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Monday, December 16, 2013

Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud with big right hook

Just when we thought his time in the spotlight was over, 'Caveman' Sebastien Chabal has hit the headlines for this knockout blow on number eight Marc Giraud during the ProD2 match between Lyon and Agen at the weekend. Giraud was carried off on a stretcher.

Now aged 36, the former French icon is still playing rugby, plying his trade with Lyon in France's second division. He built a reputation for not only looking like one of the scariest men in the sport, but playing like it too, famously breaking Ali Williams' jaw and knocking out Chris Masoe.

Not too long ago he announced that this would be his final season of rugby due to his body starting to feel the aches and pains that come with playing professionally for so long. He clearly hasn't lost any of the competitive spirit though, as was seen, and felt by Agen eighthman Giraud.

Giraud appeared to hold Chabal back - a common annoyance for loose forwards - but the reaction was probably a little disproportionate as the burly Frenchman swung what initially looked like a slap with a straight arm. The result made it seem more like a punch, as Giraud was knocked out cold.

He was carried off the field in a stretcher before coming around in the changeroom, then was taken off to hospital after there were fears that he had broken his jaw. They later found that it was fine, although he did injure his ankle when he fell, unconcious.

Chabal was promptly shown a yellow card after the touch judges alerted the referee, so he left the field for ten minutes, but protested his innocence on the way off. He will no doubt face a disciplinary hearing in a fortnight, and could be out of rugby for quite some time with a lengthy suspension.

Agen showed the incident to the referee post match, and he admitted that it should have been a red card. "I am furious with the referee who did not show a red card," said Agen's Alain Tingaud.

Giraud later tweeted: "It's not too bad, thanks for the support. I'll sleep well."

Lenghty ban for Seabass? Also, do you think that those that hold other players back like this should be penalised, or is it one of those things that is too difficult to monitor? Suggestions welcome!

Sebastien Chabal may have said last month that he is retiring at the end of the season because his body was suffering but he shows no sign of wanting to go quietly.

He faces a long ban after a right hook knocked out Agen's Marc Giraud in an off-the-ball incident during the Saturday night match. Giraud appeared to hold on to Chabal's shirt as the ball broke from a ruck and received a hard punch for his pains. He was carried off on a stretcher.

The incident was missed by the referee but spotted by a touch judge. Chabal protested his innocence and seemed nonplussed to be sent off; replays suggested he was extremely fortunate to escape with a yellow card but he is unlikely to have heard the last of it.

Alain Tingaud, Agen's president, said he would be referring the incident to the league's disciplinary committee. "I am furious with the referee who did not show a red card. He admitted he made a mistake It was a red."

Giraud later took to his Twitter account to reassure followers he was fine and "would sleep well".


credit: rugbyrama and gorpitsenjunior

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:17 am | View Comments (78)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 78 comments

Canadian content December 16, 2013 12:50 pm

That is a crazy over reaction on chabals part. Should have been a straight red. Imagine if everyone dealt with being held back like that! The field would be riddled with players!

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Douglas Bom December 16, 2013 1:09 pm

I heard he was going to american footbal years ago, what happened?

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Bath all the way hom December 16, 2013 1:10 pm

I think Giraud will think twice before trying to sneak a professional foul in, lesson learned.

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chris December 16, 2013 1:27 pm

he plays for lyon not Agen by the way, 1st paragraph
Thanks fro the video !

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Rugbydump December 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Typo. Thanks for noticing! Fixed now

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Jonesy December 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Love that he was protesting his innocence on the way off! It's a straight red all day.

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ddubard December 16, 2013 1:42 pm

Knock-on king, marketing guy, puncher.

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finedisregard December 16, 2013 2:06 pm

How much would you like to bet that he had been held at the ruck previously? Holding on to players in a negative way to keep them from playing is happening more and more at every level. Referees will rarely (never) stop play to penalize the player holding.

So if a guy is holding you and preventing you from playing rugby, what should you do? All it takes is a player holding onto you for a second for them to create an overload. (There is a clip of Nathan Hines doing this on here).

Personally I say automatic yellow for players holding onto other players at scrum or breakdown. Any player that is preventing another from playing deserves what they get.

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browner December 16, 2013 3:03 pm

You get professional fouling in professional rugby, but the conclusion of your YC wish would be matches abandoned through lack of players left on the field !!! ..... Players have to be cleverer at making the officials aware of the problem, and officials can issue sanctions - retaliatory punching however ISN'T acceptable, & in this case YC wasn't enough .... expect a lengthy post match ban.

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finedisregard December 16, 2013 3:20 pm

"making the officials aware"? You mean complaining to the ref? Do you really want a game in which players are going to be yelling at officials whenever they feel he's missing something?

