The Mullet - business up front, party at the back. This questionable hairstyle has become increasingly popular with sportsmen around the world in the past few years. In rugby, there is no side with more mullets than the Otago Highlanders. A few of them sport the Dreaded Mullet or the Jheri curl Mullet.
The commentators very rarely miss an opportunity to comment on Mullets on the field, simply because they're, well, comical at the best of times.
So in the first of a new feature here on Rugbydump, Classic Commentary, we feature a short clip from this last weekends game between the Lions and the Brumbies, in which Lions substitute hooker Etienne Reynecke showed us a fine example of the ever popular Bleeched Mullet.
Not surprisingly, Greg Martin and the boys couldn't help themselves...
Big unit Wycliff Palu scored two great tries and put in a huge performance for his Waratahs in their convincing 25-10 win over the Sharks in Sydney on the weekend.
For his first try Wallaby Palu made a huge hit on AJ Venter which jolted the ball free, resulting in the turnover for the Tahs which led to Palu himself finishing off the try after steamrolling over a few hapless Sharks defenders.
"I was struggling to have a good hit the last couple of weeks so it was something I've been working on with Kissy (Waratahs defensive coach Les Kiss) to get in a good position to really ice somebody," Palu said.
"It was good, AJ just patted me on the back after so I don't think I hurt him."
Munster held off a monumental effort from outsiders Saracens to reach their fourth Heineken Cup final with a nail-biting victory at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.
Saracens, in the knockout stages for the first time, had an early lead and, after trailing 15-7 at halftime, twice closed to within two points of the Irish side appearing in their seventh semi-final in nine years.
Munster used all of their big match knowhow to cling on to their half-time lead and secure the win at 18-16.
After struggling for footage initially, I've finally found this newsreport from RTE, which features highlights, thoughts, and post match interviews from the semi final.
Clermont's Fijian import Vilimoni Delasau scored a spectacular try to seal their 36-15 win over Auch on the weekend, strengthening their position at the top of the French Top 14.
Delasau got the crowd on their feet when he dashed close to 70 metres untouched to score the last try for Clermont in spectacular fashion.
The French club scored five tries for a bonus point win over Auch, 10 points clear of Toulouse which is second on the points table.
Delasau, Fiji's world cup and former Sevens star, has once again shown what an incredibly dangerous runner he is on the counter attack. We saw another classic from him earlier in the season, that time against Wasps.
This is surely going to be a hot contender for try of the season in the Top 14, or anywhere for that matter.
The timing of this clip is poor unfortunately, considering Sale's dismal performance in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday, being hammered by Bath 36-14. But after coming across footage of future England superstar Ben Foden, I felt it needed to be posted.
Foden is currently at Sale where he's been tearing up all opposition with his displays of brilliant running from the back. He's a scrumhalf originally, but has been playing at fullback and is rapidly making the position his own.
Former England fullback Jason Robinson has himself heaped praise on the 22 year old, insisting that had Foden not been injured during the Six Nations, he would have undoutedly commanded the England fullback jersey.
"If Ben hadn't been injured, in my opinion, he would have been nailed on as full-back for England in the Six Nations. He is one of a unique bunch of players who are game-breakers. He's got explosive pace, a fantastic side-step and an eye for the line."
Foden will soon be moving from Sale to the newly promoted Northampton Saints, as part of his quest to secure a starting scrumhalf berth. Robinson however insists that he should stick to fullback.
"When I first started in rugby I was desperate to be a scrum-half, where I had played all my junior rugby. When I signed for Wigan, John Monie said I would never make it as a scrum-half. Given what I've achieved in rugby I'm very grateful for the advice I received."
As you can see by this incredible effort from Foden against Bristol recently, the boy has tremendous speed, stepping, and instinct. Watch this space, as I'm sure we'll be hearing the name Foden for many years to come.
The first Heineken Cup semi-final on Saturday was a close affair that was fiercely contested, surprisingly for some. New kids on the block, London Irish, up against three time champions Toulouse had the French team as the odds on favourites.
But London Irish silenced their critics by proving they have a right to be there early in the first half with an impressive running display from winger Topsy Ojo.
Ojo scored a excellent try which was part of a Man of the Match performance from him in the end.
