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Monday, October 13, 2008

Matthew Rees yellow carded for late tackle

Scarlets hooker Matthew Rees was given his marching orders against Harlequins on the weekend for a tackle that, according to the officials, was without the ball and possibly dangerous.

It was to be the last Heineken Cup clash at the old Stradey Park, and the Scarlets were looking to give the home faithful the send off they deserved. After ten minutes, it looked like they were on route to achieving that, but Harlequins fought back and despite Llanelli (now Scarlets) leading 19-3 at half time, the game ended 29-22 to Harlequins.

Rees' yellow card came at a vital time with the loss of the Welsh hooker having an impact on the match. Coach Nigel Davies refused to blame the sending off for the loss, but did have a few words to say about it.

"It was a tough call but it was made and we had to deal with it," said Davies.

"It had an influence on the end result but I was more annoyed that tactically we went away from what we had spoken about at half-time."

The hit on Tani Fuga came as the Samoan neatly flicked the ball on with Rees approaching. Rees was seemingly committed, and the tackle looked fair, but the referee deemed that because Fuga didn't have the ball, it was a yellow card.

The way Rees speared Fuga when following through would have had an influence on the decision no doubt, but some would be inclined to say the sending off may have been a bit harsh.

Everyone views these type of tackles differently though, so we thought it would be interesting to stick this up and see what the opinions are.



  • horse shit


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 8:11 pm  

  • he didn't go to ground so it should have at the most been a penalty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 8:12 pm  

  • Clearly an act of dangerous play, he was even watching the ball as he continued upending the player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 8:18 pm  

  • Definately not too late, yellow for the "spear" maybe
    T. Cox

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 8:18 pm  

  • Not in the slightest bit late. He was very much committed to the tackle and did very well. Maybe a yellow for the spear looking tackle though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 8:44 pm  

  • The ref never saw the center tip the ball I guess? It should be a penalty at least for the spear tackle, but a yellow card would only be neccesary if this was a second offence.
    Undeserving in my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:02 pm  

  • Was a little late..deserving the yellow for the spear tackle i guess..the right call was made in my opinion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:04 pm  

  • Definately a spear. He tips the player over, and he watches the ball instead of taking the player to ground in a proper way.

    Red might be harsh, but if they want to do something about that, they should make the rules more clear; too many big decisions are judgement calls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:04 pm  

  • stupid, never a late tackle, the spear was dangerous thou

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:05 pm  

  • I have a feeling the ref's poor english maybe confused matters? He said late but Rees looked committed. So maybe it was also for the spear but he just didn't communicate it?

    Solid hit either way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:12 pm  

  • I'm co-signing with wut most people said...a lil bit too committed there...yellow regardless was deserved.

    By Blogger Don, at October 13, 2008 9:32 pm  

  • seemed fine, timed it well I thought. just happened that the guy flicked the ball on. if he had caught it (like rees thought he was going to, and most folk would have) it would have been perfect.
    not a spear either imo cos he didnt drive him into the ground.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:33 pm  

  • i would say the tackle was defiantly not late. he had his head down as the ball was coming in and was certainly committed.

    however the type of tackle could possibly be illegal but

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:34 pm  

  • i would say he was committed but the tackle was dangerous, i would also say to people thinking that he watched the ball go away.. do you just want him to drop the guy in mid air, so he was not late

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 9:49 pm  

  • That was one of the worst excuses for a penalty that I've ever seen.

    In fact, the timing was near-perfect. Had he have caught the ball, it would have been a great hit.

    And most refs will tell you that if you take a player up in the air, it's your responsibility to bring him back down. If Rees would have let go as soon as he saw the ball go by, it would have been dangerous play.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 10:54 pm  

  • After watching it a couple more times, I think Jim is right and the ref must have just not seen that the ball was flicked on. I guess he thought Rees tackled someone who didn't even make contact with the ball - which, if that were the case, would be deserving of a penalty/yellow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 10:58 pm  

  • No way, that yellow was bullshit!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 11:23 pm  

  • a yellow is fair but it was borderline

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 11:37 pm  

  • clear spear tackle the yellow cant be argued

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 11:38 pm  

  • never a yellow card was a good tackle,he was committed.bad decision in my eyes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 12:07 am  

  • rugby is getting soft :(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 12:08 am  

  • does he let him fall at the end of the tackle? pretty slack to me... spear + release = yellow

    By Blogger François, at October 14, 2008 12:22 am  

  • never a yellow card, just a hard tackle

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 12:37 am  

  • good tip by the samoan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 12:39 am  

  • gotta agree with tim...if this is a yellow card rugby is getting very very soft. how can u get 10 in the bin for that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 12:59 am  

  • not at all late. harden the F up

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 2:41 am  

  • It wasn't late and anyone who thinks it was has, clearly, never played rugby seriously before.
    And it wasn't a spear either as Rees didn't toss the player head first on the groun.
    The only fault there is that he dropped the guy instead of going down with him.
    No cards, just a penalty. even if the referee didn't see the flick pass, it was just a penalty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 4:20 am  

  • oh, and this is to those who say it was definetly a spear tackle:
    ^the guy fell with his back and shoulder on the ground!!

    stop playing tag rugby at the park and go get some dirt in your face on a real rugby game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 4:23 am  

  • shite, he followed through on a big hit. penalty tops. no deservant of a sin bin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 5:37 am  

  • what a crock of shit, im sure the guy that got tackled would have had no issue with it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 7:38 am  

  • for those talking about hardening the f up...umm, how many of y'all have been on the receiving end of a spear tackle?

