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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



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Manu Tuilagi likely to be cited after flurry of punches on Chris Ashton

It's clearly the most talked about incident of the weekend in the Premiership, so if you missed it, here is the moment that Manu Tuilagi lost his cool and unleashed on Chris Ashton, landing one devastating blow in particular.

The Aviva Premiership semi final between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints was expected to be a ferocious battle between two top sides in the English game, and it's didn't disappoint. Unfortunately things crossed a line though at one stage in the first half, with young Tuilagi totally losing the plot.

Leicester played the second half with all their fifteen players on the field, and took the 11-3 win late in the match with a powerful Alesana Tuilagi try. Saints fans, neutrals, and perhaps even Tigers fans, will all realise though that they're very lucky to have not been a player down for a longer period.

Young Tuilagi took England winger Ashton out off the ball with a hit that itself could have been worthy of punishment. A little shove to the back of the head followed from Ashton, but Tuilagi, who could well be his Test team mate in the not too distant future, stood up and dished out what can only be described as a three punch combination more fitting for the boxing ring than the rugby field.

Ashton looked stunned, unable to fight back before the third, devastating blow landed. The fact that he stayed on his feet through it all was quite something, but he needed stitches afterwards, and some initial bandaging while the great injustice took place, as referee Wayne Barnes chatted to his touch judge.

Saints boss Jim Mallinger was appalled at the decision that followed. "First of all, you can't have players taking players out, and you can't be hitting players directly to the head, punching," he said. "Chris Ashton did go over and give him a push, but you cannot react with three punches to the head without a red card.

"It's a big game, live on television and it should be one of the highlights of the Premiership season. I guess the referees and referees' assessors will have a real good look at it and work as hard as they can to make sure it doesn't happen again. All I know is I have seen it, and to me, it is a clear red card. What did Ashton get a yellow card for - pushing?" he added.

Richard Cockerill from the Tigers said he didn't see it, instead trying to focus on the match. "It was a good performance against a really good side. Let's talk about that shall we? Let's talk about how we controlled the game, let's talk about Alesana's try, let's talk about the scrum contest, not all the crap you boys want to talk about and make headlines out of."

The RFU will now decide whether or not Tuilagi will be cited, and what the resultant punishment will be. It seems almost certain that he'll miss the Premiership final, and possibly the Churchill Cup with the England Saxon's. Just how long he is suspended for will be interested to see.

UPDATE 18/05/2011: Manu Tuilagi has been suspended for 5 weeks, reduced from 10.

Please note: The highlights player below has been embedded to make sure that you can still see the incident. It takes place about 30 seconds in. You can also see the winning try, as well as skip around the player to view highlights of past week's Premiership action. If you'd like extended highlights, you can sign up for PremiershipRugbyTV here.


Time: 03:44


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249 Comments:

  • HAHAHA LAD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:19 am  

  • Thugish attack! No place for that in rugby ment to be acting as a role model! Haha oh well there goes his slim chances of a world cup spot for definate now!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:25 am  

  • Saves Martin Johnson a job, he's been wanting to do it for months.

    By Anonymous Nick, at May 15, 2011 10:27 am  

  • I didn't think Tuilagi was too far out of line to get up throwing punches. His tackle was fine, it was across the chest. Ashton only gets angry and shoves him because he didn't have the ball.

    Ashton pushes Tuilagi while he's on the ground, Tuilagi is pissed (rightfully) and then starts throwing punches. He shouldn't have thrown punches sure, but it was the heat of the moment. The commentators gave him a horrendous wrap I thought.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:28 am  

  • Some of the best punches I've seen thrown in rugby; kudos to Ashton for staying on his feet, I know I would've been in hospital after that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:30 am  

  • Some of the best punches I've seen thrown in rugby; kudos to Ashton for staying on his feet, I know I would've been in hospital after that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:30 am  

  • Delighted, Ashton is an arrogant muppet who got put in his place. Should have been a red for Tuilagi but he will more then likely be fined/banned. Still i enjoyed every second of the clip

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:30 am  

  • am a tigers fan and manu has improved this season i dont think this clip give the full pic of the game up to that put yesterday yes he shoudnt of done it and yes ashton had it coming but hay thats rugby!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:33 am  

  • Manu just destroyed any chance he had of being in the England RWC 2011 set-up.

    That aside, Ashton perhaps should have expected some reaction from a Tuilagi. However, Manu's lashing out was wholly inappropriate and risky - getting sent off at a crucial stage in a semi-final is an idiotic thing to do.

    Manu needs some sort of older mentor (preferably not his nutcase brother Alesana) to help him learn to deal with the pressures of first-class rugby without losing his rag. Mike Catt would have been good for this, shame he's not around any more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:35 am  

  • Im a Tiger fan that was yesterday at Welford Road, and it has to be said that Ashton was super elegant. He shocked hands with Manu at the end, and after he came out the locker room, with his face completely swollen, and stitches over his eyebrow, he still signed and took pictures with a smile in his face and thanked all the good luck wishes for the HEC from the tigers fans. Class act.

    By Blogger Bruno, at May 15, 2011 10:39 am  

  • Ashton down to earth with a bump, sadly this is the kind of luck with officiating that Leicester have time and time again. The Manchester United of the rugby world and perhaps Cockerill is modelling himself on Sir Alex with his behaviour towards officials too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:41 am  

  • Erm "His tackle was fine, it was across the chest". Yes, but totally off the ball- Ashton had never had the ball in his hands in that phase of play.

    I guess it's a net gain for Leicester- Tuilagi will surely be suspended but he won't be going to New Zealand this autumn now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:41 am  

  • commentators are horrid to much we all make mistake..everytime a polynesian player makes a dangerous play like always commentators try all there best to make the situation much worse

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:42 am  

  • Poor refering. Nice punches. The arrogant Ashton was rightly put in place. If these few punches will make him forget how do his stupid swan dive, i will be very grateful to Tuilagi.
    Commentators are so subjective, if the situation had been reversed I'm sure they would never talk about a red card.
    PS: The last punch in slow mo is just fine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:44 am  

  • Tackle was fine?

    Pretty sure that
    a) the tackle could be judged to be high, rising up over the shoulders
    b) one-arm challenge, no attempt at wrapping


    Default Re: Laws outlining "dangerous tackle"
    Davet is correct - it's a judgement call. I suspect your piece will focus on examples. these may well include:

    Took this from the RefForum as reasons to give a penalty:
    "- a shoulder charge - Ma'a Nonu speciality. Failure to wrap.
    - high tackles"

    Hope gets a couple of weeks off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:47 am  

  • about time ashton took a beating aswell haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:48 am  

  • It is amazing how many people know Ashton personally as an 'arrogant muppet'. Let us hope that every 'arrogant muppet' that enjoys playing rugby with a smile on their face can be subjected to a savage beating from a perfectly modest gent like Tuilagi.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:53 am  

  • think commentators were right tbh. It was only a shove. If you completely lose it over a shove in rugby then you are going to be getting sent off a lot! If manu wants to play for england he is going to have to control that temper.

    as for ashton, fair play for taking them and being good about it afterwards. Everyone is so negative about him just because of the swan diving

    1 - he took the punches
    2 - he didn't milk it like some pussy footballer trying to get manu sent off
    3 - he shook his hand at the end of the game

    seems like a good guy to me!

    By Anonymous Russell, at May 15, 2011 10:53 am  

  • Really shows what a top bloke Ashton is, he didn't even whine when he got the 'I was looking the other way so will say they were both fighting' yellow card. What a joke of a linesman! I don't understand the Ashton critics, funny guy off the pitch, clearly a talented guy on the pitch. Should have def been a red to Manu.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:56 am  

  • the think that's most annoying are those shitty commentators! its manu for fuck sake not maanu

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:58 am  

  • Another classic display of why Wayne Barnes shouldn't be involved in rugby.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at May 15, 2011 10:58 am  

  • A lesson here for Chris Ashton, don't start what you can't finish

    By Anonymous Owen, at May 15, 2011 10:59 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous I HAVE A NAME, at May 15, 2011 11:01 am  

  • Whos the f...ing muppet commentator? I'm sick of hearing that cu*t every time I watch a NH video. His commentary is so bias and irritating.