Holding at the breakdown is pure negativity and is more against the spirit of the game than sorting out a cheater.

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TK December 16, 2013 4:02 pm

Holding at the breakdown is part of the game and has been for a very long time, whether you like it or not.
You can make the ref aware of holding (without yelling at the official) simply by attempting to get away from the breakdown and chopping down on the holders arm, it's then down to the ref to adjudicate as they seem fit. Again, this is part of the game and has been for years.

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finedisregard December 16, 2013 4:55 pm

TK, you're right, holding has always gone on. The difference is now, if you are being held you have no recourse. Historically if somebody was holding you, lying on the ball, or harassing your scrumhalf you could do things to stop them or prevent them from doing so in the future. Refs would turn a blind eye because the original player was the one being negative.

If we have a zero tolerance approach to reactions from foul play then the laws benefit the instigator.

Players could only cheat if you let them cheat. I say rugby was better when you could sort out a troublemaker rather than counting on a ref to pick up every transgression.

Please read DR93 below. Sometimes we need to be taught a lesson from others than the ref. I know I did and do!

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DrG December 17, 2013 12:41 pm

Finedisregard, I'm with you 100%, I'm sick of seeing players holding others and getting no punishment.

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matt December 16, 2013 6:07 pm

I hate it when people say things like "it is part of the game whether you like it or not" in defence of something that is unquestionably negative. Fighting and dangerous tackles were a part of our game, just as doping was a part of cycling, but at some stage some one in both sports decided that things had to change and it is for the better that they did. Don't just ignore it because it will be hard to change

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Full Back December 16, 2013 6:56 pm

getting a box in the jaw for holding used to be a part of the game for the longest time also...the game is evolving and so the rules need to too. You can't meat out your own justice, fair enough, just like rolling on the wrong side and killing the ball persistently(this used to be dealt with by whoever had their studs in position over the culprits back) leads to a yellow then so should holding.

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DrG December 17, 2013 12:04 pm

@ TK "Holding at the breakdown is part of the game and has been for a very long time"

Yeh, you ever see early rugby matches? Punching the shit out of someone holding onto you was part of the game then too, but they sure have made an effort to stop that!

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DrG December 17, 2013 12:43 pm

@ Browner, geez you've changed your tune, "Your YC wish would be matches abandoned through lack of players left on the field"... so what??? You suggesting we don't punish foul play because the game might have to get abandoned....

Sounds to me like you're more into soccer where the players can surround and hound the referee until he makes a decision they like...

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ricardo December 16, 2013 2:47 pm

I could say he only got an yellow card because he is Chabal. If he was any other ordinary player, that would be a red card.

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Matt December 17, 2013 10:14 am

The touchline ref didn't mention a punch but an "expression of tamper" (geste d'enervement)... Hence the yellow. Had the touch judge mentionned a punch it would certainly have been straight red.

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Guy December 16, 2013 3:04 pm

SeaBass vs Sonny anyone?

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stroudos December 16, 2013 8:13 pm

Come off it. Seabass would chew Sonny Bill up and spit him out.

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Canadian content December 17, 2013 2:12 am

Doubt that. I'm no SWB fan but he's a pro boxer with proper training and superior athletic ability. Plus he's as big as chabal. Bit as below, I'd watch.

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stroudos December 18, 2013 8:29 am

But Chabal lives in a cave, wrestles bears and hunts his own dinner.
When Chuck Norris goes to bed he checks under his pillow for Chabal.

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katman December 20, 2013 6:02 am

Sonny Bill? Never heard of her.

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4LC4TR4Z December 17, 2013 1:05 pm

That already happened a couple of times on a rugby field, few years ago.
SBW was not impressed at all and Toulon won every game they played.

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italian ref December 16, 2013 3:13 pm

should have been a red, downgraded to yellow because of withholding.

case closed, play on.

this is rugby

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paul dunne December 16, 2013 3:40 pm

Or player's would think twice about trying soccer tactics in rugby?

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Mighty Rubble December 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Come on people, that's barely a slap. Giraud obviously has a glass jaw. He wouldn't make a boxer, that''s for sure!

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Logo December 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Professional fouls like holding players back need outlawing. Citing committees could soon sort this with retrospective bans. Failing that a YC for retaliation is fine. ????????????

