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, April 07, 2011

Mark Cueto's alleged eyegouge and Neil Briggs' red card

Sale's Mark Cueto could be facing a lengthy period out of the game if his disciplinary hearing next week doesn't go well following his alleged eyegouge against Northampton Saints this past weekend.

The England winger got himself involved in an off the ball scuffle with lock Christian Day, and has since been cited for making contact with the eye or eye area, an offence that as we all know, now carries a hefty minimum suspension of 12 weeks.

He will front up on Monday next week to a RFU panel in the knowledge that the video evidence doesn't hide too much, and should they decide to impose a heavier ban, he could even miss out on the world cup.

While his hands did seem to make contact with the eye area, it would be quite a stretch to say that it was an intentional eyegouge, especially as the player on the receiving end has since said that he was unaware of it even taking place, and will more than likely support Cueto's cause.

That said, we have seen less clear-cut incidents receive heavy bans in the past.

The incident preceded the sending off of hooker Neil Briggs, who received a second yellow card for his involvement in the brawl. You can watch both incidents, as they both happened at the same time, below. What do you think of the eye-contact - heavy ban or not at all?

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  • first..boom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:26 pm  

  • The thing is a punch is a punch, whereas what Cueto did looked like he was using his thumb and fingers to get in the guys eyes. A big citing I reckon and rightly so.

    By Anonymous Phil, at April 07, 2011 5:27 pm  

  • I don't know about an eye gouge - I think he was trying to open-hand push him in the face and caught his finger in his eye. His fingers weren't pointing out and he didn't grab when his fingers made contact. Look at Cueto's history - it's no promise of future conduct but someone of his experience and age would have been caught doing it before - just look at Jamie Cudmore

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:29 pm  

  • First of all Cueto to me never appeared to be a nasty player. I am still inclined to give him benefit of the doubt.

    And I'm curious what this incident looks like in full speed. Based on slo-mo he could be in serious trouble.

    I wonder what the ruling is going to be...after all it is contact with the eye area. But is he trying to slap him with an open hand or is he going for the eyes? I find that hard to believe.

    But than agein: I am not the citing commissioner

    By Anonymous Guy, at April 07, 2011 5:29 pm  

  • If Cueto was french he'd be out of the world cup, and more...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:31 pm  

  • Tara cueto boy! first international try in a while this tournament? going to be more of the same i think! if he had a closed fist, there would be no citing there! and anyway, that would've been a cracker of a punch if he did have it closed!

    By Blogger Nick, at April 07, 2011 5:31 pm  

  • Reminder : Attoub and Dupuy.
    just sayin'...

    yellow card is stupid (both by the referee and hooker).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:38 pm  

  • Wow, Cueto not the kind of guy I'd expect this from.

    He's got to face a substantial ban though, they have to be consistent on this.

    If you put your hand near an opponents face, you're putting yourself in danger of time on the sidelines.

    Its the only way to deal with it.

    By Blogger Emmet, at April 07, 2011 5:40 pm  

  • After having a few other watches: there's a lot of open hands in faces in this clip. Are they all going to be cited??

    I do hope Christian Day is going to support Cueto's case. That would say a lot about rugby as a sport compared to, for example, soccerfootball (where it's completely normal to screw your opponent over)

    By Anonymous Guy, at April 07, 2011 5:40 pm  

  • I get the feeling he'll soon wish he'd just punched him...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:41 pm  

  • Stop comparing Attoub and Dupuy with cases like this.

    This might (I say: might!) be unintentional whereas the French cases were clear acts of cowardice and thuggery.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:43 pm  

  • "If Cueto was french he'd be out of the world cup, and more..."

    Please stop whining and trying to play the victim, it's tiring annoying and stupid.

    Eye-gouging deserves heavy punishment, looking at the photo of Attoub's gouge on Ferris, and also looking at Dupey's gouge in the same game, I can't undertand how any french fan would draw attention to themselves.

    They have a disgraceful record, and rather than whinge and whine about the ref's they should really just clean up their act.

    By Anonymous I hate ppl who write "First!", at April 07, 2011 5:45 pm  

  • Jennings got 12 weeks. My guess, Cueto gone for 24. Only thing is that its an aviva game so rfu decide

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 5:47 pm  

  • When I first heard about this my immediate reaction was that was disbelief because cueto isnt the sort of player but its contact to the eyecaught on camera hes got to be cited with a decent ban. Throw punches and heabutts by all means but things like eye gouging are cowardly and disgusting.

    By Anonymous Jack, at April 07, 2011 5:48 pm  

  • Cueto is guilty as sin.

    By Blogger Henri, at April 07, 2011 5:51 pm  

  • Just how big an idiot is that commentator? It is obviously an eye gouge pure and simple. Hope he gets years ...

    By Blogger Kinghitz, at April 07, 2011 5:59 pm  

  • That is a definate grab at the eyes. He could have closed his fist and gave a good punch.
    Looks like no world cup for him

    By Blogger tonyrees68, at April 07, 2011 6:00 pm  

  • Who was the commentator. Was it Austin Healy.
    Im sure he will regret his comments. If this player does not get a very long ban, then it is not a level playing field when it comes to bans and fines. All non English players get very harsh treatment,espeically befor big tournements. This guy needs the book thrown at him.
    I suggest he closes his eyes and prays

    By Blogger tonyrees68, at April 07, 2011 6:10 pm  

  • In slow-mo that looks like a very clear cut gouge! May have started as an open hand push to the face but it certainly didn't end as one!

    By Blogger Alasdair, at April 07, 2011 6:14 pm  

  • Guys, If you don't want french paranoids screaming that there is a plot against them, this is the time to act. Dupuy got 26 weeks for a similar offense. Attoub got a year for something worse, but really I would be shocked if he got less than 20 weeks.