    Manu's hit was fine, Ashton (that little princess) got taught a lesson and put in his place, you can't push a player who's on the ground in the back of the head because they smashed you!

    Thanks RD, this video has brought a big smile to alot of peoples faces :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:01 am  

  • @Jonathan

    Waynes Barnes is the best ref

    By Anonymous dezzy, at May 15, 2011 11:03 am  

  • Hey Rugby Dump, upload the Cheetahs - Crusaders game. Let's see how Sonny went. Oh, that's right, he and the Crusaders both got owned.

    Should change rugby dump to Nz-Aus Dump.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:04 am  

  • Fantastic, if only Manu could climb into the commentary box and dish out a few more... lol

    Ashton you got slapped around like a girl, your lucky it was broken up son.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:05 am  

  • Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow. Hope Tuilagi doesn't get cited.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:07 am  

  • What a dickhead Cockerill is.

    "Let's talk about that shall we? Let's talk about how we controlled the game, let's talk about Alesana's try, let's talk about the scrum contest, not all the crap you boys want to talk about and make headlines out of."

    Sorry Richard you dont get to pick the topic of conversation, that's not how journalism works.

    By Anonymous @LoveSportsPro, at May 15, 2011 11:07 am  

  • Anyone who thinks Ashton is still an arrogant prick because of his dive should read Bruno's post. Fair play to him, I would have been looking to revenge all game if it had have been me, he just got on with it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:10 am  

  • It has nothing to do with Ashton not being able to fight, although he would almost certainly lose.. It's rugby not boxing, all the people slating him for getting owned would have certainly gone down like a sack of shit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:13 am  

  • @tAnonymous
    May 15, 2011 10:25 AM
    "I didn't think Tuilagi was too far out of line to get up throwing punches. His tackle was fine (...)
    Ashton pushes Tuilagi while he's on the ground, Tuilagi is pissed (rightfully) and then starts throwing punches.(...) The commentators gave him a horrendous wrap I thought".

    You are either insane or an insane, thuggish Leicester fan. Firstly, Manu tackles him when the ball is miles away. Fullstop. Therefore, his tackle is NOT fine (BTW, even if Ashton had the ball, which he HAS NOT, he doesn't even attempt to wrap him.
    Secondly, Ashton shoves him. He SHOVES him, he doesn't kick him or punch him. Such a reaction is totally unjustified.
    TOTALLY.
    But probably you must be one of those football fans with a passing interest for rugby. That would explains a lot.
    Manu would be, somehow, justified only if, previously, there had been some sort of provocation on Ashton's part. But there is no footage which might suggest that is the case.

    @ Anonymous
    May 15, 2011 10:42 AM
    Please, do not play the race card on this one. This behaviour is unacceptable, whichever the nationality of the offender is. I hope he'll get a long, long ban, as well as the inept referee assistant who didn't have him sent off.

    And no, I am not a Saints fan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:15 am  

  • Admin, please delete May 15, 2011 11:01 AM comment. No room for racism on rugbydump.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:22 am  

  • Ashton: top bloke!
    - takes an (in mho illegal) tackle
    - takes 3 punches
    - stays on his feet
    - does not whine when he gets send of
    - shakes manu's hand afterwards

    Manu: top player!
    - just had a brain fart
    - was double lucky with his own yellow and with ashton's

    Wayne Barnes: fine refereeing. Did not see the incident so went to the linesman. Nothing wrong here.

    Linesman: douche!!!!
    He says Manu threw the first punch. So Ashton did not get send of for the shove but for throwing punches AFTER Manu's!!!!
    This guy should not get near a refereeing or any officiating position for quite a while.

    Commentators: quite like them.
    They are not more biased than others. And should they somment in an objective manner? That would not do the game any good.

    And last of all: I know Sonny Bill likes the occasional boxing match. How about Many and SBW in the same ring????!!!!

    By Anonymous Guy, at May 15, 2011 11:26 am  

  • Ahston! should have never shove tuilagi in the back... thats what you get when you mess wit the mighty rugby dynasty in the world.. the "tuilagis"... hahaha...

    By Blogger coast685, at May 15, 2011 11:29 am  

  • Respect to Ashton - disgraceful attack by Tuilagi, what was he reacting to? His own high tackle on Ashton?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:33 am  

  • OK so now i finnally see the point of the slow mo camera. Awesome!

    By Blogger Oli, at May 15, 2011 11:33 am  

  • I'm a big fan of Ashton, but, perhaps his chat off the ball has earned him a thick head and a cut eye?

    on the bright side, if burger only got 8/9 for gouging, Tuilagi is more than free to play in the World Cup, happy times!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:33 am  

  • No sympathy for Ashton whatsoever.
    That shouldve knocked some of his arrogance
    out of him!!

    Allan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:34 am  

  • erm, for the people that didnt see it but the ball was going to be passed to him but was knocked down by castro, tuilagi was within every right to tackle him, ashton got was amazed that someone tackled him, so he pushed tuilagi's head which could of caused damage so he got paid back so there was nothing wrong ashton shouldnt have tried to be a hard man by starting, he started it and tuilagi finished it, no problem.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:35 am  

  • @Guy, couldn't agree more with pretty much everything you've written here.
    Touch judge probably wasn't following the incident as closely as he should have been and filled in the blanks himself.
    A ban is in order, for Tuilagi but more importantly for the touch judge, disgraceful.

    By Anonymous I hate ppl who write "First!", at May 15, 2011 11:38 am  

  • a lot of biased chris ashton haters on here!

    By Anonymous Russell, at May 15, 2011 11:41 am  

  • BOOM!! Headshot

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:41 am  

  • Having seen the comments generated by the Bobo(Falcons)& Ashton incident earlier this season, it is clear Ashton is gaining a reputation (true or not)for being cocky and difficult on the pitch, whereas he and the team came out on top in Newcastle here things worked out the other way. Perhaps this will be the prompt for him to moderate his behaviour.

    By Anonymous OJT, at May 15, 2011 11:42 am  

  • his touch judge is an absolute moron!!! Manu Tuilagi is an absolute thug! Rugby can't let this pass.

    First time defending Chris Ashton but he did nothing wrong.

    By Blogger Eif, at May 15, 2011 11:51 am  

  • I don't watch much rugby from the Northern Hemisphere. Are the commentators always so opinionated?

    I think the tackle was fine (albeit Ashton did not get the ball, but from Tuilagi's vantage that would be hard to confirm in the limited time before he had to act).

    Ashton walked over, gave Tuilagi a shove and then waited over him ... for what? If Ashton had given Tuilagi a shove and walked back to his line that probably would have been the end of it. Instead he stood over him, waiting for what, who knows.

    Tuilagi did overreact however the way the commentators were performing you'd think Tuilagi had bitten Ashton's ear off.

    Hopefully Tuilagi doesn't get picked for England. After all he is a Samoan player, from Samoa (born and raised) and accordingly (again in my opinion) he should be turning out for the Manu Samoa.

    Thugish attack? (thuggish has 2 t's by the way) ... hardly.

    By Anonymous Adam, at May 15, 2011 11:53 am  

  • finally someone gave that arrogant tw*t ashton a hammering! loooooooong overdue!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:54 am  

  • Manu Tuilagi should get a 6 month ban.

    By Anonymous Themis, at May 15, 2011 11:56 am  

  • "Anonymous said...

    erm, for the people that didnt see it but the ball was going to be passed to him but was knocked down by castro, tuilagi was within every right to tackle him"

    So what you are saying is, if i think someone might get the ball i can tackle him regardless, he has no right to make a hit on anyone untill the ball is in their hands. Of course you can give him the BOD but he still has no right.

