Saturday, 15 October 2011

Seeing Red

I can't help feeling that Wales should be in next week's final of the rugby world cup. I have previously written blogs to say that rugby is far superior to football for many reasons, one of which is the respect that is shown to referees and I will still show respect to this rugby referee even if he made a mistake but I have to say that this referee got it wrong and the wrong team is going to the final. Alain Rolland did have options but he took the one that ruined the game.

A spear tackle is when a player's feet are raised above his head and he is taken to the ground. Sam Warburton did spear tackle Vincent Clerc but he let go as soon as he knew what was happening. There was no malicious intent. I know intent does not matter and laws are laws but interpretation of the punishment should include intent as there should be no place in the game for evil players. Interpretation of the punishment should include the severity of the injury and referees do look at the injured player before giving out a card. That seems reasonable but in this case I didn't even see the card being issued as the cameras missed it, but Sam was on the bench immediately and then we saw the referee look at the injured player.

It could have just been a penalty. It could have been a yellow card. However the most severe punishment was given when things could have been so much worse. There could have been intent, M Clerc could have landed on his head and he could have been driven into the ground. He could have been seriously injured. You don't have to watch much contact sport to see how players act maliciously but this was not one of those times.

Will this red card reduce malice? Of course not because none was there in the first place.

Change the world

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