Lions Captaincy Playoff

It was a good time to be an Irish rugby fan last week – after a chastening Six Nations, the country basked in the warm afterglow of Munster’s sack of the Stoop – it was the gift that kept on giving, with Harlequins stroppy mid-week press release vowing to identify the fans who sold their tickets classic “Munster in Europe” stuff.

The honeymoon extended into the build-up to the Munster-Leinster game, and the self-congratulation got dialled up to 11 – Shaggy decreed it the greatest club rugby rivalry in the world (Biarritz-Bayonne anybody?) and there was almost universal agreement that it had driven Irish rugby to greater levels. We’d agree with that to a point – on-field there is no doubt Munster’s achievements have driven Leinster, but off the field, the petty desire for some people to see everything through the provincial prism is most irritating, and that has been one of the legacies of the intensity of the rivalry from 2009-11. The match was billed in the Irish press as a virtual playoff for the Lions captaincy between Drico and Paulie in front of Gatty – we’d have loved to see the reaction of the press in Blighty had they got a sniff of that one.

The one thing that got overlooked in the sepia-tinged buildup to the game was this – only one team had a need for the points. Munster were out of the running for the Pro12 playoffs, and had one eye (and the wallet) on events in Montpellier in two weeks, whereas Leinster would like to secure a home semi-final. Plus Leinster have had a lock on this fixture for the last few years – we could see only one result.

And so it transpired – Munster played pretty well, then predictably faded after 60 minutes – O’Driscoll got over for Leinster and they duly saw it home. The exertions the previous Sunday took their toll on Munster, and no-one was too bothered about the win once the performance was decent – the Bananamen looming on the horizon was the bigger fish to fry.  It was an enjoyable game for this neutral (Egg) – it was certainly a level above the normal dross served up in the Pro12, and the skill level of the young Irish players on display was very impressive.

You might not have known it from Gerry’s match report, but the main talking point after the game was Paul O’Connell’s kick on Dave Kearney – to our eyes, it was clearly unintentional, but just as clearly reckless use of the boot. Kearney will be out for a few weeks, and we would be surprised if O’Connell isn’t as well – no-one wants to see him miss out on the semi-final, but, just like Brian O’Driscoll’s stamp on Simone Favaro last month, it appears to be an open-and-shut case.

It shouldn’t impact his Lions selection, but with Munster (and Ireland)’s propensity for being 50% of the team they are without him, O’Connell will certainly impact the game with Clermont Auvergne – and not in the way Irish rugby fans hoped.

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59 Comments

  1. montigol

     /  April 15, 2013

    Not sure I agree about referring to the level of the Pro12 as dross. It’s league rugby like anywhere else. Leinster’s games against Glasgow and Ulster were very watchable.

  2. Yossarian

     /  April 15, 2013

    big positive touched on here for me over the weekend was the performances of young players in the televised games.(sorry Connacht,only got highlights) I thought Olding and Henderson were impressive for Ulster, Zebo and POM very good for Munster. i have been pretty critical of POM up till now but he is delivering performances to match the hype the press was building around him.Jack McGrath at leinster also had a decent cameo. All in all makes things look a lot more positive than they did at the end of the 6 nations.
    Pity i can see that POC kick erupt a whole load of the provincial stuff again. Reckless use of the boot, not malicious, no intent-and this doesn’t even come into it from a citing commissioner point of view. Leinster don’t “cite” the opposition there is an independent commissioner who reviews the game.The press does not have an agenda to highlight it or try cover it up. lets not have this thread erupt into a debate over what happens next!(though i fear i may have started it!)

    • Len

       /  April 15, 2013

      I’d agree with re the kick incident it was reckless. I have huge respect for POC who is a genuinely nice guy and clean player. I think it was more bad luck than anything else but given the fact he made contact I can see the sighting commissioner applying the letter of the law. I really hope this doesn’t impact his lions prospects but I would think he’ll be out for the HC semi. Really hope Munster can edge past Clermont without him. I’d like to have some interest in the HC Finale.

