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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two yellows and a red in European Challenge Cup final

The European Challenge Cup final will be remembered as being one of the most fiercely confrontational matches of the season. The 15-3 win for Northampton Saints over Bourgoin was try-less, but was packed with action from start to finish.

Early on in the match it looked as though Irish referee George Clancy was struggling to control matters as the fiery French side got frustrated with his decisions. Saints had expected the match to be physical, and they got exactly that as niggle crept in.

Morgan Parra and Neil Best got themselves in a tussle shortly before halftime, resulting in Best receiving a messy looking black eye, and both players being shown yellow cards.

Later in the match, about 2 mins after Saints replacement lock Courney Lawes put in a huge hit that injured scrumhalf Parra, Bourgoin’s Thomas Genevois decided it was payback time and unleashed a punch on Lawes, which started another brawl.

Captain Julien Frier then landed a punch on Scottish prop Euan Murray, splitting Murray’s eye and earning himself a meeting with the disciplinary committee, as he's since been cited by the match citing commissioner.

Murray did well to refrain from retaliating, which would have surely jeopardised his British & Irish Lions tour, à la Alan Quinlan.

Genevois was red carded, although he was determined to stop the ref from showing it, leaning towards the side of misconduct of a different manner.

Following the next lineout, another incident sparked a small scuffle again, as Lawes put in a seemingly late and unnecessary challenge over the dead ball line. He was penalised, but some thought it should have perhaps warranted further action.

It was a chaotic but enjoyable final that had moments that probably weren't a great advert for the game of rugby. In terms of intensity though, it lacked nothing, which made for quite a spectacle.

Time: 05:58



  • bound to be violence if a french team are playing

    By Anonymous mitch, at May 28, 2009 12:07 pm  

  • This is rugby.

    By Blogger Arnaud, at May 28, 2009 12:08 pm  

  • Apparantly Tom Smith had a quiet word in Euan Murray's ear, just to remind him not to do anything stupid or he wouldn't be playing Lions rugby.

    By Anonymous Muzz11, at May 28, 2009 12:17 pm  

  • the last incident with lawes was fine.. thatw asnt a penalty no whistle was blown b4 he made the tackle he just smashed him into deadball.
    well played in my opinion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:17 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:26 pm  

  • courtny lawes, hard as nails!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:26 pm  

  • I dnt know about the last one, i guess that as it was a final, its OK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:30 pm  

  • Lawes is a physical player, ths time a bit too far. Anyway, the biggest f***er on the pitch was the bloody french captain Julien Frier (n°6)...watch him looking to separate the brawl and landing a few punches on the road...

    By Anonymous SwissVinch, at May 28, 2009 12:34 pm  

  • Bourgoin have some dirty players.
    Absoltely disgusting stuff. Running in and hitting someone blind and running out. Not only is that bad for rugby but its bad for manhood too. How tough do you have to be to do that.
    Nothing wring with the last incident and shouldve been a penalty FOR Northampton for throwing the ball at him.

    I love the irish refs
    "Number 6 has come in from nowhere ans landed a SERIOUS punch"


    By Anonymous Ben, at May 28, 2009 12:34 pm  

  • I hope Genevois gets a huge ban!
    What a coward! Hitting people that are being held...

    By Blogger Tom Hagen, at May 28, 2009 12:37 pm  

  • Read our guidelines please guys.. say what you want, but keep things clean. Kids read the site too. Cheers.

    By Blogger RD, at May 28, 2009 12:38 pm  

  • Seeing how Bourgoin sparked everything, how over the top their reactions were to their perceived injustices, it makes me more than happy to see Courtney Lawes smash both Parra, and their 13 into the hoardings. Should have just put the ball down straight away...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:38 pm  

  • Thanks RD.

    Any chance of highlights from the recent sevens final between England and New Zealand?

    Apparently it was quality.

    By Blogger Kieran, at May 28, 2009 12:46 pm  

  • un peu des putes ces anglais...mais bon tout ça est la faute de l'arbitre qui n'avait d'yeux que pr northamptezn, c'est normal si y'a de la fight

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:49 pm  

  • reminds me of the best fights of Beziers in the 70's (you know, that monster team that english teams avoided like ships avoiding a wolf)... allez les Français, don't give up the fighting spirit even if the referees are always with the brits

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:52 pm  

  • I think Lawes' tackel over the dead ball line was fine. Most pitches wouldnt have adverts so close to the dead ball area.

