Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

Midweek Madness - James So'oialo and the odd shaped balls

Midweek Madness - James So'oialo and the odd shaped balls
14
Comments

One of the biggest talking points of the Springboks vs Samoa game on Saturday was the indecent ball handling by James So’oialo. The Samoan fullback appeared to get to grips with the South African hooker, but he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

As mentioned previously, it was a turbulant game with a lot of big contact, but things crossed the line – or went below the belt – when So’oialo grabbed Adriaan Strauss in the nether regions.

Unsurprisingly, hooker Strauss reacted angrily, chasing after the Samoan fullback and calling him what looked like a ‘Fokken poes’ [ask the nearest South African for a translation].

After the TMO had a look and described the offence as grabbing a player in an ‘indecent manner’, we might have expected a card to be shown, but So’oialo was only penalised.

A citing and disciplinary followed though, and after being charged under Law 10.4(m), committing an act contrary to good sportsmanship, the citing was dismissed after Judge Jeff Blackett (RFU) decided that the contact was accidental. 

“If I am to uphold this citing I must conclude that the Player has lied to me,” said Judge Blackett.

“My assessment of the Player is that he is honest: he immediately accepted that he had grabbed an opponent’s testicles – he did not attempt to dispute that fact – and he said that there is no room in the game for insidious acts. Further there was no attempt to weaken the evidence given by Strauss who himself accepted that there was probably no malicious intention. 

“In those circumstances I determine on the balance of probabilities that the Player did not intend to squeeze Strauss’s testicles, nor were his actions reckless. 

“In the dynamic situation of a ruck in which he was attempting to clear out an opponent he attempted to grab hold of his shorts and accidentally grabbed his testicles,” he concluded.

It was difficult to see on camera at first, as the comical nature of the whole situation was compounded by the fact that players seemed to get in the way at exactly the right moment.

The reaction from Strauss explained a lot though, and the way the South African’s handled it was quite funny to see, as they targeted a high ball on So’oialo directly afterwards.

Luckily for him, perhaps deliberately, he dropped it. He left the field a few minutes later.

14 Comments

  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Well, let's just say he'll be wearing his balls as earrings for the next five minutes Tony. "Bill Lawrie" (13th Man, Billly Birmingham)

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    They also make you look like a debauched sexual deviant. And that's without squeezing opponents' bollocks.

    Reply
  •  eatmyrugbyshorts
    eatmyrugbyshorts

    That is pretty funny. You keep thinking this angle's brilliant and then a player's knee gets in the way. Sure I remember a try TMO referral some years ago where every camera angle was blocked in a similar fashion - most amusingly this included the 'top of the stands' view where someone in the crowd cheered the try and their raised arm covered the critical part of the picture.

    Reply
  •  eatmyrugbyshorts
    eatmyrugbyshorts

    Doesn't look accidental to me. Wouldn't you pull your arm back pretty quick as soon as you realised what body part you'd accidentally grabbed? Some good puns from the commentator though. Also didn't notice at first how enthusiastically Strauss chases the subsequent high kick aimed at the 'indecent offender'.

    Reply
  •  xenophile
    xenophile

    The strapping on So'oialo's hands certainly did assist in his handling during the game as seen in this clip. It's truly shameful that he wasn't punished for his reach-around on Strauss.

    Reply
  •  rugbynutts
    rugbynutts

    oh nutts ... that was a good one.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Strauss hates prostate exams even more than Karl Pilkington.

    Reply
  •  benny
    benny

    Haha, I love the way the players keep getting in the way of the camera just at the wrong moment. It reminds me of the scene in Austin Powers with fruit! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl_295f530E

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    That's the second incident in that match where we've seen the South Africans respond in EXACTLY the right way. Kudos.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    One of the other things is if you watch So'oialo himself, whilst he is actually "doing the deed" he appears to be looking straight at the referee. Of course an explanation could just be that he was checking to see if the referee was going to tell him he was offside etc...

    Reply
  •  fantasticbarnsmell
    fantasticbarnsmell

    "Further there was no attempt to weaken the evidence given by Strauss who himself accepted that there was probably no malicious intention." Was rather sporting of Strauss to not make a big deal of it afterwards, even though he looked a bit ruffled directly afterwards...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    One of the funniest things I have seen in a long time on this site. What is perhaps even more amusing is how they felt the ball grab was unintentional! I noticed the Samoan 15 has "stuff" on his fingers and thumbs, can only assume this is supposedly grippy stuff. Out of interest what has happened to "grip mitts" they were worn by nearly all the England team a few years ago, BOD had some, Gregan too, some NZ'ers etc but I haven't seen them in years. I hadn't thought too much about it until now seeing the Samoan 15's hands...

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    Back, and to the left Back, and to the left Back, and to the left Back, and to the left

    Reply

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  • Only bad thing about the tournament was that there were no inpartial TMO's i watched 2 games against SA and both times the TMO was south african

    Reply

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