      • Leinsterlion

         /  April 15, 2013

        Bad luck? For who? It was initially a no arms hit in the air that put DK on his back(went unpenalised), players stood off expecting a penalty. POC charged through and booted him square in the head with no sight of the ball, reckless is being kind.
        The fact this is being ignored by the press and now the citing commissioners shown where the power resides in the IRFU and the press. I guess St.Paul has free reign to “accidentally” stamp kick and punch with impunity as long as he doesnt mean it. Its bringing the game into disrepute by glossing over this issue.

    • Re Olding and Henderson – both were excellent. Olding should go to North America this year I think, and Henderson should start both Tests (if Gatty isn’t sniffing around)

      • BHHooker

         /  April 15, 2013

        Would you not leave Olding in the Wolfpuppies squad?

        • Amiga500

           /  April 15, 2013

          Nah – sure what age is D’Arcy… a replacement will have to be found soon… and right now, who knows what Luke Marshall’s long term future holds.

          The kid is good enough to be given a chance.

          • I mean to give the Wolfpuppies a chance. Olding is going to make it and have plenty of chances. Best give the Wolfpuppies a chance with their best players no?

          • Amiga500

             /  April 15, 2013

            I suppose we need to look at the options at 12.
            – Stuart Olding
            – JJ Hanrahan
            – Dave McSharry (who I note from wiki ‘also holds the record for the most amount of Jagerbombs bought in one round of drinks at a massive 26.This took place in The Village Nightclub in Dublin City. However rumour has it that this record has since been deemed void as it was “three for a tenner.”‘)
            – Gordon D’Arcy
            – James Downey
            – Paddy Wallace
            – Luke Marshall

            While I am not a medical doctor, I would question the wisdom of considering Luke Marshall right now. I’d give him till start of next season before taking serious contact again.

            The 3 above that are on the wrong side of the age profile. Leaving the 3 young men at the top. Taking all 3 on the tour does leave the puppies light – but of the 3, McSharry and Olding are the ones with the most Pro12 playing time… leaving JJ looking at the wolfhounds.

  3. Roy

     /  April 15, 2013

    I think the kick to the head was certainly reckless enough to warrant a ban. How far does the ‘lack of malice defence’ take you? It was exceptionally dangerous and showed complete disregard for his opponent’s safety. Sorry Paul, but you deserve a serious going over from the citing commissioner for that one.

  4. ORiordan

     /  April 15, 2013

    The citing commissioner just refers an incident to the disciplinary committee and this committee decides if the incident should be punished or not and what the punishment should be.

    • Or not, in this case.

      For the citing officer not to refer is a shocking indicment of the citing process. Great news for Munster, Munster fans and Paul O’Connell. The failure to cite (by an Irish official) is a really dark and cynical incident for the integrity of the game in Ireland and creates a dangerous precedent for player safety. The role of media in this cover-up also stinks.

      Intent is utterly and totally irrelevant. O’Connell had no clear sight of the ball, so to fly-hack through a head is grossly irresponsible and unbelievably dangerous. You would certainly hope there was no pre-medidation to injure a player lying prone after being taken out in the air but it has absolutely no relevance. Dangerous play is dangerous play.

      • Ultra Sur

         /  April 15, 2013

        Fully agree. It’s difficult to see the whole farce as anything less than corruption, at the very least of the disciplinary process.

      • ArtVandelay

         /  April 15, 2013

        Agreed. Players have a duty of care. If we have a rule by which you must ensure that a player is tackled without his legs above the horizontal, you must enforce the spirit of that law by saying that a player must not carelessly or recklessly strike an opponent. In both cases, players have a duty of care to the opponent. But to some, like Pravda Thornley, the incident hardly warrants a mention.

  5. Agree with your points on last weekend’s match – though, while an above average Pro12 game, I’m not sure that makes the rest of the league dross (certainly no more than AP or Top 14).