    The punch on Lawes was just ridiculous, and summed up everything that wrong with French rugby. Total nonsense.

    I think that regardless of what ref had that game it would have probably gone that way.

    By Anonymous JJM, at May 28, 2009 12:54 pm  

  • what's wrong with french rugby? just ask your Thomson how he improved his skills and rebuilted his body in our championship, mister the lessons giver

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 12:58 pm  

  • Bad advert for french rugby indeed... I'm a bit ashamed of Bourgoin's players reaction, Genevois in particular.

    Lawes last hit on Bourgoin's 13 was very unfair though, giving the fact the French guy was already past the deadline. He clearly wanted to throw him into the ads...

    By Blogger Nathan, at May 28, 2009 1:05 pm  

  • vous perdez votre temps les gars, je comprends votre colère anti anglaise mais tant que l'IRB permettra tout aux glishes, seules quelques rares équipes françaises s'en sortiront... bien joué Northampton, malgré tout, à bientôt de vous recevoir en France! ;-)

    By Blogger perfides anglais, at May 28, 2009 1:05 pm  

  • How come some Northampton players have their name on the back of their jerseys (murray best gray hartley) while others just have Saints written on the back.

    I know it has nothing to do with the violence but i have commented on the match in question in a previous clip. Just wondering....

    By Blogger Kenny, at May 28, 2009 1:08 pm  

  • Bit of a scrap, the apporiate cards were given out.
    I'm more shocked at the French guy putting his hands on the ref, that should be punished witha lengthy ban.
    Pretty obvious the French were bitter about losing.
    Dumb though, not smart rugby at all, illdisciplined and unproffesional to get yourself sent off and miss games in future as a result.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 1:19 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Lilian, at May 28, 2009 1:21 pm  

  • Kenny, Guiness Premiership clubs put the names of the starting 15 on the appropriate jerseys and the subs jerseys all say 'Saints'. I don't understand the reasoning but that's the way it is.

    By Anonymous Brick Shithouse, at May 28, 2009 1:31 pm  

  • Seemed to be nothing wrong with the last hit, the ball was touched down, the place wasn't out of play and lawes was committed to that tackle. I think fair play to him!!

    Any higlighs of the Asian Five Nations?? seemed to be a good tournament this year!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 1:33 pm  

  • I'm french (as suggested by the name) and to be honest I felt a great deal of pity for Bourgoin in penalties given or not given out. I don't condone their attitude and actions a single bit, but it doesn't surprise me, as well as the match's particular circumstances (final, in England, against a far superior team in attack). You guys seem to forget that you don't have a fight without the other half involved - I think both Bourgoin and Northampton should be fined if there are repercussions from the citing committee.
    And nice one mitch, nice one. Just keep doing the anglophone community a great deal and keep slagging off the french...its easy isn't it?

    By Anonymous frenchpolak, at May 28, 2009 1:34 pm  

  • there was nothing wrong with courtney lawes' hit at the end. the man he was tackling was still on the pitch and it was just a good hit!! im pretty annoyed to see that was a penalty

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 1:58 pm  

  • Pour les 2 ou 3 français du blog... ne traitez pas tous les anglais d' "enculés"! Généraliser ce genre de propos c'est que de la merde.

    And for the english, stop to say french teams bound violence. It's not true!

    And to finish with humour.... at least french teams known to destroy their opponent eyes ;)

    By Anonymous T., at May 28, 2009 2:07 pm  

  • As said before, bourgoin's players were very disapointed about losing this final : the european challenge saved a crappy top14 season.
    How can you say that the incident with lawes was fine ??? He clearly wanted to do damage !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 2:17 pm  

  • I haven't seen a red card more cowardly then this one. What a sucker punch. Also the first incident you see Best is not doing a lot untill he got punched from all sides by the not so tough French. But Parra was so irritating that the hit he received from Lawes was so unbelievable well deserved. The last action from Lawes is technically ok but in this minute with that score and with the few minutes before in the back of your head it is not neccassary to do it and I understand the referee there for not going the afe route.

    It will be ridiculous if Northampton will get a hearing for this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 2:42 pm  

  • I can't help but think Arnauds comment about 'this is rugby,' is a massive pile of b*llocks. The fact is, yes its a physical game and disagreements on the pitch do occur. But as proffesional players, bourgoin showed very little profesionalism. The striaght punch on courtney law was a disgrace and the reaction of the player was as pathetic as a footballers. personally I was disgusted by it. Fair play, it was a good final and a deserved win for Northampton

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 2:47 pm  

  • Parra is portuguese allright. Tough as hell!

