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Sunday Nov 17, 2013

Sona Taumalolo and Yoann Maestri red carded for France vs Tonga fight

Sona Taumalolo and Yoann Maestri red carded for France vs Tonga fight
25
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France and Tonga each had a player red carded following a punch-up at the beginning of the second half of what was an ill-tempered game in Le Havre. France came out 38-18 victors, avenging the 19-14 defeat to Tonga in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

France scored four tries to two and had the boot of Morgan Parra to slot two conversions and four penalties. Despite the comfortable win, France will need to go up a notch next weekend when they face the Springboks. Captain Thierry Dusautoir was satisfied with the result however.

“It’s pleasing. We’ve erased what happened at the World Cup and we can move on to something else,” he said. “We’re very happy but the black mark was losing Yoann (Maestri red card).”

Shortly before halftime Taniela Moa was yellow carded for elbowing hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, and France scored from the resultant scrum. They went into the break with a 21-6 lead.

Yoann Maestri and Sona Taumalolo then got in a tangle from the second half restart as a bit of contact led to punches being thrown, and a number of players joining in.

Referee Glen Jackson, upon referral with his touch judges and the TMO’s TV replay, felt that two red cards was the fairest way of dealing with it. Maestri was clearly dejected, and probably felt pretty hard done by as he appeared to take the first punch on the chin before retaliating.

We’ll get highlights from the match, and the other big ones this weekend, archived soon too.

25 Comments

  • alasdairduncan3
    5:04 PM 28/11/2013

    To me it seems that Maestri began by fending Taumalolo with an elbow. Taumalolo is clearly in the wrong and completely deserving of a red, but Maestri showed clear wreckless intent throughout and I agree 100% with the referee's decision.

    Reply
  • alasdairduncan3
    5:03 PM 28/11/2013

    To me it seems that Maestri began by fending Taumalolo with an elbow. Taumalolo is clearly in the wrong and completely deserving of a red, but Maestri showed clear wreckless intent throughout and I agree 100% with the referee's decision.

    Reply
  • alasdairduncan3
    5:02 PM 28/11/2013

    To me it seems that Maestri began by fending Taumalolo with an elbow. Taumalolo is clearly in the wrong and completely deserving of a red, but Maestri showed clear wreckless intent throughout and I agree 100% with the referee's decision.

    Reply
  • owainc13
    12:15 PM 22/11/2013

    Why not just sit there and take it? I think the image of a player holding another by the collar and smiling back whilst he takes a couple on the chin is quite powerful. In the professional game the puncher is going to get cited later if not immediately sent off anyway. Why not take the moral high ground? When I've played local club rugby, I've never had the need to punch anyone, if they aggrieved you that much during the game then take him down later in a hard, legal tackle, or make him look a dipstick with a decent sidestep. Better off doing something that help your team win the game than something that might get you sent off. Our game is a hard, aggressive contact sport, and it does feel good to safely smash someone back, but it doesn't have to be violent.

    Reply
  • drg
    2:54 PM 19/11/2013

    I can see a few problems though. Take McRae vs Ronan O'Gara, now ROG played dead (or was nearly dead, or couldn't move) and still got pummelled. Now take POC vs Cudmore, Cudmore dished out, POC fought back, and both were rightly punished, POC was right he "had to defend himself", however players must understand it does not give free reign to do anything they want. I believe the correct decision for referee's should be to red card the Tongan in this instance and then to look at how serious the retaliation is before awarding AT LEAST a yellow card. I actually believe in POC v Cudmore case, there could be call for another red card (I could understand it, but not support it) as POC dished out many punches. In this case Maestri barely did anything in return so I feel a yellow card SHOULD have been sufficient. That ^^^ is not my interpretation of IRB laws, merely my humble opinion on what SHOULD be the case.

    Reply
  • colombes
    11:46 PM 18/11/2013

    Seem that everyone has its own IRB laws interpretation here. I always tend to agree that u need to be 2 to make a fight and that the 2 fighters should be punished at same level. Concerning the retaliator and instigator consequences let's hope that we won't see some footballers reactions

    Reply
  • matt
    7:38 PM 18/11/2013

    Those suspensions would be jolly good and fair and all, but it would have been zero comfort if France had gone on to lose narrowly, should the commission reverse the result as well?

    Reply
  • matt
    7:37 PM 18/11/2013

    You're living in a fluffy duffy world full of cuddles and love, mate. That might be the rules, and I dont think anyone has said that they aren't, but they are stupid.