    Also don’t think there was anything “stroppy” about what Quins are doing. Saw a picture of an editorial they put into the programme for their home game vs. Bath last weekend. The gist is that they are extremely disappointed with their own fans, indeed own season ticket holders, as it was them who sold the tickets on to Munster fans (whether indirectly or not). They didn’t draw the line, but they put in the dots to basically say, “Munster’s fans were wonderful, why weren’t you?”.

    BOD for Lions skipper, IMO. I’d almost be tempted to say that’s who I think Gatland will pick, as well.

    Now come on Joe, sign on the dotted line…

  6. Xyz

     /  April 15, 2013

    This was my first time in about five years watching a match with RTE coverage. Holy Moley it was awful. Can only hope that Sky do put a bid on for the tournament.

    Game itself was bruising but a good advertisement for the passion in the Irish provincial game. I was quite impressed with TOD and POM and Zebo looks like his pre injury form has carried over.

    Was surprised at Leinsters lack of penetrative play, lots of kicking the ball away, maybe the game plan for the conditions but seen a lot of that this season. It is amazing the plaudits that Madigan is receiving now that he is the goal kicker – as if that was the reason people wouldn’t recognise his ability last season.

    • Leinsterlion

       /  April 15, 2013

      Lack of penetrative play can be attributed to Munster off their feet killing and slowing ball all day. It wasnt until the last 20 mins when Leinster players started literally flying in off their feet that we got some go forward and put together enough phases to win. Extremely limited and cynical game from Munster aided by a shocking refereeing performance from Nige. We dominated come scrum time yet he constantly allowed “Killer”(esp dropping his bind) and Arch leeway.
      Munster have nothing beyond negative tactics, if the breakdown was reffed correctly we would have hammered them, a bad performance by us against a woeful Munster outfit who offered nothing beyond cynicism

  7. Chogan (@Cillian_Hogan)

     /  April 15, 2013

    1. Kearney did score a try
    2. Varley could have been called off his feet for Keatley’s try but wasn’t, tough. Thems the breaks
    3. Downey did intentionally block BOD by changing his line of running, preventing man on coverage which would have stopped a try.
    4. A kick to the head of a stationary player on the ground, is a kick to the head of a stationary player on the ground. It deserved a Red Card. (This took a long personal mental debate to arrive at this conclusion)
    5. POC is my pick for Lions captain.

  8. Jereth127

     /  April 15, 2013

    Apologies if this is not the correct medium to communicate this but if you would prefer to remove this comment I after you have read it I understand. Please note this has nothing to do with this blog post as I have not read it. As I said, please feel free to remove this but I hope you take the time to read it. I would have tweeted this at you but 140 characters isn’t enough

    I always enjoyed your blog it it was a refreshing read for me, As a fan of Munster rugby I had to remind myself that this blog was written by die-hard Leinster and Ulster fans. I have twice voiced my opinion on your perceived anti-Munster bias and although your replies were polite, I was unfortunately left with a definite taste of ‘No we’re not ‘cos we said we’re not’.

    Nevertheless, I enjoyed your outlook on all things Irish rugby and I also like to see things from the other side of the fence so I continued to look forward to your monday posts evaluating the weekends Irish rugby action.

    But(obviously there was a but), the tweet ‘highlighting’ James Downey’s hand in SO’B’s face disgusted me. It may be a bit emotive, but there’s unfortunately no other word for it. Have either of you ever played rugby? It’s not a question intended to call you out in any way but I have only played for a short time and have had people’s fingers in and around my eye’s more times than I can remember. Never malicious but it tended to happen occaisionally. if it never happened to you, good for you. But things like this are rarely intentional and it is one of the most vile things anyone can be accused of on the rugby pitch. Unless you have a clip of Downey searching for Sean O’Brien’s eye’s and then keeping them there(a la Schalk Burger with Luke Fitz) then you are simply engaging in tabloid sensationalism and looking to discredit a man because you saw a picture that showed Downey’s hands in O’Brien’s face. Look hard enough and you’ll find a few of those in every rugby match, with any teams. 99% of the time, it’s not gouging and unless O’Brien and Schmidt come out calling for Downey to be punished, we can safely assume it was all above board.

