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Monday, November 12, 2012

All Black Adam Thomson's boot on Alasdair Strokosch's head

The All Blacks won comfortably 51-22 against a valiant Scotland side at Murrayfield on Sunday, but could be without flanker Adam Thomson for the rest of the tour after he was yellow carded for placing his boot on the head of Alasdair Strokosch.

The incident was brought to the attention of referee Jerome Garces by touch judge Simon McDowell after Thomson has gone in looking for the ball, using his foot as a feleer.

Thomson was sent from the field for just ten minutes, while some, after seeing the television replay, felt that a red card would have been the more appropriate punishment.

Thomson has since been cited, and will face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

Strokosch himself, who was at the bottom of the ruck, said that he felt there was no malice in it.

"I don't think there was any malicious intent by Adam Thomson, there isn't even a mark and hopefully his yellow will be the end of it. I barely felt it.

"If it had been intentional he’d have done a lot more damage. It didn’t feel like a stamp," he said.

If Thomson gets a ban, which could be anything from three to eight weeks, that would rule him out of the rest of the tour, missing New Zealand's matches against Italy, Wales, and England.

"Someone will take a look at it and decide if it was malicious or reckless. I suggest it was just reckless," said All Black coach Steve Hansen after the game.

"I didn't see it at the time but I saw the replay. It looked like Adam was frustrated - he placed his boot on the guy's head, but he didn't stomp him," Hansen added.

Strokosch (@thebigstroker on twitter) just tweeted RD to say the following:

"@Rugbydump I believe it was a mistake, hopefully he's let off. I was lying all over the ball"

Do you think a Yellow card was sufficient, or should he receive a lengthy ban?

Posted by Rugbydump at 3:14 pm | View Comments (101)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 101 comments

Old schooler November 12, 2012 6:16 pm

Good Ol' Days - when players were stamped for being in the wrong side of the ruck and that was accepted by everyone - referee and players - of both the teams -

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Kemp November 12, 2012 6:38 pm

So true man, so true !!!

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browner November 12, 2012 6:47 pm

'old school'ers idea's need to be confined to the dustbin of life, the game was littered with thuggery & brutality ..... get rid of em all.

Thomson's shouldn't get any more punishment. He knew what he was doing, and withdrew .....end of subject.

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moddeur November 12, 2012 6:54 pm

I agree with both of @browner's comments.
I agree that Thomson got a fair punishment already, and I agree that old school rugby doesn't always mean "better rugby". Last Friday I played against an "old timer" team (all my opponents were aged 40+, and had a good 20 years of amateur rugby in them), and at some point I screamed at one of their flankers, in front of the public: "DON'T *%$ PUNCH PEOPLE IN THE FACE IN RUCKS!". He looked at me with a bland expression (looking fully guilty, which he was) and that was the end of it.
Let's keep it fair.

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 8:34 pm

How about placing ones studs on an opposition players back who is intentionally lying on the ball slowing it down?

Not talking about stamping, talking about raking...

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browner November 13, 2012 2:37 am

Studs are gripping aids on for use on grass, not weapons of retribution.

Ask the referee for the penalty decision ..... I don't understand the logic of your arguments ! whatever next he had his fingers on the ball so I stood on them with my 18 stone, I know a couple broke but he should have let the ball go .......... or He was clearly staring at i poked his eye out???

c'mon .... sport has moved on, achilles raking has been outlawed in football as well , and butting with the end of the hockey stick has gone also .....

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 2:55 am

Did you start playing rugby a few years ago?

I have played senior rugby for 6-7 years now, I am by no means an "oldie" and I thought the game was brilliant when you could put studs on someone in order to speed up the game, and guess what, IT WORKED.

Gouging someone? In what world could you possibly connect the dots in that one! Well done genius!

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browner November 13, 2012 3:32 am

Yes, 30 years ago, I now coach Youth & Seniors & ref .

Re...."I thought the game was brilliant when you could put studs on someone" .......

You've just shown your 'IQ' in that statement .....& it's not a compliment matey

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stroudos November 13, 2012 11:29 am

Browner, I'm a bit surprised, judging from your other comments, that you feel so strongly against good old-fashioned rucking.

The game was indeed brilliant when you could put studs on someone. It was a lot quicker and more free-flowing, since there was a greater disincentive against illegally slowing opposition ball.

Re your 2:37 post above. Bloke lying on top or wrong side of the ball? Yes, raking studs across his back is a perfectly reasonable way to encourage him to move! Bloke using hands in the ruck or not releasing when he has to? Yes, treading all over his fingers is again a perfectly reasonable way to encourage him to release!