    By Anonymous Veji1, at April 07, 2011 6:19 pm  

  • Fingers out and driven straight into the eye socket. You aren't watching the same video if you couldn't see that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 6:29 pm  

  • This is awful... If RFU will keep some credibility, she must give him a long term ban.

    By Blogger Q23, at April 07, 2011 6:31 pm  

  • big ban, if his hand had simply slipped over his eyes then i would say no intent but his middle finger definitely stays in there as it rotates the hand. If it was unintentional then it wouldnt have caught in his eye socket. big, BIG ban in my eyes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 6:34 pm  

  • I agree with Anonymuos
    Cueto had his fist ready to punch then opened his hand and drove fingers into eyes and then gripped the eyes. Only saying what I saw.
    This guy should not play for a very long time

    By Blogger tonyrees68, at April 07, 2011 6:40 pm  

  • Cueto could have the cleanest record in the world...means diddly squat when you're caught on video doing this. If it's not a lengthy ban then the RFU are completely out of order and are favouring the English international, perhaps moreso because of it being world cup year.

    If the video was 50-50 then yeah his cleanish record would be a factor but this is straight up eye gouging and he should be punished.

    By Anonymous ya boy, at April 07, 2011 6:41 pm  

  • "And I'm curious what this incident looks like in full speed. Based on slo-mo he could be in serious trouble."

    We saw huge bans based on a single one picture not so long ago...

    By Anonymous Dalma, at April 07, 2011 6:42 pm  

  • has to be a lengthy ban-an interesting aside though I think is that Day and Cueto were former teamates at sale so could be interesting to see how it turns out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 6:43 pm  

  • Just looking back on the video Ive seen Number 1 white coming in and looking like trying to make eye contact with the green player. Looks like this might be a wide spead issue. What the hell is going on in rugby

    By Blogger tonyrees68, at April 07, 2011 6:45 pm  

  • ... But I'm not worried about Cueto. I bet he's going to use the same trick than Jerry "reckless but not deliberate" Flannery.

    By Anonymous Dalma, at April 07, 2011 6:45 pm  

  • that was without doubt an eye gouge! so stupid of Cueto as he's been having a good season so far! the red card was a bit harsh but people have been done for less!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 6:48 pm  

  • Anyone notice that Lawes did exactly the same as the hooker just before it? I presume that's why he ran in a shouldered Lawes in the back.

    As for the gouging, in my opinion, clear cut and deliberate. He closes his fingers into the eye. 26 weeks, maybe reduced for previous good record to 24.

    He could have caught him with a sweet right upper cut and got a two week ban but he chose the scummer option and deserves the book thrown at him!

    No place for that in the game. Just ask Craig Quinnell....

    By Anonymous Conman, at April 07, 2011 6:51 pm  

  • A 24 week ban is just not good enough. Maybe he can be waterboy for Wales forever. At least we get the refreshments on quicker than good old Neil Jenkins and we can boo him until he is to old to walk (bit like our backline @ the moment

    By Blogger tonyrees68, at April 07, 2011 6:57 pm  

  • Although Christian Day doesn't accuse Cueto I still think actions are actions.. Just don't touch the eyes or face with an open hand..

    "No touching of the hair or face... AND THAT'S IT!"

    By Anonymous gf, at April 07, 2011 7:15 pm  

  • im english and he blaintantly deserves to miss the world cup for it this is a perfect example of what the rfu is looking to make and example well done quaito u absoloute bellend good thing there is better wingers in the premiership :)

    By Anonymous woolysrugby, at April 07, 2011 7:39 pm  

  • That's nasty! I agree, sanction should be consistent in this case, Cueto clearly went for the eye.

    "This might (I say: might!) be unintentional whereas the French cases were clear acts of cowardice and thuggery."
    I am annoyed by reading this: what Cueto did is clearly intentional, a clear act of cowardice and thuggery as any eye gouging is! French eye gouging or English eye gouging...come on dude, how can you say such crap?

    Lets see what the sanction is...

    By Blogger Frenchy, at April 07, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • Cuteo what a cunt! ban him for live such a pussy cant beat and risks somebody loses his sight!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 8:07 pm  

  • cueto should get shot

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 8:11 pm  

  • Blatant eye gouge. Cueto should be gone for a long time.

    By Blogger Douglas, at April 07, 2011 8:30 pm  

  • unexpected by cueto but certainly looked like a gouge. christian day will probably be able to shed some light on it. But it defo looks bad. I think a fairly long ban is imminent.

    what makes players choose to gouge someone? whenever I have played rugby when your temper gets the best of you I don't think I'll gouge this prick in the face!

    By Anonymous Russell, at April 07, 2011 8:38 pm  

  • As an england fan im very disappointed, but he should get 9-12 months really. no excuse for what he did.
    end off

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 8:40 pm  

  • !!!!!!!!
    Pause the footage at 2.16!!!! what is Christian Day doing with his hands all over cueto face??? Looks like cueto is retaliating for what happened to HIM!! Christian Day should be cited as well!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 8:43 pm  

  • FYI, I think Austin was saying 'Theres nothing GOOD in that at all', not 'Theres nothing in that at all'.

    I could be wrong, but that's what I'd imagine he was saying.

