Latu - 11 Weeks

Jarrod Burton


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Tolu Latu has been given 11 weeks for tackling a player in the air. Certainly looks reckless and stupid. No arms or an attempt to wrap so he's not got much to argue with IMO. Twitter link in the article below - ignore Kearnes' rantings, most people I know do.


My concern is the catcher was jumping for a bouncing ball - not catching a ball still flying off the boot - and placed himself in that position probably in an attempt to prevent Latu from tackling him. Comes back to a discussion I had last year with a coach around players jumping into a potential tackle in an attempt to stop tacklers from making a tackle - he was of the opinion that any player in the air for any reason is not touchable, which I disagree with, and given recent Clarifications, WR aren't keen on either.

My questions 1- if players who are jumping to catch a bouncing ball after a kick be protected like this, should a player jumping for a pass not receive the same level of protection and why does this not extend to a player jumping with the ball or leaping for a charge down?
2 - at what point does the actions of the jumper need to be considered when it comes to the consequence of the tackle? The catcher leapt for the ball as he's no doubt been coached to do and his actions that significantly contributed to the final result. What if the BC knee made contact with Latu's head?
 
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Stu10

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It's not the first time in an elite level game that I've seen a penalty for tackling a person in the air when not directly fielding a kick... I'm certain I've seen a penalty for tackling a player jumping high to catch a pass.

I definitely do not agree on automatic penalty for tackling a player in the air catching a pass, and I don't really like an automatic penalty associated with jumping for a bouncing ball. In these instances I think the focus should be on whether the actions of the "tackler" are dangerous. To your later point, if the focus is on dangerous play, then it is reasonable to also look at the actions of the catcher (thinking of Jordie Barrett shoving a foot in Koroibete's face)... is the catcher raising his legs in a natural way, or has he seen a player coming and directed a knee or foot at the defender?

In the example here, Latu is upright, no wrap, no attempt to carry the ball carrier to ground... this is a shocker and deserves a red and citing.
 
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Jarrod Burton


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To your later point, if the focus is on dangerous play, then it is reasonable to also look at the actions of the catcher (thinking of Jordie Barrett shoving a foot in Koroibete's face)... is the catcher raising his legs in a natural way, or has he seen a player coming and directed a knee or foot at the defender?
We've also seen players attempting charge downs get carded because their hip/butt caught the kicker/chaser high in Super Rugby - including one where some of the reasoning/To3 discussion was that the charge down player put themselves into the air and as such was responsible to ensure they didn't make contact with their opponent running through.
 

didds

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, should a player jumping for a pass not receive the same level of protection and why does this not extend to a player jumping with the ball
is this not exactly what happened in the NZ v BL 3rd test ? which led to the draw and a shared series?
 

crossref


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It's not the first time in an elite level game that I've seen a penalty for tackling a person in the air when not directly fielding a kick... I'm certain I've seen a penalty for tackling a player jumping high to catch a pass.
jump to catch pass, and you cannot be tackled in the air
but jump to avoid a tackle, and you will be PK'd

how best to proceed when receiving a 'hospital' pass? (ball and tackler arriving at the same time)
 

Jarrod Burton


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jump to catch pass, and you cannot be tackled in the air
but jump to avoid a tackle, and you will be PK'd

how best to proceed when receiving a 'hospital' pass? (ball and tackler arriving at the same time)
Jump and hope you catch it before contact is made? Interesting - given the reasonable contest requirement, if you jump early and clatter the opponent before either of you catch the ball who goes to the bin? Based on the catching laws its the bloke on the ground, based on the charge down laws/interpretation its the bloke in the air.
 

Mipper


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In my opinion, jumping to catch a ball coming from above, whether directly from a kick, or a high bouncing ball, is entirely acceptable. I believe it’s a good technique to avoid a tackle.

the difference between this and jumping into, or jumping to avoid a tackle which would be penalised is that the ball is in the air, above the catcher, and therefore it is reasonable to expect (these days anyway) the catcher to jump.

the tackler/chaser has to use his/her skill and judgement to tackle the catcher as they land. Not just charge straight into them with nothing but brute force and intent (or stupidity in Latu’s case).
 

crossref


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In my opinion, jumping to catch a ball coming from above, whether directly from a kick, or a high bouncing ball, is entirely acceptable. I believe it’s a good technique to avoid a tackle.

the difference between this and jumping into, or jumping to avoid a tackle which would be penalised is that the ball is in the air, above the catcher, and therefore it is reasonable to expect (these days anyway) the catcher to jump.

the tackler/chaser has to use his/her skill and judgement to tackle the catcher as they land. Not just charge straight into them with nothing but brute force and intent (or stupidity in Latu’s case).
and jumping to catch a pass ? Especially when there is a rush defense, well, rushing toward you. Does the would be tackler have to wait for you to come down ? Or is that jumping over a tackle?
perhaps it just depends.
 

Mipper


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and jumping to catch a pass ? Especially when there is a rush defense, well, rushing toward you. Does the would be tackler have to wait for you to come down ? Or is that jumping over a tackle?
perhaps it just depends.
If the pass is above the catchers head then yes I think that is reasonable to jump for it, and reasonable for the tackler to apply a duty of care.

To me it is very easy to differentiate between jumping to catch a ball, and jumping to avoid a tackle.
 

Mipper


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If the pass is above the catchers head then yes I think that is reasonable to jump for it, and reasonable for the tackler to apply a duty of care.

To me it is very easy to differentiate between jumping to catch a ball, and jumping to avoid a tackle.
…and just on the matter of an onrushing defender. If the pass is dummied, then we don’t allow the defender to carry on into the (potential) receiver do we?

My point is that the tackler has to be aware of where the ball is, before he makes the decision to engage.
 

Stu10

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The real difficulty come when a pass is incoming at head height, for example, and can be easily caught without jumping, but the attacking player decides to jump (now catching at his chest level)... this is most likely unexpected and very late for the tackler to adjust. How to handle this as a referee?
 

crossref


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The real difficulty come when a pass is incoming at head height, for example, and can be easily caught without jumping, but the attacking player decides to jump (now catching at his chest level)... this is most likely unexpected and very late for the tackler to adjust. How to handle this as a referee?
I think the real problem is how to handle it as a TMO ..
 
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