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Wales vs England 1999

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Best punches Visagie, Croft punches Best

On Tuesday night when the Barbarians faced Ireland at Kingsholm, we saw Ireland's flanker Neil Best and Baa Baa's front rower Cobus Visagie get themselves into a real tangle, resulting in Visagie coming off second best, looking battered and bruised and having to leave the field.

It's hard to see why the scuffle broke out. By the looks of it, Visagie was overzealous in his clearing out at the ruck, which turned into a wrestle, and attempted elbow/punch, then Best's dealing with powerful scrummagers face.

Visagie had to go off for treatment, and Best was probably lucky to stay on the field after his short jab connected so obviously. It wasn't the end of it though.

Fast forward 4 minutes, and we see retiring Queensland Red's stalwart David Croft get his own back. Best found himself at the bottom of a ruck, a little push and shove happened somewhere, and next thing you know, Croft unleashed a few well placed shots that mostly, judging by Best’s bleeding nose, were actually missed by the cameras.

We may have seen three yellow cards on another occasion, but somehow all these incidents were overlooked.

Croft taking the law into his own hands was wrong, but it just goes to show that even if the ref does miss it, there’s someone out there who’ll make sure you get your due punishment.




  • Funny that the second Irish commentator seems to take pride in Best getting a punch in that ends another players night, yet squeals that there's no need for it when it's the Irishman on the receiving end!

    And while it's always better to have a game free of this kind of thing, if Best and Ireland want to throw night ending punches it's good to see that even in a side like the Barbarians the team spirit that always seems to exist in rugby sides is still strong.

    By Anonymous hackney griffin, at May 30, 2008 10:13 am  

  • I said in the other post i made in the previous video about being dissapointed with tthe Irish kicking penalties in a BaaBas game. But throwing punches aswell? Sorry, Best you got everything you deserved there.

    By Anonymous Fridge, at May 30, 2008 10:41 am  

  • That Best/Visagie thing kicked off after Visagie quite obviously attempted to cuff Best in the jaw at the ruck (first ruck in the vid). Not sure why Visagie did that, bit of an idiot really, maybe he didn't like Best stepping on the ruck but Best doesn't do much to be honest. Best had every right cuff the prick after his attempted punch.

    As for Croft, I suppose if he thought that it was dirty from Best initially he could dish out some justice but in my opinion Visagie/Best was a scuffle that Visagie started and had deal with himself. Saying that, I think Croft is a dirty shit for aiming digs at Best when Best was at the bottom of a ruck.

    And finally! I reckon the commentator might not have vocalised it very well but Visagie/Best was a scuffle on fairly equal terms but Croft was digging Best when he was at the bottom of a ruck. For this reason I think the commentator was right to feel a little indignant even if he didn't articulate very well.

    By Anonymous Tanora, at May 30, 2008 10:43 am  

  • Was this an Ireland x Barbarians game? With punches and goalkicking?

    Irish and Baabaas players: shame on you. It is a real shame to your jersey.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 10:57 am  

  • I don't think anyone needs defending here really - all three acts were pretty much out of hand.

    I have to be honest though, it's hard to really see what Visagie was doing there. I mean, even when watching a HQ vid of it. Like, SURELY he wouldn't be openly taking a massive shot at Best like that? Almost looks like a strange technique of pushing him/clearing him out maybe..?
    I'm just giving him the benefit of the doubt cos I can't believe he'd blatantly try punch like that?? Or would he... weird.
    Anyway, on the way down Visagie did seem to try get a shot in.

    And Croft, well I think there was something on the floor before Croft started.

    Commentators bugged me too. Not sure how they could say Croft needs a card but not say the same for Best.

    By Anonymous Sharky, at May 30, 2008 10:57 am  

  • ive seen high defination videos of this, and visagi started all this by attempting to throw a punch while clearing a ruck. A scrap developed that neil best came out on top of. End of matter.

    What croft did later was a disgrace, there was elbows and punched being thrown at best while he was stuck at the bottom of a ruck and unable to respond, disgraceful.

    By Anonymous Ithryn, at May 30, 2008 11:02 am  

  • If Visagie did in fact throw a punch at Best, from point blank range, he's a bit of a clown for missing really.

    I just watched my recording of it again though, and I think what may have happened is that Visagie's left hand was stamped on by Best, probably accidentally, but that's what provoked the attempted drunken looking punch from him.

    By Anonymous Sharky, at May 30, 2008 11:21 am  

  • I called for this video to be shown the other day, I would have been interested to hear what all you rugby fans have to say about it. As people above say Visagie was a disgrace the way he tried to clear out the ruck. He went in with a swinging arm and got a slap for his trouble. On the flip side of the coin for every action there is a reaction so Best can't really complain. I think the referee was poor in how he reacted to both cases. But that's what you get when a team full of has beens comes up against a team full of young players trying to break into a national side which is at the beginning of a new era. I'd also like to point out that it's not up to the team coming up against the Baa Baas to entertain, that's for the supposedly best club team in the world to do. You'll see it again when they come up against England.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 11:40 am  

  • Ah, if you look closely you'll see that it's Visagie that's started it only the idiot couldn't land a punch, so Best decided to finish it. Though he was punished for it later at the bottom of a ruck, good to see it didn't seem to bother him.

    By Anonymous Richard, at May 30, 2008 11:54 am  

  • i was at the match and teh best visagie thing kicked of not when visagie tried to punch best but when he kept a hold of him after the ruck and as we all know that will make you see red and flip! best and visagie was a fight like so many in rugby nothing special, but the way croft acted was shameful and sad! rugbydumps comments above the video about best getting his "due punishment" is mad, would rugbydump also be happy to see an irish player going to the side line to smack visagie a few times for his "due punishment"? crofts acts were sad and violent!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 12:15 pm  

  • 100% testosterone what are commentators taking befire games

    I think Best was a little imprudent with the placing of his feet when reaching over in the ruck. Shame as Babas games should be full of running rugby and having fun. Yes fun remember when people played for the love of the game. Call me old fashioned. Live by the sword etc he didnt seem to bothered by it.

    Irish rugby in the dock again after Munsters theatrics ;-)

    By Anonymous Osprey Rich, at May 30, 2008 12:16 pm  

  • If you trowh a punch, you should always expect one back.

    By Anonymous cotton, at May 30, 2008 1:47 pm  

  • I wouldn't take too much notice of the commentator Mark Robson. He's a clown and doesn't know the first thing about rugby. I wish Setanta would cough up a few quid more to pay for someone with half a clue. Luckily this game was aired on RTE in Ireland so we didn't have to endure him for this match.

    As for the comments about Ireland kicking pens and throwing punches. This Barbarians team was a joke - what are they doing playing Belgium for god's sake. And the team that faced Ireland was, barring a few players - awful and packed full of has beens. I think Ireland showed the Barbarians more respect than they deserved on this occasion.

    If this is what the BaaBaas are about these days they should pack it in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 1:56 pm  

  • lads did ye actually watch the match? doesnt seem like it form yer comments.....Best was on the recieving end twice and only defended himself once, which im delighted he did because visage and croft are the clear instigators! open your eyes HACKNEY GRIFFIN and FRIDGE?

    By Blogger Mark, at May 30, 2008 2:19 pm  

  • whoever throws a punch in any friendly is a bastard.

    to the Anonymous May 30, 2008 10:57 AM, spot on, mate.

    the belgian game was a warm-up for the baabaas, they always play some minor rugby nations before the big ones. it might also have something to do with the beer as well. thats why i was there, atleast :D

    couldn't tell you how the game was memory is a bit hazy, i think is was baabaas: 80something belgium: 10

    By Anonymous flanker, at May 30, 2008 2:50 pm  

  • flanker you have obviously never watched or played a rugby match.......

    By Blogger Mark, at May 30, 2008 3:40 pm  

  • Spot on Tanora. It's a barbarians game so Best should just have let that guy punch him in the face?! Retaliation isn't really fair, but it was dirty, uncalled for, and not picked up by the ref so it's hard to argue with the response. If Visagie punched Best in the street and that happened who would complain? I found it hard to see what went on with Croft.

    Also why is it suddenly thought that in a barbarians game the national side must suddenly play like barbarians (which somehow and very ironically means never ever throwing a punch??), they want to win the game, fair play to them.