    By Anonymous Greiffel, at April 07, 2011 8:58 pm  

  • For those in Italy, where this video apparently isnt working for some reason, you can watch it here - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xi0cgp_mark-cueto-alleged-eyegouge-and-neil-briggs-red-card_people

    By Blogger RD, at April 07, 2011 8:58 pm  

  • if rees got banned for his alleged "gouge" on hartley then cueto is surely looking a lengthy ban...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 9:04 pm  

  • Thanks for the clip RD. Bearing in mind that this footage is what's likely to be used in Cueto's hearing he's looking at a decent ban. Personally I think he was trying to push Day away - very difficult to do with force without clenching your hand. Other similar incidents have got 12 weeks regardless of a player's record and mitigating circumstances (Day's hands were all over Cueto) and on balance, although seemingly harsh, that's probably what he deserves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 9:09 pm  

  • the northampton prop who briggs shouldered did exactly the same as briggs 5 seconds before, where was his yellow?
    as for cueto, that looks pretty bad, the other player started it and should be punished also but he should get a long ban for that, it doesn't look as bad or prolonged gouge as attoub but still pretty serious

    By Anonymous mat, at April 07, 2011 9:31 pm  

  • If Richie Rees got 12 weeks then Mark Cueto should get the same or more. Otherwise the punishments will simply be inconsistent.

    Will a RFU panel judge it differently to the ERC panel that would have decided on Rees, Dupuy and Attoub? Jeff Blackett is the guy normally in charge of these panels and he is English, so we may see quite a long ban.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 10:00 pm  

  • I wonder if this was not a world cup year would the ppl calling for clemency be so numerous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 10:12 pm  

  • That's ridiculous (cueto).

    I take no pleasure in it (think he's a great & clean player).

    But he's going, going, gone.

    Someone said 'he was trying to give him an open handed push but his finger and thumb got caught in his eye'.

    Maybe so - and that's EXACTLY why you can't shove your hand in that area.

    He'd be very lucky to escape with a 12 - 16 week ban. I think it will be higher.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at April 07, 2011 10:29 pm  

  • healey was upto speed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2011 10:29 pm  

  • Gotta go! 9-12 months! English fan!

    By Anonymous jimbo1, at April 07, 2011 10:46 pm  

  • DRUM ROLL ... Geebus, it doesn't feel good or anything... but after all the reading about latin players being dirty, THERE YOU GO.
    Now biggest drumroll :
    Let's find out what the irb will come up with as I'm sure a few players and nations will quickly compare this stupidity to some previous froggy behaviours.
    Worst part is Cueto is a good damn player whom I've never seen being dirty.

    By Blogger jay, at April 07, 2011 11:29 pm  

  • RFU cannot let Cueto get away with that. It's a shame, a "clean-cut" player of previous good character, whom I admire, but he definitely concentrates on the eye. Many have commented that there are lots of other "open hands to faces" incidents going on - can I suggest that players might do this so as not to be penalised or cautioned for punching and perhaps this is a misguided and unwelcome development? Neither am I condoning punching, but it is "cleaner" and less cowardly. Sad to say it, for Cueto's sake, but I hope the RFU make an example of this incident.

    By Blogger Jon Loftus, at April 08, 2011 12:01 am  

  • Not that I'm defending Cueto but at 2.15 does it look like he's being gouged as well?

    By Anonymous jj89, at April 08, 2011 12:54 am  

  • also how half arsed does the saints player appear when trying to stop the try at 0.21

    By Anonymous jj89, at April 08, 2011 12:58 am  

  • I think that if he went towards the face, he should have done it with a closed fist. it looks a bit intentional. A citing would mean that he would be getting off easy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 2:41 am  

  • If he was South African everyone would be calling for him to be banned.
    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
    He should be banned for 12 weeks.
    He attacks the guys face with his fingers, and they go damn close to his eyes. Ban him.

    By Anonymous Jono, at April 08, 2011 4:03 am  

  • "FYI, I think Austin was saying 'Theres nothing GOOD in that at all', not 'Theres nothing in that at all'.

    I could be wrong, but that's what I'd imagine he was saying."

    I heard the latter.
    It sounded very much like Austin was defending him.

    By Anonymous Jono, at April 08, 2011 4:04 am  

  • The if Cueto was French comment is ludacris.What you meen to say was that if Cueto was Irish he would be out of the world cup.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 4:12 am  

  • oh please Frenchies give it over from an Irish man Alan Quinlan missed the lions tour for eye gougeing,Jennings got 12 weeks for it even though it was accidental thats the difference between Autoub and Dupuy so shut up complaining

    I think he will miss the world cup for that in slow motion it looks very bad for him his world cup might be over before it starts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 4:18 am  

  • Punching, stomping, and occasional off the ball incidents don't bother me. Gouging, complaining to the ref, and dancing in the in goal are punk moves and should be citable offenses.

    Maybe all this gouging comes from big bans from guys punching eachother? Gouging is tougher to spot than punching. Let rugby players punch eachother every so often like men and get this "I'll scratch your eyes out" rubbish out of the game.

    By Anonymous bringback80'sn90'srugby, at April 08, 2011 4:52 am  

  • What a disgrace...
    And how can anyone seriously say it's not intentional??? He goes straight for the eye..!

    By Blogger Aymeric, at April 08, 2011 7:33 am  

  • F**** guys I'm fed up with comments about "Cueto's got the cleanest record" and all this SHIT!

    Is a referee whistling on a CV, or is he refereeing an action? There's absolutely NO DOUBT as to wether or not this was an eye gouge. Dupuy also had a clean record, and Attoub has a refereeing degree!!

    so what, now we're only gonna assume that whenever Bakkies Botha, Jamie Cudmore or else are in a fight, its obviously their fault, and when O'Gara or Wilkinson (really clean players, though O'Gara's having a bit of a rebellion these days on the pitch) are involved they're victims?

    arguing that the guy's record pleads against AN OBVIOUS VIDEO is clearly admitting that 1 he is fully guilty and 2 you like him so you'll find anything to plead for him.

    no more to be said. No one deserves a year ban either it's a criminal offense and therefore there are Courts for that, or its within the reach of the laws of the pitch, and a year is way too long and stupid. Clearly a rule made by some sissy IRB suited guy who never played and do not know how mad you can become (and out of yourself) at times.