    By Anonymous Kev, at May 15, 2011 11:57 am  

  • @I HAVE A NAME
    You are racist and homophobic. You talk about the way he looks instead of the way he plays?
    The fact is, the southern hemisphere are better at rugby. Full stop. I thoroughly believe that racism stems from jealousy and fear.

    Although I'm not condoning this, the arrogant way Ashton plays would appear to be very irritating. I'm happy that his involvement petered out during the last few six nations games :)
    The main problem I have with his swallow dive is that kids are copying it. My cousin got in underneath one and made him cry. So proud :)

    Not often you see professional looking punches being thrown in rugby though..

    By Anonymous Binky, at May 15, 2011 11:59 am  

  • Proper Northern lad staying on his feet. Tuilagi has just ruined his chances of playing at the RWC. Johnson wont have liked that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:59 am  

  • Haha Aston IRFU

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:06 pm  

  • I guarantee all of these people laughing would have been crying in a heap on the floor if this had happened to them. Shame you can't appreciate that Ashton actually took that really well.
    Also I Adam am pretty sure thuggish doesn't have two g's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:11 pm  

  • What a thug we who wants to see that on a rugby game. he's just rinsed himself for the rugby world cup squad as well. what a bender.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:15 pm  

  • i dont know how anyone can sit there and defend that ashton pushed him its the kind of niggling you get from all players throughout a game - similar to castros light slap on hartley. However, standing up and unloading three? thats a red and a citing, no world cup manu well done we have to make do with tindall now

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:17 pm  

  • V. impressed that Ashton managed to stay on his feet after that third haymaker!!! Also the way he reacted afterwards & just got on with his game deserves a lot of respect. Tuilagi deserves a long, long ban for this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:20 pm  

  • @Ihaveaname and @ThugNutz ... I am surprised you two rednecks know how to post comments. Did you take a break from coloring in the McDonald placemats you collected during your sister's wedding to jump online?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:20 pm  

  • I used to have a reasonable amount of respect for Leicester, but considering that now, on top of their long-standing reputation of being cheats, one of their players essentially assaults someone, and then the coach speaks about it as if nothing happened, and after all that idiot's whinging about referees being biased and giving Leicester a raw deal...

    Also, people who are saying that Ashton was a good man to shake Tuilagi's hand afterwards...why is that good? If I was him I wouldn't want to shake the hand of scum like that.

    By Anonymous Leicester scum, at May 15, 2011 12:23 pm  

  • Stop this people punching on the rugby pitch... Once you could behave like this, now you're on tv and you are role-model for young generation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:28 pm  

  • I like the way people are saying that Tuilagi will need to sort his head out if he's to be picked for England; a team that gave 69 caps to Danny Grewcock!!

    By Blogger Born To Ruck!, at May 15, 2011 12:29 pm  

  • Let's try and be balanced here.

    The tackle was fine, if Ashton had the ball - which Manu thought he had. He was diving to take man and ball - the ball was knocked down. Would have been a penalty, nothing more (it was CHEST height).

    Ashton's reaction, also fine. Certainly not a yellow card. I'd probably be annoyed if I got smashed without the ball too.

    Manu's reaction was bizarre. He's completely lost it there - and he's never been a dirty player before this. A definite red, but in terms of a ban - do people really think this deserves more than an eye gouge or sly forearm drop?

    At least this wasn't an underhand cheapshot - this was face to face, and because it was more open, people have got their knickers in a twist. He will get 8 weeks ban, reduced to 4 due to previous good record, an early guilty plea, his age and his genuine remorse. He looked like he was about to cry when the ref called him over!

    And on a side note, kick these racist scum off rugbydump please. If they're too pathetic and stupid to have a decent opinion on causes of aggression, they won't have a decent or credible opinion on rugby.

    By Anonymous Coops, at May 15, 2011 12:30 pm  

  • Anonymous.

    A comedy of errors, I meant g's and you meant t's.

    ThugNutz.

    Not much effort in your comment there lad. Try taking some time to think of something which at least appears to make you look like you have opposable thumbs before commenting.

    By Anonymous Adam, at May 15, 2011 12:31 pm  

  • The Tuilagis are good players, but they need to get their anger under control... in France it's the same with the older one....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:32 pm  

  • well for a start tuilagi wasn't back ten, it wasn't an overly high tackle but it wasn't very nice was it? it was a sinical tackle, he made no attempt to use his shoulder he swung a straight arm at ashton, and chris didn't even have the ball. ashton should not have been carded, manu should've had a red,i dont think that well see him at cardiff and by the way im welsh so i dont really like either of the two teams

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:35 pm  

  • RD you might as well just remove the comments page, its obvious that it'll never go back to being as good natured as it was when the blog first started

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:36 pm  

  • Some moron has said it was an OK tackle - no it wasn't and where was the ball - there shouldn't have been a tackle at all. What Tuilagi did was utterly wrong, only someone who doesn't understand the game would say it was OK. It is hard enough without brainless thuggery - he needs a long ban, Cockerill is a liar and needs his board to remind themselves that it is a sport that Leicester were great at - but now not as good.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:37 pm  

  • @ Themis said...
    Manu Tuilagi should get a 6 month ban.

    lol, are you kidding!!! Your saying this is worse than eye gouges!!

    @ThugNutz said...
    Total nigger move by Manu. Does he think he is in South Central LA? Ban the fucking monkey.

    Hows about you piss off, nobody needs your sort on here.

    @ Leicester scum said...
    I used to have a reasonable amount of respect for Leicester, but considering that now, on top of their long-standing reputation of being cheats, one of their players essentially assaults someone, and then the coach speaks about it as if nothing happened, and after all that idiot's whinging about referees being biased and giving Leicester a raw deal...

    Also, people who are saying that Ashton was a good man to shake Tuilagi's hand afterwards...why is that good? If I was him I wouldn't want to shake the hand of scum like that.

    Lets be honest here, by the sounds of it you never had any respect for Leicester. Cockerill said he didnt see it, possibly like the linesman who was probably following play (prob why he got his decision wrong). Long standing reputation of being cheats... What the feck! Every team trys on it on!!

    Manu actually went up to Ashton and gave him a hug and apologized. you wouldnt of shook his hand... well that obviously shows the sort of bloke you are....

    By Anonymous Nathan, at May 15, 2011 12:38 pm  

  • This basically shows that Manu is not an international yet and Ashton definitely is. Plus he's basically hard as nails.

    You can't lose your cool like that in an international level. In fact there is a big ethos on keeping your head, being calm and making correct decisions. Big respect to Ashton.

    My opinion of him has changed.

    By Anonymous King, at May 15, 2011 12:42 pm  

  • Speaking as a ref the touch judge was the problem there, and with the time he had to think about it before talking to Barnes he should have broken the incident into three:
    (1) Tuilagi's tackle was a penalty not a card. Dangerous, potentially not actually and worth a warning in addition to a penalty. I'm not convinced he was committed when the ball was knocked down and there was minimal if any attempt to wrap arms. It was certainly not high.
    (2) Aston's shove - nothing in it, but the fact it's the back of his head while he's on the ground means I'd've reversed the penalty.
    (3) The punches - red card, no question, touch judge must be one-eyed. He'll miss the next match on review no doubt. No idea at all how Aston got a yellow out of that.

    By Anonymous Red Kev, at May 15, 2011 12:44 pm  

  • COCKerill is full of shit. They see the feed from the broadcaster right there from the coaches box. What do you think they are looking at on those laptops? Along with Manu they bring the game down to the level of football. Shameful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:51 pm  

  • Cockerill is a twat of the highest order. He spent about two weeks moaning about Leinster to whatever journalist or TV station would listen after being knocked out of the H Cup. Yet when one of his viciously assaults an opposition player he brushes it under the carpet. I know a coach should defend his players but Cockerill's attitude lately has led me to lose all respect for the man and Leicester.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:54 pm  

  • Just a point about the commentators. I dislike Stuart Barnes as much as the next man, but the criticism here doesn't make sense. They spend most of their time criticising the REFEREES not Manu Tuilagi. And the criticism of the referees is pretty unquestionably apt in this case.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 12:54 pm  

  • ashton got what was coming to him for a long time. but how did he stay standing, if that was me im pretty sure id wake up the next day in hospital. unfortunetly tuilagi wont be on the world cup squad, i was looking forward to watching him play.

