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Friday, October 12, 2012

Gloucester's Andy Hazell sees red following alleged eye-gouge

Andy Hazell unleashed against Mont De Marsan in their Amlin Challenge Cup match last night after he was allegedly eye-gouged and had a 'severely sore' eye. The video footage is inconclusive, but it appears there were a number of off the ball incidents.

Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies, who is set to launch an official complaint, said "We can't condone what was done from a Gloucester view, but that was a reaction to what went on before."

"We'll speak to the citing commissioner, and there will be something done there. We will take our punishment, but I think they (Mont-de-Marsan) need to take their punishment too.

"We'll look at the video, and from what I've seen already I'm sure we will make a complaint.

"The doctor's had a look at Andy's eye. It was severely sore and very red. And we took some pictures of that, because that was damning evidence in its own right.

"He's disappointed with himself, but I think there were three incidents before that with the same player and he's caught him off the ball again, and unfortunately Andy snapped," Davies added.

A few minutes before there was at scuffle at the back of the lineout after Hazell got in the way of replacement prop Sebastien Ormaechea. Replays weren't shown but it looked as though the two had a go at each other then, sparking a bit of a push and shove.

The officials seemed to yellow card the wrong player, Tongan hooker Ephraim Taukafa, after he joined later on. It's not clear but it's possible that they made a mistake, or viewed his intervention as a strike. Either way, that contributed to what we saw a bit later, as Hazell had had enough.

This morning Hazell tweeted the following:

"Never had a red in 12 years, extremely embarrassed by my actions. It was the 3rd time someone tried to severely injure me and I reacted. In a way I wish I could take back. But when you are in that situation you don’t know how you would react.

"Also well done to the boys on grinding out a good away win, and thanks to the travelling supporters." You can follow @andyhazell on Twitter. Gloucester won the game 11-6.

This is now updated with the full video of the incident, and the niggle leading up to it when Hazell and the player he ended up fighting with, Ormaechea, first came to blows.

Hazell has been suspended for 14 weeks. He is free to play again on January 21st, 2013.

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:26 am | View Comments (79)

Viewing 79 comments

Fazza October 12, 2012 10:51 am

Would like to see some further footage as this clip makes Hazell seem completely out of hand. It looks as if though Mont de Marson is out cold whilst recieving this onslaught! It must of been something real bad to get someone as fired up as this!

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fazza October 12, 2012 6:25 pm

I agree..this clip certainly gives that impression!

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Curates_Egg October 12, 2012 10:56 am

Mont de Marsan is the team, not a player. The knee to a knocked-out player is pretty brutal/cynical but the French and their bloody gouging.

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captainlolcano October 12, 2012 11:02 am

he wasn't out cold, watching it live seconds before he was on top of Haze and his open hand was thrust hard into hazes face, before bellyflopping and hazel jumping up after him, which is where the clip starts. suggestions have been made that he new what he was doing to try and provoke, and went limp to make it look better for himself.

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keith October 12, 2012 12:16 pm

very difficult to go limp and not even twitch when someone is digging you and kneeing you in the head

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JamesH October 25, 2012 2:54 pm

As captainlolcano said, he clearly wasn't out cold at all.
He knew what he had done and protected himself by falling down and covering his face.
I'm not a Gloucester fan or excusing Hazells behaviour but it wasn't as bad as it looks at first, the knee was more a thigh from 2 inches away.
Hazell needs a couple of week ban for what he did but the other guy needs to be dealt with properly. 80 days has been handed out before, they need to hand out more punishments like that for eye gouging.

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Glos Fan October 12, 2012 11:03 am

I have never seen Hazel lose it in his decade of rugby for Glos, I'd be very surprised if there wasn't something in his accusations. Admittedly theres still no real excuse....

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Bath fan October 14, 2012 2:26 pm

Hazell was provoked beyond that point and if you have ever played rugby you know that point!

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Ads_Bon October 12, 2012 11:10 am

That looks bad on the face of it from Hazell, however a player of his experience is unlikely to flip like that for no good reason. The guy deserves what he got if he gouged during the match!

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Colombes October 12, 2012 11:19 am

waw... pure crazyness!
the guy seems to has lost the plot.
i didn't see this match, so as i didn't know that mont-de-marsan was in the challenge ;)

the gloucester staff said there was a possibility of eye-gouge. it's to the erc comission to judge about it, not the staff to make their own conclusion.
but if eye-gouge proved, a strong sanction is justified, so as hazell, u can't react by kneeing and punching the face or the cervicals of your opponent, furthermore when he seems left cold on the floor...

some bans to calm and inform everyone should be welcome

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Scipio October 12, 2012 11:27 am

I'd have to say that IF he was tackled off the ball and IF he was gouged, then he was perfectly justified in his reaction. Far too much of this kind of stuff goes on in the game and if everyone who gouged got a beating for it, it wouldn't be long before it stopped. Refs are very lax in the ruck and touch judges seem to be blind to off the ball incidents, so the players feel they have to take it upon themselves. Not a fan of Hazell or English rugby in general, but I'm with him on this one.

