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Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Montpellier pick up two red cards against the Saints

An entertaining match took place at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday evening in the European Challenge Cup. Northampton Saints played host to Montpellier, who’s night went horribly pear shaped as they had two players red carded, and conceded over fifty points.

It was a convincing 51-7 win for the Saints as first half tries from Scott Gray, Joe Ansbro and a penalty try allowed the Saints to command the game, with Chris Ashton gaining the bonus-point in the 56th minute. Scores from Soane Tongauiha and Paul Diggen sealed victory.

Montpellier were at one stage playing with 12 players on the field as the they had two players red carded, and two minutes from time, another picked up a yellow.

Captain Julien Tomas was red carded for his alleged punch that took place during a nasty looking tangle with fiery young Saints hooker Dylan Hartley. A minute earlier there was another scuffle, and at that point it looked as though something was about to give.

The clearing Hartley arm to the face of Tomas was the spark that ignited the fuse, and we saw a bit of fisty cuffs break out, resulting in the aggrieved looking Tomas being picked out for landing punches.

Late in the game, hooker Fabian Rofes was given a red card for stamping as he carelessly trod on Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe. The referee had no hesitation in sending him off, compounding Montpellier’s misery.

Saints captain Bruce Reihana spoke afterwards regarding the cool heads required by his team.

"It is hard, because when you get a bit of confrontation like that you have got to stand up for yourself. But you have to almost take it on the chin and be disciplined enough not retaliate because we certainly didn’t want any yellow or red cards for the boys. A lot of the guys managed to handle it pretty well.

"It is a man's game and when you get hit, the normal reaction is to hit back, but we're trying to retaliate by putting points on the scoreboard."

Time: 04:04



  • if he woulda only stepped on him with one foot it would have been ok imho


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 3:25 pm  

  • Montpellier just came up from divion 2, Pro D2, which is known for beeing very violent. They are playing in top14 now and they need to learn to control themselves better in the top14 aswell as heineken cup. I still think red card is harsh for stamping. Yellow for sure but not red, at least in my opinion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 3:38 pm  

  • I love winding the french up, the english have been doing it for years.

    By Anonymous andy, at October 23, 2008 3:39 pm  

  • don't think the first was really a red card at all, had he been warned earlier or anything?

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at October 23, 2008 4:20 pm  

  • I saw the match, worst refereing ever the first red is not deserved, two yellow one for the Saint's hooker and one for the Montpellier scrum half is the good decision, the second red is deserved, and the last yellow is really stupid, no reason.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 4:31 pm  

  • I think that the french clubs are penalised a bit too much in the european cups (biaritz, perpignan, montpellier...). Is this a misunderstanding of the rules or are they really too violent?
    (or do refs love to penalise the french?)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 4:33 pm  

  • I don't know, but in the first red card i'm in under the impression that The Saints player slap (voluntarily or not) the n°9 in first.
    And for the second one, a sin bin is enought i think.

    By Anonymous t., at October 23, 2008 4:41 pm  

  • For me the reef kill the game with the second red card.

    By Anonymous T;, at October 23, 2008 4:42 pm  

  • Hm i reckon the second red came because he stepped on the guys nuts, like the first person said i reckon if he had put one foot on the guy (away from his balls) he would have probably got a warning or a yellow!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 4:43 pm  

  • Terrible ref. Concerning this game, the portuguese lock Goncalo Uva is really showing something, and he could be in a better club next year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 4:46 pm  

  • Thought both were good decisions.

    Hartley was a bit wild, but was trying to drag the man into the ruck and stop him going for the ball. At least two Mont. players then laid into him, including when he was on the ground. That's just cowardly.

    The stamp would have been OK if it wasn't right in Lobbe's nuts. Even back when you wree allowed to ruck properly, the head and the balls were off limits.

    These guys were just pissed off that they were being outclassed I reckon.

    By Anonymous HamishM, at October 23, 2008 5:15 pm  

  • Estes tugas a tentar que notem no Uva, calem-se pá

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 6:21 pm  

  • I wsa at the game, most importantly both incidents were right in front of me.