    By Anonymous Cian, at May 15, 2011 12:56 pm  

  • everyone who attempts to defend this is a complete and utter tool. He twatted him three times pretty much to the face. If it hadn't been on a rugby pitch he'd be in prison. And everyone who hate ashton is also a tool. He's a great player and just because he has the ability to rinse people and is proud about it makes him arrogant how?

    By Anonymous Christ, at May 15, 2011 12:57 pm  

  • Red Kev - well done on an excellent comment. I'm a Leicester fan and you echo my thoughts on this - it's good to see some perspective.

    I would have liked Manu to have been red-carded in hindsight, it would have stopped a lot of complaining from Saints fans. The fact is in the second half you had 21% possession - Manu had very little to do with that, it was all the forwards hard work.

    I hope Manu will miss the final and learn what an idiot he was - then go on to impress playing for England.

    He's probably more ready for international rugby after this incident - he will learn to keep calm.

    By Anonymous coops, at May 15, 2011 12:58 pm  

  • Rugby is a joke. Looked like the WWE complete with a fake referee! What a fucking joke rugby has become.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:03 pm  

  • I don't see how anyone can rejoice in a player getting punched three times in the face to the point of needing stitches, regardless of who that player is.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at May 15, 2011 1:07 pm  

  • That's my reaction as well Red Kev, nicely analysed!

    By Blogger carlulander54, at May 15, 2011 1:08 pm  

  • can't blame the ref for missing it since he was doing his job and focussing on the ball.

    really thuggish reaction from the wee fellah. I'm pretty sure he'll get some rest time and perhaps he can do some community work with battered kids as part of his punishment

    :-)

    By Anonymous Irish ref, at May 15, 2011 1:11 pm  

  • This article is truly biased and unsympathetic towards manu. I am most certainly not a tigers fan, yet i feel unprecedented anger when reading this article, 10 seconds of reckless actions have been transformed into a a full period of thugishness. Please do not be so naive as to think Ashton gave 'A little shove to the back of the head', his soft punch too was intended to hurt and it too was a moment of anger amidst a controlled performance. Please do not forget that we players are still humans too and that we may be prone to make mistakes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:12 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:12 pm  

  • Red Kev - I agree.

    Coops,

    Sorry mate, as I said in a few comments back this just proves that he is not ready at all. He's a great player but rugby is a very mental game as well. Ashton showed why he is an international by taking the hits on the chin and was probably thinking 'you're going off for this mate'. You need to channel you're aggression into running hard fast lines, winning the contact situations etc. Not flip out like a nutter when someone pushes you in the back of the head, I mean come on. Especially after taking someone out off the ball, albeit I don't think it was intentional.

    You're right in saying that he will learn from this but I think for someone who was on the brink of an England start he just showed Johnson why he needs to play a few more of the bigger high intensity matches first.

    I hope he does learn though because Englands centres since 03 have been nothing compared to our rivals. Manu looks like he's got all the skills.

    By Anonymous King, at May 15, 2011 1:14 pm  

  • Islanders pretend they're tough?

    Ashton left himself wide open and Pooilgai couldn't even put him on the deck.

    What a fucking pussy.

    By Anonymous Dance Maniac, at May 15, 2011 1:16 pm  

  • This is why Islanders make shit boxers.

    David Tua, crushed by Lennox Lewis.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:28 pm  

  • Punching someone when the're not expecting it is a mark of a total pussy, it's something I'd expect from other pussies like Bakkies Botha

    All of these no mark countries are shit when it comes to real fighting (wars and boxing) but great at cheap shots when people aren't looking.

    By Anonymous Grow a pair, at May 15, 2011 1:35 pm  

  • Insane, clearly making it harder to stick by rugby over football but still stick by it but still.

    By OpenID museluver, at May 15, 2011 1:39 pm  

  • wonder how many of you who are scorning Manu for throwing punches condoned Sean O'Brien's actions against Nyanga a few weeks ago?!

    Glad someones finally shut Ashton's mouth

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:45 pm  

  • cant believe the amount of people on here defending what tuilagi did. its a disgrace and he should be banned for quite some time for what is basically assault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:54 pm  

  • one more punch and ashton would have been knocked out quicker than hatton v pacquiao!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 1:58 pm  

  • God you lot have gone soft.

    Watch this video from the Lions v. Australia.....50 odd punches in a mass brawl. This has always been part of the game.

    Result? Penalty to Australia!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Z2m6DgwQ4

    Some if you idiots are acting like Manu killed somebody. I think a yellow was correct, and Ashton should not have got a card. To be fair, in real time it looked like Ashton threw a punch...ok Ashton did not connect. Still.....

    Barnes and Harrison's reaction was over the top. You do not get a straight red for a punch. Sometimes you do, sometimes you get a yellow. Barnes has a deep bias against Tigers from his playing days.....so you have to take his ranting with a lot of salt

    By Anonymous jpm, at May 15, 2011 2:00 pm  

  • Good job done by Manu.That cnt realy deserved it,he is a clown not a rugby player.A real man would have punched back

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 2:03 pm  

  • I still don't get it. Why sanctions are so inappropriate? Is the touch referee scared of Tuilagi to be so unfair ? It's a red card for Tuilagi because he destroyed Ashton and no even a yellow card for Ashton who just had a simply gesture of annoyance after the late tackle. And I'm French but I don't like to see such things. I hope Tuilagi will be cited and will receive a massive sanction. If cudmore for example had done that, he would have received a red card and a 2 months suspension.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 2:03 pm  

  • King - Perhaps I should clarify. What I meant was the fight showed that he certainly wasn't ready for international rugby. However, he has never done anything like this before, and I think he will learn a huge amount from missing the final.

    My point is - he will be more prepared to play international rugby NOW than before. He showed genuine remorse straight afterwards, and I think the incident will teach him a lot about keeping your cool. As you rightly point out, you could tell Ashton was 'the old head' in this - and it's interesting to think that less than 3 years ago he had the same sort of red mist that Manu displayed!

    Good to have a reasoned debate with someone on here compared with some of the crap that gets posted!

    By Anonymous Coops, at May 15, 2011 2:06 pm  

  • if henson ends up back in a wales shirt and manu is in an england one, I am happy to say that we most likely wont get a international debut like taits!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 2:06 pm  

  • Red card and ban for Tuilagi - carried to next season. In terms of Premiership games.

    High tackle and VERY dangerous punches. No mitigating circumstances. No consideration for any previous good behaviour. Thuggish and completely out of order.

    To be fair to the ref - he was looking more at the ball and the actual game. It was the touchjudge who made the (incorrect) call about the yellows.

    By Anonymous Paul, at May 15, 2011 2:06 pm  

  • 3:10 that is some fantastic camera work... often these things don't get cuaght properly by the cameraman but here he was spot on!

    By Anonymous Will, at May 15, 2011 2:34 pm  

  • Thousands of mothers are going to dissuade their boys from playing rugby after seeing things like this. Thanks Manu in helping us grow the game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 2:40 pm  

  • Fair play to Ashton, the guy must have an iron chin to stay standing after that hit.

    By Blogger Henry de B, at May 15, 2011 2:56 pm  

  • I know ashton can be arrogant but nothing warrants that attack. On the street Tuilagi would be looking at ABH and assault. Shouldn't go to the world cup now thank god, we can't afford that on the world stage

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 2:58 pm  

  • If your going to shove a samoan in the back of the head then you need to be able to accept the consequences. Chris ashton gave up without even doing anything. He well and trully got tanked. DON'T MESS WITH THE SAMOANS!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 3:08 pm  

  • If you're going to shove a samoan in the back of the head then you need to be able to accept the consequences. Chris ashton gave up without even doing anything. He well and truly got tanked. DON'T MESS WITH THE SAMOANS!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 3:10 pm  

  • Punching techneque is shit.

