Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Ford and Gray Cited

Ross Ford tackles a Samoan - pic © Al Ross
Ross Ford tackles a Samoan - pic © Al Ross

Never mind the fact that Scotland’s players resisted several attempts at decapitation, and were facing a Samoa team that should have been reduced to 14 for persistent infringing at least once in each half but now comes the real humdinger from World Rugby, with news that an Australian has taken the opportunity to cite two Scotland players for dangerous tackles just in time to remove them from the game against, ooh, Australia:

“The following players have been cited or received Citing Commissioner Warnings after matches on 10 October.

Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (Scotland) – Citing

Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (Scotland) have been cited by independent Citing Commissioner Scott Nowland (Australia) for an alleged act of foul play contrary to Laws 10.4(e) and 10.4(j) during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B match between Samoa and Scotland at St James’ Park, Newcastle, on  Saturday, 10 October. Law 10.4(e) deals with dangerous tackles and Law 10.4(j) deals with lifting tackles.

The hearing will take place at 11:00 on Tuesday, 13 October, at the offices of RWC 2015 official law firm Clifford Chance in London. The case will be heard by independent Judicial Officer Christopher Quinlan QC (England).

David Pocock (Australia) – Citing Commissioner Warning

David Pocock (Australia) has received a Citing Commissioner Warning from independent Citing Commissioner Steve Hinds (New Zealand) for a breach of Law 10.4(a) during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match between Australia and Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, 10 October.

Under the Rugby World Cup 2015 disciplinary programme, a Citing Commissioner Warning equates to a yellow card for the purposes of sanction. A combination of three yellow cards or Citing Commissioner Warnings accumulated during the tournament will result in a hearing. Pocock is therefore free to play in Australia’s quarter-final against Scotland.”

The tackles were so memorable that no-one remembers them and the TMO didn’t spot them during the game which might point to minor offences. However it doesn’t look great if this is the one:

(vid – twitter/@gavinc42)

Both decisions on our boys if upheld would leave Scotland very short of bench depth next Sunday with Kevin Bryce the replacement hooker and no fourth lock in the squad.

183 Responses

  1. So hearing that Ford and J Gray have been cited for offences related to dangerous tackles and lifting tackles. Anyone see any of that on Saturday? Hearing tomorrow to see if they will be banned :S

    Regardless of whether you want Brown to start losing Ford from the 23 would be pretty awful given the replacement is a very inexperienced Bryce. Losing Gray would obviously be an unmitigated disaster as we only have 3 locks. Can you call up a replacement in that case??

    Incidently Pocock also got cited but only a warning so he will be fine to play against us. So much sigh.

    1. We’ve not had a lot of joy with the citing commissioners so far. So many dangerous tackle/plays against us but nothing pursued!

      1. Yep, it’s like the 6 nations all over again, bad tackles have been rife from seemingly everyone except us (and certainly against us) this tournament and have too often gone unpunished. Would be pretty typical for us to be the ones to take the hit. #ScottishOptimism

    2. ‘Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (Scotland) – Citing

      Ross Ford and Jonny Gray (Scotland) have been cited by independent Citing Commissioner Scott Nowland (Australia) for an alleged act of foul play contrary to Laws 10.4(e) and 10.4(j) during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B match between Samoa and Scotland at St James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday, 10 October. Law 10.4(e) deals with dangerous tackles and Law 10.4(j) deals with lifting tackles.

      The hearing will take place at 11:00 on Tuesday, 13 October, at the offices of RWC 2015 official law firm Clifford Chance in London. The case will be heard by independent Judicial Officer Christopher Quinlan QC (England).’

      Australian citing commissioner, I notice. I’m saying nothing…

    3. Laughable. Simply laughable. So Pocock gets a warning. Those tackles weren’t even mentioned during the game were they? If these are upheld then something stinks to high heaven. Are the citing commissioners on commission? Hope the SRU face up more than they did during the Russell incident.

  2. I was furious when I first heard about this. Unfortunately having watched the footage going around on Twitter, it doesn’t look great. Ford might be treated leniently but Jonny Gray does lift the guy up and turn him on his head. I think we’ll be lucky to see him again in the tournament if we get past the Aussies.

    1. Fair enough but again consistency is at the core of this. Samoa and SA were having a field day with high tackles and nothing. Pocock knew what he was doing and lashed out. Nothing. Has anyone heard anything regarding Sean O’Brien? Not a peep out of the citing comissioner over his indiscretion. Looks like now were in the knockout stage we’re the minnow and receiving the treatment that Tier 2 teams were receiving in the pools stage.

      1. I agree that some of the high tackles from Samoa and South Africa were ridiculous, and the fact that the citing commissioner is Australian makes it difficult to stomach as well. However, if you watch the video objectively it’s still difficult to make a case for defending Jonny. I hope Ford gets off because I don’t think he’s really done anything; he just happened to be the other person clearing out the Samoan player.

      2. Yeah, it is going to be touch and go. He definitely lifts but does he lift him beyond horizontal or is it just his body position that causes the lifted player to go head first into the turf?

      3. It looks like Jonny turns him right over to me, unfortunately, rather than it being down to body position. We’ll have to wait and see what the citing commission think.

  3. Referee couldn’t have had a better view of it, saw it in real time and gave a penalty for holding on. Anyone know who is on the citing committee. SRU need to fight this.

      1. I would not rely on an even break from an English QC. Could have been worse, could have got an Irish guy.

    1. It was right under Jaco Peyper’s nose. He saw it and let it go as did the TMO – now we have another guy coming in. Where does this stop? Do we have a “Citing Commissioner Supervisor” to pick up something the Citing guy missed?
      OK – we want this to be as hard and fair as it can possibly be – but this is laughable. If the TMO is doing his job, and indeed listening to the games, they are, there should be no need for a Citing Officer. OK, Thug O’Brien would have escaped, but it has to end somewhere. On the pitch is my preference. If you are picked up you will be sanctioned, if not what the hell are the referee, his assistants and the TMO there for and doing?

  4. Until Scotland get some international refs we will always be treated like this. An Aussie citing the game, laughable. Sean o Thug will no doubt get away scot free as the IRB is a big Irish boys club all sitting in Dublin drinking Guinness

      1. And the citing officer who cited him is Scottish, apparently. So we do have at least one person up in the IRB…

  5. It’s certainly a red card offence from Jonny Gray and will probably get three weeks a la Warburton in 2011. Why’s he lifting someone’s legs in a ruck? Silly. All Ford’s doing is a exhibiting his poor clean out technique. But yeah the ruling is open to criticism because of the consistency of leniency on the ‘big’ teams.

    Also why would an Aus citing commissioner care what the Samoans did? They aren’t playing them on Sunday …

  6. Best line of defence might be it was a poorly executed ruck clear out and not a tackle so tackle laws aren’t applicable. Need to go have a look at the rule book!

  7. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The absurdity and unfairness of this is appaling, given the ‘exocet’ nature of Samoan decapitation; sorry I mean tackling.
    The fact that it’s an Australian doing the citing stinks. There has to be a serious conflict of interest here?
    If the SRU don’t fight this,they’re more gutless than I thought.

    1. It depends whether world rugby abides by any kind of ethical standards. If they do then this should be reported as a conflict of interest for sure. If they do and this citing is not flagged as CoI then the standards themselves fall well short of expected ethical standard norms i.e. corruption permissible until standards are updated. If they don’t have ethical standards then it’s open season…imho

  8. Pietersen on Swinson was only deemed unintentional and no further citing. In the interests of fairness both should just be given warnings.

  9. Just saw the clip. Looks like a clumsy bit of clear out and definitely not a tackle. In any case, impact cushioned by the bodies in the melee. But that’s just an opinion. I saw worse on Saturday and the Saturday before that from the Samoa and Saffer decapitation squads…

  10. That’s a ban. For both I’d say. Lifted above the parallel and dumped on head. From that angle, they look bang to rights. Bad times for Scotland I think.

    Worth mentioning,this has nothing to do with the officer being an Aussie. I’d imagine the tackles were discounted because they were borderline enough to not warrant any more action.

  11. One things for sure, we don’t carry any luck when it comes to citings, do we? Hard to defend them but worse has went unpunished this WC. Does anyone know if we can call up replacements and if so who? Jeez this has seriously ruined my day.

    1. Sadly, as far as I’m aware, replacements only allowed for injured players.

      Gray is probably goosed ( just hope he’s back for the final ;-) ), but if Ford gets a ban I think we should riot.

  12. Looks to me like a clear lift of the leg from behind from Gray. Worth a ban I’m afraid. Ford, not so much, wouldn’t even be penalised for that in a game if the ref saw it. Gray’s hope is that it’s looked at as Jack Lam trying to fall over and present the ball after the turnover, and that Jonny just caught him in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  13. More laughable nonsense from “world” rugby. Absolutely embarrassing. It’s time for a players union which drives policy instead of the weak minded individuals who weren’t good enough in the first place to play international rugby trying to make a name for themselves.

  14. At first, I thought Ford had nothing to do with it, but both players are clearly holding a leg each. That doesn’t mean they are both contributing equally to the downward trajectory of the Samoan player. The Samoan actually makes it a head/neck issue by being so tenacious in his limpet/jackal position (not saying it’s his fault, just that his shoulders and head were already so low that the physics of any kind of tackle on his lower body would naturally arrow his upper body down into the turf). Neither are malicious players, and it seems like one of those unfortunate situations where they’ve both added momentum to that downward trajectory.

    Re an Australian CC, I agree that there’s a conflict of interest, which World Rugby should address, and this is really disappointing. Let’s not start on the conspiracy route, though – it’ll just give us ulcers! And let’s avoid getting in our excuses before Sunday. We can still win whatever happens with this citing, although this would be a blow, no doubt.

  15. If there hadn’t been two of them making the tackle from opposite sides at the same time, I’m pretty sure the Samoan would have moved sideways, not forward and down. Because they both applied force, from the back and side, the only way the energy could be released was by taking the Samoan forward and down. This is really unfortunate but it does look bad. Presumably, there isn’t a physicist on the panel?

  16. My concern is what this might do to the all important and rare team belief of the lads…Lamont only just mentioned how good the team spirit is – I hope it is big enough to take this.

  17. Understand the frustration, but look how the player is put down. On his head, with his neck bending.

    It isn’t good, and player welfare needs to come first. I don’t care what nation they come from I don’t want to see people getting disabling injuries.

  18. If J Gray gets a ban I wonder whether that will incline Cotter towards playing two 7s? With a back row of Strauss, Hardie and Cowan – Wilson and Denton (covering second row) on the bench. I’ve got poor form with such predictions, so probably not.

  19. It could be a game well suited to swinson, I think they’ll start with their strongest team on the park and go from there. Denton does enough to start, certainly playing better than Strauss for me.

    I”d start with same backrow as Saturday with Cowan on the bench. In fact, we are likely to see the same team apart from the potential bans I think.

    1. Aye, benching Denton was not performance based, but reflecting the fact that we do not have a back up lock in the squad. I think Denton has been considered as second row cover before, though Strauss or Cowan may be equally applicable.

    2. Denton loses his place cos however much good he does he makes glaring errors like drops an easy restart and gives away too many penalties. It costs the team too much. Without him we would have had 4 penalties against SA. Which was an incredible number.

  20. It looks like jonny lifts the chaps leg but doesn’t make any downward force at all but it’s Ross Ford’s clear out that makes the chap fall on his head. JP Pieterson’s tackle was deemed an accident but clearly endangered his opponent so should have at least seen yellow. There is no way that both players came up with the cunning plan to do this together. So based on Pieterson it should be a slap on the wrists. I doubt that’ll happen. Can’t believe after all Samoa and South Africa did to us it’s Scotland who get cited. Unbelievable

  21. I guess world rugby has to figure what is in the sport’s best interest…they can afford to upset scotland with little fear of significant repercussions…afterall it’s a small rugby nation with a relatively weak voice. Perhaps we didn’t read the script written after the Japanese beat RSA – who knows?!

    Doesn’t matter either way, nothing is going to change the immediate future. The lads just got to play with the cards their dealt.

  22. Seen the incidents and Ford will be ok and Gray will not for the many similar reasons stated. My beef is that citing officer must be unbiased and neutral and you can’t be with the likely outcome being a QF against your homeland and that needs addressed. Some parts of the game are professional while others still reek of an amateurish nature.

    I wonder on a separate note whether coming into this group after our final warm-up against France; are we a better team than we all expected? If you took out the interceptions which we’ve done well with but a risky play, have we shown ability to control, to dominate a game, to follow the game plan by given by coaches, have solid set pieces & restarts.

    I personally think we are no better than we were in the 6 nations where we did play some good rugby but when it was poor, it was awful and we don’t have that consistency of performance, nor enough players with real belief to worry the big teams. Samoa were poor in the tournament and Japan were better and I am delighted with the luck that we had Samoa in our group and that Japan had 4 days to prepare for us. That South Africa got Japan out the blocks cause that could have been us and then Samoa took the pain of that result from South Africa. Our 4 day turnaround saw us play USA by far the weakest team in the group and that Vern quite rightly managed to rest partially injured players for the Samoa game.

    We do not have the leadership. Ireland lose O’Connell & Sexton first half and there isn’t one of us that didn’t think the French were going to turn the screw 2nd half, BOD’s face was white at the interval before the restart. 2nd half they galvanised, cut out their basic errors, strengthened in set pieces, put pressure on the French and scored tries. Under pressure we splinter, actually we are worse than that. We lose concentration after we score 3pts or a try and give the opposition the impetus.

    Denton will never be a good no 8, so he needs to be dropped from team. Strauss obvious replacement. Russell, Scott & Bennett were all poor and I would put Horne in for Scott. Hogg I would now consider dropping. He ain’t right both physically & mentally. Brown would be in instead of Ford as we need players into contact areas with Hooper & Pocock. That means also that 6 Cowan & 7 Hardie. I’m sorry for J Gray but expect him to be banned so Swinson will play. Still think Gilchrist is a large miss for the team.