    Loved the strike. Lawes had it comming..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 2:56 pm  

  • Frenchpolak, sure mitch's comments are perhaps misguided, however they are nothing compared to the ones written in French directed at English teams. The content of those posts are as disgraceful so perhaps you should highlight them as well as highlighting mitch's post.

    By Anonymous Scott, at May 28, 2009 3:04 pm  

  • is dylan hartley the first ever pre-pubescent professional rugby player? Looks about 12. Albeit a very large 12 year old

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 3:13 pm  

  • number 18 blue should get a couple of weeks suspension!! what a tool

    you simply can't talk/clap to a referee like that..

    schalk burger got 3 weeks for a cynical applause like that couple of years ago

    By Anonymous Cheis, at May 28, 2009 3:17 pm  

  • @RD: please remove Lilian's insulting post
    ("By Lilian, at May 28, 2009 1:21 PM")

    By Anonymous Benjamin, at May 28, 2009 3:23 pm  

  • Well done Murray, takes a bigger man than me to walk away from a punch and bleeding eye. good spirited player

    By Anonymous Cav, at May 28, 2009 3:27 pm  

  • thats the ugly side of french rugby that needs to be sorted. you see it every week. gives french rugby a bad name!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 3:29 pm  

  • Bloody French. They've never known how to fight.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 3:36 pm  

  • yea please post the 7's final england v. new zealand! i was there but had to leave before the final which sucks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 3:40 pm  

  • I've got an idea, if the French persist in doing this why not belt them back?

    It's not like they're masters of fighting. For the most part they windmill their arms about like females.

    These players don't care about suspension. They'll continue with the niggly stuff until British teams start to defend themselfs.

    Well played by Lawes. Completely legal. Who cared if he meant to hurt him. I try to hurt people everytime i make a tackle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 4:16 pm  

  • Folks

    Everybody need to give fair judgements.

    The first struggle between parra and best is typical between a scrumhalf and a flanker. 2 deserved yellow cards

    Genevois red card is completly coward and deserved, and he should be ashamed of that

    i don't know how Lawes was still on the pitch..

    Now,i must say few words on people (a lot of northampton fans)who insult french rugby and teams.
    i think it's very easy to summarize french rugby with violence.

    French players play with their passion. This referee gave a lot of unfair calls against bourgoin and i think their nerves exploded simply.
    The saints played well with it, provokating them constantly and that's part of the game!

    What i mean is, i don't like english "try-less" rugby but i respect it, please respect other rugby.

    a final to forget,

    By Blogger Flooz, at May 28, 2009 4:24 pm  

  • to anonymous

    "Well played by Lawes. Completely legal. Who cared if he meant to hurt him"

    What u say is stupid. Have we seen the same images or are u a skysport journalist?

    By Blogger Flooz, at May 28, 2009 4:27 pm  

  • There is no justification for Bourgoin's behaviour. Those suggesting that some calls not going their way, or worse that "Lawes had it coming" after he put in a legal tackle are utterly confused as to what game they are watching.

    Given the number of Bougoin players who threw cheap, blind side punches when no fight was going on I am amazed there have been no calls for them to be banned from European rugby next season. Disgraceful.

    Totally agree with the praise given to Murray - does the right thing and steps away. Winning the trophy is how you prove who's the bigger man. That or putting in a big legal hit. Like Lawes. Both were legal in my view, he looks like a great prospect.

    I'm certainly not a Northampton fan - and think Best was lucky to emerge with only a yellow - provoked or not he threw a punch and is lucky not to get a red. But to claim as Flooz has that it takes two teams to fight ignores the footage we've just seen. It only takes one team to kick off and throw cheap blind side punches. And too often it seems this is viewed as acceptable in French rugby.

    By Anonymous Hackney Griffin, at May 28, 2009 4:42 pm  

  • the yellow and red cards were deserved, Lawes hit on Parra maybe a penalty but nothing outrageous about it, just unlucky for Parra.

    More generally, the whole debate on french indiscipline is a bit tiring. It is true that in France there has been a long standing tradition that teams are aloud to let some steam off by having a few fights, and as long as no injury is suffered because of it, it was OK. this has to change and it does, albeit slowly. the sissy windmill type punches thrown by the french sort of reflect that.. the whole point of the fight is to have a scrap and let some steam go.. Laporte as french national team coach had managed to bring more discipline and the main french clubs are now quite disciplined, so it's coming but it takes time..