In any case, I'm pleased to report that in the "social" level rugby I play, it is standard for the ref to state in his pre-game chat that if a bloke's on the wrong side he *is* still considered a part of the ground. There was one classic incident last season where our scrum-half actually turned to the ref mid-ruck and asked "can I use my boot sir?", which he agreed to but then promptly penalised him, saying "that's not quite what I thought you had in mind by "using your boot!"".

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browner December 03, 2012 4:04 pm

"old fashioned rucking".... remains OLD fashioned

Use of Boot DOWN on a player IS illegal, Q? Do i mind someone going beyond the ball and pushing backwards with his feet attempting to free the ball - no. it's legitimate rucking.

All downward 'stamping' or boot use in a forward motion isn't either of these things , & it's not toughness-it's normally cowardly cheap shot at an undefended player, usually lying prone.

Hard fair rugby, is different to dirty play

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Pretzel December 07, 2012 3:25 am

I guess a slow game nowadays suits the old fat bastards in the front row, gives them time to have a breather. Not like the days when the ball used to come out fairly quickly, when players decided lying on the ground in the way or ON the ball was not a good idea... Least it made it painful if they decided cheating was a good idea.

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eldentisto November 12, 2012 6:43 pm

even in the good old days we didn't stand on peoples heads, it was deliberate for sure but there was no force in it, he should get a ban but strokosch should have penalised before hand for laying on the ball

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Bas Horneman November 12, 2012 6:49 pm

The most important thing is that there is concistency in punishment. Attempted headbutt by Etzebeth = 2 game ban. Attempted stamping by Adam = 2 game ban.

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Bas Horneman November 12, 2012 10:41 pm

My point exactly. By the letter of the law it is stomping. Does not matter how gentle it is. What was your point again?

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 11:09 pm

My point was Etzebeth's indiscretion was not "attempted" it actually happened...

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browner November 13, 2012 3:39 am

Hmmnn.... define stomping? then apply 10.5 sanctions.

YC always

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5ft8flanker November 12, 2012 6:51 pm

Ah Thomson was only reminding Strokosch to release and he obliged. Play on

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Mark November 12, 2012 6:55 pm

In the "good old days" we used our feet to ruck players out. Stamping on somones head has NEVER been the norm. Back when feet were used to clear out, you took your punishment if you were on the wrong side, and didn't (for the most part) complain. If a boot went intentionally onto a head or "family jewels" that was something different.
So there is no misunderstanding, I played with the old law, and I'm still playing now. Occasionally, when refs miss stuff constantly, a soot is used even bow, but ONLY ever on the body.
He needs a 4 week ban. Minimum.

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Ando November 12, 2012 6:56 pm

I might have to reach for the rule book, but I thought rucking to the head (intentional or not) was an automatic red card? At least it used to be - I got done for that one myself once.

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browner November 13, 2012 3:41 am

More rugby mythology ....... ref has choice for all foul play based on his assessment of severity LAW 10.5

doesn't anyone know the law book before opionising?....[general - not soley aimed]

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Ando November 13, 2012 8:19 am

I stand corrected, thanks. However I still thought refs had guidelines, i.e. offence x = penalty y?

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Gonzoman November 13, 2012 4:50 pm

Ando, yes...we are generally given guidelines from the unions, and some from the IRB. Where I ply my trade (and until recently, played) we are encouraged to be strict (ie: red card) with boots on heads. It's not set in stone, but very strongly encouraged. Ultimately, it's still up to the referee.

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Pumas1980 November 12, 2012 7:02 pm

It wasn't deliberate, but certainly warranted a card. I'm glad that refs are calling this stuff, especially against the All Blacks. Seems like every time I turn around, someone else is being called out for giving a cheap shot to Richie McCaw or Dan Carter. And everyone feels so awful for them and the rugby world cries out for action. The reality is that New Zealand pulls the same shit just as much as any other team on the pitch.

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Ando November 12, 2012 7:20 pm

Mistake? It was only a mistake if he mistook the guy's scrum cap for the ball. Thomson knew exactly where he was putting his boot. And it doesn't make a difference if the guy was all over the ball, you just can't ruck like you did in the good ol' days.

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stroudos November 13, 2012 12:02 am

Couldn't have put it better!!

Cracking Twitter username too - @thebigstroker!

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browner November 13, 2012 2:50 am

I was lying all over the ball ! as if that excuses a potential shoeing ..... it doesn't

All I can say is thank god Bakkies Botha wasn't in the vicinity !!!

How coem ref allowed stoko so long to slow down the ball?

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 2:56 am

Lmao, don't worry about it browner, Strokosch is from an era when you accept an element of punishment for cheating... you evidently are not...

