Sunday May 25, 2014 Bryan Habana issues apology for taking a dive in Heineken Cup Final

Bryan Habana issues apology for taking a dive in Heineken Cup Final
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Toulon winger Bryan Habana has issued a public apology for what can only be described as a football-like dive in yesterday’s Heineken Cup final. This evening he took to twitter in an attempt to smooth over the incident, and issued a public apology.

The 95 times capped Springbok winger has reached the peak of the game due in part to his incredibly competitive nature and high workrate. Unfortunately in recent times (on more than one occasion) it appears that he’s going a bit far, milking small knocks for all they’re worth.

Against Saracens he didn’t get much ball so was probably quite frustrated. Off turnover ball he set off in typical fashion, but a chip and chase resulted in a slight bit of contact from Owen Farrell, and Habana went down, theatrically, as noted by Top 14 commentator Martin Gillingham.

He might have got the penalty anyway, but he flung his body back in a way that should never be seen on the rugby field. Saracens captain Steve Borthwick could be heard shouting ‘Embarrassing, embarrassing’ in Habana’s direction, and referee Alain Rolland had a word with him.

So this evening, Habana manned up and took full responsibility for his actions, apologising.

“So before anything.. Apologies in every way and to the whole community for happened in the Heineken Cup final yesterday… It was in no way intended with malice or to bring the game into disrepute. Sportsmanship and integrity are key factors to what makes rugby so special and I let myself, the fans, our opponents and the game down. Hopefully it didn’t take away from what was a fantastic spectacle and even more so a special victory for @RCTOfficiel.”

Fair play to him. He’s been at the highest level for ten years now and with this weekend’s win he’s joined an exclusive club of players to have won pretty much everything – Currie Cup, Super Rugby, British & Irish Lions, Tri Nations, World Cup and now, the Heineken Cup.

And next weekend, possibly the Top 14 too. But diving, that can’t happen again.

This is the apology from Bryan Habana, posted via his twitter account

49 Comments

  •  kiweed
    kiweed

    Above that kind of action? It isnt the first time he's done it and he only apologized because he got called out. He's right down there with Gregan, Parra and Yashvili.

    Reply
  •  borderman
    borderman

    Have to agree with Reality and there are a few others.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Kill all of the dogs. All of them. Kill them now.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    What if you get bitten by a dog that HAS ebola - surely that has to factor in somewhere?

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    In Habana's defence, he was named after a soccer player. (no, really, his dad was a ManU fan, and named his son after Bryan Robson) But this is pretty dreadful. Glad he apologised, and now he mustn't do it again. He deserves his reputation as a great player, but he will tarnish that reputation if he goes on like this.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Ironic how you call a group of people pansies yet apparently appear to understand diving and milking it... AND THEN, advise said people to go and watch soccer which is EXACTLY what we all just watched in this video and kicked up a huge fuss about... I'll give everyone odds: Evens he's a moron. 1/2 he's a troll...

    Reply
  •  ruppansy
    ruppansy

    Jeeez, looks like a bunch of pansies are watching the game these days and have it in for one of the most proven players of his time. Habana is fantastic. Sure he milked it, and has milked it before. That is not uncommon when great players are targeted. I too wish Habana cut out this BS. But lets face it, Farrell was a tool and it is not the first time. There was no need to block Habana in any way. The action deserved a penalty whether Habana milked it or not. Glad that Habana has been raked over the coals for his action, and hope he learns from it. The trouble is that Habana has been taken out plenty of times without getting awarded a penalty so perhaps feels the need to milk it to legitimately get a penalty awarded. But for those who are so incensed that they are equating "milking it" to eye gouging or cheating, perhaps you need to go and watch soccer instead and pick up the dummy you spat on the way.