    Pretty sure Aston wasn't fighting back because he has some form of control and wanted to stay on the pitch.

    I like Manu as a player but let himself down big style here, which from his face after I think he realised.

    If he dosn't get a ban think he should go to the RWC but for Samoa where he was born.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 3:46 pm  

  • As a Leicester fan, I thought it was a red card. And probably a ban too. He showed Martyn Jonhson his limitations when it comes to temperament. Bad timing.

    At the same time, he is 19 and only guilty of loosing his cool. The punches look far far worse in slow motion. And as a former player, I guarantee that Ashton's "push" with both hands into the neck felt like a punch.

    Again it looked much worse than what it was. But what it was is a red card.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 3:49 pm  

  • I am not keen on Asthon (far from it), but there is nothing he can be blamed for on this one except that he kept his nerve and take 3 pretty impressive punches without falling on the floor. On the evidence of the video and some comments given on this site, he did not make a meal of the incidence (and to be honest, he could have rightfully).

    All credit to him.

    About Manu, well, I do not care about the nationality/origin of a player but you do not have to be a genius to see that he clearly lost it on this one. The original tackle on Ashton was illegal (I am not saying dangerous, this is up to the interpretation of everyone here....I won't start/continue the discussion on this) as for the rest.....

    He might be a great player or prospect. He may not be a dirty player....but somehow you have to be responsible for your act and behavior on or off the field.

    Cannot say Asthon deserved the special treatment he got.

    Probably 4/6 weeks unless The Saints might want to push for more?

    By Anonymous Flipje, at May 15, 2011 3:50 pm  

  • Fair play to Ashton to standing up to those smacks and not reacting! What a hero... Tuilagi - what a stupid act, boy! A smacked massive ass from his mother and the rfu is due

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 3:57 pm  

  • If Ashton was the aggressor, this would be considered a hate crime.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:05 pm  

  • Wow. I hated Ashton but this changes things. 3 full on punches from a out of control thug to the face, no retaliation AND keeping his feet. Absolutely tough as nails and was signing autographs for the fans afterwards.

    Manu on the other hand is very overrated, he might seem 'tough' but his decision making defensively and attacking wise is often very poor and he only gets away with it due to the players around him. This act of thuggery will no doubt follow him around for the rest of his career. I can't see Ashton being out of the England squad any time soon too so if Manu somehow makes it in I would be intrigued to see how well he's received.

    No place for it in Rugby, hope Manu enjoys his long ban and has some time to think about his obvious anger problems.

    By Anonymous nohandsintheruck, at May 15, 2011 4:15 pm  

  • very sensible comment no hands

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:18 pm  

  • Ashton didn't do anything because he was too shit-scared! It's rugby, not ballet - if you shove someone on the neck from behind, expect to get some bones thrown at you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:22 pm  

  • Ashton deserves it. He's a dolt. The only reason he stood up to the 'attack' was because he wasn't expecting it, he was stunned, and probably was half realizing he shouldn't have aggrivated him.

    Aside from it being just a shove, he did go for Tuilagi, on the ground, from behind. You can't say he was acting in a 'noble' fashion by standing there and taking the punches - he started the thing. He's notoriously hot headed, and he prodded the wrong bear this time.

    I think Manu was in the wrong obviously, and for the integrity of the game he will get cited.

    What's more important, I hope Ashton learns from it.

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at May 15, 2011 4:24 pm  

  • lol @ Adam Keni

    A shove after a late, no hands tackle is equal to 3 straight full on punches to the face?

    So based on your logic if someone throws a rock at you and you thought they were a bit arrogant you would nuclear bomb them to teach them a lesson...well don't you sound like a friendly chap.

    I'm guessing there's no football on today?

    By Anonymous tacklersconcussed, at May 15, 2011 4:30 pm  

  • WHERE WAS THE SWAN DIVE?

    Tom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:31 pm  

  • Watching those punches felt so good :) boom Boom BOOM

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:34 pm  

  • Slim chances of a World Cup spot gone, thuggishness nobody wants to see on a Rugby field at any level.

    Absolutely awful from both the linesman and referee too, how the hell did they not see that?!

    Hope he gets banned for a long, long time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:41 pm  

  • I'm glad Ashton got punched. I don't like the guy but I'll be the first to admit that he did amazingly well. First, staying on his feet and then accepting a card without whinging. Class.
    If only Mvovo didn't make him look so inept in November hahaha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 4:52 pm  

  • Man that was a joy to watch. Left left and a right to the temple. I think he should of finished with a left hook from way out cos you could see his legs buckle a bit. Deserved everything he got, what do you expect if you shove someone from behind AND on the floor. Fucking coward. After seeing his clip from the newcastle game where he was acting like a cunt this is exactly what he needs. Poked the wrong animal today!

    This is what rigby used to be about anyone saying otherwise is either a faggot or hasnt watched an international featuring south africa pre 95'

    By Anonymous MonsterManu, at May 15, 2011 4:56 pm  

  • MonsterManu said...

    "This is what rigby used to be about anyone saying otherwise is either a faggot or hasnt watched an international featuring south africa pre 95'"

    http://cdn0.sbnation.com/profile_images/421574/Cant-tell-if-trolling-or-just-very-stupid.jpg

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:03 pm  

  • Finally, he was given what was coming to him. Good on Tuilagi. Ashton is a coward for pushing him on the ground. I'm Irish but I hope Tuilagi makes the English Wc squad. He deserves it after this season.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:03 pm  

  • http://www.nastyhobbit.org/data/media/1/down-syndrome-tiger.jpg

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:08 pm  

  • English commentators are a disgrace to the game. Bunch of feminine lady boys. That original tackle wasn't high in the slightest, no idea what the commentator was watching.

    Ashton got what he deserved for attacking a bloke from behind without reason. Not Manu's fault that Ashton fights like a choir boy.

    This fucking commentator has no idea what he's on about. Everytime I hear him I wonder if he's suffering from dementia or severe eye-sight problems. How he can say that original tackle was a yellow, never mind bloody high, it beggars belief. The commentator is mentally ill! He's got so much conviction in his fucking moronic world view that he just makes it up as he goes along.

    I hate Leicester and I'm arguing the ref got it right. Yellow for Ashton for attacking Manu, yellow for Manu for beating up Ashton too severely :D

    By Anonymous The Commentators are Crazy, at May 15, 2011 5:11 pm  

  • So what you are saying is, if i think someone might get the ball i can tackle him regardless

    Yes, you hit people on suspicion. If a team is running good lines it's bound to happen. I worry for NH teams if you think tackling a bloke when you know for 100% he has the ball will work. By that time the ball will have moved on!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:16 pm  

  • BRING BACK THE BIFF!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:17 pm  

  • That dickhead commentator is always obsessed with sending people off, He's the one who needs a punch in the face.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:19 pm  

  • If you watch the video you will see that Chris Ashton also threw punches - they just failed to connect, so actually the same punishment for both players is fair. If Manu Tuilagi is cited then perhaps Chris Ashton should also be cited. Northampton were guilty of several late tackles early on trying to unsettle players (see incident with Toby Flood) - perhaps they should have concentrated on playing the good rugby that has gone them to the semis of two major tournaments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:22 pm  

  • I dont even think that Tuilagis hit was that high, around the chest....maybe a bit of a stiff arm but not high.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 5:35 pm  

  • i hope you remove some of these comments RD, some things people are writing here are just unreal

    I hope manu gets a nice long ban, and i dont want to see that samoan ever play for england

    Push in the back = 3 punches to the head? you want to watch that go switch on boxing.

