Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brive duo suspended for punch and kick vs London Irish

This week we've had a few suspensions handed out following incidents from the Heineken Cup. Earlier it was revealed that Stade Francais' Julien Dupuy got six months for his attack on Stephen Ferris. For Brive, two players were suspended following their tempered meeting with London Irish.

Brive hooker Guillaume Ribes was red carded after he was pinged by the touch judge as having kicked and punched hooker Danie Coetzee as a scrum broke up. Replays showed that it was actually lock Arnaud Mela who connected with the big uppercut.

Both players were suspended at disciplinary hearings though, with Ribes receiving four weeks for his apparent kick, and Mela got seven weeks as he clearly connected with Coetzees face. The kick by Ribes wasn't shown on the match feed, but he received the ban nevertheless.

Mela's offence, punching/striking an opponent, was considered to be in the mid range, but two previous incidents were also taken into account when the decision was made.

As you can see in this clip, the match continued with a lot of niggle, leading to frustrated hooker Coetzee, as well as his opposite number, both being yellow carded after a scuffle.

On Saturday the two sides play eachother in their second leg, a match that Exiles coach Toby Booth is worried might boil over once again.

"I can't control how people approach a game," Booth said. "For whatever the reasons, frustration – and I understand these aspects – Brive took the law into their own hands and transgressed beyond the call of duty, in my opinion.

"Some of that stuff is potentially career-threatening and for me that is where the line stops. It is a tough game and people do things that are careless rather than malicious, but I can't control people's mindsets. I am concerned to read reports that Brive are going to come with a better team, put pride back in the jersey and that they stamped their feet in the changing room after the game.

"That normally transpires into only one thing – a pretty messy first 15 minutes. The only thing that you can hope that there is some self-control. I want plenty of passion, and everyone wants passion and aggression, it is part of it. But you also want some self-control and the referee has to be strong because he is the person that will dictate whether that can go on or not.

"Last Saturday reminded me of something like Neath v Pontypridd in the 1970s at some points. It has been a long, long time that I have seen a scrum coming up and a second row sending one through into the hooker. All we can worry about is what we do and how we approach the game. It is very important for us to keep our Heineken Cup hopes alive."

Time: 05:04



  • Preum's!

    And to make it a real comment, i find there's been a lot of disgraceful moves recently.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 18, 2009 10:32 pm  

  • Crap... second again
    Anyway, the banning system is finally sorting it right, punches have no place in our sport, nor does eye-goughing (eat that, Dupuy) ut I insist that Schalk Burger's ban was incredibly short

    By Anonymous Joost, at December 18, 2009 10:47 pm  

  • What a freaking cheap shot uppercutting the hooker out of the scrum.

    By Anonymous Style, at December 18, 2009 11:20 pm  

  • disgraceful weekend for french rugby.

    By Anonymous nipking, at December 18, 2009 11:28 pm  

  • So the french are cleaning up their game then...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 18, 2009 11:40 pm  

  • very interesting old school punch from 2nd row. can see that youd get away with that alot in the amateur game but on camera you're always gonna get caught.

    also dupuys ban yet again just highlights the ridiculousness of the 8 weeks given to schalk

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 18, 2009 11:55 pm  

  • magnificent uppercut

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 12:17 am  

  • Idiots

    By Blogger Thomas, at December 19, 2009 12:21 am  

  • Don't grow your hair out!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 12:58 am  

  • Terrible stuff from French rugby recently....
    It seems to be getting worse, bad refereeing too... White 16 shouldn't have been sent.

    By Anonymous Tui, at December 19, 2009 12:59 am  

  • French rugby was reputed for its intimidation through cheap shots.

    A classic H Cup match was Brive Pontypridd in 1997, high scoring game involving two red cards after a massive brawl, then the players went out on the town to a bar called the Toulzac and the two sets of players just kept fighting!

    Here's Eddie Butler and Jonathan Davies talking about it at the time, you can see how free it was then!


    Brive were absolutely outclassed in this match. Their side and their fans were clearly very frustrated but this was a shameful showing of punching, kicking and hair-pulling. On top of Dupuy's gouging, this makes it a pretty shameful weekend for French rugby. Like something from 15 years ago!

    By Anonymous John F, at December 19, 2009 2:47 am  

  • kennedy is a beast! he looked like a parent sorting out small children there!

    By Anonymous Chris Boy, at December 19, 2009 2:48 am  

  • what the hell did white hooker do wrong?