    It is also true that reputation follows the french and feelings of injustice build on.. Stephen Jones of the Times has summarized it already but between the way the two confrontations between Stade Français and Harlequins were referied or the way the Perpignan Lock Tincu was banned for 18 weeks after the Ospreys-Perpignan match in this year Hcup for allegedly gouging an opponent (while no image managed to prove the claim) while James who decked him with a punch got just 1 week, feeling of injustice keeps building on...

    in modern refereing communication between the ref and players is paramount, but except making it mandatory that all french or italian players speak english it is legitimate to ask referees to pay a particular effort in making sure non english speaking teams understand what they say..

    To go back to the Saints-Bourgoin match, from the start the french team could see they were overmatched and that their only real chance to win was to use to the best their relative dominance in the scrum and solid rucking and hope for penalties.. they felt that the referee kept penalising them and didn't penalise the Saints in this area enough and they grew frustrated... They reverted to silly old french style blowing up and punishment is warranted, but understanding what happens still matters...

    All of us rugby lovers would prefer to see good matches not marred by that kind of action. The ERC should set up seminars for club coaches, captains and referees before the beginning of the Hcup to stress how matches are refereed and how to communicate properly...

    It would only take some effort from all involved (french teams, refs and ERC) to make that problem go away faster...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 4:52 pm  

  • I'm french but i find that Bourgoin behaviour was very bad, not a very good example for french rugby.

    But i can understand their frustration.surely like them, i've stopped to count how many unfair calls where whistled against french teams this season.

    i'm not a fan of the "boycott solution" which would penalize french and european rugby but french clubs should speak with erc about some "referee anomalies"

    if they didn't "moan" nothin will change i think

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 4:55 pm  

  • You must be kidding me.. You think Bourgoin is violent, I think the Saints were nasty playing and helped by a very comprehensive ref. They planned to make Bourgoin players crazy so they did. I assure you that Bourgoin is not used with such bad behaviors. First time since a long time (against Agen in 2007-2008 season) I felt players so nervous and violent. So please do not point at Bourgoin's players as if they came from hell for nothing, but admit that your beautiful and brave Saints" could have also some bad attitudes sometimes. Nothing is all black or white...

    By Blogger paul, at May 28, 2009 4:57 pm  

  • Sounds like bourgoin are f****** evils or cowards

    and Saints are...saints or angels

    To fight u need 2 sides. Sky is defintly very impressive to rebuild reality

    By Anonymous Gavin, at May 28, 2009 5:07 pm  

  • Scotty, you're absolutely right and I'm sorry for my biased attitude. I think what made me react without thinking about both sides of the coin is the fact that we've all seen comments on french teams constantly fighting, as if it happened all the time and only with the french. This is the first time however that I personally see french comments of the same nature on RD.
    For some reason many say the french fight pathetically, which sounds awfully ironic coming from the people seemingly against fighting.
    They also seem to forget that the Top 14 has the highest international player ratio, so not only the french jump in. But overall you're right Scotty, was quite hypocritical of me.

    Les Francais parlent aux Francais:
    Ca sert absolument a rien de se prendre la tete avec quelques connards planqués derriere leurs ordis, ils ne comprendront jamais et vous jouez leur jeu en répondant.

    By Anonymous frenchpolak, at May 28, 2009 5:11 pm  

  • Translation: There's no point in getting all worked up because of a few idiots behind their computers, they'll never understand and you're just playing their game by answering back.

    I think mitch should have stuck to "First Comment!!" as most would've done.

    By Anonymous frenchpolak, at May 28, 2009 5:20 pm  

  • worst fight i have ever seen

    By Anonymous brenda, at May 28, 2009 5:23 pm  

  • MDR FrenchPolak, mais tu as raison faut pas tomber dans le piège de leur provocation. I love Rugby, and Northampton was better on this game, no doubt about it. But telling that French players are always looking for fight looks like an offense for French rugby fans.

    By Blogger paul, at May 28, 2009 5:36 pm  

  • and that's a proof of bad knowledge of Frecnh rugby...

