Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, May 30, 2011

Siale Piutau lets fly on Michael Rhodes after dangerous headlock

A handful of citings took place this weekend in Super Rugby, with one of the most talked about being this incident from the Lions' great 26-22 away win at the Highlanders on Saturday. Both players are in the dock.

As you can see in the clip, flanker Michael Rhodes appeared to get Highlanders winger Siale Piutau in some kind of headlock, then attempted to clear him out like that, flipping him dangerously. Piutau retaliated, as to be expected, landing two blows to the head of Rhodes.

In the chaos that followed, he threw another punch. As expected, both players have since been cited, and will face a SANZAR judicial panel tomorrow. They are both cited for 'acts contrary to good sportsmanship', while Rhodes' is for dangerous tackling without the ball, and Piutau's will be for punching and opponent and retaliation.

Both will no doubt face a few weeks off if (when?) found guilty.

Elsewhere, Sharks forward Jean Deyself was cited for a similar offence in their 26-21 win over the Waratahs in Durban. Unlike in the other incident, Deyself was seen by the officials, and yellow carded for his dangerous headlock.

UPDATE 31/05/2011: Rhodes has been suspended for 6 weeks, while Piutau escaped suspension, due to 'exceptional circumstances'.

"Whilst the player admitted to foul play he had been seriously compromised in the incident involving Rhodes," said judicial officer Nick Davidson, who added that the winger was placed 'at serious risk of injury'.

"Piutau's reaction was that of someone who had been seriously endangered and to impose a sanction in these circumstances would not reflect the effect on Piutau of the incident and a reaction that was the product of shock rather than retaliatory intent."

Rhodes has the right to appeal the sanction.

Time: 02:37



  • I'm am First.....I am Spartacus!!!!

    By Anonymous OutsideCentre, at May 30, 2011 3:50 pm  

  • congrats

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 3:54 pm  

  • I don't blame Piutau for retaliating aIfter that! Won't be surprised if Rhodes gets a suspension of 15 weeks or more, that was dangerous. Piitau will get a ban around 8 weeks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 3:55 pm  

  • "He just about executed him"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 3:56 pm  

  • well done by the winger, smack that idiot

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 3:59 pm  

  • Plenty of Highlanders players getting cheap shots in after the incident.

    By Anonymous katman, at May 30, 2011 4:00 pm  

  • Flip me we nearly had a fatality there!

    By Anonymous SpencaH, at May 30, 2011 4:02 pm  

  • If someone is trying to rip of my head... I would also not be able to stay calm....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 4:08 pm  

  • I say fair play to the Hinglanders player. He had every right to give him a few smacks. If someone tries to break his neck then he should be allowed to react.

    By Anonymous New Centre Pairing, at May 30, 2011 4:10 pm  

  • Rhodes hefty ban, piutau 4 weeks would probably be fair, you cant hit someone but I think that he was justified! Rhodes will be a lucky boy to get a short ban as that could've easily caused a career hell even life threatening injury to piutau.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 4:12 pm  

  • Handbags at dawn. No-one was in any danger from the punches. The tackel however, was very dangerous.

    By Blogger Ealabhan, at May 30, 2011 4:14 pm  

  • A yellow card each. No ban. since the ref missed it, nothing.

    15 weeks? The only time a guy deserves 15 weeks is if they gouge an eye, come in from the sideline to fight, or punch a ref. Sometimes weird things happen in rugby, almost always, like this, they sort themselves out.

    By Anonymous CitingboardsRlame, at May 30, 2011 4:14 pm  

  • I don't know. I think Piutau would be hard done by with anything more than a week. Given the circumstances I'm not sure you could expect anyone to stay calm.

