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Monday, January 21, 2013

Antoine Battut cited after straight red card for knee against Munster

Racing Metro forward Antoine Battut was shown a straight red card during the Heineken Cup Round 6, Pool 1 match against Munster at Thomond Park on Sunday. He and three other players have been cited following an eventful weekend of rugby.

Battut was send off by referee Wayne Barnes in the 5th minute of the match for an alleged strike with the knee on an opponent, which is in direct contravention of Law 10.4(a).

Law 10.4(a) – Striking or Punching: A player must not strike an opponent with a fist or arm including the elbow, shoulder, head or knees

Robert Williams of Wales has been appointed as the independent Judicial Officer for the hearing, which will take place in Dublin on Thursday, 24 January.

Under the IRB Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4(a) striking with the knee carries the following sanction entry points: Low End: 3 weeks; Mid Range: 8 weeks; Top End: 12 to 52 weeks.

Three other players cited

- Toulon's Delon Armitage was yellow carded for an alleged tip tackle
- Rovigo's Jean Francois Montauriol is alleged to have trampled/stamped on a Perpignan player
- Rovigo centre Joe Van Niekerk was shown a red card for an alleged tip tackle

All four players will convene in Dublin on 24 January for their respective discplinary hearings.

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:08 pm | View Comments (57)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 57 comments

ollie January 21, 2013 11:19 pm

Blatant red card offense. Good clear refereeing... Done and dusted...

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Allthetimref January 21, 2013 11:19 pm

If a player is red carded then he is not cited.Citing applies where a player is NOT given a red card during the game but the citing officer feels he should have been.

You really should get the basics right.

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DrG January 25, 2013 3:47 am

Why? Because an automatic investigation is done into any red card?

I only question this because sometimes a referee may give a red card yet the offence may not need any further punishment.

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:41 am

Yes All reds have automatic hearings. Your second paragraph is correct. This site and the press / media should take the time to get their "facts" right.

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Jonathan Sayer January 21, 2013 11:22 pm

Another horrific call by Barnes. Hardly even touched him! Utter rubbish.

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:42 am

Clear red. Aim a knee at a player and your going (if seen). Good spot by Barnes.

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Demosys January 21, 2013 11:28 pm

Red card Oo ????? Yellow is ok. Thank you Mr Barnes for destroying the game so early, another bad call your this referee.
And what about the Murray's punch on Descons. Not even a penalty ????

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:44 am

Clear red. Perhaps the second incident was not seen? It happens.

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joe January 21, 2013 11:29 pm

the correct decision but i doubt it hurt o'donnell as much as he was letting on since he was wearing a scrum cap aswell...peter o'mahony could be better of as a soccer player with his theatrics too

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RedYeti January 21, 2013 11:30 pm

Didn't look like his knee got anywhere near the head on the second replay

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Rob January 21, 2013 11:42 pm

On top of the fact that it was a blatant knee to the head and therefore should be an automatic red, the victim was unable to defend himself or get out of the way as he was pinned down in a ruck. Mr Barnes was exactly right. What is there to debate?

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Ali Dean January 21, 2013 11:46 pm

It's the intent that counts. If he's going to do it there and miss he will probably do it again when he's not looking.
That shouldn't be in the sport of rugby. Good call. Good refereeing.

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browner January 24, 2013 6:59 pm

Show me any law where a referee can penalise an "intended foul play" action.

Lets stick to 'actuals', not potentials, maybes, what if's etc.....

Lats week I intended to make a try saving tackle...I missed, but maybe I should be awarded it !!!


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DrG January 25, 2013 3:48 am

LMAO, if only I could be rewarded for the things I INTENDED on doing. Then again, there's a couple things I have intended on doing in some games which could land me in hot water.

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MOL January 25, 2013 6:33 am

He quite clearly connected with the Munster players head in by replays. Red card was the correct action!, being a Leinster man I was up for Racing metro, but that being said it's good that a clear case of thuggery was punish harshly.

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MOL January 25, 2013 6:32 am

He quite clearly connected with the Munster players head in by replays. Red card was the correct action!, being a Leinster man I was up for Racing metro, but that being said it's good that a clear case of thuggery was punish harshly.