    By Blogger paul, at May 28, 2009 5:38 pm  

  • i dont even support northampton, but that guy who hit courtney lawes is a fucking cunt. thinks it makes him hard when lawes was literally being held by 6 players. how he didnt get banged i dnt know. it's not courtney lawes' fault that he's such a sick player that his massive tackles happened to dislocate someone's shoulder! he's just too sick!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 5:39 pm  

  • poor Genevois was just confused, that kind of thing is welcomed in france right? what a wanker

    By Blogger Kevin, at May 28, 2009 5:43 pm  

  • Genevois is an absolute scumbag.....throws punches at players been held but stays far enough back so he cant be hit!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 5:44 pm  

  • Bad Referee: irish like english

    Bad Team of Northampton: cheater and dangerous

    Bourgoin was stealen by the ref..

    No card for the last dangerous tackle of Northampton!!!

    Northampton don't deserve the cup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 6:21 pm  

  • God what is Morgan Parra doing? First of all he's just terrible, but then he goes off and tries to fight the whole Northampton team? Absolute idiot. And then that 18, he should be banned for six months. A massive punch for no reason, and then he starts pushing the referee.

    By Anonymous Get it out, at May 28, 2009 6:48 pm  

  • to the anonamous 2 posts above me.....i quote ''Bad Referee: irish like english''

    really i dont think the irish would show favoritisim towards the english in any way shape or form

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 6:58 pm  

  • Genevois red card and the 2 others yellow are completly deserved, no question! And i'm not very happy with that, it's not the rugby that we love

    But it's fascinating how skysport commentators are biased:

    they say "bagarre generale" for a struggle begun by Best

    "Best is not happy with that because he was punched" as Best was very angry with the referee (it's forbidden to yell to the referee i thought)

    "saints are angry because they take punchs" because bourgoin players are happy to take some..?

    Frenchpolak, you're right, but there is some truth that some people must read

    By Anonymous Ben, at May 28, 2009 7:07 pm  

  • What cowards. The first guy attacks Best around the neck from behind, the second punches him while he's held, and the third guy clocks Lawes from behind (a punch that's even banned in the UFC).

    I'm surprised they didn't just run up a white flag and collaborate...

    By Anonymous HM, at May 28, 2009 7:12 pm  

  • there was a hit in open play just after the dead ball tackle that way pretty hard. again it was by courtney lawes!! a future england international in my opinion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 7:31 pm  

  • Bourgoin let themselves down badly here.

    I do not for one moment think either Best or Lawes are saints (pun fully intended), but both were hit in the off-the-ball incidents with what I would consider underhand cheap shots.

    I think Murray should be applauded for his restraint and composure (particularly as he is a guy who plays in the trenches - self-control is not normally a characteristic).

    The French player should get a very hefty ban (utterly unacceptable unprovoked punch and then his attitude to the referee). Disappointed in the Bourgoin captain - breaking up fights just to get some free punches in is hardly leadership.

    All in all Bourgoin got exactly what they deserved - they lost the match and a player.

    By Anonymous Ally, at May 28, 2009 9:09 pm  

  • Another example of poor discipline in French rugby. Full credit to Northampton players for not fighting back, shows how rugby players should conduct themselves

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 9:41 pm  

  • Interesting dialogue. My question relates to the last incident with Lawes hitting the French player in the try zone. What exactly did he do wrong? If the French player wanted to touch the ball down he could have done so without running out the back. Maybe the proximity of the adverts to the field makes it dangerous, not the player. If you are on the field and carrying the ball prepare to be hit, simple as that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2009 10:19 pm  

  • Just to make things a bit clearer about Genevois attitude, sure he acted cowardly and this sort of things should not be seen on a rugby pitch, in France or anywhere else, but I think he did that in retaliation of what seemed to be a late (wasn't actually), and dangerous against his team mate Parra who was severely hurt.
    I'm not here to advocate his actions, but I just want to point out that if you saw one of your friends and team mates getting smashed and that the ref didn't say anything, to that you add the pressure of the European Challenge final which was the only thing that could save your team's season, then I'm not sure that many of you wouldn't have tried to retaliate on Lawes (well, excepted for the scrumhalves out there, Lawes is a freaking beast after all ^^), he saw an opportunity, he seized it. That was definitely a mistake but it is human nature. Just as when Lawes tackled that guy in the ads later on, his only view was to retaliate from what Bourgoin's player made to him. It is understandable, but in both cases not tolerable to me !

    By Anonymous Ben, at May 28, 2009 11:37 pm  

  • lawes def a hard lad! sum1 hu i wud like to b built like lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 1:02 am  

  • Why isn't Lawes a starter, he's quite effective?