    Both acts are wrong, but both individuals I don't think did anything they can be slandered for. Just an unfortunate incident all round.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 4:25 pm  

  • dirty saffa

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 4:25 pm  

  • Rhodes 15-20 weeks. Piutau a gentle tap on the wrist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 4:27 pm  

  • Fuck. You can't argue about intent to hurt on this occasion. With high tackles, spear tackles, headbutts (judging by Mealamu's last indiscretion), etc. can all be argued to be unintentional, at least to some degree. This headlock twist drive to ground thing cannot be argued. That player clearly went out to harm the other. I'd give a ban on par with a high end spear tackle offense.

    By Anonymous Von, at May 30, 2011 4:31 pm  

  • It is a legitimate technique, you see it all the time at the breakdown but it was poorly executed and potentially very dangerous. I think both players should have been carded and a follow up conversation with both of them about the incident but no more than that. You can't punish a man for poor technique and from the video there's no conclusive proof that he intended to hurt the other player. The highlander player should have a talking too for retaliation but it is understandable in the context.

    My opinion is that it was unfortunate incident which doesn't happen very often (retaliation excluded but not ignored) which doesn't need strict punishment but just to be dealt with firmly and in the correct manner. It's rugby after all, dangerous game.

    By Blogger Tom, at May 30, 2011 4:48 pm  

  • Players are taught these wrestling techniques, some teams even bring in wrestling coaches! It's just a pity he got this horribly wrong.

    Fair play to Justin Marshall for sticking up for him too. Clearly seeing it was a players point of view, even if he was a number nine :P

    Nice punch too, that first one. Rhodes looked about as shocked any anyone though. Definitely not 'trying to break his neck' as someone has suggested

    By Anonymous Laz, at May 30, 2011 4:57 pm  

  • Dirty Kiwi's always in with a punch. They are lucky the Lions did not put them all in hospital in the ensuing punch-up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 5:01 pm  

  • He deserved those punches - could have snapped the guy's neck. You can imagine the remorse afterwards...useless remorse.

    I hate to see players taking risks with other players' spines.

    By Anonymous Mike, at May 30, 2011 5:05 pm  

  • Hoolllllly crap. Lions player is going to be in some trouble. That was really really bad. Punches are bread and butter at the tribunal but that neck lock will be something pretty serious I'd say.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 5:07 pm  

  • I agree with Tom and Laz - you see that style of clear out at plenty of rucks, was simply poor technique.

    His eyes are closed, as can been seen from the video, and I guess in the heat of the moment, on his try line, he didn't realise he had the guy's neck.

    Should still be a suspension though.

    Jannie du Plessis did a similar thing to Pocock earlier this season, at the ruck in which Pocock damaged his knee. Apparently told Pocock he would break his neck the next time. Pleasant guy.

    Deysel should, however, receive a very long ban. He grabbed Carter's neck in a similar technique, and squeezed, and squeezed, and squeezed. He held on for probably 5-10 seconds, long after the ruck had broken up, and long after Carter was on his back. Plenty of intent in choking Carter. He should have received a red card, and he should receive a long suspension.

    By Anonymous Wolfman, at May 30, 2011 5:18 pm  

  • I generally don't like to see this sort of thing, but in this instance, seeing as Piutau was nearly handed a broken neck, I can understand the reaction. In these situations it's hard to repress the deep down fight of flight mechanism. If someone tried to take my head of like that I'd be far more worried about my life than the rules of the game.

    By Anonymous Tony Hart, at May 30, 2011 5:21 pm  

  • I think he deserved some punches for that.
    Not sure about the "its a technique of the game, just poorly executed idea"...Tackling is a technique, but when poorly executed there's no defense.
    Definitely deserves a ban. He knew his arm was around the players neck...

    By Anonymous Luke G, at May 30, 2011 5:22 pm  

  • this type of clear out 'the roll@ is supposed to be performed on the shoulders/torso. i tend to grip in the armpits.

    His technique is appalling. He's latched on around his neck and seriously had he had some leverage on his chin his neck would have snapped. It's only cos he didn't have the face wrapped up that it didn't break. lucky guy.

