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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Andrea Masi's reckless high challenge on Rob Kearney

Italy signaled their intent early on against the Irish in Rome this past weekend. In order to compete, they needed to be pumped up and take the physical battle to the opposition.

They did just that within 30 seconds of kickoff, but it went horribly wrong, resulting in them being down to 14 men from the get-go as fullback Andrea Masi was handed his marching orders.

Masi flew in on opposite number Rob Kearney with a wild and reckless challenge that sparked somewhat of a brawl within a minute of the match getting underway.

Masi received a yellow card for the dangerous tackle, and has since been cited, with his case being scheduled to be heard by an independent Six Nations three-man disciplinary committee in London on Wednesday.

If found guilty, Masi will more than likely be banned for Italy’s crunch clash against Scotland, the only other side yet to record a win in this years tournament.

With the incident occurring shortly after kickoff, leeway was seemingly given to Masi, with a tackle of this nature surely being worthy of a red normally.

So despite him on his way to a citing commission on Wednesday, the referee’s decision is still up for debate. Was the yellow card sufficient, considering when the incident occurred, or should it have been a straight red as it was high and clearly dangerous?


Time: 02:12


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67 Comments:

  • that was defo a straight red. would off been a good tackle if Masi had gone lower. could kind off see what he was doing though,wanted to put Ireland on the back foot from the start but not like this. not a very good match on Irelands behalf...they would want to shape up for England...

    Creggs08

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 9:51 pm  

  • Filthy play, deserved red no question. Refs need to grow some balls and cut incidents like these out. Fair play kearney for not play acting, final scoreline says it all really.

    By Blogger Tom, at February 17, 2009 10:09 pm  

  • Red, definitly. First it's high and second he doesn't even try to catch with both arms. With the speed and all could have resulted in serious injury.

    I like big tackles but when they're under the shoulders.

    By Anonymous Happyskaman, at February 17, 2009 10:31 pm  

  • Yellow yellow yellow. It wasn't malicious, it was just a shit tackle and dangerous at that.

    It would be a disgrace if we start red carding high tackles on a regular basis - has union really come that far off from league?

    Anyways, it's easy to see why he needed to be sent off; it's also easy to see why Kearney would be irate, and why Irish coaches, fans, etc. would be angry - no one wants to see their valuable investment hurt, especially off a shit tackle.

    But I'm glad the ref and touch judge had the insight to give Masi 10 minutes in the bin instead of making it a 14-man Italian side for the entire game.

    I'm a huge Ireland fan, too - before anyone accuses me of being an Italy supporter and that's why I say 'no red'.

    By Anonymous Thomas, at February 17, 2009 10:34 pm  

  • Normally, it should have been straight red, and i would have given so... But maybe the referee though it would be harsh for the italians after 2 min of game...

    Fortunately, Kearney wasn't injuried during the action, so it's not so important. He was able to continue for the whole game, and delivered a good performance (individually) to my opinion. Contrary to Masi... Remember the Bowe's interception... (without disrespect to the player)

    Anyway, Masi has been cited, and i would be surprised if he does'nt catch several weeks...

    By Anonymous mpc-33, at February 17, 2009 10:35 pm  

  • This doesn't factor into the decision about what color card to give Masi, but if you watched the game, you could see Masi was visibly upset about his poor tackle. I doubt he meant to hurt Kearney.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 10:38 pm  

  • The ref was an asshole but Andrea did deserved a red

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 10:42 pm  

  • 3 inchs lower and would have been one hell of a tackle

    but should have been red

    Thanks RD

    By Anonymous jamestheconvict, at February 17, 2009 10:48 pm  

  • cracking hit! its a hard mans game things like this are going to happen. never a red card

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 10:50 pm  

  • It was stupid for Masi to do such a wreckless tackle, especially in the opening 40 seconds of the game. If it had been lower it would have been a crunching tackle. Eitherway yellow or red it was wreckless.

    Being an Italy supporter you see why their discipline lets them down more or less every single game. Now he may even be cited which is s*** news for Italy since they have one of their key backs potentially out of play against the big game against Scotland. Masi is normally a very good defender a powerful runner with the ball.

    A disappointment for all Italian supporters, its not looking like a good six nations for Italy which is extremely frustrating given the improvement in the last 2 years. They seriously need to deliver at some point to keep the support they have from both at home and abroad.

    samitarugby

    By Anonymous samitarugby, at February 17, 2009 11:12 pm  

  • look at the second he gets up- he gets hit hard again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 11:30 pm  

  • Red all the way. The fact he's been cited proves that the powers that be agree.