    By Anonymous Canadian Content, at May 29, 2009 1:15 am  

  • I liked the Irish ref.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 1:18 am  

  • Bande d'anglais suceurs de bites. Arretez de chialer ou on vous envahit encore.
    C'est de bouffer de la merde toute la journée ou de pas avoir eu un rayon de soleil depuis 300 ans qui vous rend si aigris bande de putes?

    By Anonymous Oles, at May 29, 2009 1:46 am  

  • Non je pense que c'est d'avoir des filles qui sont toutes obèses et qui montrent leurs énormes immondes jambonneaux en guise de jambes partout.
    Pas besoin d'aller chez Mme Tussaud's pour voir le musée de l'horreur, allez juste à Hyde Park

    By Anonymous Salespédés, at May 29, 2009 1:49 am  

  • Oles and Salepédé, if you're going to insult the Brits, at least do it in English, so everyone understands what fucktards they are.

    By Anonymous gleesob, at May 29, 2009 3:32 am  

  • gleesob, who are you refering to, english or french? regardless your obviously not a bright spark yourself saying things like that, its not even a word which makes you even more moronic. teams like bourgoin are responsible for all the violence in the top 14. they cant play rugby to save their lives and produce a few decent players every now and again. fact is even when they try and cheat and bully people there still too soft to do it. may as well not bother competing in europe, nobodys going to take any notice of their cowardly punches. well done northampton for a good win. well done bourgoin for yet again proving the lower teams in the top 14 are a joke!

    By Anonymous caucau's no.1 fan, at May 29, 2009 4:45 am  

  • I'm Australian, and nuetral.
    I'd rather see the French win over the English, because I hate the English rugby team on principle and I've always liked the French attitude to running rugby (something they've lost a little in recent years).
    But in this case, Lawes' hit was fine, perfectly legal.
    The punches all seem to have been thrown by French players.
    Now that's fine, no one died, it was just a few punches.
    But it reflects badly on the professionalism and discipline of the French players and team. You can't win rugby matches if you're getting carded and giving awya penalties for bad discipline.
    South Africa were renowned for cheap shots, punching, spitting, eye gouging, anything to hurt the other team, and it cost them many test matches and a couple of world cups. When they finally got that aspect out of their rugby, they went on to win the world cup, and are now a terrifying prospect. The French need to do the same if they want to win world cups and club championships.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 4:53 am  

  • The way some of the french team are hitting and then stepping away is really weak. If you are going to throw one then you should stand there and be prepared to take it back. The burgois 6 (is he captain?) was the worst for it. he whacked 4 or 5 players and then would back out of the scuffle.

    not good....

    also ed check anonymous May 28 5.30 ish... not nice for the kiddies

    By Anonymous ned2or3, at May 29, 2009 6:32 am  

  • I watch and Play Rugby in France every week, and it's incredibly violent.

    Rugby is a physical game and you expect there to be some points where tempers get lost and the result is the occasional handbags,

    But in France you never get have two guys thump each other then walk off, it's always everyone flys in and arms start whirling.

    I've even seen people punching in the tunnels as you clap each other off etc..

    The Federation have been saying for years that french rugby has been cleaned up but it hasn't it's as violent now as it was in the 80's and 90's.

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at May 29, 2009 8:26 am  

  • I'm french and i'm ashamed of some compatriot here who use french language to insult English people. Know all frenchies aren't like them, fortunately.

    Shame on you pauv' cons

    By Anonymous T., at May 29, 2009 9:20 am  

  • insulter le pays Angleterre est ridicule, ce sont les sournoiseries et provocations de certaines équipes anglaises qui sont souvent à l'origine des bagarres franco-anglaises... restons digne dans la défaite quand bien même elle serait injuste, et attendons de pied ferme ces hypocrites engraissés à la créatine, sur nos terres!
    awkward translation (and it scratched my arms to write in this saxon language): it's stupid and miserable to insult all the english people, when it's only english players who use provocation and referees friendship to drive mad our pour boiling players... remember the great slam in 1977:they called our magnificent team "la horde sauvage"...so when we are disciplined, they hate us too, but we win! guys, let's welcome their teams next year, and offer them the best of french flair instead of french fight
    (and now I have to saxon off my mind)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 9:46 am  

  • A message to some french "bloggers"

    don't insult english people in your language, it is as coward as a cheap shot.

    On RD, we debate (sometimes with passion but without insults) about rugby, not about the 100 years war.