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HarpinOnRugby October 12, 2012 11:43 am

No wonder Europe won the Nobel Peace prize!

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Fingall October 12, 2012 2:12 pm

Seen the match. The French player's hand does touch Hazell's face when he falls, but i honestly can't see how any eye-gouging can be possible in such a short time.
But even if there was (which i really doubt.) there's no excuse for the way he reacted,especially the kneeing. Total disgrace as far as I'm concerned.

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Ottawa Rugger October 12, 2012 4:19 pm

Ought to have talked to his captain about it, who then would have told the referee and the referee would then have a very serious talking too with Mont de Marsan and his touch judges. Honestly, people ought to know that if you go crazy like that, it's all the ref is gonna see. You have to be smart about something like eye gouging if you really want to stamp it out

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ItalianRef October 12, 2012 9:12 pm

no offence Ottawa Rugger but it seems to me that you have never been even close to an eye gouging situation

now try this: stick a finger into your best friend's eye. try to get the eye out of the orbit, short of that, try just compressing the eye until it burts.
then please report to us your best friend's reaction.
I would bet he is not going to kindly talk to the next person in the room and ask that person to adress the problem. my guess is that he will punch you in the face, or in the nuts, or both.

now replace your firend with an opponent on a rugby field which has not been the kindest of human beings. the reaction is comprenhensible

but don't get me wrong: i'm not justifying Hazel. I would without any (repeat: ANY) doubt have awarded a red card; however, and if his personal history is one of correctness and respect of his opponents, I would give a lot of credit to the eye gouging allegation.

My personal belief is that any proven eye gouging scandal should be followed by a couple of YEARS of ban, if not a life long ban from the game.
there is no excuse for sticking your finger into anyone's eye and trying to dislodge it. at least not in rugby

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Bodge October 13, 2012 1:55 am

Have you ever been on the receiving end of eye gouging? I have.

It is one of the most disgusting things you can imagine. You don't stroll over to your captain and ask for a polite word with the ref... You react quickly to something which could well blind you and not always with the benefit of a clear mind. This isn't a stray fist , or a late tackle. It's barbaric thuggery of the lowest order.

I don't condone Hazell's response but if he did get gouged by that guy, I'd back him 100% in dealing with it as he did.

Gouging should receive a life ban. Period.

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hankhitman October 12, 2012 5:58 pm

what a prick, go boxing instead!!!!!

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Sander October 12, 2012 6:22 pm

Can't really see what happens with the hands in Hazel's face, but the prop just rolls over afterwards, which seems really weird. He doesn't make any effort to get up, but tries to protect his head.

In theory, Hazell should not have reacted like that, but if he was gouged, then I can't say I wouldn't have done the same. If gouging is proven through video evidence, I'd advocate an instant life-time ban from all forms of the game. Shit like that gets reported way too much and it can't be punished hard enough.

Nice to see an assertive linesman, not. What the crap was the second AR babbling about? Gloucester 6 ran in with a forearm shot from a distance, or he didn't. It's almost like he didn't want to take responsibility for "another" red card. If that is truly the case, he should consider finding another way to spend his evenings.
Good thing the other AR had a clear explanation and recommendation.

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stroudos October 13, 2012 10:04 pm

AR what a complete bell-end. Could tell the other one and the ref were getting seriously pissed off him. But I'm glad he did bottle his recommendation, because no way was that worth a red. Even yellow for Cox was harsh in my opinion.

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Terry from Sydney October 12, 2012 6:32 pm

Toughen up, its rugby ... I have no doubt the dirty frenchie deserved everything he got. There is no way you react like without first being provoked. We have witnessed decades of dirty rugby from the French national team and the clubs, are we surprised?? Tell Hazell to tone it down a little, make him by the first round of beers and get on with life.

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Guy October 12, 2012 8:59 pm

Defcon Red: troll alert!

Check your facts: it's the same player that got yellow carded unless he changed nationalities in his 10 minutes in the bin he's not French but Tongan.

Now please don't start about the boys from the Islands okay?

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Will October 12, 2012 6:33 pm

hazell is not a malicious player however his reaction in hindsight was completely unacceptable. The oppositions attempt the disrupt his game illegally during the two incidences cant go ignored either any gloucester will tell you that hazell would do something like that randomly and I have seen this type of disruption and foul play by teams to openside flankers far too often, mccaws been guilty of it on occasions as well, it needs to be stamped as much as the violence like hazells reaction.

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 7:01 pm

Lol from the Gloucester Captain "thats the second time that little fat guy..." (didn't catch the rest lol!)

There are a few points... Hands down that was brilliant from Hazell to willingly accept the red! It takes a big man not to moan bitch and whine about it, he knew what he had done and he was, "happy" to accept the punishment (not happy, but you know what I mean!)

As for the first incident, it's hard to see what happened, but from the description it seems like the referee's made a mistake there...

