"Accidental," they said.
Posted by IrishRugby Updates on Saturday, 27 February 2016
We've been here before and my reaction hasn't changed.
There is no place in life for kicks to the head.
End of story. It certainly shouldn't happen in sport. Intentional or not.
Rugby is in a dangerous time at the moment. Concussion and player welfare is a hot topic, and player's safety should be paramount. Except that the laws of the game aren't lined up with that message, and we saw that in action when Mike Brown's boot made contact with Conor Murray's head area.
Let's remove the fact that it was an unliked England player from our minds.
Any sport that sends the message that a kick to the head of a person lying prone on the ground is ok isn't one that I want to be associated with. Which is unfortunate because I quite like rugby.
What kind of message does that send out to children watching? That kicking someone on the ground, intentional or not, is ok. That it's alright to wildly throw your boot into a ruck where you know that a person is lying unprotected on the ground.
There is a duty of care on all players to make sure you don't put others in danger. That's why all tip tackles are punished. It's reckless. Just like fly-hacking at a ruck is reckless.
Player safety should be paramount.
What happened was careless and reckless and needs to be kicked out of the game.
If this means that the fly-hack is prevented then so be it. Player safety is more important. It should never come to that. If the ball is on the ground and there's no one lying down then fly hack away, but once it's a ruck it needs to be outlawed immediately.
But nothing will happen, because it didn't the last time.