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Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.


North about to Score

By Vespulavulgaris
April 1 2015

The rugby world has been ablaze over the last few days with talk about Nathan Hughes. In case you've been hiding under a rock I'll summarise. During the Saints game he caught George North on the head with his shin and knocked him out cold. The ref at the time said he thought it looked like Hughes was attempting to kick the ball from North as he scored and so red carded him. The disciplinary committee stated that it was clearly not a purposeful assault, but due to the nature of the outcome classed it as “Reckless” and so banned him for three games.

It would seem that the vast majority of the rugby world disagreed. Players, coaches, and DORs from a large number of teams have claimed it was the wrong decision. There is even a twitter campaign #justiceforhughes

Personally I feel a little uncomfortable with the whole thing and I'll try to explain why.

I honestly believe the ref's decision was wrong. Nathan was sprinting towards a player who looked like they would score, when it became clear he wouldn't reach him on time he attempted to slow down. He caught North with his shin as North rolled towards him. Hughes's leg was straight and his very first action was to make sure North was OK. The first reaction of every single player there was to check on North. Not one of the Saints players who were running in even pushed Hughes out of the way. No-one believed it was on purpose except the ref. It was clearly the wrong decision to send him off. Wasps were in the lead, and playing with 14 men essentially made winning impossible. It cost them the game, it certainly costs them a place in the play offs, and it may have cost them a place in the top six and therefore the Champions Cup with all the revenue and kudos that comes with it.

But that doesn't matter.

The Ref did give him a red card, and therefore it was the right decision. Whether we'd have done the same or not is irrelevant. The Ref's word is law, and that is the way it should be. It is a principle that is instilled in all players from the very youngest age and that is what makes rugby the game it is.

However it is not a one way street.

If we are to accept that when a Ref makes a decision on the pitch during a high pressure, high stakes game that we disagree with we simply must go with it then that same referee has a duty to ensure that barracking, bullying, and attempting to influence his decisions is also a penalisable offense.

If players are allowed to shout and scream at the ref in order to try and force him into making a specific decision, then why should the rest of us have to respect that decision?

Quite simply we shouldn't. It is completely unreasonable to expect that the Referee's word is law to some players, but not to others. For the game to be considered fair, the playing field must be level. Breaking the rules should not be acceptable, even if you disagree that you have. But also attempting to influence the ref should not be acceptable.

Hughes should not have been alone in being carded in that game.

But it doesn't end there.

The RFU has a responsibility to the players, to the overall competition, and to rugby itself. When a referee has got something wrong, then they need to step in and rectify it after the fact. When a player is carded by a new, inexperienced referee who is clearly out of his depth, who is clearly being influenced by the home players and crowd. When the entire objective rugby world disagrees with that decision the RFU should not close ranks around their referee and ban the player. They should step up to the mark, admit that in this instance the referee might not have made the correct decision at the time, and reverse the card.

Only by being seen to be objective and upholding the spirit of rugby can the RFU hope to have any chance of maintaining the respect for the referee that we all prize so dearly. By taking on the role of Guardians of the game, by righting wrongs when the occur they allow the word of the referee to remain as law. They make influencing the referee at the time less worthwhile. But by pretending that referees can never get it wrong, by backing them even when they clearly do they force players into doing everything in their power to ensure that the referee's decision in the heat of the moment goes their way.

I am certain that one of the reasons the RFU banned Hughes was to try to enforce the authority of the ref, but I fear they have done the exact opposite.

I won't even go in to how we define “reckless”, or whether a player who has been KO'd repeatedly and already hit hard enough to cause a concussion in the same game should have been playing. I'm certainly not brave enough to tackle making decisions based on outcomes rather than intent. Yet...

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Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
DrunkenWasps.com (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 09:40
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 09:52
Excellent. Really well put.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
ukms (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 09:52
Well written and well put VV - Thank you !

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 10:24
Good point of view. Unfortunately, the RFU being what they are, nothing will change. It's not as if they were well respected before this.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Vespulavulgaris (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 10:42
I don't think for a second the RFU will change. For some reason they seem to see themselves as being in competition with the rest of the rugby world. As soon as anything happens they circle wagons and ignore anyone who isn't on the inside.

