Planet Rugby

Letter of the Week

10th April 2014 10:56

Share:

Planet Rugby mail

Got an opinion? Mail us!

Planet Rugby readers are never short of an opinion and our mailbox is seldom empty. This week a reader suggests that red cards are overused. What do you think?

Got an opinion? We'd like to hear it, so why not send us an email HERE.

Is it time to give the red card a red card?
By Andrew Bladon

In the past few weeks we have seen red cards brandished in some crucial games. Particularly Hogg in Cardiff and Payne in Belfast.

In almost every instant a red card has been used, the non-infringing side goes on to win, effectively handing victory to the opponent.

This ruins the game for the defending team, the people who offered good money to watch the match live and the thousands paying an interest at home.

I was in Cardiff when tens of thousands of Scots descended on the city to watch their team's last game of the Six Nations, which realistically ended after just 22 minutes.

Before the halftime whistle was blown most Scots were in the bars and the stadium was half empty. That struck me as waste of an £80+ ticket, and whatever costs associated with the humiliating journey to Wales.

This year's Heineken Cup is over for Ulster fans, as was the 2011 World Cup for the Welsh, all due to the brandishing of a red card.

In the majority of cases (with the exception of gouging, or deliberately targeting an individual player) a red card is given out for a moment of sheer stupidity, rather than a calculated or malicious attack.

In these cases would it not make more sense to punish the player after the match, rather than spoiling the game for everyone involved based on one players foolishness.

For example, penalise the player with a 10 minute sin bin (a good side should capitalise by ten points here alone) and then throw the book at them after the match.

With citing commissioners, ever-improving video angles and super slow motion cameras it is a much easier task to punish a player after a match than it was ten years ago.

By doing so we can keep crucial games competitive for 80 minutes, as well as forcing teams to show strength in depth in major tournaments by bringing out reserve players to cover the inevitable bans.

A hefty fine and increased suspension, potentially losing your place in the team, could arguably have a more punishing effect for modern professional players than sitting on the sidelines for 60 minutes.

Of course, this argument is redundant in amateur rugby where post match bans and fines are more difficult to administer, but certainly for the benefit of a great spectator sport red cards should only be handed out in the most extreme circumstances.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821