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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brian Mujati cited for push on referee Nigel Owens

Northampton Saints prop Brian Mujati has been cited following a push on referee Nigel Owens during the Heineken Cup round 2 match against Perpignan on the weekend.

Mujati, who is from Zimbabwe but has played for the Springboks, pushed Owens in the back and now faces a possibly 6 months to life ban.

He will face an independent disciplinary hearing after Irish citing officer Murray Whyte deemed the offence worthy of further investigation, charging him with "an act contrary to good sportsmanship".

He is set to appear in Dublin on Thursday after his push contravened Law 10.4 (l) - Acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

Owens was furious following the shove he received, and spoke to Mujati directly after play broke down with a forward pass. Saints were apparently shocked by the citing, but it looked a little unnecessary from Mujati in all honesty.

If you watch closely before it happens, the scrum breaks up and Mujati and a few others have a bit of a push and shove. He then trots over and takes it out on Owens, which obviously hurt, so you can understand him having a chat to him.

We've now updated this clip to include the push, whereas if you checked a few hours ago, we had a different version. He pushes early on, then gets reprimanded later.

Time: 0:42



  • You can plainly see the shove in the minute before the clip starts, it's plain and clear.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 12:36 am  

  • can we see video of him doing the pushing???

    By Anonymous ToddTheClutchClever, at October 21, 2009 12:38 am  

  • Nigel Owens is a tough ref, he can handle a pounding.

    By Anonymous Jon, at October 21, 2009 1:08 am  

  • Good eye, Anonymous. That was my mistake...I figured the shove came right around when Lawes got called for a forward pass.

    By Anonymous Walden, at October 21, 2009 1:42 am  

  • Nigel Owens is an awful ref, annoying with an inflated sense of self-importance.

    By Anonymous John F, at October 21, 2009 2:12 am  

  • Niel back got a very lengthly ban for a similar offense a while back.

    But knowing how shockingly inconsistent citing are, I doubt he will get a long ban...

    By Anonymous Maximus, at October 21, 2009 2:14 am  

  • That's called being an authoritive figure John F. It's normal for a proper ref.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 2:19 am  

  • If a ref is in the way no matter how much respect he is due i'm there to play rugby and poor positioning of the ref can be the difference between a tackle and a missed tackle

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 2:24 am  

  • If the ref is in your way, you have the right to go for the ball carrier or, if you're carrying the ball, run into him. As a ref, having this happen to you is an indication that you're above your level and need to get fit, work on your positioning, and/or take games at a lower, less speedy level. Also as a ref, you need to blow up play if your poor positioning has created an unfair advantage for one team. Shoving, punching, etc, will get you ejected and banned.

    By Anonymous Ref, at October 21, 2009 3:51 am  

  • Haha, nigel owens trots off after being pushed.

    Love it how Muajti shouted "MOVE" lol

    By Anonymous Diaz, at October 21, 2009 4:03 am  

  • Ref,

    Yeah, but was Owens really in the way? Mujati even turns around as looks at Owens after the push - he wasn't blocking any potential tackle by Mujati...it looks a bit sinister. That's all I'm saying.

    By Anonymous falafel, at October 21, 2009 4:58 am  

  • MHO from the clip rafael posted:

    There was absolutely no need to push the ref like that. I doubt a life ban or even a 6 month ban is coming Brian's way, but I wouldn't be surprised if Brian's banned for a few games.
    Also, Brian looks really tired. Why should the ref get out of his way if he's unfit?

    By Blogger granite, at October 21, 2009 5:46 am  

  • owens will be a bit more cautious about standing in the way next time!

    By Blogger Dan, at October 21, 2009 7:30 am  

  • if you've played you'll know that some refs are TERRIBLE on standing around right on the pick and go channel or generally just flitting around in the way, and they get used to it cause no one calls them out.

    By Blogger Dan, at October 21, 2009 7:32 am  

  • Sometimes refs stand in the way and are a bit of a pain.

    Nigel Owens was not doing that. He was given a shove by a forward who was going to be the last man in the maul/ruck anyway.

    Rugby players generally give the ref due respect in way that wendyballers don't and that I've always been proud of that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 7:50 am  

  • Mujati is a hard man

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 9:27 am  

  • Nigel Owens is an irritant of epic proportions. He thinks he's bigger than the games. He's a self-important midget with an unmeasured ego.

    Maybe he should have got the fuck out of the way?

    Failing that, if he wasn't such a dwarf he wouldn't have gone flying from a nothing push.

    Nigel Owens should be cited and banned for life.

    By Anonymous Chris, at October 21, 2009 9:28 am  

  • There was no need for BM to even go near that breakdown - ball was won. You can see him changing his line of running just to push the ref. Not cool.