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stroudos November 13, 2012 11:50 am

browner: I was lying all over the ball ! as if that excuses a potential shoeing ..... it doesn't

Oh yes it does!! Preferably not to the head, but that was the only part of his body that was accessible.

I reckon Bakkies would have no problem with this at all.

Refs have always been shit at stopping players from illegally killing the ball. (I might add that that's especially true if that player's wearing a black shirt with a 7 on the back, but that would be churlish so I won't!). "Shoeing the bastard" is a very effective way of players policing the breakdown area in the absence of refs properly applying the laws. The law against it was introduced because people kept upping the ante, with stamping becoming way too commonplace. Given the difficulty for a ref to distinguish in real time whether someone's raking or stamping, both - sadly - had to go. If you ask me (which admittedly you didn't), the game is poorer as a result.

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Gonzoman November 13, 2012 4:53 pm

And TA-DAH! Browner has hit on the crux of the whole issue. If the ref had been a little swifter with the whistle, and penalized Strokosch for what was a fairly flagrant violation of the rules, then the boots to brains would never have happened.

While I'm not defending Thompson's actions, he didn't exactly fly off the handle and kick Strokosch...he was reacting to illegal play after trying to get the ball out through legitimate means.

Ref should have penalized "The Big Stroker" sooner, and it wouldn't have gotten to this point.

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Le Gazelle November 13, 2012 6:17 pm

Wind it back a bit Gonzoman. The ball was loose and Stroker dived on it. McCaw then dived on him preventing him playing the ball. He then manipulated his body position around to the Scottish side.
If the referee had any bottle or knowledge of rucking he would have blown the whistle before Thomson entered the ruck. I watch the Top 14 most weekends and find the French refs have little or no idea what's going on in scrums, rucks or mauls !!!!

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Colombes November 12, 2012 7:20 pm

For me, this yellow card should be sufficient. No damage ad don't seem so malicious
Got the impression that he was annoyed by Strokosh laying all over the ball, and he begins the stamp but without in any pressure. anyway, silly to do that in front of a touchline ref and 3 camera angles...

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Guy November 12, 2012 7:50 pm

A few things:
1) A stamp is a stamp just like a gouge is a gouge, damage done or not. Punish it properly!
2) For fuck's sake: it happens right in front of the ref. Is he blind?
3) Stamp in my opinion: straight red. Blacks would still have won off course.
4) Very nice gesture by Strokosch. Soccer players: take notice!
5) Great mo by Thompson. Needs to get his ban reduced for supporting a good cause.
All in my humble opinion off course.

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Full Back November 12, 2012 8:25 pm

@Guy I agree with you here, nice gesture by Strockosch (hoping in Karma, I'm guessing it's something he'd do himself :D) but mistake my arse, he could see what he was doing. That said I think the card is enough, he didn't go in with any force, was just a little shove with the foot, (if that makes any sense) to let the big man know he was in a bad position

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historyboys2 November 12, 2012 8:21 pm

@Guy, I think the ref's view was blocked by the backside of an All Black player. The incident happens on the far side of the ruck and it doesn't look like the ref can see that it's a head on the receiving end of Thompson's boot.

Personally, I think a yellow card is punishment enough for Thompson. As Strokosch admits, he was lying all over the ball and I'm pretty sure Thompson just wanted to remind him of his responsibility to roll away. I don't think it was particularly malicious.

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 8:26 pm

I am a bit like the others on here. I am all for referee's "loosely" referring to the law book for incidents like this; it was clearly not a nasty stamp, it was a gentle (hah) reminder. HOWEVER my only problem is that I don't personally believe referee's can be trusted in allowing personal judgement into the game. Time and time again we have seen pathetic calls given, or horrendous incidents NOT being penalised.

So in effect, I would be more than happy to see this "love tap" just end up with a yellow card. We all know Thomson was not trying to "stamp" on Strokosch in a brutal way, however according to the letters of the law, boot to the head should = red. Headbutt = red, etc etc etc...

So unless the governing bodies take a step back and say, "ok guys, this is just getting silly, we all know that Thomson was being a tool, but he was not trying to harm Strokosch, so from NOW on, we are going to look at each case individually. This time we'll give Adam a kick in the backside and tell him not to be a clown, but it will end at that." And then from then on, judge each case without law coloured blinkers.

I blame it all on the lawyers involved actually. NO DOUBT, they will come out with things like "Ah, but by the letter of the law, the angle in which Thomson applied his boot was not beyond 45 degrees therefore blah blah blah" which means that the governing bodies then have to adjust the laws accordingly so that it covers EVERY aspect and then it leads to the governing bodies punishing EVERYTHING that fits the criteria (Etzebeth's headbutt) yet does not actually, and would never actually, result in damage...

