Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Dan Carter is the villain by David Clarke

Dan Carter high tackleFew will have escaped the news that Dan Carter has been cited for a high tackle on Welsh replacement scrum half, Martin Roberts.

Roberts was pretty circumspect about the incident afterwards, unlike his coaches, who railed against the referees decision. Anyone who knows Roberts will not be surprised by his comments. He is a bright player, who thinks deeply about the game.

As for Carter, he continues to be masterful on the pitch. From a coaching point of view, he attacks the gain line. He does this in two ways. First, he sometimes runs at it. Starting flat he accelerates at angles so defenders have to go with him or the defenders either side of him.

Second, he pushes the ball around the field from boot or hand, but always into dangerous places. It is rare that either Carter or the next All Black player who touches the ball is not causing peril for the defence.

Though not as destructive as Jonny Wilkinson, Carter is a fine tackler. Which makes the tackle on Roberts all the more interesting. He went high. There is no doubt that he was aiming at the ball. In the speed of the game, as Roberts dipped slightly, the arm slid over the ball and hit the head.

Dan Carter is not a dirty player. But he did tackle too high. It should have been a yellow card because it was a significant intervention. In the speed of the game, the referee missed it. It was in the middle of the pitch, so the touch judges missed it.

He should not be banned. It was a mistake at the time which should have been punished.

Better Rugby Coaching

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