    By Anonymous HM, at October 21, 2009 9:32 am  

  • I cannot understand the nonsense being written here about Nigel Owens. He is an excellent referee, perhaps too vocal and with the accent even more obvious but that is irrelevant. He was not in the way at all and that was a cynical push. I also think that he handled it very well. Let the game flow and then admonish the player at an appropriate break. Excellent refereeing in my opinion.

    By Blogger whatdidyousay, at October 21, 2009 9:36 am  

  • I think we underestimate the impact that Mujati pushed him with. Sure, Owens is used to feeling force from behind (someone had to say it), but when you're not expecting it and you're a ref, not a player, and get a knock like that it can be pretty damn jarring I'd have to say.

    We're judging it because it's on a rugby field, but Owens is a ref, not a player. Imagine any one of us walking down the street and getting shoved that hard out of the blue? I'm not surprised Owens was pissed off, and as the guy above me said, he handled an awkward situation very well.

    That said, I dont think it warrants a huge suspension, although an example should be made of it as I've seen players push refs often, using the 'they're in the way' excuse to get away with it, and they usually do.

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at October 21, 2009 9:42 am  

  • if the ref is in the way of a person with thr ball then he may get hit. this is totally different. late to a ruck, just took out his frustration. silly move

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 9:54 am  

  • Are people really that thick? Or do they just not know the game? Owens IS NOT in the way, he's just far enough from the ruck to see what's happening, but far enough not to be in the way.

    Seriously, some of the comments on here are retarded at times. Owens was lenient to card him, give him a break. It was the citing official who's flagged it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 10:01 am  

  • If you watch the whole clip it seems that Nigel Owens made a habit of running in the way of the Saints attacking ball.....they kept having to throw around him. That said...BM was out of line - he is an adult and a certain degree of restraint needs to be maintained - otherwise we just go the way of soccer. And none of us want that!

    By Anonymous Just a Fan, at October 21, 2009 10:09 am  

  • somehow i think 6 months or a life ban is extremely harsh. Id expect to see a life ban if mujati had punched owens not a petty push.

    By Anonymous tom, at October 21, 2009 10:31 am  

  • Christ almighty, even soccer/football players don't assault the referee...often (more likely to happen there than rugby, I imagine - I'd hope). Albeit, they do assault them verbally; something I wish FIFA would do something about, those tits.

    So at this point, Mujati is below the likes of Rooney or any other pissy bitch on a soccer field who feels above the officials (re: not all soccer players are 'pissy bitches'). He acted like a little child throwing a temper tantrum, only this behavior comes from children that get sent off to boot-camp and end up on the Maury Povich show.

    Surely, a lifetime ban would be unacceptable (not like he beat Owens with a sock full of soap bars), but I'd see nothing wrong with 6 months off. Maybe less since again, it's not like he really put much effort into harming Owens.

    By Anonymous yabbadabbadoo, at October 21, 2009 10:49 am  

  • He could have easily gone round him, he knows how the game works. Dno't be a tool and antagonize the ref in a close game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 10:57 am  

  • Plainly obvious the main reason Owens got a shove was because Mujati decided he was in the way. It was petulant of Mujati, and quite deliberate, but not exactly a high crime.

    That said, glad this is being looked at by the citing people, because any type of perceived physical aggression directed at a referee has no place in the game. If it means banning Mujati for a couple of games, that seems okay, they don't need to be draconian to make a point.

    By Anonymous Edbok, at October 21, 2009 11:05 am  

  • Can't believe some of the BS people are writing here.

    It doesn't matter if the ref is good or bad, you don't touch them. End of.
    We have all had infuriating ref's in the past, but I very much doubt we went about pushing them.
    Owens position wasn't too bad, Brian could have just gone round him as all he was doing was trotting to the ruck anyway.

    I understand there are instants where ref's do get in the way, but there is still no excuse for purposly placing your hands on a ref.

    By Anonymous Fridge, at October 21, 2009 11:36 am  

  • He changes his line of running because his team mate picks and goes, he lazily tries to readjust and the muppet ref happens to be standing in his desired line of support.

    It definately wasn't retribution to the previous scrum - just a lazy prop who was too knackered to either stop /get round him and support his team mate.

    PS: Owens does think he's bigger than the game, he needs to pull his head in - he thinks he's a school principal.

    By Anonymous fatfighter, at October 21, 2009 12:20 pm  

  • shouldve given a red straight away!

    this coming from a SA supporter

    By Anonymous Cheis, at October 21, 2009 12:20 pm  

  • whats with the Owens hatred? he should definitely be punished, Owens was not in the way buy any means it was just the player being petulant.

