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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ulster impressive as they beat Stade Francais at Ravenhill

Ulster beat Stade Francais 23-13 at Ravenhill yesterday in an entertaining Heineken Cup match that frustrated the visitors and resulted in a few off the ball scuffles, including one incident that will probably end with the player being suspended.

Ian Humphreys, named Man of the Match, was brilliant on the day as he put on a superb display, playing a part in the first try for Nigel Brady, then starting a great try for Simon Danielli early in the second half.

With Ulster ahead by a decent margin, Stade attempted to run the ball when possible, but failed to finish off on numerous occasions. The frustration told as captain Rodrigo Roncero clearly lost his composure, and Julien Dupuy allegedly eye-gouged Stephen Ferris.

The French side finally got things right six minutes from time as they scored a nice try through Julien Arias, but it was too late as the home side picked up a great win.

The result puts them on nine points each, and they will meet again next weekend in a match that will prove crucial to the outcome of their group.

"All they were saying on the pitch was: 'See you next week.'" Stephen Ferris said afterwards.

"Every Heineken Cup game is a tough game. I think they were thinking of coming over here and getting an easy win and then throwing the ball around in Brussels for their expanded fan base," he added.

The video reviewers will have an interesting time with this one, as Roncero apparently threw a few punches that went unpunished, and Dupuy will no doubt be sitting out for some time after he raked his fingers across the face of Ferris twice.

Time: 05:03
Discuss: We'd love to hear your thoughts on the match, and the incidents, on the forum here



  • 1st

    By Blogger william, at December 13, 2009 11:56 am  

  • A fantastic performance by Ulster, they fully deserved their victory. Stade Francais were lackluster and resorted to dirty tactics to try to derail the ulster team. Wouldn't be surprised to see Dupuy get a lengthy ban for his blatent eye gouge on Ferris.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 12:04 pm  

  • That wasn't eye gouging, he just puts his hand on Ferris' face.
    But knowing how french clubs are refereed in the HC, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a lengthy ban either

    By Anonymous BillBoc, at December 13, 2009 12:10 pm  

  • What you don't see in the Rugbydump highlights is that just after Dupuy "just puts his hand on Ferris' face" he goes in for seconds... The fracas that followed was indicative of the seriousness of the incident.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 12:12 pm  

  • ^ Yes, we'll have a video featuring the incident soon, with the full clip.

    By Blogger RD, at December 13, 2009 12:15 pm  

  • What was Dupuy doing that game?! I liked him at Leicester! No need lad!

    Humphreys for Ireland!

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 13, 2009 12:31 pm  

  • There was more to the incident than you have seen bill, you won't dismiss it or make nonsense comments about how French teams are reffed when you see the whole thing. Ulster look great, I hope they truck on in the HC this year, more all Ireland fixtures in the latter stages;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 12:38 pm  

  • BillBoc, how can you say it wasnt gouging? he's blatently working ferris' eyes and he goes back a second time. God help him next time he steps on a field with ferris because he will be destroyed. It really was a cheap shot and i've lost all respect for Dupuy as a result. huge ban coming his way for sure and well deserved.

    By Anonymous crow, at December 13, 2009 12:48 pm  

  • it's just disappointing that a game in which Ulster demonstrated such confidence and ability, the discussion is going to be dominated by Dupuy's dirty antics. Hope Ulster do the double next week, they need to play for the full 80minutes though.

    By Anonymous sergeant stu, at December 13, 2009 1:30 pm  

  • 1st, happy to see someone speaks under my name. I'm on my way to fame.
    2nd, i haven't seen the match and i was ready to react as BillBoc did: "what with the eye gouging? Dupuy only stroked his eyes." But if what you all say is true (and i don't see why it wouldn't be so) and Dupuy really dirtily eye gouged Ferris, he deserves a long ban. i'm looking forward to watching this vid RD.
    There are so many ways to be seriously injured in rugby to let these wicked impulses (eye gouging, tackling in the air, head stamping, neck breaking tackles...) go unpunished. Whatever the nationality.