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Bas Horneman November 12, 2012 10:17 pm

Re. the Attempted. I used rugbydump's words. I guess the site you frequent is run by morons. Ps. I'm suprised you are allowed to insult someone on here. How childish to insult someone instead of argue a point.

"It was a gentle reminder". Just sickening how you try to justify something that should be punished. But condemn other "gentle reminders"

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 11:15 pm

What other gentle reminders are you referring to?

I simply said I would love to see this thing just be let go seeing as it was nothing to write home about, however the governing bodies are unable to control how referee's relax the rules therefore they have to do things EXACTLY as the laws state...

So my point is, I would expect this to receive a ban (as I also expected Etzebeth to receive a ban) I do not particularly want to see it receive a ban as it was hardly ban worthy. However perhaps a ban would teach Thomson to use his brain a little more (as it probably has done to Etzebeth)...

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anonymous November 12, 2012 11:33 pm

id love to know where did or do u play rugby?


But you always comment so the doubt grew on me.

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browner November 13, 2012 3:16 am are taking this all out of context.

there a list of foul & dangerous play

EVERY ACTION [apart from time wasting 10.2[b] ] is a penalty offence.

the sanctions for ALL PENALTY OFFENCES are offences are contained in 10.5 and are as follows
- admonishment [a warning]
- caution [Yellow card]
- sent off [red card ]

ALL these sanctions are at the referees judgement, based on his assessment of severity & contextual judgement.

I referee, and my decision making process would be .....
Is it an Offence? - Yes
Was there intent - Yes he deliberately went towards the head area with Foot
Was it serious - No, He withdrew after the threat was offered [again contextual judgement being applied here]

Correct Decision = Yellow card ...... IMO

So, no Pretzel, the letters of the law do not prescribe punishments in the black & white way that you state..... Hey, i've an idea - why don't you take up the whistle .. it's enjoy it - at grassroots level , purely for social involvement reasons

I enjoy reading many of your posts though !

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 3:07 am

I do play rugby, however in order to remain somewhat "anonymous" I choose not to disclose the location, that way I don't get accused of being biased when making any comments regarding hemispheres. I play Saturdays the same as everyone else. Up until fairly recently I have been "unfit" due to an injury which has left me to do a fair amount of rehab, which in turn, has given me a fair amount of spare time. As for my commenting, I enjoy RD, it is one site I click on everytime I go on my laptop. Where most people load up Facebook, I load up RD... it's sort of my "addiction" as it were.

A bit more info on me, I played through school, for both school and local team (as and when I could) both Union and league (league in the summer) I finished school and went to University, I played through University for both for the University and a local club within the city, again playing league through the summer holidays. I then finished Uni, and moved to where my work is and have continued to play for a club near that town until, as I said before, I suffered a nasty, albeit temporary, injury and as such have missed out on a large amount of rugby in 2012. Once I have completely recovered and have got my fitness levels back up (which have dwindled significantly) I hope to be back playing week in week out again..

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 1:53 pm

I stand corrected, thank you browner. I am glad you have pointed this out. I refer to indiscretions much like Tom James red card for a headbutt ummm, a scottish player years ago also got a red card for kicking out after being late tackled and catching another player in the head and he was red carded, there are a few of these dotted around, where effectively referee's have looked at the crime and said:

"Ah, headbutt, must equal red" "ah boot touches head, must equal red" etc, without being able to justify it (in OUR opinions)...

I have dragged it up countless times, but if I could direct you to:

What would be your thought process with this also whilst also applying the respective laws?

We appear to agree somewhat on THIS outcome, I am not 100% happy with a yellow card, as I do believe this was a "please desist from lying on the ball" sort of request, so that is how I could say "warning", however I can also see why it would/should be a yellow card as it was rather a idiotic thing to do, i.e. a boot on a head is never going to win any leniency awards with the referee...

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Gonzoman November 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Fair enough...I agree with the yellow, and with part of your point. It was a "please desist from lying on the ball" request, which the referee then followed up with a "please take 10 minutes to think about why you should desist from applying boots to people's heads" request.

All good, no harm done. I think any sanction decision (in this, and in many other decisions) is a political one: a bunch of suits in a room looking at game film and saying "we don't want children thinking our sport is full of rough play, otherwise they won't register and we'll be out of jobs!"

Thompson has learned his lesson, I'm sure. Let it end bans.

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 11:48 pm

Totally agree with you there Gonzo, this is definitely going to be one of those "stamp down on players that even THINK about this type of behaviour so it makes the game look nicer"... ;)

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browner December 03, 2012 4:36 pm

I also this is was a "please desist" request.

