Rugby’s BIN of SIN
By Vimal Perera
The law on repeated infringements now reads as “A player penalized for repeated infringements must be cautioned and temporarily suspended. If the player then commits a further caution able offence or the same offence that player must be sent off” The emphasis on the change is from an “if necessary” to “must be cautioned”. This is only one aspect of the sin bin highlighted to emphasize.

A player thus cautioned and temporarily suspended is sent to what is commonly known as the Sin Bin. Sin Bin is the bench where all players who have been bad sit out of the game for 10 minutes of playing time
If the referee believes that a player has committed serious foul or committed acts of indiscipline and or commits repeated infringements then a referee shows the player a yellow card. Unlike in football the player must immediately leave the pitch. The game then continues without the player not being available for 10 minutes of playing time while the game continues.
The opposition then enjoys playing with one more on their side. As a player who is temporally suspended is out of action for ten minutes, it is something that players have to avoid.

The reality being the player is letting down his team and its fans. I fail to understand why supporters put their hands together to clap a player, being sent off the pitch. How can you accept and condone misconduct that put his team into disadvantage. Similarly the player going back after his period of suspension is applauded as he enters the paddock. This is something fans have to rethink, as the player is guilty of letting down his team. The sin bin in recent tines has turned to be a BIN OF SIN. The game between CR and CH turned to a brawl at a time. While action was on the field the players who were on sin bin too joined in.

The sin bin did not seem to have deterred players. Possibly they have not understood the gravity of being there. Repeated sin bins can lead to the controlling body hauling the player to the disciplinary committee and meting out punishment. So beware, as ignorance is no excuse. Those who are temporarily suspended have no part in the game and therefore must observe their suspension and not turn the sin in to a bin of sin.

The match between CR and CH produced a lot of physical rugby. The game, which produced some jarring tackles, took a toll on emotions and lead to be out of control. Up to around 20 minutes of playing time left the game was fought hard and within the laws. The last twenty minutes took a toll on players and resulted in uncontrolled emotional display. The on field tension escalated with a late tackle on one side and a punch on the other. The three in sin bin joined in the fray. One was lucky to be undetected. The result was three red cards. The inquiry following has imposed one month, each, ban on the two who joined from the sin bin and two weeks to the Man who threw a punch. The action of the disciplinary committee is now public and should serve as a deterrent to future offenders. Whether the action has led to player caution is questionable? A player from CH was temporarily suspended last week too.

While players have had to face the consequences of their action there are others who have to be reminded of their responsibilities for the betterment of the game.

The code of conduct included in the tournament hand out needs implementation as a columnist reported in the weekend newspapers on the conduct of an official. Officeholders, at the national level have to be an example to others. It is a common feature to blame others for losing a match and never accept and correct the mistakes of your team. Even the inability to place the full stop and a comma and speak English as was spoke by the ancient narrators of the language but not used any more is a good excuse to some.

Of relevance and quoted below is from a speech the Late Lakshman Kadragamar made to the Sri Lankan Cricket team in UK . “Every team loses. It takes two to play a game. One has to lose. It is the manner in which you play the game which gives the promise of success to come……. All of you are role models for our youth. They will be looking to see how you take defeat. To exult in victory is easy; to remain well balanced in defeat is a mark of maturity.”

Those who profess knowledge and bask in the past while marinating in alcohol need to ask: “Are we being role models to the youngsters”?
The “Caltex” league rugby season for 2005 continues in its journey with CR and Kandy pulling ahead of the others.


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