Samoan flier, Sailosi Tagicakibau did the same off first phase in the second half, giving the Englishmen hopes of their first ever Heineken Cup final.
In the end, despite French star Cedric Heymans' two missed tackles, that led to the two tries, the star-studded Toulouse outfit was too much for the Irish as they march on to yet another Heineken Cup final showdown.
For the neutral, it was great to see Toulouse have to work hard for their place in the final, which will be against the winner of Sunday's game between Munster and Saracens.
Note: We'll try get a clip of the Munster/Saracens game up as soon as possible so please bare with us
As the Australian commentary team have a chat with Julian Huxley on the sideline, Round 11 of the Super 14 unfolds with a high paced Brumbies vs Lions match-up. The hosts the Brumbies are in the race for a top four spot, while the Lions hopes for this season are long gone, as they sit at the bottom of the table.
Though the Joburg backs had a solid performance, scoring inside the first two minutes of the game with a double to Earl Rose later on, the big Australian centre Stirling Mortlock read this little move like a book and lined up the dangerous Louis Ludik then ate him for breakfast.
The Lions played exactly as you would expect, a team with nothing to lose, showing plenty of heart at times. As evident in this clip, however, heart doesn't count for much when someone like Mortlock lines you up.
Unfortunately, since there's a pitch-side interview going on at the time, we've been deprived of what surely would have been a chorus of hooting and hollering from the Australian commentators when Ludik got smashed, so you'll just have to pretend.
What we do have though is a cracking hit, and an interesting interview with Brumbies back Julian Huxley, who recently had brain surgery to remove a tumour.
Earlier in the week we showed you Aurelien Rougerie's two great tries against Toulouse. After many requests for full highlights of this classic match though, I've decided to bring out this extended footage of the two French Top 14 giants in action.
Clermont put themselves in pole position to finish top of the French championship by beating second placed Toulouse 23-11 to record their fifth successive victory and send them five points clear of their rivals.
Toulouse had a nightmare day as star winger Vincent Clerc suffered what looked like a serious knee injury in the 67th minute when he slipped while trying to avoid a tackle from Aurelien Rougerie, who picked up the loose ball, kicked ahead and eased over the tryline for his second touchdown of the match.
There are also doubts over France flanker Thierry Dussautoir, who left the field early in the first-half after a collision with Clermont second row forward Jamie Cudmore.
Despite the defeat, powerful Toulouse look certain to make the top four and therefore a place in the play-offs where the leading four teams contest the title.
One of the more controversial refs in World Rugby, Stuart Dickinson has had many a fan worldwide tearing his hair out on occasion. Generally regarded as one of the top referee's in the game, he still manages to make some shocking decisions on occasion and is disliked by many a fan.
He is however Australia's most capped referee and one with huge experience in all levels of rugby, and should probably be respected for that.
Still, to see him knocked on his backside is still amusing for many I'm sure, so he's him taking a tumble after getting in the way of Reds hooker Stephen Moore last weekend.
A fun clip to start off a great weekend of rugby in prospect, look out next week for highlights from the Heineken Cup, Super 14, and a whole lot more.
Back in 2004 it was very seldom that you didn't hear Australian commentators yelling out 'SAMMMMO' whenever the Brumbies played. Radike Samo was indeed somewhat of a freak of nature.
The Fijian born Samo was a monster of a man who played second row for Australia and the Brumbies, but was also comfortable playing on the wing if need be. The big man is seen here wrecking havoc on two of the strongest New Zealand outfits.
With his trade mark ball-in-one-hand long strides and the infinitely long reach to fend off any would-be tacklers, the Fijian Samo was a wonder to watch in his time with the Brumbies not too long ago.
He literally made runs like these every week, and it was a huge disapointment for many to see him leave the Brumbies at the peak of his game, shortly after Wallaby selection.
He has since achieved with Stade Francais, but possibly never reached the same heights as he did in Australia. Enjoy a moment or two of classic Brumbies running action, from a legend in his own time, Radike Samo.
The Alternative Rugby Commentary are back with another broadside shot at the 'Dark Side' of rugby league.
