Awful. disgraceful. Ridiculous. Shocking. Just a few of the phrases used to explain the choice to overturn Owen Farrell’s pink card.
Sure, it sends all of the improper messages at a time when concussion and participant well-being ought to be on the forefront of all the things the sport does.
On what turned out to be a remarkably darkish day in rugby, England skipper Farrell by some means escaped any penalty for his excessive deal with on Taine Basham in Wales on the weekend – regardless of assumptions he would obtain a six-match ban for the violation. The ensuing outrage has been nice.
Those combating for extra consciousness of traumatic mind accidents have rightly been significantly livid – with former Wales worldwide Alix Popham telling Mail Sport the choice was ‘an absolute joke’.
Meanwhile, Professor John Fairclough of marketing campaign group Progressive Rugby mentioned on social media that the “astonishing decision to reverse the red card Owen Farrell received for his tackle on Taine Basham is a mockery of World Rugby’s claim that player welfare is the number 1 in the game. priority.
Owen Farrell had his red card revoked for a high tackle in the recent clash between England and Wales on Tuesday
Farrell (centre) was initially sent to the sin bin for the dangerous tackle on Wales flanker Taine Basham
In addition, despite protests in the verdict to the contrary, it has critically undermined the newly introduced bunkering process before a global tournament and confidence in the game’s legal process, which is designed to help protect those who play the game.
So how on earth did this farcical scenario unfold? Let’s go back and look at this in the round.
First, the crime. Farrell – the England captain and a vital part of Steve Borthwick’s set-up – got his notes for a dangerous tackle on Basham during his side’s World Cup warm-up against Wales.
The playmaker pushed his shoulder forward and up and hit Basham on the chin. Farrell stood erect, and no arms were wrapped around Basham at the time. Originally deemed worthy of a yellow card, it was subsequently upgraded to a red card using the new ‘bunker’ system, which allows upgrades to be made during the sin-bin window.
This represented a potentially dangerous position for England ahead of their World Cup campaign. A six match suspension would see Farrell miss a significant part of the tournament and leave England without their talisman and skipper.
That penalty would have been fully justified as Farrell is in form.
Usually, players who encounter such charges can sometimes receive a lenient sentence, provided they attend ‘tackle school’.
The problem for Farrell, however, is that he’s already gone through that rehab program.
England captain Farrell has been a vital part of Steve Borthwick’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup
Referee Nika Amashukeli (right) upgraded Farrell’s yellow card to a red card at Twickenham
The course – introduced by World Rugby – is designed to raise awareness of good technique and encourage players to practice tackles that carry a lower risk of injury.
Essentially, it’s a ‘carrot and stick’ approach, encouraging players to think about why their offense happened and to prevent it from happening again.
As a result, after they complete the program, they reduce their ban by one week. In the run-up to a major tournament, this can be significant.
It is therefore designed to encourage players to participate and see the error of their ways by using ‘rehabilitation’ rather than direct punishment as an aid.
According to last year’s World Rugby stats, the program had a 92 percent non-offending rate. This is an impressive number and worth mentioning as a reason to view this idea with a sense of positivity. You only get one shot at it though, and Farrell apparently burned that bridge when he appeared to have relapsed last weekend.
We therefore waited for a long-term ban to follow. Except, it didn’t.
At Farrell’s disciplinary hearing, a panel determined that a “late change in dynamics” because of Jamie George’s involvement within the contact space had “caused a sudden and significant change of direction from the ball carrier.” This was sufficient to resolve that Farrell ought to have been hit with yellow as a substitute of pink.
The resolution to withdraw the pink card has despatched shockwaves by the rugby world
Farrell didn’t deny his act of foul play, however argued that it was not price being ejected at a listening to
Farrell didn’t deny his act of foul play, however argued that it was not price being despatched off.
Now there will likely be those that would agree that the ball provider out of the blue modified course, leaving Farrell ready the place he couldn’t get right into a extra appropriate place.
I’ve tried to see each side watching the video, however I’m afraid I can’t see previous Farrell who goes in too excessive, too straight and too harmful. He additionally seems to twist his higher physique sideways to enter together with his proper shoulder at head degree. There’s no reduction, is there? It’s an unlawful maneuver. Let’s additionally do not forget that this isn’t his first offense.
Equally regarding is the subsequent a part of the assertion, which refers back to the bunkering course of used to find out Farrell’s pink card. It famous that ‘Unlike the Foul Play Review Officer, the committee had the luxury of time to privately deliberate and consider the incident and the proper application of the main contact process.
Had the England star (left) been handed a six-match ban, Farrell would have missed a significant chunk of the Rugby World Cup
A panel decided at Farrell’s listening to (again left) that he ought to have been hit with a yellow as a substitute of a pink
The Committee believes that is in distinction to the Foul Play Review Officer, who needed to make his resolution inside minutes with out the advantage of all extra materials, together with listening to the participant and his authorized consultant.
“Based on that, the committee did not uphold the red card and the player is immediately free to play again.”
Are they actually saying that the “bunkering process” not too long ago initiated to mitigate the results of fast resolution making and be sure that a participant’s well-being was adequately taken care of out of the blue not applies? Surely the aim of this course of was to offer the Review Officer time to undergo this as a substitute of creating a fast resolution?
We’ve all criticized these fast choices up to now that may put gamers in danger – so the ‘bunker’ concept appeared like a smart different. And why would they should hear from the participant and his authorized consultant at that stage?
Honestly, it’s simply ridiculous and critically undermines the method main as much as the largest rugby league on the planet.
The resolution to withdraw Farrell’s pink card (left) critically undermines the disciplinary course of forward of the world’s greatest rugby competitors
Farrell (proper) will likely be out there for the beginning of the Rugby World Cup with England
In addition, it raises severe questions in regards to the message it’s sending to the youthful technology and beginner gamers, who will watch this and surprise why they’re pressured to decrease their deal with peak and take head accidents critically when these they appear as much as can stroll away with such a incidents with out severe penalties.
Hopefully Basham will likely be okay and won’t expertise any pointless difficulties on account of this collision. However, many others in comparable positions can. That’s the purpose – which is why these campaigning for a safer sport and for the well-being of the gamers will proceed to beat the drum to boost consciousness of this concern.
This was an actual alternative for rugby to set the usual and set a boundary by way of penalties whatever the participant or league affected by it.
Sadly, rugby has failed spectacularly on this regard.