In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why. - Tasker Watkins VC, LJ.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

HEC Round One - Citings & Tip-Tackles.

I love the HEC. It's probably taken a decade off my lifespan, having to deal with that many ridiculous escapes by Munster, but I do love it.

And, while I will obviously parse decisions that come out, I must give the ERC credit; at least they put the decisions up.

There were four citings from this last weekend (including the Amlin Cup). Two were from two players (Shontayne Hape and David Cox) who, to be blunt, clearly got up each others nose and started getting niggly. It happens, it always has happened, and it always will happen in a game like rugby. It doesn't really worry anyone.

However, two were for tip-tackles; Schalk Brits of Saracens and David Marty of Perpignan. They both pleaded guilty, and have both just been suspended for those offences - Brits for three weeks, Marty for four.

The full decisions aren't out yet, and I will go through them as and when they do come out. However, I think it can now be said that the failure to cite Stephen Jones' tip-tackle on Tommy Bowe was the exception, not the rule. The crackdown that was on in the RWC is clearly still on in the HEC and Amlin Cup; and players would be well-advised to take that on board for this coming weekend.

Update; and, no sooner said than London Irish centre Steven Shingler got sent off by Jerome Garc├ęs in the game against Cardiff Blues on the Friday.

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