    Shame Italy's discipline let them down. I thought Castrogiovanni was a bit of a joke through-out the game. Quoted in the Irish Times today as telling Marcus Horan it was going to be a long day and off he went before half time.

    By Anonymous JJM, at February 17, 2009 11:35 pm  

  • according to the rules a high tackle is a tackle above the line of the shoulders. This was one ON te line of the shoulders, so if you want to be really technical it wasn't high

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 11:41 pm  

  • isn't it arm pits? in which case it is high...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2009 11:46 pm  

  • "Quoted in the Irish Times today as telling Marcus Horan it was going to be a long day and off he went before half time"

    He came back on after half time, if I'm not mistaken - as no. 17, was it?

    By Anonymous Thomas, at February 18, 2009 12:02 am  

  • Fuck me!!

    If this is yellow whats is red? Raping the player against the posts?

    By Anonymous Luke James, at February 18, 2009 12:13 am  

  • @Thomas

    He came back on for Perugini, who was sin binned in the first half.

    Castrogiovanni didn't exactly come back on because he was playing well.... if you know what I mean. He got subbed in the first place as he was playing poor. I just thought it was funny what he said to Horan, and then went on to trash talk his way through the first half, get substituted, then come back on and give away penalties.

    By Anonymous JJM, at February 18, 2009 12:13 am  

  • @Luke James:

    Yes, I believe that would result in a red card.

    By Anonymous James Luke, at February 18, 2009 12:31 am  

  • Straight red in my book.

    By Anonymous Iain, at February 18, 2009 1:04 am  

  • 3 inches lower and it would have been the Rambeni hit (sp?)!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 1:45 am  

  • not a straight red at all, was reckless not intentional.
    Yellow is almost too harsh, though he did really take his head off.
    But it didn't look intentional at all, just poorly timed. It's a shame cuz the tackle itself was timed sweetly, he just needed to keep it down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 3:29 am  

  • A Straight red is usualy for intentional dirty play, like intentionally hitting someone high.
    This isn't what happened here. This is a poorly executed tackle, it's not that hard to do.
    There will never, ever be a time in the history of rugby that hight ackles will be eradicated from the game. They happen all the time, cuz it's not that hard to do. The vast majority of the time it's an accident, poor execution or bad timing.
    In the old days this would have simply been a penalty (by the old days I just mean the 90's really).
    The prevelance of yellow and red cards in NH rugby is, in my opinion, a blight on the game.
    It's a tough game, always will be, and if you water down the sport with over zealous reffing, it will be boring and shite.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 3:37 am  

  • i done something like this last month....lad went to go by me and i connected with his nose i can honestly say i didnt mean it but it kinda jus happend if u know what i mean..what im trying to say is dont judge the poor cunt to harshly cus he jus got him badly and i suppose in international rugby u cant afford to let him go!!

    By Anonymous eating is cheating, at February 18, 2009 4:43 am  

  • What kind of commentry was that??
    "Poor old Rob Kearny is thrilled to still have his head on his shoulders" XD

    By Blogger vinniechan, at February 18, 2009 5:51 am  

  • Would've been a good tackle if lower????
    That's crap, of course it looks spectacular when you go for someone's throat...

    By Anonymous Brennie, at February 18, 2009 6:16 am  

  • Sure he's grand, it's not like he's a fucking jackeen, he's built of sterner stuff!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 6:59 am  

  • yes, it definatley would have been a good tackle if lower, he came out of the line and got his man, killing the backline move. If he had got him around the chest, it would have been an excellent tackle.
    As it was, it was a reckless head high tackle, like you'll see in games all thge time, nothing more.
    A yellow seems fair, since it was a bad one, but anything more than that is massive overkill.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 8:12 am  

  • Totally deserved a red card there.
    Tried to take his head off his shoulders. Lead with one shoulder and his other arm didnt even come around which shows his intent. Even if he did tackle lower it would have been a shoulder charge cos no arm was used except trying to rip off Kearneys face.

    Castrogiovanni should have been binned aswell as several other players with him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 9:41 am  

  • yes, but even the Irish played dirty...look at the scrums

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 9:49 am  

  • yellow

    it was more a shit tackle than a malicious one

    By Blogger Flooz, at February 18, 2009 10:39 am  

  • Yep castrogiavanni was getting on my nerves throughout the game, he kept patting people on the head and mouthing off, the ref had to get parrisse to tell him to stop because he was being so annoying, i mean if your going to be annoying like that, do it on the sly. Everytime he did he was caught on camera or by the ref. Silly boy, great scrummer though.

