What Brodie Retallick should have done to avoid red
One of the most common questions that has arisen since Brodie Retallick was red carded against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday is what could he have done?
Well that question has fortunately been answered by Nigel Owens this week on World Rugby’s Whistle Watch. The lock was dismissed by referee Nika Amashukeli on 66 minutes for a clearout of Kazuki Himeno at a ruck, where he drove straight into the back of his head. Now almost no one has said it should have been anything other than a red, but given Himeno’s shape, there wasn’t much he could do either (other than a crocodile roll, which creates new problems).
Owens has explained what referees are looking for when players clear a jackler out at the breakdown, and where the All Black got it severely wrong.
He said: “New Zealand against Japan, a little bit more straightforward. If you weren’t watching the game, a Japan player goes in to jackal the ball, the key thing here is he is on his feet so and he’s in a strong position but he’s still very low. So Retallick comes in with a shoulder, direct down to the head/ neck area of the player- that is dangerous play, a high degree of danger, no mitigation whatsoever and that is a red card because it is very, very dangerous play.
“Some of you have been asking ‘how can you clearout when a player is in that position. Well this player is in a strong, low position, so if you want to clear them out we have to look at it as a plane taking off or a plane landing. If you think of a plane landing, coming in and landing on the player, that is dangerous, it’s illegal. So what you want is the action of a plane taking off. So you want the player to come in low, to get underneath the player, lift them up and then drive him off just like a plane taking off. Or you coming in and you grab the player and you pull him and you try to shift him away from that area. That is the way you try and clearout those situations. So, as a player if you’re coming in and you don’t think you’re able to do that, then my advice would be don’t go in with the shoulder onto a player in that position. Red card, no debate whatsoever.”
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