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Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

I've tried it a few times in's only ever worked once! If it bounced before being regathered, it would simply be play on. Using the heel is only "illegal" when taking penalties and restarts. It's not a knock-on, any more than it would be if it bounced off someone's forehead (à la Kurtley Beale falcon).

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Anyone else happy to see Yachvili using his feet for something productive?


3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Makes if in our hypothetical situation the ball is kicked out of hand by striking it with the heel and it goes forward, it's exactly the same as if it was dropped backwards and bounced forwards. Fascinating stuff, and you're right...the discussion is the best part.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Dimitri Yachvili forgets he's playing rugby, backheels pass for Erik Lund try

Don't get carried away folks. The fact that he struck the ball with his heel here is meaningless. Because the ball was on the ground from the charge-down, the heel is not a kick but not a knock-on but in fact just the same as if he'd slid to gather it and had it bounce off his chest: play on with no offsides.

Of course, it's all elementary because as was pointed out, Yachvili was offside following the charge-down.

That being said, I'm not sure how the ref would proceed in a case where a player deliberately struck the ball with his heel out-of-hand, and it went forward. If it goes backwards it's play on (as if the ball was merely dropped backwards) but I don't think having it go forward off the heel has ever happened anywhere but a backyard.

Anyone feel like getting their national Union to submit a rule clarification to the IRB? Hehe!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Ilai Tinai suspended for five weeks for dangerous tackle against Wales

I think some of the ban length has to do with the number of games missed/impact to the team. In 7s, missing one week means missing at least 4 games whereas in 15s, it's only one.

In addition, I'm going to assume you're referring the the Parisse incident? That is technically a citing for abuse of a match official, which is a very serious offence in most sports (except soccer/football, apparently!). While in my estimation, swearing at a ref is toward the low end of that scale, it's still abuse of an official.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Ilai Tinai suspended for five weeks for dangerous tackle against Wales

I think we can all agree...that should have been a red card. I personally believe Tinai was surprised a bit by the Welsh player's speed and momentum which caused the rotation. It should still be a red card. Everyone watching that knows it.

Come on, IRB. It shouldn't be that hard to get consistency for the obvious ones!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

French referee horrifically breaks leg, collarbone, and sprains ankle

Just to piggy-back on the point HowardTheDuck made, we are seeing more scrum-halves using that space but I don't think that we can effectively prevent it with a rule. What you will start seeing is more and more referees staying further from the breakdown in a safer position.

Speaking as a referee, I know that the safest position generally speaking is what we call "chariot position" - directly behind the ruck, about 3-5 meters behind the halfback. I also know that your ability to accurately referee the breakdown and offsides from that position is pretty limited.

If more referees start standing further off the breakdown, it will get messier. At what point do you balance the potential for harm to the referees against the quality of the game? I think ultimately, referees should continue to position themselves close to the breakdown, but that players should have a duty of care to the referee. After all, the referee is responsible for promoting player safety...that should run both ways.

Long story short - players should avoid running into/around the referee as best they can because it's in the SPIRIT OF THE GAME, not necessarily because someone made a law about it.

All the best and a quick recovery, M. heart goes out to you!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Midweek Madness - Rob Cook's bizarre goal kicking technique

You think that's bizarre? Have a look at Jamie Soward, from the NRL.

Cook is tame by comparison, but both remind me of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch...

3 Years, 1 Month ago

The Dimitri Yachvili stamp on Racing Metro's Henry Chavancy

I'm not sure Chavancy did anything wrong. Once the initial tackle was made he came through the gate, stayed on his feet and got his hands on the ball before the ruck was formed. The tackled player was holding on, then the ruck formed and quickly turned into a pile of bodies. There was no way that Chavancy could have gotten out, and in fact Biarritz should have been penalized for not releasing the ball.

After all that, Yachvili comes in and does his best Fred Astaire impression on Chavancy's leg which wasn't really preventing the ball from coming out. Foul play indeed! Yachvili should know better, and he deserves to sit for a long time.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Is Carlin Isles the world's fastest rugby player?

To all the nay-sayers: Isles is an excellent option to have on the paddock for a sevens team. Speed kills.

His size isn't really an issue; there are 6 bigger guys on the field for the US...use him as a sweeper at the back on defence, and the gas-man on the wing on attack.

To those of you that are lamenting the death of skill in sevens: it takes skill to fix guys enough to get the ball out there; also, the game will evolve new defensive systems to deal with this kind of threat.

To those of you worried about how quickly he got into the team: he fits. The team made a selection, and he's scoring tries (and from this clip, it looks like he stopped on too). A national team should be about having the best players on the pitch, not "earning your stripes" through some convoluted seniority/experience matrix...if he is the best wide man in sevens, get him on the pitch.

To the rest of the world: watch out for the USA in a few year's time...if this is what they can come up with in 12 weeks, you'd better believe there is more coming. Gotta hand it to the States, when they want to win, they don't muck about.

The sport is gaining profile, and as such more and more naturally gifted athletes will take it up. Like any other sport, as it increases in profile globally, you're going to get more and more naturally gifted athletes learning the game. How scary would it be facing a team of Usain Bolts who had learned the game? The giant, fast, fit guys are coming, and they will learn skills.

I'm stoked for Rio! We might see some mind-boggling and exciting athletes take the field. I only hope that my country (Canada) is able to keep pace with the growth of the game (so far, so good).

3 Years, 4 Months ago