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:46 am

He tried to knee him. That is not mere "intent" but an actual attempt. Same as throwing a punch, you've thrown it end of land or not. Tough that you're not very good at being a thug. Try to do it and I'll send you off.

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Ali Dean January 25, 2013 2:21 pm

That's a completely different situation.

If someone takes a clear swing at you and misses they should still get at least the bin.
We keep on saying "Rugby is a game for brutes played by gentlemen" how can we keep using that if people go around attempting to knee someone in the head...

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KoroDogg January 30, 2013 7:20 pm

Great call If he got away with this, he would have just done it again whether he made contact of not. Cheap shot player.... don't need them!!!

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doyler January 21, 2013 11:52 pm

brave (considering the match was only 5 minutes old!) but perfectly correct decision. And, demosys, Wayne Barnes didn't destroy the game, Antoine Battut did. He left Barnes with NO option. Deliberate Knee to Head, straight Red, no option. And, Johnathan Sayer, you say he 'hardly even touched him'. So you admit that HE DID MAKE CONTACT. So the red card stands. Or should he only be red carded if the player is knocked unconscious?

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doyler January 21, 2013 11:53 pm

But the whole stadium was bemused as nobody had a CLUE what had happened!!!

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browner January 24, 2013 7:42 pm

Then the whole stadium should look at the referees 'secondary signal"

Primary signal = Penalty to Munster
Secondary Signal [twice] = Knee lifted [& then a tap on the head for extra francias clarity]

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No9scrum January 21, 2013 11:55 pm

Not wanting to start a debate here, but it looks like he didn't hit him at all

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beavis January 21, 2013 11:57 pm

I can count the times I have commented on posts here on one hand, mostly because I agree with what has been said. But this red card is ridiculous. Yes, knee to the head is a red card. But at least make it a knee that is going to cause some damage - that was a pitiful attempt. I am against that kind of violence in general but if you are going to be the idiot who does it, make it count. Still, right call from Barnes as he couldn't see whether he connected or not.

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DrG January 25, 2013 3:55 am

I sort of agree and disagree. I agree because I personally do not see where the knee made contact with a head, maybe I need my eyes tested but I can't see it.

I disagree however because what you're suggesting is to introduce a varying scale on which referee's have to judge certain forces. For instance, Berrick Barnes appears to have a bit of a glass jaw, so lets say you could throw a "weak punch" at him and cause a knockout, yet throw a "bloody great haymaker" at Bakkies Botha which may tickle his chin... Now when you compare the two punches it could be said that the "bloody great haymaker" may have KILLED Berrick Barnes, but because it tickled Meathead Botha who suffered no ill effects then it should go unpunished?

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Facepalm January 21, 2013 11:57 pm

Absolutely nothing. It's so frustrating to see the Munster player screaming in pain as if he's in agony. I understand it's the Heineken Cup but that's not an excuse. He's screaming so loud it's picked up by Barnes' mic.

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Facepalm January 21, 2013 11:58 pm

haha also good to see Armitage back on the citing list. I thought it had been a while.

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doyler January 21, 2013 11:58 pm

But look where Barnes was standing. Perfect View.

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alasdairduncan3 January 22, 2013 12:12 am

The strike that most of you will have seen is only the second of two. If you look closely at 1.21, the initial strike looks harder and shows that there was definite intent. Great Call Wayne Barnes.

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DrG January 25, 2013 3:58 am

Firstly, intent has nothing to do with it.

Secondly that FIRST STRIKE you're pointing out at 1:21 is the Number 5 and NOT the number 6 (the guy who got a red card.

So if that is the action which you feel is worthy of a red card then that is TERRIBLE work by Wayne Barnes as he red carded the wrong player!

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:52 am

Oh dear Miss de Point!

Think about it!

1; I intend to kick you. I don't get the chance to do so. So I had intent but no one will every know.

2; I intend to kick you. I try to do so. People see it an the ref deals with it.

3; I intend to kick you. I succeed. You are injured. The ref deals with it.

If your child tries to knee / hit another child do you ignore it if he misses? Of course not.

