Toby Flood cited for alleged tip-tackle
January 5, 2013
Does Leicester's Toby Flood deserve a citing and possible ban for this tackle?
Recent tip-tackle bans:
Leicester's joy at hitting the Aviva Premiership summit with victory over Worcester on Friday night has been tempered by the news that fly-half Toby Flood has been cited for an alleged tip-tackle on opposite number Andy Goode.
The Tigers climbed to the top of the table with a last-gasp 19-14 victory over the Warriors but it will have come at some cost should Flood be subsequently banned at his Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing in London on Tuesday.
A ban would severely hamper Leicester's push for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place with crucial pool clashes against the Ospreys and Toulouse to come in the next fortnight. A suspension may also impact on Flood's hopes of returning to the England fold for their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 2.
The 27-year-old sat out England's headline-grabbing victory over New Zealand last month and while he is expected to retain his place in Stuart Lancaster's latest Elite Player Squad that will be announced this week, a ban would likely see Saracens' Owen Farrell and Gloucester's Freddie Burns retained for the clash against the Scots.
In related news, Flood's Tigers team-mate Matt Smith has been handed a Level One Citing for the use of an elbow on Worcester's Alex Grove during the same match. Smith's written warning is treated as a yellow card.
IRB Law on 'tip-tackles' or 'spear tackles':
Law 10.4(j) reads: Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.
A directive was issued to all Unions and Match Officials in 2009 emphasizing the IRB's zero-tolerance stance towards dangerous tackles and reiterating the following instructions for referees:
- The player is lifted and then forced or 'speared' into the ground (red card offence)
- The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player's safety (red card offence)
- For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin