Wednesday Feb 18, 2015 Jamie Heaslip accepts cited Pascal Pape's apology but is out injured

Jamie Heaslip accepts cited Pascal Pape's apology but is out injured
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Jamie Heaslip has accepted the apology offered to him by Pascal Pape on Twitter last night. The French lock faces a disciplinary hearing today to judge whether he will be banned or not for the knee to the back that has possibly ended the tournament for both.

France second row Pape was shown a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes for kneeing Heaslip in the back during the weekend’s Six Nations clash in Dublin, a contest that Ireland won 18-11. He will appear before an independant disciplinary committee in London today.

Heaslip was replaced shortly after the incident, and will miss the England match due to the injury, damage to three vertebrae. He may be available to play again in four weeks.

“Although this injury causes a good deal of discomfort, it does not impact on the structural integrity of the spine, and once healed should pose no long term issues,” said an Ireland medical report.

“Typically this injury is treated akin to a soft tissue injury, according to symptoms. Jamie is already feeling more comfortable and it is hoped that he will be available to play again in approximately four weeks,” it said, also confirming the injury: “fractures of the transverse process of three vertebrae”.

Last night, Tuesday, Pape took to twitter to apologise to Heaslip. He wrote in French, saying “Sincerely sorry to have injured @jamieheaslip in this action of the match, not at all my intention to do him any harm #objectivityforsome”, to which Heaslip graciously replied “Thanks for your message. Rugby is a physical game and one accepts that can happen. I accept your apology completely”.

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre has defended his man, saying that he didn’t think it looked as though it was a deliberate knee to the back.

“When you watch the images of the incident I don’t think you can say it was deliberate,” said Saint-Andre. “However, I said to Pascal you received a yellow card just at the moment we were gaining the upper hand both physically and territorially as we were in their 22.

“Although we didn’t concede many points it was still a pivotal moment. You expect something like that from an inexperienced player, not one with over 50 Tests under his belt. It was the worst possible moment for that to happen.”

UPDATED VERDICT:
Pape has been banned for 10 weeks following two days of hearings in London.

The panel ruled that the offence was ‘at the top end of World Rugby’s scale of seriousness’, and banned him for 15 weeks before reducing it by 5 due to his ‘admission of foul play and his experession of remorse for what had occurred’.

39 Comments

  •  max
    max

    because he could have paralyzed the man Eddie!

    Reply
  •  tennesseean_87
    tennesseean_87

    Scum. Get him out of here.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Not 100% sure Stroudos... Heaslip assaulted two players in that clip... He kicked a team mate in the spuds at the same time..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I disagree completely. As a forward I'm well aware of good and bad body positions when entering rucks/mauls, if Pape is coming in at pace, one would assume he would try and use the momentum gained by his mass and speed... however the way he entered that maul meant that he: A) didn't hit the maul at speed. B) didn't put a strong hit on Heaslip (other than with the knee) - and there is clearly no way he could have put in a strong hit at that angle. Pape checked his run, and didn't even do it well enough to disguise that knee!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    "But buying your opposite number a pint after the game doesn't give you permission to punch him in the face during it." oh...really?.. That explains the reception I got in the club house then..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm glad players are not holding grudges... (If their twitter posts are to be believed), however as many have said, I don't quite see how a couple lines on twitter are deemed a good way of patching things... Not that I've ever done it, not been on the receiving end, but to me, this is sort of akin to breaking up with someone via a text... It's easy and quick and you don't have to deal with the fallout afterwards... Then ofcourse the incident itself... I'm not sure how anyone can say it didn't look deliberate.. He totally retimed his leg movement as he reached the ruck... It wasn't natural at all.. I'm not impressed by the comments some have left that are in someway trying to say its ok to do this to a player because he also did something dirty in the past... Yes Heaslip knee'd McCaw, and seemed to get a lesser ban but is that in anyway a reason Pape should get less? As for guiltiness, apologies, acceptance etc and their relation to ban lengths... It's all pretty pathetic... I wouldn't be initially forgiving if someone Roshambo'd me then apologised..

    Reply
  • #Thuglife

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    And I should find a way to get across the sad 'wah, wah, waaaaaah' sound as I realise how wrong I was to respond like that to you. Maybe someone can invent a tumbleweed emoticon and get me out of this mess. Sorry man. *wah, wah, waaaaaaah* *tumbleweed* *sound of a clown weeping uncontrollably*

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I had to google that to make sure you weren't joking. I can understand the guilty verdict, but 10 weeks? No idea where that number comes from.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Couldn't agree more. That's why he got a 10 week ban.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Why is being civilised reserved for after the game? I'm all for aggression. I'm all for big hits. I'm all for players legally smashing the daylights out of each other. This is rugby after all. But buying your opposite number a pint after the game doesn't give you permission to punch him in the face during it.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    I should have added "lol, jk" to the end of my comment to avoid ambiguity.

    Reply
  •  cluainoir
    cluainoir

    It was a cheap shot, he deserves at least double the amount of time that heaslip will be out injured. He can be clearly seen eyeing up Heaslip. Lets not forget that the man fractured 3 vertebrae, could have been a paralysing result, should be treated similarly to someone deliberately spear tackling an opponent, could have been a life shattering result.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    I understand your point Reality. That's why I said that apologizing or accepting apologies should not have any effect on the lenght of the ban. Nevertheless players at this level should show the rest of the world that, despite sometimes being brutal and savage on the field, they should at least be able to behave like civilized gentlemen once the match is over. It sends out a good example to non rugby players and to players at a amateur level too. I mean, all kind of stuff happens at amateur level that goes unpunished all the time but I would still like to be able to have e beer afterwards with the guy that punched me in the face. Guess I'm just a bit nostalgic ;-)

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    While I agree that he should feel guilty, as one professional to another, this is not sufficient punishment. His reckless action (and I'm being thoroughly generous to the man there) brought about a serious injury. I personally believe he knew what he was doing and was trying to find a way to shift Heaslip off the ball. He knew he personally didn't have the strength or skill to do it legally, so attempted to weaken Heaslip's grip with a sly knee to the spine. I also think that Gethin Jenkin's no arms shoulder charge to clear out a ruck should be met with a ban. We either encourage players to improve their skills to get these guys off the ball, or we condone thuggery. We are seeing a generation of players who are bigger, stronger and faster than ever. We are not always seeing an improvement in skills alongside it. We should be doing everything we can to encourage the development of skill, and banning players for this sort of idiotic move is a healthy step in the right direction.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    He was rightly shown red for that. Also, there's a difference between lashing out in frustration at a bloke who is cynically killing the ball on the try line and recklessly running into an unsuspecting player knee-first. Actually, come to think of it, in court this one would probably be punished more severely, wouldn't it, because it is definitely deliberate, (malice aforethought). But I think there is at least some justification for Heaslip doing this, whereas Pape's was just a cowardly cheap-shot.

    Reply
  •  bma
    bma

    What kind of apology did Heaslip issue for this action?http://youtu.be/u32QIRXZwtE Rugby Karma...it's real

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    You mean when Rory Best tripped Dusatoir? He did get yellow carded for that.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Him feeling guilty for hurting Heaslip should be punishment enough.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Your either/or proposition actually omits a possibility that would fully explain the reactions of both. Which is that Pape was trying to put a strong legal hit on Heaslip when he joined the ruck, and ended up injuring him. That would make his apology here genuine and Heaslip's acceptance of it the right thing to do. Doesn't mean Pape avoids further punishment, but it's good to see top players showing this sort of respect after the game is finished.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Our old friend, slow motion, as usual makes this look worse than what it was. The footage at around 0:58, which is slowed right down, especially does not look good. Don't for a moment doubt that Pape did not mean to cause serious injury, and the apology was genuine in that respect. But it did to my eye look he was trying to put in a strong hit on Heaslip when he joined the ruck. Which is pretty much what any forward in that situation would be looking to do. So I'd chalk this up as a bit reckless - basically, he meant to put a good, legal shot into Heaslip's back, but accidentally caught him flush with his knee. Not sure what the rules require in that situation, but for me, yellow seems sufficient punishment.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    I meant to type one, not on, in the first sentence; Heaslip being one of the tacklers.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    He was on of the tacklers, and the tackle was still in progress. Therefore, no offside situation yet. There was neither a ruck or maul formed when the foul play occurred.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Looking at the play there's a tackle being made. There isn't a ruck or maul yet. It's in the process of happening. The Irish player wouldn't be offside, as he was one of the tacklers, until the ball carrier is actually tackled, as in at least one knee makes contact with the ground, if not more of the body making contact with the ground. Heaslip then would have been offside if he didn't get up and get back to his team's side of the ruck, or if the French player would have been stood up in the tackle, on his side of the maul. Now if he stayed offside, probably on the ground as he's falling down anyway, but didn't do anything to stop France from winning the ruck or maul in any way, then it's up to the referee to call it. Technically he'd be offside, but many times referees let play go on if there isn't a direct attempt by an offside player to affect the opponents' ability to keep possession or move the ball further in play. In other words, play advantage if it's better to have players play on to the benefit of the non-offending side.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    He wasn't offside yet. The tackle was still being made, and he was one of the tacklers, and the ball carrier wasn't on the ground, with at least one knee making contact with the ground, when the French player ran into the tackle area and used his knee on the opponent. Perhaps instead he should have binded on to the Irish player. In other words, there wasn't a maul, let alone a ruck, though there was about to be either once the tackled ball carrier had made contact with the ground.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Two camera views basically showed two different things: one a knee to the back that looked very deliberate; the other a slight bump to the back by the French player's knee. Of course the one angle showing that knee going full force into the Irish player's back is the one that a yellow card was forthcoming. With all the cameras on field for first class matches, it's just really stupid to use foul play in any game. One point of contention for me is that later in the match an Irish player deliberately tripped an opponent with his leg, yet no yellow card for that infringement. The Irish announcer and that former Welsh International whose name escapes (and he's really good in the announcer's booth) mentioned that perhaps Ireland were lucky to not be playing a man down at a very critical time of the match.