    Reply
  •  jeppy89
    jeppy89

    its a penalty - its not a cheap shot. For cheap shot google Bakkies Botha, should give you an idea.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Cowan v Nonu was the one I was thinking of: http://www.rugbydump.com/2011/02/1837/maa-nonu-big-shoulder-on-jimmy-cowan-results-in-red-card I actually think that one was hilarious. Crowd were going mental because they could see him on the big screen grinning to himself with satisfaction, which just made him piss himself laughing to their even greater fury. And to be fair, he had just been smashed in the head by Nonu's flying shoulder, so it was rather impressive that was not actually that badly hurt!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Are you sure you're not thinking of Jimmy Cowan? (I'm not suggesting the two look at all similar! just Cowan's the only one I can remember doing that kind of thing). Although if I remember correctly it was that time he was "highlighting" a headbutt by Bakkies Botha, itself in retaliation for Cowan deliberately winding him up. I remember thinking that was all well played by Cowan but others may disagree on pure negativity grounds. Can't remember Sonny Bill taking a dive - in fact, can't imagine it, really...

    Reply
  •  benny
    benny

    Sonny Bill took a dive but I can't remember who it was against - maybe Australia? Sneaky smile on his face afterwards too. One more reason some people don't like the guy

    Reply
  •  matt
    matt

    He was my favourite player for years, but his recent spate of exaggerated falls has left me pretty disillusioned. It seems a shame that an athlete and rugby player with so much ability has resorted to pulling this kind of shit

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    "Sit down class. Stop talking at the back, DrG. "Today's lesson is about how to avoid being punished when you have done something wrong. "Point #1: Always apologise afterwards in a prompt and timely manner. This is evidence that you are very, very sorry for what you have done. It is good for getting a few weeks off a ban when you've punched someone in the face, stamped on their crotch, or molested their dog. "Point #2: Never, ever use the 'C-word'. You did not 'cheat'. You made a 'mistake' in a 'moment of madness'. This means that you are not a cheat, you are simply a decent human being who is, at the end of the day, simply another victim of the all-penetrating darkness at the centre of the human condition. "Point #3: Try not to look too smug when the powers-that-be decide you have learned your lesson and let you off with a warning."

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    You won't see a single post from me anywhere on this website condoning stamping. There is a big difference between understanding why someone stamps and condoning it. Deysel did something wrong. Habana did something wrong. Deysel was punished. Habana was not. Deysel also did something which was once far more common and is becoming less so, Habana is doing something which was once very rare and is becoming slightly more common, therefore it is natural to get more worked up about it.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    What is the lesson here? A great player who has more metal work on his mantelpiece than many others got caught out by one of his many dives and he still got the penalty.. He gets to say sorry and supposedly everyone should say "yeh sure, he's awesome, let him get away with it!" Borthwick was right, "embarrassing!"

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm with finedisregard... Habana is playing negative rugby and so was the chap clinging onto Deysel.. I've heard the expressions, you ALWAYS play to the whistle.. Habana is midget, there is no way in hell that arm from Farrell would have brought him down, therefore he did not play to the whistle and played negatively. I personally think the better part of his character should have had him power through that arm by Farrell and get to where he wanted to go. If the referee saw the big infringement, he'd have blown the whistle, but instead Habana milks it, looks like a prat and once again lowers my opinion of him...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I don't understand why so many people hold his apology so highly... The guy was caught by a crowd of how many thousands? A referee who clearly thought it was pathetic, and how many millions watching at home and how many millions more now?.. He can hardly say he didn't do it.. It's this same old **** where someone goes into the disciplinary hearing after trying to take someones head off and says "Sorry" and admits their guilt... WELL THEY CAN'T EXACTLY SAY IT WASN'T THEM!!!! So yeh he apologised, big deal, he shouldn't have ever been in a position where he would NEED to issue a big apology.. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see he did say sorry, but unfortunately for me, it's a big factor if I look at his career. He is not the first to do it and it is not the first time he's 'milked it' but there should NEVER have been a first time with a player of his ability!

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Yes I would. It's about motivation. Deysel was trying to play rugby and the opposition was stopping him from doing so. He was not trying to get anyone in trouble or mislead the ref. He was just doing his job. Habana was slightly impeded and his reaction was to act out in blatant attempt to convince the ref that a foul had occurred when it had not. So Deysel is a rugby player trying to get on with it. Habana is a cheater and an actor. Big difference.

    Reply
  •  mike13
    mike13

    moment of stupidity from a great player. I for one accept his apology and hope it's a lesson for all.

    Reply
  •  flankergib
    flankergib

    The thing I hate about diving is that it is always premeditated to some extent. You have to go into a collision knowing that you are going to throw yourself on the ground immediately afterwards; there simply isn't time to take the contact and then decide that diving would be a good idea. Habana knew as soon as he kicked it that he would be hitting the deck. The knob.