      1. Same here, yesterday it was first mentioned in the news section of the RWC website so I reckon thats worth keeping an eye on. Do we think no news is good news at this stage? Is it the case that they haven’t announced yet because we got off so its not a big deal, or because they are considering an appeal or whatever…

  23. Jamie – have we improved since the 6 Nations? We probably are improving, but development is a gradual process. We’ve played to our seeding, which was an achievement in itself, since we had two teams in Japan and Samoa that are in the same ‘zone’ of the rankings over the medium-term.
    I think you could calm down a bit with the undermining of the team though. They beat Japan 45 – 10. SA and Samoa were both well geared up for Scotland, and how would Japan have fared against the fired up SA that we faced? All the teams faced similar turnarounds; swings and roundabouts. We scored 14 tries in the group stages, which is a notable improvement on the last RWC. We’re struggling in the 6N, which I agree is thoroughly depressing. However, the margins are very fine. For ten years we drifted well off the pace whilst other teams improved, and we’re finding it hard to get back to that level. Some of our most talented players are very young though. As they gain experience and harden (look at how Seymour has gone from decent to very good over the last three or four years), that will shrink the margin and we need another similarly rich cohort following up. All of the other teams haven’t suddenly become sh1te. Shifting up that table will require these young players improving and hardening through their careers with great coaching staff. It’s a process, but we actually have the raw material now, as well as good coaching. Like Solomon’s mantra for Edinburgh – start by winning your home games. We need to make sure we beat Italy (the one 6N team that I think are really below our level, though they always target us for the win)consistently. Then start picking off away wins. It’s incremental.
    Has Strauss played that much better than Denton this tournament? I would rather see Denton at 6, but don’t think he should be dropped. Bennett was probably poorer than Scott (Samoa had joy in that 13 channel) but should either be getting ‘dropped’ on the basis of that game. Hoggy’s played 4/4, so a stint on the bench may help, but he has the potential x-factor and won’t Vern hedge on that one in a quarter final against the second seeds?

    1. We were seeded third in the group and at various times were also ranked below Samoa and only separated by Japan by a few ranking places.

      I think our results demonstrated we remain a class above the tier 2 sides despite what our detractors say. Samoa gave us a scare but good teams find a way to eke out wins when they play poorly.

      So – it has unquestionably been a successful tournament. Have we improved? I think we have improved in some areas and revealed new weaknesses elsewhere. But the pressure of world cups is intense; England collapsed under it, Samoa collapsed under it, SA nearly collapsed under it. Our squad will be all the better for the experience as we are still a callow side in lots of key positions.

      Hopefully before the 6N we’ll continue to develop with the input of some new coaches. We still need to become much better at the breakdown and restarts but in general we are in pretty good health.

      1. I just think there is a long way to go. Its one thing to look good against Japan and Samoa but quite another to compete with the top teams. At present we are probably about the 7th or 8th best team in the World but miles behind the best. The result against SA proves a point. I think we are only slightly better than we were in the 6 nations. To prove that we have really improved we have to be able to beat one of the top 5.

    2. I agree, we have improved since the 6 Nations, and the margins were very fine then.
      Look to how our “B” Team pushed Ireland in the warm ups and we could (should) have beaten France. Games like the one against Samoa, in the past, we would have lost. So the improvement is definitely there.

      The wins against Italy, Japan and USA show that we can be dangerous in attack when the game dynamics allow. Physically, bossing the Samoans in the Scrum and Maul was very impressive.

      The two things that need improving are as have been mention elsewhere;

      1) The restarts
      2) Slow starts / Letting the opponents get on the front foot early.

      I take heart that that was our youngest squad on average out there on Saturday, so with more experience, the team should start notching up the 6N wins.

      A win against the aussies on Sun will give them so much confidence going into the Semis and you just never know. I think we are the most injury free team so anything can happen.

    3. Agree with all of that. Marginal improvements and reversing the results of last marginal games against France (x 2), Wales, Ireland and Italy (6 Nations) would put an altogether different patina on things. The restart and breakdown are perennial problems that present a very clear target for the coaches and players to overcome. Take those issues away and life should be substantially less stressful. It’s interesting that we’ve gone from being a first half team (leading most of our 6 N matches at 40 mins) to a second half team. Just need to bring it all together!
      Thanks for the correction on the seeding FF – so we’ve actually played beyond our seeding (and the predictions of most ‘neutrals’ prior to the tournament). I’m happy with what the team have achieved and I am impressed with the way Vern has managed the squad.

    4. Matto, thanks for your reply. Perhaps I’m being harsh but just thought we’d kick on and perform better as the tournament went on. So infuriating when we continue to make the same basic errors we’ve been making since 6N. If I hear again that the coaches were annoyed/irate/unhappy that the players hadn’t followed their game plan going in at half time, I’ll scream. Strauss is better than Denton and Strokosch would be in at 6 before Denton. Hogg is a class player but is in danger of not fulfilling that promise. Wouldn’t say he has pushed on from lions selection but as you said young players need time. Perhaps coming on 2nd half would be a better option. Think Horne is a better and more intelligent player than Scott even if he doesn’t have the running power. Glasgow would not have got to Pro12 final without Horne’s ability to play in a number of positions, intelligent kicking, good lines of running gambling on players to offload from first defender. Also Scott has a tendency to drift, does not trust his outside teammate to get his man so moves to cover leaving gaps inside. Just think with Russell, Hogg & Bennett with potential X-factor plus Seymour & Maitland as strong runners, we need a Mike Catt / Matt Giteau figure at 12.

      1. Yep. Dunbar. Aslo gives an extra presence at the breakdown, got a few turnovers in the 6 Nations if I remember correctly.

  24. Just saw this, can’t believe it! I said after the match that although the Samoan decapitation squad got off with murder we had a few questionable tackles ourselves and that overall it was probably fair enough. But for us to get 2 players cited is ridiculous. I watched the match twice and never even noticed this. We actually had a couple of worse tackles that I thought might have been this.

    That said I think there could be trouble ahead for jonny boy. Neither of them did anything bad individually but it’s the combined actions of them both that created the danger. Ford was trying to clear the guy out when gray lifted him, ford’s pushing forced him down and caused gray to fall on top. It depends how you interpret the case and the laws, it was a ruck so do tackle laws apply? It was a combined effort so do you have to say that they both conspired to make it a dangerous tackle, highly unlikely. That said it is very clear that if you lift a player you are responsible for ensuring their safety, jonny did not do that. What the hell was he lifting him for anyway?

    We need clarification on refereeing, this cups been a bit of a shambles. From the outset with the given then chalked off tries and all the high tackles. How far can citing commissioners go? I think they should only have power to cite over genuinely dangerous or dirty play, punching, stamping, tripping, proper spear tackles etc or off the ball stuff. Otherwise if the ref and tmo don’t have a problem then you get off with it. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    1. Your last paragraph encapulates what I said above. Spot on in my view. This was right under the referees nose.