    All the tries are great and very entertaining. Though... isn't there a little obstruction in the first try? Honest question with no will to sully the well deserved Ulster victory.

    By Anonymous RealMaximus, at December 13, 2009 1:44 pm  

  • "Stephen Ferris! Well once he opens his legs he is class!" Brilliant!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 1:55 pm  

  • Here is the full incident captured on TV


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 1:55 pm  

  • On the 'facestroking': these days, that was just so blatant and ridiculous - guaranteed to get caught on camera - why did he do it? Stupid in the extreme.

    More substantially, The question is - can Ulster actually win away from home? Especially in places like France.

    When they start to, they _might_ become a force to be reckoned with.

    But the key issue surely is: will Humphries' beard become a thing for tacklers to grab onto ,like an old skool flappy jersey....and surely wind resistance is starting to become a factor for him at this stage :-)

    By Anonymous mise, at December 13, 2009 1:56 pm  

  • I'm a Munster fan and I'm delighted for Ulster, great performance - hopefully they can keep on developing into the real European heavy hitters they should be. I'll be in Brussles next week cheering them on in the return game.

    As for Dupuy - I thought that Schalk Burger's was the most obvious 'facial contact' ever...but then he goes one better. And of course we have to have the usual French conspiracy theories about refereeing...oh well, it makes it all more interesting I guess!

    By Anonymous Michael, at December 13, 2009 2:10 pm  

  • Wow I was waiting for the images as we were playing during the game... Dupuy is certainly not known for being a dirty player.. the first hand I think can be dismissed as he's rubbing the face rather than gauging... whereas the 2nd time he did it, well ban is what he'll get.
    Nothing to discuss just plainly stupid.
    Now I wonder what drive him to act like that as he usually reacts upon things unlike Roncero who doesn't need anything to start punching.
    The only thing we see in the video is the prop's charge after juju kicked the ball but nothing dramatic...

    By Blogger jay, at December 13, 2009 2:11 pm  

  • a few factors here...

    1 - eye gouging
    2 - he had a go twice
    3 - he had already been yellow-carded that game

    long ban deserved

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 2:24 pm  

  • ^^ totally agreed.
    Generally not a dirty player but that's no excuse.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at December 13, 2009 2:56 pm  

  • I wouldn't mind Roncero reacting to the ref's calls, as he is the captain, but he gave away most of the blatant pens on his own in this game. Great game to watch, both Ulster tries started around their own 22.

    I really believe Ferris was miles ahead of Croft on the Lions tour and would've had much more impact in the tests, including the fact Croft scored 2 test tries. For one, Smit wouldn't have scored that try if it was Ferris he ran at, not Tom ' I think I'm a winger' Croft.

    By the end of last season I didn't understand the hype about Chris Henry (he would've won caps on Ire's North American tour if it wasn't for injury), and the fact he's been made captain behind Wallace in Best's absence, but in the couple of games I've seen him this season he's been incredible. Speed, intelligence, and ''Norn Iron'' brute force. I now firmly believe Heaslip's tight grip on the Ireland No.8 has just loosened. Now Ireland just needs a replacement for David Wallace, Sean O'Brien isn't the answer as he isn't in the Pocock, Brusseuw league of groundhogs. Like to see more of Faloon next week, he only got 15 min.

    Oh and if Humphreys could defend (worse than Rog, if that's possible), he'd be the Irish 10 by a mile. After all this Ulster gushing, who'd think I'm a Munster man?

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at December 13, 2009 3:02 pm  

  • Dupuy - as shown in the link to the full incident - deliberate (looks for ref), cowardly (F's eyes are there to be had and nothing he can do about it), prolonged (has two goes, the second is far worse).

    Lengthy ban please.

    Ulster - brilliant & great to see. Two cracking tries, well worth the win - congrats all round.

    Next week will be stormy...

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at December 13, 2009 3:37 pm  

  • Hey, Huh, I've heard that argument about Humphreys' defense before (on a Munster forum, actually), and while I don't entirely disagree with it...I haven't ever really seen him get "run over" completely to the point where he's cost his side points...I think it's usually a case that he's gone missing, so to speak...but I know for sure that I've seen him in rucks, scrapping for the ball before.

