One of the more controversial and action packed Top 14 games of the weekend was the clash between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon which the hosts won 25-19. The match hit the headlines this week following an outburst from Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal.
Toulon had led at the break following a first half try from Benjamin Lapeyre and three penalties and a conversion from Jonny Wilkinson. The game was tight and the tension spilt over shortly before halftime as Morgan Parra somehow got himself involved in yet another scuffle.
Yellow cards for Jean-Charles Orioli and Aurelien Rougerie followed before Parra added five penalties of his own, one coming while David Smith was controversially in the sinbin.
It looked as though Smith had attempted to make an effort to catch, or at least parry, the ball, but referee Christophe Berdos has no hesitation in showing him the way to the sinbin. That incensed Toulon president Boudjellal and sparked his comments this week, which have resulted in him drawing the attention of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby.
“I had my first refereeing sodomy in the (2010) semi-final against Clermont. I’ve just had my second tonight. It appeared to hurt the first time but it was just as bad this time,” Boudjellal said.
“We will review the images not on Youtube but on YouPorn. Clermont are a great team. They did not need it,” he added. LNR president Pierre-Yves Revol confirmed that they will be taking action:
“I personally find these metaphors vulgar and detrimental to all, and primarily detrimental to rugby. If he wants to start a debate on referring, there are other ways and other places to do it.”
When Smith was back on the field, Rougerie scored a try that was converted by Parra, who added another penalty to stretch their lead. Toulon pounded the line late in the game with their star players featuring strongly, but couldn’t breach the resolute Clermont defence.
As for Boudjellal, he has said he will stand by his comments. “What hurts is when a person does not acknowledge their errors. I will withdraw my remarks the day that referees apologise,” he said.
Below are highlights of the game, including the Smith yellow, and then the scuffle in a seperate video. It’s a playlist so simply skip to the second video if you’d prefer to only watch the fight.