This week it's hard man Willie Mason who's for it as the boys from New Zealand seek to document some of the highlights of Willie's career through this informative instructional video, 'Big Tongan Willie: The Rules of Operation'.
If you don't quite understand the League stuff, read up on the big Willie's controversial career on Wikipedia here.
It was physical as ever in round 10 of the Super 14. We've picked out two examples from the weekends action, one involving some wayward acrobatics from Keegan Daniel and the other a brutal clash of heads between Chief Dwayne Sweeney and Crusaders center, Casey Laulala.
The competition is coming down to it's final few rounds before the semi finals, in which only the top 4 teams advance. This means we're in for another few weeks of high intensity rugby that should bring us a few other physical moments to share with the Rugbydump crowd. Also on next weekend, the Heineken Cup enters its semi final stage which promises to be an all-action affair.
From last weekend's intensely physical derby match between the Stormers and the Cheetahs in Cape Town, we bring you this superb handoff that had young Francois Louw possibly questioning his tackling technique.
After a storming run from young talent Brussouw, Springbok and Cheetahs hardman Juan Smith gets the ball and lays into Louw, knocking him to the ground emphatically with a powerful handoff.
A little push and shove afterwards illustrates the intensity of this match, which the Stormers came away with by 34 points to 22.
Big French right winger Aurelien Rougerie scored himself two quality tries for Clermont Auvergne against rivals Toulouse on the weekened.
The first of his tries came from a great build up and then a tremendous piece of skill by Rougerie, picking the ball up from his toes after letting it slip out of his grasps initially.
The second try came from a painful looking injury to wing compatriot Vincent Clerc, who went down with ligament damage to his left knee. He is expected to be out for up to nine months.
Rougerie showed great skill and pace once again to score after kicking ahead and controlling nicely, but what strikes me is the unfortunate manner in which the try came about.
I originally thought it was a bit rough on Clerc that after injuring himself so badly, Rougerie took advantage and scored. But, after watching again, there wasn't really any way of Rougerie knowing the seriousness of the incident, therefore you can understand him continuing play as though nothing was wrong.
Two great tries by Rougerie showing the true class of the man.
The Ospreys are still without an away win in this years Magners League after a narrow loss to Munster on the weekened.
With all the pressure on Munster in the final phases of the game, the Ospreys had control of the ball and could have shown a bit more composure with time running out, to perhaps suck in a penalty or at least give the drop kicker a bit more time on the ball.
Instead, it was flung back to winger Shane Williams who, under pressure, hit his snap drop inches wide.
Was this kick from this player actually on, with James Hook off the field and nobody else to turn to? Or did the Ospreys indeed rush the situation a wee bit?
Devastatingly close whatever the opinions, this one finished 9-8 to Munster.
The battle to be make the top four takes a step up in intensity this round. With intensity however, came a shaky performance from both the Stormers and the Hurricanes as the encounter threatened to break the world record of the most handling errors in one half.
Though the second half didn't exactly live up to the full potential of such an exciting match-up, there was opportunity for some extravagant play (as shown here) from the home team. Watch for yourself and see the endeavor, strength and skill from the Stormers as hooker Schalk Brits dives over for this killer try.
So'ialo's Hurricanes hit back shortly after, but could not, in the end, over turn the Stormers and so slip to 6th on the log while the men from Cape Town leap to 4th (from 9th!).
With thanks to 'Merjamone' on the Rugbydump Forums, we've dug up a brutal shoulder-to-solar plexus encounter in the form of Bourgoin's replacement lock, Karena Wihongi, and Clermont's flanker, Julien Bonnaire.
Though there appeared to be no real damage on Bonnaire in this game from last weekend, other than a hefty winding, it's fair to say that Bonnaire may opt to offer oncoming tacklers a shoulder next time, instead of an open rib cage.
This leads me to the legality of the challenge, which is nonexistent, however as Merjamone on the forums pointed out: He most likely wasn't expecting a kick and did apologize straight afterwards.
It was described as having "a Test match atmosphere" in the build-up and was to be a truly super clash in front of a full house at Waikato Stadium.
The Chiefs were back after a 'bye' the previous round while the Crusaders looked dominant as ever but come kick off, found themselves making tackle after tackle in the opening minutes.
