Alipate Fatafehi huge hit vs USA Eagles

Wallabies 31-man squad for RWC 2015

Jerry Collins appearance for club 2nd XV

Tuilagi brothers cause chaos vs USA

France convincing winners over England

New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Alesana Tuilagi crunches big winger!

Springboks bounce back to beat Argentina

Matt Talaese red carded at fulltime

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Romain Poite enjoys the funny game, but Geordan Murphy disagrees

Leicester Tigers were frustrated by Ulster in round 5 of the Heineken Cup a few weeks back as they went down 41-7 at Ravenhill. Tempers boiled over in the second half, but referee Romain Poite maintained he was enjoying it.

Poite was criticised by Murphy after the game for his handling of various aspects, particularly the scrum, where the Tigers captain felt that everything went against them.

"The guys in the front row were frustrated with the way the scrum was refereed," Murphy said.

"But we kicked away too much ball when we had it and we let ourselves get frustrated while they were composed. It was a very disappointing performance by us. However, it was a great one by them and you can't say anything other than the better team on the night won the match.

"There is no point in crying over spilt milk," he added.

Referee Poite had sent prop Dan Cole off in the first few minutes of the game, and things went downhill for Leciester from there. When Ben Youngs threw a bit of a tantrum in the 60th minute, Poite, Murphy, and Ulster captain Johan Muller came together for this rather amusing exchange. 

"It's a funny game. I enjoy, and I think you enjoy," said Poite, to which Murphy replied quite frankly, "No I don't."

Despite the language barrier, Poite did a good job of defusing the situation and calming everything down for a bit, as well as allowing Murphy to to provide his blunt, honest response.

You can view highlights of the game in the related posts below

Posted by Rugbydump at 12:05 pm | View Comments (40)

Ulster power through Leicester Tigers at Ravenhill

Romain Poite and other refs take some big knocks

Posted in Funnies

Viewing 40 comments

Colombes February 01, 2012 2:52 pm

Youngs should grow up. The ulster hooker was on his feet than there were just one leicester forward at breakdown. not release. penalty

There will be always a language barrier between french refs and english-speaking players, that's normal. but guys like berdos, garces or poite know their classics.

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 3:15 pm


Not a penalty. Ulster hooker is an assister of the tackle (ie makes contact with Tom Croft as he goes to the ground) therefore has to let go of him completely before he tries to play the ball, regardless of whether or not he is on his feet. Instead he just clamps on, which is not allowed.

'Under the old directives, an 'assister' in a double tackle was able to play the ball provided they stayed on their feet.
Now, that player has to release the ball carrier and can only then enter the breakdown through the 'gate' - from the assister's team's side, directly behind the ball and tackled player.

That's a quote from this BBC article -

And anyway, why does Ben Youngs need to grow up when he is the one who is needlessly pushed following the decision?

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Colombes February 01, 2012 4:11 pm

as your "assister of tackle" rule is certainly correct, in this case, the hooker certainly doesn't participate to the tackle. it's never a double-tackle. tom croft falls on ground with the ulster 5, tom court slightly makes contact with croft (if you name that a tackle), and then contest the ball on his feet by the gate (are u blind?)
The only penalty which could have been allowed to leicester was on the number5 who stayed very few seconds offside before make the effort to go back in his camp.
Your interpreation of the rules is fair, but not its reinterpretation

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 5:38 pm

If you freeze it at 0:06, the hooker clearly makes contact with Croft, before Croft is on the ground. Therefore technically he is assisting the tackle, and it is a double tackle. This contact with Croft gives him an advantage at ruck time - if he had released croft before playing the ball, he would have been rucked off.

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johndoe February 01, 2012 8:37 pm

Making contact is not making a tackle. According to the current IRB law book, this is a tackle: A tackle occurs when the ball carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. So, Best wasn't a tackler so he was allowed to join the ruck.

Not sure if you know this, but the rules have been like this for a while now. It's nothing new. Anyway, it doesn't matter as Best didn't make a tackle.

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 11:48 pm

Have you just read your own definition? 'Ball carrier is held' Best is holding Croft. 'Id brought to ground' - I'm pretty sure that happens

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johndoe February 01, 2012 11:57 pm

Well, firstly it isn't my definition. And secondly, it means holding as in getting hold of.

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johndoe February 02, 2012 12:01 am

Best did not bring him to ground so he didn't make a tackle, according the IRB definition so he is allowed to go for the ball. It would be hard to call what Best did a tackle anyway by any definition really.

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 5:41 pm

And yes, the number 5 falls and the wrong side and doesn't allow Croft to play the ball. Croft has to be allowed to play the ball, and a combination of the hooker and the number 5 prevent him from doing so. So I'm not sure why Ben Youngs needs to 'grow up'. If you've ever been on a rugby pitch you'll realise that in the heat of the moment, if somebody pushes you, you push back.

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Full Back February 01, 2012 10:20 pm

He was pushed for throwing a tantrum and calling to the ref instead of getting on with the game, that gets on most peoples goat...whether he's right or wrong he needs to find a better way of dealing with his frustration (ie. grow up)

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moddeur February 01, 2012 2:52 pm

That penalty was 50-50. The Ulster tackler is on the wrong side and could be penalised, but at the same time the Leicester player is holding on to the ball, which is being properly contested by another Ulster player on his feet.
Poite is a former police officer who he doesn't appear to have much authority, but who is quite good at scrums and rucks (however he doesn't use his linesmen enough and misses quite a lot too).
I think he meant "funny game" about the theatrics that are particular to the relation between a referee and a scrum-half.

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From Toulouse with l February 01, 2012 2:58 pm

I suppose Poite wanted to say in French : "C'est un match plaisant", and should have said in English "It's a pleasant game".

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thbts February 01, 2012 3:09 pm

@Colombes U r right dude. Ulstermen are more reactive in the rucks than the Tigers there's nothing more to add. Maybe the use of "Funny" isn't really appropriate for this kind of game.

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 3:18 pm

Not a penalty. Ulster hooker is an assister of the tackle (ie makes contact with Tom Croft as he goes to the ground) therefore has to let go of him completely before he tries to play the ball, regardless of whether or not he is on his feet. Instead he just clamps on, which is not allowed.

'Under the old directives, an 'assister' in a double tackle was able to play the ball provided they stayed on their feet.
Now, that player has to release the ball carrier and can only then enter the breakdown through the 'gate' - from the assister's team's side, directly behind the ball and tackled player.

That's a quote from this BBC article -

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Gustavo Reginato February 01, 2012 3:42 pm

@ejm20, Ulster hooker is an assister of the tackle just if you consider touch a guy is assist a tackle...assisting a tackle is more than it, in my opinion.

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Reality February 01, 2012 4:36 pm

I agree with Gustavo and Colombes et al. While Best possibly makes contact with Croft as he's being brought to ground, the contact is just incidental. He didn't actually 'tackle' the guy, but rather just happened to touch him because they were both moving in such proximity to each other.

I can't believe that Poite didn't yellow card Ben Youngs though. If a player starts screaming at the referee like that then he really should be sinbinned. Nigel Owens wouldn't stand for that.

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 5:45 pm

Well we can debate whether that's incidental contact or his an assister all day... It's interpretation, but there's an argument that he uses that contact to give himself an advantage at ruck time, and doesn't allow Croft to place the ball. Where is the benefit of the doubt given to the attacking team? The number 5, deliberately falls on the wrong side, and does not allow Croft to play the ball - that's a clear penalty too. So I was just taking offence to the comment which said Youngs should 'grow up'. Not that it mattered, Leicester were massively outplayed anyway.

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johndoe February 01, 2012 8:40 pm

Making contact is not making a tackle. Read the current rule book and there wouldn't even be a debate about it.

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Philippe February 01, 2012 4:15 pm

what Poite ment was rugby is a fun game, i enjoy it and i think you enjoy it too (so lets keep it that way). His english beeing what it is i think it was misunderstoud

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Reality February 01, 2012 4:32 pm

Exactly. A lot of non-native English-speakers don't distinguish correctly between 'fun' and 'funny', in particular French people, because they don't use two equivalent terms in the same way when speaking French. It was just a translation error like you said. I love Murphy's reaction though, "I think you enjoy", "Not really".

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Paolo February 01, 2012 5:07 pm

Some poor refereeing there from Poite

First Croft is tackled to the ground by the head, then the tackler makes no attempt to roll away or release Croft.

At that point it should be penalty Leicester

However, even if it had been Ulster's penalty, it shoudl have been reversed the monment the Ulster 5 and 10 decided they want to start a fight with no provocation whatosever

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rufio February 01, 2012 5:16 pm

PAOLO. Finally someone who knows the game of rugby. You got it spot on.

The lock (laying on the wrong side) never made any attempt to roll away stopping thus stopping any support player from Leicester clearing the player out and forming a ruck.

If the decision was correct in the first place, Youngs's obvious frustration would of never have boiled over (as he was genuinely miffed about some bad refereeing) thus causing him to throw his toys out of the pram!!

Speaking to some mates at Leicester, apparently hes a genuinely nice bloke. But then, i dont like scrum halves, usually to big for there own (and everyone elses) boots!!!

Penalty Leicester. End of

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ejm20 February 01, 2012 5:49 pm

Agree totally! What happened to giving the benefit of the doubt to the attacking team...

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Reality February 01, 2012 9:33 pm

While I think there's an argument to be made for a Leicester penalty, I don't think it would have been the correct decision. Firstly the high tackle. I mean come on, he kind of grabbed him around the head while he was already bringing him down. But the high tackle laws exists to prevent dangerous tackles. In this case he just sort of grabbed him clumsily from behind to bring him down. I don't think there was any danger at all in what he did, and enforcing that law would have been too zealous, even if technically you may be right. It's a case of enforcing the letter or the spirit of the laws.

Then the number 5 lying on the wrong side. I diasgree completely with that. If you look at the video, he was on the wrong side first of all because he tackled the guy from behind, but once Croft is brought to ground he actually pretty quickly gets himself out of the way and to the side of the ruck. He was in a very awkward position, kind of half under Croft, and I'd say that he humanly couldn't have moved out of the way any quicker.

Then the push. Yeah, he pushed the guy, but the guy he pushed was screaming his head off at the referee, which is absolutely not allowed, so if Youngs had moved away and stopped acting like a big baby (that wasn't the only example of him losing his temper in that match), then the push wouldn't have happened. And possibly he is a great guy outside of the rugby pitch, but what matters is what happens on the pitch, and he was acting very inappropriately for most of the match, and in my opinion any other referee would have yellow carded him in this instance for abusing the referee. Even the commentators were saying that it was his fault and that he had lost it.

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johndoe February 01, 2012 10:55 pm

Well, strictly speaking any tackle above the shoulders is a penalty. But referees rarely penalise for a tackle like this one here. Also, he was almost fully stopped before the tackler went above the shoulder line. The tackler does make an immediate effort to roll away but number 8 charges into him and pins him to the ruck. The tackler then gets away after that. Pretty niggly penalty to give to be honest. If you want to get niggly and ruin the flow of the game, you could also penalise number 8 for immediately going off his feet or for repeatedly going off his feet after first making contact with the ruck. These types of niggly penalties happen all the time and referees let them go as they effect the game. If a referee was to blow up absolutely every single penalty then games would be ruined.

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downwithdropgoals February 01, 2012 6:19 pm

Guy's No 5 is the tackler and therefore not lying on the wrong side and does then move so no problem, Hooker has no part in the tackle and croft has clearly held onto the ball as those of you quoting directives should well know this is also a directive to blow up on very quickly.
The reason people are having a pop at youngs is he has a big mouth and previous form for poor behaviour and is looking very aggressive here.

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nathan February 02, 2012 12:03 am

lol shock horror! Scrum half throwing a dippy fit!

Whatever next!!

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Jimothy February 01, 2012 9:38 pm

Can I firstly point out that I am a Tigers fan so I hope any points made here are well noted. Ulster beat Tigers and were clearly the better team on the night.

1. After 5 has made the tackle he is clearly seen moving out of the way. He doesn't as others have said in this thread lie off side and prevent the ball being played.
2. Ben Youngs gets annoyed as he clearly doesn't understand the rules. Best was onside, the first player there and on his feet and so clearly entitled to go for the ball.
3. The penalty should have been reversed when the Ulster players went looking for a fight! And love how the smile on one of the Ulster forwards face (the one behind Youngs) disappears when someone his own size decides joins in :)

All in all Tigers outclassed that night! Lets not turn into the Manchester United of Rugby by always blaming someone else!

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Full Back February 01, 2012 10:22 pm

Great comment, spot on!

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johndoe February 01, 2012 10:55 pm

Think he stops smiling because he gets smacked with a forearm in the mouth...

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Colombes February 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Completly agree
On youngs, i was saying that he should "grow up" and i persist on it. The guy is talented but should keep his nerves as he Will be always provocated in the future. Every big mouth is important but also a potential target for strict refs and provocations, Ask to parra, phillips or care ;)

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stroudos February 02, 2012 9:33 am

Brilliant, pragmatic and dignified comment Sir. Hats off.

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nathan February 02, 2012 12:04 am

But that's just a normal scrum half attitude.

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stroudos February 02, 2012 9:53 am

Just to clarify, my "hats off" comment was directed at Jimothy.

(Not that the others are bad comments :) ).

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Canadian content February 02, 2012 1:01 am

i like poite as a ref, always calm and doesnt try to steal the spotlight

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4LC4TR4Z February 02, 2012 8:34 am

What Poite meant was that such a kiddy fight is funny, compared to french mass brawls he is used to.

Fights are always enjoyable, though.


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stroudos February 02, 2012 9:50 am

Ben Youngs.

Really classy player, with bundles of potential. But he is far too petulant and he is cementing a reputation for it. Needs to be very careful with that side of his game.

Say what you like about being gobby and prickly being an essential part of the scrum-half job description, (although personally I don't really see why it's necessary, I think it's just become accepted convention); but there's a difference between being aggressive and getting under the skin of your opposition versus being petulant and getting wound up and emotional yourself.

The best gobby scrum-half I can think of was George Gregan, who was an absolute master at winding up the other team. Contrast the body language: Gregan always looked in complete control, whereas Youngs always gives me the impression of a sulky teenager. This video's a perfect example: the way he's screaming and waving his arms about looks like Poite's his dad and has just told him he's grounded - everything about Youngs's body language looks like a whiny "oh, it's so unfair! I hate you!" tantrum.

No referee is going to respond positively to that sort of shit. Someone - Murphy, Cockerill, Lancaster for example - needs to put fatherly arm round him and explain that him. Maybe thowing in a couple of phrases like "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed" for good measure.

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rugby08 February 02, 2012 11:01 am

Ha Ben Youngs acting like a baby again. Remember the Scarlets game last year when he acted like a little tosspot.
If Chris Ashton did this i can guarantee there would be a lot more people criticising his attitude.

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modeselektor February 03, 2012 11:01 am

This wasn't Youngs only strop of the that mindset he's a liability for a team. But when he keeps a clear head he can be fantastic, so much talent.
Long may the strops continue!

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geronimo March 24, 2012 3:37 pm

rugby results and much more at :

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