    By Blogger Kenny, at February 18, 2009 11:10 am  

  • "you have to get your first tackle in early, even if it is late"

    change that to

    "you have to get your first tackle in early even if it is late or high"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 11:37 am  

  • yes,maybe the red card can be right.

    if all our backs are like masi we can be a better team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 11:56 am  

  • Definitely a straight red, and would have been if it happened in the second half. Refs need to learn that the rules don't change just because it's the underdogs fouling and because it's the first minute. Bottom line: Kearney could be in a chair for the rest of his life were it not for good luck (and a strong neck)

    By Anonymous HamishM, at February 18, 2009 12:14 pm  

  • Oh, and for those who say a league ref wouldn't have given a red: anyone remember Adrian Morley Vs. the Aussies? Sent off after about ten seconds for an identical tackle, and I can't remember anyone complaining about that

    By Anonymous Hamish M, at February 18, 2009 12:15 pm  

  • theres definitly a case for a red card.. but clearly the ref doesnt want to send a player off less than a minute in the game cos then everyone would be complaining and would be saying it should hav been yellow. I dont rekon it was deliberate or malicious. it was more reckless and the tackle went all wrong. yellow card was the right call but a red wouldnt have been a bad call either.. hope you can understand what im trying to say

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 12:42 pm  

  • the ref did well

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at February 18, 2009 12:47 pm  

  • I can't believe some of the comments about this tackle - yes there is a valid debate over red v yellow, but to come out with the 'its a mans game' nonsense therefore no foul is ridiculous.

    The swinging arm was intentional, and strictly speaking is outside the laws of the game if considered dangerous. I do agree however that this type of arm motion if well below shoulders is acceptable.

    The height of the tackle was also intentional, in that Masi went high deliberately. I would accept that he probably did not mean to hit Kearney quite as high as he did.

    I would ask the question if this tackle is not a red card, then how can a high tackle not involving a strike of some sort ever be red. Its as bad as it gets without a stiff arm/headbutt/punch or other madness.

    For me, the nature of the tackle (swinging arm) was intentional, and Masi went deliberately high (Kearney did not duck and is not a short arse).

    Accepting that his intention was to go in high and swinging, it must be a straight red even if it is only two minutes in. Player protection and the games image are sometimes more important than keeping 15 men on the pitch.

    For those who actually read the laws, see definitions - Dangerous Play - Law 10 - Foul Play. Law 10 : Foul Play is anything a player does within the playing enclosure that is against the letter and spirit of the Laws of the Game. It includes...dangerous play.... Law 10.4(e) A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. A player must not tackle or attempt to tackle above the line of the shoulders...

    i.e., above shoulder line is always dangerous play, but a tackle does not have to be above shoulders to constitute dangerous play (I think this one was in any event above the shoulder line).

    The tackle was in my opinion a shocker, albeit that Masi is not I think a dirty player, and should have been a straight red.

    Kudos to Kearney for not acting up about it, and yes he was indeed hit again by another Italian immediately after it happened as he got to his feet.

    p.s what's with the anonymous comments

    By Anonymous Eoghan Cole, Dublin, at February 18, 2009 1:25 pm  

  • it's definitely a yellow but he was looking to dislodge the ball which Kearney was holing high on his chest, may have actually made contact with with K's arm first if you look closely.
    but a ban would be harsh considering most punches don't even get cited.
    what about the Irish players taking the law into their own hands after the tackle..

    By Anonymous mat, at February 18, 2009 1:51 pm  

  • Straight red - doesn't matter if he meant it or not. If you're going for a massive tackle like that you need to be able to control it not just go 'oops i didn't mean it'. It it had been 6 inches lower it would have been on this site for one of the tackles of the tournament.

    By Anonymous andy, at February 18, 2009 2:28 pm  

  • That was plain and simply going for the neck check out the 1st replay of the tackle,all those idiots who said it was on the shoulders clearly werent listening in Primary 1 science class! Result was fair in the end of this game italy never attempted to play any sort of rugby, how is italy going to progress any further without basic discipline.