Sitiveni Sivivatu scored the opening try for the Chiefs, followed by this 'ripper', started by stand out stand-off, Stephen Donald.
The Crusaders, after Brett missed an easy (by his standards) penalty, never looked like they were truly in it and only showed the odd bit of brilliance amongst an overwhelming amount of bad decisions with ball in hand and poor handling.
Murray Mexted, who has played 34 Tests for New Zealand and captained the All Blacks on seven occasions, is better known nowadays for his colourful commentary alongside Grant Nisbett.
Never one to shy away from an opportunity to twist something into a sexual reference, the ex-Number Eight has provided the rugby world (in the Southern Hemisphere anyway) with more than a few laughs.
A few other classic Mexted one-liners are:
- "Well, either side could win it, or it could be a draw." - "You don't like to see hookers going down on players like that." - "I haven't had a knee operation on any other part of my body." - "Its all tied up at 14-13" - "Andy Ellis - the 21 year old, who turned 22 a few weeks ago"
Here's a short compilation of some of the character's finer moments behind the microphone.
I don't often post Rugby League clips on Rugbydump, but, there's time when I'll come across a tackle or incident that really is worth sharing, as on this occasion.
Former Samoan rugby union player Maurie Fa'asavalu, who incidentally is now legible to play League for Great Britain after living there for four years, is the victim of a cracking hit from Thomas Leuluai in this match between St Helens and Wigan.
Leuluai is a New Zealander playing his rugby for Wigan in the UK, and by the look of things, knows how to dish out the big hits. Leuluai hit Fa'asavalu so hard here, that the game had to be stopped for a while so he could recover. The best part about this is that, unlike a lot of the League hits we see, the hit is perfectly legal.
It's also great to see how Fa'asavalu gives the thumbs up after he recovers finally.
There's certain teams in world rugby you just don't want to kick the ball downfield to. The Crusaders of New Zealand are one, and it's looking more and more like Toulouse of France are another. Handing these teams possession can be suicidal, as Cardiff learnt in the Heineken Cup Quarter Final last weekend.
Dynamic Toulouse winger Maxime Medard returned this long Cardiff kick with interest, setting up a pop pass for Argentinian second rower Patricio Albacete to make a barnstorming run down field before setting up the quick ball for Kelleher and crew to shift it wide with some great quick passing to put supreme finisher Vincent Clerc in for a well made try.
One of the easier finishes for Clerc, this try was made to look so so easy by a quality Toulouse team that will no doubt now be one of the favourites to take the Heineken Cup honours.
From the same French Pro D2 game that brought us absolute mayhem on and off the pitch, as seen here, you probably haven't seen this massive hit that happened earlier in the match.
As the restart approached, the Agen flyhalf thought he had spotted a gap and an opportunity to catch the Mont de Marsan defence napping. He got it horribly wrong though, as his right wing Luc Lafforgue can testify to after being absolutely smashed by the Montois replacement, Georgian winger Irakli Machkhaneli.
Machkhaneli is the same player who put in one of the hits of the World Cup against Namibia, which on that occasion, resulted in a try.
As you can see from the reactions afterwards, tempers were high all throughout this game, which eventually boiled over into what we saw in the other clip.
The impact of this hit was huge, but was it 100% legal?
With less than ten minutes to go, and a twenty point difference on the scoreboard, you'd think that the commitment would start to lack as the teams play out the final minutes of a game.
But on the weekend in the Super 14 we saw tremendous commitment from young Brumbies winger Francis Fainifo under the high ball. Chiefs flyer Lelia Masaga chased hard but mistimed his run unfortunately, and ended up taking Fainifo out which caused him to flip through the air and land horrifically. Masaga also got a knee in the face for his troubles.
Luckily, both players walked away unscathed from the big collision, and Masaga was penalised for taking the man out in the air, which was technically a fair call, albeit harsh considering he also got a fair pounding.
Fainifo got up incredibly high to compete for the ball so late in the game, which was really impressive. The one problem with that though is - what goes up, must come down.
Known for his strong leadership and no-nonsense approach to the game, 2003 World Cup winning Captain of England Martin Johnson was often perceived as the bad guy by the opposition.
