Pablo Matera and Yellow Petia submarine; Heat or light?

Rugby is a game of law.

It is a complex game, with many moving parts and its rules are also complex. This will be effective if the game’s commentators lead the way by quoting relevant laws as part of the actual commentary on the game’s controversial moments, because in the end this is where an argument about the merits of a decision must begin.

They must end up talking about the law in the judiciary.

A secondary reason to start a discussion of a controversial moment in a sport with a fair statement of the relevant law is that referees are forced to apply these complex laws, not just react to the emotional level of the spectator.

This is an extremely difficult game for the referee due to the combination of extraordinary mobility, physical aggression and complex rules. We owe it to the referees to support them from the point at which they start negotiating, when we enjoy watching the game from our armchairs, as opposed to tackle to rack.

I find the recent discussion of Pablo Matara’s yellow card for his clean out / tackle in Jordan Pettaya to be the latest in a series of comments without bothering anyone to at least quote the bare bones of the relevant law.

Thus, here, the relevant law relating to foul play, from law 9.18: “A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and that player must not drop or drive so that their head and / or upper body can contact the ground”. All is well and good, but what does it mean in terms of approval (punishment, if you like)? Well, here’s a starting point from the WR website.

If you look at the example, which is the offense of the yellow card, in addition to noticing the amount of hair used by Will Zenier, you will see that the player is lifted up from the horizontal and landed on his shoulders and back. The head or neck has no contact with the soil.

Where does that leave us with the example of the mother?

Pablo Matera received a yellow card from referee Ben O'Keefe

(Photo by Peter Mitcham / Getty Images)

The first thing that can be noticed is that Matera not only lifts the player, but he pushes him backwards, goes out of balance and then throws him through the air with a downward trajectory. This is a very different picture from the world rugby example of a yellow example.

The human missile launched by the mother first pulls out her arm and this is what it touches the ground, then her neck and shoulders and then her head clearly jumps to the ground. However, his head does not hit the ground directly, nor does his head or neck make the first contact. What’s the matter?

To answer this question, it is important to understand the origins of current law and the structure surrounding the dangerous lifting of a player tackled horizontally. The problem is the safety of the players. It’s about a result (player’s safety), not that a particular part of the player’s body hits the ground first after playing a foul.

More importantly, it is not about benefiting a player who commits a dangerous act (foul play under Act 9.18), because the other player manages to appease through luck or skill. The goal is to omit as much of a specific action (horizontal lift) as possible, not to focus on whether the unfortunate object of the bad game is lucky / skilled or blessed.

In a high tackle, based on the head injury of the player we do not decide whether it is red or yellow that manages to roll a bit with the blow so that it hits at a glance instead of a hammer, we see if the ball was in the head Whether there was any reason to reduce the height. The policy is to prevent and reduce or eliminate a kind of dangerous and illegal game.

I now quote from some of the discussions behind the development of Act 9.18 (formerly 10.4): And is then either forced or thrown to the ground forming an illegal and dangerous game.

“Unfortunately such tackles are still being made and the purpose of this memorandum is that they must be dealt with severely by the referee and all those involved in the off-field disciplinary process.

“In a nutshell, a potential situation is when a tackler picks up a player horizontally from the ground. The player is picked up and then forced or thrown to the ground with a “spear”. A red card should be issued for such tackles. The lifted player is lowered to the ground from a height without regard to the safety of the player. A red card should be issued for such tackles. “

It is best to eliminate and / or penalize these tackles to ensure player safety is a top priority.

Source Super Rugby Website.

It is indeed very unfortunate that no consistency or clear line was found in the judicial or field decision. It was fairly clear that the red card was intended to allow these dangerous tackles, and the tackler / lifter responsible for the opponent’s safety had an increased responsibility when he lifted the player off his feet and horizontally. .

Sadly, it slipped into a one-minute test of which part of his body he first hit on the ground, which is defined as a foul play, with the effect of leaving most of the responsibility on his victim. As a practicing lawyer in two decades of depressing litigation, I find this surprising, but it is frustrating.

If you want to eliminate a behavior through prohibition, you must strictly approve it, with consistency and regularity as needed to stamp it out, or reduce its frequency. The logical approach is, if the task of lifting from the horizontal to the top and doing nothing to bring your large recipient safely to the ground, then the purpose is to give firm approval and that means a red card.

Coaches and players will need ten minutes or a penalty – they train to stay under one player and have better side clear strategies for these situations. Only red and then the possibility of significant suspension can work.

I have a lot of respect for Pablo Matara and he is a player I like to see, so it’s not for him to notice. However, I also enjoy seeing Jordan Petia and I especially enjoy watching him walk without serious nerve damage due to a spinal cord injury or illegal play.

Jordan Petia

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

Rugby is a physical sport, played with aggression and respect. ‘Red Mist’, or through carelessness, or even misfortune, is easy to break in a moment. However, if we want to keep the integrity of this great game, we have to be relentless towards the aspects that can control us.

It is quite easy to lift a player from the horizontal and then throw him down on the turf in the trajectory and it is quite easy to approve. Petier’s ‘upper body’ clearly communicates with the soil. His head follows and I note that the law does not say that you look at the first bit of anatomy to make contact with the soil.

A dangerous part has nothing to do with stopping the game that you have to take overall motion to avoid ending up in a minor waterlogging.

The amount of clearance outside of a red card is a matter for a completely different place, but red is the starting point and should be, unless you want parents to see that someone is being picked up, then thrown over their upper body. It is considered a minor misconduct so that they can decide to play with their children accordingly.

Keep in mind that players are given yellow cards for fairly innocuous work, such as repeatedly off-side, kicking the ball after a penalty kick, entering the stool from the side, and other relatively non-life-threatening tasks. I don’t think it was a relatively innocent behavior and I don’t see any relief from the player rising above the horizontal.

As a lawyer, I’m very familiar with work that looks bad, but it doesn’t actually represent the significant violations it looks like at first. An example was the Test match in 2021, when Australia played Wales and a Welsh player dropped a pass which certainly seemed like a pretty deliberate move. It looked terrible.

But when you look at the law, the problem is that the ball did not move forward clearly and no matter what you think about the law, it is clear that the ball is a necessary part of the offense moving forward. Again, in that example almost no one quoted the law, so that we had more heat than light.

I further wish that World Rugby would invest in integrating all relevant parts, including links, so that when you view Act 9.18, for example, it links you to relevant guidelines, trials, clarifications and changes, not to mention other communications. From the governing body to the referees.

It is currently a desperate Hajj-pause, and I admit that I am not entirely confident that I have been able to capture every official proclamation of Act 9.18.

Have mercy on the referee and, even when you disagree, as I do here with Ben O’Keefe, respect their honesty and the great difficulty involved in refereing the game.

Referees should be supported by the judiciary and other government agencies if there is clear evidence that they did it wrong, where endless slow frame-by-frame analyzes are used instead of the current method. Used, bio-mechanic experts are recruited through players etc.

The referee does not get these. These things may be relevant to the length of the approval, but the referee should support a red card call unless it is a clear error in law enforcement. And no, I’m not a referee. I wouldn’t be so brave, or smart, or fit.

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