    I just don't get rugby sometimes. There is simply no justifiable reason why any player needs to make contact with another players head except during the scrum. any other incident of the head being struck or manhandled simply HAS to be dealt with stricter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 5:58 pm  

  • Not that I'm supporting any out-of-sort violence, but this reaction from Piutau is fully deserved and justified.

    He could've easily broken his neck and I was absolutely cringing during the slow-mo replay.

    Perhaps accidental (I don't think anyone would wring someonelse's neck that way on purpose) but it fully justified a good smack in the face.

    A slap on the wrist for Piutau and I'd say Rhodes has had his punishment.

    By Anonymous Sander, at May 30, 2011 6:01 pm  

  • wow... i get what justin marshall is saying but i just don't buy the idea that rhodes didn't know or couldn't tell he had the guys neck in his arms. It wasn't just bad technique it was reckless and dangerous and he should receive a decent length ban. I really can't see how potentially snapping a guys neck is that much worse than eye gouging (or contact with the eye area!) As for Piutau I agree with the majority of people on this that no punches aren't/shouldn't be allowed but nobody really blames him for his reaction and a lengthy ban would be unfair.

    By Blogger ellie, at May 30, 2011 6:10 pm  

  • I would have done exactly the same thing but perhaps kept on going at him until I was dragged away. Could have broken his neck.

    citing commissioner should give 2 weeks for retaliation and 6-8 for the headlock.

    By Anonymous King, at May 30, 2011 6:19 pm  

  • Katman and anon at 5:01, pull your heads out of your arses.

    Ugly, really ugly. You can't argue poor technique for that any more than you can for a spear.

    Possibly not intentional but bloody reckless and dangerous. A bit rough if Piutau cops a ban for that but I'm guessing he probably will.

    By Anonymous Tim, at May 30, 2011 6:29 pm  

  • Nasty, but you still don't punch someone on the ground - this is rugby not MMA. Also, much like a legal tackle that slips up around the neck, I have been coached in the past to clear out like this but by grabbing around the upper chest and rolling the player away. It's not the ideal clearout but it is very hard to resist.

    I don't know the relative players' records, but it'll probably be something like 4 weeks for the clearout and 5 for the punches, based on Tuilagi's recent exploits.

    By Anonymous Ian M, at May 30, 2011 6:37 pm  

  • Rolling a player by the head should be as bad as high tackle. It's essentially to protect the same area - the neck and throat - so should be penalised the same. Like the commentator said: it's a good clearing out technique... when properly executed.

    By Blogger SmellyNerfherder, at May 30, 2011 6:47 pm  

  • I've looked at this several times and I really don't see any malice in the headlock, the maul is moving and he simply attempts to use his bodyweight to roll the guy over him.

    I agree it's badly executed though (grabbing the head rather than torso) and could have resulted in injury to the player. I think a mid-range ban of about 4-6 weeks is in order, more to send a message to other players not to do that than for the offense itself.

    The punches probably get a low end ban, 2-3 weeks, due to the mitigation of him feeling the guy had tried to do him.

    Nice break up the middle! Ducking through two tacklers!

    By Anonymous Conman, at May 30, 2011 6:56 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Hoizokimaru, at May 30, 2011 6:59 pm  

  • Poor technique can only go so far in explaining what could have easily ended in a broken neck.
    3 weeks for the punches
    8 weeks for that crocodile roll - could have been so much worse.

    By Blogger Hoizokimaru, at May 30, 2011 7:02 pm  

  • God damn that could of been a serious injury

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 7:07 pm  

  • The headlock really didn't seem that bad....Penalty maybe, but the reaction was way over the top..

    By Blogger themull, at May 30, 2011 7:10 pm  

  • And please people anyone claiming that he went out to try and break his neck, you are either delibrately trolling for a reaction(real mature) or ignorant to everyday rucking techniques...he tried to roll him out of the ruck but failed to lock his arms underneath his armpits as Marshall pointed out too..it's no worse than a slighlty high tackle and should be treated as such...