    However, as lots of other players got sooo long off the pitch for less than that, I reckon Cueto should get a good 20-30 weeks. Otherwise, all the French clubs will start arguing and, come on, they kinda fill the H Cups finals, what would we do without the frogs?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 7:37 am  

  • That's just about the clearest video evidence of an eye gouge you could hope for. If he doesn't cop a lengthy ban it will be a severe injustice. Eye gouging is the worst thing you can do on the field, as you're trying to inflict serious and possibly permanent damage. It's right up there with the Oz league player who stuck his finger up three different players' bums in one game a few years back. Nasty.

    By Blogger Jacques, at April 08, 2011 8:54 am  

  • I find all this talk of saying if it was a french player he would miss the world cup/he is english so he will get off interesting? Where are all these people getting this opinion from? Has everyone forgotten that Dylan Hartley missed the whole of the 2007 world cup for a similar incident....

    By Anonymous Tom in Switzerland, at April 08, 2011 8:58 am  

  • The hooker did nothing - I'm so sick and tired of pathetic refereeing and linesmen who try and get involved when they don't have a clue what happened!!

    Cueto on the other hand can look forward to a very lengthy ban - Schalk Burger got 8 weeks for no worse, but we all no the citing commissioner and panel aren't consistent with decisions...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 9:26 am  

  • And Austin "There's nothing in it" Healy sounds like a complete twat when you watch that video.

    By Anonymous katman, at April 08, 2011 9:26 am  

  • A blessing in disguise for England.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 9:32 am  

  • I think Austin Healey will regret his comment. Not half as much as Cueto will regret putting his hands in Day's face.

    Like many on here, I'm stunned to see this from Cueto, who has always seemed such a clean player. I think the only time I've seen him lose his head before was when Tuilagi dumped him on his head in the 2003 world cup.

    I don't think you can really make a case for gouging, but it's a definite "contact with the eye area" job, so he'll have a nice rest over the summer.

    If he does end up missing the world cup, I wonder who would replace him? Strettle seems to be next on Johnno's radar and has shown some awesome skill in attack (eg the try RD posted the other day) but questions remain over his defence. Ojo and Monye are probably the next in line, but I would also consider Sackey - well playing in France doesn't seem to have prevented Wilkinson and Haskell from being selected and Sackey's got a very good all-round game and is a proven try-scoring threat. Going against him is the fact he never really looks that bothered!

    So, probably Strettle comes in and Topsy-turvy takes his place on the bench. (I'm assuming Banahan will continue to be used as a centre / utility cover). Could be worse for England!

    By Anonymous Von, at April 08, 2011 10:11 am  

  • Firstly, i must point out, i am an Englishman that wanted blood for the Burger gouge in the Lions tour....

    and to me, this looked worse.

    Im inclined to agree somewhat with 'Guy's first comment, Cueto has never come across as a dirty player, so if anything this could go down as recklessness...

    However, I cannot stand gouging at all. I dont care for anyone that does it, and it makes me sick to see people do it. If Cueto, Burger, anyone, got up and punched the guy so hard his boots came off, i'd say justified card and fair enough, but gouging is cowardly, and we all have seen stories of people losing their sight over it!

    As for the Second yellow/red....umm, i thought it was right to start with, but then on replay it didnt look like anything, he mainly hit his own player... but i can see that he had no need to join in..

    Hmmm just had a flick through some comments, and they really did remind me of some past incidents of other players....i think cueto 'should' (based on this footage) recieve a longish ban. HOWEVER his passed record will surely play a part.

    Also, I wish that one eyed healey would shut the f*ck up...To me Jonathon Davies, and Brian Moore are 'biased' in the sense that they are passionate about their country, however they will be the first in line to shit on their team for bad play...Healey seems to want to brown nose every player under the sun. 'nothing in that' ?? wtf...ok, he didnt blind the guy but there was a lot more in that than was in the hookers challenge,...which apparently was a correct decision....

    By Anonymous Sam, at April 08, 2011 10:13 am  

  • Hmmm, i paused at 2:16 and it looks like the second row had his hand on cueto's face also... :/


    By Anonymous Sam, at April 08, 2011 10:18 am  

  • Well, after watchin this, it seems that Cueto is in hot waters...
    On the replay, i thought that Cueto was going for a good punch but he changed his mind... by aiming the eyes. don't know if it's a eyegouge or a scrap but it was quite intentional.

    Dupuy and Attoub were both cynical cases and deserved long bans (35 and 72 weeks) but this one is not very honourable, maybe 30 weeks

    Let see what will do the RFU before trashtalking

    By Anonymous Colombes, at April 08, 2011 10:46 am  

  • The second yellow card is a case of bad refereeing by the line judge.

    And I'd say a definite eye gouge by Cueto. 20-25 weeks off, I reckon. No more because it didn't seem to last too long. He could still play the world cup.

    Unlike a few of my fellow countrymen, I'm glad Attoub and Dupuy were punished for so long, and because of this and despite his talent, Dupuy can never again play for France.

    Eye-gouging should be punished extremely severely, always. It is an action with a criminal/maiming intent.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at April 08, 2011 12:24 pm  

  • It is a terrible eye gouge. Julien Dupuis got 26 weeks for a less dangerous eye gouge, he should at least get that!

    By Blogger Olivier, at April 08, 2011 1:09 pm  

  • Why can't dupuy play for France again?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 1:39 pm  

  • Queto is not a nasty player at all, and by the look of it he just tried to get the player of him as fast as possible by pushing him in the face.

    No bad intentions there what so ever.

    He's not looking at the guy there for he has no idea where the guys eye is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 1:53 pm  

  • I withdraw my previous comment on my 3rd viewing it does look pretty nasty. Goes to show how one sided I am.

