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Changes called for in Rugby

Discussion in 'Sports Forum' started by Ben W, May 8, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Sep 16, 2002
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    Changes called for in rugby
    May 8, 2005

    The country's biggest rugby union is calling for changes to tackle rules to crack down on dangerous play after an illegal tackle left an amateur auckland player paralysed.

    Lina Gaono-Smith was on the sidelines when her brother was struck down by an illegal tackle. Now she's at his bedside as the family keep a round the clock vigil.

    "It is really a tragic thing for a family," she says.

    "This is the first time a very bad thing has happened to one of our immediate family."

    Twenty six year old Malala Gaono was playing a club game for Auckland University when the incident happened

    "It was described to me as a no-arms shoulder charge which hit him in the upper chest area and rode up to impact him underneath his chin," Ian McKenzie from the Auckland University Football Union.

    Gaono is now a quadriplegic, unable to move, speak or breathe unassisted.

    "I think this is a good chance for everybody to see and get the message and know for future generations to decrease foul play," says Gaono-Smith.

    The Auckland Rugby Union believes tougher tackle rules could crack down on dangerous play.

    The current rule for under 13-year-olds says you must tackle below the nipple line.

    The Auckland Union says this is something that could be adopted by all age groups.

    "There's clearly something that has to be considered there," says Dave Simms from the Auckland Rugby Union.

    "We've got a situation where by tackles are allowed to slip up and we're saying we can't have that."

    NZRFU chairman Steve Tew said it was a bit dangerous to jump to a conclusion too quickly.

    "Clearly we are now seeing an increasing number of injuries caused at the tackle at that collision part of the game, and we are monitoring that," he says.

    The family don't want to lay charges against the player involved but they hope something can be gained after the whistle was blown too early on this passionate player's career.

  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2003
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    I agree with a ruling, especially for youth, that would prohibit hits or tackle above mid chest level.
  3. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman New Member

    Aug 13, 2002
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    I too think this change is right. I remember playing schools rugby as a youth (2nd centre) and hearing of dreadful injuries to young teenage boys as a result of poor (though not illegal) tackling. Schools rugby certainly needs to protect young players whose whole lives may be ruined by a moment of enthusiastic madness on the field.