Australian Sevens star Charlotte Caslick was yellow carded for a tackle in her side’s Cup quarter-final clash against France but the tackle has divided opinion after she arguably did everything right.
Video of the tackle has now gone viral showing how Caslick went low with close to perfect tackle technique into a French player, aiming waist high, wrapping and bent low for impact.
The French ball carrier ducked into impact causing head contact with Caslick which then resulted in the Australian being yellow carded.
The decision proved influential as Australia ended up losing the quarter-final 10-5 to France.
Brien Seeney, physiotherapist & injury analyst under the NRL Physio Twitter account shared footage of the “super rough card” with a critique of the decision.
“Caslick getting yellow carded for this isn’t punishment driving behaviour change. Focus on technique for mine; her technique could not be much better here,” Seeney wrote.
“Gone low with arms in a wrapping motion, super rough card.”
I’ve been known to be critical of a high tackle or two, but Caslick getting yellow carded for this isn’t punishment driving behaviour change. Focus on technique for mine & her technique could not be much better here. Gone low with arms in a wrapping motion, super rough card pic.twitter.com/cHQ37JTSgH
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) January 28, 2023
Australian Sevens coach Tim Walsh was frustrated with the call explaining to media on Day 3 that common sense should be applied in that situation to avoid situations where the rules can be exploited.
“If it’s shoulder on head, what are they going to do?” Walsh questioned.
“Do you stick your head down and start running now? Get hit in the head and you’ll get a penalty?
“We wouldn’t do that, but’s that how you would manipulate the rules to get an advantage. That wouldn’t be appropriate.
“The disappointing thing is you have these TMOs as a risk mitigation and they still got it wrong. That’s the frustrating thing.”
Speaking with media on Day 3 Caslick revealed on the final day of action that had she gone into the tackle with an upright technique, she may have ended up without the card.
The 27-year-old revealed that Australia had recieved an apology afterward and that the decision was overturned.
“I probably could have had a worse tackle technique and led with my chest instead of my shoulder, but we are taught to go low, shoulder first and wrap,” she said.
“I’m not sure there is much else I could do.
“I think they overturned the decision this morning, they apologised for it. I guess it kind of stings, in that USA-France game there was one where she didn’t bend her back, gets the penalty and stays on the field.”
World Rugby research consultant and sports scientist Ross Tucker weighed in on the incident stating that head contact only occurs due to the actions of the ball carrier and therefore should not have resulted in a card.
“The tackle is good from decision to execution, and the only reason head contact has happened is the BC [ball carrier] actions,” he wrote.
“The HCP already allows or this to NOT be a penalty… it’s a BC initiated head contact and wouldn’t be penalized.”
…say it count very reasonably answered “no” because of no fault by the T. Perhaps that guidance needs to be stronger, but if one can say that the tackler couldn’t have done anything different, then it’s a BC initiated head contact and wouldn’t be penalized, IMO
— Ross Tucker (@Scienceofsport) January 29, 2023