    That should be Queto out of his last possible world cup no matter how nice a guy he is normally.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 1:58 pm  

  • Embarassing comments by Healey
    whatever the eye-gouge is dangerous, blatant or not, it's an eye gouge.

    i wonder how Cueto will defend himself and how the RFU will be "consistent"...

    By Anonymous Dave, at April 08, 2011 2:33 pm  

  • Never start taking your tape off when the ref is talking to you. It is a sign of guilt!

    By Anonymous Hoops, at April 08, 2011 2:35 pm  

  • If you are trying to stamp it out then I think he will be looking at 24 weeks and unfortunately missing the world cup. what was he thinking though? he should know better

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 3:54 pm  

  • He deserves a ban Yeup, but why all this 24 week dupuy talk.... I'm not being funny but did you guys see dupuys gouge? He had 2 goes and the second go pull back whatsisfaces head and gouged on a player who was not doing anything to him... Cueto makes contact once?!? Badly yes, on a player he was having a scuffle with.... I'm not saying that makes it ok, but there is no way this is on par with dupuy's incident....

    I hate gouging and like I said I'd hope he gets some sort of ban but to me this is no worse than burgers gouge (habing a scuffle)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 4:11 pm  

  • A lot of speculation going on here about the length of ban. I think we should have some kind of tipping contest on it!!

    My money's going on......

    wait for it.....

    SIX weeks!!!.

    That's right, you heard it here first!

    The RFU's recommended sanctions for contact with the eyes or eye area are:
    Lower end: 12 weeks
    Mid range: 18 weeks
    Top end: 24+ weeks
    Maximum 156 weeks.

    Cueto won't even get the lower end punishment in my opinion, because of:
    a) Clean record
    b) Support from the victim - I heard Day's even submitting written defence of Cueto's actions!
    c) Precedent for "unintentional" contact with the eye area - Corry v Hibbard a couple of years ago only got a six week ban.

    So that's why I reckon he's only getting six weeks, but we'll see on Monday...

    French fans - if I'm right, prepare to go mad with righteous indignation on Monday!!

    By Anonymous Von, at April 08, 2011 4:40 pm  

  • PS - I'm not saying I think six weeks is right - just what I think the disciplinary committee will hand down.

    By Anonymous Von, at April 08, 2011 4:54 pm  

  • For me, even as a Cueto and England fan, that looks like a deliberate and disgusting eye gouge

    There is absolutely no place for it. In my opinion, a life ban would not be unduly harsh - it seems fair to me that an act that can end a rugby career (see Quinnell) is punished by the loss of the perpetrator's career

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 08, 2011 5:27 pm  

  • That's contact with the eye area for me. 8 week ban at least, to be consistent. Players should know better at this stage. Funny how a lot of normally clean players get caught doing this once in their careers.

    By Anonymous Mike, at April 09, 2011 12:23 am  

  • We all know he will get less than 12 weeks. That is so disappointing. Cueto's actions are indefensible; if he had punched the bloke I would have thought "fair enough, handbags, 2 weeks as he should know better". Gouging or going for the eye area; this should have no place in our sport. It is disgusting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2011 12:48 am  

  • 'He deserves a ban Yeup, but why all this 24 week dupuy talk.... I'm not being funny but did you guys see dupuys gouge? He had 2 goes and the second go pull back whatsisfaces head and gouged on a player who was not doing anything to him... Cueto makes contact once?!? Badly yes, on a player he was having a scuffle with.... I'm not saying that makes it ok, but there is no way this is on par with dupuy's incident....'

    Im with this guy, its bad but not like dupuy, the 2 dont match.

    By Blogger No.7, at April 09, 2011 9:20 am  

  • Cueto deserves a long, long ban. I would be happy with 6 months to one year.

    Everyone should know well in advance exactly how long an eye gouge gets a suspension for. The IRB really need to be consistent with this.

    Very surprised at him, if he is at the World Cup I'm going to jack my coaching licence.

    Where is all this coming from? It's not the same game now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2011 3:05 pm  

  • Like VOn said... french are gonna go mad over this.

    Why ? well out of a forum we have people stating that is is very different from Attoub or Dupuy's.

    1. We have a very precise video of the incident (unlike Attoub)
    2. The usage of the thumb is a lot more powerful than Dupuy's fingers ( going at it twice )
    3. Cueto is english just like the IRB (forget about the I it is juste for the theory as the irb doesn't speak spanish or french ;P)
    4. Dupuy had the cleanest record just like Cueto ... didn't mean a goddamn, thing for the IRB, whereas I'm sure the IRB will take into account Cueto's record.

    Let the froggies take up the a... one more time and make them believe that conspiracy theory is totally over rated while we have examples every month on how unfair the IRB is...

    By Blogger jay, at April 09, 2011 3:16 pm  

  • If Attoub got 50 weeks, then that's 50 weeks minimum. See you later Cueto

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2011 3:43 pm  

  • Well just read he got 6 weeks from sale...

    I don't buy it Jay... I'm sorry I totally disagree regarding dupuy!... Dupuy went at a tucking players eyes twice, the second time pulling his head back to have another go. Cueto on the other hand was in a scuffle and appeared to go for Day's eyes! I personally think this is on par with dupuy or slightly less! I think the fact this was in a fight could be a mitigating factor as it can be argued he wasn't fully sire what he did (I doubt that is the case though) but day's defence will help also!

