Headlock in maul

Crucial

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
278
Post Likes
79
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I'm interested in views regarding this incident.

https://assets.stuff...8-neck grab.mp4

Personally I think this was an incredibly dangerous act that could have ended up in serious injury. Others have downplayed it somewhat.

I won't discuss too much at this point to not colour views but the facts are as follows

- blue 7 legally joins a driving maul with white already in possession and white 8 exposed .
- initially blue 7 binds with his left arm and has his right arm free
- white get bodies low and start to get drive going again
- blue 7 grasps white 8 around the neck
- the grasp is strong enough for white 8 to attempt to 'tap out' and alert blue 7 that he was in distress
- blue 7 continues with the hold and doesn't relax it even when the maul twists and collapses.
- white 8 remains on the ground indicating to his neck
- referee doesn't ask TMO for assistance but mentions that he is watching the screen replay as a player appears to have been held around the neck.
- the replay being shown doesn't actually show the player in question and ref says 'nothing for us' and asks the white captain what he is doing with the penalty.

Blue 7 has been cited after the game with.. 10.4 (e): Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play; and 10.4 (m): Acts contrary to good sportsmanship.
 

Ian_Cook


Referees in New Zealand
Staff member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
13,678
Post Likes
1,756
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Incredibly dangerous. How on earth the referee missed it is beyond me... it was right in front of his face and was a major contributing factor in the maul collapsing (White 8 was passing out; hard to stay on your feet when you are going unconcious.

A player of Blue 7's stature in the game ought to know better than that, and I can only think that perhaps he didn't know he was gripping White 8 around the neck.
 
Last edited:

Not Kurt Weaver


Referees in America
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
2,281
Post Likes
159
Blue 7 has been cited after the game with.. 10.4 (e): Playing a player without the ball is dangerous play; and 10.4 (m): Acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

TBH, I do not think 10.4 (m) applies. Twas Brutal and I think #7 actual torques down more after the "tap out"

This is most peculiar and almost needs a psychological expert. A player of that stature to behave like that is much deeper than any citing can deal with effectively.

I would suggest that he should of had to "piss and bleed" immediately after the match to identify or eliminate any suspicions of help from the white devil or someone else's pituitary.
 

Crucial

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
278
Post Likes
79
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Incredibly dangerous. How on earth the referee missed it is beyond me... it was right in front of his face and was a major contributing factor in the maul collapsing (White 8 was passing out; hard to stay on your feet when you are going unconcious.

A player of Blue 7's stature in the game ought to know better than that, and I can only think that perhaps he didn't know he was gripping White 8 around the neck.


How do you NOT know you are gripping someone around the neck? Serious question. What else could you think your arm is going around like that? If not a neck then a very skinny player?

I can't claim to know what was going through his head but there was a certain level of frustration with the breakdown rulings through the game and blue 7 had been increasingly ineffective as the game went on. The vaunted loose forwards of the Blue team were well out played by their opponents and the team itself was getting an embarrassing hiding.

A Law tidy up would be to add neck grapples into 10.4(k) as 'Dangerous play in a scrum, ruck or maul'. The infringements cited with don't seem to properly fit but are the best for purpose.

I thought that the process used by the ref and TMO was very poor. It was quite obvious that white 8 had been either choked or hit in the throat. It warranted a proper look rather than the informal glance at the screen that it got. No doubt they will be marked down for missing a RC offence that they had clear opportunity to identify.

Is that harsh on the reffing team or a fair call?
 

Ian_Cook


Referees in New Zealand
Staff member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
13,678
Post Likes
1,756
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
This is most peculiar and almost needs a psychological expert. A player of that stature to behave like that is much deeper than any citing can deal with effectively.

Which is why I sort of wanted to give him some benefit of the doubt. While Pocock is "the enemy" from a parochial kiwi perspective, I nonetheless have great respect for him. He is a real talent and I have always thought of him as "tough and hard but clean and fair". I don't recall ever seeing him YC for foul play, so it is something of a surprise to see this from him.

I would suggest that he should of had to "piss and bleed" immediately after the match to identify or eliminate any suspicions of help from the white devil or someone else's pituitary.

Yes, I agree.

How do you NOT know you are gripping someone around the neck? Serious question. What else could you think your arm is going around like that? If not a neck then a very skinny player?

I was thinking more of gripping an unseen, crouched opponent by grabbing him over his back, under his armpit.
 

Pegleg

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,330
Post Likes
536
Current Referee grade:
Level 3
TBH, I do not think 10.4 (m) applies. ...


Well the action certainly does contravene 10.4 (m). Indeed any act of intentional foul play must be "contrary to good sportsmanship" in my book.

That said, I find it a strange add-on. What would you add to the ban for the foul play for the second breach? Makes little sense.

Nasty bit of video.
 

Thunderhorse1986


Referees in England
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
226
Post Likes
0
From that clip - is the officials saw the same replay clip we did - then it is clear why they didn't do anything. But if they had taken their time to look from more angles they would probably have seen the fact the replay showed a different player to the one who had gone down. This maybe raises the question of whether officials should be looking at replays according to players "complaints" or requests (valid or not) - it could set a precedent and mean the use of replay/TMO etc becomes even more obtrusive.