  25. I really don’t believe we have seen everything the lads have worked under BVC’s tutelage…I believe the Ozzies should be a little worried that there is something coming at them (from set pieces) that they wont know how to immediately counter.

    Question, is it enough of a worry that the Ozzies would seek to do something about it ahead of the game?

    1. I really don’t think they are worried. They put 20 points on England at Twickenham. When was the last time Scotland did that? Our best hope is if the Ozzies are complacent

    1. I don’t believe that was unduly negative. Realistic is how I would describe it. This WC is too early for these guys. For 2019, we need to retain Cotter, bring in a top notch forwards coach, develop, mentor and blood some of the young talent to add competition for places. I would not be too surprised to see an increase in the player pool from 31 to 35/ 36 to offset the short turnaround criticism. So we need more strength in depth than we currently have. All in all an improvement, albeit incremental. If nothing else we have rediscovered how to score tries when the chips are down.

      1. I believe we are playing better than we were 18 months ago. We can now score tries for a start. I just think we need more power in the forward pack and much more strength in depth. If only we had more pro teams we would achieve the latter.

      2. That sums our position up nicely Mike, I would just add that we should continue to identify possible qualifiers from the Southern Hemisphere as Hardie, Nel, Strauss and Maitland have made a real difference to our team. They’ve brought a harder edge to the team and like most SH players seem to do the right thing with ball in hand under pressure. I’d like to see Strauss included from the start this week as he always seems to make yards going forward and is very good at clearing players out.

    2. Rory, I didn’t think your article was over the top either. See my post of 6.41 pm yesterday in the Samoa match report thread for my copyrighted four-point master plan to defeat Australia this Sunday!

    3. I think you’re right in that, to date, this team/squad hasn’t given us any hard evidence (i.e. results against top opposition) that they can pull this off. It’s almost certainly a World Cup too soon. However, there are other indicators that they might just give someone a real scare or even a real shock. It’s unlikely that’ll be Sunday, but we have some genuine weapons and our mixed performances mean we’re coming in under the radar a bit, so if we do happen to ‘click’, this could be a great experience. That’s why I am simultaneously expecting to lose (emotion-management) and expecting us to win (why not??!).

    4. Did you miss a ‘not’ in the last line of the ‘Let’s be clear’ paragraph? (i.e. “…despite them not putting in…)?

  26. In regards coaching the national team, BVC has brought in backs coach to further strengthen an area where we are gaining parity if not better with 6N rivals. I’m not arguing with it but wonder if forwards coaching needs addressing quicker? Will Humphreys be retained and just as important what’s the plan to improve top level coaching by Scots?

    Isn’t it a bit embarrassing that next lions tour to New Zealand likely to have a New Zealander coaching it whether from Wales, Ireland or Scotland. And we don’t know who England’s next coach may be.

    Think Shade deserves to be invited to the top table after years of progression with Glasgow and has been insulted with his new role. Not against women’s rugby and it’s coaching, but it’s in its infancy. I wouldn’t offer the factory manager a job supervising on the line.

    1. I think Scotland need the very best forwards coach we can afford. Look at the impact Borthwick has had on the Japan lineout, Ledesma has had on the Australian scrum and Les Kiss has had on the Irish breakdown work. Shade is a fine coach and an honourable man but is he good enough to coach an ambitious test team woth pretensions of becoming 6N Champions? I don’t think so. Glasgow’s scrum and lineout defence has always been a weak point and GT felt the need to bring in a new coach. That is hardly a huge vote of confidence.

      I hope Cotter cans Humphries and brings in someone who can move our breakdown work forward. No idea who…

      1. Richie Gray the Other? Surely he must be getting fed up of all that nice weather and high quality rugby?

      2. What is Hines official role atm? Is he sitting in the wings to take over from Humps? Let’s also remember we have gone from a forwards and a scrum coach to one man doing both

      3. I hope Hines is getting a taste. He would be a good start if we could team him up with a front row specialist. Want to see the end of Humps – not added a lot in my view. Hines and Coter go back a bit, so would be a good fit. Unlike Toonie and Robinson, again, albeit, it got Toonie on the road.

      4. No disrespect to Hines but I want to see a tested and proven coach over a recently retired international with no coaching experience who has been parachuted in. Just ask the kiwis how that has worked for them in the past

      5. Totally agree. Shade is not the man for this. I could live with “cage fighter” Hines (as one of my English friends called him) if we got a top notch front row guy. Or, as a, bit of lateral thinking, get a really good front row guy into Glasgow to bring on Fagerson and D’arcy Rae.

      6. Agree. Some high quality forwards coaches at both Glasgow and Edinburgh would benefit the Scottish pack.
        Realistically, we need a couple more professional teams to boost player development as I don’t think having just the two teams is sustainable for the long run.

        The one advantage we have over the English is that we don’t penalize players for going and playing in a different country. #RFUmuppets

      7. Angus, I hear what you are saying, but what was Cotter? A very hard nosed Kiwi Flanker. He can take the lead, let Hines learn from him, give his input into line out and defence. Toonie got parachuted in and look at the dividends that has paid. SRU don’t have limitless funds. Take the plunge on Mr Nasty.

      8. Not been a big fan of Humphries. I think the forward pack has struggled under his watch. Cotter cut his teeth as a forward coach so he may have a plan to get more hands on there. Would be happy to see Ritchie Gray return from South Africa though if the SRU can afford him.

      9. Hi Mike. I don’t questions Hines ability to learn. I just don’t believe anyone should b starting their coaching career at international level

        PS happy to come over and look after the scrum

  27. Joubert to ref out quarter with Glen Jackson on one touch and Gauzere of France on the other

    Without wanting to appear negative – bloody hell we are screwed :(

    Incidentally this hearing has now lasted longer than England were in the cup

      1. Joubert has had some right stinkers in the past. Thankfully, I haven’t seen him do too badly at this tournament.

        The one thing with Joubert though, I always thought he was a bit of a pre-madonna for the cameras.

        The bonus is that with the TMOs now able to chirp up, unless they completely miss something, dodgy ref calls / non calls are getting picked up more now.

        Lasted longer than England in the tournament.. rofl..

    1. Taffs v SA have the combination from hell, Barnes with the whistle, Clancy and JP Doyle with the flags.

      1. Thats Ok. Dan Biggar will be on hand to point out every infringement that they might miss.

        Joking aside, I thought the refs were supposed to be cracking down on this.

      1. I agree, we weren’t going to get Owens again. I would have been ok with Poite, so of the Southern Hemisphere boys, not too bad. I thought he was pretty good in his last game.

  28. Tick tock, tick tock.
    Goodness, how time flies…..
    Hope they’ve finished hearing in time for Sunday’s game.

    1. Hearing will be finished, but they had a fair list of “offenders” – no doubt they are working on a press release why Thug O’Brien has been exonerated whilst Gray and Ford get about 5 weeks each. Grrrrr.? ?

    2. By the way, the Oz who cited our guys was the Citing Commisioner for the last RWC Final and missed Rougerie having a go at McCaw.