    By Blogger No.7, at April 09, 2011 3:50 pm  

  • 'If Attoub got 50 weeks, then that's 50 weeks minimum. See you later Cueto'

    Well apparently not if burger got 6 or 7 and dupuy got 24 weeks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2011 3:51 pm  

  • '. The usage of the thumb is a lot more powerful than Dupuy's fingers ( going at it twice'

    Umm did you see this video? You see where Cueto's thumb was? It was on the guys forehead :/

    On another note cueto seemed to react very strongly after the locks hand was on his face, I wonder if he felt he felt he was gouged first?!?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2011 3:58 pm  

  • It's definatly not the worst gouge I've seen.
    I'd be fine with 12 weeks.
    That's the minimum mandated punishment for an eye gouge.
    And by the way, just in response to a couple of people asking where the game is going these days and everything, there is actually much, much LESS of this kind of stuff these days.
    Back in the old days, there were punch ups, stomps, gouges and illegal stuff all the time.
    Full blown fist fights were common, like every other game common, and all kinds of dodgy stuff went on at rucks.
    And I'm not talking 50 years ago. In the 1999 WC Final, John Eales threatened to walk his team off the field and not come back, if the French didn't stop gouging, punching and kicking his players at the ruck.
    There was a time not long ago (probably up until the 90s) when front rowers were applauded and rated as better players for their punching ability. Scrums used to freqeuntly end with a front rower copping a massive uppercut. Broken jaws and noses were par for the course. And this was at international level. At club level, it was arguably even dirtier.
    Proffesionalism, citing commisions, sin bins, cards and constant camera footage and post-game analysis have changed all that.

    By Anonymous Jono, at April 11, 2011 4:28 am  

  • 100% agree! ^^^

    The fact is there is more news and more media and more cameras these days, so we are bound to see/hear more incidents!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 11, 2011 10:40 am  

  • 9 weeks for cueto, personally I think that is fair enough! He deserved a ban but his impeccable record and the circumstances in which it occurred were not as cowardly as dupuy's!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 12:17 am  

  • Well, if the IRB wanted to be seen as an unfair organization in their decisions, they could have hardly do better.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at April 12, 2011 1:21 am  

  • 9 weeks is ridiculous. The IRB are a joke. 50% discount my arse. Right in time for the World Cup, how convenient.

    I am ready to leave the game well alone. Fuck the IRB.

    Definitely not going to NZ for the World Cup.

    I hope Cueto gets his eyes gouged and breaks both his legs for good measure.

    Fucking disgusting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 3:18 am  

  • What a joke!!! 9 weeks?!?

    Disgraceful. He should miss the World Cup!!!

    50% discount pfffft

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 9:30 am  

  • Thank goodness he is English or he would have got a real ban....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 9:52 am  

  • Yay! I win the ban tipping contest! I know a couple of people suggested 12 weeks, but by Price Is Right rules my 6 weeks was closest without going over. Kiss my face.

    By Anonymous Von, at April 12, 2011 10:00 am  

  • Cueto was not judged by the IRB but by the Guinness premiership disciplinary panel, in the Heineken cup its the ERC, the irb panel only judges palyers during wc and tests.
    we can agree that the Guinness premiership made a favour to Cueto and the national team.
    24 weeks of ban would have brought him to the end of september. he would miss 2 games at the wc

    lets keep the french moaning about everything

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 10:02 am  

  • 9 weeks ban... i thought he would have taken a maximum of 24 weeks reduced to 15 weeks because of his "impeccable" conduct

    But 9 weeks is very short for an eye-gouge who seemed intentional. perfectly timed for the rwc preparation
    Add it the Foden "warnings" and u can clearly see that RFU don't apply the IRB recommandations when the players are... english

    By Anonymous Gareth, at April 12, 2011 10:19 am  

  • and yeah i think that we will have some french moaners :) but unfortunately, it's a bit justified

    By Anonymous Gareth, at April 12, 2011 10:21 am  

  • I dont understand, Burger got 8 weeks for doing it in a scuffle....

    Dupuy got 24 weeks for doing it TWICE to a player he had no business fighting anyway (as the player was rucking and playing the game) Dupuy also pulled the players head back and went at him.

    Attoub, well, personally I though Attoub was a little hard done by, but then his record is sh*t, and shows he is a bit of a sh*t so, maybe thats why it was so nasty, and apparently there were more than 1 photo....

    And here we have cueto, who apparently is a golden boy who never does much wrong, he gets 9 weeks....Well lets look at this case. He was having a fight with the guy, they scrapped and he was seen to 'gouge'. Now I expect a ban, that is totally fair enough, but MAYBE it could be considered that due to the fact he never has done anything to anyone, that they considered this more accidental. Personally I think anything from 9-12 would be fair enough. Anything around 20 weeks is saying it is the same as Dupuy's gouge, and that Cueto going once during a fight is the same as Dupuy going twice for apparently 'no reason'.

    But ofcourse you all want to see the Englishman hanged drawn and quartered, because as usual the English get away with murder...and the AB's, Welsh, SA, etc dont ever get away with anything...

    Lets look at that last sentence..

    AB's---Get away with murder at the breakdown every game.

    SA-----Burger Eye gouge

    Wales --- Powell hit on King richie..

    By Anonymous Sam, at April 12, 2011 11:45 am  

  • Can people not see the hand on cuetos face as the scuffle begins?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 11:50 am  

  • the thumb : a finger in the eye...when you have your thumb "set" on the face is a lot more powerful than just a finger in the eye
    (couldn't and still can figure out how to say it properly)
    Nevertheless, justice eveywhere ... as always with the IRB...
    Nothing unusual so lemme not brag more

    By Blogger jay, at April 12, 2011 1:27 pm  

  • Jay, i dont see how the thumb on his forehead makes a difference...think about it, if you put a weight on 2 pins there is less force than a weight on 1 pin...