In this case, hopefully a lengthy ban for a clearly dangerous act should result and serve as a warning for future and other players. But I can understand it being missed in real-time and even on the evidence of the replay shown in the clip.
 

The Fat


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Messages
4,204
Post Likes
496
A Law tidy up would be to add neck grapples into 10.4(k) as 'Dangerous play in a scrum, ruck or maul'. The infringements cited with don't seem to properly fit but are the best for purpose.

Neck grapples were specifically mentioned in a Law Application Guideline from May 2015 under 10.4(e) but amazingly didn't get added to the Law book for 2016. It was a major area of focus during the 2015 RWC. Hard to understand why it missed out being added to the Laws.

OP a particularly nasty incident and quite out of character. The vision of the #8 "Tapping Out" is disturbing. Expect 4 weeks minimum after mitigating factors.
 

Not Kurt Weaver


Referees in America
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
2,281
Post Likes
159
Neck grapples were specifically mentioned in a Law Application Guideline from May 2015 under 10.4(e) but amazingly didn't get added to the Law book for 2016. It was a major area of focus during the 2015 RWC. Hard to understand why it missed out being added to the Laws.

OP a particularly nasty incident and quite out of character. The vision of the #8 "Tapping Out" is disturbing. Expect 4 weeks minimum after mitigating factors.

Excellent point about the neck grapples. IDK

Lesson learned on the tap out. Tap the arm not the torso. I know it is not an excuse. Tap outs must be specific
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
14,006
Post Likes
2,065
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I agree very dangerous but not convinced that it was deliberate by Blue #7 (aka Pocockwomble).

He (Pocock) joins maul legally without any apparent malice. He then stands up, continues to ineffectively maul and basically tries to grasp onto anything he could while backpedalling, having headgear slip over his eyes and getting an elbow on the nose from a team mate.

I don't know that anyone would recognise a tactile tap out under those conditions.
 

RobLev

Rugby Expert
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
2,170
Post Likes
244
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
I agree very dangerous but not convinced that it was deliberate by Blue #7 (aka Pocockwomble).

He (Pocock) joins maul legally without any apparent malice. He then stands up, continues to ineffectively maul and basically tries to grasp onto anything he could while backpedalling, having headgear slip over his eyes and getting an elbow on the nose from a team mate.

I don't know that anyone would recognise a tactile tap out under those conditions.

The back of W8's head makes contact with his chest. He immediately grabs W8 round the neck and pulls upward, at which point W8 "taps out". *After* that, he gets nudged by own player's elbow. He goes to ground still holding W8 round his neck and doesn't release until he gets up himself.
 

Shelflife


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
626
Post Likes
156
Maybe im missing the sarcasm here but are some of you making excuses for Pocock because W8 didnt tap out correctly ?

Are some of you saying that he wasnt aware of what part of the mans body he was handling ? the very fact that he had him in a headlock grip should have given it away.

Im a big fan of Pocock but what he has seemingly done here is inexcusable, if you put a player in fear of their life or in fear of passing out then there is simply no excuse whatsoever for it. Its a hard enough game without dangerous tactics such as this being employed.

You have to take responsibility for your actions, scrum cap over your eyes ? then fix it, bang on the nose distracts you then withdraw until you know what youre doing, or is it more important to win the game than seriously injure a player ?
 

Rich_NL

Rugby Expert
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
1,610
Post Likes
494
It's pretty much a textbook standing guillotine choke. Clearly dangerous, and there'd have to be some pretty exceptional evidence to convince me that it was anything but deliberate.

basically tries to grasp onto anything he could while backpedalling

Wrapping your arm around someone's neck and squeezing is not a wild grasp.
 

Shelflife


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
626
Post Likes
156
Wow three weeks only.

Low end entry point of two weeks with one added on as a deterrent and taken off again as hes a good boy and didnt put his hands in his pockets during the meeting.

Nice to know that choking a player almost to the point where he passes out is worth a two game suspension.
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
11,825
Post Likes
1,662
meanwhile in a parallel dimension, in an attempt to tap out with flailing arms and panic white 8 makes contact with Pocock's face near the eyes and receives a 4 week ban.

didds
 

L'irlandais

, Promises to Referee in France
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
4,724
Post Likes
325
"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative I accepted the player's admission that he had committed an act of foul play," said SANZAAR duty judicial officer Adam Cassleden.

Cassleden said he took into account mitigating factors, including Pocock's early plea, his good character, genuine remorse and excellent disciplinary record.
What he did was dangerous, what does it matter that he has not previously been banned for similar?

In its Memorandum on “Dangerous tackles (high tackles), dangerous grasping of neck and/or head area of player not in possession of the ball and dangerous grasping/holding of ball carrier above the line of the shoulder” dated 22 May 2015, World Rugby stated “this type of dangerous play which is foul play must be dealt with severely by match officials and all those involved in the disciplinary process.”

how severe is a two match ban? The player will probaly be happy with the time off.
 
Last edited:

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
14,006
Post Likes
2,065
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
for a bunch of referees you have a hard time accepting the umpire's decision :)
 
Top