Saturday, December 29, 2012

The UAR show the IRB that Foul Play is not acceptable

Andrew Hore Strikes Bradley Davies
A famous incident occured in the Wales v New Zealand match last month in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. All Blacks hooker and captain of the Super Rugby side the Highlanders took out Wales secondrower Bradley Davies in an off the ball incident which the referee and his assistents failed to see. Davies´s match was ended in only the second minute in what was quite simply an illegal action that according to the IRB Laws cannot be tolerated. It was condemned by not only the Welsh players, coaches and supporters but by the majority who saw it on television. The New Zealand commentary team were critical of Andrew Hore and there was universal agreement that it merited a red card. Since it was not seen live the referee could do nothing and it was up to the IRB to deliver severe punishment to the player in action. Hore was given a five week ban which ended his participation in the All Blacks end of year tour. Many fans were unhappy with social media and forums packed with comments saying Hore got off with a light ban. 

Dino Cáceres strikes Facundo Lucas
A similar incident occured in Argentina with former Argentine A backrower Dino Cáceres taking out an player in a club match in Tucumán. He was playing got Tucumán Lawn Tennis against the Jockey Club de Rosario in what was a Quarter Final match in Argentina´s Mainland tournament - the Torneo del Interior which features club sides from outside of Buenos Aires. The similarity in what Hore and Cáceres did were clear as both struck an opponent with a punch. Both players took the law into their own hands in an incident well off the ball that was not in a tackle, ruck or maul situation. While Hore was banned for five weeks Cáceres received a two year ban. As it was in Argentina and was not involving teams from two different IRB recognized unions it was the UAR and not the IRB who oversaw the decision. The video evidence convinced the UAR that Cáceres violently took out the victim, Facundo Lucas with the intention of causing harm to him. Davies suffered similarly but the perpetrator recieved 99 weeks less suspension. This is not to say that they were identical. Hore´s was closer to the ball and the tackle while Cáceres was simply returning from the far side of the field and the hit itself appeared to have had a greater impact. 

It all but ends Cáceres chances of being a Puma. He was a Silver Medalist for Argentina in Dubai at the 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup and has also previously played for Los Pampas XV in the Vodacom Cup. The incident had no impact on the result of the match which  the Jockey Club won 29-6 with Cáceras´s hit on Lucas taking place in the final minutes of the match. Similarly to Davies, however he was unconscious as a result of the incident. The decision of the UAR should be applauded as there is no place for that in the sport of rugby. It provides further strength to Argentina organizing Rugby World Cup 2023.

Dino Cáceres 

Andrew Hore

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