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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two players red carded in Georgia vs Canada mass brawl

Georgia upset Canada in Tbilisi last weekend, winning 19-15 but all everyone has been speaking about since was this wild fight. You may have seen some of it already, but here's a slightly better version and of course, it is now archived in Big Hits & Dirty Play.

Over 15000 fans were on hand at the National Stadium to witness Georgia beating Canada for the second time ever, tying up their record of having each won twice against one another.

The Lelos haven't lost at their National Stadium fortress in ten years. Their last defeat at the intimidating ground was against Romania in 2003, and before that to the same team in 2000.

Shortly before halftime chaos erupted as flanker Viktor Kolelishvili high-tackled flyhalf Liam Underwood, which Canada's Tyler Ardron took exception to, and the fists started flying.

Mamuke Gorgodze, known as one of the hardest men in world rugby, could be seen apologising to referee Lourens van der Merwe for the tackle but as soon as he saw what was going on, he set off.

Everyone joined in, and when it was all over, both Kolelishvili and Ardron were red carded.

"We won the match but I am not completely satisfied. We made a lot of mistakes in the first half. We could have played better," said Milton Haig, Georgian national team head coach.

"As for the incident in the first half, I know, Georgians are fighters but rugby lovers would not like it. It does not happen at international level. We must learn how to be patient and if Viktor had been patient, perhaps, he would have (only) been sin-binned."

Canada dropped a place in the world rankings from 14th to 15th, while Georgia gained 1.2 points but are still in 16th position. They'll earn 0.30 points if they beat the USA this coming weekend.

Posted at 12:00 pm | 57 comments

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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 57 comments

spicksandspecks November 14, 2013 3:28 pm

They really have to get the TMO involved in this and send more players off. The citing commissioner also has to hand out bans to all players who were punching on, not just the initiators. That a mass brawl like that only ends with 2 players sent off is ridiculous. Both Canada and Georgia have form on brawls and the IRB needs to send a clear message that it is unacceptable.

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Guest November 14, 2013 3:43 pm

Can someone point out a moment in this fight that shows Ardron deserved his red card.
To me it is shocking that the officials balanced discipline between the two teams.

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Guest November 14, 2013 3:46 pm

I don't know who Ardron is (it must be the number eight of Canada, right?) The moment when he deserved a red card was when he went after Georgia's number 6

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Georgia November 14, 2013 4:39 pm

Yes, when he chased the Georgian number 6

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TotesMcGoates November 14, 2013 9:59 pm

Probably when he crossed the offside line and started punching on with the opposition...

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Bobby Angell November 14, 2013 3:46 pm

Couldn't agree more. Has me incensed - so many dirty hits from the Georgians. 14 and 11 specifically (typical wingers)

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guest November 18, 2013 5:29 pm

I have no idea where you saw number 14, he was injured early in the match and was substituted.

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Eddie-g November 14, 2013 3:55 pm

You gotta feel for the officials in a situation like this. Clearly, there's a lot of blame to go around, and they could probably justifiably send off half a dozen players from each side.

But they have broader responsibilities, people have come to watch a game of rugby, so sending off who they felt was the worst offender on each side is about the best they can do in the circumstances. The IRB should be making itself useful now, enough of these guys are professional players so multi-week bans will hurt them, and they deserve such bans.

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ConnachtMan November 14, 2013 4:02 pm

Rock em Sock Em Rugby!

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Andy November 14, 2013 4:06 pm

Let me remind everyone that out of two games the Georgians have won against Canada Georgia has started brawls in both...

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Guest November 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Do you agree that there often are situations in rugby when you make a high tackle? The referee stopped the game, and Georgia's number 6 just stood up, he did not start the fight. He punched when the Canadian Number 8 chased him, anyone would do so when someone chases you.

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matt November 15, 2013 11:20 am

Whilst I agree that the this was not entirely Georgia's fault, it was the Georgian player that turned some pushing and posturing into fighting. 'Anyone would do so when someone chases you' is nonsense, if this were true there would be dozens of red cards every weekend.

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Jimothy November 17, 2013 9:18 am

Rubbish, just because someone grabs you doesn't mean you have to start throwing punches. If the Georgian player hadn't done that I believe it may have only been a yellow card. How often in international rugby do we see players running up to their opposite number and nothing actually happening?