Second scuffle.. again, it's not the best view, and not massively easy to see what happened, the replays seem to show it a bit clearer, but I don't know... IF Hazell was actually gouged, I think it would be very unlikely that it was intentional...THEN again if you watch it from 5:13 onwards, the way that prop(?) goes down, his left hand tucks back in as if to grab hold of something.. Now, personally, I can only say that if I am falling, there are very few situations where I tuck my hand BACK IN close to my body, so it looks a bit unnatural...

IF he was gouged then was the reaction justified? Totally! Was it acceptable? No. Split between the two, we can't have players doing this, but at the same time we can't have players getting away with gouging. Not that I know the player but all of you guys seem to be saying he is a clean player, so it is just odd that any player would react like this. But as I said, if you've been gouged then sod it, it's your eyesight that is at risk, I say punch the f*****s lights out!

And following on from "lights out"... claims that he was unconscious... I fail to see at which point that would have occurred... Maybe after the first punch, but again watching from about 5:13 onwards there is no way for him to be KO'd before the first punch...

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 7:04 pm

Talking too much, I ran out of space:

And finally...I wish players would stay off twitter... I hate seeing these posts about "how they're feeling" etc etc.. I just feel it takes away some of the "what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch" stuff... I mean I know citing commissioners and the investigations and then having them up in front of a panel also does that, but THAT is part of their job as professional players, so in effect "leave work AT work" they go to work on a weekend, they play the game, they get in a fight, when they leave the pitch and go have a beer or whatever, that's it, don't go on twitter and blab about it!"

I just find there is a fine line between Football and Rugby at the moment, I have heard of a lot of football players tweeting things, and even the Armitage brother or something tweeted some derogatory comment about the IRB or something, and I just feel that it is something I'd hate rugby to plunge into...

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stroudos October 13, 2012 9:33 pm

"Talking too much, I ran out of space: "

Stop writing such bloody long posts then!!

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Pretzel October 13, 2012 10:45 pm

No one forces you to read them xxx :p

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 7:05 pm

And now for some tongue in cheek:

If we are in any doubt as to whether the player did indeed gouge, just check his passport, if he was born in France then he is as guilty as can be!

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Neil October 12, 2012 7:23 pm

People saying "toughen up" are completely deluded. Rugby is a physical game, and allowing reactions like that is just out and out thuggery.

Personally, I think even though eye gouging is disgraceful, landing several punches and a knee to a player lying on the ground is a considerably worse offense.

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owen81 October 12, 2012 7:34 pm

Loosing your sight is considerably worse injury than a few bruises. however i have seen more obvious eye gouging incidents with less reaction. the use of the knee is out of order as is hitting a player cowering like a girl.

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Neil October 12, 2012 7:59 pm

Yes, but with the amount and ferocity of the blows Hazell landed, he could have done far worse damage than just bruising. For example, last summer, an Irish Gaelic Football player took a punch to the head in a match and spent five weeks in a coma, and was lucky not to be permanently brain damaged.

I don't understand rugby players who lash out like this. They're playing a game where they can put their opponent into serious pain within the laws of the game, yet they decide to throw some cowardly punches and claim retaliation to justify it. Both as bad as each other IMO.

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Neil it is totally justified, it is just not acceptable.. I wouldn't go as far as the knee to the head however, but if someone tries to blind you then they deserve a serious beating!

We're not talking about someone sticking the boot on you, or the Lewsey vs Rogers incident...

Really what possible outcome could you want to happen if you gouge someone? I mean you obviously want to seriously injure the guy. If we are saying it WAS a gouge, then the prop could have just as easily punched Hazel in the face as they both went down, and that would have been it, dirty play, a big bruise and thats it, Hazell might have reacted with punches of his own, but it would have been fist vs fist. But instead IF this was a gouge then he chose to attack Hazells eyes... why do it? It is a way of seriously injuring someone! I'm not saying punches are less dangerous, but look at it realistically there are about a billion ways you can be punched, all with varying outcomes, there is only one way you can be gouged, and the outcomes are all limited to the eye!

Yeh the reaction was not pleasant, but neither is being gouged, I'd imagine Clarence Harding would agree it's not a pleasant experience!

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Neil October 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Straight from the "shoot first, ask questions later" playbook.

None of us know whether there was gouging or not. And even if there was, we still don't know if it was intentional or not (very easy to get accidentally poked in the eye in a ruck or a maul).

Feeling contact in your eye doesn't justify throwing as many punches as you want to the opponent.

If you think there's gouging taking place against you, get your captain to inform the referee, and then flatten your opponent fairly when he gets the ball.

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ItalianRef October 12, 2012 9:45 pm

couldn't agree more with Pretzel.

and Neil, are you really saying that your fingers can get unintentionally stuck in someone else's orbit?