    Reply
  •  felipeg
    felipeg

    Watched it again and again. I must say his knee seems to be way too high for a natural move, whatever the angle. On the answer, i still believe it was classy. Sour or grievous answer wouldn't help, eventough he has every right to be. This doesn't mean it's acceptable. Maybe silence would have been a good answer too. Regarding Pape, I do believe he s sorry that Heaslip is hurt. As a kid who do something wrong and regret the consequences. He s a fool.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    I'm not referring to any specific incident but players being offside in general:they/we deserve what we get.

    Reply
  •  bnations
    bnations

    You have a weird definition of offside given that Heaslip was the tackler.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Rugby players squashing their grievances after the game is not something that is newly acceptable. When things get out of hand and another sportsmen apologizes what else can a man do but accept the apology? The only other possibility is that 100% of rugby players will act within the laws 100% of the time. That's not realistic in rugby or any sport.

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard

    Well, what are players supposed to do when the opposition is offside?

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    No, no, no this is not classy from Heaslip. Rugby is indeed a physical game but these things don't just happen. Kneeing someone in the spine doesn't suddenly become acceptable because you send someone a nice twitter message. This is just like the incident between Ma'afu and Youngs a while ago. Ma'afu absolutely creamed Youngs in the face and became a hero of the rugby community because he sent him a jolly apology message. Not only has it now become acceptable, but this sort of thing is actually being celebrated as a sign of rugby's values. A game for hooligans played by gentleman? Pshh

    Reply
  •  benny
    benny

    Assuming the translation is correct, this is no apology at all. Either you aimed your knee at someone's back with the intention of harming him (although probably not expecting to break any bones) and apologise for being an evil b*start or you claim it was an accident and that Heaslip was an unlucky bystander. Clearly it was the former as you would only fly into contact knee first if you were trying to injure yourself or someone else. I hope he is banned for at least as long as Heaslip is out injured. Not that I have a lot of sympathy for Heaslip considering he is prone to knee people in sensitive places when he deems them to be offside.

    Reply
  •  felipeg
    felipeg

    Not sure it was deliberate. Who can say, really? But it's funny how St Andre "betrays" himself. He says it s not deliberate but then that you don't expect that from an experienced player. classy answer from heaslip

    Reply
  •  howardtheduck
    howardtheduck

    If he plays again in this six nations, the ban will not have been long enough. Even if (with a big if) it's not deliberate (let's give him this HUGE benefit of the doubt) it is reckless, no professional and international player enters into prepared contact that way, even without 50 caps under his belt.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Off course the action was deliberate. However, I don't think he intended to injure him. Nevertheless he should receive an appropriate ban.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Heaslip got Neymar'd.

    Reply
  • "When you watch the images of the incident I don't think you can say it was deliberate," ...I don't think you can deny it was deliberate! Although Saint Andre isn't proving to be the most perceptive coach in the world...

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    He's sorry! Halve the ban!

    Reply

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Jamie Heaslip accepts cited Pascal Pape's apology but is out injured | RugbyDump