    I don’t think this blog is too influenced by Leinster or Ulster opinions, I just think it’s Anti-Munster. After the QF v Harlequins you put up an(admittedly)glowing report of the match and Munster’s performance but other than that, I struggle to think of times where you have been geniunely complimentary of Munster. Unfortunately, this tweet is the (rather large) straw that broke the camels back. I will no longer come to WoC for the rugby insight.

    • Thanks Jereth – what tweet are you referring to? I don’t see one highlighting anything about Downey or SOB. Indeed, I’ve no idea what incident you are referring to!

      Re other times we have praised Munster, how about the article you just commented on? Or the post-Quins one? Or the Donncha piece from a few months ago? Or the glowing tribute to Micko when he retired? Or etc etc etc.

      We think we are fair towards Munster, as do most of our commenters – we are sorry to see you go, and sorry you disagree.

      • Joe

         /  April 15, 2013

        Come on Jereth – solve the mystery for us!

        • I’ve got it! You are referring to the picture here aren’t you? Note: this is an Inpho photo on the Irish Times website – its not our website, and not our Twitter feed

          • Dave W

             /  April 15, 2013

            I think it’s this he’s referring to. I’m not commenting on it, but I suspect that’s it.
            Curates Egg ‏@curates_egg 18h
            Didn’t realise it was Downey’s fingers which left SOB with a bloodied eye http://www.sportsfile.com/id/740440/ – such a fraught match

          • Dave W

             /  April 15, 2013

            (As in I think he may have the wrong end of the stick here)

          • Apologies if my tweet somehow (bizarrely) lost you a loyal follower. Sportsfile’s multi-click generally tends to capture lots of the niggle in games…and there is so much to capture in Munster-Leinster matches sadly.

          • I wouldn’t say its strictly a Munster-Leinster thing – capture every frame of every game and you’ll find something that looks terrible. It just seems that the blame game gets ramped up when it comes to this fixture!

            Apology accepted, but you have to compensate us with a follower – don’t suppose Zooey Deschanel follows you?

    • Yossarian

       /  April 15, 2013

      Think you are being a little over sensitive there,no one ever mentioned anything of the sort anywhere about Downey on SOB on any other media.(though i didn’t see the twitter feed) As for any Anti-Munster sentiment on this blog in general they give Munster players their fair due but,maybe not with the fawning adoration Conor George dishes out.

    • Sound Steve

       /  April 16, 2013

      I always assumed that this blog was knowingly anti-Munster… I’m a Leinster fan and the anti-Munster bias is pretty evident to me! Sure look at the content below – all hanging POC out to dry. The same level of debate didn’t take place on this forum when SOB clotheslined Sivivatu off the ball against Clermont in December or Healy went to town on Dan Cole/Robshaw or Drico cleaned his studs on Favaro – all deliberate acts so don’t try and say there isn’t a substantial anti-Munster element here!

  9. Sound Steve

     /  April 15, 2013

    I think the level of intent and the presence of malice has to be considered in the POC situation. Everyone is pretty much agreed that there was no malice on POC’s behalf and that it was more clumsiness than anything else so he has, rightly so, been cleared. For instance, had he kicked one of his team mates in the head would he have deserved disciplinary action?

    The BOD incident was malicious and intentional. He got what he deserved for that. He pretty much acknowledged that by not appealing his ban. I don’t think the two incidents are comparable.

    • LeftBank

       /  April 15, 2013

      So it’s perfectly acceptable to engage in reckless and dangerous play so long as you can hold your hands up afterwards and say you didn’t mean it?

      POC is a brilliant player. It was a reckless, unintentional act. It was still a full force kick to the head however, that left Kearney unconscious and requiring a stay in hospital. It sends out a poor message not to cite him.