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DR93 December 16, 2013 4:38 pm

Bit of an overreaction, only because he retaliated so quickly. However i remember being on the end of a smack to the face for holding a guy at a ruck. I must of done it 2 or 3 times before and the guy gave me a good warning but the ref was oblivious so i thought why not keep going. The next time i ended up being put on my backside, and tbh i was waiting for it but why would i stop if i know i can get away with it haha so until i got hit i was gona keep holding players.
So in a way i think the agen player got what he deserved however it was still an immediate and over the top retaliation from Chabal

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An Uachtar December 16, 2013 4:40 pm

Wow. 35 y/o and still a humongous jerkoff.

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Eddie-g December 16, 2013 5:45 pm

This brings back memories of Bakkies Botha on Jimmy Cowan. It is annoying being held, though obviously this, like Bakkies' headbutt, is a crazy over-reaction.

Sometimes, where the pull back is a cynical professional foul, happy to see a yellow. But generally a penalty will do, and escalate to yellow for repeated offences.

As a defender though, as a rule, you have to hold on to guys in ruck, you only let go when you are absolutely sure the next phase has started. In one of my stupid rugby memories, I let go of a guy to get myself free, only to see him bolt out the middle of the maul and score a try. Never let that happen again.

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stroudos December 16, 2013 8:18 pm

Last paragraph is a very good point.

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Steve December 16, 2013 6:27 pm

Why in christ was he not given a red!?!?!? I assume there's a citing here

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matt December 17, 2013 12:12 am

It really amazes me that referees correctly identify something as a punch, and then give the player a yellow. That is not the rules, why do they think that they can change what is in the rule books? The ref did it in the Quins match on sunday and it just leads to inconsistency and players not knowing where they stand with the rules.

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Matt December 17, 2013 10:18 am

The touchline ref told the main ref "un geste d'enervement" which I would translate to "a display of temper" but didn't explicitely describe a punch which would have logically led to a straight red.

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Maxime December 16, 2013 7:33 pm

I just love the way he say's to the ref "I hit his arm because he holds me back".
Thank you Seb.
Love you.

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WillN December 17, 2013 6:39 am

If the Player throwing the Punch was a Pacific Islander, I guarantee he would have seen Red. The double standard in Rugby is Amazing!!!

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Computer says no December 17, 2013 10:21 am

The double standards of the posters even more so! No way on earth can you throw a punch like that, knock someone out and walk away with a yellow. It's red all the way and a lengthy ban!

Just because you like the player doesn't justify what he did. Shocker.

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rememberthemer December 17, 2013 12:41 pm

And if this was an All Black hooker twatting a Welsh lock for running obstruction, then i'm fairly certain there would 200 screaming comments.

Not that I'm condoning said hooker or Chabal.

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Munster_jimmy December 17, 2013 1:27 pm

only because the new zealanders are a bunch of twats

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DrG December 17, 2013 12:39 pm

This is more of a reply to EVERYONE who says "over the top reaction"...

In a single clip yes, it looks over the top... but at what time in the game did this occur? Early on, late on, that holding could have been going on all game. It's frustrating for players and I am sick to death of seeing players getting penalised for reacting TO a blatant offence and being the only ones to get punished.
- Hines trying to get back onside to defend, being held by someone NOT in the ruck - No punishment to Byrne - Bakkies is fast and I reckon he'd have beaten Cowan initially, but no punishment of JC! - No punishment for Thomas, who was NOT in a ruck, holding a player trying to defend. - Tryline defence, Ferris lying on the ground had NO right to touch defending Grewcock. No punishment to Ferris...

And now we add this in!

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Guy December 17, 2013 1:40 pm

I don't think you really mean to say this but I can only conclude that basicly you think it's okay to display this kind of behaviour and retaliate if the ref doesn't pick up the initial foul.

Fortunately most of the players on the pitch show more discipline than that. Plus we have a proper (be it slightly inconsistent) citing procedure for those kinds of incidents.

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DrG December 17, 2013 2:17 pm

Actually I somewhat do mean to say that. Only because the referee's NEVER pick up on holding players back. You either penalise them both, or none at all..

Breaking the laws of rugby is breaking the laws... yes some offences are worse than others, but it's still all rolled into an "illegal" category, so why should players be allowed to get away with one offence and not the other?

...actually the one time I do recall a player getting pinged for holding is this: - And how long did it take for the penalty??!!!!!!

View Video

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Guy December 17, 2013 4:15 pm

Great vid!

I do agree that is is insanely frustrating. I do not agree that the victim should be allowed to take the law into his own hands. Besides: there are more subtle ways to do that than knock a man out (although I don't think Chabal meant to KO him).

In the rest of life it is basicly the same: chances that you get away with driving through a red light are considerably higher than when you rob a bank.

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stroudos December 18, 2013 6:01 am

Perfect example DrG. Is this what we want from the game?
TWO BACK ROW FORWARDS play-acting and appealing in a histrionic football style to the ref and touch judge!?