I do think that rugby is on an inevitable slide towards treating the refs the way they are in football, and the RFU could stop it, but they won't.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
DGPWasp (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 10:53
A very good point. In seeking to back their man, they have succeeded in undermining the respect of the referee that underpins so much of what makes rugby different to virtually all other sports. And ironically all stemming from one or two individual Saints players who set out to undermine the ref in the first place,

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RogerE (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 11:52
This article should be sent to the RFU for their comments.

Roger

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Nigel Med (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 12:32
I'm not convinced that the key issue is being addressed here. Trying to deflect blame onto the Saints players trying to influence the ref is missing the point. Given that Wasps count Lawrence Dallaglio as one of our most famous ex-players we can hardly preach about players trying to influence decisions- Lol was a master at it, and given that he retired many years ago it is not a new phenomenon.

You can't even blame the referee, he was so far out of his depth it was ridiculous that he was appointed to that fixture for which the blame lies completely with the RFU. There is not a single fixture in the Championship or below that is going to compare with the intensity of the game or the noise of a packed Franklins Garden, Welford Road or even the Ricoh in the Premiership. Of course we have to bring young referees through but if they wanted to give the guy a Premiership fixture last weekend perhaps Welsh v Bath would have been a more appropriate match- no offence Welsh.

That is why we shouldn't be in the least bit surprised that a ban has been handed out, the RFU are protecting themselves for an appalling decision to appoint someone who clearly isn't ready for that level of rugby. They are not backing their man they are protecting their own foolish appointment.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Nomad_Wasp (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 12:35
"If players are allowed to shout and scream at the ref in order to try and force him into making a specific decision, then why should the rest of us have to respect that decision?"

What a fantastic point this is, in particular. Well done!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 13:12
"It is completely unreasonable to expect that the Referee's word is law to some players, but not to others." Quite so.

I was disappointed to see Nathan Hughes verbally assaulting the referee at length after the red card decision, although perhaps not shouting and screaming at him.Quite clearly he is in your 'latter' ranks. He appears to have escaped any additional sanction for showing dissent, personally I would have re-instated the week's discount given for his previous good behaviour.

In the case of the alleged "shouting and screaming" from Hartley ( a colourful media invention I believe) did any of this occur after the Wasps' try from a scrum that even that ardently anti-Saints commentator Austen Healey admitted should have been a penalty to Saints for 'boring in'?


If the Saints' captain made some comments about perceived repeated foul play ( and I think this may have been amply justified) that is perfectly within the rules. If you give me the time into the full replay still available on the Aviva prem website I will look into your inordinate pressure accusation with its "shouting and screaming" and if it can be justified eat suitable humble pie.

It would be a great pity to sour relationships between our clubs over this, players traditionally shake hands after a game, you have lost a key man for 3 weeks we have lost one maybe for the season. C'est la vie, bonne chance en France!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Raggs (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 13:18
Erm, he wasn't assaulting the ref, he was asking what he was supposed to have done.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Vespulavulgaris (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 13:22
Quote:
oldtoastersaint
It would be a great pity to sour relationships between our clubs over this, players traditionally shake hands after a game, you have lost a key man for 3 weeks we have lost one maybe for the season. C'est la vie, bonne chance en France!

Your player should never have taken the field. Compare the enforced rest periods for professional fighters to the incredibly blase attitudes of Rugby coaches to their players health and well-being.

For North's own sake I really hope people stop pretending he's ok. He isn't, and it needs dealing with.

As to the rest are you seriously suggesting that Nathan was shouting at the Ref and Hartley and Dickson were simply politely questioning him?

Utter rubbish.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 13:25
In the case of the alleged "shouting and screaming" from Hartley ( a colourful media invention I believe)

God, you're gullible. And what about Dickson? I note you've sidestepped that one.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
SaintED (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 14:16
I won't even go in to how we define “reckless”

You don't have to. The RFU provide a definition themselves, one which they have determined Hughes actions fell into.

As for the other cards, for who?

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Heathen (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 14:40
SaintED, suggest that you leave us in peace to have our own discussion.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
arquero (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 14:56
Quote:
Heathen
SaintED, suggest that you leave us in peace to have our own discussion.

(Sm128)

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
EEyore (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:04
Quote:
oldtoastersaint
It would be a great pity to sour relationships between our clubs over this

Too late the damage is done.

"What's done is done and cannot be undone." Cardinal Richelieu

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Gaz (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:06
Good post but it blurs the boundaries between incidents for me.

Just for the purposes of clarity, I think the referee was under the undue influence of the crowd and the players from round about the time of the Lawes / Johnson non-event and some Wasps penalties around that time in the first half, which then continued throughout the game.