    By Anonymous M, at May 15, 2011 5:46 pm  

  • A shame this took the lime light off a brilliant game. The tackle stats at the end of the math showed Saints resilience and Leicesters dominance. Manu is only 19, he'll come back from this, and Ashton showed a mature side in dealing with the incident.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 6:05 pm  

  • FUCKING DISGRACE

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 6:14 pm  

  • Bout time someone gave the swan-diving arse a good hiding!!! Long overdue!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 6:21 pm  

  • Lol, well somebody had to batter ashton one day.....

    I know punching is not a part of rugby, however I certainly do get sick of players getting red carded for punching....

    Maybe Manu should have been red carded, but I dont like seeing players throw 1 punch and get a red....

    I'm not trying to be a "hardman" etc, or one of these old men that lives for losing body parts on the pitch, however I believe Manu's tackle wasn't that bad...and he only tackled ashton without the ball cos ashton knocked it on...

    I dunno, yellow card for both seems fine to me... I get sick of citings for everything...

    By Blogger No.7, at May 15, 2011 6:37 pm  

  • Quick point: it wasn't a high tackle.

    I think it was inevitable that someone would put a fist in the face of the cocky gobshite from Wigan. Both brilliant players, but one talks too much, and the other has shown he hasn't quite got the composure to play international rugby just yet.

    I agree with some of the other comments on here: the inevitable ban does save Johnson a selection choice! However, when the alternative is Shontayne Hape, don't you just wish Tuilagi had kept his cool?

    By Blogger SmellyNerfherder, at May 15, 2011 6:38 pm  

  • Stuart Barnes what a plonker. "High challenge, that's yellow card" For a tackle that hit Ashton on the arms/chest??? Ashton yellow? No. Tuilagi red? No. And no it wasn't the worst call of the season. Get a grip!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 6:46 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 6:51 pm  

  • RD get rid of the comments application, this has descended into levels lower then that on youtube.

    By Blogger life2lifele55, at May 15, 2011 6:57 pm  

  • RD

    If ur gonna post stuff like this then be ready to disable the comment section for it, it always descends into anarchy and forces you to spend ur weekend trolling through it to remove the really offensive stuff, some of which you miss by the way..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:03 pm  

  • maybe if he spent less time getting in fights and tackling people illegally and more time playing rugby they wouldnt have lost to leinster

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:13 pm  

  • Can I make a point did anyone watch this video:?!?

    I see so many bashing tuilagi for an illegal tackle.. I thought the tackle was fine... it wasn't high, he looks to have a good grip on but swings round ashton.

    And those saying he is a thug... how would you react if you carried out a legit tackle and someone shoved your head, especially someone renowned for being a gobby git...

    Im not saying he didnt go overboard with the punches but I bet most players would get up and grab Ashton for a bit of a tussle...

    Is this REALLY the incident of the year? is it REALLY that big a deal?

    Ban him? I dunno, maybe, but for how long? a couple weeks max, if at all...

    By Blogger No.7, at May 15, 2011 7:26 pm  

  • Look how many times this has been shared on facebook. Look at all the comments.

    This is what Rugby thrives on. Controversy is the life-blood of the game. Sporting theater!

    All you people who want to sanitise the sport will be in for a shock when you realise there's already an abundance of sanitised-soft sports. Fans will slowly leave the game.

    Shared 3,000 times. This is Rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:31 pm  

  • i hope you remove some of these comments RD, some things people are writing here are just unreal

    I hope manu gets a nice long ban, and i dont want to see that samoan ever play for england

    ----

    Like bigotry that borders on racism?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:31 pm  

  • i agree with the guys saying the comments app should be disabled. it used to be a good channel for discussing rugby, now its descended into racism, trolling and plain offense. shame

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:38 pm  

  • YAS. Take that Ashton you arrogant k**b. There should be no ban. It is a contact sport and fighting is a part of that. It gives a game that wee bit extra entertainment. And plus it is always fun to see and english player getting stuffed. :D

    By Blogger Jonathan, at May 15, 2011 7:40 pm  

  • @Jonathan - you are a special type of retard, if it was up to you rugby would be played with a frown and noone would enjoy it

    By Anonymous CB15, at May 15, 2011 7:43 pm  

  • As for the tackle it wasn’t high, not a chance. As for it being off the ball? I wouldn’t say it's any worse than Hartley's. Anyone who has actually played the game will agree that a player of ability about to receive the ball should get tackled when you have the chance, if you wait and see then they will be past you. I think as far as Manu is concerned he has seen the pass coming to Ashton and tackled him(even though he made a very very poor attempt to wrap).
    Prior to tackle he may not have seen Castrogiovanni knock the down and was busy concentrating on getting a known try scorer on his ass, i know i would be, so again i doubt it is an illegal act.

    As for aferwards:
    That push like someone else said would have felt like a punch, coming from behind when he was defenceless on the ground. Manu has gotten up, and instantly reacted with a "follow up" few punches. Which to me seems like he thinks he has been punched. As for Ashton's reaction to getting punched he is trying to punch Manu back you can see his poor attempts at a jab, i think he is just rocked by those perfectly landed punches.

    I think the yellow for both was the correct decision.I believe Manu(thinks) he is reacting in self defence, if im wrong and he was just performing a thuggish act, he is only young, i know i wouldnt have been able to handle that sort of pressure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:48 pm  

  • Tuilagi wasn't 10 when he made the tackle. One offence.
    The tackle was borderline at shoulder level. The game was hyped up over fine lines, and that was a fine line.
    The tackle was just an arm; no use of the shoulder or wrapping around. Third offence.
    Tuilagi stupidly loses it and unloads three cracking shots on Ashton. Fourth offence, worthy of a red itself.

    Tuilagi had enough time to realise Ashton didn't have the ball; you could perhpas even say his head was looking up so would have saw the ball knocked to the ground.
    And for anyone saying he was standing around waiting for a box up, he was probably waiting to have a bit of a grab with Tuilagi over the late hit, not for three rounds with David Haye.
    Don't even wanna get started on the Cockerill situation. Or the clown running up and down the side of the pitch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:54 pm  

  • Couldn't be arsed reading through all the posts but in-case it hasn't been said (although I'm sure it has) Chris Ashton is an arrogant prick who has had this coming for some time

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 7:55 pm  

  • I was just going to say the same thing ^^ haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:04 pm  

  • Manu does try to wrap around in the tackle.If you watch the slow-mo you can see it.He should have been red carded for what he did,and Ashton's so called ''punches'' looked like pushes to me.

    By Anonymous Alan, at May 15, 2011 8:07 pm  

  • glad to see ashton finally put in his place. however tuilagi shouldn't have done what he did however it was not a high tackle!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:10 pm  

  • If Manu is going to get cited by the RFU, will the referee and his assistants also get a rollicking for getting it wrong? If the RFU cite Manu then they have to admit that some of their best big match officials are not good enough. 2 week ban and some community work, max.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:13 pm  

  • The quality of refs in rugby and football has really gone down hill, something has to change. the constant mistakes and errors by officals is making pro sport less attractive cuz offical errors are deciding matches instead of the teams on the pitch giving their all, its not fair to them and its not fair to spectators.
    WH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:14 pm  

  • That was totally the correct call to make, in all fairness the original tackle by Tuilagi does merit a penalty but the retaliation by Ashton is the root of the problem. This lack of maturity on the field with this incident and those ridiculous dives, its uncalled for. So if that punch doesn't knock sense in to him I don't know what will.

    plus the commentators should give it a rest and get on with the game Chris Aston id not the Golden Boy of English rugby. If anything he is a disgrace to the game.

    By Anonymous Ross, at May 15, 2011 8:19 pm  

  • I think we've just found Sonny Bill Williams's next opponent in the ring.

