Thursday, September 19, 2013

Michael Rhodes straight red card and suspension for stamp in face

Earlier this week Western Province flank Michael Rhodes was suspended for one match following a disciplinary hearing for the straight red card he received during the Currie Cup Round 6 match against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

On the same weekend that Gloucester's Nick Wood received his marching orders for a stamp on Saracens' Jacques Burger just 73 seconds into their Aviva Premiership match, Rhodes stamped on Blue Bulls captain Jono Ross after a tackle and he too received his marching orders.

Unlike with Wayne Barnes, referee Marius Jonker didn't see it so referred to the TMO to check for foul play after touch judge Rasta Rashivenga was on hand to alert him to the offence. Jonker watched it on the big screen and appeared to make the call himself.

Jonker explained to Western Province captain De Kock Steenkamp that he could not rule on intent, but because it was clearly a foot in the face, it's a red card.

As with Nick Wood and Jacques Burger, Rhodes went over to apologise on his way off the field.

Rhodes initially seemed to be annoyed that Ross was holding onto him after the whistle had blown, but Tuesday's SARU judicial committee said there was no intent to stamp on the side of Ross' face.

Judicial officer Peter Ingwersen ruled that Rhodes was being pulled down in the tackle at the time and tried to regain his balance. He did however rule that there was sufficient negligence to find Rhodes guilty of transgressing Law 10.4(b), a player may not stamp on an opponent.

It was deemed a lower-entry offence, and combined with Rhodes' respectable disciplinary record, resulted in him being suspended for just one match. Rhodes was however suspended for six weeks in 2011 for a dangerous headlock on Siale Piutau.

Perhaps he is lucky that Waylon Murray didn't take offence to where he grabbed him for support.

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:24 pm | View Comments (15)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 15 comments

cheyanqui September 19, 2013 10:51 pm

just one game? amazing how dirty that was.

even more amazing how it was for only one match...

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cheyanqui Top Comment | September 19, 2013 10:52 pm

One of the mitigating factors cited by the commissioner was the stamp was not committed against a Kiwi, nor against Dan Carter..

Hence only the one match ban.

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browner September 19, 2013 11:19 pm

Impressive work by the AR, ....... fairly straight forward decision, although i'm amazed the recipient went over to shake his hand...... or maybe he went over to say "next match Rhodes" watch your back" !

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DrG September 20, 2013 12:07 am

tbh, it looked accidental.. in which case I'd be happy to say "that hurt you bastard, but fair enough it was an accident"

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finedisregard September 20, 2013 6:35 am

Don't hold on to a player after the whistle is blown.

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DrG September 20, 2013 10:00 am

Well to be fair both players were holding on after the whistle.... Ross had hold of Rhodes' legs.. And Rhodes had hold of someones Johnson....

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Guy September 20, 2013 7:49 am

Great to see the tiny linesman running onto the pitch to avoid escalation!

In all honesty I would give the 'stamper' the benefit of the doubt here. I also would in the case of Wood. Just because I cannot see any player being stupid and malicious enough to do such a think in full view.

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Nick September 20, 2013 7:48 pm

The "tiny linesman" is one of the top referees on the Sevens World Series circuit, very experienced and likely a fearless guy in any situation.

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Guy September 20, 2013 10:38 pm

Top bloke in my eyes!

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DrG September 21, 2013 8:43 am

I can only assume Guy is talking about the relative size of the bloke compared to the man mountains on the pitch... not trying to be'little' the guy, but he is small.

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DrG September 20, 2013 10:07 am

Whether you do or don't believe his story, lets completely assume Rhodes was being pulled off balance then surely a red card and subsequent ban are entirely unfair no???

I understand you cannot rule on intent and this often causes issues with spear tackles etc, but when a player is standing and gets pulled surely 'anything' he does is completely out of his own hands (to a point)...

If I grab hold of an opposition players hand and poke myself in the eye with his fingers then does that mean he should get a red for gouging?

Or have we once again reached a section in the game where the laws have tied themselves into a big knot?

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Moo September 20, 2013 9:15 pm

Dr G, were you on the panel for the Horwill hearing? ;-)

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DrG September 22, 2013 11:35 am

Lol. I wasn't suggesting I believe or disbelieve him, but the panel here obviously feel it was accidental otherwise surely the ban would have been greater. With that in mind I find it massively unfair that he can receive ANY ban when there was an external influence. I mean we have seen nasty incidents resulting in bans for "recklessness" but this cannot be deemed reckless. So I really don't understand... Again I bring us round to the eye gouging example I gave, would that not be a fairly similar example of what happened here? Would it result in a ban? I mean "fingers in the eye is a fact, but we don't rule on intent"... I'm not saying Ross wanted Rhodes to step on his face or anywhere else, but if he did "pull him down" then isn't it somewhat 'his own fault'?

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Sr Puma September 20, 2013 3:22 pm

This isn't a stamp. Rhodes got the ball, Ross held onto him after the whistle, and he tripped backwards. Sure he took a face full of cleats, but it's a physical sport.

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Juggernauter September 22, 2013 10:50 pm

Seeing a player who has just been carded walk over to the man he commited foul play against, shake his hand in apology and then leave the pitch without any further whining must be one of the top sights you can get on any pro sport.

Thanks rugby.

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