On a day that determined who progresses in the Top 14 play off race, two red cards and a yellow were brandished in a heated game between Toulouse and Montpellier. Both players are likely to face suspensions, ruling them out of the next round.
Toulouse won the match 20-13 and in doing so ended top of the table on 87 points, alongside Clermont, both of whom have securred semi-final places. The next two spots will be contested when Toulon play Racing Metro, and Castres play Montpellier.
Winger Timoci Matanavou scored three tries, but one of the more significant talking points in the game occured in the first half, when referee Frank Marciello sent three players from the field.
A quick tap from Luke McAlister led to a scuffle between a few players, before Mamuka Gorgodze flew in with a punch, to which Yoann Maestri retaliated.
Agustin Creevy was sin-binned, while Gorgodze and Maestri got red cards, a decision that Montpellier’s Fulgence Ouedraogo said irritated him in light of the upcoming games. Both players will face a Ligue Nationale de Rugby disciplinary hearing and face a possible 20 day suspension.
“Maciello told me he had more punches than the opponent. This is not a sufficient reason. We do not count the punches in a brawl,” said Ouedraogo, before saying that Gorgodze is viewed as a violent player, but in reality he is not worse than any others. He added that his potential loss, ahead of their game against Castres, is a huge shame.
Gorgodze, who joined Montpellier very early on in his rugby career, was featured on Total Rugby recently. You can view that interview, which includes highlights of Georgia vs Russia, here.