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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Late Toulouse try against Agen leads to post match chaos

Last weekend in the Top 14 there was a fair dose of drama and controversy as Toulouse came from behind to score an injury time try through flyhalf Luke McAlister, giving them a 24-23 win over Agen. Chaos ensued in the tunnel afterwards, with security having to protect the ref.

While the whole of New Zealand attempts to get over the shock loss of Dan Carter for the All Blacks, Toulouse benefit from Graham Henry having shunned a possible replacement who appears to be in the form of his life. McAlister, who was a member of the 2007 squad that failed to make the semi finals, is loving his time in France, and it shows.

He's been a hero for Toulosue of late as he's led them to wins over Lyon, Racing Metro, Biarritz, Agen, and most recently a few days back, over Clermont. As you'll see in this game over Agen, he came up trumps again with the winning try, albeit after some very strange refereeing.

Toulouse had led 14-3 at half time, but Agen came back nicely and actually took the lead following a try from Opeti Fonua and twelve points from flyhalf Conrad Barnard. With fulltime up, Toulosue appeared to have knocked on and the Agen coaches and support staff celebrated on the sideline, only to find out the game was not over. The visitors took a scrum, and McAlister crossed for a try, then casually slotted the conversion for the 24-23 win.

We've included a subtitled video of what happened after the final whistle. The Agen coaching staff were furious with the ref. Security intervened, which resulted in some pretty ugly scenes. The second video will play after the first, or you can skip to it via the playlist controls.


Posted by Rugbydump at 10:19 am | View Comments (39)

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 39 comments

Guest October 04, 2011 1:15 pm

I don't see the controversy. The referee clearly gives a penalty against Agen for them not being back 10 metres. Toulouse then take the scrum and score. Whether or not they had not retreating the full 10 is the only doubt, as for the scenes afterwards, im just glad Fuimaino-Sapolu wasn't playing

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Andrew October 05, 2011 8:48 am

The only controversy i can see is that wen Agen were penalised the 2nd time fot the not back 10mtrs. the full time hooter had sounded therefore there should not have been time for a scrum to take place only a tap ball should have been allowed to take place

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ABE ruggerman October 04, 2011 1:22 pm

Disgraceful behavior. The refs decision is final. All of our teams have been on the receiving end of a dubious decision, but attacking the ref in the tunnel pulls the game down to the level of soccer.

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Flyhalf October 05, 2011 1:01 am

Agree with you!

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moddeur October 04, 2011 1:25 pm

After the quick tap and the apparent knock-on by Toulouse, the referee called another penalty saying the Agen players were not at 10 meters. Nothing wrong with this call if the players really weren't at 10m.
There is nothing I hate more than those who pound on employees paid minimum wages to do ungrateful jobs. The Agen coach, Lanta, prevented from speaking too long to the referee after the game, and then suddenly redirecting his anger towards the security guard, attempting to punch him even, makes me lose all sympathy for him. Rugby is a game, it's not about hitting poorly-paid people. And then we get to see other idiots on the Agen staff saying "shut the f** up" to the same security guard who's just replying "sorry, just doing my job, didn't mean to upset you" ... this is disgraceful to say the least. I never liked Agen much anyways, apart from their back, Sylvaire Tian.
But wait, there is now a new scandal in the Top14. Between Olivier Missoup in Toulon and Remy Martin in Montpellier. A story of racism accusations, fighting at a banquet after the game etc

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Colombes October 04, 2011 1:25 pm

thx for the video
it was a typical slice of life of "french south-west" rugby
each city, each village have a rugby and it's quite passionate religion.
the angriness from agen staff is that toulouse had a last-second penalty and made a knock-on by playing it too quickly. but the ref decided the agen players weren't at 10 meters. you not what happen next. nerves tension but it didn't go too far
that said, mc allister is an incredible form, fortunately for toulouse graham henry prefered aaron cruden.

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themull October 04, 2011 1:29 pm

it was a boderline call on the ten meters but I've seen them given before..And fair play to the ref for giving the call, which he believed to be right, rather than take the easy route and just call the game up...

I can understand the frustration the the coaching staff but you simply cannot berate the referees as they walk through the tunnel and then proceed to caue trouble with the security staff, who in my opinion were very lenient..I've seen security guards lose the rag over a lot less than that...

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MacKurdi October 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Security guards really didn't want to get involved in that altercation!!

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Ciaran October 04, 2011 1:32 pm

What was the problem? The penalty was legitimate. The tackler wasn't ten back. Like ABE said, this just drags it down to the level of soccer. Very disappointing behaviour from the Agen coaches.

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tvrdoglavi October 04, 2011 1:33 pm

I don't understand Agen... it is not ref's fault they lost. Only themselves to blame. They were very close and can be dissapointed, but to lash out on the security guardds like that... a disgrace! They were only doing their job.

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brookmcg October 04, 2011 2:50 pm

Very true that they actually attempt to hit the guys protecting the ref, and then the fella in blue that barges in and puts in his two cents and pushes the guards is pathetic. Nothing to say for it and I hope that the Agen staff at least apologise (maybe a fine?) to the ref so that this stamps out the idea that you can antagonise professionals off the field.

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brookmcg October 04, 2011 2:51 pm

Very true that they actually attempt to hit the guys protecting the ref, and then the fella in blue that barges in and puts in his two cents and pushes the guards is pathetic. Nothing to say for it and I hope that the Agen staff at least apologise (maybe a fine?) to the ref so that this stamps out the idea that you can antagonise professionals off the field.

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katman October 04, 2011 1:51 pm

That big security guard setting the arrogant Agen coach down on his ass with a swift one-two would have been a wonderful conclusion to an entertaining video.

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IrishRef October 04, 2011 2:04 pm

play to the referee lads. It's a mantra we learn from the age of 5,6,7,8 or whenever we start playing the game we love.

if there can be any controversy, it can only possibly be the call of not 10. After that, everything occurs according to the laws. The toulouse skipper makes a great call to go for the scrum, since the infringement is a penatly offence the clock is still running and.... well Toulouse must be credited for playing cleverly.

the Agen coaching staff celebrating the win before the final whistle is a classic "don't count your chickens" scenario

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RedYeti October 04, 2011 2:04 pm

Who was the big guy in blue with the Agen staff? Looks like an ex-player, and a complete douche too

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brookmcg October 04, 2011 2:41 pm

Tension sometimes gets too much for people, but for staff in the professional game to actually wait in the tunnels for the ref, after the whistle mind you (so the game cannot be affected in one bit!), seems totally crazy to think that it is rational.

But to comment on Luke not being included in the AB's, I thought it was a mistake not having him on as the sheer utility (considering he is an established test 10), move in to the centres or fullback, and can also kick bloody well too. A solid player to even just have in the 30, as a player who can run, kick, tackle, and read the game (maybe not as well as say Carter or Wilkinson) but can never the less. To snub him from the 1st team made sense as Carter was there, but to snub him entirely is shocking really and over Slade who has relatively no experience (to the test arena) is even more shocking. Granted That Luke was not playing 10 for most of the year, but neither was Slade who was injured and actually not on the field at all.
Yes the AB's are not completely out of it yet as the team is made up of 30 individuals not 1, and have the best players in the world in several positions. And having at least Peri Weepu who is actually a class 10, can kick nicely, and has control aswell as fire that great players have. So New Zealand are still the best team in the World, but without Carter the others are closer than ever before, especially SA who have nearly their best side and are playing well.

Wow, this RWC is tense and very much drama filled with big upsets, great play from top and bottom teams, the northern teams (Wales and Ireland particularly) playing a great style of game against the southern teams. Hope this carries on into the finals!

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medicaluke October 04, 2011 3:19 pm

Considering he gave the 2nd penalty on the 5m line, I think its safe to assume that they were not 10m as not one of those players retreated to the 5m.
As soon as the Agen coaching staff knew what was happening (ie penalty for not retreating 10m) they didn't seem to be complaining. Waiting for the referee in the tunnel is despicable. Even in football these staff members would be banned and I hope they all get lengthy bans. This is not something anyone wants in rugby. Especially that guy in blue. If he was a fan, I'm pretty sure he'd have a ban from games imposed on him for assaulting security staff. The only subtitle I understood was to do with the scrum. Was he under the impression that you can't take a scrum as a penalty at the end of the game? I'm not sure why RD calls it "very strange refereeing". The players weren't back ten so a second penalty is given. Toulouse take a 5m scrum (which they are perfectly within their rights to do) and McAlister scores the try (he looks fantastic...too bad Henry fell out with him).
I think the security guards could have done with being a lot heavier handed. Those guys needed putting in their places.

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poccio October 04, 2011 4:15 pm

I also think the call is legitimate. The whole ruckus starts though because of the security guard! right around sec 23 of the video you see the security guard coming in from the back and actually getting between the ref and the coach and pushing the latter aside...obviously this is really annoying seen as the coach was clearly only talking to the ref and his tone and body language wasn't at all violent or menacing...the security guard is a dick!!

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stroudos October 04, 2011 9:06 pm

Incorrect. Coach with the tache is being very threatening; Security just stands in the way, does not push the Moustache. Moustache then throws a punch! Or at least a swinging arm! Absolutely fucking outrageous and, as others have commented, I'd love to have seen Security unleash a few fists on these despicable pieces of shit. Dragging our beautiful game into the gutter. Utterly disgraceful. Is it as bad as Bloodgate? Well, actually yes it bloody well is as it could set a very dangerous precedent. Moustache and Crenca at least, preferably all three, should get very lengthy bans from the game.

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poccio October 10, 2011 3:57 pm

what are you on about? if one is talking to somebody (and he wasn't at all threatening) and you come from behind two people to stand between him and the guy he's talking to allowing one to ignore the other (from sec 20 you actually see him running to get in between and push the guy aside) it's obvious that he gets upset, you just can't interrupt two people talking even if your a security guy, there's really no call for it..i do think the second coach was a bit overboard, but i'm sure if the security guy hadn't been a cock the first coach would have said his peace and it would of been the end of it...the first person to get physical is the security guard and he's in the wrong!

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stroudos October 11, 2011 12:52 pm

He's a security guard, he's doing his job.
Moustache was completely in the wrong.

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Alexei October 04, 2011 4:46 pm

The "big guy in blue" is Jean-Jacques Crenca, former prop who played for Agen, Toulon and France, and current Agen coach. He wasn't known for his courteousness on the pitch ... The security guard called just the staff to calm down, fearing for the refs' safety, and I agree with him. The staff is in no mood for an explanation, it'd be better to talk about it after the shower, at the banquet, without losing self-control ...
Agen also won a game in the last seconds a few weeks ago, in Brive ...

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johndoe October 04, 2011 9:00 pm

Haven't heard of any incidents like this outside of France...

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andy r October 04, 2011 9:28 pm

this is outragous coaching staff agen should be ashamed our sport does not need stupid behavior like this if you can't respect correct refereing desicions then get out of the game.

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Guy October 04, 2011 10:43 pm

Bring out the long as it's ON the field. Hope some of these guys get a very, very long ban away from any rugby pitch.

Graham Henry must be scratching his head...with McAllister playing this good.

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UHtiger October 04, 2011 10:55 pm

Agree, with this form it would have been nice to have mccallister to fall back on following Carters departure. Unfortunately Mccallister was playing some very poor form leading up to the International season so it was always going to be a lottery whether he got picked.

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Anarchangel October 05, 2011 4:00 am


I wonder how much McCallister is one of those players like Donald who tears it up against lesser opposition, but can't bring it against serious opposition.

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Dave October 05, 2011 1:13 am

There has to be fines, it's a disgrace. Doesn't really surprise me, the French clubs seem to think they can do what they want. Attacking the ref is inexplicable but to attack the security guards who were doing their jobs protecting the ref and TJ's has to merit fines at least. Thank god it was caught on TV, lengthly ban?!

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stroudos October 05, 2011 8:12 am

sjdfoewi - Good point, well made. But I think you'll find the Agen players were way less than 10m away from where the penalty was awarded.

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stroudos October 05, 2011 8:18 am

Anyway, Agen can piss off on this one - blatant forward pass for their try at 2:25, so they were lucky to still be in the game anyway.

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BuzzKillington October 05, 2011 12:51 pm

Hopefully they're punished severely. The man who swung his fist backwards is extremely lucky that he misses, if he connected with that I imagine there would be a brawl and several of the coaching staff in question would lose their jobs - Or they should do, in such a case.

There needs to be some serious words and punishment so others don't think that's acceptable.

I don't even understand why the coaches were so angry, are they trying to say the referee was conspiring against them? Calls go against you, that's life. Leave that sort of thing for soccer

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ItalianRef October 05, 2011 1:30 pm

I'm a ref and his call was a very courageous one. he could just have called the game to an end and no one would have criticized him.

the point is not IF the ref was right or wrong. Ref is always right in our game, if you want to argue with the ref go play soccer. If the Agen management doubts any wrongdoing by the ref they should complain to the French referee board.

our game is one of big lads on both sides and if you don't respect the ref's decision the games becomes really dangerous. if you have any doubts talk to your captain, he will speak to the ref (btw no Agen player complains on the pitch...)

IMHO the Agen staff should be disciplined for their agressive conduct after the game. The security just did their job and the idiot menacing the secuirity should be banned for several months, at least (did you notice the ref was gone by the time they almost get to fight? the idiot is just taking out his anger on the first person at hand)

as a ref I watch my matches and in EVERY match I realize that I've made poor decisions. It happens a ref is not God and cannot see everything, everywhere and make the right call in a matter of seconds. It happens, live with it. play to the ref lads

finally, I want to say that I've been a player and it happens to be on the wrong end of a decision. it's upsetting but you shut up and play the game.

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AdamK October 05, 2011 9:17 pm

Surely this will go before a board of some sort? Didn't Chieka get a slap on the wrist for less?

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Frenchie October 06, 2011 9:15 pm

Ok... i'm coming from Agen so I might not be totally fair but on the 1st try I believe the ref should have gone to the TMO to confirm the grounding, not sure it's a try.
What's happening in the tunnel is shocking, full stop

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ItalianRef October 07, 2011 2:29 pm

Finding life on Mars is shocking.
what happens after the final whistle is despicable

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Guest December 13, 2011 10:56 am

You obviously dont know the rules andrew of course they can call a scrum! nothing wrong with that decision they were clearly not back 10 metres.

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Guest January 26, 2012 6:15 pm

As it was a penalty you can still choose to take the scrum even though the time is up. Law 5.7(e) says "If time expires and a mark, free kick or penalty kick is then awarded, the referee allows play to continue."

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