    So... 1 finger poking an eye imo would do more than 1 finger poking an eye and a thumb on the forehead...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 2:05 pm  

  • Oh come on you morons. Day pointed out that he didn't even know that there was a "gouge". It's not like he was in up to his knuckles. If the player you fight with says you did nothing untoward, you're probably innocent. All these comparisons to attoub and dupuy are horsesh*t. I don't particularily like Cueto buti think his record speaks for itself. 9 weeks is fair.

    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at April 12, 2011 5:32 pm  

  • This is totally scandalous!
    He only got 9 weeks, for something way more obvious than Attoub for example, who got more than one year...
    Oh, but who decided this ban? The RFU. Oh ok, as we know Cueto plays in the National Team. So of course 9 weeks is perfect, so he can play the World Cup.
    Ok so if you are playing in the National Team, you can even kill a player, you won't be banned more than a few weeks. Good to know

    By Blogger Nicolas, at April 12, 2011 5:36 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Nicolas, at April 12, 2011 5:36 pm  

  • 9 weeks... totaly amazing... Totaly unfair for Italian and French players... It's good to be English when you play rugby..

    By Anonymous Goulix, at April 12, 2011 6:11 pm  

  • Sry m8, my english has gone down the drain so i'll say it in french :
    " Prendre appui grace a son pouce peut faire beaucoup plus mal qu'envoyer directement un doigt dans l'oeil"

    By Blogger jay, at April 12, 2011 6:38 pm  

  • ' wow-jiffy-lube said...
    Oh come on you morons. Day pointed out that he didn't even know that there was a "gouge". It's not like he was in up to his knuckles. If the player you fight with says you did nothing untoward, you're probably innocent. All these comparisons to attoub and dupuy are horsesh*t. I don't particularily like Cueto buti think his record speaks for itself. 9 weeks is fair.'

    I figured since retards posted beneath i'd repost this gem which personally i think is the best post on here!

    By Blogger No.7, at April 12, 2011 7:43 pm  

  • It's so unfair by rfu to give him 9 weeks , he deserved morrrrre than attoub and dupuy . That's why , us french hates erc a,d other organisms whose didn't punish the players in the same way , why does a french get more than a brits or other ? Magouille !!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2011 8:10 pm  

  • Should have been much longer ban. That is a bad as any gouge. Looks like the RFU are looking after their own with an I on the rugby world cup

    By Anonymous MCB, at April 12, 2011 8:15 pm  

  • Smart move from Cueto's club to launch a self-imposed stand-down.

    The club-based ban had nothing to do sportsmanship, and all about protecting their player.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at April 12, 2011 8:56 pm  

  • Attoub and Dupuy, both had a nasty go at ferris' eyes....

    He complained about it, from video evidence we saw Dupuy have more than 1 attempt.

    Photo evidence was apparently given in abundance...

    WHEREAS, Cueto has a fight with Day, grabs Day's eyes and face.

    Day even says he did not notice anything, quite the contrast to Fitzgerald Burger incident, Ferris Stade Francais incident etc etc...

    Like Jiffy said, he obviously wasnt knuckle deep otherwise im pretty sure Day would have firstly beaten the living shit out of him, and secondly complained like f*ck over it!

    So taking that into account, along with his impeccable record, how could that possibly result in a ban longer than Dupuy or Attoub, or are we dealing with a Troll who is just trying to be a funny f*cker

    By Blogger No.7, at April 12, 2011 11:56 pm  

  • I'm French so partial but whatever.
    Tincu (from Perpignan) got 18 weeks against the ospreys without any evidence (if you dont count ospreys players testimonies).
    Dupuy incident (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9aKZIh2CHc) is clearly more than intentional, doesnt belong on a rugby field, and his long ban is totally deserved. But seriously, is it as dangerous as Cueto's ? Sincerely ? I get that Dupuy is going twice, showing clear intent. But I honestly think that RFU/ERC should show some consistency. Or you will get the French moaning.
    Check out http://boucherie-ovalie.com/?p=1755 (eye-gouge is called "fork" in French)

    It was asked in one of the comments : Dupuy can still play for France. But whereas he was #1 or #2 for the scrumhalf position, after 6 months without playing, he is now crap. So no WC for him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 13, 2011 9:17 am  

  • Yet again, a bunch of keyboard experts and statisticians telling us 'the facts', based on nothing but a poor-quality video and their assumptions about the jurisdiction process.

    While I'm all for consistency of punishment (and think that next to Richie Rees' 12wks this is lenient), none of us are in a position to offer anything other than an opinion.

    Can people please stop presenting their opinions/views/takes on this incident as 'absolute fact'. You are making yourselves look like a bunch of playground wallies.

    By Anonymous Daaave, at April 13, 2011 11:38 am  

  • However, there is one important distinction to note between this and the Dupuy/Attoub cases - and this will no doubt displease the French, of whom I am a huge fan.

    No matter what your views on the poor quality video, there is NO CLEAR EVIDENCE that Cueto's fingers entered Day's eyes.
    We cannot say this about the French cases.
    They are not directly comparable.
    Their punishments should not be the same/similar, although they should certainly be disciplined to the same scale.

    To clarify the above point - we have clear images of Attoub forcing his fingers/thumb into the eye of a prone/trapped opponent. This is NOT THE SAME as Cueto wrecklessly putting his hands in Day's face.

    PS - I am not English, nor do I sympathise with Cueto. However, this "woe is us" nonsense coming from the French posters is an embarrassment to the sport, and completely plays down the severity of their players' crimes.