    Reply
  •  rememberthemer
    rememberthemer

    Now I would hate to see diving become a regular part of the game but there is a fair bit of hypocrisy amongst these posts. Deysel is obstructed + Deysel stomps on face in revenge = Deysel is victim and you all understand his frustration. Habana is obstructed + Habana dives to ensure penalty is awarded = Habana is perpertrator of evil, must be PUNISHED etc etc. Would you all be happier if Habana had stopped and lamped Farrel in the face?

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    His apology was great to read. he assumes his mistake like a chief But like Stroudos said, i think we'll see more and more players milking, so irb would be wise to anticipate it ;)

    Reply
  • In fairness he did come out and make an apology which is more than most would/have done. It's not the first time someone's tried to milk it on a rugby pitch, rare yes, unheard of unfortunately no. But it is the first time (at least for me) that an apology like this has been made. He's had a long career and so for one instance of stupidity (for which he's apologised) I wouldn't go branding him..."officially" or not. Great refereeing by the way

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Don't want to jump onto the Habana hate wagon, but I really don't like the guy. Stroudos has written just up there why Habana has the ability to be disliked. Habana has everything going for him, yet he resorts to this sort of **** and it's NOT the first time it has happened! I'd like to see greater punishment for this ridiculous behaviour.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    I think RD puts it perfectly in the write-up at the top. This is a player with an unbelievable record. 95 caps and has won almost everything there is to win. Even with a few milked penalties, the ledger is still very heavily weighted towards the awesome side. What a pity though, if rather than the winning-almost-everything-there-is-to-win, he ends up remembered as the man who really brought diving into professional. Like the footballer Jurgen Klinnsman - great player but all I ever remember is him throwing himself theatrically to the ground. I also remember he was widely ridiculed at the time (at least in England), the same way people are reacting to Habana now. But the wheels had been put in motion and diving very quickly became pervasive. If Habana was a rubbish rugby player I'd be less concerned. The fact that he's brilliant makes it more likely that people will copy. So it's great that he's apologised is wonderful news. But I wonder if the damage has already been done, especially with his "previous" in this. I sincerely hope not. By the way - final point - Habana did actually clatter his head on the ground quite hard while executing this ridiculous dive, so in some respect he received his punishment from the rugby gods instantaneously!

    Reply
  •  ho3n3r
    ho3n3r

    LOL. It's not like he's nearly the first that did it, nor will he be nearly the last to attempt it. So keep your panties on. But I agree that it should be stamped out. And we have technology, which they refuse to use in football, so yellow cards must be used for diving.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    If the apology is anything to go by, the talking to from Alain Rolland (and mass abuse on social media) did the trick.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Troll alert

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Wonderful player but he tends to replicate this kind of dive-like-i-was-shot since few years. A dive ban? A yellow card would be efficient and sufficient to wake up the mentalities

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I didn't mean it was worse than a gouge, I phrased it badly. Gouging is clearly 100x worse. I only meant it was more worrying because I feel it is becoming more common. Ebola = seriously bad news, extremely rare. Being bitten by a dog = bad news, much more likely. Tell me which one you worry about more day to day? Sorry for my lack of clarity in the previous post. I really am not suggesting that this is worse than gouging.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Ok, let me just clarify. I'm saying that gouging is 100x worse, and is thankfully rare. I think diving is appalling and is becoming more common, which is worrying. Habana has not just dived once, he 'dived' when being tackled by Digby Ioane recently, and other posters have suggested that they've seen him do it in other games. This is cheating. He is therefore a cheat. Respect is a fundamental aspect of Rugby. I see no respect in a move designed to get a player sent from the pitch. I think it is as appalling as calling for another player to get a card, waving an imaginary card at the referee, and so on. It should have no place in our sport. At the same time, kudos to the guy for apologising, although I wonder if he'd have apologised had he not been reprimanded by the referee on the field. I hope that the sheer embarrassment will serve to moderate his behaviour in the future. I was angry when I posted last night, because until the video was shared on RD I had no way of venting my anger. It is entirely possible that I am over-reacting. @Not true - SA sport has more than it's fair share of heroes. Jean De Villiers is, for me, the absolute embodiment of Rugby's values and my favourite player. Hard tackling, can take the hits, and doesn't feel the need to simulate this sort of stuff.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    No, it wasn't. I would love to have seen that happen. Mind you, the introduction of a "simulation" offence in wendyball doesn't seem to have helped that much actually.