To be fair I don't recall Dickson or Hartley influencing the referee in the immediate aftermath of the Hughes incident - although the crowd were certainly baying for blood.

In short, I don't think Hartley or Dickson got Hughes sent off.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
DGPWasp (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:18
Can't understand why Saints are so cock-a-hoop that Hughes got banned. They've had theirr pound of flesh. A soft red card for an accidental collision which at the time appeared to significantly alter the course of a match in their favour. Whether or not the outcome of the match was affected we will never know, but it was without doubt a turning point. Outcome on North irrelevant.

The "our man's out for the season and he only gets 3 weeks" argument is the biggest load of tosh going. If this latest head injury rules North out for 6 weeks, 6 months or forces him to retire completely, it's not just down to one man's "reckless" (by the RFU's distorted definition) action, it is the culmination of a series of knocks sustained over the past 4-5 months. Are we going to issue retrospective bans for whoever he clashed with in the lead up to this latest incident? That would include at least two of his own team mates in Hibbard and Dickson. Can't have a rule for one and not for the other. What's reckless on an opponent is equally so on a team mate.

It's of no consequence to Saints whether Hughes plays in the next 3 games or not. Why so much bitterness towards Wasps and Nathan Hughes?

Oh, and if Hughes was out of order for asking the ref what he was expected to do, then was the TMO equally disrespectful in euphamistically saying "Do you want to have another look at that?"?

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Brumwasp (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:27
Great article.
Irrespective of the incident, I find it hard to believe that Nat was given the same ban for a first "offence" that serial offender Hartley earned for intentionally elbowing Matt Smith in the face.
That's just bonkers.
The one that needs his head looking at isn't just North, it's Mallinder for playing him in the first place.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
SaintED (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:28
Quote:
Heathen
SaintED, suggest that you leave us in peace to have our own discussion.

You get the concept of a public forum? I am not being provocative or insulting anyone just asking for some clarification of some of the points made by VV.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Phil. (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:47
The RFU judgement is here, guys...


Link (RFU pdf doc)

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
WaspieKev (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:50
Firstly, we all hope George North makes a full and speedy recovery. Had the pleasure of a chatting with him on the Lions tour and what a great lad he is, and a fine player too.

Everything that could be said about the Hughes incident has been said already , so I wont add to that. However, if any of our players deserved a red card recently it was Ashley in that first 10 seconds v Leinster. Way more reckless and dangerous than anything Nathan is alleged to have done and yet we tried to defend his actions behind the smokescreen of him being "hyped-up" etc. We cant have it both ways guys! Similarly we cant go blaming Hartley and Dickson for trying anything to influence a young ref when every club in the country would have had someone lining up to have a go at him.

The law-makers need to look at the wordings and instruct the governing bodies how to interpret them. The PGMOT then need to ensure that their on-field reps, i.e. the referee's, TMO's and lino's, are suitably experienced man-managers as well as the arbiters of law, otherwise this kind of thing will spiral out of control. No doubt CMK knows the laws inside out, but not a clue in how to manage people, and thats why we ended up in this sorry mess.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
SaintED (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 15:56
Good post WaspieKev

Quote:
DGPWasp
Can't understand why Saints are so cock-a-hoop that Hughes got banned.

They aren't as far as I can work out. I am not saying there aren't the odd people (all forums, clubs, etc have them) but where have you seen any number of posts celebrating Hughes getting a ban? Your post is the sort of stuff that just stirs things up when there's no need. Unnecessary.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:01:15:58:42 by SaintED.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
DGPWasp (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 16:08
There was a whole thread about it started on the Saints forum last night. Plenty on there delighting in the fact that he'd been banned. You're probably right though, a vocal minority, and yes, a few on here have not covered themselves in glory in the past few days so we all have them. As I've posted elsewhere (don't ask where, there are so many threads on this topic now), I have never had any axe to grind with Saints as a club and certainly not their supporters. Never been to FG, but have always found your lot a decent enough bunch on your visits to Wasps.

Best of luck over in Clermont. Hopefully you'll be playing a "home" game at the Ricoh this season! (Bloody site easier for you to get to than it is for many of us!)

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
arquero (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 16:16
Quote:
SaintED
Good post WaspieKev
Quote:
DGPWasp
Can't understand why Saints are so cock-a-hoop that Hughes got banned.