    By Anonymous rockylamontagne, at May 30, 2008 3:48 pm  

  • "We also don’t appreciate inter Irish, South African and Australian bickering. If we wanted to hear that, we’d walk into any pub in London. So please, keep your comments clean and fair, and remain respectful at all times."

    Well done Rugby Dump. That made me laugh!

    By Anonymous shortstack, at May 30, 2008 3:55 pm  

  • I was always under the impression that there were no such things as "friendlies" you play the game as it comes naturally - I've been on many tours, and played many touring sides - and not once did I see anyone play it like touch rugby.

    If you play in the forwards you expect the odd punch - I'm not glorifying it, that's just the way it is.

    let's not start whingeing like soccer fans

    By Anonymous Kev, at May 30, 2008 5:21 pm  

  • aside from the incident neil best is the best number 6 in ireland, its a pity irelands national team is determained by politics rather than true skill, neil best is the most aggressive, physical flanker in the world (jerry collins some might think, but he had to go off when he played against best) but the world of rugby will never know until an irish coach gives him a chance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 6:58 pm  

  • easy there horse.........best has been below par all year, granted 2 years ago he was good but alan quinlan is clearly the best 6 in ireland at the moment. politics my ass! no ulster players deserve to start for ireland aside from tommy bowe. magners league=2nd from bottom...........go figure!

    By Blogger Mark, at May 30, 2008 8:24 pm  

  • I really like Best
    He doesnt mess about
    Visagie tried to hit him and Best sorted him out
    What Croft did was disgraceful
    Hitting a helpless guy on the ground is pathetic

    That reff is certifiably RETARDED
    he was standing 5 feet from the ruck watching Croft hit Best and he did nothing
    Even Ollie Le Roux who was playing for the Baa Baa's was disgusted at what happened

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2008 9:19 pm  

  • The "Due Punishment" comment is ridiculous and should be removed. Visagie got his "Due Punishment" for throwing a punch and then going after Best again after missing.

    The Croft Incident was a ridiculous shameful attack, when Best had no way of defending himself (not that it bothered him.)

    By Anonymous IcyT, at May 30, 2008 9:47 pm  

  • I watched the game on tv like many people here and heres how i view it.

    The ba-baas team where poor on the night and any reference previous great barbarian teams running from everywhere and playing entertaining rugby would have no relievence whatsoever to this team. They played poorly and not to the high standards expected.

    Ireland although they played slightly more like a ba-baas side in the first 25-30 minutes clearly didnt want to play the game as such. Ireland where treating this game like a test in my opinion, thats why they took the penaltys etc. (i was disapointed myself to see that but it is a practice game for the tours)I wouldnt be surprised to see England do the same at the weekend.

    Visagie/Best incident was just like many rugby games. Best was clumsy with his footing, deliberately or not visagie didnt like it and took a swing at him. Best is not a player to take a backwards step and when at the next ruck visagie tried to elbow best in the face it was clear that he would reliate. I am not saying its right but in a game of rugby for me that is fair and nearly expected.

    Unlike many other people i do not think Crofts punches where related to the previous punch up. Best carried the ball in, penalty was awarded and best held onto the ball after the whistle. Croft got frustrated and took the law into his own hands/fists. Although i believe Best is in the wrong and should have released it, i dont believe croft should have taken it as far as punching him 6 or 7 times on the deck no matter how frustrated he is. And comments saying Best got his just deserves are completely innapropriate, he did not start either punch up so why should he get "just deserves" for ending one? That comment should be removed as it is not fair or justified.

    Oh and i am an Ulsterman and Alan Quinlan is most definately the best 6 in ireland right now. As much as i want to believe Best is.

    By Anonymous Best vs Mayweather 2008, at May 30, 2008 11:17 pm  

  • why did Best need a card? he was only defending himself

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2008 2:59 am  

  • Just before Best came on Visagie hit another Irish player in a late tackle right infront of Best who was standing on the sidelines. So i guess when Visagie started the scuffle (missing him with a punch - what sort of front row are you?) Best just gave him what he deserved. But crofts actions were a little over the top - fight a guy when he's on his feet not trapped at the bottom of a ruck - coward. Then again Croft is one of the dirtiest players in world rugby. As for the Ireland No.6 debate, Quinlan might be playing better at the moment but does he really have a future at his age? Best is the way forward.

