Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The gloves are off - Stade Francais boxing

I'm not sure exactly what it is about the French Top 14 league, but for whatever reason, these guys have fist fights extremely often compared with other professional leagues around the world.

In most places if a punch is thrown, they're off and more than likely suspended for a few weeks. In France, and correct me if I'm off the mark here, but it seems that pretty much anything goes.

What we see in this clip are fights between Stade Francais and Toulouse, Biarritz, and Montpellier respectively.

The last brawl, from this season against Montpellier, was pretty much disgraceful. A massive fight between virtually all the players resulted in the two hookers getting sent off.
AFTER being sent off, it started up again, with two tough front rowers exchanging numerous blows before the rest of the team joined in again.

Crazy stuff, but it does make for interesting viewing.

Note: The audio has been disabled due to youtube policies. We'll try get it sorted soon.



  • there is a great moment in there, when Serge Betsen gets involved, gets two players in his grip and has a quiet word! almost as good as "quiet down little ones!"

    By Anonymous worldsworstnumber2, at February 06, 2008 10:57 am  

  • Quite amusing as pretty much every one kicked off from the Front Rows!

    Seriously though, I love a bit of a scuffle to get the blood flowing as much as the next guy, but the majority of these players are internationals, and its a disgrace that they get away with this kind of behavior.

    With Rugby becoming a more global game, do we want people new to rugby to see stuff like this?

    By Anonymous Fridge, at February 06, 2008 10:59 am  

  • You know it's an important part of the French Championship when the cameras immediately follow the punch-up. In other leagues the broadcasters pick up on the fights pretty late.

    Top 14 is the next best thing to the NHL.

    By Anonymous Scandal, at February 06, 2008 11:03 am  

  • yeh i love the bit when betsen gets involved! notice how the bloke (who is a prop) instantly calms down even though hes probably got 25kg extra on betsen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 11:08 am  

  • they fight cos they wear pink shirts and get the mickey taken out of them

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 12:56 pm  

  • actually we had a few french now over the years in our club playing for us, it is true they are indeed not running away from fights, if u taunt them u will get ur fight

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 1:01 pm  

  • you've got to love Remy martin nailing that scrum half...lad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 1:21 pm  

  • A few to many punches from behind or king hits where the victim isnt even looking. Bit like the punch from Buck Shelford, the only blot on his career as far as I am concerned.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 1:46 pm  

  • in this video, is the Stade Français when the first line was composed by Sylvain Marconnet (who titillates everybody with jokes) and Rodrigo Roncero (who is, with the n°4 David Auradou, reputed to be fighters). This year is more quiet, i think

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 2:00 pm  

  • Hi It's not a thing of the french league specially but I think it's just the Stade francais They are not really liked by the other clubs

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 2:19 pm  

  • Isn't it interesting, the role fighting has in different sports?

    While it might be taboo in rugby, it's an integral part in ice hockey--there are even players on most NHL teams who's main responsibility is to fight.

    By Blogger Jeff, at February 06, 2008 2:20 pm  

  • they must be compensating for their flower covered jerseys

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 4:06 pm  

  • "With Rugby becoming a more global game, do we want people new to rugby to see stuff like this?"
    yes! let them see! then we`ll have less of these http://youtube.com/watch?v=_QOMQGMmlrA
    fight has always been an integral part of rugby if you ask me.check out classic games from 70s 80s ...

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at February 06, 2008 4:13 pm  

  • lol, Stade r crazy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 5:16 pm  

  • well, you know,I would'nt like to look like nostalgic, but this is bullshit compared to the 70's, when the Beziers scrum (actually our best ever team in France) terrorised all the other ones.Among those killers, Esteve, a huge brain erased golem (Olivier Merle seems so kind compared to him) would even punch the referee.
    Too bad, no Heineken Cup at this time...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 5:24 pm  

  • To be honest, if you combine some of the most tempermental players from some of the most forward orientated nations on the Earth (Italy, Georgia, Romania, South Africa, Scotland, etc) then of course its going to kick off!

    By Anonymous Prestwick, at February 06, 2008 6:02 pm  

  • anyone else besides me woulod mine seeing some of this in the english prem.?

    By Anonymous elrolo, at February 06, 2008 6:33 pm  

  • Having played rugby in france i'm not surprised.