They aren't as far as I can work out. I am not saying there aren't the odd people (all forums, clubs, etc have them) but where have you seen any number of posts celebrating Hughes getting a ban? Your post is the sort of stuff that just stirs things up when there's no need. Unnecessary.

Well you could start by spending a bit of time on your own board, and reading the thread Unhappy Wasps! Seems quite a bit of revelling in the ban on there for starters.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
greenwood (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 16:35
Surely the thread should be "Why Nathan Hughes was WRONG to be Carded". but right to be banned after he had wrongly got it !

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
SaintED (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 17:13
Quote:
DGPWasp
Best of luck over in Clermont. Hopefully you'll be playing a "home" game at the Ricoh this season! (Bloody site easier for you to get to than it is for many of us!)

Thanks for the post. All the best to your lot for Toulon too. Much as I like Andy Goode I would love to see your young guy given more than 20 to show what he can do.

I travel from North London these days so any home game is an away one if you get my meaning!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 17:23
It would be good if your poster VV answered my challenge relating to pin pointing the evidence of the alleged "shouting and screaming" on the full match replay. Was that just another attack of media hyperbole as I suggested or were there points in the match when the "shouting and screaming" actually occurred?


Ross M you say I'm gullible then presumably you have already located the evidence incriminating both Hartley and Dixon.Let's see it, the recording is freely available on the Aviva Prem site, at what points, in minutes into the recording, did it occur?


And Raggs I said verbally assaulting the ref, I meant haranguing not physically attacking him,I'm sorry you misunderstood me, perhaps I'm guilty of hyperbole too! Let's settle for Hughes questioned the referee's decision too many times at too much length not to disrespect the refs neutral judgement?

The whole basis as far as I understand this post's heading was you must show respect to the ref whatever you think of his decision.Hughes came up short, it was his captain's duty to query the decision, behaving as he did he's in the opposite camp to VV.

Much better to present the real time evidence than repeat the allegations of pundits with other fish to fry. Matt Dawson for one should see a psychologist about his everlasting undisguised and embarrassing hatred of all things Saintly. Great player in his time, he tarnishes his image every time he displays that slightly insane prejudice, he needs to grow up and remove the chip.It's so boring Matt, listen to yoursel sometime!

By the way my invitation's there to anyone to respond to, put up or shut up. Let's see the evidence shall we?

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 17:48
Quote:
WaspieKev
Firstly, we all hope George North makes a full and speedy recovery. Had the pleasure of a chatting with him on the Lions tour and what a great lad he is, and a fine player too.
Everything that could be said about the Hughes incident has been said already , so I wont add to that. However, if any of our players deserved a red card recently it was Ashley in that first 10 seconds v Leinster. Way more reckless and dangerous than anything Nathan is alleged to have done and yet we tried to defend his actions behind the smokescreen of him being "hyped-up" etc. We cant have it both ways guys! Similarly we cant go blaming Hartley and

Dickson for trying anything to influence a young ref when every club in the country would have had someone lining up to have a go at him.

The law-makers need to look at the wordings and instruct the governing bodies how to interpret them. The PGMOT then need to ensure that their on-field reps, i.e. the referee's, TMO's and lino's, are suitably experienced man-managers as well as the arbiters of law, otherwise this kind of thing will spiral out of control. No doubt CMK knows the laws inside out, but not a clue in how to manage people, and thats why we ended up in this sorry mess.

Well said sir

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Raggs (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 17:53
Quote:
WaspieKev
Firstly, we all hope George North makes a full and speedy recovery. Had the pleasure of a chatting with him on the Lions tour and what a great lad he is, and a fine player too.
Everything that could be said about the Hughes incident has been said already , so I wont add to that. However, if any of our players deserved a red card recently it was Ashley in that first 10 seconds v Leinster. Way more reckless and dangerous than anything Nathan is alleged to have done and yet we tried to defend his actions behind the smokescreen of him being "hyped-up" etc. We cant have it both ways guys! Similarly we cant go blaming Hartley and Dickson for trying anything to influence a young ref when every club in the country would have had someone lining up to have a go at him.

The law-makers need to look at the wordings and instruct the governing bodies how to interpret them. The PGMOT then need to ensure that their on-field reps, i.e. the referee's, TMO's and lino's, are suitably experienced man-managers as well as the arbiters of law, otherwise this kind of thing will spiral out of control. No doubt CMK knows the laws inside out, but not a clue in how to manage people, and thats why we ended up in this sorry mess.