    By Anonymous katman, at May 15, 2011 8:35 pm  

  • Chris Ashton is exactly the kind of role model we need in rugby.It seems to me theres alot of jelousy for the crime of having a personality and being a world class rugby player.I bet all the haters were cling ons to the school bullies bet your parents are really proud of you laughing about someone being assaulted retards!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:41 pm  

  • SBW's next opponent? He cannot even floor a smaller man with 3 bare knuckle punches (credit to Ashton).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:46 pm  

  • good on Ashton for staying on his feet.. what a hit!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:47 pm  

  • Tuilagi what an ugly c**t looks like the fucking hulk.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:50 pm  

  • Im not an Ashton fan at all, I'd go as far as to say I hate his stupid face, but how people are saying he deserved this is beyond me, tackled off the ball, retaliates with a shove and then gets 3 huge hits to the face.

    No logic in a lot of peoples comments here.

    I'll still beoverjoyed when Sean O'B rolls over him next weekend.

    Leinster fan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:53 pm  

  • "bet your parents are really proud of you laughing about someone being assaulted retards!"

    Chris Ashton was the one who attacked Manu. If not for the fact Manu is clearly the physical superior his actions would have been considered self defence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 8:56 pm  

  • Well mister Tuilagi, enjoy your time in the team hotel in two weeks while you realise your entire career will go without international honors. *Double thumbs up*

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:04 pm  

  • yes manu 'self defence' I bet he feared for his life dont give me that hes a thug!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:10 pm  

  • 168th

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:12 pm  

  • In his post match interviews Ashton is clearly a nice guy, his aggression is always confined to the pitch where it should be. He has also proven himself to be the best English winger of his generation. I would be dumbfounded if anyone disagrees with this, his running lines, stamina, immense pace and quantity of tries show how class he is. (of course he relies on his team mates and management, i'm not saying he is a one man army) I'm really sick of people having a go at him for his celebration, when you score a try for your club or country you should be elated, the dive isn't an insult to anyone its not as if he gets in anyones face.
    I just hope that punch didn't fracture his eye socket or cheek, if so it would be a race to get back to the world cup let alone the warm up games.
    Manu is a great player as well, I was hoping he would play against the barbarians. He deserves a citing though.

    By Blogger Andrew, at May 15, 2011 9:13 pm  

  • Chris Ashton fucking legend all respect to him awesome player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:15 pm  

  • Am amazed by some of the comments on this blog! Watch the video again and you can see Manu is perfectly entitled to attempt the tackle on Ashton because that was where the pass was going until it hit Castro and bounced the other way. The tackle was below shoulder height but was maybe not the best - penalty. Ashton reaction, over the top, Manu's reaction - over the top perhaps doesn't cut it! Finally - why would this stop Manu's WC hopes? The England team could do with a few players with a bit of fire in them! MJ would get the best out of Manu! All just my opinion, apart from the ball hit Castro...THAT'S FACT :)

    By Anonymous Jimbo1, at May 15, 2011 9:17 pm  

  • Manu will get cited and banned for Striking, it is irrelevant how powerful the punch was. People saying he'll be banned for months is ridiculous, the letter of the law says he can't get banned for a long time.
    Julian White got a straight red for punching Andrew Sheridan a while back, he only got a 2 week ban.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:19 pm  

  • Oh was it a RUGY match or a boxing match , Because that blow to Chris`s head was a deliberate box to the head not once but three times! That ref has got no balls , it was easier for him to act like a fucking girl with his yellow card. That ref needs to go back to tag rugy for children , no wait a minute I wouldn`t even put him on that , the useless piece of fucking shit! That twat Manu is not worth his place in any rugby team , but a boxing ring ! What a wanker.....................

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:26 pm  

  • fair play to manu!! ashton is an arrogant knob on the field and more than likely worse off field!! got a playground schooling!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:32 pm  

  • The useless wanker that is meant to be a touch judge couldn`t wipe his own fucking arse. What a fucking digrace , yeah that`s right a fucking disgrace Manu needs a good fucking hiding . Jumped up little shit !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:39 pm  

  • @tacklersconcussed

    I don't watch footie, I hate it actually.

    I take it you never played rugby outside of your school, or at all.

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at May 15, 2011 9:43 pm  

  • .... also, you missed my point. What I was trying to say is it's very easy with slo-mo to say 'Oh, he just shoved him, and he's after punching him three times to the face'. Hind-sight is a beautiful thing.

    My point is that if you're in a vulnerable position on the ground, and someone shoved you HARD, in the back, you'd be pissed.

    Tuilagi is pissed. He gets up, and obviously over reacts. He throws the first punch, and Ashton raises his hands. Remember this is all happening within two, maybe three seconds.

    If you punch someone and they raise their hands to your face your natural instinct is to keep punching.

    Also, if you watch the video back, Ashton has his fist clenched, and is trying to punch Tuilagi, he just can't connect, and isn't fast enough.

    Tuilagi's 'attempt' at the tackle is fine. The reason he probably doesn't wrap him his because AFTER he's committed to the leaping tackle he's noticed Ashton isn't carrying ball, and doesn't wrap him to minimize the effect of the tackle.

    So under that basis, I'd say that Tuilagi will, and should be banned, but due to his record and depending on the hearing goes he might get 8 weeks reduced to 4.


    @Red Kev, Yes I agree with most of your comments, and it's refreshing to hear that from someone who officiates matches, but I'd have to say it's very easy for the touch judge to have presumed that Ashton was throwing fists as well, his hands were in Tuilagi's face for the whole instance.

    Again, this is going back to the fact that we all make seemingly (in our mind) very good referees, so long as we get to watch everything in slow-mo a million times. :)

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at May 15, 2011 9:51 pm  

  • ha ha, i love this clip have watched it over and over, ashton got whats been coming for a long time..... what a pussy.... brilliant.

    By Blogger Ronan, at May 15, 2011 9:53 pm  

  • If everybody was allowed to act like that after a tackle, illegal or not, then we would have no good, skilled players left- they would probably all be injured well before they reached international level.
    Still, Ashton should not have let his anger get the better of him - his shove pushed Tuilagi over the edge. Both should have behaved better - this is professional rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 9:59 pm  

  • Objectively, wrong decision from the touchline ref. Tuilagui punch deserved a clear and straight red.
    How this ref can't have seen it!?

    Subjectively, i would say that Ashton received the punchs that many other players wanted to adress him. ashton must understand that he is not a star and that other players can tackle you hard without retaliate yourself, cowardly. His stupid and cocky behaviour begin to annoy a lot of players.

    Who win the match?

    By Anonymous Colombes, at May 15, 2011 10:12 pm  

  • What a sequence ! Reminds me of some Béziers/Toulon in the seventies...
    Now this is french flair !

    By Anonymous The Frenchman, at May 15, 2011 10:16 pm  

  • Things certainly get heated on here don't they??!! why anyone could turn this video into a reason to start using racist remarks is beyond me!

    Basically, it stems down to a miss timed tackle, all be it lacking in technique, Ashton be himself and giving a shove, and an over-reaction, from a young guy in a tense environment!

    the punches deserved red, but were brilliant! maybe a couple of weeks ban for misbehaving and lets all forget about it!

    its rugby and people sometimes get carried away, that is why the red card was invented! Ashton proved himself to be able to take a hit, always knew a boy from wigan could, and they both proved they were decent blokes with a hug and a kiss at the end!

    Johnno is never going to not pick someone based on that, but i don't think Manu will be picked for any pressure games incase he causes england to lose a player.

    lets just enjoy the rugby!! Haters... get off!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:24 pm  

  • Chris off to New Zealand the sort of player we want to represent England.Manu can represent the backalleys dirty looking piece.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:28 pm  

  • ref = wrong decision, saints were throwing in numerous late and high tackles before the incident, was only a matter of time before it escalated shame a young player couldn't keep his head tho, good on ashton for not going to ground

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:29 pm  

  • Manu's technique with punching is horrid. He didnt "knock Ashtons block off" because it was a winging arm punch. It wouldnt KO a guy half his size. Both hands down, eyes closed and feet off the ground. How exactly are you supposed to get power into a punch when your feet arent even touching the ground, not allowing you to torque your hips properly. I would say his boxing is almost as bad as Sonny Bills.

