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Bit of a pity

Now run the counterfactual, could England have won?

Well, could is a bit loaded because anyone can on the day. But could/would they?

The commission ruled that there were sufficient mitigating factors including the late change in the dynamics and positioning of the opposing player, which should have resulted in the issue of a yellow card rather than a red card.

Steward’s red card has therefore not been upheld and he is free to play.

Yes, yes, I know, ref on the day and all that. Still speculate away.

20 thoughts on “Bit of a pity”

  1. In answer to the question Tim, no. In our very best passages of play, before the red card, we never looked like scoring a try. Hanging in there, toughing it out and nudging the scoreboard on with the occasional penalty doesn’t cut it any more.

  2. Did it differ much from the side that threw away a 31 point lead against Scotland a couple of years ago? Or the one that took a record hammering against France this season? So no, little chance against a manifestly superior Irish side.

    Steward: if it was pretty much accidental why would it be even a yellow card? At full speed I thought it probably wasn’t a foul. In slomo it looks worse. In yer football the slomo VAR seems to me to be quite effective at catching potential leg-breakers that the ref misses at full speed.

  3. Strange that several referees weighed in after the game saying that the world rugby have removed intent from the decision and the ref/TMO’s had no leeway in awarding the red card.

    @Jim, rugby is being sued by over 200 previous players who are suffering from the effects of head injuries. That’ll f*ck it even quicker.

  4. There’s a technique to pulling out of tackles.
    Steward didn’t follow it, guessing due to bad coaching and not being made to practice it. Quality of coaching loses close matches even with 15 on the pitch. Imv of course.

  5. Jim

    I would slightly amend your comment to “Rugby UNION as a sport is f*cked.” League does seem to be dealing with all this in a rather more mature way. (And that’s meant to be a neutral comment: don’t want to start some kind of argument as to which code is “better”.)

    As for the red card being rescinded, no ban for Steward: well that’s something, I suppose, but it pretty much decided the game on the day, so it’s a bit late for England, isn’t it? Like the reverse kind of incident, especially in football, where the disciplinary committee decides retrospectively that a player should have been sent off: doesn’t help the team which lost, but should have been playing against ten men for some of the game.

  6. ” rugby is being sued by over 200 previous players who are suffering from the effects of head injuries. That’ll f*ck it even quicker.”

    No ‘rugby’ isn’t being sued, the RFU is. Let them sue, and let it go bust, and start the URF instead. People voluntarily played a contact sport and now want to scream ‘Compensation!’. I have no sympathy.

  7. Slo=mo replays suffer from the problem that the viewer of the replay will often assume some intent because the “culprit” has “time”. Its a serious problem in courts and a pain in sports.

  8. England wouldn’t have won with 16 men on the pitch. They went to Dublin in damage limitation mode, kicked too long and didn’t make a line break all afternoon.

  9. @Jim, yeah, it’s the RFU being sued. Now apply BiS’s version of the invisible hand and to preserve their fiefdom’s, the individuals in the RFU will do exactly what they are doing now.

    Dismantling the RFU is not feasible. There is too much money and inertia tied up in it. Decent players make enough money that there is no incentive a Kerry Packer type figure could offer

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    There’s a technique to pulling out of tackles.
    Steward didn’t follow it, guessing due to bad coaching and not being made to practice it. Quality of coaching loses close matches even with 15 on the pitch. Imv of course.

    One of my bugbears is the poor standard of tackle technique at the top of the game. Much is made about player safety but all too often we see players get in to terrible positions with their heads on the wrong side. Not a good example for youngsters.

    As to England chances with Steward only off for 10 minutes, not a cat in hell’s chance. As I said in the other thread they were only ever interested in damage limitation.

  11. Watching rugby was the reason I signed up to Sky. I didn’t even bother to record Saturday’s game. The game is now asking people to do impossible things, and games are decided by the referee now more than ever – even when people don’t get red carded. We ask the players to be physical, but then expect millimeter precision.

