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  • Wayne Barnes, Dave Pearson & the red card that turned yellow

    All the Welsh must have had their hearts in their mouth, 65 minutes into a cracking game of rugby and Bradley Davies not only performs a tip tackle much worse than that of his captain at the world cup, but off the ball too, he was reacting to a shoulder charge on Adam Jones by Donnacha Ryan.

    Thanks to Alain Rolland's nerveless decision at the Rugby World Cup and the seemingly endless conversations the world is now aware that this type of tackle can surely only end one way, with Wales once again finishing the game with 14 men.

    The watching crowds wait and listen as an unsighted Wayne Barnes goes to talk to his Assistant Referee, Dave Pearson, an experienced IRB Panel Referee in his own right, to find out what has happened.

    The conversation unfolds as:

    WB: I've seen nothing

    DP: Lifted the player off the floor, twisted him past the horizontal, dropped him.

    WB: Ok, Recommendation?

    DP: Yellow

    WB: Yellow Card, thank you.


    Bradley Davies is then shown a Yellow Card and leaves the pitch. In an amazing twist of perception, the commentators then state that it should have been red, and as far as I am concerned they are right. It should have been a red every day of the week.

    I will once again (as I always do) state that the commentators only became sure of this after the replay, neither Dave Pearson or Wayne Barnes have this luxury (That's a separate debate).

    So why wasn't it a red? Perhaps Dave Pearson didn't see it clearly, after all play had moved away, but as an appointed Assistant Referee part of his job is to watch back play. The only people that really know will be those privy to the assessment of the match officials, however I am sure Wayne would have given a red card had he seen it, and I'm also sure Dave Pearson would be disappointed that he didn't call it correctly. Everything he said should have rung the red card alarm bells, apart from the fact that he didn't state the player had been dropped onto their head/neck.

    Further into the game Stephen Ferris is also Yellow Carded for a tip tackle. There has been debates about if it was or wasn't because Ian Evans still had a leg on the floor. I believe Wayne got this one right.

    Ferris attempts to carry out a tip tackle, all the signs are there, he lifted, he twisted and he drove down, Ian Evans saving grace was that Ferris only managed to grab one leg whilst doing it. The fact he failed to carry out the tip tackle properly is not an excuse to not get penalised for attempting it, the whole action of a tip tackle must be eradicated from our game.

    For the record both players have been cited by the Italian Citing Commissioner Achille Reali, I will make my predictions on the sanctions they will get.

    I believe that Bradley Davies will not see another game in this year's six nations, I expect the suspension to be 8 weeks, reduced to 6 if his record is clean.

    Stephen Ferris' case is a little more complicated, it depends on how the citing has been made, if it has been made for the attempt of a dangerous spear tackle, then I expect he will get suspended for 4 weeks, reduced to two if his record is clean.

    If the citing is for the actual tackle that took place, I believe no suspension will be given and Ferris will be free to continue playing.
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. SimonSmith's Avatar
      SimonSmith -
      You need to edit that.

      AR's decision was nerveless, not unnerving. Huge difference
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Oops, thanks for spotting that.
    1. KingsPE's Avatar
      KingsPE -
      What makes this worse is that the entire incident happened off the ball.

      The Wales player makes this tackle after clearing out from the scrum - the Ireland player didn't have the ball!
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Agreed, was about 5 seconds between them moving away from the ball to the tackle being carried out.
    1. Dixie's Avatar
      Dixie -
      I can't agree that a citing should really take place (and still less be successful) for an intended act that failed to occur. The Paddy O'Brien memo says that the referee should ignore intent in the tip tackle - if the player was lifted, twisted beyond the horizon and then dropped or driven into the ground, the offence is proved and should normally be a red card. If the act is the key and intent is nothing, then intent without the act is also nothing.

      There are other red card offences, including calling the Danish referee a cheating Knut. If you intend to do this but find that your mouthguard prevents you articulating the sentiment, have you earned a red card? I think not.

      As for Bradley Davies, I wholeheartedly agree. You write:

      Everything he said should have rung the red card alarm bells, apart from the fact that he didn't state the player had been dropped onto their head/neck.


      I'd just point out that neither is a requirement for a red card - landing on the upper back, or indeed the outstretched arm, is enough. Which is another way of saying that being tipped beyond the horizontal is enough, if the tipper doesn't correct that situation before his opponent hits the ground.
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      I'm not saying it should be a citing, I'm saying it is a citing and am second guessing the reason why, and the outcome.

