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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Zane Kirchner red carded for off the ball spear tackle

It's not often that we see red cards dished out these days. If we do see them it's normally for punches or blatant dirty play which normally involves some kind of thugery on the field.

On Friday night Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner received this red card for an off the ball spear tackle, which has resulted in him having been suspended for two weeks.

Bakkies Botha was yellow carded at the same time for an alleged head butt, which he's since been found not guilty of committing.

My original feeling was that the red for Kirchner was a bit harsh. However, the assistant referee, as they call them these days, was Mark Lawrence and he loves dishing out the discipline. The discussion between ref and Lawrence amounted to them both agreeing that it was extreme, a spear, and off the ball.

Who knows what Kirchner was thinking when making the tackle, and despite Dusty Noble landing safely on a pile of other players, it's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured by a tackle of this nature.



  • I didnt get why Botha was sent off though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 12, 2008 9:39 am  

  • Just plain dangerous. Some consistency in decisions would be nice to see though.
    Had to smile when the big lock goes steaming in just after the poor guy has landed.....Cheers!

    By Anonymous Wasp1, at March 12, 2008 10:19 am  

  • I think Botha was carded....for being Botha (it's difficult to argue that one, no?). Seriously though, that was a tough call.

    As for Kirchner, perfect reffing and he deserved the 2 week ban.

    Looked like a hard, hard game.

    By Blogger Kerivoula, at March 12, 2008 10:57 am  

  • Stupid tackle. Maybe if the players see the referee commitment to this type of play, then they'll think twice about dumping the player. Hard hits are ok, but unnecessary aggressive play, especially if dangerous,should be penalized.

    By Anonymous Digger, at March 12, 2008 11:26 am  

  • Off the ball, ánd a spear tackle? Surely that has to be more than a two week ban.

    Like the video description says; it's a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured.

    Referees should yellow-card players who tip others over in the tackle, but bring them safely to ground (i.e. don't dump them).

    Any force/downward pressure should be a straight red and a hefty ban.

    By Blogger Sander, at March 12, 2008 11:48 am  

  • Think the linesman said Botha headbutted someone, so if i'm right in hearing that then he's lucky not to have had a red too. Very bad tackle and deserved the red, but Sivivatu's was still worse in my opinion. Obviously this one was made worse though cos he didn't have the ball.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 12, 2008 12:08 pm  

  • Botha didn't headbut anything or anybody.

    He simply came in, and cleaned out the ruck as he did in the WC final on Vickery.

    he was found not guilty in the citing as well.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 12, 2008 1:15 pm  

  • Can't really add much more. Dangerous obviously.

    Really good to see both players taking their punishment with good grace. After Burger's ban, it's good to see that Rugby isn't turning into Soccer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 12, 2008 1:33 pm  

  • :-/

    I dunno, i kinda agree that a red is a bit harsh.....but then it terms of what the game might turn into i think its important to seriously discourage spear tackles....my guess would be that if he had just plain tackled him without the ball no one would batter an eye lid....

    I think everyone see's red cards as very "extreme" but i guess as you have put it rugbydump, its only really a matter of time before someone does get seriously injured, better to try and discourage the tackles.

    thanks for the great vid!

    final score??

    By Anonymous No.7, at March 12, 2008 3:13 pm  

    please put it up again if you can...
    thanks, great work anyway RD!!!!keep 'em comin'!!

    By Anonymous italianscrummy, at March 12, 2008 4:20 pm  

  • I believe Botha's headbutt was off-camera, the report came from the other assistant ref.

    By OpenID chrisgrace, at March 12, 2008 6:15 pm  

  • Italianscrummy, the video is available infact.

    Youtube seems to do some weird things sometimes. Advice would be to just refresh the page and clear your cache if that happens again. :)

    By Anonymous GMC, at March 12, 2008 7:27 pm  

  • Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the majority of these offenses are from backs (not to rip on backs, as I am one, but it looks like it's the trend). Something to prove, or worried you can't drop one of the packies? Come on, a proper form tackle and you should be able to bring down just about anyone.

    By Anonymous istya, at March 12, 2008 9:53 pm  

  • There do seem to be a lot of people in the Super 14 getting sent off for dangerous tackles at the moment, with very few in Northern Hemisphere rugby. Does that reflect a different attitude towards tackling in the South or different refereeing?