      1. Are these guys assigned to individual matches.. coz if thats the case, then what numpty-heid thought putting an Oz on the Scotland match would be a good idea considering it was likely to be Scotland V Australia….

    1. Fair enough lol.. Kind of explains how England, Australia and Wales ended up in the same group.

      1. Simples, the Taffs got greedy, played an extra game, lost, and dropped out of the top eight. Moral, don’t ever be greedy. The Taffs got off with it this time. I expect an ugly game at the weekend. Two physical sides who only know route one rugby. Saffers to win, but not by a lot, if for no other reason they are harder than the Taffs, whatever the Taffs think, plus most, if not all of the Saffers are fit. A spectacle of running rugby it will NOT be.

      2. Will be crash ball versus the rolling obstruction. Won’t be much guile on show but both teams could show our guys a thing or two about grunt.

    2. You may well write GRUNT in capital letters as I have just done. Plus BOSH and BASH. Let us not go down this road. Guile, speed and a bit of cunning are far better.

  29. Did you see the officials for the game?

    Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
    Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Pascal Gauzere (France)
    TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

    Could have done with a N hemisphere ref ideally, but Joubert is OK

  30. Under Rugby World Cup rules the judicial officer has 24 hours to issue his findings in writing. Its looking like it will be tomorrow morning before we find out what has been decided.

    1. Banned for three weeks and out of the world cup. Meanwhile O’Brien gets one week, reduced from 2 due to his ‘remorse’

  31. 3 Weeks?? What a F**KING joke. OBrian gets one week and Pocock is free to play. Talk about get shafted right up the SHI**ER.

  32. Disgusting and beyond belief. Time for the SRU to finally make a stand against our country being treated with contempt by the so called big boys.

  33. The best thing Scotland can do is go win the World Cup and stick two fingers up to the IRB.

  34. FFS! Presumably they will appeal? No apparent consideration of previously good disciplinary records! Well if the team was short of motivation then they have something to be angry about now!

    1. With respect to the sanction, the Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point, namely four weeks. The Judicial Officer added one week for aggravation due to the need to deter this type of dangerous foul play. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the players’ conduct prior to and at the hearing, their expressions of regret, exemplary characters and excellent disciplinary records, the Judicial Officer reduced the suspension to a period of three weeks in respect of each player.

  35. Absolutely disgusted with that outcome. Clearly if your name and nationality fits, then the citing commission are a damn sight more lenient.

  36. England based Scot (for last 35 years). Thought I had seen it all. What a joke this lot are. Apparently SOB ban was reduced from 3w to just 1w due to his remorse ! Marcello Bosch of Argentina also gets just 1w for a tip tackle against Namibia. Gray and Ford get 3w. Sorry but can someone please explain to a rugby novice of 43 years how this works
    I’m really struggling to see any sort of consistency. Not even tried to be remotely subtle about it.

  37. Apparently it was actually a 5 week ban. 4 weeks (which apparently is coming in on the low end of the scale) plus 1 extra “to deter this kind of tackle”. Then reduced to 3 for good records of both and remorse etc. Would they dare make an example of any of the teams they actually expected to make the semis? I doubt it, S’OB and Pocock treatment says that much.

  38. Bosch one week for a dangerous (tip) tackle – come on!!!!!!!! SRU must appeal this in the light of these other decisions if nothing else. IMO Ford does nothing wrong but assist in a tackle, JG shouldn’t have lifted Lam’s (who wrote a letter in their defence) leg but he wasn’t dropped from any height!! Absolutely unbelievable!!

  39. What with O’Brien and Bosch both just getting one week bans, this just makes a total mockery of the citing commission and World Rugby. I’m not surprised yet at the same time, I’m stunned!

    1. To make matters worse, Bosch’s tackle was also a tip tackle and was much more dangerous, the player no longer had the ball and was lifted to Boschs’ chest height, tipped over and dropped. It is really extraordinary that the penalties for the same offense can have such disparity.

      1. I know, that’s exactly what I was thinking! Particularly when you think about the difference in the heights that the player went down from. Poor ruck clear out is obviously so much worse than a tip tackle- I’m astounded!

  40. Isn’t this just an example of the twisted logic of the RWC 2015. An Ozzie commissioner judging Scots just before their quarter final??? Fuck them all

  41. The entry level ban for the offence is four weeks according to the SRU tweet so they had it reduced for a week for good behaviour, past behaviour, remorse etc. In all fairness if it had happened to one of our players we would have been pretty irritated. But does seem to be a whiff of double standards that pocock gets away with a warning for a knee to the midriff when SOB gets a week for a punch to the midriff.Not to mention the plethora of Samoan high tackles which have been altogether ignored.
    Trying to look on the bright side, I think brown has been excellent when coming on, adding dynamism in the loose and is better over the ball than Ford. Swinsons also seemed pretty good in attack anyway. Also at least we have a smidgenif cover in these areas. If it had been nel we would really be up a gumtree.
    On the downside our lineout is now a bit of an unknown entity (to the fans at least) with a new hooker and new lineout caller, we have an extremely inexperienced hooker on the bench, and against a rejuvenated Aussie scrum as well!
    Now does this now mean that denton/wilson will be a second row sub rather than a back row starter? id be all in favour of Cowan and Hardie to counteract the threat of the pooper/hoocock. Both Denton and wilson seem to get isolated a bit too often as well for my liking. Leaves us pretty little go forward though.

  42. Right then…Scotland should just pull out of this RWC and blow this farce right open across the world media – this is just pure disingenuous application of the law. Enough!!!

    I am so angry and fed up of this brinkmanship!

  43. Ragin’ but it’s done.
    Can we afford to go into this match (which is still very winnable) without a specialist lock in the squad?

    1. We still have two specialist locks – Gray and Swinson. No replacement on the bench. I imagine Denton will have to cover and we’ll start Wilson, Strauss, Hardie. Strokosch will be too slow for the pace of the Australian game, he was picked to tackle solid Samoans, Saffas and Americans. Cowan is a possibility at 6 but that is a big call for a coach who left him out of the original squad.

      Let’s be honest we’re a bit screwed. This is the type of situation that some teams (the Welsh) thrive on, so it’ll be a big test of the resilience of the squad. Might as well go down fighting.

  44. Completely absurd- and the numerous high tackles in the SA and Samoa games require no investigation-of course not as there is a different thing for the top boys and the smaller boys- this is just as bad as Fifa

  45. There was no remorse cos they both contested that any foul play was done by either. They were sorry that any harm should come to the player which is different. Maybe they should have just said sorry and they would have got a one week ban like Sean O’Brien who apologised. Ridiculous and utterly unfair. Yet one week is just as useless as three at the moment. They will appeal.

    I’ve just watched back the Pieterson tackle on Swinson against South Africa and I feel Nigel Owens needed to be in on the hearing. He would have said that it was accidental (as it was) and no malice was intended (as it was) and that two players were involved doing two different things which contributed to the end result (which it was) and he would have awarded just a penalty and therefore nothing further needed.

    It’s incredible you punch somebody and get one, make a tackle which was landing a player on a ruck without any force and you get this result.