    By Anonymous Sean, at May 31, 2008 9:19 pm  

  • Best's nose was bloodied before croft got his hands on him. his punches didn't bother Neil Best who is hard as nails. Croft should learn how to throw a punch and Visagie shouldn't have started on Neil Best. i hope he had to pay for whatever treatment he needed himself because if you're thick enough to swing a dig at Neil Best your insurance shouldn't cover the aftermath.

    By Anonymous mick, at June 01, 2008 2:23 am  

  • Neil Best is hard as nails, fact.
    He plays fast,all agression unglorious rugby.
    His tackles cut people in half in the backline, carries the ball hard in attack and fights for the ball at every opportunity, oh and he takes no shit.
    If you aren't willing to accept the consequences of trying to hit him, don't.
    Also mark, your comment about ulster players was unfair, whilst best isnt as gd an actor as quinlan I would say he is the better player. Don't get me wrong, Quinlan is a good solid player, but he doesn't compete with the likes of leamy, best, ferris, healslip and jennings all of whom can play 6 and are still to reach their peaks.
    And lets see, who could deserves to start for ireland, well I'd say that R Best, N Best, Ferris, Trimble and Bowe all deserve a spot on the test side.
    However I do agree, 2nd from the bottom is disgraceful.

    By Blogger alex, at June 01, 2008 12:54 pm  

  • Hackney griffin has taken the words out of my mouth

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2008 10:59 pm  

  • Well at least he'll have company in the no brain club.
    Its pretty obvious that best was in the right on both occasions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2008 12:19 am  

  • as a player if you are prepared to throw a few punches on the field, regardless of how the scuffle comes about, you have to be prepared to receive a few cheap shots.

    what best and visagie got up to was fair enough. for best or any irishman on the field to think that the matter is over with is ridiculous. croft, as a teammate of visagie and for that matter could have been any other team mate was kinda obliged to hand out a few tickles to best. best got stuck at the bottom of a ruck, and would you believe it he gets a bit of payback.

    this is rugby, don't whinge about getting punched if you throwing them too.

    By Anonymous G-Unit, at June 02, 2008 10:04 am  

  • an aussie standing up for a south african.lol.nice

    By Anonymous Alain, at June 17, 2008 10:55 pm  

  • yeah ehh , clearly visagie started the fight , so dont act as if it was ireland who were all up for a fight . visagie actually attacked best twice if u watch the match , best only defended himself , nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2008 1:42 pm  

  • well to be honest i find that punches on a rugby feild should not happen....but understandably they happen in the heat of the moment....that was the scrap between best and visage.......though the scrap between croft and best is another matter altogether that was a premeditated assault on a player who was defenceless on the ground and at crofts mercy shows how much a man he is anyway he cant take him when he is on his feet....croft himself i belive to be a waste of space...i have seen nothing posotive from him in rugby......he cant hit hard and is completely overshadowed by his australian counterpart george smith a fine player cmon oz!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 12, 2008 11:32 pm  

  • bad commentating but the second incedent was far worse should have been cards all round.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2008 8:48 pm  

  • In all fairness, it was a cracking punch by Best, However disagreeable the circumstances. Then again, if you do look back you will see Visagie take a swing at Best early on (as Tanora says) which sort of throws it all in the mixer i suppose.
    I didn't realize that mob justice would come into play from the Barbarians later on, i was quite surprised.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 04, 2009 12:57 pm  

  • Hello. And Bye.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 21, 2010 4:43 am  

  • Best got what was coming to him.
    If you're gonna be a big man and start shit, then you better expect it to come back round on you.
    Good on Croft for sticking up for his team mate, that's part of rugby.

    By Anonymous Jono, at July 20, 2010 5:12 am  

  • cant beleive all the fuss about 2 puches on a rugby pitch. It's a physical game and tempers will flare, punching should never have been outlawed. It's always been part of the game and i don't think it's a bad thing. Bring back rucking out too!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 12:29 pm  

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