    By Anonymous Daaave, at April 13, 2011 11:46 am  

  • i'm french and i find this 9 weeks ban very short and weird compared to the true level of irb sanction.

    i don't want to compare it with dupuy one which was coward and silly, but i don't know why Rfu don't follow Irb recommandations in term of strong eye-gouge bans. It sends the wrong message to young players. Cueto rwc statut has clearly be in balance here.

    to No.7 and jiffy,
    the victim testimony can effectively help as Day did:
    i remember toderasc who forgave to Attwood despite having few teeths out and stiches because of a stamp on the face (result: a lucky soft ban)
    i also remember Ferris who accused on tv Dupuy and Attoub of eye-gouges (result: the strong bans that we all know)

    Let's hope for more consistency and less passion

    By Anonymous GreG, at April 13, 2011 12:22 pm  

  • Im sorry but if it LOOKS like you gouge, but the guy turns around and says 'i didnt notice' then surely you cannot be given the highest punishment...ofcourse if you knocked him out and then gouged and he didnt remember then look into it...

    But all this talk about how he should be banned for longer than dupuy or attoub etc is daft...

    Ferris was clearly not impressed with the attention to his eyes, whereas Day said he didnt notice...so why the huge obsession with raping cueto? Ah yes, because he is English....

    Uh oh English paranoia might creep in to join the french..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 13, 2011 8:40 pm  

  • Complete transcript of the RFU disciplinary panel's decision:

    By Anonymous Von, at April 14, 2011 11:38 am  

  • Can anyone give us the "clear" image for Attoub ? cause all I remember seeing is on lousy pix with Attoub face in the ground and an arm going at someone's face... Then again if you have objective proofs (video/ high-res pix) I'd be more than happy to see it... as I don't even wann go back to comparing but Greg did a good recap.

    By Blogger jay, at April 14, 2011 12:31 pm  

  • Jay someone posted above that numerous images were found but only one released to the public...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 14, 2011 4:00 pm  

  • I don't get the decision...i think it's a pile of nonsense bullshit!

    1/Cueto pleaded guilty...
    2/The panel describes the matter as "The Player then shakes his right hand loose from the grip of Day and moves his right hand into the eye area of Day, grasping him with crooked fingers and applying force in a pushing motion".
    Which for me is quiet a strong description (grasp, crooked fingers, applying force) and sounds like an eye gauging, no?
    3/Mr Day + Cueto say is not intentional, Mr Cueto big wigs friends say he's a nice guy.
    4/Sentence is 9 weeks.

    The panel describes Cueto's act as "MID RANGE, giving an entry point of eighteen weeks" but then considers some mitigation factors such as the written letters ( from M. Johnson, etc) and bla bla bla really, and lowers the sentence to 9 weeks.

    This sentence is a disgrace to me in regards to the law and in regards to the risks involved for the players.

    I quote "The Player targeted the head and grabbed at the eye area with his right hand in a claw-like grip. To get to the back of the head, he had to go past the eye area at eye level. This involved an inherently high risk of serious injury and he was fortunate that no such injury was caused".

    The panel meant Cueto intentionally made contact in the eye area "in a claw like grip" but he did nicely as being Mr Nice and only wanted to smash Mr Day's head...ooops

    This decision is a disgrace for the sport and is clearly a partisan decision. I find it shocking.

    Clearly if Mr Day would have lost an eye, or been injured to some extend the panel would have given a much longer sentence. But still Cueto knew what he was doing, the risks he was taken and did it intentionally ...a court should judge the intention in any act that could injure someone precisely to make sure that no one does it again, that no one takes the chance of doing something risky around the eye area.

    This panel took a bad decision.

    By Blogger Frenchy, at April 14, 2011 8:25 pm  

  • FYI Attoub case:


    Attoub intentionally uses his jersey to clean Ferris muddy eye.

    By Blogger Frenchy, at April 14, 2011 8:35 pm  

  • @frenchy

    Von posted this above: http://www.rugbyworld.com/news/mark-cueto-the-full-judgement%e2%80%a6why-he-got-nine-weeks/

    It explains quite clearly how the panel came to their conclusions. If you haven't read it, I found the part where it points out that, in real time and not slowed down, the contact was made with the face for about a tenth of a second and that it only really looks damning in slow motion which is all we've seen. Combine that with Day's testimony, various character witnesses, Cueto's record and compliance and the internal sanctions imposed by Sale and 9 weeks is, I think certainly fair.

    P.S. Any references to Dupuy, Attoub of anti-French bias will be answered with a swift kick to the neck.

    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at April 14, 2011 8:48 pm  

  • Frenchy, im assuming the name has something to do with your nationality.

    Im not really a fan of Cueto, i dont see him play much and havent really noticed him on the pitch (not being an england fan might be a reason..)

    However, i've read how day said it was NOT a gouge and felt no pressure..

    ...so i dont understand how anyone can argue it was a gouge....

    We all watch movies right? we all see actors 'punching' other actors right...now if we said 'did he really punch you' and the guy says no, then what do we believe...what we think we saw? or what the guy on the receiving end says...

    WHEREAS, attoub and dupuy, both got their backsides handed to them because of testimonies...you think if ferris said, 'ah no, he was just picking my nose for me' that dupuy would still be handed a big ban? ofcourse not, he would be banned for recklessness and it would be of similar time to cueto/burger...

    By Blogger No.7, at April 14, 2011 9:01 pm  

  • No 7

    why do you bring my nationality there?
    My comment has nothing to do with my nationality mate, ad i never compared the Dupuy/Attoub cases.

    9 weeks sentence for an eye gouge it is with a mitigation factor. If it's not an eye gouge there wouldn't be any sentence i guess...

    My point is that this decision leaves a door opened to some similar acts that could cause an eye injury: if you intentionality target the head of a player "passing" around the eye area and making contact with the eye (the article describes clearly the different levels of an eye gouge, even a contact with the palm of your hand could fall under the definition) - which is clearly the case there ( grasp, crooked fingers, applying force... are the words used by the panel) then i think Cueto should have received a longer ban.

    And it's clearly a partisan decision...

    By Blogger Frenchy, at April 16, 2011 4:26 am  

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