I seem to recall most of us thought he was bloody lucky not to get a red and that it would have been completely justified... Yes there were explanations about why he did it but I don't recall anyone suggesting he was anything but lucky only to see yellow

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Knockboy (IP Logged)
01/04/2015 18:16
I always totally agreed with the yes sir no sir ethos that was afforded to Rugby refs, that was until the last few years. Power corrupts, so they say, and the current crop of referees take the power afforded to them by the players and official’s way to far. Mr Wayne Barnes cost Ireland a grand slam last month by his amateurish control of the scrumming laws in the Ireland v Wales game. He allowed Wales to feed the ball into the scrum and then penalised Ireland for pushing in an attempt to win the ball (the scrum is a way of restarting the game CONTESTED) in fairness’ to Wales they were also on the end of an unbelievable poor referring decision when Alain Roland sent off Sam Warburton in a world cup semi-final.
Ireland were not allowed to criticise Barnes and his poor performance was hardly mentioned in the media. I believe we have created a monster by allowing the refs to be totally bomb proof. We, the ex-players and stalwarts of the game need to start highlighting poor referring and tell it like it is. No, I don`t want football style mayhem but neither do I want the game controlled by dictators with no chance to address blatant injustice.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
matelot22 (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 06:29
So many comments on this over the 2 forums now, so apologies if this has been said before, but: The red happened, we cannot change that no matter how much we disagree with it (and I include myself in that). What I am failing to understand though is the process of how it's been dealt with, it really does seem like a foregone conclusion and many of the points on here raise serious questions: Why should Nathan be expected to plead guilty to something he believes he hasn't done to make the board more lenient? Why wasn't the TMO's opinion taken into account? Ref's make mistakes, they are human. I have made many myself. The key is how they learn from them, or more appropriately how their superiors help THEM to learn from those mistakes and learn THEMSELVES from those mistakes. Everyday is a school day as they say, so to make up one's mind before weighing up all the evidence is a crime of huge magnitude IMO.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 07:52
Ross M you say I'm gullible then presumably you have already located the evidence incriminating both Hartley and Dixon.Let's see it, the recording is freely available on the Aviva Prem site, at what points, in minutes into the recording, did it occur?

Don't be so ridiculous. I watched and listened to the game live. I heard Hartley and Dickson coming over the ref's mike. I really can't be *rsed to watch it again and note every occurrence of the shouting by Hartley and Dickson. Did Geech imagine it? In short I'm not going to pander to your ponderous ego.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Houghton Saint (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 07:53
As a final word from this particular Saints supporter:

1. The level of abuse from some followers of both clubs is ridiculous.

2. As I previously stated, whatever sanction was given by the referee on the night, had it been yellow or red, it was quite sufficient and in my view at least no further sanction was necessary.

3. Both clubs have massive challenges this weekend in France, I suggest we all move on to those matters in hand and hope that the Premiership still has some say in the European Cup come sunday evening. BTW - last time we went to Toulon we put fifty points on them - good luck !



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:02:07:59:03 by Mobbs.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Chilham (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 08:01
Thanks Mobbs although easy for you to say.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 08:19
Quote:
RossM
Ross M you say I'm gullible then presumably you have already located the evidence incriminating both Hartley and Dixon.Let's see it, the recording is freely available on the Aviva Prem site, at what points, in minutes into the recording, did it occur?
Don't be so ridiculous. I watched and listened to the game live. I heard Hartley and Dickson coming over the ref's mike. I really can't be *rsed to watch it again and note every occurrence of the shouting by Hartley and Dickson. Did Geech imagine it? In short I'm not going to pander to your ponderous ego.

My favourite was when Saints took the scrum at the penalty. As soon as they packed down a voice was heard 'Come on Ref, we're walking already'. At which point the ball came out on our side and Wade scored. That was probably a decision that went our way as it happens.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 08:22
Actually Rifleman, I think it was 'come on ref, they're walking already'winking smiley

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 08:34
Yes you are probably right..although I took it to mean - they are pushing us and we are walking backwards. I guess the referees assistant on the outside of the scrum couldn't see what the ref could! which is why he never blew.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Vespulavulgaris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 08:53
Quote:
oldtoastersaint
It would be good if your poster VV answered my challenge relating to pin pointing the evidence of the alleged "shouting and screaming" on the full match replay. Was that just another attack of media hyperbole as I suggested or were there points in the match when the "shouting and screaming" actually occurred?