I played at amateur level for 12 years and have been refereeing for the last 8 and I never, ever ever seen pros do anything unintentionally. they perfectly know what they are doing.

as for the whole "talk to your captain" thing, that is very nice in normal, and even dirty, palying conditions. If you still believe what you are saying I suggest you run the same test I suggested to Ottawa Rugger and report to us. we might end up with a nice statistic on this subject

regarding the "French" side of this discussion, I don't believe that people that make such good wine can teach eyegouging as a fundamental of the game...

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 10:14 pm

No it's not neil if you actually read what I wrote, you'll see that I said "If we are saying it WAS a gouge" and mentioning that IF it was... I never actually said that this is definitely a gouge.

Yes we all know the correct process is to have a word with your captain, the captain will then have a word with the referee, the referee will then inform all the players that he believes there is some gouging going on, and if he catches anyone then they'll be red carded, it will go down on record and the citing commissioner will have a look. Brilliant in theory, the chain of command effectively. However, when some prick has been fucking with you all day and then proceeds to stick his fingers in your eyes, I am pretty sure that 95% of forwards on this site would stick their fists in the other guys face, that is of course if they don't end up like Clarence Harding....

As I said, is it acceptable? No! Is it justified? Hell yeah. I can connect the dots and see how Hazell reacted the way he did.

Are you a back by any chance?

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Neil October 12, 2012 10:33 pm

I'm a prop actually.

In reply to Italian Ref, I'd say it's totally possible to accidentally get a finger in the eye during a match. I've had accidental scrapes of a fingernail to areas of my face plenty of times at the bottom of a ruck, so I certainly don't see why an accidental gouge can't occur.

If I have ever been the victim of foul play in a match I have waited for the right moment at a ruck or maul, sized up the opponent and hit him hard and fairly. He still feels the pain, and I don't have to stoop to his level.

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Colombes October 12, 2012 7:28 pm

thx to RD for this better footage
i think there is another french video which shows the incident, but angles are identicals.

and after rewatching the video,
i clearly don't understand where was the eye-gouge, and if even there was one.
if there was an eye-gouge, it's unacceptable. but sorry, it's clearly not shown on this video.
i only see a jab from the "little fat prop" (lol) when he falls down with hazell... it could have efectively provocated a sore eye. commission will judge facts, not rumours

i really hope Gloucester doesn't use an "eye-gouging" accusation in order to minimize Hazell crazy moment, cause it wouldn't be very classy.

ps: congrats to hazell for not complaining about the red card
ps2: i'm used to read the usual french-bashing, but objectivity is more valuable ;)

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 7:49 pm

I do agree that at the moment all any of us are doing is speculating and trying to pin point where the alleged gouge is to have happened.

As I said when you watch from about 5:13, I used the space bar to stop and start the video and keep doing that frame by frame, and when I stopped it at 5:15 (in one of the frames within 5:15) you can see what APPEARS to be the prop's hand covering the face of Hazell, it is only one angle and there is no way of judging the depth so maybe it is just "in the way" but his hand is clearly obscuring the view of Hazells face... as I tap the space on and off for the next few frames, both bodies have momentum and the prop is falling closer to the ground, yet his hand still remains in the same place, so from that I can say he most likely has hold of SOMETHING, whether it is a gouge or not is another matter, roll the video on again and the prop moves his hand and places it forward on the ground to stabilize himself.

I think what people are doing here is of course speculating, but not without reasonable "assumptions" (indeed it is not 100% clear!)..

You have a highly experienced player who supposedly is brilliant and keeping his cool and playing well, gets landed on by a prop, a hand goes somewhere near his face, and he reacts savagely..Really that leaves us with 2 realistic outcomes:

1. Now perhaps he had a bad nights sleep and was just fed up of the game and reacted to being tackled off the ball.
2. He is reacting to contact with his eyes, or what he perceives as contact with his eyes (something totally accidental from the prop), or what he perceives as an attempt to make contact with his eyes...

We can agree that it's all assumptions at this stage, but we're all here to speculate one way or the other... for the French bashing, it's just tongue in cheek, daftness...

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Colombes October 12, 2012 8:47 pm

i opt for your 2 realistic outcomes:

1- he was fed up by the game, and certainly by some cheap shots and tricks by mont-de-marsan players and finally exploded. in top14, the little french teams are used to compensate the lack of skills by some dark arts in the mauls. this little fat prop is one perfect example.
2- he perceived a contact with his eyes and believed it was intentional.

3- i understand his punchs but i really don't get the knee on the head which is quite dangerous

But as u say, we are just making assumptions and speculations. But, if these images are the only indices of "eye-gouging" you can already dismiss it, as it was more a cheap shot than a gouge.
i'm not here to defend french thugs, i just like objectivity ;) and i also believe that gouging isn't only a french speciality (cueto, hartley, best, burger, quinlan, leguizamon, parisse, rees...)

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 11:00 pm

Oh yeh, in my opinion the knee was over the top, BUT the fact that he used the knee kind of rings alarm bells.. That to me says that in all probability something has happened (gouge or perceived gouge) and he's lost all control. Most players that "flip out" just generally punch, it's rare to see a player throw a knee in as well..