    Innumerable scrum resets, crooked feeds when it finally goes in, endless kick tennis, box kick after box kick, forwards who only play for 40 minutes, endless standing around waiting for video review, laws that constantly change…why waste time watching a sport that is determined to kill itself?

  12. Not sure I can agree with some of the negativity here. Has there been a better 6 Nations game than Ireland v France? If they had any scrum resets or kicking longueurs I certainly don’t remember it. Scotland are worth watching, as are Italy, even if the latter just don’t have the talent.

    Even Wales v England was interesting, if only because it was so bone-headedly poor.

    As others have said Ireland would have beaten 15 or 16 Englishman.

  13. I saw a comment from some MLB bigwig about why they hadn’t introduced video technology as that would ensure every pitch was called correctly, their answer was that the umpire was part of the game and close calls and disputes with the umpires were as much a part of the game as everything else, making it perfect would spoil the game.
    Felt he had a point, when you see decisions based on viewing video frame by frame. For dangerous play fair enough, but for normal gameplay they maybe should limit the slo-mo speed and multiple angles so it’s still a human decision

  14. @HexChopper

    ‘Watching rugby was the reason I signed up to Sky. I didn’t even bother to record Saturday’s game.’

    Sky hasn’t had any domestic rugby to speak of for years. The 6N is on BBC and ITV. I binned Sky off because of the climate change propaganda it pushes but tbf I only wanted it for the cricket by the end. This summer is going to test my resolve.

    As for the red card, it was utter bullshit. It’s unlikely England would have won, but more likely with 15, and more likely than Japan beating South Africa in 2015, or the French beating the ABs in the manner in which they did in 2007, or any number of equally mad results.

    England have big problems in the front row, No8, the centres and to an extent 15 (Steward is constantly talked up as the greatest full back in the world, because he’s fairly sound under the high ball, but he lacks pace. He’d make a very decent crash ball 12 though, and if he was Irish he could thusly be converted, as they did with Henshaw. But we have our shit system, and that’s that.

    PS hats happening in junior rugby vis a vis the tackle is the real scandal.

  15. @Interested Yeah, I miss The Rugby Club. Sky gave up on rugby, apart from the women’s game, which fits their agenda nicely. I watched the women’s World Cup final, and saw another game derailed by a red card after about 15 mins. England’s women were so good that they nearly won anyway, but why should I get invested in a sport that converts sporting incidents/accidents into game breakers?

    They took the thuggery out of the sport, which is fine (though I must admit I preferred the threat of genuine violence, instead of the shirt-grabbing handbags they indulge in now) but are now trying to make a full contact sport into a 100% controlled activity, with no leeway for humans.

    The community game change is another example of a small number of people with a fixed idea that dominates the people in charge. I have no idea whether the reduced tackle height is good or bad – the French are reported to be okay with something similar – but the way it was introduced was atrocious: no consulatation period, no chance to discuss alternatives, no trial period.

    It’s the usual technique:
    1: “XXX is a problem”
    2: “something must be done”
    3: “this [pet idea] is something”
    4: “do [pet idea] then”

    Apply as required to sugar, salt, CO2, junk food, dangerous dogs, pandemics, etc etc

  16. Rugby should just require anyone playing the game at full contact level (pro or amateur) to sign a legal form detailing all the potential long and short term risks and accepting them, and be done with it. If that means they can’t get enough players then so be it, the game should die out. This namby pamby ‘lets make its safe’ nonsense is far worse.

  17. @HexChopper

    Agreed. The stats show no statistically signifcant change in the French game. I personally would rather tackle above the waist than below it, on account of hips, knees and femurs/shins/boots.

    Like Jim and others, I suspect, I am quite happy with head high tackling as long as the players know the risk, and the players are allowed to sort it out on the field themselves. There was a place for Brian Lima and Wade Dooley.

    But I don’t terribly mind the current law either – they just need not to make cuntish decisions like the Steward one, which was obviously cuntish from the moment it was made. But Peyper’s a cunt, so what do you expect.

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