      • Sound Steve

         /  April 15, 2013

        I just don’t see what punishing a player for accidentally injuring another player achieves. What is the message you want to send out by punishing POC in this instance? Don’t kick the ball in a ruck?

        The severity of the injury is totally irrelevant.

        • Couldn’t disagree more. If there is a situation where you might genuinely kill another player (as a kick to the temple can do), then regardless of intent, as others have argued, you have a duty of care.

          Rugby has put a lot of effort in the last decade or so trying to minimize the chances of serious irreversible injuries (or worse) to its players. This falls into the same category and so it’s a shame no message was sent out, for presumably “green jersey” (literally!) reasons.

          Regardless of the citing commissioners, I would presume that Penney, and indeed any coach worth his salt, will take the incident very seriously, albeit away from the public gaze.

        • Red Mist

           /  April 15, 2013

          Come on Steve!
          POC now believes he can go around kicking heads with complete impunity.
          The Clermont match will be a mess. Heads flying all over the place!

          Everyone knows how much he admires Robespierre…

  10. Ultra Sur

     /  April 15, 2013

    I’m not sure why everyone seems so keen to label it ‘clumsy’ and accidental. DK was prone on the ground for enough time for POC to ascertain that his head was between himself and the ball. He then proceeded to kick him in the face. AT BEST, it was callous disregard. Anything else is simply not supported by the evidence.

    Much as I like POC, the lack of a citing is yet another stain on the disciplinary process of the Pro 12 and the IRFU for protecting it’s own.

  11. zdm

     /  April 15, 2013

    Olding has been a pleasent surprise for Ulster this year. He looked very limited earlier in this season when he was played in the 10 slot but has thrived with the reduced pressure and extra space at inside centre.

    It’ll be very interesting to see how Ulster manage this one – PWal has enough left in the tank at this level for at least another couple of seasons and with Bambam Marshall in the mix (if and when he stops playing rugby with his face), that puts Olding 3rd in a strong set. Undoubtedly he will get game time at 12 – it is a highly attritional position and you’d expect at least Bambam to be away during the international windows but I have a suspicion that Ulster will revert to playing him as a back-up 10 as Ulster are much more shallow here. It’d be interesting to see him moved further out to 13 – whisper it quietely but his inventiveness and speed of step remind me of another blond haired outside centre…

    • Its an interesting issue for Ulster – and quite unlike all the other provinces! Paddy Wallace still has lots to offer I think – Ulster have missed him badly – but clearly LM and SO are the future. Could SO cut it at 13? Depends – Ulster rely heavily on Darren Cave’s defensive organsation, and Olding would have no experience in that aspect of the game

      • Yossarian

         /  April 15, 2013

        Only glimpses so i’ll be the first to say WAY to early to say but i think Olding is potentially better than Jackson. After an impressive 1st season i feel Jackson was hanging around ROG too much in the Ireland camp.He is standing really deep,he doesn’t quite threaten the line and while ROG was the best in the world at one job-line kicking-Jackson isn’t the same caliber.I worry at best Jackosn will be a poor mans ROG(and who wants that!?!)He has nice distribution and good decision making,i’m not saying i don’t rate him just wonder what he will end up being like.
        Olding has pace,an eye for a gap and distribution. Would need to see him kick from hand a lot more to judge if he could be a top 10 but reckon he could develop into a serious option.
        Either way Leinster must be looking enviously on when looking to a future replacement for D’Arcy-Marshall and Olding look like two very bright prospects at 12.

        • BHHooker

           /  April 15, 2013

          My thoughts exactly on Jackson, but he was like that before.

          Olding seems much better at 12 than at 10 or 15 from what I’ve seen. Needs to add some things to his bow though, was out of ideas v Saracens. Still has time. Great talent

        • ArtVandelay

           /  April 15, 2013

          I thought that Jackson’s best bits for ireland, against fiji and scotland, came from lying quite flat along with marshall and putting a bit of zip on the ball. I’d prefer him to play a flat game to be a bit of a counterpoint to the deep lying sexton. The Sexton loop, while successful, could become easy to read. I’d say also that BOD would fare well off a flat marshall.

