Clip 6 - 7 June 2018 Law 9
A Possible Tip Tackle -
The Rebels play the Blues in Auckland. The Rebels attack and near the Blues' 22 there is a tackle ruck. Jerome Kaino (6) of the Blues is loosely attached to the tackle/ruck.
Amanaki Mafi (8) of the Rebels grabs Kaino's left leg and Billy Meakes (12) of the Rebels grabs Kaino's right leg. The two Rebels lift Kaino off the ground and let go of him. Kaino falls head first with his arms out to break the fall.
The referee and the TMO examine the incident and decide against any sanction because Meakes released Kaino before his leg went "above the horizontal".
Law 9.18 DANGEROUS PLAY
A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that his head and/or upper body make contact with the ground.
The Rebels duo lifted Kaino off the ground.
They dropped him.
His upper body made contact with the ground.
That is dangerous play. The sanction is a penalty.
It is worth recalling that the start of the awareness of the danger of the tip tackle was at a ruck when two All Blacks, Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu, lifted and injured Brian O'Driscoll of the British & Irish Lions, ending his tour of New Zealand. That was in 2005.
In 2011, the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) issued the following directive:
The International Rugby Board has issued a statement of clarification regarding the Tip or Spear tackle.
Law 10.4 reads: Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.
A directive was issued to all Unions and Match Officials in 2009 emphasizing the IRB’s zero-tolerance stance towards dangerous tackles and reiterating the following instructions for referees:
- The player is lifted and then forced or ‘speared’ into the ground (red card offence)
- The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence)
- For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles, a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient
Regular directives to Unions, Match Officials and Judicial Officers have been issued to reinforce the WR’s zero-tolerance stance regarding dangerous tackles and the promotion of player welfare.
The policy was again reiterated to team officials at a Team Managers seminar in Auckland two weeks before the start of Rugby World Cup and during the Tournament, there have been a number of other Tip Tackle cases at Rugby World Cup 2011.
Repeat: The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence).
Isn't that what happened to Kaino?