I understand what you're saying, there are PLENTY of non-French gougers, I just think that Dupuy and Attoub really set the bar hight for gouging bans, and as such people just joke around that it's a "French style of play" but that's just it, it's only joking around.

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nemo34 October 16, 2012 7:03 am

Yeah, right. Receiving a knee in your face is to be considered an offense and should be punished with at least a yellow card, or red + 7 month ban if you happen to be french, play for a french team or have spent vacations in France during the last 6 months and dared to tackle a british player earlier during the game.

A punch is a punch. Kneeing a man on the ground is a brutality. And doing so right in front of the referee is not a smart thing to do. Was the flanker fully aware of what he was doing? Obviously not. Guess what? He was playing rugby.

Was there any sort of foul play before? Yes, he was tackled without the ball 5m from the tryline, received 130kg of tongian meat on his back and I think I saw the prop fart just when his ass was close to his face at 5:15 on the video. Stop playing with slow motion. Images may suggest a hand came close to the face. Live footage suggest the propo was falling, he hand behind him. I can't see how he could purposefuly aim anything, touch anything and press hard enough anything.

What I myself saw is very good refering. Took some time to discuss with his two mates, made the fouls explicit, ask them to confirm sanctions. Explained clearly to the player who saw what and why they were sent off. I wish we had such referees in the french championship.

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Pretzel October 16, 2012 2:31 pm

Only takes a split second to gouge someone....therefore slow motion is perfect...

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owen81 October 12, 2012 7:29 pm

Something has gone on but can not be seen from this angel hopefully there are cameras showing it from the opposite side.

The French player was getting ready to get hit nothing else would make you act as he did unless he was expecting some sort of retaliation.

Gloucester have photos of hazels eye straight after he left the pitch.

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LeinsterBlue October 12, 2012 7:31 pm

The prop dove to the ground and covered his head because he knew damn well he was about to get slapped, and hopefully get the player sent off... he succeeded.

No matter what you don't react like that, remember the lions, Burger buried his finger to the the second knuckle in fitzgeralds' eye... should've been a red. You gotta keep your cool... it was seen, players relied on the officials and you just gotta respect their decision.

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Pretzel October 12, 2012 7:38 pm

It is true that you need to rely on the officials to sort things out, however what we sore he was not a player (Hazell) making a conscious decision to take justice into his own hands, he just lost it. I moaned about the twitter post, but from it he states he is embarrassed by his actions.. So I think he just lost the plot and the red mist descended. It doesn't make his actions any more or less excusable, but I don't think his every day self was in control at that point.

As for Fitzgerald v Burger thing.. had that been done to most forwards I don't think it would have been a pretty sight, there'd have most probably been a massive reaction!

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Reality October 12, 2012 7:40 pm

To me it doesn't look a standard Julien Dupuy finger in the eye. It looks more like the Mont-de-Marsan player purposefully punched him in the face when they fell down, and then dragged his legs over his face as well. Maybe it was in that that something went into his eye, but I don't see a clear-cut case of gouging. However, if someone punched me in the face and then dragged his legs over my face, I'd probably beat the head off him too. I can't blame Hazell too much.

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Guy October 12, 2012 9:10 pm

Well, if this is all the footage we have, there is no conclusive evidence on the gouging claim. I don't say it didn't happen by the way. But it will be nearly impossible to find that prop quilty.

The fact that Hazell went berserk is no evidence in itself and the fact that his eye is sore, does neither prove intent, nor does it prove gouging.

So, I guess Hazell will get a pretty long suspension for attacking a player in a position in which he can't defend himself. 6-10 weeks, anyone? The prop will walk scott free.

Justice? Surely not. But shit obviously happens.

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Hmmm October 12, 2012 10:39 pm

There is a comment above that says if you gouge, and you get the shit beaten out of you then wouldn't do it again - I totally agree with this but I doubt it'd happen. The French player has clearly cause some issue as you can hear Tindall trying to explain once his players have been punished. The ref was right in this situation but it does start to call for video refs for incidents such as this? Provoking a player as experienced as Hazell to react in such a way must be very deliberate and the french player must've known what he was doing, and what he'd get.
This type of gamesmanship needs to be eliminated before it consumes the sport, yeah it'll always be there but if it's stamped down on hard enough then it'll discourage those involved and those tempted to abuse such petty tactics.

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matt October 13, 2012 1:19 am

Does anyone have any idea what Hazel was up to between 1:13 and 1:28? The guys who tried to clear him off get distracted and then he's still on the Mont-De-Marson player until he gets dragged off him at 1:28

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Pretzel October 13, 2012 3:28 am

First aid...

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Guest October 13, 2012 1:32 am

An outrageous response to whatever provoked him. Yes, shit happens that the ref doesn't see but you deal with it on the board not with flying fists and knees. Unprofessional, school kids are taught this.

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Munster Jimmy October 13, 2012 2:14 am

The English are filthy!