I'm sorry for disappointing you. I realise you'd like me to go through the whole game again and pin point the specific actions, but I'm not going to for a number of reasons.

1) I don't discount the comments of every single commentator, player, ex-player, pundit, journalist, coach, and DOR who has said exactly what I said simply because they obviously have their own agenda. An agenda that is based on self-serving propaganda and media whoring that just happens to co-incide with what everyone else is saying.

2) I feel no need to go out of my way to prove that Hartley and Dickson are not angels on the pitch. I think that speaks for itself. If we are working on the premise of Innocent until proven guilty, then how about we start with Nathan.

3) I have more important things going on in my life than pandering to your need to defend your precious Saints, even when everyone knows the accusations are fair. If you don't mind I'll probably spend my spare time today looking after my 2 year old who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer than watch a game for the second time making notes of what is said and at what time so you can go through and tell me I got it wrong.

I'm not going to let this incident change my view of Saints, as a team I like them, despite Hartley. I like the way they play, and I have a soft spot for Mallinder having gone to the same school as him, also my sister went out with his brother for a while. I am however quite reassured that Saints have their own version of Becks. For a while I thought it was just us.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 09:03
I think every club has their 'Becks'!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 10:29
VV sorry to hear about your personal life, I lost my youngest son in a car accident at the age of fifteen, life makes no sense at all sometimes. I hope your son makes a full recovery, my very best wishes to him and your family.

As a very occasional poster to this board, I opposed your franchised move, I truly don't understand the 'Becks' reference, was it meant as an insult? I have always believed and go on believing that the answer to bluster and exaggeration is to demand the evidence in black and white. Under your exceptional personal circumstances naturally I'm prepared to withdraw my too onerous demand and agree to disagree. All the best OTS

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
DGPWasp (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 10:56
Quote:
Rifleman Harris
I think every club has their 'Becks'!

Astonishing that we have not yet had his opinion on this especially controversial matter!!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Vespulavulgaris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 11:56
Quote:
oldtoastersaint
VV sorry to hear about your personal life, I lost my youngest son in a car accident at the age of fifteen, life makes no sense at all sometimes. I hope your son makes a full recovery, my very best wishes to him and your family.
As a very occasional poster to this board, I opposed your franchised move, I truly don't understand the 'Becks' reference, was it meant as an insult? I have always believed and go on believing that the answer to bluster and exaggeration is to demand the evidence in black and white. Under your exceptional personal circumstances naturally I'm prepared to withdraw my too onerous demand and agree to disagree. All the best OTS

Thanks, I tend to be of the opinion, that in the stands of one stadium or another with a beer in hand we'd all be friends, so online disagreements don't rate that highly for me. Hopefully one day we'll do exactly that. The prognosis for my son in the long term is good, but it isn;t fun right now. I'm sorry to hear about your boy, that is a terrible thing to have to go through.

Becks is Beckenham Bandit, formerly Beckenham Wasp, our resident know it all troll. He has a tendency to go to other boards and tell them the "truth"

Incidentally I was against the move too, but it has happened and none of us can change that. It's turned out well for the team, and I can;'t simply choose a different team to support. I'm stripey through and through. I'm a little bitter that I don't get to watch them live any more, but I'm still proud to be a Wasp.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
welsh wasp (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 13:40
This might be one of the rare situations where we can learn from Premiership football. There have been occasions where their disciplinary panel has rescinded a red (or yellow) card or decided that was sufficient punishment when they considered that a wrong decision had been made by the referee.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Gaz (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 13:47
Nathan Hughes ban shows the danger of ignoring intent in a physical sport

[www.theguardian.com]

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 15:47
Interesting read, Gaz. Thanks for the posting. No doubt there are some visitors to our board who will say that he is talking bollux.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 16:43
I've just watched the BT Rugby Tonight clip linked from the other thread on this. At the time (and on Monday when watching Rugby Tonight) I thought the ref was insane and bullied into the decision...but maybe I have finally calmed down enough to look at it slightly more dispassionately.