    Anyways, Kidney's a smart guy so if Humphreys isn't picked, there's got to be a good reason. Or maybe he's just bought into the hype (not that it's unwarranted) around Sexton - who isn't all that great in defense either. Not all fly-halfs can be Dan Carter or Wilko in defending...

    One more thing about Humphreys - Ulster's first try...definitely some shepherding going on. Not the worst I've seen, but Stade certainly had a case for a penalty there.

    By Anonymous fry, at December 13, 2009 4:12 pm  

  • why so many nh videos?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 4:13 pm  

  • ^ Any SH rugby going on at the moment mate, besides the Sevens in SA?

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at December 13, 2009 4:45 pm  

  • That was digusting by Dupuy.Theres been way to much gouging this year an it was digraceful.The citing commision should make an example of him now with a two year minimum ban.

    By Anonymous mitch, at December 13, 2009 5:16 pm  

  • Oh and humphrey's really should get rid of that crap beard.

    By Anonymous mitch, at December 13, 2009 5:19 pm  

  • Magners teams are looking strong this year

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 5:49 pm  

  • Why are some people saying that Dupuy's first contact was just 'rubbing his face'? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. People don't just rub each others faces when playing rugby. He's actually a little bollocks that Dupuy. Always whinging and moaning, and I hope he gets a huge ban, as that was worse than Schalk Burger's gouging.

    On the plus side, Ulster were magnificent. Ian Humphreys is just brilliant on his day.

    By Anonymous Kearney for tests, at December 13, 2009 5:57 pm  

  • Ulter's back row was frigging unreal yesterday, especially Chris Henry.

    By Anonymous T, at December 13, 2009 6:25 pm  

  • I won't argue about Dupuy's fault as I think he will get a long ban. But for the referee I think lot can be said. I watched almost all the games this week end and I have to say that the referees can be very frustrating for french clubs. It was for the SF and also friday night for USAP. Top 14 referees are way more strict on rucks and I am amazed when I see british players holding the ball while lying down. Those two games were awful for that. Many british referees don't even try to understand top 14 players. I watched also Clermont and Biarrizt playing and the refs tried to speak a little french and were lot more stricts on rucks, that made a big big difference in the game.

    Anyway, I didn't find Ulster very good and I hate SF. The most impressive team this week end was by a mile the Leinster.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 6:32 pm  

  • Ferris should be applauded for not reacting to dupuy, Realistcally he couldve knocked dupuy into next week, world class player! One of the top 6s in the world easy. Shouldve been the lions 6 if he hadnt got injured

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 6:54 pm  

  • Awesome game by Ulster, they looked composed and Humphreys (who should go see the barber) had some moments of brilliance and a very cool head under heavy pressure.
    I'm starting to really dislike Stade Francais. They create big hype wherever they go with their sissy president Guazzini, their pink kits and the big names, but on the field they are fluffy and their pack is now falling, apart from the sublime James Haskell.
    Point apart for Rodrigo Roncero, The most stupid player nowadays, a bad prop who gives away silly penalties both in the loose, in the scrum and at the breakdown. Honestly, every match I see him play he tries to punch somebody or starts a scuffle. You saw him against Wales.
    I am praying that in Brussels Stephen Ferris (who is just quality) floors him with a rib-breaking hit.

    By Anonymous Joost, at December 13, 2009 7:07 pm  

  • Dupuy should dump his french girlfriend, hung his pink kit and go back to the tigers, where he played RUGBY

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at December 13, 2009 7:09 pm  

  • Juggernauter, he may get the chance now as he will be banned for a long time! :)

    To the anonymous French posters, do you think it is right that if 4 (at least) of the top European countries referee the game one way, then the single country (France) that referees differently should change? Or should the majority change to suit the minority?

    I understand that inconsistent refereeing is a problem, but you must play the way the referee on the day wants. If you do not, you have a big problem. This is the same for all countries.