Technically the Georgian did 'start' the fight as he threw the first punch.

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guest November 14, 2013 4:14 pm

Yet again it's the georgians that are involved in a fight... These guys have to learn this makes the sport look bad, not only for the outsiders but also for youth who just start playing rugby and they see this happening. The IRB needs to get a grip on teams like these. Only a few months ago the georgians slapped the sh*t out of belgium for no reason once again.. IRB, take some measures plz!

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Will November 14, 2013 4:18 pm

Red 6: The high tackle itself was a red-card offense. I know rugby is a tough sport, and tackles are suppose to have some grit and grime on them, but this tackle could have seriously injured the guy. Swing arm around the neck. Then he gets up, back pedals, and throws the punches.
White 8: Not sure why Canada 8 got carded at all. Sticking up for his player, getting punched, and throwing no punches is a red card offense?
Red 9,11- What a bunch of yellow pussies. You see 9 throw three punches, all behind the players he is swinging at. And as soon as he is done, he runs away to find someone else not looking. Same for 11.

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Luka November 14, 2013 4:48 pm

Through the first punch was shot by Georgia 6, you can see that the Canadian 8 chased him, so that's why the fight started. if the Canadian did not chase him, he would be red or yellow carded and the fight would not take place.

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Reality November 14, 2013 5:17 pm

That always happens though when someone illegally harms another player. People always grab them and push them out of understandable frustration. If the Canadian guy had punched the Georgian 6, then ok, he was defending himself after being punched, but to say that he was justified to start throwing punches because an opposition player was coming towards him is a bit much. And it's not like he did just enough to defend himself - he was absolutely beating the head off the guy, after he threw the first punch.

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dema November 14, 2013 6:47 pm

Don't be ridiculous - Canadian 8 went to punch him but could not because Georgian 6 grabbed his hands in time. Later he is seen to throw a red player to the ground. Canadian 6 diving on top of two red players who are lying on the floor, while delivering a huge hit with his fist. Don't say there's only one side to blame.

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guest November 15, 2013 9:31 am

@ Dema: you are obviously georgian or something because you are not objective...

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:27 am

Well I'm not Georgian and I say Canada #8 is to blame for the entire episode.
Bad tackle by Georgia 6 but the ref blew up and was going to penalise him - my guess he'd have shown a yellow for the tackle.
Canada #8 waded in acting all Billy Big Bollocks and was the chief instigator of the fight.
Personally I was quite pleased to see him handed his arse (couple of nice quick digs by red 6).

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Doug December 14, 2013 12:34 am

Once again I am forced to inform you of your stupidity. Are you Tongan by any chance? Still butthurt over that fight between our sides in June?

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:29 am

Will - surely getting up and back-pedalling is a none-aggressive act. His body language at that point to me showed that he immediately regretted the tackle. It was apologetic behaviour. Canada 8 was the one steaming in and making a fight of it.

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matt November 15, 2013 11:23 am

There is a big difference between confrontation and fist fighting, and only one player on that pitch started any fighting

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stroudos November 15, 2013 9:58 pm

I dislike the posturing and confronting more than the fighting. All that getting in the oppo's grill and puffing your chest out is far better suited to the football pitch.

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matt November 17, 2013 1:07 pm

Perhaps, but it isn't illegal, and it isn't dangerous.

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Guy November 14, 2013 4:50 pm

a) Good to hear the crowd disaprove of this behaviour
b) Tackle should have been red in itself (imho)
c) Canadians should have let justice take it's course instead of intervening themselves
d) In a mass brawl like this, the ref can't do anything else but punish both teams.

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DanKnapp November 15, 2013 7:19 am

Agreed, badly handled by the Canadian player. Ref was surely sending the Georgian off, but by getting involved he cost his team that one-man advantage.

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TP November 14, 2013 4:56 pm

well it was clear that after the high tackle he was the one who started the fight, so yeah, he deserved a red. What he should have done was leave it alone, the high tackle was going to earn Georgia's #6 at least a yellow. Instead Canada's 8 started a fight and left it up to the refs to sort out, which is always a crap shoot. Should Georgia have had others sent off? Maybe, but the two obvious one's were Georgia's 6 (for the tackle and throwing punches) and Canada's 8 (for starting the fight).

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Doug November 14, 2013 5:28 pm

The Red Card against Ardron was reversed by the IRB half the conversation in this thread is a moot point.