Anyway this time I specifically looked to see if I could see anything that resembled Hughes trying to kick the ball. Actually I could and I can now see how the ref came to his initial conclusion. The TMO tried to tell him that he was wrong, and he had ample time to change his mind...however, I suspect he looked at the replay as much to confirm his opinion as to look at it from a different perspective. I think that is natural - everyone looks for evidence to confirm their opinion (look at these threads). If, as I suspect, he was looking for a leg that swings into North it is there and he does actually kick the ball / fall into the ball with his left foot, and it comes out of North's hands, but that is well after the contact and North probably isn't concious at that point. However, there is probably enough in that to confirm the ref's belief that Hughes had tried to kick the ball.

He should have stuck to that in his submission - he may have been wrong, but I suspect he would have come out of this witth more respect than he has by changing his story. Also the RFU could have backed him without the need for further sanction on Hughes so preventing this situation now where anybody who injures (or appears to injure) someone in a 40:60 challenge is likely to see a long ban.

I do think that the RFU have handled this really badly and in doing so have opened up a can of worms...but I can see the logic in the ref's thinking initially.

I think 2 things need to come out of this:

1. We need better understanding of concussion and player welfare. It is no good trotting out the phrase Duty of Care. With concussion that doesn't just lie with the players on the field but also the clubs and medical staff. Hopefully the RFU / IRB will channel some money into funding some proper research into it. I would hate to have more players suffering long term and / or retiring early because we don't know how to manage this aspect of the game. It may eventually mean some changes to the way players make contact in the future (both legally and illegally) as I'm not sure helmets / caps will help as the damage is done inside the head (maybe injecting a foam layer just below the skull would would be the solution (Sm100)!).

2. The RFU need to look at their blind backing of a ref. Sometimes this does more reputational damage to a ref than just explaining why they feel the ref was wrong, and why the ref made the decision. I am sure that Maxwell-Keys did not set out to trump up an excuse to send a player off, so rightly or wrongly he gave an honest decision. I don't have a problem with that as long as I understand why the decision was made and that it was based on a logical thought process.

Anyway enough rambling.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Dazthelion (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 17:02
RH - this is the sober (after the day after the night before) conclusion I have come to and posted elsewhere. I can see the thought process and don't feel like condemning the ref, but the citing panel should be an occasion to put the sort of objective, considered and deeper thought into these tough calls made under intense pressure.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:02:17:43:21 by Dazthelion.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Rifleman Harris (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 17:09
Exactly..although I did get into some ref bashing which is an opportunity for me to improve in future...think once, think twice and repeat until the emotion has gone...then post.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:02:17:10:57 by Rifleman Harris.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Dazthelion (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 17:45
Agreed, me too. Shame on us, and I agree with all you say above. Here's hoping the RFU eventually see sense.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Stockers (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 19:38
Can I just ask, and this is not meant to be a wind up or antagonistic in any way, if the RFU wanted to support the young ref, as many on here have contended, surely it would have been enough to confirm the red card but say that was enough and there should be no further punishment, as opposed to rescinding the card.

However, the disciplinary panel, acting independently, as it should do, awarded the further punishment they did. Do you think that was influenced in any way by the RFU Ref's manager, bearing in mind the scenario in my first paragraph?

In other words, do you think the disciplinary panel are open to undue influence from within the RFU?

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
Heathen (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 20:31
Yes.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
A-Wesp (IP Logged)
02/04/2015 20:55
This is such an ugly, complicated situation... I was away last weekend, so have been reading the furore on here, and have only just watched the match tonight. I'm trying not to be one-eyed (as a Wasps fan)...
Some observations, relevant, or irrelevant:
When Wade scores his try, North seems to have been very briefly knocked unconscious (for a couple of seconds, his eyes roll back and the tension goes out of his body as he falls backwards)
Hartley was already very much in the ref's face even before the "incident" and even more so afterwards; irrespective of his role as captain, his attitude and body language fall far short of respectful.
Apart from the incident, the ref doesn't seem to have a better or worse game than many others would have done, although he didn't seem to have a "common touch" when dealing with the players, a "man management" skill you hope might would come with experience.
I agree with RH's assessment: although it looks to me at full speed that Hughes is trying to pull up, I can quite see how the opposite conclusion could be drawn and reinforced if that was the judgement one was predisposed to make.
So, based on the assumption that the referee could reasonably have drawn the conclusion he did, you then have to refer to the published proceedings Of the disciplinary hearing.
In the referee's testimony, he makes no reference to his original rationale and there are a number of other inconsistencies that lead me to conclude that the verdict was not reached on the basis of sound reasoning or a considered review of the situation. Rather, a specious argument has been put forward to justify a punishment pre-ordained by the process. It also, as others have said, opens up all sorts of cans of worms about duty of care, the definition of recklessness and judgments based on outcome. But the inconsistencies alone make the verdict risible. I think that if any respect for the process were to have been preserved, a judgement that the red card was sufficient would have been fair.
In answer to the question about Martyn Wood, I suspect that indirect pressure may have been brought to bear. Here is an ex-Wasps who is trying to make his way: do you not think he may have bent over backwards not to show bias towards his former club?
Also you have to consider that the disciplinary process is just that, a process - it isn't about seeing that justice has been served, merely that the correct procedure has been followed.
All of which is an extremely long-winded way of saying that no matter how bitterly the injustice burns, @#$%& happens!
And I hope that George North is made to read Shontayn Hape's article and seeks the best of medical attention, to make a full recovery; also that Wasps' appeal is successful.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
03/04/2015 11:11
Thanks VV, I'm no Beckish troll by the way in that I don't seek to antagonise as an end in itself, if that's your reaction to an opposite point of view being proposed then it's to the detriment of healthy debate on what's best for the game of rugby.