    Ban him.

    By Anonymous David, at October 21, 2009 12:56 pm  

  • Honnestly BM has to be suspended for that.. This was plain wrong and if we start to tolerate it it is a slippery slope.

    For Christ sake, I am french an french players keep fighting with each other but even them don't do that !

    I say a solid ban (2 to 3 months) is warranted.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 1:19 pm  

  • mujati pushing the ref was

    -stupid (you have to respect the man in the middle) and

    -useless cos its not like he pushed him to get a tackle in , instead he shoves away nigel owens and walks over to the ruck but doesnt bind !!

    i can happen that refs get stuck in the middle but pushing them around is pointless and shouldnt be seen again, especially at professional level

    By Anonymous luxi, at October 21, 2009 2:08 pm  

  • Brian Mujati is an idiot.

    Well handled Nigel Owens, If he thought himself higher than the game as some idiots on here are saying, he would have stopped the game immediately.

    Nigel Owens is one of the most consistent and fair refs around.

    I would just fine Mujati, the club doesn't need to suffer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 3:52 pm  

  • I'd be lying if I said I never wanted to do that. But that's ridiculous. Owens could have easily gotten hurt there

    By Blogger Chris, at October 21, 2009 3:55 pm  

  • on one hand as a ref, i'd understand if i was in his way to hit the ruck, or to make a tackle, but he could have as easily gone around, so yeah a ban is in order, however such variance as to 6 months to the rest of his career is incredibly incosistent. citing should practise common law. even 6 months seems a little lengthy

    By Anonymous Tyler, at October 21, 2009 4:22 pm  

  • Owen's positioning was fine, Muajti was just being lazy and petulant, being shoved in the back when your not expecting hurts.

    Personally a ban of 4-6 weeks sounds about right. Learn some respect Muajti

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 4:38 pm  

  • Mujati is the worst quota Bok prop after... Eddie Andrews *CRINGE*

    By Anonymous Mike, at October 21, 2009 5:29 pm  

  • After his try Mujati zap the crowd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 6:20 pm  

  • This is what bans are for, not guys punching each other or a late tackle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 6:21 pm  

  • Ok, so clearly Mujati did intend to push Nigel Owens, that much is clear from the way he reached out with his hands to shove him. But I cannot honestly believe that they are considering A LIFE BAN. Schalk Burger gets 6 weeks for intending to rip Luke Fitzgeralds eyes out, and Mujati might never play rugby again because he (albeit intentionally) pushed a referee with no real force at all. Footballers can swear at the referee and get away without being banned for weeks on end, imagine what would happen if a player swore at the ref. 2, perhaps 3 month ban?
    The citing commissions are going mad, it's getting a bit ridiculous now.

    By Anonymous Chris M, at October 21, 2009 6:33 pm  

  • Nigel Owens is a terrible ref. Never done a good job at any match I've attended. Good on Mujati.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 6:47 pm  

  • I am a big big Saints fan but......what a strange push from BM. Straight red, no need at all and no respect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2009 6:56 pm  

  • what a dickhead, that shit belongs in soccer not rugby

    By Blogger Shane, at October 21, 2009 7:01 pm  

  • @ Mike - Eddie Andrews! Hah, that's a name I was hoping I'd never hear again

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at October 21, 2009 7:13 pm  

  • @ Chris M - to clarify, a life ban is what they call the MAXIMUM penalty. So it's not out of the realms of possibility, but is highly unlikely.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at October 21, 2009 7:15 pm  

  • You NEVER shove a ref. Simple, and basic. No excuses.

    Ref gets in your way, send the video to the referee's allocator, and get this guy stuck whistling schoolhouse matches.

    The simple basic element of respect to the referee has always been there in rugby. Sure, Owens might be a bit arrogant.

    But what seperates men from the animals -- or ruggers from soccer or baseball or any other sport that POMs, Yanks and Aussies can invent -- is that intimidation of the referee (be it verbal or physical) is a no-no.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at October 21, 2009 7:19 pm  

  • At first I thought it was not all that bad but the second look just shows what a stupid thing he did. Owens was not cleary in the way. The ruck was formed, there was nothing Mujati could've done there. Just plain stupid

    By Blogger Thomas, at October 21, 2009 7:37 pm  

  • deserves what he gets the referee has a hard enough job as it is and the 1 thing you learn when you start rugby is to respect the ref no need for the shove there no enjurncy deserves long ban.

    By Anonymous petee, at October 21, 2009 9:12 pm  

  • I certainly dislike N. Owens as much as it can be. But he's the ref and this useless shove can't be tolerated.