    By Anonymous Mike, at December 13, 2009 7:20 pm  

  • No one here said that it should change to the french way of refeering, however like previously said, the language bareer and/or the culture around the ref being different let us have clear hints of what the ref wants or not...
    Will it be different ? yes ? okay no problem there... but can the ref clearly show what he's looking for ?
    Not always...as you could pinpoint similar situations where the ref goes one way or the other.

    Final thought : I haven't seen french refs in England getting a lot criticize for their performance... (there's I think once every 2 week a UK ref coming in the top 14 and vice versa) or maybe english lads can answer that but in any case, doesn't that prove that British players adjust quickly ?

    By Blogger jay, at December 13, 2009 7:56 pm  

  • Agree with Jay.
    What I meant is that some referee try to help the game some don't. And it is very clear when it comes to britsh french games, it's easy for to see a ref who isn't even trying to understand both sides.
    I don't say the refering is different but some referee don't apply it strictly.
    And I don't blame all bristsh refs but some some times it's getting really hard for french clubs to play.
    I found the ref for Cardiff-Toulouse very good though toulouse lost. There was also an scottish ref who did a very good match, can't remember who. Chris White had a great game as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 8:25 pm  

  • Humphreys has been completely overlooked due to the constant Leinster/Munster hype. Deserves call up. Solid place-kicker, fast around the pitch, good creativity. Defence is bit suspect but still brings a lot to the game. Confidence is very high too

    By Anonymous MCB, at December 13, 2009 9:45 pm  

  • Glad to see ulster win. Dupuy in my eyes in now just another thug off the game and if we dont do something about this the image of rugby is going to be massively effected. And for whoever wanted to know about faloon? Hes awsome watched him at the hinch week in week out. Hes world class.

    By Anonymous Matty10, at December 13, 2009 9:46 pm  

  • MCB -

    I don't think he has been overlooked due to the 'constant Leinster/Munster hype' (I guess this hype would be to do with winning 3 out of the last 4 European Championships?) - it's because although he is a talent, he's not the whole package. Also, he's a bit older than Sexton (who guided Leinster to the HCup last year you will recall). He could do a job for Ireland and certainly not disgrace himself, but he's not world class either (although Ferris is). I hope Ulster go a long way in the competition this year.

    By Anonymous John, at December 13, 2009 10:32 pm  

  • Just for future reference, anonymous (who I am guessing is French) - the same mistake was made by a fella when complaining about Barnes' consistency for Munster - these guys, for the most part, aren't "british players". They're Irish, and while most of Ulster is part of the United Kingdom, they're still not "British".

    Not a big deal, but if you're going to hate on the British, just get the facts straight. And as for speaking French, Barnes does so - I think he is usually mindful at least in the rucks to say tell the French sides to "get back" in French.

    Also, while I've always said Humphreys seems first-class...I can understand if Kidney wants to get a young guy like Sexton in there to have a fly-half that'll last a long time. If it's any consolation for Humphreys, doesn't he often captain the Ireland 'A' team? If not captain, he's at least their usual first-choice for number 10...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 13, 2009 11:36 pm  

  • i didn't see this game so i can't have a real judgement over it.

    Ulster tries were very well built. i didn't know humphreys "the beard man" but he seem pretty interesting, need to see him again next week.

    about the incidents, as a top 14 usual fan , SF is famous for being a dirty team. they seem quite nervous here, their revenge will be quite brutal...

    if dupuy really eye-gouged ferris, he will probably take an huge ban, 1 year for the action, 2 years for being frecnh. god save erc ;-)

    By Blogger Flooz, at December 13, 2009 11:57 pm  

  • Flooz -

    Did you see the video of Dupuy? Do you think there is doubt that he made 'illegal contact with the eye area'?

    The paranoia of the French in rugby is very strange. Everybody in the world likes the French style of rugby. Yet, the French believe everyone hates them. Very strange.

    By Anonymous Mike, at December 14, 2009 12:34 am  

  • .....referees are mean to islanders....