    Reply
  • matt
    7:35 PM 18/11/2013

    Just looked at it again, and I cant say for sure that any of Maestri's punches land, which if I'm remembering right is a very important distinction. Plus Taumalolo started things off with an illegal shoulder charge, just to add to his list of offences

    Reply
  • matt
    7:30 PM 18/11/2013

    The ref would never have seen what happened in this case if the French player didnt fight back or take a screaming dive. Plus, as I remember it, he took most of his swings with his shirt over his head, you cant expect a man who has just been punched in the face and then blindfolded to patiently wait there until the light returns to him

    Reply
  • matt
    7:27 PM 18/11/2013

    I agree, if the French player hadnt fought back then I seriously doubt that anything would have been done about that, and that is wrong.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    3:47 PM 18/11/2013

    Even if Maestri took the first punch, he can't retaliate like that. Obviously he's going to react, but throw a bunch of punches in response and you don't give the ref much choice. Especially at this level. He'll miss the SA game now, which is maybe one reason he was so distraught, and I guess Vahaamahina will take his place. Any subplot there, given Vahaamahina and Taumilolo are Perpignan team-mates?

    Reply
  • flanker2712
    2:41 PM 18/11/2013

    In that incident, O'Connell only did what the vast majority of players, fans and, dare I say it, referees want to see. There are many incidents of players punching Cudmore and only getting yellows!

    Reply
  • esea
    11:57 AM 18/11/2013

    If you look at 1:40-1:42 it looks like Maestri left arm came up, what looks like a strike then Taumalolo tucked right in followed by Maestri. Red for both good call.

    Reply
  • browner
    11:04 PM 17/11/2013

    Rugby Law 10.4[L] requires players to control themselves and not retaliate. This Law is one of the fundamental requirements to negate the likelyhood of brawls commencing. Why is it that the best sides in the world rarely brawl, but that the lesser sides & i include Georgia & Romania [& french club rugby in this description] are always at it. The authorities set the tone, and referees should always always punish the retaliator & REVERSE the PK, because it is this that sends the 'discipline' message to players. Ignoring the retaliator is 'implied permission' to retaliate without consequence..... no wonder it all kicks off.

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    10:42 PM 17/11/2013

    Ha, fair point!

    Reply
  • 10:32 PM 17/11/2013

    Anyone else notice what looks to be a cheap shot but Taumalolo with a punch to Chouly's (?) gut in the first tackle? Looks like he was just out there to punch away and start a fight as quickly as he could...

    Reply
  • colombes
    10:13 PM 17/11/2013

    Except it's not the ref who sent off cudmore and saved o'connell but a booing thomond park crowd ')

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    8:54 PM 17/11/2013

    I didn't catch this game but it seems to me from what the commentators said that there was a bit of handbags going on all game and that the ref might have been a bit more heavy handed with the two reds to set a precedent that he was not going to tolerate it in the game. I agree it's a funny one though; it reminds me of the Cudmore/O'Connell incident from a few years back, except POC was yellow carded as the retaliator and JC red carded as the instigator. Not sure what the IRB's official stance is on this kind of thing, a yellow/red would seem like a fairer result.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    8:02 PM 17/11/2013

    No way do these guys deserve the same penalty. So if a player punches a member of the opposition and the guy defends himself they receive the same penalty as the aggressor? If so then why don't teams just target the best player on the opposition, send your worst player to provoke him into defending himself, then both players get sent off?. Tactically it's a good trade after all.

    Reply
  • cambridgeshirekid
    7:58 PM 17/11/2013

    Well, that escalated quickly...

    Reply
  • felipeg
    7:08 PM 17/11/2013

    Always a shame to see punches thrown. Agreed that the first one is worst. Still, discipline sometimes requires unfairness... Anyway, I d rather see the tries than this (even tough it's usefull to focus on these incidents). Thx RD

    Reply
  • nzbougnat
    6:40 PM 17/11/2013

    A date unfair to my opinion too. My biggest issue with this type of calls is that it doesn't help with the issue of "football diving" creeping into our game. As pointed out my the commentator, someone punches you, what do you do? Just sit there? I just hope that player don't decide to drop to the turf like a sack of dung to avoid cards...

    Reply
  • themull
    4:56 PM 17/11/2013

    A part from some of the terrible calls regarding some "tip" tackles. this is the law which most needs looking at by the IRB..You cannot expect anybody to stand there and let somebody punch them in the face in the middle of the game without reacting...this is a man's game and you have to be allowed to defend yourself...Deserved red for tonga and at most a yellow for france... We're going to get to the stage that if a guy cannot defend himself then his only option is going to be to roll around on the floor to bring attention to the incident and thus get the man sent off that way, and I don't think anybody in rugby wants to see the game go down that road..

    Reply
  • matt
    3:28 PM 17/11/2013

    I like seeing refs be decisive and not bottling big calls, but I do feel like it is a little bit unfair that someone can throw a punch with so little provocation and end up with the same punishment as the person responds/defends themselves. I can see why the refs felt that this had to be the decision, but it seems unjust to me.

    Reply


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