    It's one of the most violent environemtns i've ever been in. You score a try and if you aren't watching you'll get punched as you jog back to the centre line etc....

    It's not unusual for the animosity to continue off the pithc after the game.

    refrees ahave been attacked and during the 90's an opposition player was thrown down the stairs at of a club house, injuring him pretty badly.


    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at February 06, 2008 7:37 pm  

  • I think it has something to do with the language... here in Belgium the walloons allways start the fights too... bloody Frenchies!!

    By Anonymous wing, at February 06, 2008 8:10 pm  

  • A few of you have mentioned Hockey in comparison to French rugby... in terms of fighting and what not.

    Slightly off topic, but I've created a new thread about it on our new Forum.

    Please go check it out and support this effort on our part to integrate a better form of social interaction on the site.

    Register, log in, and get posting about what ever is on your mind.

    View the fighting thread here

    By Blogger Rugbydump, at February 06, 2008 9:55 pm  

  • Being French, I can tell you that we do get angry fairly quickly and unlike the stereotype, wont back down from a fight

    By Anonymous Frenchy, at February 06, 2008 10:28 pm  

  • whats the music on the this video does anyone know?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 06, 2008 10:54 pm  

  • People here see rugby as it is... a fight between two teams, i'm not surprised to see what happens, you should check out the other leagues (especially Fédérale 1, first amateur league in France just before Pro D2, the guys are pretty tough), but concerning the general spirit, off the pitch the spirit is great and it's extremely rare to see any violence.

    Oh and by the way, don't tell me you get on the field wanting to hug the other team's props... you'd be lying ^^

    By Anonymous Kuz, at February 06, 2008 11:38 pm  

  • Well done to the linesman in the last one (Montpel..) standing there pointing his flag really calmed all the players down and made it a nice friendly atmosphere to play in.

    By Anonymous Ed, at February 06, 2008 11:56 pm  

  • hey wats the song on this clip called?

    By Anonymous jin, at February 07, 2008 6:25 am  

  • c'est ça le rugby français! surtout dans le sud de la france

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 07, 2008 12:51 pm  

  • I'm French (i live in Toulon, our team appears in somes clips)and i wonder if we are really seen as fighters. I can tell you even if it's seem to be nasty, it's absolutely not. Rugby is very physical here, any match is viewed as a "fight" (in its military meaning i think), so it can degenerate into punching maybe very often. Nevertheless you shoudn't trust that it's fight for the sake of fight. Anyone who punches his opponent can party with him after the game, and those behaviour belongs to french rugby spirit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 07, 2008 3:16 pm  

  • The name of this song is "Whispers in the dark" by Skillet

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 08, 2008 12:37 am  

  • Man i hate all this macho posturing and overly-aggressive interpretation of the game. Its about controlled and legal physical aggression.

    Still....french clubs know how to fight. Note how the players don't act like this when playing for France anymore.
    third centre

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 08, 2008 12:49 am  

  • you have to say that betsen was great at about 1:10. he pulled that prop out of the mess and calmed him and another player down. amazing stuff in the middle of mindless brutality. pretty cheap stuff from remy martin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 08, 2008 1:18 am  

  • Stade Français is used to have morons in their team such as Remi Martin, David Auradou (now "playing" for another Paris team Racing-Metro), Mathieu Blin, Rodrigo Roncero or Sylvain Marconnet (maybe they are nice guys out of the pitch but ...)
    And they keep complaining when they play "small" teams like Albi or Dax that play a rough game
    PS :It's the perfect team for a guy like Mark Reagan lol.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 08, 2008 1:36 pm  

  • hey wats the song called thats playing in the background of this clip?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 09, 2008 6:54 am  

  • the french fight in games to seem tough and compensate for getting thrashed and being bailed out in 2 world wars within 30 years of each other

    anyways i love seeing a punch up, but hate Stades pink jerseys, i'd be making wise cracks all game looking for a fight, as you can probably tell, not a french fan myself

    as far as hockey is concerned, i live in Canada, so i know quite a bit, it isnt at all unusual to have big guys on the team for physical play and fights, they are called enforcers, they protect the stars of the team, so if you try and take out a teams top scorer, guys like Chara come by standing 7 foot with skates on, and hes gonna have a word with you

    By Anonymous Chris Parberry, at February 10, 2008 3:03 pm  

  • I agree with the majority of french people on here who state that this kind of behaviour is the exception to the rule and even when it does kick off, people tend to get on well off the field.

