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Gouging...Not to be tolerated !

by ozcelt2662 (U13738549) 27 June 2009
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As true rugby followers lets take a step backwards and think about this :

This was an incredible Test Match....High intensity...massive committment on both sides. No quarter asked...or given ! To this extent I can forgive a lot of what went on. In the heat of battle there will be fists thrown....tackles will be questionable. O'Driscolls high tackle and Bothas charge on Adam Jones both probably warranted a yellow card....but yellow cards are part and parcel of the game. They are there to penalise...and to calm tempers . We can debate the rights and wrongs of foul play and yellow cards all day long. Sometimes the officials get things wrong. But in rugby, like most sports..things even out in the end.

However. As lovers of Rugby we must be less subjective and much more demanding of our officials with regard to Gouging and the use of a boot to the head. In my opinion...straight red card every time. No room for discussion.

Burgers contact on Fitzgeralds eyes was cowardly in the extreem. And very dangerous. Rugby is tough enough without players having to worry about potentially losing their eyesight during the course of play. Zero tolerance is THE ONLY ANSWER. Every time.

I realise it was in the first minute of the match and officials are loath to reduce a team to 14 players so early. But this lenience must stop.

If Mr Lawerence had informed the referee that contact had been made to the eye a gouging motion...then the referee should have no other option than to red card the player. No question. We are doing a diservice to our players by not stamping this out. I am Irish....I had no sympathy for Quinlan. I certainly have no sympathy for Berger.

I urge all true rugby followers...of all nations , to demand more from our law makers and officials.

Well done South Africa. You play hard. The vast majority of you play fair. You deserve your victory. Congratulations.

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posted Jun 29, 2009

DeVilliers needs to come out and correct his statement - no question.

Anyone can say the wrong thing staight after the game in the heat of moment. Lets give him the benefit of doubt and few days to correct what he said, otherwise sack him!

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posted Jun 29, 2009

How can de Villiers say "This is sport, this is what it's about."?

Show me the page in the SA Rugby Coaching manual that explains the correct technique to employ when attempting to disable an opponent by gouging his eyes.

That's not sport, that's win at all cost. Same with the shoulder charge on Jones. Weaken your opponents by taking them out in what ever way you can.


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comment by duffy (U3557677)

posted Jun 29, 2009

How something that is intended to cause blindness (which is permanent in case you wondered) can be paralleled with an 8 week ban is criminal. Until a severe punishment is given to this cowardly act then it will continue to happen & be seen as acceptable. The IRB had the opportunity here to stamp it out but it seems that until someone loses their eyesight, nothing further will be done.

As for de villiers I can only direct you to pillmongers blog above. Hilarious.

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posted Jun 29, 2009

I agree there should be zero tolerance for acts like this, however I also realise that reducing a team to 14 men would have potentially ruined the match as a contest.

So I would suggest a third way:

Yellow cards should apply as normal for offences such as professional fouls, repeated misdemeanors, poor tackles and your average fisticuffs.

Red cards should be shown only for what would be effectively a second yellow.

Black cards should be shown for offences that are specifically violent in nature (gouging, head stamping, cupping etc.) should be punished. The black card acts as a yellow in terms of it's immediate impact, requiring a 10 minute sin-bin period. However the player who recieves the card is NOT allowed to come back into the game, a forced substitution if you like.

This would more accurately reflect the incident in that most often the offence committed would reflect a personal decision from a player to take that action, I very much doubt that any coach anywhere in the world would build such things into their gameplan, so removing that one player should remove the problem without the need to handicap the team for the entire match.

The black carded player would then be automatically cited (effectively giving the matchday officials a direct ability to cite) and punished as per current standards.

The punishment better reflects the balance between punishing the player and the team, thereby removing the potential worry about ruining the match from the officials thoughts when deciding if violent play deserves a yellow or red. That way the ref could make the decision that he did at the weekend but also force Burger from the game.

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posted Jun 29, 2009

For de Villiers to condone Burger's actions is shocking. Absolutely shocking. Rugby is a brutal enough sport as it is so condoning deliberate acts of violence against other players that could have life threatening effects is just totally unacceptable. A gouge is a red. End of story. Then can be no reason for it.

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posted Jun 29, 2009

The IRB's punishment for gouging is getting less and less. How long before it's written into the coaching manuals? Burger should have got 8 months, not weeks and De Villiers should be sacked. Immediately. I would even go so far as to suggest that Lions tours to SA should be abandonned until they clean up their act. In the meantime, go to Argentina and the Pacific Islands, although, finance would be a problem in the Pacific I suppose.

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posted Jun 30, 2009

What really saddens me is that the Springboks continue to fuel the thought that they are an over-aggressive and dirty team. The majority of South Africa, I am sure, would condemn gouging, but the people at the top are so stubborn and proud that they can't see that they are damging the integrity of the game. At very least the ban should have extended to 3 months.

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comment by whisgi (U11178788)

posted Jun 30, 2009

Burger can appeal against the severity of the sentence, would be nice if the Lions could appeal against the leniency of the sentence.

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posted Jul 2, 2009

There should be no third way. You are assuming that the player committing the red card offence is ignorant of what he is doing wrong. The truth is he is ignorant of the spirit of the game and is trying to reduce the opposition to 14 or at least 15 plus a substitute. (and that's being polite!) There is no place in sport for people to attempt to maim their opponents...

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posted Jul 6, 2009

There should be no third way. You are assuming that the player committing the red card offence is ignorant of what he is doing wrong.


Never said that. I said that the rest of the team should not be punished for an individuals transgression.

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