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poccio October 13, 2012 9:56 am

what i really take from this video is that, yet again, commentators need to learn to shut the fuck up when the ref and players are speaking 'cause that's what we want to hear, a lot more interesting than a banal description of the obvious (in this case: 'the player is going off leaving his team one man down for the remainder of the game', you don't say after a red card)...twats!!
as for the incident it's self punching and kneeing are not justified or acceptable at all, they can lead to serious injury. eye gouging is also unacceptable but a lot of times you see players getting really riled up for contact with the eyes that is incidental and minor...still it's a bitch move to go for the eye's but also to punch a guy on the floor.

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Pretzel October 13, 2012 10:34 am

During the scuffle and its immediate aftermath I think the commentator was talking in an attempt to drown out the bad language...

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stroudos October 13, 2012 9:31 pm

Could not agree more on the commentators.

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browner October 13, 2012 10:08 am

"italian ref" ,,,,,,,,,,,,, gets my vote.

Any incident of gouging needs to be reported IMMEDIATELY & the Referee can then take the subject into account.

Hazel has been a excellent pro, hard but largely fair & never red carded before, all punishments should reflect that.

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Don King October 13, 2012 10:51 am

It looks like Hazell has nothing to worry about.

If he picks up any sort of lengthy ban, I'm sure the UFC promoters will be lining up!

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Don King October 13, 2012 10:56 am

Also just watched the first incident again- total cock up from the officials.

If you watch from the line out, number 23 (fat bald prop no.1) peels off and gets right in hazel's face as they are running away which causes the flare up. However, it is number 16 (fat bald prop no.2) who gets yellow carded!!!

I couldn't work out the first time why he protested his card but he's got a fare point.

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Frenchie October 14, 2012 1:35 am

Loads of dull biased comments from anti French guys there... I hope Hazel will be banned for a very long time from kicking his opponent in the head. There's no IF there, right?He did so and that's shocking. Now if there's eye gouging it will be dealt by the ERC.
Just a thought: it's very convenient for the coach to scream for an eye gouging in order to excuse his player...

On these images i can't see a eye gouge.

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Pretzel October 14, 2012 2:45 am

Come on Frenchie, no one is excusing his reaction, they are "understanding" his reaction.. Look at the way he accepted the red card, he didn't moan and say "yeh referee, I did that BUT only because..." He took it and walked off.. I think he will accept any punishment without too much of a complaint, however IF he was gouged that surely has to be taken into consideration as a cause for his actions. Needless to say the knee to the head was certainly something that cannot be ignored.

As for the coach convenience, well yes, but again you have to take this players previous record into account, someone said he's never had a red card before, and this is not a few punches, this is an insane (over)reaction...

Any thing said about the French was merely a joke, but likewise you need to avoid sheltering "your own" just because they're the same nationality... If anyone from my country was in the positions of Attoub, Parra, Parisse, Heartley etc I'd hope they get SERIOUS bans!

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Nemeketh October 14, 2012 2:05 am

We can't see why he is so upset but there is no way to act like that : punching is one thing but hiting someone on the ground with his knee is awful. It seems that he wants to kill him !

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Frenchie October 14, 2012 5:28 pm

@ Pretzel
there's always a first time and Hazel did his in style. The fact that he never got a red has to be "cancelled" by the fact that he kneeled his opponent in the head.
There's no excuse for doing that, full stop!
I don't agree when you say that we should take into consideration the act that caused Hazel's reaction. These should be judged as 2 separate matters.

Hazel doesn't seem to have a sore eye at all on the images, strange hu??

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Pretzel October 14, 2012 8:02 pm

IF there was indeed gouge it should be taken into consideration as to WHY he reacted as he did amongst US the rugby community, I didn't mean for it to sound like he should get off free because of it. Around Hazells eye looks a bit sore when he is walking off... But in reality what you are saying is a player needs to be blinded before he can give a reaction? How about Hazell felt contact with his eyes that hurt and he managed to avoid any further damage and was so incensed by the actions that he reacted in this way.

Basically what I am trying to say is that if during a game someone starts taking swings at me, I will not wait for a severe bit of contact from a fist before I react. Just the same as if someone sticks his fingers in my eyes, I will react with fists as quick as I can even if the contact is minimal BECAUSE of the fact that the player TRIED to gouge me.

I said before this was an overreaction but to ignore the possibilities of a gouge is reckless and irresponsible at best! (As is hedging all bets on a gouge, what I am trying to say is IF he was gouged then I can UNDERSTAND why he reacted like this!)

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kadova October 14, 2012 11:48 pm

Sure Pretzel, everybody can understand why Hazell reacted this way, although he punched several times, and not only once or twice.
As for the alleged eye gouge, i can't say from this video. So wait and see what ERC decides.

PS1:Most French supporters believe Attoub was innocent, because the photo was not crystal clear, and the player claimed innoncence all along his ban, and this made everyone doubtful.