Never more so than at Landsdowne Road five years ago when shortly before kick-off against Ireland, Johnson broke protocol by refusing to move to the red carpet parade area, resulting in President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, having to walk across the uncovered grass to him instead.
Much media attention was made of this, and the Daily Telegraph hypothesized a scenario of the outcry should a similar snub be made to the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by an Irish captain. Johnson never publicly apologised.
Johnson maintains he was not at fault and had not received special pre-match instructions despite being asked three times to move.
The Irish Rugby Football Union apologised to the Irish President on his behalf.
When it's snowing outside and the weather isn't really conducive to a great game of rugby, what's an avid rugby player and fan going to do with himself?
Well, as one of our forum members recently showed us, why not build a snowman? Sounds boring, but at least it'll pass the time while not on the pitch.
But wait, this snowman wasn't built to impress the neighbours, or to make your 5 year old sibling happy. This snowman was destined for greater things, namely, getting smashed by a kid who's pent up aggression needed to be let out.
High, late, and without the ball, this tackle would make Brian Lima proud.
Munster powered their way into a seventh Heineken Cup semi-final on the weekend, with a devastating display of rugby that brushed aside Guinness Premiership leaders Gloucester.
In the second half Munster piled on the pressure, and some hurried passing by the Gloucester men resulted in a loose ball that was snatched up and flung wide to All Black legend Doug Howlett, who raced away before passing inside to fullback Hurley, who then put an inch perfect kick ahead for Howlett to run onto and score.
The nail in the coffin, and a great display of counter attacking finishing, showing just how dangerous the Munster outside backs can be with turnover ball.
New Zealand's Sevens team can be beaten. Since December 2006, we all thought those words would never be uttered. But, on the weekend in Adelaide, South Africa finally ended the men in black's 47 match winning streak in the Australian leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.
A classic match that saw the Boks having to gang tackle and defend like men possessed when needed, South Africa succeeded in denying New Zealand too much ball and avoided the confrontational, physical type of game on which they have thrived all season.
Unbeaten in the last 7 tournaments, the New Zealand side are big, strong, and incredibly fast. Led by DJ Forbes and mentored by legendary Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens, the multi-talented teams winning streak, that looked to last all season, was broken by the determined resistance of the Boks.
Veteran Sevens superstar Fabian Juries was the hero of the day, with Juries scoring twice, including the vital final winning try. Young flyer Robert Ebersohn also featured prominently. The 19 year old looks a real prospect for the future of SA Sevens.
The incomparable Victor Vito scored another unstoppable try for the men in black, which we're becoming used to from the big guy, but it was the Springboks who came out on top and celebrated a historic 15-7 win in front of the 17 000 strong Adelaide crowd.
The Alternative Rugby Commentary makes one giant leap into the Rugby League Universe with the first Alternative Rugby League promo.
Blasting into living rooms of League fans across the world, the Jed Thian League Conversion Diploma gives you a chance to learn a little more about the other code of rugby that is sometimes forgotten about by us Union boys.
This is a sneak preview of what's to come, with a slot on the Footy Show in Australia that will hopefully become a regular fixture for the ARC boys.
Saracens overcame a star studded Ospreys side on Sunday to head through to the Heineken Cup Semi Finals. Saracens came out tops in an entertaining game that saw the Ospreys commit far too many errors which had Saracens capitalising on the opportunities given to them. A combination of great defensive tackling and gritted determination saw the men in black coming out victorious 19-10.
The game turned shortly after half time when Neil de Kock found himself in trouble in his own 22. His hurried kick took a deflection from Marty Holah's charge down, which instantly put all other Saracens players onside for Francisco Leonelli to score in the corner.
There was a fair bit of confusion in the stadium and even for some viewers at home, but the rule is that if a kick is charged down or touched by an opposing player, all other players are put on side.
Saracens will now face Munster in the Semi Finals.
Note: We'll be adding highlights of the other quarter finals in the next day or two, so stay tuned.
In a game filled with controversial decisions from the more than incompetent ref Paul Marks, Epi Taione had a moment of absolute stupidity when he lost the plot by head butting a Hurricanes player. The contact wasn't huge, despite hitting the 'Canes player on the chin by launching himself in his direction.
