During the 50th minute of the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the Reds and the Brumbies at the Suncorp Stadium In Brisbane on Friday, a strange thing happened.
Reds scrumhalf Wil Genia dived over the Brumbies try line and was stopped by a very good tackle by the Brumbies cover defence.
Naturally a ruck happened and, as part of the cleanout, flanker Ed Quirk was part of the cleaners. The cleanout was successful but Quirk mischievously held onto Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore, who was standing next to the ruck.
Moore naturally tried release himself from the clutches of Quirk by slapping his arm away. It’s his secondary action that caused most of the rugby world to call for at least a yellow card. Moore proceeded to punch Quirk in the midriff.
Despite this being reviewed by the TMO, referee Steve Walsh decided to keep Moore on the field and award a penalty for an earlier infringement to the Reds.
Over the last few weeks many of you have cried foul over what you perceived to be bad management of critical situations by the referee. The Brumbies lost this game by three points. One wonders how the Brumbies would have coped in the absence of Stephen Moore for any amount of time?
Here is what the laws of the game says about incidents like these:
10.4 Dangerous play and misconduct
(a) Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).
l) Retaliation. A player must not retaliate. Even if an opponent is infringing the Laws, a player must not do anything that is dangerous to the opponent.
What would be the appropriate action in the aftermath of this incident?