    No rush...I'm waiting...take ur time.

    By Blogger Don, at October 14, 2008 8:11 am  

  • yeah i have been on the end of several mate, and this one is absolutely nothing

    if you think this is hard you shouldnt be playing rugby

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 9:10 am  

  • The reality is that besides the guy not having the ball, it was pretty much an awesome, 99% textbook tackle.

    5, even 3, years ago, no body would blink at this. But, now with the continued efforts to stamp out the risk of dangerous injuries occurring, every tackle that is ever close to a spear is being punished.

    Obviously if a player is dumped on his head then yes, penalise him, but the way EVERY damn tackle where a player is lifted gets penalised is getting a bit much.

    I say bring back rucking.. and dump tackles should not be confused with spear tackles. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 9:52 am  

  • What the hell guys... Since when is that a dangerous tackle? He went to tackle the man ,who as it turns out flicked the ball on, but if the quins players had caught that pass the tackle would have been perfect. And with regards to the "spear" tackle, a spear tackle is when the player is upended and driven into the ground but rees didn't even do that. People are getting way too worried about spear tackles all the time and its almost getting to the stage where your not allowed dump tackle people anymore and lets be honest its that physicallity that everyone loves about rugby. Poor decision by the ref, we're playing rugby here...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 10:42 am  

  • Never a yellow.

    The tackle was good.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 10:48 am  

  • It's fifty-fifty..the tackle is not very violent but spear+release is yellow

    ps: Rees clearly looked the ball going away as he tackled the playrer

    By Blogger Flooz, at October 14, 2008 10:59 am  

  • 1 for try savers rib breakers 11 me thinks:P lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 1:16 pm  

  • great timing on the tackle (I don't think that was ever an issue) but he spears him at the end of it. Definitely a peno, yellow is probably about right

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 4:05 pm  

  • it wasn't for late tackle.it was because he threw him down?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 5:59 pm  

  • never late, was really for the spear. you can see that the touch judge put his flag up for it.i like the way that the sit is called rugby"dump" and that seems the largest area of debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 11:03 pm  

  • not late at all
    maybe a bit dangerous

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2008 8:15 am  

  • that hit was in no way a late hit and was not a spear tackle he did not drive him into the ground nor did he bring him over 90 degrees. sure he didnt put him down but i have never seen some put their opposite number down nicely. that just doesnt hapen in rugby games

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2008 4:08 am  

  • a simple follow thuough to a deacent tackle. nothing like the spear which Tana Umaga and Kevan Mealamu nearly ended Brian O Driscolls career in the Lons tour in 2005.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2008 1:49 pm  

  • I don't think there was any intent there but I agree re the spear comments. If you pick up a player you are responsible for bringing him down safely. If the hips are above the shoulders and the guy is going to ground it could be a very serious injury. As a result i think the yellow was justified - if the ref had been going on irb directives then there would have been a red... a bit ott for this particular tackle perhaps...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2008 1:52 pm  

  • It wasn't late and he didn't drive the player into the ground. You do have a duty when tackling and the player is in the air to ensure he lands safely so considering he almost let go but didn't deliberately drive the players head into the turf i think it's a penalty at most.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2008 2:07 pm  

  • Definitely spear and I would have made it a red. If a player lands on his head and shoulder at the same time its a bad one.

    Just had a neck injury so not feeling generous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2008 1:24 am  

  • That was definitely a spear tackle, to those who said it wasn't a spear because he fell with his back to the ground....... that is NOT what makes a spear tackle. I agree with the penalty for the spear but I don't think it was late.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 21, 2010 8:17 pm  

  • If a player is turned and tackled in such a way that his shoulders/neck hit the deck before his hips, then its a spear tackle and a dangerous tackle, and deserving of a card.... and I would have gone RED, not yellow.

    However, when you run as a dummy, you're putting your ass on the line. He tipped the ball and ran a convincing dummy, and had the hit not been a spear, then there should have been no card whatsoever

    By Blogger Christopher Pam, at July 01, 2010 3:55 am  

  • finishing your tackle, total rubbish

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 22, 2010 10:05 pm  

  • I feel it looks worse due to the tackled player's arm going out to try to soften the impact with the ground!

    If it weren't for that he would have landed on the back of his shoulders and it wouldn't have looked anything like as bad.

    To my mind not a penalty & def not a card but at full speed I can easily see why the ref made the call!

    By Anonymous Gaz, at February 23, 2011 3:37 am  

  • what the hell are these comments about spear tackles???
    he dropped him from about 2 foot. ref needs to get a grip here. i bet no one on that field thought anything of that tackle.
    and yes he was looking at the ball, but the tackle was already made. slow motion makes things that happen instinctively in half a second look much worse. a penalty was harsh id say. i bet the bloke who was tackled was even thinkig about how well he did to get the ball away rather than how 'bad' the tackle was.
    from what ive seen, spear tackles are blatantly obvious with no arguments for the tacklers case. this isnt one/ and definately isnt late

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 31, 2011 6:30 pm  

  • whistle happy refs.
    just let the rugby be played by the men, and dont worry about things that might be slightly illegal. no one is going to complain if the game carried on, where as the scarlets would say the yellow could ve cost them the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 31, 2011 6:33 pm  

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