I'm in favour of a zero tolerance for boots on heads, rather than a debate over whether the extend of "the request" was ........ [not exhaustive]

.......inconsequential,mild, mildly inconsequential, mildly impactive, mildly quite impactive in a non deliberate manner, quite impactive but mildly deliberate, deliberate but not a clean strike , OR .... a glancing blow with on the face of it excessive unintended force albeit delivered in a non deliberate unbalanced style yet in the face of mildish provocation in the heat of the moment & injury unintentioned ........ !!!!

zero tolerance is just a little bit easier to referee / legislate / cite / protect etc..

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browner December 19, 2012 7:10 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying..... Re: Tom James.

Of course you have to be in the shoes/& the position of the referee to make the call.

With the benefit of watching it twice /thrice Law 10.5 decision tree would be
Offence = Yes
Intent = No - reasoning is although he certainly went forward it was more posturing than a direct "i'm gonna injure you" thrust
Decision = Caution [& very stern warning]
Blue clearly guilty of footy overacting = caution only.

But as i said, my view is a slow-mo replay , not real time, real angle etc.....

To me .... Dai summed it up nicely.

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browner December 19, 2012 7:10 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying..... Re: Tom James.

Of course you have to be in the shoes/& the position of the referee to make the call.

With the benefit of watching it twice /thrice Law 10.5 decision tree would be
Offence = Yes
Intent = No - reasoning is although he certainly went forward it was more posturing than a direct "i'm gonna injure you" thrust
Decision = Caution [& very stern warning]
Blue clearly guilty of footy overacting = caution only.

But as i said, my view is a slow-mo replay , not real time, real angle etc.....

To me .... Dai summed it up nicely.

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Pretzel December 22, 2012 9:06 pm

Regarding Thomson Strokosch incident, I'll use your template:

With the benefit of watching it twice /thrice Law (insert law number here) decision tree would be
Offence = Yes
Intent = No - reasoning is although he certainly put his boot down, it was more a notification than a direct "i'm gonna injure you" thrust (of the boot)
Decision = Caution [& very stern warning]


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Skid986 November 12, 2012 8:26 pm

Laying all over the ball or not, that's no excuse for studs to the back of somebody's head. It was deliberate and Strokosh was in no position to defend or protect himself. Even more shameful for an AB is that he did it to the back of his head, therefore effectively 'in the back', so showed his cowardice as well. 70s tache - 70s play. Retrospective red card and a ban are in order.

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 8:31 pm

And just to add, lovely to see Strokosch taking Thomsons side here... we all know when we're in the wrong, and in the grand scheme of things, to let Thomson go down in flames here without owning up to your own mistakes is a bit weak...

To further echo others, brilliant tache by Thomson and a lot of the players from both sides.

I find it a little sad that some of the "pretty boys" (yeh Carter, I'm talking to you!!!) didn't enter into this. Carter carries an awful lot of clout both on and off the pitch, he has a large rugby contingent following, and also a large drooling contingent (the ladies...and probably Nigel Owens) so it would be brilliant to see someone in such spotlight take a "retro, negative" effect on his own image for a good cause. A few of the Scots had tache's not sure how many/who had them, but again, there weren't as many as I'd have liked to see. I always find the Aussie's pull off the mo very well.

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Gonzoman November 13, 2012 5:06 pm

Except for Kurtley Beale. That man should never be allowed to wear a 'tache.

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Juggernauter November 12, 2012 8:33 pm

Finally, a good mo! Anyway, silly stuff from Thompson, knew exactrly what he was doing. It's dangerous, you just can't be stamping on people's heads with those metal cleats... So I'd say a ban, and bye bye tour. Shame, cause he's one heck of a player.

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katman November 12, 2012 8:35 pm

He knew what he was doing, or at least he realised it halfway through and sheepishly stopped it. So you had half a stomp which was kind of deliberate. So I'd say a couple of weeks and a strongly worded letter.


So now we can move onto the other, far more sinister part of this particular game, and also this video clip: The world's worst commentator, Jonathan Davies. What the feck is his claim to a microphone?

Seriously, I can't listen to the Welsh whiner cream his chinos at everything the Kiwis do. At one point he even admitted he'd run out of superlatives, and we were still in the first bloody half.

Somewhere in the second half he marveled at the replacement AB scrumhalf's "wonderful kicking technique" as he screwed a ball directly into touch. Didn't they arrest this fool for a pub brawl the other day? Who the feck bailed him out?

Take this video clip here. At around 15 seconds McCaw flops over the ball in the ruck, sealing it off, and not for the first or the last time in the game. But Mr Davies has this to say: "Ah, Richie McCaw's secured it for them, didn't he? He fell very cleverly the other side of the ball..."

