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Friday, January 06, 2012

Benoit August playacting after James Short lashes out

In a week from now round 5 of the Heineken Cup resumes across Europe so today, and hopefully over the next week, we'll aim to post a few requested clips from previous rounds. Here's one that outraged Saracens fans, for more than one reason.

In round 2 of the competition Biarritz beat Saracens 15-10 in a match that was tight and lowscoring but produced two fantastic tries nevertheless.

Late in the game Saracens came close to putting themselves in a winning position as they almost scored in the corner through James Short, but he was held up and the try didn't stand.

Unfortunately for Saracens Short's frustration showed as he lashed out at hooker Benoit August, striking him in what appeared to be the throat. A dramatic flop to the floor followed, and the possesion - which was going to go the way of the visitors - was reversed with a penalty for Biarritz.

It looked for all money to be some serious acting, but only August himself will know if he was genuinly injured or not. The whole scene was quite amusing though as players could be seen sniggering as he fell over, and then when referee Nigel Owens made the call to penalise Short.

The lesson though, despite the possible overacting, is that he shouldn't have given the opposition the opportunity to milk a penalty in such circumstances, however farcical it may have appeared.

Do you think that in future players that act in such a way should possibly be cited?

Posted at 4:15 pm | 70 comments

Imanol Harinordoquy's father joins fight against Bayonne

Biarritz's two fantastic tries against Saracens

Paul Williams red card for strike on Heinrich Brussow

Jean De Villiers smashed by Benoit August in HEC Semi-Final

David Knox does a Hollywood, sending Os off in 1997

Posted in Funnies, See it to Believe it

Viewing 70 comments

Patrick January 06, 2012 9:20 pm

a lovely example of the fosby flop

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Malcolm Bradbrook January 07, 2012 10:29 am

Having taken an elbow to the throat from my two stone two year old this morning I am more sympathetic than I would have expected. It bloody hurt and took about two minutes to start breathing normally.

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Stubby January 06, 2012 10:10 pm

ever been punched in the throat? hurts like a sunuvabitch especially the way he hit him with the web between thumb and finger.
However it could be faked too. Not enough video there to really see the aftermath.

At least the guy didn't cover his eyes and fake an eye gouge, like some soccer/football players would do.

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Fettsack January 06, 2012 10:43 pm

It looks like something that would actually hurt but the way August falls backwards seems fake.
This succession of videos showing exaggerations is starting to get annoying. I hope the IRB will take some measures to prevent this.
I'm okay with the forwards doing kicks but if they start playing like scrumhalves on every level it's going to ruin the game.

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stroudos January 07, 2012 11:19 am

I'm okay with the forwards doing kicks but if they start playing like scrumhalves on every level it's going to ruin the game.

Awesome comment!

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Sankeor January 08, 2012 4:06 am

Haha, totally agree... The movement looks dirty and the throat is a fragile part, but how can he possibly fall backwards ?!?
It's very deceiving, especially from a guy who's expected to behave as somebody close to the indestructible.

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beerholder January 06, 2012 10:52 pm

so it begins...

in the professional world where the bending and braking of rules became the trade of the game it takes one guy to force the hand of the ref to create a virulent behavior amongst others.

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clockwork January 06, 2012 10:58 pm

what a sook. In a perfect world this would lower the fans and future clubs opinions (and employment opportunities) of benoit.
Personally, I really don't want this to become part of our sport

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Ronan January 06, 2012 11:17 pm

benoit, take to the soccer pitch, you would fit right in with the fairies in that so called sport..... rugby doesnt need this in the game....

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cheyanqui January 06, 2012 11:18 pm

I haven't seen such bad play death since Fred Sanford would clutch his chest and tell his dead wife Elizabeth that he was coming to join her... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stdi-1tIUhM

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cheyanqui January 06, 2012 11:20 pm

The difference between the amateur vs professional eras:
Professional era -- Bayonne takes a dive, and the Saracens player gets penalized / fined.
Amateur era -- Bayonne player gets fined... at Kangaroo Court, for being a poes.

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i love bacon January 07, 2012 1:34 am

For whatever it's worth, I think you meant to put "Biarritz" and not "Bayonne".

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kaibishin January 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Of course August fakes it - it would hurt - but a man like him would definitely be able to handle a shove to the throat without much complaint. He obviously falls back to get attention that he got shoved, and then (because he may have been watching too much football) milked it like a bitch. This over-exaggeration should never be part of rugby and hopefully never will, but James Short (who I dislike) should not have childishly lashed out like that and waited to settle his beef in the game time, which would have allowed them the penalty.

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terry0408 January 06, 2012 11:29 pm

Disgusting, What a joker! Cite him for dissent and finally put a stop to all this football play acting that is coming into the game. Never seen the old guard do any of this!

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tiernaldo January 06, 2012 11:41 pm

this worse thing i have ever seen he should be fined for this crap

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i love bacon January 07, 2012 1:30 am

Resorting to stereotypes is usually pretty petty, but I can't help but notice this is, yet again, a French rugby player in the Top 14. It's embedded in the culture, it would seem. From the passionate fans in the audience down to the management on the sidelines, there seems to be an atmosphere that sort of cultivates players going down a bit 'easy' - not that they're outright faking or have planned it from the beginning (not like the Harlequins a couple seasons ago), but rather it's a situation where, under normal circumstances, a player would have the humility and pride to suck it up and move on, these guys will just go to ground.

Like I said, other sides are not immune to it. One that comes to mind: I remember Giteau falling rather easily a while back, only to botch the penalty kick. Or Brussow falling down rather easily a bit ago.

But without putting much thought into it, I can think of several instances of French players doing it in recent memory...Dupuy is always ready to fall to the ground if he thinks he'll get a penalty, Vincent Clerc, Jerome Fillol, Dimitri Yachvili, and Morgan Parra.

This isn't just a shot at the French, but I think it's something that ought to be discussed, so that people know it's a problem and that it's goddamn silly. Players who pull shit like this need to be called out and admonished for such typical soccer behavior.

Do you think that in future players that act in such a way should possibly be cited?
Yes, and they ought to make them wear a dress the next match.

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i love bacon January 07, 2012 1:38 am

What I mean is, the French fans who I've met at matches, or the ones that post here, seem to be pretty good rugby fans - guys who actually know the rules and don't tolerate this crap.

So it'd be nice if, instead of people in the stands letting this stuff slide by, you let players/clubs know that this doesn't belong in rugby. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

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cheyanqui January 07, 2012 5:27 am

Good point -- if the fans denounce it, it may well push the leagues and the club owners to do something. If the fans shun the player, and bring down the player's "brand value" for endorsements, that should certainly make players think twice.

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UHtiger January 07, 2012 5:29 am

I had 3 french supporters pounce on me for suggesting this the last time something like this happened. This needs to be stopped now otherwise it will end up like soccer, simple as that.

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UHtiger January 08, 2012 10:08 am

Check out the lastest vid of the fight. Watch the black 7 from about 1.35. Looks like another case.

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stroudos January 07, 2012 11:28 am

Wearing a dress next match is a brilliant suggestion!

I've been warning about this simulation business becoming more prevalent in rugby for a couple of years now. The warning signs were there a while ago and it's gradually become pervasive. Exactly the same thing happened in football, it wasn't like footballers all became drama queens overnight, it was a gradual realisation that where big sums of money are involved winning at all costs meant cheating gradually became acceptable.

A you say, simulation in rugby is not exclusive to French rugby, (by the way, I like Giteau and I prefer to think that he realised he'd acted like a complete knob and deliberately ballsed up the penalty kick out of a sense of shame and embarrassment!).

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moddeur January 07, 2012 9:06 pm

This man I know who's a volunteer referee for a juvenile football league (and yeah, I agree it's a terrible idea!) once told me that he saw the wind change when 12-year old youths started playacting and talking back to the referee.
This is why I don't think that professional rugby for the time being will survive this whole "football-like" scare: youths are taught a certain ethic at rugby schools that is more or less incompatible with this type of footballish attitude, ie. don't talk back to the ref, suck it up, take one for the team, etc etc
But I fear that in the long run you'll be right, as more money gets pumped into the system, the risk of it becoming subject to this type of behaviour increases.

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moddeur January 07, 2012 9:08 pm

I meant to say that "professional rugby will actually survive" the scare, and not that I don't think it will ...

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Pretzel January 08, 2012 12:46 am

Very valid and interesting point actually...

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Martin January 07, 2012 1:49 am

This isn't rugby. save such things for the football pitch. I can't believe that such incidents happen so often lately. IRB should somehow put a stop to that!

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skiweb January 07, 2012 2:27 am

" I really don't want this to become part of our sport"
Completely agree!!!

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UHtiger January 07, 2012 5:25 am

I was condemned by a couple people on this sight over claims that french players have a tendency to do this sort of thing. hmmmm.

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Colombes January 07, 2012 2:52 pm

astonishing comment coming from the usual french hater ;)
yep, august play-acted it. it's disappointing coming from a forward and french fans hate that.
but to say that's a french speciality make french fans smile. i would say that people need a new polemic on french rugby after eye-gouging, cowardice, french are now pussies, that's your argument no?

don't worry french fans and players don't feel themselves like that.

ps: did u sent your cv to the nz herald or dominion?

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UHtiger January 08, 2012 9:55 am

Ahhh here he is, Less than a month after the las case of a french man taking a dive and another one has done it. Bahahaha.

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UHtiger January 08, 2012 10:06 am

The latest video they've put up of the 2 teams fighting. Watch the 7 in black from about 1.35. He punches the guy whilst they are on the ground. The other guy goes to punch him back and the 7 goes gown like hes been shot. bahahaha

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Colombes January 08, 2012 11:24 pm

speechless argument
it's official you are our new stupid troll ;)

fortunately, there are are more intelligent and lucid rugby fans over there

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Pretzel January 09, 2012 3:10 am

Whilst I see your point Colombes, you cannot really deny the way that No.7 fell was slightly odd....

I'm not saying he did fake it, I'm not saying he didn't fake it,....

BUT the way he fell DID look like he faked it, although I am well aware that how things look and how things feel do not always go hand in hand.... (if you read my post below somewhere I made reference to Rory Kockott flat handing Adam Thompson, I provided the link also and I see pain written all over it but it still looks odd)

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Colombes January 09, 2012 10:46 am

totally agree
my point is just: don't make a generality about the actuality
today, it happens in top 14, yesterday it was in super15, tomorrow in celtic league.

but i guess the "ugly" french portrait brings more "clicks" to RD than the good top14 portrait. people prefer polemics than action. example: a beautiful top14 game (10 comments) and this unnecessary polemic (more than 60)

everything is said ;)

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Pretzel January 09, 2012 2:33 pm

nothing to do with nations.... biffs and scraps bring everyone out...

agreed that other nations do it, jimmy cowan has done it many times!

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Colombes January 09, 2012 10:49 am

that said, irb should think about to sanction these behaviours as they tend to increase in EVERY leagues and countries

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dante January 07, 2012 9:19 am

benoit clearly comes in and steps on Shorts ankle-to hurt him and get pushed by Short.didnt the tmo see that either? Give this coward actor a ban and get rid of this kind of rubbish in our game!

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Ithilsul January 07, 2012 10:24 am

Such a hit can be very painful. Moreover, the August's head has quite a hard move, which tends to show that the hit wasn't faked.
But the last replay makes me think the hand touches the torso before the throat, making August's head move, without hitting the throat.

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WIn January 07, 2012 10:27 am

Disgrace to the game

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samjt10 January 07, 2012 11:03 am

Chris Ashton gets banend for 4 weeks for ungentlemanly conduct after pulling Tuilagi's hair. That is more ungentelmanly conduct, that is conning the officials into getting a decision.

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stroudos January 07, 2012 11:16 am

Do you think that in future players that act in such a way should possibly be cited?
Cited. Fined. Suspended. Punched repeatedly. Put up against a wall and shot.
None of these courses of action would be too harsh in my opinion.
But I think i love bacon's suggestion of making him a wear a dress for the next match would be more effective.

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Robert Goddard January 07, 2012 10:20 pm

Agreed, make players that act like a pussy wear a dress!!!

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stroudos January 07, 2012 11:17 am

Another case for review by the Front Row Union. Hooker decked by a wing. How does August sleep at night?

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comeoutyeblackandtan January 07, 2012 11:48 am

Getting a knock to the throat is bad enough...even if it is not full force!!! You actually would get a shock and i think that Benoit thought he was seriously injured for a short time!!! I can't believe that everyone is comparing this to the tripe that goes on in soccer!! And no i dont think that players should be cited if they are so-called "playacting". Only the player can tell how badly injured they really are....and a lot of injuries you cant ever see actually happening!! The ethos that goes with rugby im sure would have meant that if Benoit was playacting his own teammates would have found him out and given him enough stick to make sure that he wouldnt do it again!

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TDutchy January 07, 2012 12:59 pm

I've had an accidental shot to the adams apple, unpleasant as hell!

This however is absolute crap, August is an embarrassment to the game

One can only hope a precedent is not being set.

Rant over!

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LukeM71 January 07, 2012 2:01 pm

He went down dramatically. I concede that it would have hurt, BUT he went down as though he had been shot. Also, he's French...I expect nothing else from French rugby players. It may no have been totally play-acting but it is anoter example of French overreaction!

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Colombes January 07, 2012 2:44 pm

you forget to add they were eating frogs, were cowards because homosexuals and eye-gougers. aren't they?

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rob10 January 07, 2012 2:04 pm

at least sarries lost.

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col54321 January 07, 2012 2:26 pm

Anyone who reckons this was a bit of playacting needs to watch the video again. It is obvious August was smacked in the throat with some force from the Sarries player. Anywhere else on the body and this would have only pushed him, but in that area of the neck your airways lie just under the skin. In one respect its hurts like nothing else, but the airways can be bruised/ spasm and anyone who has been winded in rugby knows that this would definitely cause you to go down and even struggle to breath.

I completely agree with all the comments about stamping out any playacting in rugby but in this case I think August took a good smack to the neck and most people would have reacted this way.

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Colombes January 07, 2012 2:42 pm

funny to read people trying to transform french rugby players as professionals of the soccer simulation. i won't feed this poor debate but just saying: giteau, stringer, quinlan, lee byrne, hartley...

nop, the most disappointing and astonishing thing here, is to see that type of behaviour from a front row :( difficult for a ref to have an eye on everything, players need to be responsible and respect rugby

short reaction was stupid, many french players were sanctionned because of same nervy reactions

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Sankeor January 08, 2012 4:40 am

"funny to read people trying to transform french rugby players as professionals of the soccer simulation. i won't feed this poor debate but just saying: giteau, stringer, quinlan, lee byrne, hartley..."
I wish there was a rugby site gathering statistics about those playactings and kind of stuff.
But one thing: I'm absolutely certain French players do not fake more than others. If something is bullshit, that's it.

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Stubby January 07, 2012 5:24 pm

Mr Pigeons:
leave the trolls alone. Trolls are idiots and trying to fight them at their level is pointless. They have way more experience at being idiots and will win every time.

Many nations have players who play up injuries. Nothing less then a 6 month ban plus a BIG fine for the team would stomp it out. IRB don't have the testicles to impose that level of sanction.



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Pretzel January 07, 2012 8:42 pm

I actually have more time for this guy than some of the others i have seen... lets face it, a shot to the throat can't be nice....

this shit has been going on for years, just not to the extent it is nowadays...

However I do think the problem arises when a player reacts to getting hit... who are you or I to determine if it hurt? I have taken big knocks to no avail, then had a rather soft knock to the leg which pretty much crippled me for a week...

So whilst we all watch stuff like Tom James' headbutt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rJrZdhtJQ4

And think, "what a diving prick" we cannot really expect the IRB to assess whether it did ACTUALLY hurt....

Again, watch: http://www.rugbydump.com/2008/02/349/nathan-hines-swinging-arm-on-lee-byrne

I'd say Byrne was diving and exaggerating... then again would being swatted by nathan hines hurt enough to send me reeling to the floor like that?

I don't like it, I just don't know how we can correctly judge...

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Pretzel January 07, 2012 8:42 pm

I actually have more time for this guy than some of the others i have seen... lets face it, a shot to the throat can't be nice....

this shit has been going on for years, just not to the extent it is nowadays...

However I do think the problem arises when a player reacts to getting hit... who are you or I to determine if it hurt? I have taken big knocks to no avail, then had a rather soft knock to the leg which pretty much crippled me for a week...

So whilst we all watch stuff like Tom James' headbutt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rJrZdhtJQ4

And think, "what a diving prick" we cannot really expect the IRB to assess whether it did ACTUALLY hurt....

Again, watch: http://www.rugbydump.com/2008/02/349/nathan-hines-swinging-arm-on-lee-byrne

I'd say Byrne was diving and exaggerating... then again would being swatted by nathan hines hurt enough to send me reeling to the floor like that?

I don't like it, I just don't know how we can correctly judge...

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stroudos January 07, 2012 9:57 pm

Precisely. It's classic boy-who-cried-wolf. You get clowns rolling around flailing their arms like this and then it becomes harder and harder to tell who's acting and who's not. Extremely dangerous in rugby where real injuries happen.

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Pretzel January 08, 2012 12:50 am

Problem is how do you actually stop it...

As I said before, Byrne looked genuinely like he was "faking" in his actions, but then who are you or I to say he was/wasn't?

It would take Byrne himself to come clean, and if he was facing a disciplinary panel with an eye to a ban/fine, I'm pretty sure he would say "ofcourse it hurt"

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i love bacon January 08, 2012 2:23 am

Well, so that's where fans (and, once upon a time, other teammates) come in. Shame is a powerful motivator. And while I'm sure an open-handed strike to August's throat, or a smack from Hines, actually does hurt, if a player feels ashamed of falling to the ground and look to the referee for a penalty, he might be more inclined to suck it up and move on.

Part of the problem is that too many fans seem to let things slide so long as it gets their side an advantage/win. Even if it's not in the spirit of the game.

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Pretzel January 08, 2012 7:28 pm

Well put it this way, if there is a spear tackle almost all players stop and look at the referee.... why? because sometimes playing to the whistle is assumed more dangerous in certain situations, not to mention running the risk of looking like you are starting a scrap if crash in there to ruck....

But actually being clocked and falling to the floor should not be something players are ashamed of doing...IF it is actually a genuine smack, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdjQpFNqV8E

I mean this incident could land a player an acting role, but I genuinely don't believe he fell to the ground due to his acting skills, I genuinely felt he fell from the hit... So is it right for us to stick him in the "possible citing" file? or is it right for us to not include this incident as a diving incident?

My point is in theory your idea is great, but who is to say what hurt and what didn't, or what warranted a genuine fall and what didnt?

The other side of the coin is: "too many fans seem to let things slide so long as it gets their side an advantage/win" really, this falls into the blatant "hand of back" i.e. get all Leicester fans to abuse back because of his cheating, not to mention every game mccaw plays to the referee and lives on the wrong side of the ruck...so all NZ fans should turn their backs on him?!? etc (all nations have their issues) and lets face it, rugby has always had its dark arts, and to try and remove them will probably take a lot from the game.

So really it all boils down to what you or I determine is just or unjust, and whether OUR opinions actually do tie up to what is felt by the "victim."

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Frenchie January 07, 2012 9:31 pm

I believe the only guy to be cited here is the Sarrie player, for throwing a punch in his opponent throat.
It seems that it's an English habit afterall... Remember Phil Greening hitting Aurelien Rougerie in the throat? Rougerie had to stop for several months.

So here i go: English players are thugs! The last WC showed that.

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Sankeor January 08, 2012 4:36 am

It had nothing to do, Aurelien Rougerie got hit to the larynx, he was badly injured, suffered many surgeries and his voice is altered forever.
I don't think August has been injured at all.

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Frenchie January 07, 2012 9:34 pm

RB
i think you should not show your opinion on such/any action in the game but only show what happened on the pitch and let everyone judges if that was or not playacting.

Your title is bias.

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Pretzel January 08, 2012 12:53 am

I think when you set up "Le Rugby Dump" you can present the titles as you wish, until then, as a free user, you should be grateful the videos are being uploaded for you to watch....

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Yannoche January 08, 2012 10:58 am

Even a 'soft' strike in the throat can damage your thyroid and inner 'tubes' also it does happen that you loose your breath.

Next time Sarracens will win with a strong side and fairplay...

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Frenchie January 09, 2012 7:22 am

@ Pretzel

If i create "le Rugby Dump" i make sure you're not welcome! Haha!

No, you cannot twist, change or alter the information just because you own a newspaper, a TV channel or a site! That would be totally unethical and would go against the 1st rule of journalism. Dictators do that.

RD doesn't do that, I like RD a lot and i am grateful to watch the vids. Only here i thought their title was hitting in one direction and making the assumption that August was playacting.
I think it is in the best interest of RD to present the action as it happened and let everyone discuss the information and decides if that was playacting or not. Full stop.

RD i love you!

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Frenchie January 09, 2012 7:26 am

Sankeor,

the larynx is in the throat, right? August has been hit in the throat, so we're talking about the same thing. Thankfully August was not injured.
The rule is that you can't hit above the shoulders.

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Pretzel January 09, 2012 2:36 pm

Ok, in reply to this comment and the one at me, has August gone for surgery? no? therefore not the same as rougerie.... END OF!

The titles on RD haven't always been monotonous plain titles. I felt that benoit was play acting, i'm sure it hurt but i think he was acting...

its just no one can prove it!

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welshrugbyfann January 09, 2012 1:54 pm

this is discusting ive been hit in the throat many times but it has never caused me enough pain to fall on the floor crying, really terrible way to play the game. As Nigel Owens says "this is not soccer"

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Guest January 09, 2012 5:22 pm

I am quite surprise by the article and the comments... the guys is clearly violently hurt in the throat by surprise, and it obviously hurts a lot !
I guess it is like being hit in the balls... then rolling on the ground is totally justify.
I agree that rugby players should not act like some football players do, crying whenever they can (especially when the ref is too far to see what happened), but this is clearly not the case.

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gethinjenkinsismyhero January 23, 2012 11:02 pm

Nigel Owens should have given him the This is not soccer speech.

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