I have on the Saints board consistently said that outcome should not determine the punishment, citing particularly the challenge for the high ball.It is not natural justice for sentencing to be guided by a favourable or unfavourable chance degree of injury when hitting the ground from a height. It should be judged solely on the legality of the intent, remember the case of Lee Byrne and Hugo Southwell? If you recall Byrne leapt higher but led with an extended leg, studs showing. Southwell was carded for taking the studs with his head.The law was an ass in that instance, Southwell's vision survived no thanks to it.

Clearly in any other aspect of the game what Byrne demonstrated was reckless intent, "come near me and you'll eat studs" it's saying, and should be punishable by a red card. So interesting as the Guardian's conclusion is and Haskells views are, extreme recklessness must be curtailed. Studs should never lead. The crossover between that and excessive enthusiasm is hard to define and moreover needs to take into account the unfortunate human capacity for duplicity.

Hughes ran in and accidently collided with George but was,in his defence, pulling out at the time or alternatively Hughes ran in and appeared to be pulling out whilst intending to deliver some 'afters'. A tough call isn't it? I would on balance go with the former.


Now as a legislator you are looking to prevent serious injury in a sometimes heated contact sport, what message do you want to send out to the players? Benefit of the doubt or just don't go there?

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
RossM (IP Logged)
03/04/2015 12:06
I believe Nathan should have got a yellow and if the citing officer felt that it warranted red then it should/would have been dealt with appropriately after the game. A red in a rugby game, particularly fairly early on, is so devastating and generally has a profound affect on the entire game that it should be used very sparingly.
According to Maxwell-Keys, at the time, he sent off Nathan because in his opinion, he was trying to kick the ball out of North's hand yet apparently this reason was ignored and for some reason was not presented at the tribunal!
I think post match citings should take the place of very many reds and then the hearing and judgement is removed from the emotionally charged atmosphere of the moment on the pitch. Sometimes the letter of the law in rugby is far too inflexible.

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
arquero (IP Logged)
03/04/2015 12:32
Quote:
RossM
I believe Nathan should have got a yellow and if the citing officer felt that it warranted red then it should/would have been dealt with appropriately after the game. A red in a rugby game, particularly fairly early on, is so devastating and generally has a profound affect on the entire game that it should be used very sparingly.
According to Maxwell-Keys, at the time, he sent off Nathan because in his opinion, he was trying to kick the ball out of North's hand yet apparently this reason was ignored and for some reason was not presented at the tribunal!
I think post match citings should take the place of very many reds and then the hearing and judgement is removed from the emotionally charged atmosphere of the moment on the pitch. Sometimes the letter of the law in rugby is far too inflexible.

I think that's an excellent point. In all of this, the paying public seem to be overlooked, as the whole competitive nature of a game is changed, when a questionable red card predicament could readily be dealt with by the citing officer post match. And that facility already exists, so it would involve no adjustment to the current system!

 
Re: Why Nathan Hughes was right to be Carded.
ElliesBoss (IP Logged)
03/04/2015 12:33
Sorry but I can't get too wound up about the issuing of a red card. It was the reason it was given. Had the ref initially said in his opinion it was a reckless tackle and showed a red card I would accept it but not agree with it. The fact that he was so unsure about the reckless factor that he had to fabricate a story to justify the red card is quite extraordinary.

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