    By Blogger themull, at May 30, 2011 7:13 pm  

  • The punch caught him totally by surprise, and sure it's a yellow...

    Headlock, very danger, he knew what he was doing... red card!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 7:37 pm  

  • 11 blue: son of a BITCH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 7:38 pm  

  • was pisses me off, is dirty scum kiwi jared hoeata coming in with a cheap shot.

    By Anonymous pommie, at May 30, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • did rhodes know what he was doing?

    his wrestling action was dangerous and horrible, i'm sure he'll get a 15-25 weeks suspension for that. piutau's reaction could get a 2 weeks ban.

    By Anonymous lightning, at May 30, 2011 8:46 pm  

  • That's probably the most dangerous thing ive seen on a rugby pitch this season (apart from joe marlers haircut maybe?!)

    Don't want to see this. 8 week ban for Rhodes methinks. Can't condone violence but most people would react to that. Piutau 3/4 weeks

    By Anonymous M, at May 30, 2011 8:53 pm  

  • GOOD LORD! Is Michael Rhodes really Cody Rhodes?! Cross Rhodes at its best! What a neckbreaker.

    Still disgraceful for that plank who thinks he's Rick Rude! 14 week ban and for Piatau, 1 week; as he was right to retaliate.

    By Anonymous Controversial Rugby, at May 30, 2011 8:53 pm  

  • Tim @ 6:29

    What are you having a go at me for? I simply commented that plenty of Highlanders seemed to fly in with punches after the incident. It's there for all to see. How does this constitute me having my head up my arse?

    By Anonymous katman, at May 30, 2011 9:32 pm  

  • "...just bad technique"...!!??? Is this commentator off his head? At that point a good old close-line is just a fair tackle executed poorly? What drivel, he's a professional, he should know better. Heavy ban in my opinion. Piitau is more than justified in his reaction but rules are rules, so maybe a week or 2 for him.

    By Anonymous I hate ppl who write "First!", at May 30, 2011 9:39 pm  

  • I guess half of you so called rugby supporters have never seen this rolling technique used...

    Rhodes should get a ban for this. Not too long though, about 2 weeks as he has a clean previous record, and IMO no malicious intent.

    The kiwis always seem to through punches especially those damn maoris...

    By Anonymous chappie, at May 30, 2011 9:58 pm  

  • I understand that the clear-out might look like it was just "poor technique", but as he wrapped his arm around the wingers neck, he purposefully locks his arms with his outside hand, at this point he MUST know that his arms are clearly around the neck of the other player... unless he's suddenly tackled a 15" chest with a chin sticking out of it. Dirty play, deserved a smack.

    I think both will get a small ban, mostly because of the fact this sorted itself out on the pitch. But Rhodes surely deserves a longer suspension.

    It does bring up another question though that has been asked before. It's often said that in the professional era of rugby, you must take care of your own body, but certainly that doesn't give the opposing player free license to do what he wants to you in regards to clearing out...

    Look at the Brian O'Driscoll incident. Now, before I start, I don't want to bring up old arguments, I'm simply using this example as case in point because surely everyone knows about it.

    One side of the argument that I've heard so much about is that the spear tackle on O'Driscoll was a legal technique of clearing out, and that the two New Zealand players had simply executed it wrong, or as also suggested, O'Driscoll didn't control his body in the right way. (not something I agree to, but again, don't want to bring up that argument, but simply using this example to make my next point)

    At what point does it stop? Can the defence of a player be put down to 'poorly executed technique'? Or blaming the opposite player on not controlling his body? There's a level of on-the-pitch cynicism that seems to be left out in these judicial hearings.

    The funny part is I say 'at what point does it stop?' and you'd think the most extreme point at where it would stop is when two players clear a player out from a ruck and fail to control him, turn him legs up and drive him head first into the ground. But seemingly it doesn't.

