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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Will Skinner red carded from the bench as Harlequins beat Toulouse

Will Skinner of Harlequins faces a disciplinary hearing today following the red card he received during Quins' Heineken Cup victory over Toulouse on Sunday. It was the second similar incident of the game, prompting the swift 'sending off'.

Tension was rife as early on in this fascinating game as one of the Harlequins sideline staff touched the ball deliberately, preventing the home side from taking a quick throw-in, much to the disgust of the fans, and referee Alain Roland.

He was warned and later in the game when a similar thing happened with Skinner, Roland marched over and brandashed the red card, bizarrely sending Skinner - who had already been substituted - to the changeroom.

To add to the amusement, Skinner appeared just minutes later as Quins celebrated a famous win. The incidents didn't do their reputation any good though, especially after they had done so well to stay on the straight and narrow since bloodgate a few years back.

Skinner, a former captain of Harlequins, will attend a disciplinary hearing in Dublin after he was charged by the ERC as having committed an act contrary to good sportsmanship, "in that he played the match ball illegally in the technical zone". The incident earlier in the game is reportedly also being investigated.

Below is a short clip from the game that features both incidents in the host language, French.

Posted at 9:25 am | 63 comments

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 63 comments

BarryT December 22, 2011 11:01 am

That's shocking behaviour, I thought they were a new, better atttitued team since the bloodgate but thats ridiculous, they didn't need to interfere with the ball, they had the skills to win the match anyway, shockingly bad sportsmanship, hope skinner and that doc get punished

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PaulV December 22, 2011 11:05 am

This type of behavior is becoming more and more frequent...coaches/subs/etc are all getting into it...rather than fines/citings after the fact, I think they should punish the offending team right then with a penalty or something

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Colombes December 22, 2011 2:03 pm

agree.
the multiplication of bans for everything is a bit annoying. i would say: a straight penalty where the kick landed or, more severe, from where the origine of the kick.
and you won't see this kind of stuff on a pitch

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Paul Beuste December 22, 2011 11:10 am

Legendary English fair play !!

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coops December 22, 2011 11:11 am

Agree this is really poor sportsmanship. But what should be the punishment for this?

I say a penalty from where the ball went out or, if you want to be really harsh, a penalty from where the ball was kicked.

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Cheese December 22, 2011 11:59 am

A little late for that pal...

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coops December 22, 2011 2:56 pm

What, making a suggestion based on something that's already happened?

That's how most law changes occur!

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Dragon_in_Exile December 22, 2011 11:11 am

That is cheap, cheating - simple as that and not in the spirit of the game by anyone's definition. If I was a Quins fan I'd be embarrassed. Throw the book at the two of them.

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Dragon_in_Exile December 22, 2011 11:12 am

That is cheap, cheating - simple as that and not in the spirit of the game by anyone's definition. If I was a Quins fan I'd be embarrassed. Throw the book at the two of them.

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Demosys December 22, 2011 11:21 am

Quins deserve the win (Toulouse was so bad in this game).
But I was so pissed in front of my TV. It was like that during 80 minutes. Really poor behaviour from the Quins.
Few weeks suspension for Skinner imo.

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Demosys December 22, 2011 11:21 am

Quins deserve the win (Toulouse was so bad in this game).
But I was so pissed in front of my TV. It was like that during 80 minutes. Really poor behaviour from the Quins.
Few weeks suspension for Skinner imo.

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Fastmongrel December 22, 2011 11:52 am

I can understand the doctor getting a bit excited forgetting himself and touching the ball but Skinner you plonker. Thats something a schoolboy would be embarresed to do.

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Cheese December 22, 2011 11:58 am

All this holier than thou nonsense around Bloodgate really grinds my gears. Every other professional team in the world were up to the same thing, Quins got caught and its been cleared up for the good of the game... End of.

It's great to see that they've developed a killer instinct after so many near wins last season. They needed all the help they could get last Sunday and what Graeme Bowerbank & Will Skinner did showed real cunning.

Top of the Premiership and on course for the HCup knockouts.

I'm a Quins fan and am not in the least bit embarrassed.

Roll on Big Game IV...

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Ithilsul December 22, 2011 12:04 pm

"I'm a Quins fan and am not in the least bit embarrassed"

That's probably because you don't really understand what "good sportsmanship" is.

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coops December 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Agree Quins were the unlucky ones. Wasps were faking injuries to hide their front row weaknesses for years, and that was under Saint McGeechan!

As a Leicester fan, I agree that doing what it takes to win and getting away with it takes cunning and skill, take Murphy with his block v Saints and the infamous hand of Back. There are those who will do whatever it takes to win and those who are too naive to do it, that's all. BUT it should be confined to the field of play. Like a fight in a match, you can smash each other on the pitch but respect the oppo off it, and in my opinion I think Quins didn't do this. If you're not involved in the match, you don't have the right to have a hands-on influence.

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patedelievre December 22, 2011 4:50 pm

"doing what it takes to win and getting away with it"... quite the new, English definition of sportsmanship these days. a bit like humiliating maids in hotels and that kind of thing, innit?
Such a SHAME to say things like that. a bit like this RiCheat McCoward. I think winning the game is, actually, winning the game. Cheating to get the game isn't winning. By these kind of rules, French clubs could buy all the refs with the ton of money they seem to have. Would you guys still think they "did what it takes and got away with it?" or...oh, no, wait, they're French, oooo bloody c*nts, let's ban them for three years!!!!

Hope Toulouses and the Quin's path cross again, just to see the Dark Destroyer give a special hug to Skinner....

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Pretzel December 22, 2011 8:52 pm

""doing what it takes to win and getting away with it"... quite the new, English definition of sportsmanship these days. a bit like humiliating maids in hotels and that kind of thing, innit?"

I don't really understand this comment you have made. Not that I have ever been a fan of England, but I have never really seen them being "less sporting" than any other team about.

In all honesty, the French were pretty unsporting about the Welsh red card in the world cup. I didn't expect the French to lose the game and so the Welsh went through, but when 95% of the world was saying it was a harsh red card, the sporting frenchmen said he deserved it.... There was no mention of "well thats the way sports goes, and we capitalised on it" just a little whine about how obscenely dangerous a tackle it was....

Lets face it, the French don't exactly have any greater history of sportsmanship.

I agree that a lot of anti-french comments have appeared recently, I'd imagine its more due to Parra and his shenanigans (which I truly believe were over-reactions, I'm sure he was knocked but he exaggerated) but I believe those comments are just as out of place as your misguided comment.

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Sankeor December 23, 2011 1:25 am

Not launching this debate again but... imo simply and objectively agreeing with the ref decision (a fair decision, according to other refs and Rolland himself nowadays) is not being unsporty.
Though... you might have an altered understanding of overall french opinion back then if you're based only on internet reactions : on english-speaking forums you probably saw 90% of comenters spitting on France victory, and maybe the other 10% were few frenchs defending the national jersey.
But believe me most of french people said victory was undeserved (wich is still not my opinion).

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Sankeor December 23, 2011 1:34 am

But you're right about patedelievre comments, he might have reffered to the language and not to the English nation.

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Pretzel December 23, 2011 11:02 am

I was talking about the comments made by lievremont and perhaps parra himself (one French player anyway)

I wouldn't argue with the referee but I personally disagree with a tackle like that = red. Just seems too cut and dry for me!

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:29 am

well I do not actually consider the English to be less sporting, merely saying they are in absolutely no position to consider themselves more sporting than other nations, picking this fact to prove my point: they can be really really ugly, too! see ashton dragging Tuilagi by the hair just the other day...
As for your comments on the French, I'd say 2 things: unlike football, rugby is well within Common Wealth and generally English speaking countries, and Latin countries are not welcome, be it Italy, Argentina or France. France are taking all the blame because they can actually compete, so there still are people like you saying they are cheats and all that, but if you just look at the last RWC, France was the team that was less penalized if you compare games played/penalties. But still, you guys keep on about the French being horrible cheats and all that.
Rolland gave a straight red to Florian Fritz for a sweeter tackle just a few months before the RWC, which is the reason why the French said "harsh but fair". And YOU, first of all, would have agreed if things had gone the other way.
As for Parra, have you only seen a photo of his face after the final? You'd probably stop talking nonsense about how he overdid it and all that...but then again, so many "laptop warriors" on RD who'd take Richie McCow's knee in the face at full speed and laugh...

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Goulix December 27, 2011 3:39 pm

95%? :) so Warburton was in the last 5, isn't he? He deserve it, that's all that's the rules! He deserve it like we don't deserve to win the semi-final!

Skinner made a big mistake, he's not a bad player but he deserve a sanction too, is it really so difficult to be fair?

Who said that "fair-play" come from England?

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Cheis December 22, 2011 12:06 pm

good refereeing, hope he get's suspended

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Leinsterbaby December 22, 2011 12:11 pm

This sort of stuff seems second nature with English side. A little bit of cheating here and there, see what you can get away with sort of stuff.

The thing is Quins didn't need to do this at all because they showed they were good enough to compete on the pitch. So why bother? Especially given that this sort of thing comes back to bite you. Bad form.

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Allezleblue December 22, 2011 12:14 pm

Same old Harlequins....always cheating - - - From a Leinster fan

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Guest December 22, 2011 12:14 pm

@ Cheese, well said mate, exactly what I was thinking.

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rickyholmers December 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Yawn, it's "Gamesmenship" people. It's no different from a tactical late tackle, collapsing a scrum or pulling down a maul... Rememeber Neil Back in the Heinken Cup final, this stuff is part of our game!

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nicoasm December 22, 2011 12:53 pm

No it isn't, it's cheating.

Skinner and the medic were both off the pitch, therefore purposefully interfering with the game going on. It is cheating.

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Pretzel December 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Late tackles, pulling down mauls, hands in the ruck, slowly rolling away or not rolling away etc... it's all cheating, this is no different

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nicoasm December 22, 2011 2:34 pm

I guess you are right =)

Should be punished more severely however, since they were off the pitch.

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Sankeor December 23, 2011 1:40 am

No, only 30 men should touch the ball : those playing, on the field.
Vice and common faults are not comparable to that.

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Pretzel December 23, 2011 2:05 pm

So handling in the ruck is NOT cheating? its a "common fault"

I never said they were exactly the same, but by definition, they are both cheating!

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jb December 22, 2011 12:26 pm

Skinners is a dick, the didn't need that to get the victory they deserved

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Colombes December 22, 2011 1:38 pm

embarassing behaviours from the quins. the first time u can say, ok, it's an incident, but do it a second time, on the last match play... it become a cheat strategy.
don't know what's the ban for these type of infractions

but people shouldn't reduce quins to a bench of cheaters, they played very well vs toulouse. and as a french fan, i liked the way they answer to toulouse with a beautiful display. they took toulouse at their own game ;)
i think that some toulouse players will test a strong "hairdryer" speech from noves ;)

but yep, you would expect more discretion and representation from a team staff and players which were involved in a "bloodgate" few years ago

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woody10 December 22, 2011 1:46 pm

Both those incidents were clearly a tactic. very clever but quite clearly illegal! Quins didn't realy need to do it, they had the win already.

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themull December 22, 2011 2:32 pm

Cheating is cheating..It's all done so your team wins games...Tactical late tackles pulling down a maul as it's rolling over the try line, not rolling away as a team is about to score a try...They are no different than what Quinns did here really, so I don;t understand what all of this embarassment talk is about..Cheating is cheating no matter what way you slice it...

Good refereeing though..Red cards and the ban he is likely to get afterwards will soon stop this behaviour...

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Cardiff Blues Fan December 22, 2011 3:32 pm

Notice how all those who think "everyone does it" support English teams. That could explain why England get so many yellow cards and suspensions and think they are being unfairly targeted.

Quins and Leicester are are both well known as cheating teams. It happens in lots of teams, but it's usually spur-of-the-moment stuff. For it to have happened twice in one match smacks of it being a top-down strategy.

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Guest December 25, 2011 9:48 pm

Really? Quins went in not the game with the tactic "if e ball is kicked into touch pat it away from the French players" type of tactics you can win a match on don't you think?

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:35 am

... he actually never said that. He just said the Qins have it in their blood to cheat. Therefore, they need a good bloodgate everyonce in a while to remember that they should try it with clean plays.

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Jimothy December 22, 2011 5:00 pm

Hey Cardiff, how many reds did England get in the WC? :)

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Miro- December 22, 2011 5:43 pm

English sportmanship at its best :)
At least, have the decency to accept it and react like a man, not like a moron who faint like nothing happened on purpose.
This is not football is it ? D:

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Cardiff Blues Fan December 22, 2011 5:50 pm

Totally fair Jimothy, but I think you'll also find there were no Welsh players insisting they were being unfairly targeted by officials/the media/a Queenstown bartender/ the Auckland harbour authorities...

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Colombes December 22, 2011 6:25 pm

fresh news: will skinner have been suspended 2 weeks "for an act contrary to good sportsmanship" and, so, will be requalified for the next erc rounds... read between the lines: have a good holidays and merry christmas ;)

more seriously, than put micro-bans who satisfy nobody, it would be more useful to penalise this sort of infraction with a straight penalty, during the match

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:37 am

I think they're waiting for a French player to do that in order to set an example...the real ban'll fall then: a straight year, because, you know, you should not interfere with the game!
such rubbish... penalty, where it was kicked, and red. period.

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rugby08 December 22, 2011 6:40 pm

The Skinner one doesn't really show me evidence to say that he did it on purpose. How can you tell that Skinner wasn't getting up to go to the medical staff or to just stand up and walk around? He could have just accidentally walked into the Toulouse player. The crowd doesn't help the situation and Rolland being a wannabe 'tough guy'.

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Mick December 23, 2011 12:26 am

I watched the whole game and saw the replays, it was definitely deliberate from Skinner. He reached for the ball as Medard was about to catch it...
I love the way Quins play and they were better than Toulouse on that day but there was a lot of little infringements like those ones from the Quins It made the game very frustrating (maul collapsing, keeping the ball when penalised, taking ages to kick a penalty at the end of the game...). Not the best display of sportmanship.

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Jimothy December 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Come on, the Welsh were up in arms about that tackle until Mr Spear, who I think is going to become the greatest 7 ever and I'm English, held his hands up and said 'yep, was a red!' As for the actual vid....cheating, red card and ban deserved. If your stupid enough to do it you need time off to play more brain games on the DS to increase your IQ.

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Jimothy December 22, 2011 7:03 pm

lol Harbour Authorities Manu = idiot but still glad he's 'English' :)

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flyingpepper December 22, 2011 10:42 pm

So now when one player makes a mistake or does something wrong the whole nation is the same. mmm that seems a bit fair fetched to me but guess it makes us all as bad as each other. Argentina would be screwed by Maradona had of god. France by Zidane headbutt. The islander by ever misjudge red card for high tackles. etc. etc.

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:39 am

"so now when one player makes a mistake ... the whole nation is the same". LMAO!!!! where do you come from mate? it's been the case for the French eversince the creation of the game!

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Canadian content December 23, 2011 12:26 am

I hate this type of "gamesmanship" it does nothing to elevate the game, but everything to lower it to a game which does not showcase skills, talent and heart but rather cynicism, cheap shots and the lowest common denominator.

I don't care if everyone does it, this isn't dirty, back room politics, this is the game I love!

Btw, I like rolland's decisiveness, we need more of it in reffing. You might not like the call, but you certainly should respect knowing what the expectations are and playing to them. Even if he does come off like a prick, traffic cop (who probably would have penalized the AbS in the last 5 minutes of the rwc final. Yes I brought itnback up again!)

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Jimothy December 23, 2011 10:06 am

I completely agree. I'm amazed that the word 'cheating' has been replaced by 'gamesmanship' and it has stuck!

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Pretzel December 23, 2011 2:10 pm

"Even if he does come off like a prick, traffic cop (who probably would have penalized the AbS in the last 5 minutes of the rwc final. Yes I brought itnback up again!)"

I think if Joubert had some a little more balls or (or spectacles?) he would have penalised them a little more....

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moddeur December 23, 2011 11:56 am

I was at the stadium on that day. Whenever a penalty would be kicked, the TV screens would show this new sign saying "please respect the penalty kickers of both teams". I for one can't stand that whole whistling/jeering at kickers attitude.
But I can tell you that once the Quins' medic touched the ball, the crowd booed like never before, and went on to boo all subsequent penalty kicks.
I didn't see it was the medic, my friends and the people around us thought it was the Quins coach. You know how it goes when you're in the stadium. You're a bit drunk, you spend a lot of time chatting, and the TV screens aren't always in front of you.
But I clearly saw it was a Quins player the second time around. People around me, some of whom were veterans (50ish, 60 years old), were a bit scandalized by then.

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Ando December 24, 2011 8:13 am

Didn't see the match, and don't have my rule book handy for this one.... If the substituted player was red-carded, did Quins have to pull another player off the pitch to make it 14? Or did they continue with 15 on the field?

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cheyanqui December 27, 2011 12:55 am

Ando, the Laws have no provision for it. Perhaps the IRB could amend the Laws to where if a player on the bench is sent off the team must play down a man.

The question is which of the 15 players would have to leave?

Perhaps the best solution would be to amend the laws so that if any bench player or support staff commits a yellow or red card offense, the team captain on the field serves the sanction?

As background, ice hockey has the "bench Penalty" against a team. In that case, it's the offending teams choice to pick any of the players on the ice at the time to serve it.

I think rugby's spirit is different, and giving the offending team a free option goes against the spirit of the game. I think sending the captain off is actually the thing most consistent with rugby's spirit.

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anonymous no7 December 24, 2011 11:02 am

Whats with the comedy dramatic overreactions from everyone? This has been happening for ages. Not as if the French are any better, they get their dads to interfere with play. Plus I dont think many people actually watched the match, Toulouse werent much better on the sportsmanship front and their crowd were a typically disrespectful French crowd booing some fantastic rugby by the Quins. Odd thing is I think Quins play their best rugby when everyone hates them, Thormond Park last year comes to mind although Munster fans are a vocal but respectful bunch on the whole.

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Frenchie December 24, 2011 8:58 pm

@ Pretzel: To end this red card debate i'd just remind you that Warburton himself said he understood the ref and that he agreed on the red card. Full stop.

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Pretzel December 25, 2011 2:33 am

Brilliant.... I still don't agree with it... im not trying to debate or argue, its my opinion...

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:46 am

and you have the absolute right to have it!
now, if you watch it on the French side you'll know we weren't really happy with it either: the best way to annihilate a French side is to say it's favorite for a game. and with Warby being sent off, the French were supposed to win by much! and that's exactly the kind of pressure the French cannot handle...just watch it in the history of Rugby: the French put their names on every major upset (first of all, being the victory over the ABs in 1999 and even in 2007). Whenever they're expected to lose, they'll pull the best game ever. when they're expected to win, they sh*t in their trousers and end up either with a close, undeserved win, or with a loss that'll shake the rugby world...

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patedelievre December 27, 2011 10:47 am

obviously, I'm absolutely in no way saying it was Rolland's purpose! merely saying it didn't suit us as much as it would have suited any other team

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browner March 01, 2013 2:34 pm

Just watched the parisse incident - which brought me to this .... well done to the referee

Next time YC the 1st intervener as well ................ 'gamesmanship from off the pitch' obliterate it !

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