    Anyone defending his actions are incredibly ignorant. He smashed into a guy without the ball on purpose. Ashton (wrongfully) gives him a small shove back (that would make them even). Then Manu loses his cool and throws 3 (awful) punches at Ashton. Im not an Ashton fan at all but theres no way you could possibly see this incident otherwise. Manu didnt have a good game at all and he was just frustrated. I would like to see him make an appearance for England in the RWC though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 10:42 pm  

  • Unbelievable that it wasn't red. He will definitely be banned after that. Richard Cockerill is equally a knob for trying to brush the incident aside as though it was nothing. Fights happen in rugby, but that was ridiculous.

    By Anonymous Geraint, at May 15, 2011 10:52 pm  

  • to anonymous, about the punch, I'm sure you would kick manu tuilaguis ass wouldnt ya? Comoe on Manu is a beast and that punch would have put us down any day to anyone of us. But hey credit to Ashton wich didn't go down, wich means hes quite a tough guy. What's your name? Are you going to be fighting for the heavyweight chamion title soon?

    By Anonymous LOL, at May 15, 2011 10:58 pm  

  • On the boxing matter: a pity Tuilagi didn't land a fourth one to finish the job!
    Ashton is a very good player but i can't stand his arrogance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:01 pm  

  • Ashton is a lad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:02 pm  

  • I really wish commentators would stop pretending to be referees with their high-angled views and instant replays. Why would anyone want to ref, when people treat them with such commentary, esp considering there's a shortage of them everywhere!

    If he were given a straight red and Northampton went on to rout the Tigers other announcers would probably say the ref ruined the game by reducing the contest.

    By Anonymous Rob, at May 15, 2011 11:04 pm  

  • Im a tigers fan and i agree that manu was out of order for throwing a punch. but in the write up it says manu hit him with a tackle off the ball but if you watch closely ashton gets a hand on the ball a split second before. besides ashton was getting a little too big for his boots about time he came back down to earth with a bang so to speak.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2011 11:09 pm  

  • What a cunt.

    1. High tackle without the ball. Calling it a late tackle's a bit rich - Ashton never even got the bal - so there wasn't even the 'I was committed' excuse. Yellow on its own.

    2. Shove to the back of the head. Not a punch, no chance of hurting Manu. If that happened on it's own, I'd expect a talking to from the ref, but no more.

    3. Vicious punches to the head. No self defence, minimal provocation, no excuse. I saw two land straight to the face that should have been red cards each. I never saw the punch by Ashton on Tuilagi that the TJ was talking about.

    Seriously, was the TJ on crack? I don't really blame the ref because he was focussing on other things, but for the TJ to reccommend two yellow cards was bizzarre. Hopefully what will come of this is a long suspension, to include the Premiership final then to resume at the start of next season, for both Manu and the TJ. Much as I would love to see an apology from the TJ to Ashton and to Northampton, I know most refs are far too self-righteous to do the right thing in a case like this.

    By Anonymous Ian M, at May 15, 2011 11:14 pm  

  • some people dont have a clue what they're on about saying martin johnson wont pick tuilagi now for that? hello he gave moody the captaincy the man who jonno had a fight with in the tigers changing rooms when they were playing together!!

    By Anonymous dean, at May 15, 2011 11:17 pm  

  • Commenting disabled for now while I waste my time trawling through and removing the offensive ones.

    In future if you'd like to comment, please show some respect to other rugby fans, players, and the site itself. Thanks.

    By Blogger RD, at May 15, 2011 11:21 pm  

  • Let's keep things as clean as possible please. If you can't, then please rather don't comment.

    If you choose to make an offensive, rude, low-class, racist, or otherwise type of comment, don't be surprised if it gets removed. Thanks all.

    By Blogger RD, at May 16, 2011 11:08 am  

  • Ashton had been acting like a complete tool for most of the match. To be honest Ashtn has been building up to some smacking him for a while. Hopefully he'll get the point and just back to playing rugby.

    Manu's a young guy and it was a big game, its not the best thing to do but it's going to happen occasionally. I imagine Cockrill will give him a beasting about it and it should all be forgotton.

    To be honest this incident kind of summed up the game. If Northampton had focus on the rugby as opposed to niggly stupid off the ball stuff they would have been in it.

    AS has been said above the commentary of this was rubbish.

    By Anonymous Nick, at May 16, 2011 11:15 am  

  • In no way was the ball near Tuilagi when he made the tackle, Ashtons little push was fine for what he got, before Tuilagi acted like a little boy. Ashtons a lad!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 11:46 am  

  • Well done for not milking it Mr Ashton - class act. I have notice a lot of italian behaviour in Super Rugby.

    manu lost it - simples

    He will get banned and if he is a man he will take his punishment like Ashton took his punch.

    Shame as Manu had an OS chance of making the England RWC squad but surely not now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 12:05 pm  

  • Got to love the armchair selectors on here. One dust-up and Manu is suddenly out of England contention and future international honours.

    A bit rich coming from a nation who capped Martin Johnson, Danny Grewcock and Julian White numerous times.

    Haha, nobs!

    By Anonymous TouchUrBalls, at May 16, 2011 12:27 pm  

  • About time Ashton got a smack, but you can't do that on a rugby field. It'll have to be a lengthly ban.

    By Blogger Anrowa, at May 16, 2011 12:59 pm  

  • ...but he WILL be selected for internationals in the future, he's 19 and got potential. This will be forgotten sooner than you think, how can't you all see that!?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 1:25 pm  

  • One dust up doesn't make him a Cipriani.

    By Anonymous Nick, at May 16, 2011 1:29 pm  

  • both tuilagi's are one dimensional thuggish players - if you acted like that on the street the police would be involved - its still assault. He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 1:54 pm  

  • I don't subscribe to the 'Ashton is arrogant so deserved it' view. 3 punches was completely OTT and a hefty ban will rightly follow. RWC 2011 - only one of em is going...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 2:43 pm  

  • I dont really understand 90% of comments on here... I got it wrong before I said Ashton knocked it on, but he didnt, it was Castro that did, but if you actually watch frame by frame from Manu's point of view Castro went in to make the tackle and left a HUGE gap that players like Ashton love to exploit, the offload was sent Ashtons way and Manu must have thought 'oh shit, better get him!' and tackled. We see players getting MASSIVELY blindsided all the time, and occasionally they dont have the ball because they themselves knocked it on.... so now why is this tackle such a horrendous piece of play. It in itself was fine and was a cracking hit, the fact Ashton didnt have the ball would have been impossible for Manu to realise.

    Ashton gives Manu a shove...look at passed reactions, Smit gave brad thorns head a shove and brad thorn lifted him up and dumped him...its another example of players not appreciating stuff like that so a reaction was DEFINATELY warranted...

    3 punches... now that was over the top, but imo I dont understand this "red card" talk.... It was 3 punches...Its not nice and definitely a yellow but I believe you guys are all calling for a red because of todays game... Im 23 Im not old, I remember the "old days" when rugby used to be tough... which lets face it was 5 years ago, we used our boots on players handling on the ground and ref's said 'careful' at the most...

    idk...

    Just like to add, 90% of these Manu haters are Ashton lovers...which says to me you are an England supporter... so why do you hate him so much?!? If someone like Manu can walk into Leicester at 13 then is he not worthy of an England shirt? I'd say England need him at 13...

    By Blogger No.7, at May 16, 2011 2:55 pm  

  • 'He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.'

    hmmm, well that attitude would fuck up NZ then wouldn't it!

    And Australia?!? should those guys all go back to Ireland and England where their roots are?

    And South Africa? how about those guys all go and play for Holland.

    Geez RD seems to get more ignorant by the day.

    You think most of the NZ team were BORN in NZ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 2:57 pm  

  • unfortunately for poor manu there'll be no world cup for him now. if not for beating the shit out of one of his team mates then for being banned for about 20 matches. hopefully both players learn something from this

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2011 3:04 pm  

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