    Shocking!!! Think even Vern might have something to say on this.

  46. OK, its Rugby and we’re supposed to respect the officials. Need to take the high ground and go out and make an impact on the paddock. Ritchie and Swinson will be fine. Ritchie will be fired up for this. Just need to sort out who is making the lineout calls. Strauss, Wilson, Denton and Cowan can all cover the second row if they have to. Brown will be fine at Hooker. We don’t need any injuries but it will still be a decent starting team. Really need them to make a fast start this time.

    1. Denton is the obvious second row cover for scrummaging but the rest of the back row can all jump.

  47. Possible Team: Hogg, Seymour, Bennett, Scott, Maitland, Russell, Laidlaw;
    Dickinson, Brown, Nel, R Gray, Swinson, Wilson, Hardie, Strauss

    Replacements: Bryce, Reid, Welsh, Denton, Cowan, Pyrgos, Horne, Lamont

    1. Good team. Only possible changes I’d make would be Cowan for Wilson (combat Pocock/Hooper) and Horne for Scott (keep Glasgow units together plus Scott went backwards against Samoa).

  48. Totally crazy that Ford got any punishment for clearing. Gray did the lifting and Ford unfortunately was clearing at the same time. Understand Gray’s lifting the leg gets punished though overly excessive outcome – one game would be appropriate given the other punishments handed out. But Ford!! Pathetic decision and sad outcome for Scotland and rugby. Hope a strong appeal by SRU is made and they see an error has been made in the guilty verdict of Ford at least.

    1. It looked bad when you see it again. I think Rosco’s post sums it. With regret JG did lift the legs however RF was already commited to his , legal, act. Totally out of character for JG and RF has an experienced international with a clean record. Harsh, but we just need to put our energy into dealing with the match as it is disrupting our preparation. Lets start talking up the replacements who will bring a different but effective capability.

  49. They need to appeal this however it could be worse. Without prejudice to whether it was fair or consistent there is one positive aspect. As the SRU will not allow them to play for their pro side for two weeks after leaving the RWC the 3 week ban at this stage means they are no detriment by the punishment transferring to their home club. So they will serve it out in parallel with the SRU rest period. Off course if we Beat Australia, we will need them hence the need to appeal. Can we beat them? your guess is as good as mine but if we can disrupt and do not let them settle , if it all comes together on the day, they get yellow or a red card , etc. Largely whether we can or cant , is in the hands of the Australians. Off course they can do it, we will all watch on Sunday, not because we think Australia are maginificent and we cannot miss it, but because we are scots and we just hope that it might be that day that the rugby gods shine on us.

  50. Anyone read this article on the latest Argentina player citing ( Quote “Judicial Officer deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point of two weeks.” That’s right, two weeks…

    Then switch over to citing of Gray and Ford ( quote “deemed the act of foul play merited a low-end entry point, namely four weeks”…how come four weeks and not two weeks?

    Why is low-end entry point punishment resulting in two different ban durations?

    Is it related to, as another posted “One week per infiltrating bagpiper…”?

  51. Sorry but I am just p*$$€d off with this world cup.One high point (jappan v SA) the rest is just a joke.Big teams protected,referees inconsistant,joke tmo decisions.When is a game over,?when is an advantage over,?who knows.?
    saffer tip tackle,a penalty scots tip tackle,three week ban. Knee in the stomach,slapped wrist deliberate punch,one week ban take a man in the air and he lands on his neck,tut tut mr habanna ,don’t do it again .
    I am tired of trying to explain to non rugby types that we are a fair sport when it is becoming obvious that money is now corrupting it at the highest level.
    Yes johnny gray should have been yellow carded during the game ,but to get a three week ban after due to an incompetent tmo 3 days later based on an” independant”citing official is just wrong on so many levels.
    I may be speaking in anger but right npw I will not spend another penny on this so called sport .

  52. It is important the two bans are appealed. There is no doubt that the decision to appoint an Australian as citing commissioner for a match in which one of the teams was possibly, or one could say probably, going to meet Australia in the QF was a serious error. No one is suggesting the citing commissioner was prejudiced or corrupt. But someone in that role must have no link to a side that could benefit from his decision. It was incompetent to make such an appointment. The commissioner was independent in that he was unconnected to Scotland or Samoa but in a tournament divided into sections it is vital you appoint someone whose decision making cannot possibly be impugned. His country had a very clear interest in the outcome of the game and he and anyone with an ounce of savvy would know that he could have a huge influence on player availability in the
    very next round.The massive disparity between these two bans and the approach adopted in other cases, in
    which short bans or no bans at all were made, is obvious. I do not expect the appeals to be made or for any appeal, if made, to be upheld but we should take a stand if only to underline the incompetence of the IRB.

  53. One might note that aside from the many more difficult ways to complain about judges, tribunals and similar, as a barrister Christopher Quinlan QC is subject to the bar standards board. I note that certain of the rules apply to him at all times, including rule cd5 relating to public trust in the profession (something that one might argue is severely undermined by knowingly sitting on a disciplinary case cited by a supposedly independent person with with in fact an apparent clear bias in a very high profile and public arena). As a QC rather than a junior barrister Christopher Quinlan should perhaps be more conscious of this than most. I note there is a very accessible website.

    1. Of course anyone might disagree with all of that, which is only a blogger’s opinion.

  54. As an Australian ex international who has just posted a critique of unequal decision making (on the Irish Times sifht) – in relation to the Irish flanker’s punch – I agree, at first site, with Scottish indignation at the ban on the Scottish hooker (no 2 jersey).The video doesn’t convince me that that player has done anything wrong in respect of the alleged infringement.Perhaps he should have been penalised for the virtually unrelated fact that he was clearing the Samoan “victim” from the ruck from a position where he (the No 2 Scot) was off his feet but this is not relevant to the ban. I happen to be writing a lecture at present on the Magna Carta and the Rule of Law – including equality of treatment under the law and we are seemingly not seeing this in the judiciary decisions. I do NOT agree at all that the other Scottish player should not have received a ban. I have never known any of the “upending-beyond-the-horizontal” decisions to have been consciously deliberate; it’s just the result that counts; and the position the Scots player (no 5) puts the Samoan in is at the serious end of gravity I’m afraid. By the way, it doesn’t help to “deform” other incidents involving your competitors in order to claim “injustice”. Unless you have other footage, the Pockock “incident” wasn’t one and if you look all day you are not going to be able to claim that Pocock’s knee was actually in contact with anything; and his riposte with his arms is entirely permitted when a player is impeding another by hanging on. There was absolutely no intensity of movement from Pocock’s leg or knee whatsoever. There is an effort afoot at present to try to “see off ” this genius of the turnover and it is pretty transparent. What’s the point of winning if you get rid of opponents in this way. Incidentally the Australian citing official is not the decider of the infringement; its’ the UK QC. The citing clearly had to take place – obviously. Moaning about the Australian makes you look a little desperate which I’m sure you wouldn’t want.