    By Anonymous Dave, at February 18, 2009 2:37 pm  

  • Was reckless, definatley dangerous, but almost certainly not intentional.
    It's basically subjective, but in my book that doesn't deserve a straight red. Yellow seems fair to me, it was a bad high tackle, but they happen all the time and it really isn't that hard to do. I've tackled high, a few bad ones too, but I never did it on purpose. Sometime the bloke ducks intot he tackle, sometimes you just don't line the guy up the way you wanted to. To give reds for every high tackle would be a damn shame and would definatley water down thge sport a bit.
    Not so long ago, yellows were rare and reds were rare as hen's teeth.
    Only ten or so years ago, that'd probably just be a penalty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 3:01 pm  

  • deserved a yellow imho.what you guys think about bringing in a rule to rugby like they have in ice hockey where if a player gets sent to the penalty box and the other team scores before the players time in the penalty box ends he is immediately allowed to reenter the match. i really think this would work well in rugby.

    By Anonymous francois, at February 18, 2009 3:30 pm  

  • Red, Rouge, Coch what ever language RED!!!

    By Blogger Forget, at February 18, 2009 3:31 pm  

  • francois, that rule wouldnt work. think about it, yellow cards are given after penalties. the fouled team kicks for goal, get the 3 points- then the sin-binned player comes back on? defeats the purpose lol. but maybe after a try they could come back on.

    By Anonymous paddyt, at February 18, 2009 7:35 pm  

  • Dealt with at the time with a yellow. Reckless? yes. Intentional? I doubt it.

    I notice the citing commision contains a certain Dr O'Driscoll on the board. Big uncle didnt see fit to cite his nephew for his flying headbutt on Bergamasco at rucktime, not Gollums stamping on joints, which was meant to be cracked down on this season.

    Yet again the Irish get to whine about there treatment like spoilt children while having there own bad behaviour ignored. Still if your entire gameplan at provincial and international level is to "fall" on the wrong side of a tackle to force a scrum, then you need help from the laws that be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2009 10:14 pm  

  • if it had been any lower Kearney would of broke the tackle...it wouldnt of been a huge hit. it was masi`s arm that made contact, not his shoulder

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 4:46 am  

  • There's no way to know whether he would have broken the tackle, that's just speculating. The timing of his run out of defense was perfect, he got there perfectly to take man and ball and stop the backline move behind the advantage line.
    It's definatley just a yellow.
    Ten years ago a yellow would have been considered more than enough punishment.
    The way the game is going in the north, it's becoming like football, with cards flashed all the time for any kind of offense.
    That'd just be shit.
    I mean for christ's sake, it was just a high tackle, they happen all the bloody time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 7:04 am  

  • 3 week ban. Clearly it was seen to be a red.

    By Blogger Murffburger, at February 19, 2009 10:58 am  

  • I dont understand how people can complain when others say red.......in all honesty, it was probably a try scoring oppurtunity, arm around the neck, no attempt what so ever to wrap the other arm which just shows it wasnt a good tackle gone wrong, everything about it was wrong. if the referee had pulled a red, italy would have been shit out of luck, but it wouldnt have been unjust, at the end of the day the timing shouldnt be a factor, if one players stamps all over another players face head etc and its in the first ruck, the referee cant then go "well if it was later in the game i'd give you a red, but seeing as its in the first few seconds then have a yellow!"

    it probably would have ruined the game if italy had 14 the whole game but in all honesty rules are rules and its not a tv show!!!!

    i wouldnt have thought a 3 week ban would come about after a simple yellow!

    By Anonymous No.5, at February 19, 2009 11:21 am  

  • from my above comment.....

    which shows the citing commisioners saw much more malicious tackle than the referee.....

    By Anonymous No.5, at February 19, 2009 11:22 am  

  • why is everyone against Masi???????????????????????????
    good player

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 12:03 pm  

  • its not the fact anyone is for or against, masi is normally a good player but this is a dangerous tackle.....end of....im not a fan of the aussies but tiquiri is an awesome player, doesnt take anything away from the spear he did on mccaw......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 12:27 pm  

  • That's a big big red card.

    By Anonymous Alvaro, at February 19, 2009 6:17 pm  

  • That's a big big red card.

    By Anonymous Alvaro, at February 19, 2009 6:17 pm  

  • How could that not be a red card. What does a player have to do to get one? Prehaps if you decapitate the player you get a red?

