Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ben Tameifuna and Jamie Mackintosh banned for old school rucking

Two New Zealand props have been suspended following stamping and raking incidents in the ITM Cup fourth round match between Southland and Waikato in Invercargill. Ben Tameifuna and Jamie Mackintosh have both been suspended for one week.  

Judicial hearings took place for separate incidents after Tameifuna trod all over Mackintosh, then later in the game the big Southland captain rucked the back of replament Sam Christie.

In the first of the two incidents, Waikato giant Tameifuna saw Mackintosh on the floor and in an attempt to clear him out, he jumped on his legs, which in the view of judicial office Chris Morris was 'reckless but not intentional'. He stated that 'more care was needed in future'.

As for Mackintosh, he got his own back a little later in the match, although it was on a replacement back who had fallen on the wrong side of a tackle and was blocking quick ball.

The Southland skipper's rucking was lauded by the old school commentators, with former Otago flank and captain Kelvin Middleton saying that Christie got what he deserved.

The referee let it go and actually warned Waikato for slowing the ball down, but the citing officers disagreed, and Mackintosh was cited for stamping, a breach a breach of law 10.4(b).

Morris said that the stamping was forceful rucking and that the number of times the boot had made contact with Christie's back had put it into a more serious category. He did however say that it was at the low end of the offence, and a one week suspension was appropriate.

Mackintosh, who funnily enough went off with a foot injury, voiced his disappointment on Twitter.

"Watch out everybody if u ruck someone who lies on the ball it's a week suspension," he said.

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:04 am | View Comments (34)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 34 comments

Guy September 11, 2013 2:38 pm

According to the laws of the game the ref is right to award a penalty in both cases (intentionally rucking the body). However, I don't understand the citing and subsequent suspension since both acts were neither dangerous nor cardworthy.

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Xenophile September 13, 2013 1:27 am


While I've always supported proper rucking, in its current incarnation and past forms, both of the above acts were dangerous and could have seriously injured the receiving players. It does not take much to break ribs, or damage internal organs - especially not when a 130kg prop is putting the hoof down.

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Jakob Como September 11, 2013 2:39 pm

Even though it was once an allowable technique, the stomping on Christie's back was most definitely revengeful in nature. The one week suspension should serve as an appropriate length for a rule that was once looked at as an applauded technique.
For more rugby information please check out:

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PetefromMoor September 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Defo wrong and seemed away from the ball but great to see little reaction from Christie. Wonder how footie/soccer would have handled that?

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INYO September 11, 2013 3:49 pm

I have been playing for a while now and am confused, I have seen raking a few times this last year go un punished and whether this was revengful or not the player was in no mans land and the appropriate reaction was taken(raking, not punishment) in both cases I feel. Is the sport of rugby really trying to do away with this type of play? Who are they trying to appeal to?

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CP September 11, 2013 7:45 pm

"Is the sport of rugby really trying to do away with this type of play?" - intentionally doing this has actually been illegal for almost 20 years
"Who are they trying to appeal to?" - in my understanding it was to improve the image of the game, as in to not put parents off from sending their children into a "dangerous" sport where little Jimmy could get stamped on, when he could quite easily be taken to Football on a Saturday with little risk of proper physical contact.

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ConnachtMan September 11, 2013 4:16 pm

When I played back in the stone age my Coach would make us second rows show him our backs after the match and if we weren't covered in rake marks we were dropped for not trying hard enough...he was a Priest from Limerick!

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Reality September 11, 2013 5:32 pm

Mackintosh was punished for being a good Christian. What a world!

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HowardTheDuck September 12, 2013 9:43 am

Your profile pic makes your comment even funnier. In a good way.

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browner September 12, 2013 9:31 pm

Sorry chaps ,........ simply couldn't resist !

The priest he wasn't a mucking,
when examining for signs of a rucking
he'd wipe away grass
before fingering your arse
as preparation for a good ***king

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Reality September 11, 2013 4:28 pm

I actually think the first was far worse than the second. He stamped on the guy's leg/groin area, which aside from being very dangerous obviously doesn't serve to ruck the guy out of the way.