    I've been playing rugby in France for 10 years and have played a reasonable level of rugby as well as quite a bit of village rugby. In terms of onfield violence, there's no great difference between rugby in France and that played in Scotland or England (don't know for other countries). What is different is that there is a genuine sense of team spirit which is why you see things degenerate into 30 man rumbles which are always more spectacular than two props going at each other hammer and tongs.

    I don't know where "goodnumber10" played his rugby in France but to claim that what is shown in this video (which is deceptive as the footage is actually footage of three fights spread over 5 years or so) is representative of attitudes in French rugby.

    France is a great place to play rugby and I haven't seen a Frenchman sent off in an international for fighting since... Jeff Tordo? Vincent Moscato? France is one of the most highly disciplined international rugby teams and if they can manage that at international level then you can hardly say that punchups are a national sport. Certainly the lower leagues have their fair share of fights but so do the minor leagues in England and Scotland in my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 11, 2008 1:04 pm  

  • Does any1 know what that song is called and who sings it?? I love it. Brilliant vid as well

    By Anonymous Dave, at February 23, 2008 9:17 am  

  • Can't believe the nasty comments directed towards the french here. Being french myself, and having played in the french league during my junior years with the Stade Francais, the pink morons as some of you called them, I do feel I have to say a word or two.
    So, when I was a junior, we played against lots of southern teams. And by southern, I mean south of France. Gosh, you have no idea what we endured. Obviously, some locals were waiting to draw some parisian blood. I still remember a couple of games, when at kick off, nobody was interested in the ball, but more in pinching his opponent player. Am not saying that we were the angels, but gosh, we hardly ever started a fight.
    Anyway, we were not running away from them.
    But then, I went to play in South East Asia. And you definitely can't say that it's a french thing. I found here equal, or even more, violence than in France. Old farts form all over the world play rugby here. It can explosive when in a team you combine Oz, Frenchies, Kiwis, English, Scots, Irish and so on.... Anyway, a good punch has always been part of rugby game. Sometimes, it just goes over the top, but hell, a nice cold beer after that, and everything is forgotten....
    And please, don't pinpoint Stade Francais. I stil rememeber games Toulon vs Beziers, and I tell you what, THAT was violent!!!!!!

    By Blogger Antoine, at March 05, 2008 8:20 am  

  • I'm a french studying in england. I've played in both country and i can say that this kind of fight is part of french spirit. In france there are very often some "social" punch between players, just to explain "you did something wrong, i warn you , next time... " and that's it... about team vs team fights i think it's because there is a more powerfull spirit in france, so if a player is involved in a fight all his felows will come to help him, the same for the other team and then you have a beautiful fight.... in England player are much more disciplined.... But i can assure you that in france what happen on the field stay on the field and all the player meet again for an another competition the night for the third time!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 09, 2008 1:34 am  

  • duz any1 no what song it is???

    By Anonymous The No.2 whose better than you, at March 21, 2008 1:18 pm  

  • was playing in some french u15 tournament over the weekend (have no idea what it was called) but when nice played perpingnan a massive fight broke out between the two with fists flying everywhere! and when we were playing in the final against chalon their no.10 after being put into touch, ran over to our no.10 and punched him straight in the face! i thought the video was a once off maybe...but after witnessing it i think french rugby is on the dirty side(or some teams anyways)

    By Anonymous barry D, at March 25, 2008 3:12 pm  

  • dam youtube......any chance of it coming back up?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 26, 2008 10:26 pm  

  • i dont think the french crowds would turn up if there wernt any big fights-to be honest i think the average crowds everywhere else would increase if there were a lot more fights in other leagues-lets be honest we all like a bit of 'hows ur father' between gargantuan professional atheletes-boxing and rugby combined perfect!lol-joe calzaghe fan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2008 2:25 am  

  • Great fight,
    for everyone intrested in the song is Whispers in the dark by Sillet

    By Anonymous Zluster, at December 15, 2008 4:26 am  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 07, 2010 2:40 am  

  • rodrigo roncero is ALWAYS involved

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 11, 2010 12:53 am  

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  • My favourite bit...first 10 secs. the Toulouse winger punching the Stafe second row from behind and running like Flo Jo.


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