Really, Jonathan? Very cleverly? How about very illegally? If anyone can direct me to the petition to have this drunkard removed from the BBC team, I'd be very much obliged.

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Yorffeo November 12, 2012 8:43 pm

"Very illegally" that's for sure, but it seems there are special rules for McCaw anyway.

Other point: it doesn't feel right to see a sponsor on this jersey.

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stroudos November 13, 2012 12:09 am

Maybe a bad day at the office for him, Davies is usually a brilliant commentator, albeit one with red-tinted glasses.

Had to +1 your comment though for this brilliant turn of phrase:
"I can't listen to the Welsh whiner cream his chinos..."

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Jonnie November 14, 2012 1:04 am

"Take this video clip here. At around 15 seconds McCaw flops over the ball in the ruck, sealing it off, and not for the first or the last time in the game. But Mr Davies has this to say: "Ah, Richie McCaw's secured it for them, didn't he? He fell very cleverly the other side of the ball...
Really, Jonathan? Very cleverly? How about very illegally?"

Watching the video I see the Scottish winger tackled, and tries to place the ball.
Several things happen at once here:
1. the Scottish winger attempts to re-gather the ball (illegally)
2. the Scottish blindside "flops" on the ball (illegally)
3. the All Black openside goes for the ball on his feet

Then the All Black openside wrestles the ball away from the Scottish blindside - you could argue that during the process he goes from his footing to leaning on the Blindside - then lands on his side with the ball on the All Black side - which is completely legal.

This is all clearly in the first 10 seconds of the video clip - please explain to me how you cannot see the Scottish players antics, and just what is illegal about what McCaw did.

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katman November 14, 2012 12:14 pm

Yeah, so both Richie and the Scottish centre dived for the ball and both were technically in the wrong. My beef here is with Davies the Immaculate Pillock, and his perpetual stream of consciousjizz for Richie, even when he’s clearly breaking the law. Being a fanboy is one thing. Being both a fanboy and a commentator is another. But being a fanboy, a commentator and completely fecking wrong is just plain unacceptable.

I want Davies out of that commentary box, and I want it yesterday.

P.S. That move there was Richie’s signature move for the entire game – enter from the side and flop down over the ball, turning his back to the opposition. I lost track of how many times he did it. Got blown up just once, but I guess that’s like the story of the thousands of beached starfish – at least the ref made a difference to that one ruck.

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Canadian content November 12, 2012 8:46 pm

Hey pretzel I somehow doubt carter is reading your posts.

Nice on stoker to let Thomson off but that's kinda like an abused wife saying she had it comig and asking the cop to not arrest her husband for hitting her.

Boots to the head, passively or not, warrant a red card and a 4 week ban.

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Pretzel November 12, 2012 11:19 pm

I suppose that was supposed to be "yeh, I'm talking about Carter".... I was not under the illusion that Dan Carter himself was logging into RD and reading everyones posts....

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Canadian content November 13, 2012 5:51 am

And u r underthe illusion that anyone would be interested in your rugby bio so I didn't think dc reading ur posts would be much of a stretch for u

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 1:55 pm

lmao, a rugby bio? so someone requests information and I give it to them? If there was a private message service on this site I'd gladly "PM" them, however there is not, so I use the resources available...

Not sure what I have done to get your knickers in a twist...

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alasdairduncan3 November 12, 2012 9:07 pm

Initially I though he had mistaken the scrum-cap for the ball, but the punch clearly proves that he knew exactly what he was doing.
On the other hand, in rugby terms, what he did seems little more than a "tap on the shoulder" to alert Strokosch that he was in the wrong place, could he kindly move. Yellow is sufficient.

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Al8150 November 12, 2012 10:10 pm

Get a life folks.

Thompson only reminded Alasdair that he was on the wrong side and lying over the ball - it was simply a tap on the head as a warning that he shouldn't be there. A yellow card, to me, was a bit unjust given that, when I started playing rugby in the sixties, he would have been rucked out of there unceremoniously.

This is a contact sport and whilst I would be the first to condemn any "dirty" play this does not fall into that category.

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Frenchie November 12, 2012 10:21 pm

By the way: horrible AIG logo on the AB jersey...I believe now france is the only team not showing any sponsor. Class!

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stroudos November 13, 2012 2:42 pm

Yeah, but you're also the only team with a big cock on your shirts. :)

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Benny November 12, 2012 10:22 pm

It wasn't malicious and didn't result in injury but was very stupid. Looking at some of the links to other foot-to-head incidents, he probably deserves a couple of weeks. Any more than one makes no difference, it's his AB career over.

Could be that the Big Stroker knows it wasn't worth finishing a guys career, so good on him for making a statement. He doesn't look like a battered wife to me.