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DrG January 25, 2013 7:29 pm

But what I am saying is that INTENT has nothing to do with it... Rugby laws are quite clear on things like this, players are punished for "Striking" not "intending to strike and following up on the intentions".

I understand what you're getting at, and I'm not sure whether our disagreement, is merely down to terminology. I remember when BOD took a swing at someone and missed them, I'm not sure if the referee had a word with him for doing it, but you cannot red card a player for TRYING to knee someone and missing. That being said, I watched a clip provided by chrismtl below and from the replay a 14:00 the knee is much more clear.

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daluaine January 22, 2013 12:15 am

After watching the clip many times, it is difficult to see a red card offence. Not sure what the scrum-capped player is screaming about; possibly more damage could/would have been caused by studs on the head of the number 13. However, pretty stupid thing to do after the whistle had blown. As always, you want to give the referee the benefit of the doubt as they see it only once and in real time. But with the luxury of the replay ... a verbal warning only for me; no card, yellow or red.

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Reality January 22, 2013 12:42 am

This guy is like someone on America's Dumbest Criminals. Right in front of the referee, no reason at all to do it, and then he didn't even do it properly! After watching their incompetence against Saracens, and now this, my opinion of Racing Metro is very low.

I wish O'Donnell could be banned too for play-acting. Gets the knee, takes a second to realise he can pretend it was worse than it was, starts screaming, and then looks at the referee to see if he's noticed. I can't believe they're through and Leinster aren't.

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lambchop1234 January 22, 2013 1:09 am

Very clear refereeing from Wayne Barnes and straight to the point as well. Good decision and red card certainly deserved!

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DaveyJake January 22, 2013 1:22 am

I see two things here: a pathetic attempt of a knee to the head and acting as a result. Does it deserve a card? Yes. Does the card need to be red? No.

The strike does not appear to be deliberate. In my opinion, Battut probably wanted to throw the knee but stopped himself midway because he realized what could happen. But is he an idiot for even thinking of throwing a knee, especially in front of Barnes? ABSOLUTELY!

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Ottawa Rugger January 22, 2013 2:37 am

Hmm. I don't even think it looks deliberate.

By the way RD, I think you mistakenly put Joe van Niekerk as playing for Rovigo. Surely it's supposed to be Toulon?

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Frontier January 24, 2013 3:32 pm

This is another younger Joe van Niekerk, playing for Rovigo.

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xxxwookie January 22, 2013 1:09 pm

Simple rule - striking with the knee is a red card offence. If you're going to be that bloody stupid, don't do it at the head because it will always be considered worse.

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xxxwookie January 22, 2013 1:10 pm

@allthetimeref (because it keeps coming up with a syntax error when I click reply)

If you cite someone you summon them to answer for their act. A red card results in an automatic citation, but that player is still cited. Just for your clarity

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 9:54 am

No he is not. Citing is done by the citing officer. The end result is the same a disciplinary hearing . But they are NOT cited.

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All The Time Ref January 25, 2013 10:20 am

Here's the IRB regulation. I suggest you read it:

Regulation 17.9.2 Citing Commissioners may cite Players for an act(s) of Foul Play where such act(s) may have been detected by the referee or assistant referee and which may have been the subject of referee action.

A Citing Commissioner may not cite a Player for an act(s) of Foul Play
in respect of which the Player has been Ordered Off {save where the Ordering Off is as a result of two yellow cards. }

A Player in that situation may also be cited for the act(s) of Foul Play which resulted in either or both yellow card(s).

The middle bit is quite clear.

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xxxwookie January 25, 2013 8:43 pm

but a "citation" by it's simplest definition is merely a summons. Whether or not it comess from the citing officer. The red card itself is an automatic citation - simple definition.

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chrismtl January 22, 2013 4:43 pm

To all the people who said that his knee never made contact, I was watching this same feed live, and about 2 or 3 minutes after the end of this clip, they go back to look at it again from a different angle, and you can CLEARLY see his knee hit the guys head. After watching this clip live, I was left also scratching my head because the last replay makes it look like he missed. I can, however, assure you that he made clear contact with his knee to the head of the opponent. The other big thing is that it is about 2-3 seconds AFTER the whistle. This was the right call. No place for cheapshots in the game.