    By Anonymous lain, at December 19, 2009 2:51 am  

  • Gareth Thomas just came out!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 3:04 am  

  • Incidentally,

    Nick Kennedy for England. (Please Martin...)

    By Anonymous John F, at December 19, 2009 3:26 am  

  • Meow ^_^

    By Anonymous No.7, at December 19, 2009 5:15 am  

  • it's gonna be twice easier to win this HC, pull out all the francs beasts and keep only the good hearted saxons!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 8:38 am  

  • Arnaud Mela Brive number 5 is a hard man, old school second row, like Botha, good player but he must be more disciplined ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 9:51 am  

  • 1. That second decision was bullshit - I know 'retaliation is worse than the crime', but seriously, pulling someone's hair? That's just pathetic.

    2. I'm just waiting for the army of people to start saying that French teams aren't really that dirty and they're just misunderstood...

    By Anonymous HM, at December 19, 2009 10:52 am  

  • That's funny to see how it's raining down on french rugby...
    I didn't know english, aussie's or the worst south african rugby were clean about punching and eye-gouging...

    That was an ugly behavior from Brive, but many teams that are outnumbered and been beatten like this will react the same...

    Stop blaming it on "french rugby"... Last week end start was ugly but biarritz and Clermont had some great games..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 11:43 am  

  • It's a man's game. GET A HAIRCUT!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 12:20 pm  

  • "Ribes receiving four weeks for his apparent kick"

    i have seen the "old school Frecnh rugby" punch by Mela and i acknowledge it's pitiful (and impressive too) but i haven't seen anything looking like a kick on this vid. So, why the 4 week ban?

    And again, 7 weeks for this awesome uppercut and 6 months (MONTHS!!) for Dupuy. I don't want to look for lame excuses for Dupuy (who deserves a long ban) but is there a 4-month gap between those two actions?

    PS for HM:
    French soldier1, whining1:
    French teams aren't really that dirty and they're just misunderstood.
    But not concerning Mela or Dupuy lately. I'm ready to stand up for French rugby but only when the cause is defensible.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 19, 2009 2:56 pm  

  • Coetzee should not have been yellow carded at all. Absurd decision. He was attacked and tried to defend himself.

    I remember All Black second row Robin Brooke punching Brian Moore in a scrum in the 1995 World Cup semi. Of course nothing happened to Brooke at the time.

    By Anonymous JPM, at December 19, 2009 3:16 pm  

  • RD says in the comments before the video that it doesn't show the kick. Blame sky sports I guess.

    By Anonymous HM, at December 19, 2009 3:31 pm  

  • sexy!

    By Anonymous Gaping Gareth, at December 19, 2009 4:11 pm  

  • jean philippe bonrepaux ? bon repos ? mouahaahahahah ... it means good rest for the non french speakers... figures :D

    By Blogger jay, at December 19, 2009 4:25 pm  

  • actually, seem that RD prefer to show the bad face of french rugby than french flair, that's life..
    What dupuy and brive players did, is idiot and not a good ad for french rugby. but it give arguments to very stupid comments.
    To say that french game is full of cheap shots is a generalization.

    when i read all the insults thrown at the face of dupuy, i will be very attentive to the next reactions with cheap shots from english or irish teams. and how hyprocrit they will be.

    in an other hand,
    i reallly wish to see better discipline from french players.

    By Blogger Flooz, at December 19, 2009 5:15 pm  

  • funny how people love to insult french players
    it's really show a big ignorance of and a biased view of it. quite disugusting
    but for sure it's a good strategy to put the pressure on all erc referees fingering "the ugly french"...

    whatever, brive seemed to compete like tourists in this h-cup, recall me bourgouin

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 6:14 pm  

  • to the last two comments,in fairness,most things people say on these forums are biased and most things people say are generalizations.

    everybody loves watching the french flair(which is a generalization:P) and the french teams playing great attacking rugby.but from my experiences watching hcup games with french teams in them and top 14 games it seems to be far more likely that there'll be a punchup in them than any other game at that level.

    the french players just don't seem to hesitate as much before throwing a punch or starting a fight

    By Anonymous Mark, at December 19, 2009 6:35 pm  

  • "I'm just waiting for the army of people to start saying that French teams aren't really that dirty and they're just misunderstood"

    I'd say you're daft if you're ready to label an entire team or country as 'dirty' due these idiots and Julien Dupuy. You may be right, but then am I to think all English rugby players snort coke in their free time because Matt Stevens does? Or all English teams are cheaters who will bring on fake blood capsules to subvert the laws of the game? Or every Irish team is going to gouge someone and play dirty all because Quinny does it?

