lions First Test? Was the Horwill incident, and the subsequent spotlight in the media, weighing on Mr Pollock's mind?

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AndyBoy July 17, 2013 5:26 am

Maybe, but no-one else saw the incident during the game either so Pollock wasn't criticised as far as I know. The fault in that case was with the citing commission who, clearly under either overt or implied pressure from the Australian Rugby Board, chose twice to sanction thuggery.

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juspar July 17, 2013 2:35 pm

Seems justice was served here. The incident that was called to the TMO and judged by Polock may have been over penalised, that's the whole 'intent' debate (there is no question that it was a penalisable, even cardable offense, just hair splitting over the colour). But the same player rucking the head twice in 5 minutes clearly indicates that at the end of the day the right decision was made even if it was inadvertent.

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Alex McDonald July 18, 2013 3:18 pm

Stamping regardless of where the contact is.... Is a red card offence under law 10.4(b). There is no dispute.

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DrG July 18, 2013 3:42 pm

No one disputes what the laws states, they merely dispute the law existing in it's current form which outlaws sticking a boot on a lazy player...

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alexmcdonald July 18, 2013 3:47 pm

Regardless of the player being lazy or not. A player has a duty of care to his opponents. With any foul play law whether there is intent or not; it comes down to the responsibility. If I was refereeing that game I would have sent him off also. Chris Pollock is a very good referee!

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DrG July 22, 2013 4:31 am

But what you just said is completely ignoring what I said.... I never said Pollock was wrong to send anyone off etc... I said the law in there that screws over rucking is a massive cock up...

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Stuart_B September 16, 2013 3:04 pm

As a referee myself I would have given a red card automatically. He made contact with the opposition players head and shoulders using his foot (in effect stamping) which comes under the foul play laws. Plus for all you non-referees out there, referees are not coached to judge on intent of the actions of players, just what happens in front of them.

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