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:30 am

Well that is a terrible decision. He was the one who bloody started it all.

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Doug December 14, 2013 12:30 am

Sorry for being so late but it was the right call, you are an idiot.

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Atilla November 14, 2013 5:39 pm

Why am I not surprised Koleshvili got carded?

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joe November 14, 2013 6:24 pm

number 11 has got to get a hefty ban one punch when a person is defenceless is bad enough but 5 or 6 is scummy!!

also did anyone else think the maple leaves on the canadian jerseys were blood? haha

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zura November 14, 2013 6:27 pm

rac vart qartvelebi vart gorgia

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dave November 14, 2013 7:33 pm

the georgians have bigger and stronger guys but the canadians don't give a fuck if they get beat up, they wont take shit, I like that mentality

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Disappointed Canukiw November 14, 2013 7:59 pm

This is the second mass brawl for Canada this year (first one against Tonga in the mid-year international window)... its just not good enough.

I hate to say it but someone needs to learn these Canadian boys to take the dirty hits like men and let the refs sort out the scum.. Koleshvili would have been binned (minimum) and probably sited for at least a couple weeks for a dangerous tackle. Now Canada has a citing of their own and will lose one of their starting forwards for an important game this weekend. Not to mention a drop in world ranking.

I totally agree that its important to be staunch and to back up your team mates when you need to but Ardon crossed the line and blew it for his whole team.

I really hope Kieran Crowley can sort his boys out and get Canada firing again. Really sad to see my national team dropping a game to the Gorillans... I mean Georgians :P (bleh pukana)

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Roman November 14, 2013 8:05 pm

I dont see any sucker punches here, everyone deserved their blody nose. Not a good play but jesus, this is rugby, no place for pussies.

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Newfie November 14, 2013 8:08 pm

is it just me, or do georgia always end up in a brawl? We do as well but i feel as though every highlight of a georgian team is a fight

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:32 am

Myopic, xenophobic and retarded.

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Lad November 14, 2013 9:42 pm

lets not forget those players are not ballet dancers, the game is tough itself and no surprise fights take place. It is true Georgian do fight a lot in official games but those fights are always provoked by opposite teams e.g. Canada . For Georgians rugby and any other sport is more than a game, its about their pride, honour and self-respect therefore no one gives two fucks if they are to get red or banned! and one more thing do not ever start fighting if u got no nuts for that.

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bnations November 14, 2013 11:25 pm

You know, if everyone that you play provokes you, then you might want to start looking at the common denominator. I'll give you a hint, it's you.

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matt November 15, 2013 11:27 am

So much time for this /\ bnations, everyone is passionate and considers it more than a game, but it is almost always the Georgians that are in these videos.

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michael1 November 14, 2013 10:03 pm

the referee got this perfect in my opinion and had no other option. the Georgia 6 probably would have received a yellow if no one else got involved. the Canadian 8 is rightfully angry and frustrated however the Georgia 6 immediately moved away from the incident to be chased by the Canadian 8 who's intentions were clear in that he was trying to attack and punch the Georgia 6, causing the brawl to occur. YOU CANT TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS. for this he deserved a red card. the Georgia 6 also then deserved a red for retaliating and landing several punches on the Canada 8. the officials cant then pick out and send off several players as too much is going on to notice everything, therefore making the right decision by sending off the two instigators. they can then include this in their match report and it can be dealt with by a board of sighting commisioners

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:34 am

Best comment on the entire thread so far.

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rugbyaddict87 November 14, 2013 11:48 pm

Think the Canadians came of 2nd best there lol

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:37 am

Definitely. My favourite moment is around 0:17 where the Canadian centre takes a long run-up to get involved - he just disappears out of shot then as the camera pans round he's on his arse being dragged about like a human dustbin.