    Every team has its dirty players, let's not boil this down to all French being that way.

    That said, there may be something fundamental in the French rugby system that promotes this sort of behavior. But only someone very familiar with French rugby could say.

    By Anonymous Javier, at December 19, 2009 7:00 pm  

  • "Anonymous said...

    It's a man's game. GET A HAIRCUT!!!!!!"

    Because real men go bald and over-compensate for it by buying fancy cars to impress women...

    I wonder if Andy Goode gets his hair tugged during practice...maybe long hair to Brive 23 is like a red cape to a bull - he just has to pull it.

    By Anonymous Smits, at December 19, 2009 7:13 pm  

  • Shalk Burger=8 weeks
    Julien Dupuy=6 months

    You call it justice? Fuck off

    The french are frustrated of being perpetually not judged the same way as other clubs in h-cup, and anybodybody a bit clever can understand that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 7:19 pm  

  • I know a few things about French rugby, a few I said, so my words can't (and mustn't) be taken as the gospel truth since everything can change with regions. And clubs.
    Honestly nothing "promotes" this sort of behaviour. But let's say that this hooker special treatment had been a part of the dark side of scrumming (it used to deliver subtle coded messages to the hooker: don't hook or hook badly or let's fight and prove we're still all here).
    Seeing it on a professional pitch clearly surprises me: it's a stupid behaviour and with the number of cameras it's even more stupid cos you can't but get caught and cited.
    imo, it is our plague as stamping is for Anglo-Saxons (hahaha... gotcha! I meant for "English-speaking players", don't start another "French-geography-education-lacks revolution please).

    My mistake for the "where is the kick" line earlier.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 19, 2009 7:27 pm  

  • How can French rugby look so impressive and classy at moments and the next play like a bunch of white trash the next????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 7:32 pm  

  • "How can French rugby look so impressive and classy at moments and the next play like a bunch of white trash the next????"

    Because french rugby can show 2 face. The dirt with white trash fight and the beautiful with french flair. AND I LOVE IT

    c'est ça qu'est bon !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 7:48 pm  

  • Once, again i see my nickname being put to good use up there...

    Im not going to bother copy and pasting so many ridiculous comments people put.

    someone commented on burgers ban and dupuys saying there is no justice..... i assume they're a french fan and think its unfair on dupuy......im gonna keep calm and say, please watch both the gouges again, or should i say all three seeing as dupuy had 2 goes, and then tell me whether you think burgers is worse or dupuys....then realise gouges are becoming more common and consider that dupuy might have been made an example of....then consider burgers ban was ridiculously short!

    then there are comments saying french rugby is unfairly judged.....

    i urge you really, all who say that to type in rugby fight, into say, youtube perhaps....im aware not all, but a large number involve french teams....id be inclined to say the majority.....now im not saying its french players as such, (cudmore for example, playing for a french team).

    ..but come on guys, its blindly obvious....

    it is up there with, england rugby team is crap at the moment, irish rugby team has relied on BOD an awful lot and he is past his prime, and everybody hates those arrogant bok fans and thats why they laugh when boks lose.....

    and the person talking about RD not showing videos of french flair....ah right, because RD never shows videos of other nations fights and foul play, only their amazing runs etc.....and i suppose the clermont leicester video has no french flair.....

    By Anonymous No.7, at December 19, 2009 8:03 pm  

  • F**K, i come on here and there are people moaning about french not being treated fairly. Are you talking about dupuy or this video?

    Dupuy deserved everything he got, and more. Or rather, anyone that gouges deserves that length of ban and more!!!

    And if you are talking about this game then W..T..F!

    Do you look at that first hit and think, how unfair, he got a red card for something minor.

    I played hooker at school, luckily out grew that position....but anyone who has played there will know how potentially vulnerable you are. Your arms are out in a good ole JC position, leaving you with nothing to defend yourself with, (other than the two brutes either side of you that is) so for a second row to get a good uppercut to your face is F**KING LOW!!!!

    then the fight, well i guess it was a simple, ref told both captains to calm it down and then shortly after scrap ensued and the two chumps who caused it are off, that to me is fair enough.