    Or, seemingly smaller games and smaller teams are treated harder than the big ones. Look at that incident in England. During a game, an attacking player with ball tried to hand-off a defender. The defender said he felt searing pain in his eye, dropped to the ground. Hours later he was in hospital, as his eyeball had burst. The matter was passed onto the police, and then onto the RFU. The RFU deemed the attacking player had 'tried to repulse the defending player with a extended arm and/or finger(s)'. The attacking player always maintained that he had used his palm, and the defending player, now without one eye, did admit that he probably didn't intend on hurting him.

    If you think about it further, to be running at full pace, whilst trying to keep a defender off you, holding a ball, and in the heat of battle try and stab someone in the eye with your finger with enough accuracy to burst his eyeball, it'd be some mean feat. Likely, it was all an accident. Yet, the RFU deemed that the attacking player had not controlled his body in a responsible manner, and as such, the player in question has been banned from rugby, and is still banned (something like 70 odd weeks so far I believe?)

    So, where's the line drawn between bad technique and being irresponsible? And why should the consequences differ so greatly between international test/club rugby and smaller club rugby when outside of the lime-light?

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at May 30, 2011 10:11 pm  

  • Indeed very poor techniques..... As Rhodes did fail to remove Piutau head of his neck......

    Seriously are some of you joking. I understand rugby is a physical game, but common who are joking here!

    Only one punch as retaliation? Should deserve more.... Credit to Piutau

    By Anonymous Flipje, at May 30, 2011 10:14 pm  

  • Piitau's suspension won't be that bad, considering he was provoked. just look at what happened to Manu Tuilagi!
    Rhodes should be banned for a while, could've broken Piitau's neck!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 10:18 pm  

  • The commentators seem to give Rhodes some benefit of the doubt, but I would disagree.

    The issue is that this probably happens fairly regularly.

    Where Rhodes got "unlucky" was that he fell over with the Otagan.

    That aside, if this is happening in ruck/maul, this needs to be punished.

    Putting a player in this type of headlock can cause severe injury.

    Even if the player isn't thrown down by the headlock, it it probably already in the realm of a "sleeper hold", cutting off or limiting blood flow to the player's brain.

    This isn't tiddly-winks, I know, but it's also no olympic wrestling, where you expect head-locks, or MMA, where you can tap out

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 30, 2011 10:34 pm  

  • Poor technique? And therefore a short suspension or none?????????

    Seriously, I don't understand some of the comments on this site.

    Is flying in with a stretched arm to the head of your opponent bad tackling technique?

    Is putting your boot to someones head poor kicking technique?

    Is gougeing someone's eyes poor 'mosqito-sting-scratching-technique'?

    This is the most dangerous thing I've seen on RD this year. The guy was lucky his legs were not stuck in the maul so he was able to roll with it.

    Lengthy, lengthy ban IMHO. And a few weeks for retaliating.

    By Anonymous Guy, at May 30, 2011 10:39 pm  

  • deserved a good thump for that....

    By Blogger Ronan, at May 30, 2011 10:51 pm  

  • 'Poor technique' cannot be blamed for this'. AT ALL!!!! when does someone put somebody in a headlock (unintentioanlly) and then flip them judo study over the top.This is completely intentional and against the laws of rugby, as is any act on the body above should height.

    Saying its bad technique - does this mean that spear tackles, (when some are intentional, admittedly,) the majority of them are dump tackles just out of control, you think they deserve just a slap on the wrist for potentially paralysing another player? I think not!

    The retaliation will get something, but there should be a heftier ban for the killer judo move....if it has potential for serious harm, then it should be eradicated before actual incidences occur and making a marker of it now will help that.

    By Anonymous Charlie, at May 30, 2011 11:14 pm  

  • Lions player: 12month ban
    Highlanders player: nothing

    Fucking disgraceful. end of story.