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DrG December 17, 2013 12:44 pm

Oh and just to finish it all off.... I'd say Chabal's effort worked... Giraud didn't hold him back again did he!

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Eddie-g December 17, 2013 2:09 pm

@DrG - It was an over-reaction. Period. All of those examples were. No excuses.

Rugby is a 15 v 15 game, and at several points in every game, someone is going to be wronged and the referee will miss it. If punching or stamping or headbutting were somehow tolerated even in these circumstances, rugby as we know it would end. It would simply be a brawl from start to finish.

One thing hopefully kids are still taught in rugby is to channel their aggression. Been wronged? Use that emotion when you make the next tackle or hit the next ruck. Use it instead in a way that gets you a card? You've let your team down.

Nothing complicated or new, and no need to change anything about how the game is refereed.

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DrG December 17, 2013 2:22 pm

Look at Danny Grewcocks indiscretion in particular, Bath lead 7-6 Ulster are on the front foot, look at around the 12 second mark, Ulster players lying on the ground trying to grab hold of Bath players who are defending, if the referee pinged them right there, you'd still have a 15v15 game. As it is, there is rarely a penalty for holding on, so we end up with a Bath player over reacting and dishing out a fair boot and we get a 14v15 game in the end...

Now tell me that a player breaking through the ruck fringes and scoring because the defenders were held is a good image for the game, or are we talking the lesser of two evils? Little Johnny's mum won't kick up a fuss if the first cheating offence is done, but heck, I hope no one uses their studs...

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DrG December 17, 2013 2:27 pm

p.s they already have changed the way the game is referee'd. In days gone by you wouldn't lie all over the ball, you wouldn't hold onto other players leaving a ruck etc etc, and if you did, you knew damn well you deserved what came to you, and you wouldn't bitch or moan about it...

Cheat? Yeh sure, go for it, I do regularly, more now than I used to, because it's rare anything gets done, in the past I'd have stud marks on my back and hands for my efforts... these days I'm more likely to get the opposition sent off for MY cheating!

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finedisregard December 17, 2013 3:50 pm

Eddie you should watch a game before 2000. Punching and stamping were most definitely tolerated and sometimes encouraged (headbutting never was) and somehow rugby survived, usually with 30 men on the field.

Since the beginning and up to roughly 2000 there has been a self-regulating aspect of rugby (lie on the ball->get raked-> roll away and play on). What is going on now is refs are a bigger part of the game than ever before and are trying to sanitize the game for television audiences, casual fans, and mothers.

The notion that a player punching another is some kind of grievous and horrible action is ABSOLUTELY new to our game. For about 175 years it was part and parcel. It happened, worked it's way out, and they shook hands when it was over. If somebody did something really bad, they got sent off. This was rare.

The unfair and inconsistent system of cards, retroactive citing commissions, and bans hasn't created a better game.

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Eddie-g December 17, 2013 5:06 pm

@DrG - That's poor refereeing. No-one's denying this happens sometimes. But to my point, did Grewcock help his team? No.

@DrG again - The rules on raking haven't really been modified, the change is that the stamping offence is more severely punished. And sorry, but anyone who has played the game knows difference between raking and stamping, I'm pretty happy to see the latter punished given the injuries it can cause. Sometimes, probably too often, refs aren't strict enough at the breakdown. But the better refs - Owens springs to mind - get it right; the rules aren't the problem, naive reffing is.

@Finedisregard - My childhood in 1980s and 90s SA revolved around Currie Cup rugby. I was there when a Burger Geldenhuys punch broke Andy Dalton's jaw. He was banned from a series against the NZ Cavaliers. Presumably you think the officials were too soft then? My school captain was sent off once for punching an opponent - who was kneeing a team-mate in the head, the ref didn't see it - and afterwards my coach, a fearsome guy from the Basil Bey school of hard-knocks, told him, "It was kak reffing, but you need to keep your discipline and channel your aggression". Was he wrong too?

Yes, professionalism has changed a few things - there is less tolerance for punching and the like, and the multi-week bans are relatively new. If your complaint is about consistency, don't wait for me, it is almost non-existent (especially in terms of who gets cited). But don't pretend rugby back in the day was some kind of tidy frontier justice sport, the bad stuff got punished then too.

Some of the parameters for punishment have obviously changed, but what refs are supposed to penalise for foul play hasn't changed much, and for heaven's sake, player discipline in terms of not responding to every obvious provocation is pretty much professionalism 101. Every one of those clips, I'm sorry, those guys failed, albeit to varying degrees.

