Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


England beat Baby Boks in JWC2014 final


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Shortball from Rugby HQ - Round 14

It was a fascinating weekend of Super Rugby with some controversial incidents, amidst epic performances. We'll have more on some of those soon hopefully but for now here is a very quick rundown of some of the best moments from the weekend, with Rugby HQ's Shortball.

View all Shortball and Plays of the Week (and month) clips in the our archive

Posted at 12:18 pm | 24 comments

Posted in Plays of the Week

Viewing 24 comments

stroudos May 20, 2014 2:23 pm

Well Horwill's gone right down in my estimations. Slagging off the ref in his post-match interview is bad enough in itself, but is he seriously defending that dirty fucker with his fingers all over a bloke's eyes?

Can't believe that stamp by Deysel - had no idea he was that sort of dirty thug. That is outrageous. Looked very deliberate too.

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alasdairduncan3 May 20, 2014 2:58 pm

@stroudos, I didn't watch the match so this is purely speculation. Surely he's talking about another event, nobody's stupid enough to defend an eye gouging like that!

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DanKnapp May 20, 2014 7:53 pm

Thank you to theaustralian.co.au:

"The “stupid refereeing decision” to which he referred — the red-carding of Queensland replacement Ed O’Donoghue for allegedly eye-gouging Melbourne captain Scott Higginbotham in a scuffle on the ground and the reversal of a penalty to Queensland to instead give the Rebels a match-winning shot at goal from in front of the posts — was one referee Steve Walsh clearly did not want to make.

But when TV match official Steve Leszczynski ignored Walsh’s pointed hints to drop the whole matter and persisted in claiming O’Donoghue had gouged Higginbotham, the referee had no alternative but to send off the Reds replacement and to reverse the penalty to gift the win to the Rebels.

O’Donoghue’s was last night found not guilty at a SANZAR disciplinary hearing and it is understood Higginbotham submitted evidence to the judicial, officer Jannie Lubbe SC, that he had not been eye-gouged. At no time on the field did he complain his eyes had been attacked and if there is one constant in eye-gouging cases, the victim always appeals to the referee."

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DanKnapp May 20, 2014 7:54 pm

I would say that if O'Donoghue has been found not guilty, especially with Higginbotham's testimony, then it was a bad decision. I gather the reversed penalty decision cost them the game.

I'd be interested in seeing the interaction between the TMO and Walsh. Can you find it RD?

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DanKnapp May 20, 2014 7:56 pm

I am a novice. I keep forgetting to make the points I want to make. Clearly despite the decision, Horwill should keep his mouth shut until he gets into the changing room... even if it is Steve Walsh.

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karimabuseer May 20, 2014 8:21 pm

Agreed. Regardless, you play the game ahead of you. What kicked off the scuffle?

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Reality May 20, 2014 10:12 pm

Judging from the evidence of that clip it looks like it was a pretty clear gouge. Am I missing something? Was the guy found not guilty the same way Horwill was when he stamped on a fella's head and claimed he was trying to regain his balance? Or was this actually a legitimate defence?

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Jon May 21, 2014 1:38 am

Reality, did you read the above?
Higginbotham, the guy who apparently got eye gouged defended O’Donoghue and stated that he wasn't eye gouged. If the guy who is supposed to be the victim outright says that he was never gouged, how in Christ is it an eye gouge?

Jesus Christ, it's like you just desperately want it to be an eye gouge, even though it clearly wasn't, and the guy who was supposed to be on the receiving end came out and said it was nonsense, and he wasn't eye gouged.

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Canadian content May 21, 2014 1:43 am

Simmer down Jon, simmer down.

That being said, if it wasn't an eye gouge, it looked close to a fish hook. Didn't see the whole incident so hard to judge, but based on what I saw a penalty was deserved if not a yellow

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Jon May 21, 2014 2:59 am

It was a face massage. He pushed his face.
That's it. Nothing in it.
Higginbotham said as much.

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stroudos May 21, 2014 6:00 am

Fair enough, if that's what the disciplinary hearing found. They must have had other camera angles though, because from the above it looks about as blatant a "contact with the eye area" offence as you'll see.

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Reality May 21, 2014 10:59 am

Jon, I did in fact read the above. However, even if Higginbotham doesn't want to get his mate into trouble and claims there was nothing in it, if the facts and video evidence say otherwise then his claims don't really mean much.

As Stroudos said, if there were other angles that proved his innocence, then fine, but from the video available here it looks very much like he sticks his fingers in his eyes.

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Jon May 22, 2014 2:29 am

Hey Reality, on reading my post again, it does seem a little aggressive. Wasn't trying to be narky.
I have to say though mate, if a guy has been eye gouged, do you really think he's gonna come out and deny it?
That's pretty hard to imagine.

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Reality May 22, 2014 9:38 am

Jon, appreciate the clarification about the post.

Regarding the potential victim, it depends on who it is and what relationship he has with the aggressor. He could recognise that the guy did it in the heat of the moment and not want him to get in trouble since it was out of character. They could be friends and he wouldn't want his mate to get in trouble; I don't know.

In any case, considering that everything points to him being innocent then fair enough; I can accept that. As I said, I only had one angle to base my judgement on and there didn't seem to be any ambiguity from that angle. If there's convincing evidence that I haven't seen to the contrary, then I accept it.

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Rugbydump May 21, 2014 12:57 pm

Post and video to follow, but you can't really judge based on this short clip. Horwill has been proven to be correct in his view - it wasn't an eyegouge at all. There was no evidence of it on Higginbotham's face post match, or by his reaction at the time.

Also, go easy with the language and name calling please, Stroudos, especially as in this instance when you're incorrect.

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stroudos May 22, 2014 4:56 am

Sorry mate. Didn't really think of it as swearing at the time, just pub vernacular, where "dirty ******" would carry no more weight than "bloke". Anyway, dressing down duly noted. Cheers.

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Rugbydump May 22, 2014 9:45 am

Appreciated. As you were.

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asd May 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Deysel had a right to react (being held by the crusaders player from two rucks ago) but it was a wrong reaction (he will be the first to admit it). He is not a thug but does play with a lot of aggression which can boil over when he feels cheated.

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Mujaliva May 21, 2014 3:45 am

I agree Deysel is not a dirty player, he reacted for being held. Old style thing you Kiwi blokes do to slow down defenders from getting back in the game. Which in itself deserves a yellow card. In the end it was a legit red card, but to call him a dirty player is not fair dinkum!

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stroudos May 21, 2014 5:58 am

The "he is not a thug" defence doesn't wash when you're deliberately stamping on someone's face.

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Eddie-g May 20, 2014 3:58 pm

@Stroudos

No defence of Horwill for his what he said of the ref. But of the actual incident, O'Donoghue was cleared by the citing people and the red card rescinded. So the Reds were unlucky with how the game turned out.

That said, the Reds have underperformed all year. This despite having most of the team which won the competition three years ago. So I think there's a lot of frustration behind Horwill's comments - losing to the Rebels at home? Struth, mate - but he will be punished, and I don't think the Super XV suits will be feeling charitable.

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Eddie-g May 20, 2014 8:31 pm

@DanKnapp

No blame for Walsh here. Bad call from the TMO, but if he says there's been gouge, you don't exactly leave the ref with many options.

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DanKnapp May 22, 2014 5:27 am

Agreed, it was just a light-hearted dig at the fans' favourite, Mr Steve Walsh.

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Canadian content May 21, 2014 1:45 am

Horwill probably hasn't read how to make friends and influence people.

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