At least in the second he was rucking the guy who was clearly purposefully lying there to prevent the ball coming out. Under the laws it's a penalty if you're not rucking back with the feet in order to move the guy out of the way, but I'd be of the opinion that it's self-policing, in that if people are going to get a good shoeing then they won't be so willing to purposefully lie there and slow the ball, and so that would eliminate the need for rucking of the sort. All within reason, of course, and I admit it's hard to draw a line between a get-out-of-the-way shoeing and reckless Dimitri Yachvili-style stamping.

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elvis15 September 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Both were obviously intentional in my opinion and neither were within the boundaries of acceptable rucking. You're legs shouldn't be pistoning up and down and the foot should be moving from forward to back, as if to roll the player towards you.

The first he steps (hard) twice in the same place where if he was just joining the ruck he would have been making an attempt to step over him. The second he is aiming outwards to just rake the back, rather than try and pull him back with his cleats on the side.

Penalties for sure, but borderline for a week suspension.

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Eddie-g September 11, 2013 5:38 pm

Sorry, but when the rules ban a rugby player from doing something "forcefully", the rule is rubbish. The physical nature of the game demands you do things forcefully, that's one of the great things about the game, the rules therefore need be clear only that you can do something or that you cannot.

Personally, rucking should be allowed with two conditions. No aiming at the head, and only on a person who is in the way of the ball. Meet those conditions, you can give the person a good shoeing. Happy to see gratuitous stamping punished, but the buggers who stop quick ball deserve some frontier justice.

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bnations September 11, 2013 5:43 pm

All that I know is that back when rucking was allowed and encouraged, there was no such thing as "breakdown battles". The ball came out after the tackle straight away. One way or another, the ball came out. And then the game flowed on.

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larry March 21, 2014 6:56 pm

You're right about the release of the ball. Sometime in the 70's it became "okay" to hold onto the ball on the ground for a second or two and then releasing it, and hopefully by then your teammates were there to ruck the ball back. Watch any videos from the 60's and 50's on You Tube and you will notice tackled players released the ball even before hitting the ground in some situations. I think this led to a belief that tackled players had the right to keep possession for their side by hanging onto the ball in the tackle for that brief momentary period of a second or two to allow for teammates to arrive at the breakdown. Viewing old games shows that possession seemed to go from one team to the other much more often than the modern game. Of course a variety of rule changes, most of them regarding kicking, has much to do with possession of the ball, as well as the time permitted to release a ball in the tackle.
The way the game has been played in the last decade or so there's also the situation of a ball lying at the very back end of a ruck, for much more than a few seconds, and either the scrum half or acting scrum half bends over the ball, even laying a hand on it, and looks at the defense (and then the defense is already set up by then by the needless waiting) before picking up the ball and continuing play. In my mind that ball should be considered out of the ruck, because it isn't being rucked back anymore, and is "loitering" at someone's foot who is sometimes not even bound on to other players in the ruck. If "use it or loose it" came into being regarding mauls, the same should be applied to rucks: pick up the damn ball and use it!

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asdfero September 11, 2013 8:54 pm

Fucking accept that the game has changed already. Get down and ruck the man over, whether he's killing the ball is for the referee to decide, and if the ref is doing a bad job, well, you're raking the wrong person...

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finedisregard September 11, 2013 9:31 pm

Eddie G, you said it brother! Asdfero what do you mean "get down and ruck the man over"? That's what these guys were doing.

The way it should be is that anyone on the wrong side of the ball deserves to gets shredded.

The guy on the ground is cheating, not the player on their feet playing rugby. You can't play rugby while you're on the ground.

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fantasticbarnsmell September 11, 2013 10:17 pm

It's almost as if the citing commission want to deter actions that could lead to serious injury.... What is happening to the game we love??

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browner September 12, 2013 9:34 pm

It saw sense & modernised !