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Canadian content November 13, 2012 5:54 am

No he doesn't but the game is bigger than he and Thomson and boots to the head simply can't allow be tolerated.

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Canadian content November 13, 2012 5:55 am

Much like domestic violence

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Yannoche November 12, 2012 10:22 pm

Man on the mic daring to say 'That's is silly play', could have added 'murderous too'.

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spicksandspecks November 13, 2012 12:11 am

I know it's for a good cause, but that moustache deserves a yellow card all on its own.

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Benny November 13, 2012 12:14 am

It makes him look like a policeman, which is probably why Hansen, the ex-cop picked him even though he's leaving NZ. Good move

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Moo November 13, 2012 12:17 am

Silly boy! My guess is 4-6 weeks with no fuss/appeal by NZ. The thing that gets me is that these pros even consider that they might get away with anything stupid like this when there are so many camera angles on a match like this - unbelievable.

Incidentally, did anyone see the NZ 12 trying to bend the arm backwards of the Scottish prop early in the game. I think it was after the whistle too. Maybe he's been watching Calum Clark (dirty b*st*rd).

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browner November 13, 2012 3:24 am

Calum Clark ..... seemingly rewarded for his thuggery into the Saxons squad.... he has a screw loose, if the rfu sign off his rehabilitation certificate with '"another incident sonny & you're out" then i will accept.......

he's a time bomb waiting to go off ...

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James November 13, 2012 12:40 am

I don't think there was any malice in it. But it's against the rules so I think a two week ban is legitimate. As he may be leaving NZ to play in Europe next year anyway, It might have the added effect of making that his last game for the AB's. Sad for such a good player to go out in such a way. Either way I think the AB's really missed Kieran Read. With Read, McCaw & Vito as our back three we look pretty damn formidable.

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PiratesRugby November 13, 2012 1:51 am

Yellow card was enough.

The assistant ref was right there and saw the incident in real time. The victim says there was nothing in it.

All Thompson did was let Strokosh know that he could stomp him if he wanted to. There was never any intent to stomp. He restrained himself.

Let's not be too precious.

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Canadian content November 13, 2012 5:57 am

So threats of injury are ok as long as it keeps the game flowing?

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Pretzel November 13, 2012 11:58 pm

CC I seem to recall that you have been playing rugby for quite a few years, I don't understand how you can be so dead against using the boot... most players who played in "that era" killed the ball, lay on the wrong side, slowly rolled away, pulled down a maul, and most ended up with nasty lines across their backs and legs as a result. Stamping on the head is not nice, hence why I find this "borderline" as imo it was not a stamp, so I can understand not wanting that in the game, although I believe that was always disallowed, as was "stamping" itself, raking/rucking/the process of dragging ones studs across an oppositions body was never anything I cried about if I was on the receiving end...

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Leinster Johnny November 13, 2012 3:10 am

Love all the comments about rugby being a hard sport, let's not be too precious and he was lying all over the ball. If MCcaw gets this kind of thing done to him the whole rugby world goes mental despite him always lying all over the ball and illegally killing opposition ball. But because it's only an average Scottish player it's no big deal. Pathetic!

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Leinster Johnny November 13, 2012 3:11 am

Ps it doesn't matter if it's intentional or not or if it does damage or not. It's still a stamp to the head- bottom line.

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browner November 13, 2012 3:25 am

it wasn't a stamp, & yes it does matter, read LAW 10.5

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browner November 13, 2012 3:42 am

Just looked at the time of this post - i'm writing in the future !! WOW

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Leinster Johnny November 13, 2012 8:15 am

Browner, yet another All Black fan who claims nothing in it or rugby is going soft but wails like a banshee if anyone even looks at Sir Richie in the wrong way.

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rugbyfan07 November 13, 2012 8:15 am

What a joke... This was a foot to the back of the head and made about as much contact as the (south Africans) head butt that received a 2 week ban. If this was a Scottish foot on a All Black head, all of NZ would be screaming. This should 2+ weeks, and what does it matter if he's retiring at the end of the tour???? All Blacks and their fans are whiners......

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Jeri November 13, 2012 8:39 am

Massive respect to Strokosch for supporting the oppositional player. As for Thompson, thought the ban was fair. Whatever he was thinking at the time, the result was he looked like he kicked a player in the head, what else can the disciplinary committee do?

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Brad November 13, 2012 8:51 am

"Thompson was looking frustrated?" ...what a joke. Everybody is frustrated with MCcaw illegally killing the ball but that doesn't mean you get less of a sentence for foul play. Honestly, these kiwis are living in lala land!

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Frenchy_1 November 13, 2012 8:54 am

That is why I hate the New Zealand team and their support.....they have the most bias glasses on. I think it's because they are small country, like short man!