    It's not like Northern Hemisphere guys don't get pinged, but it's normally for some stupid piece of thuggery rather than a dangerous tackle...

    By Anonymous will, at March 12, 2008 10:10 pm  

  • and the Bulls STILL won by 14??? woeful lions, woeful...should of somehow taken advantage of 15 - 13 men and then 14 for the rest of the game...

    By Anonymous G-unit, at March 12, 2008 11:08 pm  

  • It's stupid and agree with no.7 - refs coming down hard now can remove the spear from the game in the future.
    But totally disagree with sander (sorry). Players should be able to dump an opponent, the problem is with either twisting a player once in the air and driving him to the floor upside down, or releasing the player once in the air. Lifting someone up and planting them back down on the seat of their pants or with your shoulder following in their ribs is legal, and should stay so.

    Given that these tackles are so prevalent I think the issue now has to be with coaching. If you get dumped you're running too high, and if you lift a player up you have to know how to plant him on his back or arse. Not his neck. I'm sure with bans like this being handed out coaches will start encouraging players not to do it.
    But will coaches encourage players to avoid being dumped?

    By Anonymous hackneygriffin, at March 13, 2008 11:15 am  

  • Bad tackle, and deserved a Red. Mark Lawrence is rightly rated very highly as he is clear and consistent.

    This tackle deserved a red, as did Nonu's and Sivivatu's to my mind. Its a pity as Kirchner is a very talented player.

    I'm a Saffer, but I must agree that this type of illegal tackle seems far more prevalent in the South. Maybe Southern coaches and refs need to take some flack for not doing their part by forcing obedience to the rules by players?

    Compare this with Jason Whites superb tackle on Sackey - just as hard, more effective, and perfectly legal.

    Boks still rock of course! :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 13, 2008 11:52 am  

  • The referee's call on Botha boggles my mind.

    If Botha headbutted the player, then that's what happened (after all, the referees are the sole judges of fact of the pitch), and you RED card him.

    There is no latitude in the Laws for a YELLOW card for a head-butt. That's like yellow-carding a boot to the head.

    If the referee is unsure a headbutt occurred, then you have a talking to the player, give him a stern warning, tell him the video will be referred ("On Report" in League-speak).

    It should have either been a straight red (subsequently overturned by the citing commissioner since it didn't happen), or just a stern warning.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at March 13, 2008 4:19 pm  

  • As for Kirchner, red is tough, but warranted.

    Each play in itself (off-the-ball hit, spear tackle) are dangerous, yellow cardable offenses.

    The fact that both happened together shows the disregard on the part of the player.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at March 13, 2008 4:20 pm  

  • Very harsh on Botha. He came in and cleared just like a good forward should. It's not his fault that he's one of the strongest clearers in the game. It's sad when players are penalised for being full-on. (Schalk, Bakkies, Chabal, McCaw etc.)

    By Blogger Mr Russo, at March 16, 2008 7:26 pm  

  • Mr Russo,

    I think the difference between guys like Schalk and McCaw is that when Schalk (or Brian Lima, or Butch James) plays full on, player safety is at risk.

    McCaw is a ball poacher / slower-downer. Player safety is not at risk. Unless you're McCaw and Ali Williams is stomping your melon.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at March 17, 2008 2:11 pm  

  • LMAO!! u gotta love the tongans

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 19, 2008 12:15 pm  

  • Bulls Fullback Zane Kirchner is very lucky that he isn't banned for life for this dangerous spear tackle on Lions Right Wing(14) Dusty Noble. Meanwhile Bulls Number 4 (lock)Bakkies Botha was sin binned for a headbutt on Fullback Louis Ludik right after Noble had landed. Botha had a yellow card while Kirchner had a red though I think it was a touch harsh on Kirchner.Oh but I forgot to tell you that Kirchner's spear injures a Lions player.

    By Anonymous Benhy, at April 30, 2008 6:13 pm  

  • Bulls Fullback Zane Kirchner is very unlucky he didn't get a yellow card for this spear on Lions 14 (Right Wing)Dusty Noble. Meanwhile Bulls No4 (Lock)Bakkies Botha was sin binned for a headbutt (really I think that a red would have been suitable).
    Kirchner's spear injures a Lions player(Dusty Noble on 47 seconds).

    By Anonymous Ben TV, at May 01, 2008 9:33 am  

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