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HeavyHooker November 15, 2013 12:53 am

Sorry people, take a look at time 1:42 to 1:48, Canadian player runs at the #6 - which is natural and happens with most dirty hits, but does not punch, the #6 punches first. Had the Canadian not been swarmed at that time (there are 8 Georgians against the only Canadian and three of them are punching) nothing probably would have happened. Also, Georgian #6 was not walking away, he was just getting up from the hit and stepped back when he saw a Canadian was pissed. This pushing happens a lot in other games but the Georgians escalated it with an 8 on 1. Cowards

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dave November 15, 2013 1:36 am

these cheap fights always happen in rugby
coming from a canadian when I see 2 guys going at it why cant the other players leave it
maybe just step in if one guy has lost and the other guy is still beating him up
there should be a code of behaviour towards this despite the fact that fighting is illegal
fighting is techinally illegal in hockey but you don't see 2 or more guys beating up on one guy, and you don't see someone getting clobbered in the face while lying on his back on the ice
rugby players have so much punching power that they should know better than to do these cheap punches,
you can seriously fuck someone up

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stroudos November 15, 2013 10:42 am

"take a look at time 1:42 to 1:48, Canadian player runs at the #6", who at that moment is retreating and looks immediately apologetic for the dirty hit he's just made. (By the way, the tackle was indisputably dangerous but it looks more like a misjudgement than a malicious hit to me). Why is Canada #8 running at Georgia #6 with his hands raised? Is it to ask for his telephone number? Georgian bloke is entitled to interpret this as threatening behaviour and, although he shouldn't start throwing punches I think he can argue it was in self-defence.

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HeavyHooker November 16, 2013 1:48 am

Stroudos, I expect this stupid remark from you. The Canadian is not swinging and has only grabbed his shirt before the Georgian takes the first swing. I suppose you agree with an 8 on 1 also?

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stroudos November 16, 2013 6:16 am

"Stroudos, I expect this stupid remark from you." - Really? Well that is disappointing to hear.

I disagree with your interpretation of the incident though. I think if you run at someone with your hands up at boxing guard height, that other person has a right to think that you're about to punch him, so to get his retaliation in first is quite acceptable.

Anyway, if you look closely at the replays, I think you'll find Canada 8 did throw a punch right at the beginning, however it was a shit punch and landed on Georgia 6's chest.

I also think he would have thrown more punches, but Georgia 6 (not his team-mates who had no right to get involved) had his arms trapped and kept him at arm's length - good defence by him.

No, I don't agree with 8 on 1. All the more lamentable in this case, as Red 6 was clearly capable of handling things on his own.

But then, I don't *agree* with any fighting on the rugby pitch. Personally I've almost always managed to stay out of any of that bullshit. However, when it happens, superior technical fighting ability should not, in my opinion, automatically mean you're labelled the aggressor.

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Canadian content November 15, 2013 2:34 am

As a Canadian I have to say I'd be disappointed if Ardron had reacted in any other way to the cheap shot tackle. He was captaining for the first time and saw his young teammate get laid out with a vicious, dangerous tackle. As a teammate, let alone the captain, you'd feel compelled to stand up for your mate.

Can you imagine Richie Mccaw watching DC get clotheslines and doing nothing?

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Guy November 15, 2013 10:32 am

Kiwi's are way smarter than that! They manage to start a scuffle after a legitimite tackle on Carter and get a SA player yellow carded.

So obviously they do handle these sort of situations differently ;-)

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katman November 15, 2013 9:25 am

The Georgians need a long break from international rugby. They need to think about whether they want to play the same game as everyone else, or whether they want to start a brawl in every game at the slightest provocation. Because it seems they're mostly there for the fight.

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finedisregard November 15, 2013 1:46 pm

And you're South African?

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Guest November 15, 2013 6:54 pm

I am a Canadian rugby fan and can see both sides of this. Yes, that was a brutal tackle by Georgia #6 that fully warranted a red. Yes, Ardron #8 for Canada was wrong to go after Georgia's flanker when the penalty was inevitably to come, which warranted a yellow if not a red. However, after that the Georgia's followed what seems to be a growing trend over there in rugby and all began throwing fists. It would have been impossible at that point not to begin returning some blows on the part of the Canadians, which they seemed to do a sub-par job of.
One thing us as Canadians have to remember before judging the Georgians too harshly on their part in this is that in our Canadian rugby history as an emerging nation, we too were known and continue to be known as gritty and sometimes dirty. It does not excuse the behaviour, there is no place for it, its just to show we are no saints on the pitch either.
All said and done it would be harsh to say our Canadian boys started or played the major role in the fight, but a part none the less.
Final note, there's still needs to be some respect in fighting and what #9 and #11 for Georgia did was not fighting. It was classless, and showed no respect. Throw toe to toe, dont go around punching people wrapped up with another in the back of the head.

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