    1. Thats all fine, and I’m not blaming the Australian citing official for being Australian, it does however appear to be a conflict of interests. Regardless, I would think that any nationality of official would probably have cited Gray (but maybe not Ford), so no big problem there.
      I think what most people are complaining about is the inconsistency in the bans, compare the Scotland and Argentina bans, Bosch gets 1 week for a very clearly dangerous tackle, Gray AND Ford both get 3 weeks for a less (but still cardable, at least on Grays part) offence.
      I couldn’t give a monkeys about Pococks “offence” as you say there is nothing there, he should be playing, I have no problem with that (other than the fact that he is too bloody good).

    2. Anthony why the need to come on here brandishing your high and mighty credentials and explain what most of us already know? Why cast accusations of desperation at a desperate situation?

      You ask for proof of disparity…why not look at JP Pietersons tackle on Tim Swinson in the 69` minute of SA vs Scotland game? The re-read your lecture and apply it to that tackle…Doesn’t add up does it?

      1. Derek, please accept my apology for my undue and unwarranted response.

        PS: I did actually try to edit my post to tone down my over zealous remark – didn’t get the revised edit posted in the time allowed. :/

    3. Anthony – even the citing officer report said that the offence was low entry point because it was not serious. He added a week as a deterrent to 5 weeks then took of two for mitigating factors.

      I’d dispute that a deterrent is necessary from what is acknowledged to be an accidental and clumsy tackle. I’d also dispute whether dropping a player from a height of a couple of inches warrants a red card at all. When Nigel Owens demurred from carding Pieterson it was precisely because of the lack of intent despiet Swinson striking the ground with his neck and head.

  55. I don’t understand why “tackle” law is being applied to this incident. A tip “tackle” is dangerous because the player has forward momentum and his head and neck start from a greater height, eg Bosch tackle (2 week ban).
    The Samoan here was stationary, with his head and neck low to the ground as he contested the ruck.
    The actions of both players individually are legitimate ruck clearance. As they act simultaneously it results in the player going over on his neck and shoulders.
    I don’t believe that it was deliberate, or even particularly dangerous, so why should the players admit to foul play?
    Sean O’Brien’s punch was so blatant that he had to admit to it. The respective 3wk and 1 wk bans are ridiculously unjust.

    1. Without being a stickler, Law 10.4 (j) relates specifically to:

      ‘Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are dangerous play.’still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground first is dangerous play’

      It’s a general law that applies to all parts of the game, so you can apply it to tackles, rucks, open play, mauls etc.

      If, for instance you were to tackle round the head then lift the guy and dump him on his shoulder you’d contravene law 10.4(e) (which deals specifically with conduct in the tackle) and 10.4(j) which is to do with the lifting element.

      1. So why is Bosch’s ban different to Grays?
        They both under that ruling, appear to be the same offence.

  56. Very disappointing given the massive inconsistency in the citing process and application of suspensions. It doesn’t sit right with me that actions which are deliberately intended to harm like a punch or a knee to a player prone in a ruck carry a lenient sentence where something that looks accidental carries such a large punishment. Also, I read that an extra week was added to the ban to set an example?! That’s complete nonsense. There have been far worse acts of foul play that should be made an example of than the Ford Grey incident. Given the laws of the game what happened probably does deserve a ban, but the process and inconsistency leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I feel more for the Samoan player banned for 5 weeks because the Japanese tackler gets his head in the wrong position. The whole thing needs a rethink in my opinion.

    So we lose Ford and Grey for the game against Oz. I’m excited to see Fraser Brown get a decent amount of game time as I think his carrying has been excellent and he looks explosive and aggressive going into contact which Ford sometimes lacks. He also brings some nouse to the breakdown so hopefully can win some turnovers. Gray is a loss. Swinson has played well but we’re now a lock down and relying on Denton most likely to fill in. This makes me nervous.

  57. Gray should probably get a ban, no way round that, length of ban is debatable. Ford has much more of a defence.

    The main issue is inconsistency. Bosch only gets on week for this:

    How can that be the case if Gray and Ford is worth 3 weeks each? The Namibia 10 is lifted pretty high and in effect dropped on his neck, legs way above the horizontal. Sure Bosch doesn’t actually let go of him but he’s certainly not supporting his weight or returning him safely to the ground by holding his shins 5ft above the ground. Seems like much more intent and less of an accident then our ruck clearout as well.

    1. As a neutral I dont see what you’re all getting so fussed about. Sure the Bosch tackle is dangerous, but the player has actually landed hands first to take the weight; his head has not been driven into the ground. For Grays cleanout however, you can clearly see the players neck bend when he hits the ground, and his arms are not in any sort of position to protect himself. From an injury point of view the Gray cleanout is far more physically threatening – it could even be career/life threatening. I agree that Ford can be considered unlucky, but he is still involved in dangerous play. Perhaps a 1 week ban for him would have been more suitable. I also agree that there is a great deal on inconsistency. Pietersen was lucky to get away with his tackle, but on the other hand, he didnt drive the player into the ground, and never lifted the players feet above his hips; if the scot hadnt bent at the waist he’d never have been in any danger. My biggest concern is that the citing with the most intent, O’Brien’s has garnered the slightest punishment. Deliberately striking anyone should be an automatic 4 match ban, no matter your record

      1. Gray didn’t drive the player into the ground, he lifted and tipped him. Yes, he fell dangerously, but he also fell from a height of about 6 inches.

        Bosch deliberately tipped and dropped his opponent from a much bigger height. The fact that his opponent was able to break his fall somewhat is neither here nor there to whether Bosch committed a dangerous tackle. He recklessly endangered his opponent.

        Apparently Bosch was only cited under the dangerous tackle law and not the lifting tackle law at all. So the citing commissioner did not even charge him with the more dangerous offence. That really beggars belief as it is plain to see it is a tip tackle.

    1. Uh, whats wrong about it? The SA player has used his arms in the cleanout, hasnt gripped him around the neck, hasnt lifted him beyond the horizontal (since he’s already beyond the horizontal) and hasnt driven his head/neck into the ground. The only thing he did wrong was to clean out from the side, which he was penalised for

    2. NotaMac- effectively, all your arguments could be applied to Jonny Gray and Ross Ford. Had the other Scottish player not gone to make the same tackle at the same time, then the Samoan would have landed the same way as this French player did. It was only the clear out coming from both sides which resulted in the player going forward and down. Neither Scot drove him into the ground. It was just unfortunate that it ended that way. The reason fans are annoyed about it is because of the inconsistencies between this incident and others, not the ban itself.

  58. Are we to believe that none of the ref, assistants, TMO saw these offences or that they did see them and did not rate them more serious than the holding on by Samoa? In either case will any/all of them be disciplined?
    Also, Law of Unintended Consequnces . How long can respect for ref’s be sustained when their decision can be questioned and altered during and after the game but not by players?