PS2: As said above, it's the minnows clubs who have the dirtiest players in France. You won't see French players going into fights like that at international level, apart against England, maybe :o)

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Benny October 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Have you not watched France in the 1999 and 2011 world cup finals? ABs captain was clearly gouged and caught on camera. The wallabies threatened to to walk off it was so bad. From memory, six players at least were tended to by the team doctor for eye injuries.

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Tc October 15, 2012 12:16 am

It seems that the first yellow is given for a swinging arm by the player behind hazell. In other words throwing a punch from behind without provocation. That is assault. Hazels reaction the second time is over the top, but if referees and linesmen dont protect you then I think he's well within his rights to look after himself

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Michael October 15, 2012 11:30 am

Shame to see the Gloucester fans applauding that behaviour. While my personal opinion is that gouging someone warrants the thumping he got, the fans can't have observed the provacation which tragically suggests they were applauding what they percieved to be a toe to toe fight.

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Andy October 15, 2012 5:26 pm

I can't see Gloucester complaining about gouging for the sake of reducing a ban, so there has to be something behind the accusations, and whilst our replays are inconclusive, the IRB/ERC all have the facilities to enhance where necessary and If there were marks around his eye, the referee will no doubt include that in his report.

His suspension won't be top end. He'll get a huge penalty and it'll be reduced by half for a previous good disciplinary record. 6-8 weeks max i think.

As for some of the comments, it's all well and good saying 'talk to your captain' but in the heat of the moment, it isn't that easy

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abigfella October 15, 2012 10:50 pm

look at the guy from Kent a while back. Eye gouged and now blind in his eye. Ended his rugby. Ended his career. Ended many other things important in his life.
Many people once they loose their vision then get suicidal through depression, which is terrible.

did the guy who did it get done? no

what do the camera's follow? the ball

Where does most of the foul play happen? off of the ball - at a bottom of a ruck etc where its very hard to see even with video footage.

For those of you who are saying tell the captain etc, please come here, i'll gouge you, you can then tell your friend, he can report it to the authorities and then you can try and prove that it happened... oh no... wait, your blind now and cant identify me... tuff break mate...

or, after notable attempts to gouge, the referee and linesman missing it, a further obvious bit of foul play and a punch immediately before the incident the man retaliates.

The instigating player himself simply covering up and playing dead right from the off, knowing what to expect, all for effect.

Personally, i hate the fact that the gouger will likely get off due to insufficient evidence - proven beyond reasonable doubt - while the victim, fighting for his eye sight to be left in tact gets done.

Well done Andy. You did deserve a red and you will get banned. But you're a great player and i hope there is evidence to prove the gouging and the 'see you next tuesday' gets banned - PERMANENTLY, just like the vision he was trying to take.

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nemo34 October 16, 2012 6:43 am

C'est amusant. L'essentiel des commentaires de nos amis rosbifs ne parlent que de l'hypothétique fourchette récoltée par le jeune flanker de bonne famille à la réputation étincelante et dont on comprend aisément - on ne l'excuse pas mais on la comprend - la réaction.

Au fil des commentaires, le "IF" s'estompe et la fourchette devient certitude. La nationalité tongienne du pilier disparaît au profit de celle du club. Le peuple s'étonne au final que l'on ose encore de nos jours - nous sommes au XXIème sicle tout de même - mettre un carton à un sujet de sa majesté.

Au final, les arbitres "sérieux" devraient sanctionner plus fermement tout joueur français ou jouant pour un club français frappé par un britannique au cours d'un match de rugby. Un sujet de sa majesté qui pète les plombs est en effet une présomption de fourchette. Si de surcroît le joueur a eu l'audace de plaquer le sujet de sa majesté plus tôt dans le match, la récidive devra être ajoutée au faisceau d'indices.

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Pretzel October 16, 2012 2:43 pm

So does "IF" not exist in the French language? Do French people not do "IF's"??? A lot of the English speakers here (not necessarily ENGLISH) have said that IF he was gouged, or felt he was being gouged then they can UNDERSTAND why he reacted, of course that statement is easily flipped where us English speakers (but not necessarily ENGLISH) will say "IF" he WASN'T gouged, and didn't feel like he was being gouged then we CANNOT understand why he reacted that way.

Get off the Anglo-Franco dick measuring contest and come back to reality, this is about a players eyesight, point me to a video where a French player is being gouged by ANY other nationality and I will say I hope that gouging player is BANNED!

Tongan nationality? So the player struck at the end, Sebastien Ormaechea, is Tongan is he?

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nemo34 October 17, 2012 7:05 am

Tu as raison, je pensais qu'il s'agissait de Tevita Mailau, l'autre pilier de Mont de Marsan. Je continue en français puisque tu sembles maîtriser la langue de Voltaire. Ma remarque se base sur la simple observation que la vidéo d'un joueur défonçant la tronche d'un homme à terre à coup de genou s'accompagne d'un texte dénonçant la victime en la soupçonnant d'une hypothétique fourchette. Au passage, non, dans le championnat français on n'entend quasiment jamais parler de fourchette.