      • ORiordan

         /  April 15, 2013

        The Ulster centre I’m looking forward to seeing next season is Chris Farrell who missed this season through injury. He is a big guy but not a stereotypical bosh merchant. He looks to have lovely hands and offloading skills and set-up a couple of tries doing this in Ulster’s pre-season games. I don’t want to anoint him just yet as it is early days, but if he does come through Ulster could have a real embarrassment of riches in the centre.

        • Yossarian

           /  April 15, 2013

          was looking forward to seeing more of him. wanted to see if he has something to him or was he another David Quinlan.

      • Amiga500

         /  April 15, 2013

        As ORiordan says, Chris Farrell* is the future at 13 for Ulster. Personally, I had him definitely taking over DC at 13 for Ulster this season – and (whisper it) possibly even have challenged BOD for his 6N spot. Unfortunately the injury put paid to all that.

        *assuming he comes back 100% from the ACL problem.

  12. As with everyone, I believe and hope POC had no intention to severely injure Kearney. However, the recklessness with which he fly-hacked a prone player, whose head was very clearly in the way, left me feeling sick. This is an Irish teammate of his, yet the disregard he showed for his safety was stunning: it was a potentially career-ending play.

    Thankfully, Kearney is ok.
    Sadly, the failure to cite stinks of a total cover-up, which is really not good for the game: either its integrity or the relations between the rival provinces.

    These games are such fraught contests and there is always controversy. I guess that’s what makes a good derby match. There has been too much malice to the fixture for a number of years now though. It seems no game can go by without an ‘incident’ – with players on both sides guilty of foul play. Hard to see how to resolve but hopefully it won’t take a serious injury.

  13. Sound Steve

     /  April 15, 2013

    I just watched it again a few times to see if I missed anything the first time around. There is nothing in it at all. It’s a physical game and sometimes people will get hurt. For people who think there was something more sinister in it, look at the complete and utter indifference from every Leinster player around after the incident. In fact, the first player to check on Kearney was POC. A clear case of trial by slow motion – yet again.

    I also love the media conspiracy angle. I reckon it was Gerry Thornley and Johnny Watterson on the grassy knoll lads! Oswald was a patsy!

  14. Alpy

     /  April 15, 2013

    Everyone agrees that POC did not mean to kick DK in the head. However did Sam Warburton stand there in a RWC QF and think “You know what? I think I might spear tackle a French player…that way we can play with 14 players…that will be a tactical masterstroke!” NO! He did it by accident through careless and negligent means and was cited and banned for it. Why is POC different? Simple…an IRFU citing officer who know’s his job is on the line if he refers it. The influence certain clubs have over IRFU matters was clearly shown throughout Kidney’s rein and continues now. The cult of the personality around POC is amazing. He is a great leader but an average – above average all round player. He wasnt great against Leinster the other night and spent most of his time bitching at the referee when Leinster got a call despite the fact Owens was giving Munster great amounts of leeway at the breakdown to illegally turn over ball. He stole a few lineouts because Cronin cant throw and Quinn Roux was weak in claiming the ball but was knocked back in the tackle by Madigan more than once!

    Might I also comment on the yet again scandalous and disgusting commentary and behavior in the analysis of the game by RTE. Lenihan time after time trying to justify and explain away Munster’s clearly Illegal play at the breakdown and the fact RTE did not show the angle that CLEARLY shows Downey taking out BOD. TG4 showed it and the pictures told the story! Poepy and Shaggy both tried to highlight Munster’s illegality at HT and FT and were cut across by Dara O’Brien so as to prevent anything negative being said about his beloved men in red. Hook…well Hook lost the plot years ago…..
    It amounts to censorship at the end of the day. Stick the boot in to Leinster but dont say a world wrong about Munster!