    By Blogger Flooz, at May 29, 2009 10:37 am  

  • This isnt rugby Arnaud, grow up. This is pure filth. Ok so punches get thrown, but if u watch he new the ref saw him the first time so he though fuck it il go back for more, he shouldnt be playing the game if he cant handle losing.

    By Anonymous scott b, at May 29, 2009 10:38 am  

  • this message was also to "english-speaking" bloggers

    scottb u should grow up too i think..

    By Blogger Flooz, at May 29, 2009 10:49 am  

  • Because we all know that Best is saint or an angel.. check that:


    By Anonymous Gareth, at May 29, 2009 11:33 am  

  • is it the french's fault if the english are such an ugly people?

    By Anonymous hug, at May 29, 2009 12:36 pm  

  • And to flooz : you're post is the stupidest ever.
    Aren't some english insulting the french in english?
    The only difference is that most of the french speak english or at least can read it, when the english seldom speak a second language.
    English tourists in France are the most annoying kind. They'll never try to say a word of french, and you can't even compensate by banging their daughters as they're generally twice your weight and become like lobsters under the sun.

    By Anonymous :), at May 29, 2009 12:42 pm  

  • what about lawes second hit in the final few minutes where he absolutely creases a guy....i want to see that

    By Anonymous number7, at May 29, 2009 1:04 pm  

  • God damn French, claiming themselves to be the victims in this. im Irish by the way, but its a constant thing within French rugby to fight, but they always blame somebody else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 1:23 pm  

  • English can hurt french players like hight tackle on Morgan Parra and the tackle in the Goal area

    But when french rugby player give a punch is Red Card

    It's more dangerous a Hight Tackle than a punch

    Northampton in HCup next week??? Let me smile

    By Anonymous Cédric, at May 29, 2009 1:29 pm  

  • Shut up you french bastards none of your clubs was even in the H Cup semis. You are an embarrassement to European rugby lol !
    And please take a shower you smell like shit

    By Anonymous Bobby, at May 29, 2009 1:40 pm  

  • stupid french typical of a top 14 team, getting well beat then resorting to this . courtney lawes is a legend that last tackle was fine cos he was still in play.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 2:01 pm  

  • "And then that 18, he should be banned for six months. A massive punch for no reason, and then he starts pushing the referee"

    For no reason? Lawes deserved it. If you were on the field that day, playing for Bourgoin, if you saw your team mate being tackled that way (he was trying to hurt him bad, dont get fooled) you would react the same way. I always did but never started a fight. If most of you played rugby you should know that it doesn´t matter if it is a final, you´re just part of a team and you´re in it till the end. No matter where you´re from.
    This last comment from Bobby should be removed like the others.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 2:05 pm  

  • I love watching a good punch up with the French. Seeings as we can't invade them anymore we may as well give them a good hiding on the pitch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 3:04 pm  

  • I hate the french, they can't play propper rugby so they resort to thuggery, it's a deisgrace really, you see it in thier domestic leauges to....

    I feel thier should be punnishment from the IRB if they don't clean up thier game as a whole.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 3:13 pm  

  • After watching that Parra got what he deserved later in the game. What's more impressive is that at no point is Lawes getting involved in the ruck, preferring to get it all back in the tackle.

    Hope Parra has a good summer watching the French tour from his sofa. Maybe it'll give him a bit of time think about being such a twat in the future.

    Genevois hits someone from behind and still can't do a decent job, loser.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 3:27 pm  

  • come on guys, this is getting pathetic...

    By Anonymous Veji1, at May 29, 2009 3:48 pm  

  • i think that some people forget that we talk about rugby.

    If u think that french are thugs, butchers, eat frogs... or that english are colonialists, cheaters, nasty well my advise is:

    Quit rugby and let's do your WW3 on youtube!

    By Anonymous rugbysudouest, at May 29, 2009 3:49 pm  

  • I hope no ban for Genevois, he doesn't deserve it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 4:45 pm  

  • Ils ont eu du boulot les médecins Anglais!!

    C'est l'arbitre qui n'a pas su gérer correctement son match et voila ce qui est arrivé!

    By Anonymous Travis73, at May 29, 2009 5:46 pm  

  • For all the English who say French clubs are shit, Toulouse and their 3 HCup titles are fine, thank you !