    Reply
  • Why not just reverse the call? Dumb move by habana, but FairPlay to the apology. But cannot agree to the sentiments above that this is worse than a gouge or any other dangerous play. When players hurt other players who are vulnerable they are make the same split second decision habana made, they try to capitalize kong their advantage. His was extremely unsporting to say the least, but to suggest it's worse than someone who tries to hurt or thuggishly intimidate an opponent when they have the advantage is something I cannot agree with.

    Reply
  •  goldensuits
    goldensuits

    Not saying it's right. But it takes a strong character to make a public apology and own up to it. So forgive and forget I say. He will learn from this.

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn

    I think this needs to become a meme!

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    I think you could safely say that a yellow card would only be given when they were certain diving had taken place. You'd have to hope the shame would put a stop to it. But then again, Bryan Habana has shown how little shame he has with a series of dives.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    It'll be interesting to see if the authorities do something about it. I think penalising diving for bringing the game into disrepute would be the simplest solution. If you wanted to get heavy-handed you could say yellow-carding for diving; it might seem a bit extreme but would virtually eliminate the problem. If Habana had gotten a yellow card and had the penalty reversed I'd say it'd be a long time before anyone would try something similar again.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Ok, so diving isn't a big problem, because no one gets hurt. As well as that, yapping constantly at the referee doesn't hurt anyone, so no big deal. Institutionalised cheating in the form of fake blood capsules doesn't hurt anyone, so no big deal. Disrespecting opponents doesn't hurt anyone, so no problem with that either. Thank God you're a minority in the sport! And I'd hardly call his apology an example of humility. I mean, he got told off by the referee for diving; he couldn't really not publicly apologise after that.

    Reply
  •  joemw1
    joemw1

    Classic Farrell hater.... How on earth is that a cheap shot, he leaned into him, was never going to do any harm, and moved his arm to let him through. It was only designed to make Habana slow down, not hurt him.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    There's one I can't find where he did the exact same thing that he did with Ioane but against France. He got Thomas Domingo yellow-carded, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  •  skid986
    skid986

    Was the pen reversed for the dive?

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    We've got this incident, plus also this one recently with Digby Ioane... any others on film that you're aware of? Name and shame the cheats people. http://www.rugbydump.com/2014/05/3707/digby-ioane-manhandles-bryan-habana-in-tense-top-14-clash

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Bloody cheat! Apologising after his team have won the match doesn't really mean much. I might even be able to accept his apology as genuine if he didn't have such a history of diving. There are very few players I can say I've zero respect for, but he's definitely one of them.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    Too bad SA didn't qualify for Rio. Bafana Bafana Habana has a nice ring to it.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    would have loved it if one of guys on the Saracens bench were to hand a soccer ball to the ball boy, and get him to carry it out to Wilko, or place it at the penalty mark.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Funny, I thought his dive in an attempt to get a penalty or even get Farrell sin-binned showed that he was absolutely not above that kind of action. Seeing as, you know, he did it. Damn right he should have apologised. Quite simply one of the most disgusting things I've seen on a rugby pitch for some time. Dump/tip tackles are dangerous, but you understand why they happen. Gouging is the worst but thankfully is extremely rare. Diving? Absolutely disgusting. Habana should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and I hope that the players around him will have the courage to tell him what they think of it. Habana is now officially a 'cheat'.

    Reply
  •  ronan
    ronan

    im embarrassed for you BH. tut tut tut.....

    Reply
  •  heavyhooker
    heavyhooker

    It is funny, right after I posted I saw the t-shirt on the left hand side of the page: "Football is 90 minutes of pretending you're hurt. Rugby is 80 minutes of pretending you're not." The National Hockey League is penalizing for this sort of foolishness.

    Reply
  •  heavyhooker
    heavyhooker

    What are we coming too? Hang your head BH, hand your head.

    Reply

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Bryan Habana issues apology for taking a dive in Heineken Cup Final | RugbyDump