To play for the (Natal) Sharks, unbeaten in the Super 14 so far this season, should be an honour, but the Tongan import let everybody down on Saturday. His ridiculous attack on Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush earned him an automatic red, one of the few things the ref did get correct on the night.
Sharks coach Dick Muir claimed have missed the blatant head-butt, but assistant coach John Plumtree was more realistic. “It was a fair enough decision. I think he was just over-excited,”.
Taione had been playing in Japan recently, but before that was playing for Newcastle in the UK, then the Sale Sharks in 2006. Taione didn't stick around too long though, after having been banned for six weeks for a shameful biting incident.
Highly disappointing from a player with such huge potential, this latest misdemeanour should see Taione banned for at least a month, meaning he'll miss the overseas leg of the tour. In all honesty, don't be surprised if you don't see him in a Sharks jersey again.
Earlier today, in the Heineken Cup Quarter Final match between Munster and Gloucester, we saw Lesley Vainikolo's bad side. No, I'm not referring to his hair, although that also needs some attention.
The big occasion understandably had everyone pumped up, but for whatever reason Big Les decided to fling Rua Tipoki to the ground unnecessarily. I personally couldn't see what Tipoki did initially, but it looks like the big English winger took exception to something, which then started a series of scuffles with the Munster players, and even had one of the commentators accusing Tipoki of poking Vainikolo in the eye.
So as it turns out, Big Les has a big temper, and it doesn't take much to get him rattled.
The Chiefs ruined the party in Canberra on Friday by beating the Brumbies 42 points to 28. The Brumbies were celebrating the return of Captain Stirling Mortlock, who was also playing in his 100th Super Rugby match.
It was all about the Chiefs though, with this try being the pick of their six on the night. The electric Lelia Masaga sparked the movement after the Brumbies coughed the ball up while trying to keep an attack going down the wing.
Masaga took off, interchanging with Sitiveni Sivivatu who flew off down field before being tackled, but keeping the ball alive for the rest of the Chiefs charges. The support play and passing was superb, and resulted in replacement scrum half Jamie Nutbrown scoring the try of the match, and one of the better tries we've seen this season.
The length of the field try further reiterated what a great attacking force the Chiefs are, and that if you're going to turn over ball against them, you're going to pay the price.
When Newcastle met Harlequins at the Stoop last weekend in a tight and gloomy encounter, little did we know that one of the most talked about hits of the season was about to occur.
The incident in question is De Wet Barry's late and hard shoulder on Matthew Tait.
The referee gave an instant red, judging that there was intent and the tackle was dangerous.
After a disciplinary hearing however, Barry has since been found not guilty and will be free to to play with immediate effect, despite the majority of pundits expecting to see a lengthy suspension.
Barry has apologised to Tait for the collision, which possibly looked worse than the intent was. Barry is a far larger man, so any type of collision between the two would end up with Tait coming off second best.
An emotive incident for many though, I won't be surprised if there's a lot of unhappy Newcastle fans out there.
Super 14 try scoring winner, World Cup top try scorer, and 2007 IRB Player of the Year. You really can't say enough about Bryan Habana. Widely considered to be the best winger in the world currently, he's already more than proved that he's worthy of that tag after some impeccable performances in this seasons Super 14.
After a shaky start which included an injured shoulder after going over for a try, Habana has come back with a bang and is really starting to hit his straps. Last weekend against the Blues the Bulls flyer was all over the park. On both defence and attack, Habana was everywhere.
Earlier today, against the Force, Habana continued his great form by scoring two tries and having a great game overall.
This try though, finished off by Bulls hooker Derick Kuun, is from the Blues match a week ago. Habana caught the ball with all the skill of a seasoned slips fielder, then from a standing start took off, rounded a couple of players and had the awareness to throw the pinpoint pass on the inside.
A great try, and just a small example of why he's one of the most exciting players in the game today. Not too many other playes around the world make a run and pass like that look so easy.
I think it's safe to say we'll be seeing a whole lot more of him this season.
This massive late tackle by the James Haskell went unpunished this past weekend in the Guinness Premiership match against the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
The London Wasps man lined up opposing number eight Jordan Crane and let rip, despite the ball having been passed long before the hit. Not only was the tackle late, but Haskell pretty much led with the shoulder and should have been penalised for it.