    By Anonymous Ben, at May 29, 2009 6:29 pm  

  • a bunch of cowardly french ruggers i should say.they're more of a disgrace to the male society. they punch, run away from the guy and punching him again when he's being held.
    bunch of girly fighters they are. as for the red-carded guy, please be a man. as for Parra, take on someone your own size and you deserved that injury. loved every bit of Lawes smashing hit on Parra.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 7:07 pm  

  • Ben,

    Taking the law into your own hands when you feel the judge doesn't provide the verdict you want?

    "That was definitely a mistake but it is human nature."

    Six men holding down one man so another can serve justice.

    Yeah, in America, we did that for centuries. The history books call it "lynching".

    Genevois and the captain were chicken shits. At least have the courage to stand toe-to-toe with your opponent.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 29, 2009 7:08 pm  

  • and dun get me wrg on tis because the french are jam packed with great clubs. Bourgoin was a disgrace to french rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 7:13 pm  

  • Lawes's dead ball line hit was NOT legal.

    Referee judged it to be dangerous. However, a more accurate assessment would have simply been Law 10.4(k) -- Acts Contrary to Good Sportsmanship.

    That Law gives the referee broad power, and allows him to manage things that are contrary to the spirit of the game.

    Given the climate of the match, the referee was perfectly reasonable to award a penalty for the hit.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 29, 2009 7:15 pm  

  • so to sum up by prior comment...

    EVen if there is nothing explicit in the Law prohibiting an action on an opponent, if the referee judges it to be an Act Contrary to Good Sportsmanship, then the player is subject to penalty.

    For example, nowhere in the Law does it say a player cannot spit on an opponent.

    We know this ain't Tiddly Winks, but the hit was indeed meant to be Contrary to Good Sportsmanship.
    It's clear the Lawes hit

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 29, 2009 7:17 pm  

  • france = violence

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 29, 2009 8:59 pm  

  • Anyone who thinks the Lawes thare was anything wrong with Lawes tackle in the in-goal area is an idiot and clearly didn't pay attention to the replays.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2009 1:40 am  

  • Genevois = Poulet

    By Anonymous Jeff, at May 30, 2009 9:05 am  

  • alot of cheap shots thrown, a bit of justice dished out in that last hit by #19 was good to see. Hitting someone while their held = very soft, very french.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2009 9:16 am  

  • France is violence, their teams should be banned for years, their players hanged in the queen's gardens whilst the holy Saints players should be given large amounts of the french territory as war prizes... blablablabla
    guys, admit it, since 1977, and our undomitable "horde sauvage" which crushed your whining teams, you can't stand the french rugby,period. A violent french rugby, but made by no creatined guys. A tough and sometimes cynical rugby, won't argue with that.
    and let me tell you that COURTNEY LAWES is just as a whore as COURTNEY LOVE, but probably he sings less well...
    and I'm not that anonymous, I'm "perfides anglais" but google can't match my password

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2009 9:22 am  

  • shit teams always lose there heads when are loseing

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2009 12:39 pm  

  • Top 14 are the best championship in the world with intensity in the game

    English Championship are the the worst in the world
    English Teams need help to the referee to wing games

    By Anonymous Allez les bleus, at May 30, 2009 5:27 pm  

  • In my opinion, that were the Saints who began the fight

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2009 11:16 pm  

  • Pathetic French losers.

    Point can be seen as proved by 'Allez les bleus'

    By Anonymous Bearded Clam, at May 31, 2009 6:45 pm  

  • dirty bastard!
    french rugby though so what can be expected.

    By Anonymous samitarugby, at May 31, 2009 9:10 pm  

  • Northampton were despicable in this game. Allez CSBJ!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2009 4:56 pm  

  • As this video was posted a while ago and people seemed to have stop commenting im just hoping that someone checks up and might give me a reply. i saw this vid a while back when it was first posted but just looking through now im drawn to Lawes tackle and the very end......i tried to freeze it each time and different points, and really it doesnt look like a bad tackle, and the french player was in the try area when he was tackled........

    we all know very well that lawes only ever had one intention, but really what was illegal? if that had been a french player in the oppo try area abt to score a try and lawes hit him like that then surely there would be no problem?!? right? he would have stopped the try, but im unsure as to why a penalty was awarded....

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 25, 2009 5:46 am  

  • does someone notice the reaction of the big saints supporter after lawes tackle.

    Is is "rugby" to applaude free violence?
    i thought hooligans didn't exist in rugby stadium.

    rugby was hurt during this final...

    By Blogger Flooz, at October 26, 2009 6:27 pm  

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