Pour moi, fourchette ou pas fourchette, l'attitude de Hazell est inacceptable. Il mérite un rouge et une citation derrière. On ne se fait pas justice de cette manière sur un terrain de rugby. En aucune manière. Mais ça, aussi surprenant que cela paraisse, personne n'en parle.

Je suis maintenant curieux de voir comment tu vas réagir au commentaire de 07015678 posté juste en dessous.

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Pretzel October 17, 2012 12:03 pm

I can read French better than I can type it...

French rugby, HAS in the past built itself a bad reputation. That however is a stereotype, it does not hold true for ALL French players, it also does NOT mean that every other nationality is clean and can do no wrong, the South Africans alone are evidence of this!!!

However it is that bad reputation which leaves the door open for people to make comments about French rugby and foul play. I believe I made a comment about "Frenchman + Gouging etc" up there somewhere, but this was only a bit of "banter" and should not be taken seriously. You only need to look at Dusautoir, the French captain to see a brilliant player, and a very clean player! He is representing France with his playing and attitude, and I believe he is a great credit to the French team.

The stats you have posted show the two biggest bans for gouging were French man, (the next 2 being English and NZ). The big bans can be viewed in 2 ways:
1. It is a vendetta against the French who are cruelly and unfairly punished.
2. They were the worst 2 gouges actually witnessed in the professional game.
If it was up to me though, ANY player that gouges (25 players in that list!) should receive AT LEAST a 104 week ban! It is cowardly and wrong.

Again as for Hazells reaction. If I was gouged, I would react in similar fashion, maybe not a knee, but I would be swinging my fists, this is why I can understand his reaction. He SHOULD indeed be banned, and the knee SHOULD indeed extend his ban time, however regardless, I can still understand why he reacted that way. IF however he was not gouged, then I don't know why he went off the rails...

As for 07015678 below either he is a troll or he is an asshole with no idea! Either way, the best reaction is no reaction, ignore him and hopefully he may go away...

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07015678 October 16, 2012 4:05 pm

French rugby is filth. FACT. They dive and play act to the ref, then when things don't go their way they come out eye gouging and fists swinging. So many examples to reference n this. Pathetic and I hope the FFR get a grip on it.

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Big Welsh October 18, 2012 4:02 pm

IF he was eye gouged then the French player got what he deserved (he probably deserved a lot more). Eye gouging is utter filth an act where there is malicious intent to end someone’s career. If a player wants to take that risk they should then be subject to a lifetime ban if found guilty.

If Hazel was gouged I would fully support his actions...he has 12 years experience and no red card - so to react like that, something must have happened. The concern is that it will be very difficult to prove the eye gouging incident and I can see no outcome other than a ban for Hazel!

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Pretzel October 19, 2012 11:00 am

I'm in total agreement. There has been, however, no citing for anyone on the Mont de Marsan team, I'm not sure if that can be taken as "no one did gouge" or "we can't see which player gouged or when they did it", and Hazell himself has been cited, his hearing is on the 26th, watch that date.

All they can do is judge him on his own actions. I can fully agree that I'd back any player to react like that HAD they been gouged, but it's not pretty and it will in itself come with a heavy ban I'm sure.

Perhaps it is one of those areas where we say in the future, well if a player does react like that to a gouge then we have to ban him hard, but we can still understand why he did it... and it always be a sort of "catch 22" thing...

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rdump October 25, 2012 8:37 pm

14 weeks. No eye gouging. Any comments?

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Pretzel October 25, 2012 10:46 pm

No eye gouging? No evidence of eye gouging... two different statements. Of course the eye gouge claim could be utter BS, however SOMETHING set Hazell off.. and one would assume that it was more than just a bit of frustration boiling over.

Interesting point I read though, he was initially given 16 weeks, he had a further TWO weeks added BECAUSE of his disciplinary record. I personally was under the impression (from what other RD fans said) that Hazell had quite an impeccable record, smudge free perhaps. However the suggestion that they added 2 weeks because of this record seems to suggest otherwise.

So he actually got an 18 week ban, but then under the usual standard bollocks it was reduced by 4 weeks because of a guilty plea.

As much as I'd back him up (and still expect him to be banned) if he WAS gouged, I find it very difficult to accept when they reduce the ban due to a guilty plea... I mean only a complete idiot could plea Not Guilty to this incident... the video evidence is overwhelming, so why they should reward him for admitting something so blatantly obvious is beyond me...

But yes, it WAS reduced so it ended up with 14 weeks... I think with the lack of evidence of a gouge I think 18 weeks is a fair punishment for his "reaction" (if it was indeed a reaction, and not just an action).. but then 14 weeks/3 months, is quite a long time to be out... its got to be 10 games or something, no?

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TLewis February 27, 2014 5:34 pm

Didn't see any eye gouging so the reaction is unjustified, however, if there was any eye gouging I feel that his reaction is perfectly acceptable. Eye gouging is horrific and shouldn't be tolerated in any circumstances, you should be permanently banned from the game if you are caught!

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