Somehow the ref missed it though, and actually awarded a penalty to Wasps for a different infringement in the same passage of play.
It was quite an eventful day for French Pro D2 rugby this past Saturday. Not one, but two huge on field fights in different matches resulted in yellow and red cards, one fan being taken to hospital, and a further tarnished image of the French second division.
The two games in question were Toulon vs Pau and Agen vs Mont de Marsan.
In the Toulon match, an inexperienced amateur referee contributed to the players frustrations, which started with a bad penalty try decision. He then sin binned George Gregan for talking too much.
The Pau side were desperate for a win, and played well until just before half-time, when flanker Costanzo had a go at Toulon’s hooker Philip Fitzgerald. That ignited the mass brawl, with 3 minutes of wild punching, including the benches joining the fray.
When waterboy for the day (and coach!), All Black legend Tana Umaga came on to calm matters down, the ref asked Umaga to leave, and when he didn't he was promply red carded.
So, two yellow cards and two red cards were the result of a game in which the ref clearly lost control.
The Agen game was also madness, with another amateur referee struggling to maintain control. The fans got involved on the field afterwards, one was taken to hospital, and one of the Mont de Marsan players came out with a badly injured eye.
Shocking scenes that should never be seen on the rugby field.
Extra:French fighting, particularly in Pro D2, is something that we're all getting quite used to. If you want to share your thoughts on the matter, or just read what others say, have a look at the thread on the forum especially for French fighting.
In his live BBC television interview with Sonja McLaughlan after England's Six Nations victory over Ireland recently, young flyhalf prodigy Danny Cipriani hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
After kicking seven out of seven on his first start for England, Cippers couldn't help himself and slipped up by stating that “It was the f****** one to eight who deserved the man of the match.”
Immediately afterwards the 20 year old Wasps flyhalf realised his mistake, with his comment about hardly believing he just swore on live tv. He was soon pushed away though and the interview with him was over.
An hour later Danny said: “Can I apologise for swearing on national television? I was too excited after the interview and I am very sorry for using the F-word."
Considering he's not even old enough to drink in some countries, I think we'll forgive him for this one.
This years Hong Kong Sevens leg of the IRB Sevens World Series dished up another helping of superb rugby action, as well as it's fair share of great atmosphere and talent in the crowd.
The girls go to watch the rugby, and the guys go to watch the girls, or something like that. Fancy dress, dancing, and supporting your team is what it's all about. The Sevens circuit worldwide has grown to become a platform for new rugby fans, male and female, to have a good time and watch a bit of rugby in-between.
As we saw in Wellington, if you're going to attend a Sevens tournament, make sure you have your costume planned beforehand to get yourself on tv.
With the Adelaide, London and Edinburgh legs coming up, who knows, perhaps you'll end up making it on tv yourself. First prize to anyone who gets on with a huge Rugbydump poster...
Zimbabwean born flyer Tonderai Chavhanga got his name on the score sheet after only 48 seconds against the Force in Perth on Friday. The Stormers star was on the end of a neatly directed kick ahead from fullback Conrad Jantjies, who himself is having a very good season.
The try came from the kickoff, with a great take from the bearded Ross Skeate, and a few of phases of play that led up to Hooker supremo Schalk Britz taking the ball at pace at first receiver and igniting a great attacking move.
When you have speed to burn on the wing like the Stormers and Chavanga are blessed with, you've got to use it, and with this try they signalled their intent by bringing the rapid Chavhanga into the game as early as possible. And you don't get much earlier than 48 seconds.
Chavhanga scored again shortly before half time, and the Stormers went on to record a famous away victory, against an in from Force side that were expected to win at hime.
Not too long ago we posted a clip of the huge All Black defence rocking the Wallabies from a few years back.
This time, it's the Wallabies doing the hard graft against France in Paris in 2004, showing us exactly how it's done.
In the early stages of the game, they manage to get a huge psychological edge over the opposition by putting in some huge, impenetrable offensive defence. Gang tackling, and pumping the legs to drive players back, this type of defence can be soul destroying, especially so early on in the game.
Note how France actually go backwards, particularly after tigerish Phil Waugh's big tackle.