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Israel November 13, 2012 9:53 am

I find it pathetic how people like you, rugbyfan07 and Leinster Johnny judge a country/supporters on a few idiots on the internet or by what you hear from the media. I've encountered many biased french supporters, Irish supporters, English, Aussie etc but they don't speak for an entire country and most real rugby fans don't judge a country or supporters on a few bad people.

On the incident: I don't see why players these days think they can get away with silly things like this, there's cameras everywhere but i actually thought Tamati Ellison's MMA type move in the 1st half was worse, plus it was after the whistle and nowhere near the ball. I'm suprised that nobody's said anything about it.

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Moo November 13, 2012 2:50 pm

I did; see my post further up. I mentioned the cameras too. Hang on... Are you the little voice inside my head?

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raoulito November 13, 2012 1:59 pm

"I play Saturdays the same as everyone else." Are we the only one to play Sundays in France?
You all are wrong in this topic :
1/ The only thing that M Thompson did wrong is that on this case he totaly forgot to do the " you c'an't see me " sign so he got catch by the assista,t of M Garces
2/ Guys the ref is french, he can't be wrong ... Why? I won't answer stupid question...
3/ There 's a kind of logic to see Alistair defend Adam, and that's absolutely not about the rules or interpretablablabla. 1St of December 2012, Twickenham.
I'm sure that Scotts Welshs and Irish are with me : We want the best team on the pitch this day and so does Alistair ^^ .
Sorry for the poor english, i hope that evrybody will recognize humor
Ps : We are the best , at least in whine and handball

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Guy November 13, 2012 3:19 pm

Actually: we play sundays too. Only the top leaugue plays on saturday so that we can face their reserves in the lower leaugues on sunday ;-)

That was one excellent post. It brings a whole new dimension to the term 'French humor'.

PS: you guys are also awesome at organising a proper strike ;-)

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stroudos November 13, 2012 2:48 pm

Brilliant post! Especially points 2 and 3!

I assume you mean best in "wine"? New Zealand have everyone beat at "whine"... ;)

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raoulito November 13, 2012 2:57 pm

yes red red wiiiinnne !!!

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Gonzoman November 13, 2012 5:16 pm

It struck me as I was reading through the posts that people are comparing this to the Etzbeth headbutt...Not a valid comparison, I say.

Headbutting is NEVER legal, no matter where it makes contact or where the ball is.

Using your feet in a ruck to work the ball to a playable position is still very much legal, as long as it's judged to be a legitimate attempt to play the ball, and it's not on the head.

The only thing that made Thompson's action illegal was where he made contact. I agree, boots to the head is dangerous, but it's a far cry from smashing your head into someone's face when you're both standing up not playing rugby!

Yellow for Thompson is deserved, but to compare it to Etzbeth's headbutt is harsh.

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Hooker and Ref November 14, 2012 2:54 pm

I have been playing competitive senior rugby for over 20 years now and I referee at quite a high level.

I do miss the "good 'ol days" of rugby where one may "assist" a player who is on the floor interferring with play.

But. And this is a big one, there is a massive difference between rucking someone out of the way and intentionally putting ones studs onto the head/neck area.

What Thompson did, did nothing to free up the ball. Malacious or not, what he did could have had serious knock on effects.

It's the same reason JP Doyle should not be refereeing in the Premiership. He keeps missing dangerous tackles which cause others to take the law into their own hands/retaliate/or even believe that they are allowed to make similar tackles.

The end

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Jimmy November 14, 2012 9:44 pm

Ritchie definitely does push the rules as does every decent no.7 in rugby. It's part of the job description. However watch the clip again. He comes in from the last players foot so is onside & goes for the ball at the same time as the Scottish player. He's legal as he's still on his feet until Franks comes & knocks him off his feet. By this stage other players have joined the scramble for the ball & Ritchie is lying parallel to the touch line on his back & as play continues the ball has made it's way to the other side. No illegal play here from RMcCaw.

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joeythelemur November 14, 2012 11:27 pm

Well, 1 week ban. Seems a bit light, I expected 2 or 3, but what do we expect with the way the current judiciary is set up.

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SImon November 15, 2012 8:27 pm

to be honest he barely puts his boot on strokosch's scrum cap.... looks down and realises what hes doing and removes it pretty quickly...... yellow card was enough me thinks but i suppose the one week ban is fair enough to ram it home to players that the head is a no go area.................. its obvious there is no malicious intent there.... if ther was thompson wouldnt have moved his boot away like that ... hed have just kept going...... get over it and playon!! When you see some of the cheap shots that the bokkes pulled against the irsh team and didnt even get noticied it should put this in perspective!!!

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