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DrG December 17, 2013 11:48 pm

"The rules on raking haven't really been modified"

You're kidding right? Last time I raked a player who was lying ALL over the ball on his own try line (We were attacking), III got yellow carded! And trust me, it was DEFINITELY a rake...

boots on players is rarely tolerated these days...

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sarugby_go_north December 18, 2013 8:08 am

Not if it's a kiwi player doing the raking. They've been getting away with it in super rugby for a while now.

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Montrealer14 December 17, 2013 5:26 pm

Funny to see the average difference in comments here because it's Chabal, and here when it's O'Brian

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DrG December 17, 2013 11:52 pm

Another example of WHY reactions like that happen...

Maybe SOB would/wouldn't have stopped the try, but because of Nyanga's holding, we will never know...

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vannrugby December 19, 2013 11:41 am

Ah, the good old complaint about Nyanga/SOB. Strangely no one notices that SOB has no right to be untied from his crushed scrum.

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DrG December 19, 2013 4:48 pm

Oh, wait, are you suggesting that players SHOULD take the laws into their own hands? (By Nyanga holding a cheating SOB?)....

In which case, I think we are on a the same point that players should be allowed to batter the shit out of someone who holds them back...

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browner January 04, 2014 2:43 pm

The context of the injurys & the offences are notably different.....

Shame French RFU sanction ..... awful message sent out

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jaded forward December 17, 2013 11:00 pm

If he's got the clout to knock Giraud out with a whack to the jaw, he's got the clout to swat his hand off. A proper strike to the holding hand/wrist would make Giraud think twice about cheating... after he got the cast removed and was cleared to play again, that is.

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Bunn December 18, 2013 12:13 am

Yep, just like getting off a block in American football

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Bunn December 18, 2013 12:13 am

Yep, just like getting off a block in American football

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DrG December 19, 2013 4:50 pm

Pretty sure Giraud is going to think twice about holding Chabal back anyway....Arm or jaw lol...

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Oliver December 18, 2013 9:59 am

Montrealer, very good point. Almost scary actually.

I dare not imagine what people woud have said if it had been an Englishman, or worse, an AB, on the receiving end of Chabal's hook....

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DrG December 18, 2013 11:18 am

If it was a player from the team I support that got hit by Chabal I would have said:

"shouldn't have been holding onto him then!"

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Oliver December 18, 2013 11:54 am

YOU would! And I would applaud that.
But check out the "average" comment regarding the Nyangha-O'Brien incident to this.....and tell me you don't see a difference.

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TotesMcGoates December 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Gents, if these kind of holding incidences make watching a rugby game unbearable for you, maybe you should try League?

Holding a player off the ball is indeed cynical, unsportsmanlike and flouts in the face of the spirit of the game but it is an unfortunate consequence of a sport where grappling with the opposition accounts for a large part of the game.

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DrG December 19, 2013 9:25 pm

Again, if the referee ignores the holding then I am completely fine with it as long as he ignores the clout the player being held dishes out. I'm happy to play/watch a game with holding as long as retaliation is allowed. If retaliation is NOT allowed, then I wish the referee would do his damn f**king job in the first place and penalise foul play!

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browner January 04, 2014 2:34 pm

Retaliation ISNT allowed.

When retaliators retailate, & then the retailiated against player then counter retaliates, [keep up] we have mass brawling,no,no !

Chabal gets 3 weeks, it's a joke , & the worst example to set to all kids ..... French RFU hang your heads in shame ....!!!!!

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Phil mc avity December 19, 2013 11:00 pm

Everyone has held onto another players shirt in a rugby match, its stupid but it can help sometimes, but yeah its chezting, should be a yellow card for holding on. But Chabal was immature, he's far from internationnal standard if he cant know that a punch is worse than holding on. Stupid rugby from chabal. Deserves yellow. At internationnal level, i think´if someone grabs on to you you should be able to try and free yourself and hit his grabbing arm.

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sarugby_go_north December 21, 2013 3:00 pm

I call it the 'All Bleghs' effect.

An inevitable outcome of players the world over being influenced by the actions of 'that' team, whose mantra is to do anything and everything in pursuit of a win.

Of course, knowing full well they'll receive the customary tickle on the wrist for doing so makes it easy for them behave that way. It's the rest of the rugby world who find out the hard that there are consequences to a 'win at all costs' attitude when copying them.

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4LC4TR4Z January 05, 2014 10:24 am

For the record : Chabal took 3 weeks for that.

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Drifter February 07, 2014 8:31 am

He should play hooker...

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sportsfan1 March 24, 2014 10:06 am

You mess with the bull you get the horns. No Sympathy for the player who got ko'd!

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