  59. All said and done this is still an absolute bloody disgrace….. Aussie citing officer!!! English QC dishing out punishments, and for what???.
    Referee was on the spot + 3 other international referees + all the technology in the world + 55000 in the crowd (including me)and not a bloody ooh or aah from anyone??
    Rugby is not netball or that bent load of nonsense they call football. Nobody was tip tackled. At worst it was ‘awkward’ clearing at the ruck.
    Far worse went on in that game (not one Samoan cited)) and in many previous matches plus the following Ireland v France match.
    I’m certainly not a conspiracy theorist but an agenda is being adhered to here. There are certainly tier structures in the game and now I don’t just mean the playing structures!
    If not, then there is a bad smell…. And the stench is wafting over from the offices of World Rugby (IRB)…

    1. The only thing that surprises me is that any, all of you are surprised. Thug get’s a week, Pocock gets eff all, our guys get kicked in the nuts. That is international rugby, we are no longer in the big boys club. I told you earlier not to expect an even break from an English QC (who, incidentally has no real rugby qualifications to talk about). Frankly a joke – get on with it.

  60. This is a joke, why can’t players compete legally in the rucks anymore? I’m not a Ford or Gray fanatic but this is harsh when you consider what gets dished out to other nations, it goes to prove that certain nations hold a higher amount of power over the IRB or as they are now to be known World Rugby, what are peoples thoughts on Brown or Bryce stepping up?

  61. So citing commissioner is Australian, QC is English… Anyone think that the Ozzie doesn’t want a strong Scotland team and the Englishman is jealous that his team were knocked out of the RWC because they were not disciplined enough the win all their games? Of course it was not their fault but all the other factors under the sun… Yeah right! They are bad sportsmen too. But I just feel that there are higher powers working against Scotland here. I am almost neutral in this upcoming game as I like both teams but tend to favour Scotland more… However, having knocked England out of the World Cup, Scotland, purely out of dislike for the southern neighbours, could thank Australia by letting them win on Saturday. (That’s a joke, before anyone gets diehard on me) Lol

  62. Has the most recent article on this blog concerning the bans on Gray and Ford been redacted?

    Well, just wanted to point out that the ref even disagrees with the bans after an internal performance review…Jonathan Davies has also made it clear that he is not happy about the judgement..

    1. Would recommend checking the comments of the most recent blog post, read from the bottom for the most updated stuff. As it stands we have just announced that we are appealing the bans in some way. More details on the “World Rugby Stumbles on to Think Ice” post.

  63. Jaco Peyper,the referee, was in full sight of this incident as it occurred. After the game he wrote this about the incident:
    “Samoa no.7 found himself competing for the ball with his head below his hips already……(and was)supported on his hands throughout.
    After our internal performance review I am satisfied that I dealt with the incident appropriately”
    Jaco Peyper was presumably appointed to referee in RWC matches because he is a highly-regarded referee. Before the advent of all the game-dissecting technology the mantra was “never argue with the referee”. In effect, when it is clear that the referee was in full view of the incident and, more importantly, when he has stated in the aftermath of the internal performance review (of his refereeing)that he was satisfied that he “dealt with the incident appropriately”, the citing commissioner and adjudicating officer are both ARGUING with the referee and diminishing his authority.
    Surely the referee’s opinion should ALWAYS take precedence in cases where there was no question of his being unsighted?

  64. (continued) Let me ask a hypothetical question: the IRB has to select at short notice a referee for an international. The available choice is SCOTT NOWLAND (citing commissioner), SCOTT QUINLAN (judicial officer), and JACO PEYPER (international referee). Assuming all have an equal level of physical fitness, which of the three would the IRB choose?
    Ignoring the referee’s written judgement in this case sets a dangerous precedent.

  65. The unbelievable pomposity of Quinlan QC to “scold” the referee, Jaco Peyper, for bringing opinion, not facts, to this question! Is he, by virtue of his legal training, arrogating to himself some flawless objectivity and flawless judgement? The only facts in this matter are what the camera recorded. Jaco didn’t have the benefit of a slow-motion review on the field (though he could have had if he had suspected foul play)but he would certainly have seen slow-motion reviews of the incident after the match and he continued to affirm that he “dealt with the incident appropriately”. Quinlan QC’s judgement was effectively an opinion and no less subjective than Jaco’s. I’m sure many,if not most,judicial officers would have arrived at entirely different conclusions and in any case the judgement of a respected international referee should always carry more weight than that of a pompous QC. The continued intervention of self-serving egotists such as Quinlan will spell the ruin of a great sport.

    1. Rightly or wrongly, the “rules” say referees may only comment on matters of “fact”. The point that JP said he saw it, saw nothing wrong is irrelevant. I would like to see someone tell me what vast experience Quinlan QC has to ignore what the match day referee and TMO thought. The sanction beggars belief given o’thug got one week.

  66. Who actually acts for our players at these citing meetings?
    They must be allowed someone to act on their behalf, especially when facing a QC. Following the Russell debacle during the 6 Nations and this case I hope the SRU are addressing the issue of what support our players have at these citing meetings.
    They may suggest that the citing meetings are purely factual but in a game of rugby even the facts can be objective and surely open to challenge, as is the inconsistency shown in the sanctions passed down.

  67. The very germane facts that Jaco reported were that because the Samoan no.7 was attempting to retrieve ruck ball his head was already below his hips at the point that Gray made contact. The defining mechanism of a tip tackle is the complete inversion of the tackled player.
    Jaco may not then have been allowed under the citing rules to express his “opinion” (semantics come into play here. I would redefine it as “expert judgement”)but the conclusions to be drawn from the facts he expressed should have been very different from those of Christopher (sorry, not Scott) Quinlan, QC. An arrogant man basking in his legal certainties is not a friend of our great game.

  68. Guys,
    We all saw the game and we have all read everything which has followed and we all hope for some sense with the appeal. We are still looking at the best Scotland team and the best coach we have had for a long time. Let’s just get behind them and hope for a win at the place where we all want to win the most. Come on scotland!


  69. Alun, you’re quite right! Enough verbiage has been expended on this matter — especially mine! Perhaps this sorry affair has provided our team with all the motivation it needs. In the words of the old Scots regimental motto, NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT –“no-one gets away with provoking me!” (lit. “no-one provokes me unpunished”).

  70. The bigger picture is the influence that retired referees in World Rugby are having on the game. Policy should be pushed by the current players, not the retired referees or retired players. It has become about those who have health and safety shoved down their throats under the false premise that rugby union is somehow inherently unsafe. It’s not. It’s a shame that the players are no longer in control of their own sport, whatever sport it is. The excessive use of the TMO means that refs are less willing to make big calls, are often out of position because they don’t have to be and are scared to make decisions in case they won’t get allocated the next big game from the great and the good. Embarrassing. Weak. Here’s to a players revolt and a return to the laws of rugby and not the fears of the weak minority.

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The Scotland team to face Chile this weekend has been announced and features 10 changes from the side that beat the USA last weekend.
Rory watches as Scotland reach the half way point in their tour with victory over the USA in Washington.
Craig is joined by Rory and Iain to look at the latest news including Scotland's win over Canada and the upcoming test against the USA.
Gregor Townsend has picked the strongest XV possible from his touring squad for the visit to Washington DC to play the USA, writes Rory.

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion