France convincing winners over England

Sky Sport NZ's Super Rugby Player Awards

Josh Kronfeld & Highlanders celebrate!

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC

Jerry Collins Haka the day before crash

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move try

New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Jerry Collins appearance for club 2nd XV

The Wraparound from Rugby HQ - Week 27

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Adriaan Fondse's red card punch on big tackling Delon Armitage

Newcastle's South African lock Adriaan Fondse has been suspended for one week following a red card he received for punching Delon Armitage last weekend. Armitage himself wasn't squeaky clean, as he made an ugly looking tackle later in the game.

Fondse will miss Newcastle's Aviva Premiership game against Leicester Tigers this weekend after he was sent off for a cheap shot jab in the face of a grinning Armitage. Unfortunately the camera angle we got to see didn't show it too clearly, but it the touchjudge was right there.

A disciplinary hearing was held last night and a one match ban was deemed sufficient.

Armitage, who never seems to be far away from a news headline, caused a bit of a stir later in the game with a big shoulder shot on Newcastle center James Fitzpatrick. It looked quite high and Fitzpatrick took a while to get up, which the Falcons players clearly weren't too pleased with.

The London Irish fullback escaped punishment at the time, and appears to have not been cited for the incident, which looked fairly similar to the hit he made on Chris Paterson during the World Cup (see related posts below). That tackle earned him a one week suspension.

You can view both the Fondse punch and the Armitage hit in the video below. Do you think the citing officers got this one correct, suspending Fondse for one week and ignoring the Armitage tackle?

Posted by Rugbydump at 3:50 pm | View Comments (37)

Delon Armitage suspended for five weeks for two incidents

Delon Armitage suspended for tackle on Chris Paterson

Delon Armitage's sneaky punch on Stephen Myler

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 37 comments

Patrick February 23, 2012 6:02 pm

Embarrassing to see that punch as a newcastle fan, properly stupid thing to do

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Jackie Chan Man February 23, 2012 6:13 pm

Knowing Delon Aka Kermit the Frog, I would have ran him over with a truck let alone decked him. He has to be the dirtiest player in the history of the sport.

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andrej February 23, 2012 6:18 pm

Delon the Frog deserves to be booted out of the sport. He will never change.

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Glenside February 23, 2012 6:19 pm

Armitage did always seem like a bit of a dick... when he got arrested for the fight in Torquay a couple of months back it was because 'apparently' he was just throwing his money at the bar staff and demanding free drinks, some other guy watching got tired of it and lamped him...

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Owen February 23, 2012 6:22 pm

Armitage is such a scum bag, watching him in games he always seems to be up to something illegal

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Dai February 23, 2012 6:22 pm

It's not just a high tackle, it looks like he almost elbows the guy in the face as he runs at him, how that doesn't get sited is beyond me.

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cheyanqui February 24, 2012 3:01 am

exactly -- looks like a rugby league hit that even in that code would be punished.

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Ross February 27, 2012 2:41 am

Add the shoulder hit with the elbow. It wasn't really a tackle at all.

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Ruggernut February 23, 2012 6:26 pm

I agree with everything everyone has said above. Not to mention that Armitage probably milked it a bit. Even if he didn't he can't complain. He's only getting a fraction of what deals out.
That being said, very daft to do it right in front of the touch judge.

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Ted The Rugby Head February 23, 2012 6:31 pm

fair enough the punch was a dumb thing to do but Armitage is nothing more than a thug and does little or nothing for the reputation of the game

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Jeff February 23, 2012 6:32 pm

No fan of Armitage, but booted out of the sport or the dirtiest player in it's history? Seriously? Ever heard of Bakkies Botha? Or Jamie Cudmore? Ashton is equally as dirty, yet nothing about him. He pulled a player to the touchline by his HAIR for Christ's sake. It all needs to be rectified.

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Pretzel February 23, 2012 6:53 pm

The punch couldn't have happened to a more deserving player :)

I think Jeff the problem is, we haven't until now really seen Delon get any comeuppance... Bakkies we have seen just get banned so many times it gets a bit boring, Cudmore gets a nice bashing from POC (and a good 85% of the people he starts a fight with do seem to make some contact).. Ashton.. well ROG got under his skin, Manu gave him a clock on the head... But back to Delon... He is such a prick that isn't even THAT good...

I mean at least we can argue bakkies brought something in the way of power and idk, he was good in the lineouts etc... but Armitage.. the guy just reeks of "ego" and its nice to see him get a slap up the head!

HOWEVER... dumbest punch I've seen in a while... how could that be ruled any differently?!? Delon for all intents and purposes was forming a ruck and not squaring up or shoving or anything... so I can totally see where the red comes from..

Tackle was pure example of why I would like to see Delon get fucked up just a few more times by some big players!

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bigtomjohnson February 23, 2012 6:57 pm

armitage is a loose cannon but a great player it would be a joke if he doesnt get any sort of ban for that shoulder also supprised with the falcons lock every forward knows you do your dirty work in the dark not infront of the refs!

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Number11 February 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Fondse was an idiot, despite the fact you all seem to hate Armitage, Fondse still deserved the punishment and maybe more if I'm honest. The tackle should have been a yellow I think.

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Ruggers February 23, 2012 9:08 pm

fondse could have at least made sure it was a decent punch if he was gonna do it in front of the lines man!

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Full Back February 23, 2012 9:14 pm

Have to agree with Number 11, idiot for the punch, a nice clean out would have done nicely.
Definite yellow for that tackle, worse than the Paterson one in my book. If it had been 6ns or RWC then he'd have been cited already. Don't want Rugby to go all nit picky but some consistency on citing would be nice.

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max25591 February 23, 2012 10:08 pm

to be honest, red card punch i think is fair enough, as people have said above.

However is it more or any you the guys trying to make rugby 'soft'er these days... to me he makes contract with the chest at shoulder height, which is a legal hit for me. Also would be a crackin hit in rugby league.

i have to say i like the hit, nothing wrong with it, which seems to be contray to what every1 else has commented...

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Pretzel February 23, 2012 10:11 pm

Just to clarify although I do not like Delon I didn't watch that and think "well because Fondse hit Delon then he should have no punishment."

My thoughts were exactly as above "Couldn't have hit a more deserving player!" However I expected a red card for it... there was no scuffle with a punch as far as the touchie is concerned he hit a player who was clearly in no position to fight back....

As for Delon's tackle, someone else said it, it appears he hit with the elbow to the head also, not just a "shoulder".

Punishment should not be based on the level of the game, i.e. club or should have easily been a citing!

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moi February 24, 2012 12:11 am

It's great to see none of his teammates steps up in his defense! He is such a loveable chap!

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cheyanqui February 24, 2012 3:03 am

is it just me or does Armitage bear a resemblance to Cristiano Ronaldo. Or is it that all twats look alike.

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stroudos February 24, 2012 4:41 pm

Ha ha, good spot! I think it's that cocky shit-eating grin they share.

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IPlayDontJustMoan February 24, 2012 9:59 am

Love everybody slagging off Armitage. Abrassive character, very confident would probably be more suited to the more passionate more combative and skilled game in france than our physical slugfest here where having a bit of niggle is seen as a bad thing.

Great shot by Delon. Stupid punch by the lanky fella.

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ned February 24, 2012 10:09 am

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that Armitage's hit was just flat out illegal - you have to use your arms in the tackle, leading with the shoulder is dangerous, which is why it was outlawed.

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stroudos February 24, 2012 4:44 pm

"Leading with the shoulder" is actually done in almost every tackle. If you didn't you'd injure yourself almost every time. You only have to attempt to wrap the arms.

However, leading with the elbow is definitely not allowed!

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Pretzel February 24, 2012 4:48 pm

I think its like "leading with your shoulder" is in the sense that your arms are tucked back and that they will FLING round when you hit...

I mean, when you run into a tackle bag or pad you sort of have your arms in front if you know what i mean... your shoulder still hits first but your arms are already ahead of your shoulder...

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stroudos February 24, 2012 4:57 pm

Mate, I'm the world's worst at not leading with the shoulder. Always relying too much on my arms and getting the arm yanked back and frozen shoulder for the next couple if weeks.

"Leading with the shoulder simply means you can't just shoulder-barge people like you can in league, (unless you're Gavin Henson).

The point here is that Delon doesn't use his arms or shoulders, but just clatters the bloke with an elbow, which is illegal and also quite cuntish, in my opinion.

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rufio February 24, 2012 12:11 pm

Delon, never far for controversy is he!! A great player with great ability & talent, but Booth must be getting a bit tired of him. With his current attitude i doubt he will wear an England shirt again (and rightly so) unless he bucks his ideas up!!

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Morgs February 24, 2012 2:42 pm

No one seems to have commented much about the pure touch of class that Armitage showed in getting that ball away before the punch. That was top drawer and not many players can do that at that level. He made Fondse look stupid and for Fondse to go on and prove it moments later was pure rugby magic. If Armitage was a forward I dont think he would recive half the flack he does, he would most likely get that `hard man' or `enforcer' type tag. 1-0 delon.

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Pretzel February 24, 2012 3:38 pm

I don't thing he made Fondse look stupid... he out paced and out stepped him...something which would happen to the majority of locks against a 15 who knows what they're doing...

It was well done, I'll give him that... but it still does not (imo) counteract all his stupidity in the past and present... he is a liability..

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stroudos February 24, 2012 4:49 pm

I still think he's a classy player. I find it hard to believe players can reach this standard and still have such a shit attitude. Surely a coach or captain should have had a word by now. I'd have expected Mike Catt at Irish to have sat him down at some point and explained to him how much more he could achieve if he didn't act like a cock. I daresay he and others have tried actually, but seem to have been ignored.

Funny how there are two posts on RD in quick succession discussing Armitage bros, one full off praise and the other full of derision.

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Pretzel February 24, 2012 4:54 pm

Oh an p.s the hard man enforcer sort of stuff, I disagree with... That punch he threw on a guy scoring a try was nothing that I have seen someone who I would call a hard man do...

In fact that enforcer tag is bullshit... take bakkies for instance he is always there to irritate which is fair enough, but a lot of shit he pulls off is just plain thuggery, however he is a "hard" "man" I'll give him that...

No one who throws in a cheap shot when someone is scoring comes under hard man for me... and if they were a forward they are in no way an enforcer...

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Morgs February 24, 2012 5:07 pm

Completely agree with you in regards to there being nothing hard or brave about players who put these cheap shots in. All I'm saying is that in this instance, an embarressed player who was made to feel stupid, got frustrated and punched the player who made him feel that way. I also think that the DA tackle later on in the game would have been seen as a `great hit' if a flanker had dished it out.

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Pretzel February 24, 2012 10:14 pm

Completely disagree. That tackle was appalling... and those that would say otherwise are a little misguided...

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stroudos February 24, 2012 5:02 pm

By the way, I'd love to know what Armitage said to the Fonz at that ruck!

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Guy February 25, 2012 11:00 am

Looking more closely it is not even a punch, more a shove to the face.

Illegal and stupid by the Fonz....

...but even more annoying than Armitage being an abolute scumbag and a tool is the fact that guys like him make us rugbyplayers, self proclaimed hard men and top of the sporting world food chain (am I overdoing it allready?) look like sissy's. Above everyting else he deserves a long ban for that alone!!

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Cheis February 25, 2012 2:24 pm

he deserved the punch.. no question

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rizzo March 01, 2012 12:53 am

There is one thing that bugs me about this clip, if you're going to give someone a crack in the teeth and obviously take a red, stand up and do it right, don't just tickle his chin!! especially to a tube like armitage.

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