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chrismtl January 22, 2013 4:54 pm

Here is the video I was talking about. Skip to 14:00.

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mikewill7 January 22, 2013 5:44 pm

What is happening to the game I played and loved, players and refs are turning into a bunch of drama queens, it's becoming like soccer!!!!

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Colombes January 22, 2013 6:26 pm

Red card for the intent, more than for the damages. Barnes seemed really sure of him to kill the match at the 5th minute. On another hand, racing must work their discipline basics
Ps: shame for the munster player who makes the soccer player combo: cry, hands on the head, a look to the ref...

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Conor January 22, 2013 6:57 pm

Harsh. I would have given a yellow (I'm a ref btw)

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curates_egg January 22, 2013 7:18 pm

About the tenth time I've seen this now. There is another angle that is slightly better that is not in this clip...but I have still to see the knee to the head. Could someone who has seen it give me a definitive time for the alleged incident? Or a better clip. I can see him clumsily dropping the knee but it looks like its to DOC's back. Then you see Tommy O'Donnell writhing.

One thing's for certain, it totally changed the match and guaranteed Munster a place in the quarter finals. Whether it was Barnes or Battut that was wrong is irrelevant on that point.

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chrismtl January 23, 2013 2:03 am

I posted the link and time in a post...

Here is the video I was talking about. Skip to 14:00.

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dixy January 24, 2013 10:07 am

seriously check that video they even slow it down.... he knees the player with a scrum cap.
Striking red justified

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themull January 24, 2013 3:10 pm

Knee to the head....Red card completely justified, even though it guaranteed Munster a place in the quarters ahead of Leinster :(...

Anybody claiming this is not a red card is an idiot plain and simple...he knees a defenseless man in the head..I'm all for fisticuffs and a few punches being merely a yellow at most, but you cant allow men to go around dropping knees in rucks...Sounds like people have sour grapes on here, and don't like the fact that Munster got through....

On a side note, I do believe they need to restructure the HC group stages...Maybe have less groups/less teams..At the moment only two second place teams make it through, meaning if you draw a group with some of the weaker teams you have a huge advantage of making it through to the knockout stages...

I know I'm probably biased here butlLook at the Leinster this year for an example..They put it right up to Clermont twice, most likely eventual champions, while missing 3 of their most dangerous players, yet they are demoted to the amlin cup while teams who got by mostly based on the strength of the group they were drawn proceed...Even if they were to have playoffs amongst all of the second placed teams to decide who joins the group winners in the quarters..

Here's hoping Ulster pull it off this year, but smart money on Toulon or Clermont..

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browner January 24, 2013 7:28 pm

This really is a no brainer .............

idiotic "foul play" 1.5secs after the whistle had stopped playand under the referee's nose

The victim, red 5 & red1 all reacted in unison, so you have to accept the evidence is conclusive

A 100% cheap shot into the back of the head of a player lying prone & unprotected

but crucially watch WB eyes, he sees the kneeing, he looks straight at the perpetrator and immediately goes for his whistle & pocket WITHOUT LOOKING at any of the red players [or their gestures]

Card colour can be debated, but If I was a fan who'd paid to travel to watch my team I would be furious with my player's lack of control/discipline.

No 'first 10 minute protection 'period' IMO

Well done WB [again]

and they were

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Guest January 27, 2013 3:48 pm

Some news regarding this incident and others mentioned in the article.

- Battut has been suspended 2 weeks. Battut pleaded guilty, and it was found that "minimal contact" had been made. (So it's 3 weeks for the Low End offence, minus 1 week for the guilty plea and the good conduct during the hearing.)

- Armitage has been suspended 8 weeks for his tip tackle. He pleaded not guilty...

- Joe van Niekerk of Rovigo has been suspended 5 weeks for his tip tackle. He pleaded guilty.

- Montauriol has been found not guilty, and is not suspended.

Source : ERC website.

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Frenchie February 14, 2013 8:21 pm

Ridiculous call by the ref. And never the ref refers to the knee, only to the fact that Battut used his head. On both angles (knee or head) i don't see much violence there.

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