It’s the novel rugby regulation trial that’s deeply dividing opinion amongst among the greatest names within the recreation and the talk is bound to proceed over the approaching weeks and months. We’re speaking in regards to the 20-minute pink card rule which is as soon as once more being examined out within the southern hemisphere.
So how does it work? Properly, when a participant is shipped off, that’s the top of his recreation. However, below the trial, he may be changed by a team-mate after 20 minutes. The initiative was first carried out final yr in Tremendous Rugby and the Rugby Championship. It was additionally introduced in for the Rainbow Cup, the PRO14’s end-of-season spin-off competitors. Now it’s again for this yr’s Tremendous Rugby Pacific event.
The target is to keep away from video games being spoiled as contests, which might occur if one staff is diminished to 14-men for a protracted interval of the match. However there’s concern that, by decreasing the punishment, it sends out the flawed message about foul play. The view is it’s not sufficient of a deterrent at a time if you wish to change participant behaviour, specifically by way of head-high tackles.
There have been studies that World Rugby has proposed trialling the regulation globally, however they’ve dismissed this as inaccurate. They level out they weren’t the originator of the idea and say it is very important absolutely evaluate the impression of the Tremendous Rugby experiment. That trial Down Underneath is actually scary loads of response.
It got here below the highlight once more final weekend when All Blacks second row Scott Barrett – the brother of Beauden and Jordie – was despatched off whereas captaining the Crusaders towards the Blues. There was widespread settlement that it was a pink card offence, with Barrett’s shoulder connecting with the jaw of prop Alex Hodgman as he went in to make successful and he has subsequently picked up a four-week ban, confirming the decision from the officers.
But is only a 20 minute sanction towards the responsible participant’s staff the correct approach to go? World Cup closing referee Nigel Owens thinks not. He’s a robust critic of the regulation trial.
Chatting with The Telegraph, the Welshman mentioned: “Personally, I feel the 20-minute red card is not a good idea. If you want to create change in player behaviour and for coaches to change the way they coach tackle technique, then you have to stay firm with clamping down on strict punishments for contact to the head.
“Most people now abide by the speed limit. Imagine if you only had a £10 or £20 fine for going over the speed limit as opposed to three points on your licence and a £100 fine – there would be a lot more people less concerned about being caught. The harsher punishment makes you really think twice. Those measures were brought in for safety on the roads, just as red cards in rugby are all about improving player safety.
“The part which I don’t understand is that you will hear talk about players being unlucky to be sent off, and that therefore you need a 20-minute card as a solution. Well, my response would be that if a player is unlucky to be sent off, then he shouldn’t be sent off.”
Leicester coach Steve Borthwick agrees with Owens and that’s regardless of having a participant despatched off in each of the Tigers’ Champions Cup video games towards Clermont Auvergne, leaving them completely right down to 14 males on every event.
“My view is a red card is a red card,” mentioned the previous England second row. “That’s the way I was always brought up. I watched football and if someone was given a red card, they were off the pitch and didn’t return. That’s been my stance.
“Generally now, with the ability of the TMO to review the footage, there shouldn’t be too many things missed or too many mistakes made. There are clear protocols set out, therefore if somebody does something that warrants a red card, a sending off, then that should be for the game.”
The 20-minute pink card trial has loads of different critics. Progressive Rugby’s Dr Barry O’Driscoll warns that it’s going to expose gamers to a fair better threat of mind injury, saying: “If the motive is to make the game more appealing commercially, then that is completely wrong.”
Lengthy-serving Press Affiliation rugby correspondent Andrew Baldock made his emotions clear, saying: “A 20-minute red card is utter garbage. Like getting parole for your team before you have even been sent down.” Alex Bywater, of the Every day Mail, mentioned a worldwide trial of the rule could be “such a bad idea”, whereas South African journalist Jared Wright commented: “Why is the 20-minute red card popping up again? It is terrible in Super Rugby and was terrible in the Rainbow Cup.”
Irish rugby reporter Neil Treacy referenced Wallabies entrance row ahead Tolu Latu as an illustration of why the regulation is the flawed approach to go. Stade Francais hooker Latu is one thing of a serial offender and has simply been banned for 11 weeks following his newest indiscretion – a pink card following a horrific hit on an airborne Racing 92 participant within the Champions Cup.
Treacy wrote: “Tolu Latu is a fantastic example of how an orange/ apricot/tangerine card would be a dangerous idea. Six yellow cards and two reds already this season. Hasn’t learned his lesson and won’t learn his lesson. A 20 minute red card would just be an open invitation.”
Nevertheless there are different outstanding voices who help the rule, notably Sale and Bristol coaches Alex Sanderson and Pat Lam. Sanderson believes it is going to assist fight the gray space that inconsistent refereeing brings to the sport.
“I believe it’s a good thing because getting a red card changes the game irrevocably. It has to change because now it’s probably a bit too harsh,” mentioned the Sale boss.
“Referees don’t want to be the person who dictates the outcome of the game, but increasingly so they are becoming that. I understand why they have shifted away from certain things, mitigating factors, affecting the decision for red cards, but there is still a lot of grey there between a yellow and a red.
“What we’ve seen is an inconsistency to what conjugates a red card and what the sanction of a red card is. A 20-minute sanction would affect the game hugely, but not irrevocably, so I think it’s probably a good idea. It gives you an ability to punish grey areas more than the straight black and white of a yellow or red card.”
Giving his ideas, Lam mentioned : “Red cards used to be for out and out foul play. Someone punching someone or a real dangerous situation. But with the current laws around tackle height we’re seeing a lot of stuff. The rule is probably a good idea with the amount of red cards out there. Pretty much every week someone is getting a red card.”
Wallaby coach Dave Rennie is one other fan of the regulation and has expressed his disappointment that it has not been trialled world-wide.
“Some choices which might be made can have an enormous impression on the sport and possibly post-game are considered as not as critical. Not less than with 20 minutes you possibly can even the numbers up once more. There’s loads of emphasis now round head contact and so forth. There are going to be loads of playing cards,” he said last year.
“Individuals who get it wrong are going to get punished and spend a long time on the sideline anyway. If we can get back to 15 on 15, ideally, that’s what we want. It had enormous support in the southern hemisphere, but not the northern. I don’t understand that.”
Taking the middle ground, commentator Sam Roberts has come up with a suggestion, saying: “Surely there’s scope for the TMO to decide whether it’s a 20 minute red card and allow a replacement? Some reds really don’t deserve a reprieve, some do. If we’re going to go this way, let’s go properly, using all of the abilities we have.”
And so the debate goes on.