    By Blogger Pitseleh, at October 21, 2009 9:57 pm  

  • A ban is in order here. Stupid act. And something that should not be tolerated.

    Mujati is Zimbabwean - not South African.

    Although we will claim Beast!

    By Anonymous Robert, at October 21, 2009 10:29 pm  

  • That sucks.....for both him and Owen. I get the props frustration.....I almost did that to a ref this last weekend, standing if front of me, as we defended inside or 5 meter line, WHILE I had post, I was torked. So a lifetime ban seems harsh to me..........

    By Blogger JimmyEugRug31, at October 22, 2009 12:44 am  

  • he wasn't in the way at all!! Mujati clearly targeted him when he made the push, he was not trying to simply clear a path. He had no impact on the ruck when he did get there. It was ridiculous and childish on Mujati's part, no matter how obnoxious Owens can be. I think he needs more than a few games. 6 month is a bit long, but 6-8 weeks would send the right message that you can't have a tantrum and take it out physically on a ref - eve under the guise of the ref "being in the way".

    By Anonymous KLu33, at October 22, 2009 1:02 am  

  • Ridiculous, id like to see him with a lengthy ban a few months really! lets get rid of this crap while we still can!!! I think that there was no reason, owens was not in the way and to be honest when refs are its easy to avoid them and brush past that to push them....

    So yeh, that guy is a knob lets get rid of him for a while!!!

    seriously though it will be interesting to see the outcome....

    By Anonymous No.7, at October 22, 2009 1:06 am  

  • Remember Mafi's tackle on this site couple of seasons ago, it was also a Welsh ref, Hayes I think. That was pretty sweet, but this, idiotic.

    As is said above, Owens was correctly positioned, and also let play continue for several phases, good reffing.

    On bans, can't remember a ban of this nature, but Trevor Brennan got 5 years on appeal from life (sounds like a prison term). But that was a fan which on the whole, is worse than punching or shoving a ref. 3 months.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at October 22, 2009 1:31 am  

  • Definitely needs to be suspended for at least a few games, I don't care how bad the ref sucks you give him respect. Is a hooligan's game played by gentleman and we can't lose that.

    By Anonymous depogs, at October 22, 2009 1:58 am  

  • Good maybe now Mujati will come back to Western Province :)

    By Blogger gdfgdf, at October 22, 2009 7:35 am  

  • It amazes me just how blind (and maybe dumb) some of the posters are on here: OWENS WASNT IN THE WAY! Have you not played rugby before?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2009 10:14 am  

  • semperfimamba said...
    I'm a pussy and I push people from behind when they're not looking

    Who ever hijacked my handle and left this message "yo mama"

    Try and be original dont steal peeps handles and dont leave msgs as someone else (_!_)hole

    By Anonymous semperfimamba, at October 22, 2009 4:29 pm  

  • how can you be in the way of an unfit prop arriving late at a ruck? i doubt he'd do that if Bakkies was ref'ing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2009 5:25 pm  

  • Yeaah people don't hijack semperetc's 'handle'......

    By Anonymous don't steal my handle!!!, at October 22, 2009 5:57 pm  

  • Majati has red-green colour blindness. That shove was for what he thought was an opposition lazy runner obstructing his passage to the ball.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2009 11:00 pm  

  • Owens is a horrible, horrible ref.
    I want to push him, except I'd push him down a flight of stairs.

    By Anonymous Phil, at October 23, 2009 1:21 am  

  • owens had a terrible performance, biased against the saints for no good reason

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 23, 2009 8:26 pm  

  • Terrible for the game - BM should get a lengthy ban. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't thought it through properly or is a thug.

    Owens is a great referee - he reads the game better than most. There's good reason why he has refereed so many high profile internationals - someone who has a little more clout than the anonymous posters on this thread thinks he's good.

    In saying that, he seemed to get in the way of the scrumhalf once in this clip (around the 1:00 mark) but that's very unusual for him.

    By Anonymous Ospreys123, at October 23, 2009 10:23 pm  

  • lol @ don't steal my handle!!!

    By Anonymous semperfimamba, at October 23, 2009 10:27 pm  

  • That's ridiculous by Muajti. I wouldn't accept for a moment that Owens is even in his way and anyway who cares - we can't have people shoving the refs around. Can't understand any of the comments downplaying this one - its a lousy thing to do, and should be hammered on.

    I thought Owens was very reasonable if not overly lenient in how we dealt with it - if he was a drama merchant he would have whistled up play immediately on being shoved.

    Muajt deserves a reasonable lenght ban - I couldn't see a problem with 8 to 12 weeks.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at October 25, 2009 2:12 pm  

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