    By Blogger Robbie, at May 31, 2011 12:12 am  

  • That's fucking terrible. I'm notgoing to argue against the twelve weeks for the judo roll, but punching someone on the ground, from behind, is just cowardly. Looked like there was a knee to the head as well, which is even banned in the UFC. Even just a two-week ban would be fine to show that such retaliation is unacceptable.

    By Anonymous Ian M, at May 31, 2011 12:50 am  

  • Not a big deal, maybe three or four weks bans at most for the players involved.

    I was watching a show in Australia with former Wallabies hooker Adam Frier, and he was explaining that the technique Michael Rhodes used was actually textbook if he had been doing it to Piutau's body, isntead of his head.
    That's basically one of the taught ways that you clear a guy out of a ruck at the top level.
    Obviously not around the neck (it was basically what they call a gator roll in MMA), and so deserves punsihment.

    But let's not flip out. It's actually not as dangerous as people make out. It's a standard grappling technique, used in MMA or graeco-roman wrestling.

    People should reaslise that rugby has been using wrestling and grappling techniques like this for many years now, occaisonally things like this might happen.

    So a short ban and we move on.

    By Anonymous Bill, at May 31, 2011 1:18 am  

  • Honestly, how can you blame him for reacting like that. The guy could've broken his neck such a cowardly and disgusting act!!

    By Blogger Alexander, at May 31, 2011 1:55 am  

  • Okay I may have over-reacted there. First up it looked too horrific for words and got me seething...but such poor technique must go punished to send a clear message out that recklessness is not a part of the game!

    By Blogger Alexander, at May 31, 2011 2:06 am  

  • That was NOT a tackle. That was a clear out at a breakdown. Just like O'Driscoll, Lions '05. These are NOT tackles.
    However, they carry very high danger levels and need to be stopped. I can't condone the punches thrown but I do understand why they were thrown. The citings should fall heavy on the Lions player
    There are comments here talking about technique. I Can't buy any of that, as poor tackle technique results in tip tackles that SOMETIMES merit a red card.
    Cut this out of the game before it reaches any level of acceptance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 2:41 am  

  • "No suspensions because the ref didn't see it."
    Absolutely the wrong approach to discipline, at any time.
    That's the standard in the National Hockey League, which is high water mark for stupid in management of professional sports. It's a useful rule of thumb that whatever the NHL does, by definition, is wrong.
    If I'm the discipline officer in this case, Piutau gets the going rate for punches (4 weeks?)
    And if Rhodes's next job does not involve the phrase, "Do you want fries with that?" then he's a very lucky boy.

    By Anonymous BobMacActual, at May 31, 2011 2:50 am  

  • That is not part of the game. Every rugby player knows when he is wrapped high up in the neck, as there is far less resistance. The Lions player knew and continued the hold and the flip. If that was me I'd have a broken neck.

    By Blogger Darren, at May 31, 2011 2:51 am  

  • It's probabyl just one idiot commenting over and over again with the stupid racist comments.
    Don't tar all south africans with the same brush cuz of one douchebag on the internet.
    Obviously he is an idiot, or he would know that there are hundreds of thousands of people of Samoan, Tongan, Fijian and other islander descent living in Nz who were born and raised there.

    The fact that he is too thick to understand the concept of an immigrant nation like NZ indicates that no one should take his views at all seriously, so let's just ignore him.

    In regards to this incident, people are getting very worked up over something that's not too bad.

    It is illegal what he did, he attacked the neck and head. It should result in a ban of some weeks, and will.

    But you can't stampt his kind of thing out of the game altogether, it's a full contact sport, occaisonally people overstep the mark, they get punished and we move on.

    As has been pointed out by people who have actually trained in or coached rucking, this technique is textbook if used lower on the body, under the armpits (called using underhooks in grappling). Round the neck is of course illegal (a gator roll in grappling) and should be penalised.
    But it is a matter of making a mistake and using poor technique, I doubt it was malicious.