    ....referees are mean to the french....

    ....referees are mean to the boks......

    ....referees are etc etc etc

    Geeez what a pattern here!!!

    It appears that referees are always mean to the team that ends up losing the match....or could it be the fans of teams that lost matches are trying to pin anything and everything on anything and everything!!!!!

    By Anonymous :), at December 14, 2009 3:51 am  

  • There are suggestions of a Stade backlash for next week... I would personally be shitting the prospect of a Stephen Ferris backlash!!!! I would think Dupuy will thank the citing commissioner if he is banned from facing Ferris next week!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 14, 2009 7:37 am  

  • So Ferris will have a go at him, and get banned himself? Or..? Maybe he'll just tackle him hard, like he would have done anyway given the opportunity.

    This isn't the wild west, or Chicago in the 1920s. Let's not get carried away.

    Dupuy will be suspended, end of story. I admire Ferris for acting like he did. It was probably more shock than anything though, combined with not being able to see! He started pointing and shouting at another player even (I think Bergamasco).

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at December 14, 2009 8:35 am  

  • Mike i didn't say there was not a contact with the eyes of ferris.
    Dupuy effectively touch Ferris face. He will take the ban that he deserves and i'm quite sure he will take an huge one just for the example ;-)

    But i also say that "eye-gouging" is pretty fashionnable with erc citings. U need to punish these actions severly but u also need to evaluate if it was dangerous or a provocation

    By Anonymous Flooz, at December 14, 2009 10:24 am  

  • Flooz at the end of the day eye gouging is eye gouging and no amount of provocation should mean a player should get away with this dirty and cowardly action, by all means smack someone if you have to but to me eye gouging means that not only are you a dirty player but you haven't got enough balls to sort it out like a man.

    On another note well done ulster, they played really well. It will be a lot tougher next week but i hope you can do it, its about time that we started to get further in the hc

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 14, 2009 10:58 am  

  • Flooz, I agree with above. You can provoke someone to have a good swing at you but how the hell do you provoke someone to poke you in the eye? provoked or unprovoked the same punishment of a very lengthy ban not a couple of weeks holiday like Burger had.

    By Anonymous Andy, at December 14, 2009 12:15 pm  

  • i'm agree with us
    i just wish the same punishments for everybody.

    dupuy completly deserve it but i bet other eye-gouge following this one, won't be punished with the same "passion"

    By Anonymous FLOOZ, at December 14, 2009 3:48 pm  

  • two questions:

    1) Do you guys think Ulster is the most in-form Irish team now? Despite Leinster wins @ Llanelli, I think Ulster's achieve is more important...

    2) Did anyone ever tell to Ian Humphreys there's a brand new invention on the market -razor? :D

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at December 14, 2009 9:26 pm  

  • November+moustaches = Movember...

    Decembe+humphrey's beard = Becember?!??

    By Anonymous :), at December 15, 2009 6:22 am  

  • Politics doesn't come into this, however for reference most northern Irish rugby players are unionists and therefore consider themselves to be British. Some of them will also consider themselves to be Irish aswell. That is a northern Irish luxury.
    Anyway the deranged frenchy was talking about refs not players.
    I personaly beleive that ulster rugby does well toavoid the skeleton closet that is ni politics.
    Put it this way, I'm a strong unionist and absoloute rugby fanatic, but I would quit rugby the second I was told I couldn't play with nationalists. Rugby has helped to overcome apartheid and now we have a team which only admits homosexuals. Gay men should play in all the clubs in northern Ireland. If the titans continues well be having racialy and religiously segregated teams next.
    Anyway to come back to the key issue the humph hasn't got a beard, just a furry tackle bag strapped to his chin.
    He's a true ledgend just like his brother.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 15, 2009 6:26 am  

  • I think if the whole Ulster team had beards like Humphreys, they would be pretty much unbeatable. Great show from the Ulster boys, I'll be cheering for them in person in Brussels this weekend - I'm a Munster man exiled in Belgium.

    By Anonymous Mike, at December 16, 2009 8:11 pm  

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