    Montpellier were dirty all game, and just before the first a last warning was given to Montpellier for "use of the fist".

    For the second, it doesnt look like it on the TV but but Nacho Lobbe was clear of the ruck. Their Hooker had no need to step on him. He could have just jumped over him.

    Thier yellow was also just careless high tackling. They dug their own grave that night.

    The tries were all good tho! including Uva for Montpellier!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 6:28 pm  

  • "Montpellier just came up from divion 2"

    No they didn't, maybe you thought about Mont-de-Marsan, which came up this year in Top14, but Montpellier has been there for years ! They even won the European Challenge in 2004

    By Anonymous Ben, at October 23, 2008 6:36 pm  

  • Big match by the number 8 of Montpellier, but he is injuried :<

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 6:43 pm  

  • typical Dylan hartley starting it.. no wonder they smashed him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 6:50 pm  

  • I saw the match.
    Worst ref ever seen. Only wrong decisions and penalties against the french, and I'm English !
    A shame.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 7:28 pm  

  • The stamp looked really bad... he hit him twice, very purposefully.

    I think the second stamp could've cost the Argentinian his family jewels...nasty.

    By Anonymous Sander, at October 23, 2008 9:27 pm  

  • The first red card isn't deserved at all, saints hooker throw his arm in Tomas face and the riot begins...
    The second red card is deserved: it was a clear nuts-stamping

    but...am i dreaming or british referees really love to penalise frog teams?

    ps: Reihana reaction "saying goodbye" to Tomas is stupid...is he captain?

    By Blogger Flooz, at October 23, 2008 10:47 pm  

  • i just love the fact that hartley got his arse handed to him!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2008 11:12 pm  

  • Is this one of the most "exciting" moments of this week's Heineken Cup? boring.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2008 2:22 am  

  • Punch? Where? Maybe a yellow for both incidents. I've seen this ref before on the 7's circuit and he is right up there with Wayne Barnes in the crap department! He is Welsh right? Just as biased as their commentators.

    By Blogger Hennie, at October 24, 2008 11:55 am  

  • "Hartley was a bit wild, but was trying to drag the man into the ruck and stop him going for the ball. At least two Mont. players then laid into him, including when he was on the ground. That's just cowardly."

    If you actually look close Hartley gets hit a few times, then runs straight back into the ruck, i dont think it really affected him all that much, he didnt end up on the ground!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2008 12:55 pm  

  • The ref lost his sin bin in the changing-room...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2008 1:43 pm  

  • ow! that must have hurt.. listen to the scream of agony after gotten step by such a big guy from the front row

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 24, 2008 3:19 pm  

  • Thats a lot of weight to the crown jewels....

    By Anonymous anonymous no6, at October 25, 2008 8:16 pm  

  • "Is this one of the most "exciting" moments of this week's Heineken Cup? boring."

    No. this was one of the most exciting moments of the European Challenge Cup. Idiot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2008 4:55 pm  

  • Interesting post Anonymous "October 23, 2008 6:28"

    If you take the video alone and out of context Hartley could have been penalized for following through once he knew he had Tomas by the head but he was controlled and just wanted to drag him into the ruck; he didn't grab the guy by the ear.

    From what the captain said after the game, it sounds like Northampton have taken a brave decision as a group to stamp out unnecessary violence from their game. I was massively impressed by Hartley's discipline. Tomas is a scrum half who reminds me of Dawson and I think he misunderstood Hartley's gesture; had Hartley gathered a front five forward into a ruck like that the player would probably not thought it to be foul play. Tomas clearly did. I think that's the difference between rugby in France and England. In France each player interprets the game differently whereas in Britain foreigners playing in the Premiership have to adapt to the style of the team they join. I prefer watching the French but I think it's about time more dominant clubs made such clear statements as Northampton did here. A pact was made by this team to not fight back. I watch mainly French Top 14 rugby and would like to see teams like Paris SF start behaving a bit more like Northampton did against Montpellier because there's no easier way to dominate than against a side a man down.

    By Blogger Disco, at October 27, 2008 11:00 pm  

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