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CEO Front Row Union September 12, 2013 3:46 am

Ain't no rubber studs there brother .... 25mm of rucking good metal.
Depower our scrums ... we will find blood another way

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Walter September 12, 2013 8:46 am

Big Jamie didnĀ“t forget the sharpen his studs.

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vic September 12, 2013 8:52 am

if you lay on the ball expect the silver shoe

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browner September 12, 2013 9:38 pm

There is so much bollocks bravado being uttered here ......... Leave the referee to administer punishment for not rolling away...... all 17st players who stamp on someone unprotected on the floor are cowardly - if you're in that description then shame on you. , and the disciplinary that follows is both deserved and welcomed.

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spit_roaster September 18, 2013 7:29 pm

I'd stamp all over your back & gladly live with the shame.

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Irish_jimmy September 13, 2013 12:48 pm

I wish someone did that to McCaw only to hear how differently the commentators would react to it......'it's assault'......'things like this just don't belong in the game'........'disgusting'.

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finedisregard September 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Browner, you're a disgrace and partly responsible for ruining our game. It doesn't matter how many stone a player is, players have no business being on the ground on the wrong side of the ball. Refs obviously cannot enforce this.

When I was on the wrong side of the ball opposition did entire tap dance routines on me. I deserved it.

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DrG September 14, 2013 8:55 am

Totally agree, I don't view it as any machoism (not a real word I'm sure..) I know some damn "hard" 19 stone players who don't get a boost to their ego when they shoe someone (or used too) they viewed it as a way to help the team get the ball back...

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45678 September 13, 2013 10:19 pm

There was a time when rucking was used, not as a way of harming, but collectively proving a point to a referee when all attempts to appeal to the referees better nature about tidying up the ruck failed. You would concede a penalty, but then the point was made

The game is very different now, especially at the top level, where the first offence at the ruck should always be the tackler rolling away. It has cleaned up the sport

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DrG September 14, 2013 8:52 am

First one looked unnecessary, second looked fine.

You just need to look at how slow the ball in rucks is nowadays...

...I'm not saying it should be a shoeing free for all, I recall a few years back they brought in laws about stepping on joints, that coupled with no head contact is a recipe for fast rucks!

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browner September 16, 2013 3:17 pm

Did they?, what laws were they????? I don't recall seeing any reference to joints!

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Crazeyes September 15, 2013 7:36 am

Shoe him! Rake marks on your back,great feeling, especially when deserved.

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spit_roaster September 18, 2013 7:27 pm

To all you whinging armchair pundits, climb into whatever vagina you scampered out of. This is a CONTACT sport. Whether intentional or not, players feet will always be in contact with persons on the floor, whether it be a result of a ruck or collapsed maul/scrum. In my 20 years of playing rugby I have yet to see a serious injury resulting from conservative use of the foot in a ruck, i.e. not stamping ior jumping on a players neck/head. If we continue to censor rucks/mauls/scrums will be left with Rugby League. All you metrosexuals are more than welcome to join their ranks if you can't handle the traditions of Union.

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Larry March 21, 2014 6:30 pm

I have to admit, as a former back, that I never could quite understand why any forward would want to "give a good shoeing" to a player trapped at the bottom of a ruck. I've reffed games for over fifteen years, and I don't see this at the level I ref, which is second division college (university) games in Northern California. And it's not as though I never joined into rucks when I was playing back in the 70's and 80's if a player was needed to join in who happened not to be a forward. I never stamped, kicked, or raked anyone player who might have been, whether intentional or not, trapped on my team's side of the ball with my team footing the ball back. It was usually easy enough to step over the opposing player, and if that player did interfere with the ball coming back or out of the ruck, he'd get his comeuppance in other forms later in the match, like in a lineout, and hopefully would have been caught infringing on the ground by the ref. Would you rather be kicked or raked in the back or have an elbow in your ribs or face?
Any forward should realize that he (or she) could be trapped at the bottom of a ruck. Do unto others. And the object of the game is to play it and not try to maim or hurt opposing players in doing so. Having posted all that I'd say what I saw on the two videos is, in my opinion, worse than what Hogg did to Wales' number 10 last week.

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