      I believe it should be a YC for the attempt, and that's sufficient.
    1. crossref's Avatar
      crossref -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
      There are other red card offences, including calling the Danish referee a cheating Knut. If you intend to do this but find that your mouthguard prevents you articulating the sentiment, have you earned a red card? I think not.
      .
      reminds me of that old joke

      - ref, I was were to say that you are knut, what would happen
      - you would get a RC
      - Oh. But I were only to think that you are a knut, what would happen then?
      - well then in that event nothing would happen
      - I see. well then I think you are knut.
    1. TheBFG's Avatar
      TheBFG -
      27 secs in, look at bottom left of the screen, DP had a clear view, but as you say, was he watching?
    1. Dickie E's Avatar
      Dickie E -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
      If the act is the key and intent is nothing, then intent without the act is also nothing.
      So an attempted head butt that misses target is OK?
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Ian Cook & I have been quoted in the Welsh Media, and nicely too:

      http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wa...1466-30279196/
    1. Phil E's Avatar
      Phil E -
      Shame on you Robert Burns

      Robert Burns, creator of RugbyRefs.com, a website developed specifically for rugby union referees from around the world, says players have to learn the rules.
      RULES? Really?

    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      That's paraphrasing for the Welsh I presume, notice it's not in Speech quotes.

    1. dave_clark -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
      Shame on you Robert Burns

      RULES? Really?

      bugger, beat me to it.
    1. Ian_Cook's Avatar
      Ian_Cook -
      First incident - stone cold Red Card. It was even worse than Sam Warburton's effort in NZ because it was off the ball. Second incident, Yellow Card correct call.

      When are the players going to learn?

      Will it take a high profile player ending up in a wheelchair, or worse yet, a coffin, before these idiots learn not to do this!?
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
      First incident - stone cold Red Card. It was even worse than Sam Warburton's effort in NZ because it was off the ball. Second incident, Yellow Card correct call.

      When are the players going to learn?

      Will it take a high profile player ending up in a wheelchair, or worse yet, a coffin, before these idiots learn not to do this!?
      Exactly what my articles says (bar the last line!)
    1. Simon Thomas's Avatar
      Simon Thomas -
      Ian's 5 point checklist is front & centre in the article and I woulod loike to see the IRB adopt it (great job Ian) but it does say Referee Ian Cook - surely it should say "Retired Referee" ? (and mention the NZ bit too )
    1. Ian_Cook's Avatar
      Ian_Cook -
      Quote Originally Posted by Simon Thomas View Post
      Ian's 5 point checklist is front & centre in the article and I woulod loike to see the IRB adopt it (great job Ian) but it does say Referee Ian Cook - surely it should say "Retired Referee" ? (and mention the NZ bit too )
      Their mistake Simon, not mine.


      Quote Originally Posted by Robert Burns View Post
      Exactly what my articles says (bar the last line!)
      The last line was what I really wanted to say, just want a few words to lead into it.

      But seriously, I do worry that we are going to get a top line elite player killed or permanently paralysed before some players wake up.
    1. Dixie's Avatar
      Dixie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dickie E View Post
      So an attempted head butt that misses target is OK?
      Of course they are not "OK", but what law has been broken to justify a PK, let alone a RC? I suspect the best you could come up with is acts contrary to good sportsmanship - a rather wimpy peg on which to hang the heavy trenchcoat of the red card; it migh just bear the weight of the PK though. Have you never had a word with a player suggeting that if that attempted trip/punch/kick has come off, he'd be watching the game instead of playing in it? If your thinking were correct, such conversations would only be evidence of the ref bottling the decision. I think of them as warnings about intended offences that never actually happened, and so did not violate the laws of the game.
    1. dave_clark -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
      But seriously, I do worry that we are going to get a top line elite player killed or permanently paralysed before some players wake up.
      maybe the players haven't yet learned, but it seems like the wider rugby world has. whereas Rolland was widely (and almost universally) criticised, unfairly, for giving the red card, Pearson has captured the wrath for NOT recommending a red card.

      even the idiots on planet rugby (and i think the welsh one too) agree that it should have been red.

      perhaps that's one good think that has come out of this - the realisation that we're moving in the right direction. it's been said before, but we've got one man and one man only to thank for that. Alain Rolland.

      (well, Sam Warburton too i suppose).
    1. OB..'s Avatar
      OB.. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
      Of course they are not "OK", but what law has been broken to justify a PK, let alone a RC? I suspect the best you could come up with is acts contrary to good sportsmanship - a rather wimpy peg on which to hang the heavy trenchcoat of the red card; it migh just bear the weight of the PK though. Have you never had a word with a player suggeting that if that attempted trip/punch/kick has come off, he'd be watching the game instead of playing in it? If your thinking were correct, such conversations would only be evidence of the ref bottling the decision. I think of them as warnings about intended offences that never actually happened, and so did not violate the laws of the game.
      Paul Ringer?
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