    By the way inw restling this kind of move is done frequently and I've never heard of it breaking anyone's neck. It's not as dangerous as it looks.

    By Anonymous Bill, at May 31, 2011 3:38 am  

  • If he was so injured...sure had enough in him to hit the guy like that...he should be banned for a while its wasn't something that isnt done to remove a player from the ruck and to react like that...he should go to the MMA if he wants to do shit like that....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 5:06 am  

  • Rhodes has been banned for 6 weeks.

    Piatau has been found guilty of punching but escaped being banned because of “exceptional circumstances”.

    By Anonymous Marts, at May 31, 2011 5:09 am  

  • It doesnt matter if he was injured or not, it was VERY DANGEROUS.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 5:44 am  

  • And Jean Deysel gets off free for trying to strangle a Waratah (as tempting as it might be ).... ?

    By Anonymous admax, at May 31, 2011 9:28 am  

  • 6 weeks for Rhodes. That's the end of his season. Fair enough - it was a terrible ruck clean and he can have no complaints about that.

    By Anonymous katman, at May 31, 2011 9:41 am  

  • ^^ 6 matches, not 6 weeks.

    By Anonymous katman, at May 31, 2011 9:42 am  

  • Katman, it was more the idiot after you. But seriously, I can see as many if not more cheap shots (actually pretty hard to tell) from the Lions players (or are you calling grabbing someone a cheapshot?).
    I guess people just see what they want to see.

    By Anonymous Tim, at May 31, 2011 10:03 am  

  • Has Peter de Villiers commented on the decision ? That'd be a good opportunity to have a laugh...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 11:09 am  

  • ok 6 matches is fair enough but piitau not getting anything?! i mean cme on. malice punching even in retaliation. wow. must be some kiwis on the board or its the poms once again sucking up to the kiwis. when will this kissing up stop?!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 2:37 pm  

  • The ruling was perfect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 3:45 pm  

  • I'll be more ashamed of rugby than I already am if the winger gets done for hitting the guy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 4:02 pm  

  • Im actually suprised its only 6 matches....

    I mean we see BIG bans for spear tackles, and to me this had a HUGE amount more potential to injure the guys neck than a spear.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 4:15 pm  

  • Both of them should receive the same punishment. Otherwise where do you draw the line when it comes to "retaliation?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 4:36 pm  

  • thank you for the update RD!

    By Anonymous Stubby, at May 31, 2011 6:52 pm  

  • So in New Zealand its OK to retaliate?

    Agree clean out was unacceptable and deserved to be punished but now there is a ruling that to retaliate is OK.

    High tackles are often more dangerous, so now after a high tackle (well the precedence set so far is that you may well need to be a Kiwi) you can jump up take 2 cheap shot punches and then follow up with a third and claim it was exceptional circumstances.

    I would have though QCs thought through the consequences of their decisions - as a Kiwi maybe he has.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 1:33 am  

  • LOL Classic incident;

    Typical dirty saffa goes for cheap shot then gets belted up (along with other members of his team).

    The guy gets 6 weeks and now all the yarpie muppets will start complaining that South Africans are targeted...

    The reason you idiots are targeted is becasue you are filthy cheats who can't win by playing within the rules!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 2:48 am  

  • Piutau put two punches onto a player who was on his back / knees.

    Isn't this an attack on a player in a "defenseless position"?

    Not saying Rhodes don't deserve some biffo.. But for Piutau to get NOTHING for hitting a player on the ground simply begs the calls for the double standards Kiwis get accused of.

    If that had of been Schalk Burger retaliating on Richie McCaw, McCaw would have gotten nothing, and Burger would have gotten 12 weeks for attacking a defenseless opponent on the ground.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at June 01, 2011 4:43 am  

  • I'm shocked.... More shocked by the comments than by the incident itself. Now 'back in the day' this incident may have been ignored however we are in 2011 and it is rightfully highlighted!!!! However 'back in the day' the rest of the team could have beat the living shit out of Rhodes and we'd have felt some justice. But nowadays you guys wan to ban someone who looks like he nearly got his neck broken!!!