    By Anonymous The voive of reason?!, at February 19, 2009 6:56 pm  

  • compleetly intentional cause you see on the replay when it focouces back in on the close line from hell mesi's elbow is bent just before it makes contact with Kearneys's head intending to lock his head mesi intended that hit thats why he got 3 weeks for that should have been more i saw Italy come in from the side of the rucks a lot. Ireland were also guilty of a high tackle with Donaca o'callahan grapling with a itilan but the tackle sliped up from the chest up to the head and was caught by the ref i could understand if Mesi hit Kearney like that and the tacke sliped up but mesi made no attempt to hit the chest when i play rugby i havent been penalised for a high tackle in 2 years now cause i hit the body and wrap my arms around the player when i make the hit or hit low on the legs pick em up drive em back there is no place for that kind of tackle in this game if ur going to make a tackle make the attempt to get your body possition low

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 11:32 pm  

  • the reason why cards are been showing more up north is because the IRB wants to get rid of dirty play eg mesi high tackle you have to take that stuf out of this game all togther it a dangerous tackle rugby says you can not make a challenge around the head or neck thoughs are the rules of the game if 1 side wants to chuck em out the window then they should start a new game called the morge where every player ends up dead or in a coma in bout 3 games high tackle rules were put in place for the safety of the palyers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2009 11:46 pm  

  • The reason there are more cards in the north is that you are too heavily influenced by soccer, where cards are rampant and there is this ideological crusade tor emove dirty play. You're also a bit softer up there when it comes to big hits and ilegal play.
    I've got a news flash for ya though. You will never, ever, ever, in a million, billion years, even if a team of scientifically enhanced cyborgs work on a thousands computers to calculate a way, get rid of high tackles from the game.
    Ever.
    Full stop, end of story, get used to it.
    They happen all the time. I've done em a few times, every who plays for an extended period of time does the odd one.
    The rules don't say a reckless high tackle demands a red card, it's up to the ref's discretion. In fact, not long ago people would be shocked if that even got a yellow. Used to just be a penalty, and a stern talking to.
    I've seen worse high tackles not get a yellow, let alone a red.
    You can't red card it out of the game, you're kidding yourself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 20, 2009 2:16 am  

  • Hah, watch that clip of "The Greatest Try of All Time" - the one of the All Blacks v Baa Baas from back in the 70s, and get a load of all the high tackles that were going on. Not a peep from the ref.

    That doesn't mean it's ok to tackle high. And a lot has been done to penalize high tackles, but certainly a red cards should be left up to the referee and reserved for malicious and intentionally harmful offenses.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 20, 2009 4:32 am  

  • Some of the anonymous comments here are hilarious. There's nobody 'whinging' from the Irish side - its just a discussion about the nature of the tackle.

    Whoever says 'they happen all the time' is talking nonsense - maybe they happen at the social rugby level of a few fat old fools thumping into each other all the time, but not at any level of appreciable skill. When was the last time you saw a comparable high & swinging hit in a first class match ? They are thankfully very rare.

    Its not a question of being able to remove this from the game - just that it deserves a red card end off.

    By Anonymous Eoghan Cole, Dublin, at February 20, 2009 1:49 pm  

  • Hey, they do happen.
    You're an idiot who doesn't watch rugby if you don't think high tackles happen all the time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 20, 2009 9:05 pm  

  • RED!!! all the way home! no effort to make a sound tackle, no effort to 'wrap' the ball carrier with both hands/arms. This is a disgrace to northern hemisphere ref'ing!!!

    By Blogger donovanrcraig, at February 22, 2009 7:32 pm  

  • Red ,any talk of a yellow is idiotic,if he can't tackle he shouldn't be on the pitch,ireland for grand slam

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 23, 2009 3:55 am  

  • Ireland fans in particular seem to be soft as shite when it somes to stuff like this. Too much time spent watching bloody soccer.
    Reds should only be rarely used, certainly not for simple reckless high tackles.
    Stop it with the soft as shite demand for cards galore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 23, 2009 4:57 am  

  • shut ur dumb fuckin mouths u tackle anyone high or dangerous intentionaly then u deserve the red wat happened to the legs and torso head and neck off limits why is it always some dumb prick from god knows where some shithole we dont care about always runin there mouths bout ireland we play hard we play fair we dont intentionaly try put anyone out of the game tackles happen sometimes there dangerous by accedent but ur cockeyed or retarded if ur thinkin that a yellow compleetly intentional

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 25, 2009 9:04 pm  

  • oh ond fuck soccor its a pussy game no contact then i dont wana know bout y do u keep goin on about the north just piss off and focous on ur own rugby if u have good things to say great but if u dont go blow urself simple as i meen i dont critisise SH rugby and i find it very unfair that u question ours esp since bothe ireland and wales always give u a physical quick match and are both gaining strenght and momenum im a fan of all rugby NH and SH to u there is nothin like tri nations to us nothin like 6n its a matter of opionion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 25, 2009 9:11 pm  

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