    • Yossarian

       /  April 15, 2013

      was amazed at how critical they were of leinsters attack and general play!have they written Munster off or something as a side all of a sudden?Leinster were away from home to a Heineken cup semi-finalist side with a famed home record and came away with a win!

    • Manga's League

       /  April 15, 2013

      Alpy….your inferiority complex is astounding!

    • Sound Steve

       /  April 16, 2013

      The Sam Warburton comparison is irrelevant – that was an illegal tackle and deserved a red card. Harsh maybe but they are the rules.

      The only comparison I could draw in my eyes would be if an accidentally collapsed scrum led to a broken neck for a prop. Should his opposite number be banned? How about the hooker? How about the entire opposition scrum? They all contributed to a serious injury so why not?

      Also, if POC kicked his own player on the ground should he have received a red?

      It’s a physical game, hands/boots get in people’s faces, people will get injured due to the pure physicality of the game, it’s inevitable. If you start banning people for things like that, the game would become a farce.

  15. Seiko

     /  April 15, 2013

    Alpy – How to get cited – supplied by ribs on Leinsterfans.

    17.14.2 wrote:
    Disciplinary Committees or Judicial Officers shall undertake an
    assessment of the seriousness of the Player’s conduct, which constitutes
    the offending and categorise the offence as being at the lower end, mid
    range or top end of the scale of seriousness in order to identify the
    appropriate entry point for consideration of a particular incident(s) where
    such incident(s) is expressly covered in Appendix 1. Such assessment of
    the seriousness of the Player’s conduct shall be determined by reference to
    the following features of offending:
    (a) The offending was intentional, that is, committed intentionally or deliberately;
    (b) The offending was reckless, that is the Player knew (or should have
    known) there was a risk of committing an act of Illegal and/or Foul Play;
    (c) The gravity of the Player’s actions in relation to the offence:
    (i) Nature of actions, manner in which offence committed
    including part of body used i.e. fist, elbow, knee or boot;
    (ii) The existence of provocation and whether the Player acted in
    retaliation and/or self-defence;
    (d) The effect of the offending Player’s actions on the victim (i.e. extent
    of injury, removal of Player from game);
    (e) The effect of offending Player’s actions on the game;
    (f) The vulnerability of victim Player including part of victim’s body
    involved/affected, position of Player, ability to defend himself;
    (g) The level of participation in the offending and level of premeditation;
    (h) Whether the conduct of the offending Player was completed or
    amounted to an attempt;
    (i) Any other feature of the Player’s conduct which constitutes the
    offending.

    • That is not the citing criteria but the disciplinary criteria, right? Many boxes ticked by the incident.

      • Seiko

         /  April 15, 2013

        The citing commissioner would use the same set of criteria to evaluate whether the player has anything to answer for. All the citing commissioner is doing is sending it to a higher ‘court’. With regard to POC, I’d say.
        a – no, b – no, c – ? (spontaneous reaction).
        (i) not many would use their shin as an offensive weapon!
        (ii) d – Yes
        e) – No
        f) – 50/50
        g) No
        h) No
        i) No.

        The effect of the offending Player’s actions on the victim (i.e. extent
        of injury, removal of Player from game); is the only item that would be of concern – but then again when you look at the replay, Dave took a bit of a bang when his head hit the ground. From what I’ve seen it was more his face that O’Connell’s shin made contact with.

        • I only get 2 nos (a and h), so I think we should leave that one because clearly you have watched the incident from a different perspective.

          • Seiko

             /  April 16, 2013

            Just as well you are not a Citing Commissioner – they’d end up very busy with you involved!

            I think rugby is a dangerous sport and players get accidentally injured all the time. A few years back Paddy Wallace was getting a lot of head injuries in the 6Ns, most thought it was unfortunate and would suggest that it was Paddy getting his head in the wrong places. Your thought process would suggest that whoever was doing the damage to Paddy was reckless with Paddy’s safety. Where do you stop – should Paul O’Connell have something to answer for that time his knee banged against Brian O’Driscoll in the 6Ns a few years ago and looked to have concussed his own teammate?

