So far in this World Cup, four players have received bans for high tackles and the fact that all of them have been suspended for three-weeks has left many fans confused. 


Australia’s Reece Hodge, Samoa’s Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu’u and the USA’s John Quill have all copped punishments and while that was in the order that the offences occurred, it is probably the order of their severity too. 

The Wallabies winger was not punished during the game for his high shot on Fiji’s Peceli Yato and there have been people who have argued for and against him being punished since his upheld citing. 

Meanwhile, the Samoan duo both received yellow cards – although many felt they were red card offences – and Quill received a straight red card for his shocking shot on England’s Owen Farrell. The decision to give both Hodge and Quill the same length ban has left fans on social media bewildered. 

There seems to be a gulf between the two tackles, with Hodge seemingly caught off guard by Yato stepping in to bounce him. It certainly wasn’t legal, but few would argue that it was comparable to Quill’s shoulder charge to the head of Farrell as he was off balance and it was after the whistle had blown. 

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Both players received six-week bans that were reduced to three based on their character, which seems to be the standard practice at the moment. 

Some have speculated why the American’s punishment was so lenient. The fact he received a red card in the game might have had some effect, but Farrell was also able to play on as opposed to Yato who was forced off the field with concussion and missed Fiji’s next game. 

That really should have no bearing on the decision, though, as the tackled player’s capacity to receive an illegal tackle should not be relevant.

Based on the new tackling framework set by World Rugby, it is understandable why all of these players were banned and they cannot really have any complaints. The length of the bans, however, is proving to be problematic. This is what has been said:


After these decisions, some players will feel very hard done by if they receive anything more than a three-week ban unless they have done something truly egregious. Likewise, there will only be more uproar on social media if that happens as well. 

WATCH: Reece Hodge’s disciplinary hearing excuse doesn’t wash with fans

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