    Fucking hell. Why don't you guys go and ay a SINGLE game of rugby. Rather than living off a rugby video game and then come back to the site!

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 01, 2011 3:27 pm  

  • Agree No.7

    Back in the day Rhodes would have spent the remainder of the game removing Otago sprigs from his butt after every ruck.

    By Anonymous rememberthemer, at June 01, 2011 3:35 pm  

  • Just throwing this out there - he didn't have his neck broken though. He wasn't injured at all even... so maybe it wasn't that dangerous after all?

    I recognise it could have been worse though, naturally.

    By Anonymous JustaThought, at June 01, 2011 3:36 pm  

  • cheyanqui said...

    Of course the point you fail to mention is that Richie McCaw wouldn't have tried to wrench anyone's head off to start with.

    Not sure you could say the same thing about Burger though.

    By Anonymous rememberthemer, at June 01, 2011 3:41 pm  

  • "Typical dirty saffa goes for cheap shot then gets belted up (along with other members of his team)."

    Whining Keeeeweeeees typically claiming Saffa's are dirty. Precious much? You're quick to point fingers but let's not forget about "Umugger" and St. Kev nearly killing O'driscoll, typical dirty Keeeeweeeees, no BMT and choke on the big stage as a bonus.

    P.S. Rhodes hardly felt those "punches" so I'd hardly call it a belting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 8:19 pm  

  • ^^ yawn

    By Anonymous rememberthemer, at June 01, 2011 8:50 pm  

  • @ anonymous (2:48am):


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 9:17 pm  

  • ^^ Anonymous

    25 June 2005 - 2 June 2011
    or 6 years
    or 2168 days
    or 3,121,920 minutes

    Did you know in that time you could have impregnated the missus and the result would already have started school?

    Mind you who can forget when it is only 16,819,200 minutes since John Ashworth studded JPR.

    By Anonymous rememberthemer, at June 01, 2011 11:29 pm  

  • No 7, it looks alot more dangerous than it is.
    It would virtually impossible to break a man's neck with a gator roll.
    It's a standard grappling technique. In college (and olympic wrestling) it's a relativley common move.
    It's seriously not even fractionaly as dangerous as you are making out.

    By Anonymous Bill, at June 02, 2011 1:06 am  

  • Bill the gator roll itself is not bad but the flip and the fact it's in a ruck (therefore the player could easily be more restrained and unfree to move as he did) means it's a lot easier to break someone's neck like that! But as with others on other comments congratulations or entirely missing the point! I'm talking to those who say the punching deserves great punishment!

    Care to comment again Einstein?

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 02, 2011 2:01 am  

  • Wow, way to be completely uncivil.
    I'll stay civil, since I don't want to engage in some petulent internet argument.
    I was simply commentating on your assertion that it was incredibly dangerous.
    I don't agree. It's not very dangerous, though it looks terrible and is of course illegal. It should be punished and I think 5 or 6 weeks is a good punishment.
    I have no problem with the punches, I'd do the same thing.
    But the gator roll, flip or not, isn't gonna break anyone's neck.

    Just calm down.

    By Anonymous Bill, at June 02, 2011 3:31 am  

  • At the end of the day he must have been aware he had Piutau by the neck. And that kind of rash accident could paralyse or kill a player. I is a lot worse than gouging or punching as its consequences are far more serious.

    Rhodes could be looking at a lengthy ban, If that happened to me in a game I would have reacted the same was as Piutau and would accept the 6 week ban I'd probably get.

    By Anonymous Alexander Ioannou, at June 02, 2011 2:05 pm  

  • Unforgivable! thats how you break a neck. but the retaliation should be punished as per usual

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 04, 2011 4:45 pm  

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