    AND just to add, i think viewing this video the french were lucky not to lose another player to the bin for the hair pulling!!!!

    By Anonymous :), at December 19, 2009 8:12 pm  

  • The London Irish hooker had to be doing something. Someone doesnt uppercut you for no reason and then another guy starts pulling your hair. Coetzee cant be all that happy to go off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 9:54 pm  

  • "Shalk Burger=8 weeks
    Julien Dupuy=6 months

    You call it justice? Fuck off"

    Burger's "attack" wasn't nearly as bad and was in the heat of the moment AND we're still not sure if he was intentionally going for the eyes. This French coward's attack was premeditated and he went for the eyes twice. Typical French COWARD. FINALLY JUSTICE FOR THE WESTERN WORLD!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 19, 2009 11:29 pm  

  • This offence was worse than Burger's. Probably not three times worse, but what we're seeing here is the equivalent of the ref giving the whole team a warning for hands in the ruck etc. and then binning the next guy that does it, regardless of whether he had committed the previous offences.

    Me, I'd have given him a year.

    By Anonymous HM, at December 20, 2009 12:36 am  

  • Coetzee had to go to!! He was throwing punches and scrapping on the ground with the rest of them.

    For the Brive Hooker to get involved at all was just stupid because his replacement had just been sent off and now no hooker.

    I have played hooker or tight head all my life and copped many of this type of hit. I have no doubt that Coetzee was doing something (as I usually was) but it is still a dog act from the 2nd row. It is impossible to see who is hitting you and the 2nd rower immediatley has some one to stand behind.

    I don't think this is a French thing i think it is a losing thing

    By Anonymous ned2or3, at December 20, 2009 3:22 am  

  • 'The London Irish hooker had to be doing something. Someone doesnt uppercut you for no reason and then another guy starts pulling your hair. Coetzee cant be all that happy to go off.'

    Yeh of course he probably was up to something, i assume the 2nd row was pissed off because of the drive after the whistle had gone, but it was very over the top.

    The hooker isnt a saint in this scenario at all, but the retaliations for 'what we dont see' are very over the top.

    By Anonymous No.7, at December 20, 2009 3:31 am  

  • The uppercut was a cheat shot. The guy that threw it is a coward.

    By Anonymous Kissy Kapri, at December 20, 2009 7:10 am  

  • Also, I'm sick of seeing refs give penalties for driving before the ball is in the ruck, when it's clear that the opposing team are not standing up to the hit (something that I used to see penalised regularly, but that I haven't seen in the last five years).

    Just because you're miles better than another team in the scrum doesn't mean that you should be penalised. I got pinged twice for this in a recent very important match. It's easy for the ref to say 'control your drive', but that's easier said than done when you've got half a tonne of forward behind you and the opposition are deliberately backing away. Yet another reason that props make the best referees at scrumtime.

    By Anonymous IK, at December 20, 2009 2:44 pm  

  • ^^ Sorry, above I meant scrum in the first sentance, not ruck.

    By Anonymous IK, at December 20, 2009 2:45 pm  

  • Lack of discipline has always been a blight on French rugby, and as a rugby fanatic I find this incredibly frustrating.

    French rugby, at both club and international level, has objectively entertained me more than any other nation (difficult, as an Irish native not to be entertained by the Irish grand slam and Munster's & Lenster's H-cup win). I rarely miss a French international (on tv I mean, I'm not that big a fan!) and watch as much of the top 14 as possible.

    All teams are guilty of foul play from time to time, Hayes, Quinlan, Jennings to name but a few Irishmen banned this year for gouging/stamping, but ill discipline seems to form part of how the French game is sometimes played, especially when losing or under severe pressure.

    The so-called 'volatile nature' of French rugby does mean it is unpredictable and probably provides it with some of its trademark flair, however I can't help but feel the lack of discipline prevents the French clubs and nation from achieving that which its often mesmerising talent deserves...


    By Anonymous Danremont, at December 21, 2009 10:47 am  

  • Just a bunch of idiots. I can't believe those guys are professional players. Arnaud Mela particularly is a little piece of shit and deserved a big good punch in his face of moron by the white hooker. And i'm french BTW.

    Minnow teams in french rugby have always been dirty, you'll very rarely see those behaves in teams like Toulouse, Stade or Biarritz.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 21, 2009 12:54 pm  

  • It's just far too easy to wind the french up.

    By Anonymous Andy, at December 21, 2009 2:42 pm  

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