    • ORiordan

       /  April 16, 2013

      I don’t know if regulation 17.14.2 applies to citing – I read it as being applied when they have already decided it is a red card offence and the regulation is used to determine the punishment!

      I thought the citing officer just decides if they believe an offence should have warranted a red card. The disciplinary committee can subsequently reject this (as they did with Ferris in the 2012 6N), or if they concur that it should be a red card, they determine the punishment.

      If you look at citings published by the Pro12, ERC, 6N and other competition, the citing refers to the *law* that has been broken, not the disciplinary regulations.

      The laws themselves lay out what is a penalty offence, but they don’t prescribe to the referee if a particular offence should result in a player being cautioned, yellow carded or red carded.

      I don’t know what the instructions are to referees to decide upon caution, yellow or red, but this is an area where the authorities can tell referees to impose a punishment – like mandating a tip tackle is a red card offence irrespective of intent.

      • Chogan (@Cillian_Hogan)

         /  April 16, 2013

        The law broken was:

        10.4(c)
        Kicking. A player must not kick an opponent.

  16. Patrick

     /  April 15, 2013

    So then, a- not intentional, ok. B – swing a boot in the general direction of a players head = reckless (and if he’d missed his head he would have prob broken his arm). C- gravity of his actions? Pretty bloody serious I’d say, how often even these days do you see some one out cold. D- the effect? Removal of the player from the game, and the next few games. E – effect on the outcome of the game? Reckon he’s ok on this one. F – vulnerability of the injured party…. Not even going to bother here. G – ok, wasn’t premeditated. H – nice follow through, must have been watching the golf. I – not even sure what this one means.

    So poc didn’t warrant a citing on 5 of those 9 criteria…. Since when did you have to break all the rules befor it matters? After all the talk last week about how much the performance meant to the players families and he gos and does this? The guy outa be ashamed of himself and if integrity meant anything he should stand himself down. Aside from this weekend, how many red cards has he gotten in the last few years? He needs to cop himself on before he seriously, and permanently, injures someone

  17. To start, I’m a Leinster fan going back to the days of Slats and Ollie Campbell. I’ve looked at the replay a good few times now and there seems to be something in it, which has gotten very little attention. When Kearney hits the ground practically all the players around him stop what they’re doing, thinking he’s winded or maybe injured. He then proceeds to try and feed the ball to the Leinster players behind him with his right arm. On seeing this, and presuming correctly, that play is still continuing – which I guess it was -, Paulie pounces. Sure, it was reckless and dangerous, but he made a split second decision to try and prevent Leinster retaining posession, which didn’t work out too well. It might be better in such situations to have a citing official from a neutral country, ‘cos there was no way any Paddy’s gonna cite Paulie with the Clermont match in the offing. Are you mad? Personally, the professional foul stuff – e.g. Downey taking out BO’D for the Jones try – annoys me more, than PO’C misjudged kick past/at Kearney’s head.

  18. TJ Hooker

     /  April 16, 2013

    The Munster vs. Leinster bickering on this comments thread is depressing. Re. the POC incident (I’ve just watched it again): he was clearly going for the ball, but it was reckless, and had he been cited he couldn’t have complained – it was probably deserving of a one or two match ban, nothing more.
    I wonder if the Munster/Leinster fanboy bickering is a symptom of Ireland’s lack of Test match success – it’s probably more comforting for fans to retreat to their provincial colours where they can feel some gratification. It just strikes me as a little bit pathetic – nobody should be under any illusions that Test match rugby is the real deal – this provincial pettiness is relatively small time stuff. Let’s just say the world doesn’t exactly hold its breath for a Munster vs Leinster Rabo encounter.

    • I agree with the depressing element – and we’ve no desire to let this descend further. I think I’m going to close comments on this piece

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