Friday, November 23, 2007
Hookers are generally loved or hated characters on the rugby field. There aren't many international number two's that go unnoticed for whatever reason. Perhaps it's the fact that they're squashed between two smelly gorilla's and have five massive guys pushing them from behind.
It's a high pressure position, and in the game between the Wallabies and the All Blacks in the classic 2004 Tri Nations series, the two front rowers exploded.
Brendan Cannon was the main culprit, unleashing a devastating right cross that cracked opposite number Kevin Mealamu square in the nose.
In all honesty from the video it's hard to see exactly what triggered the outlash, except that Mealamu 'pushed' Cannon on the side of the head with his closed fist. Hardly worth retaliating like he did.
What followed was an attack that saw the likes of Carlos Spencer and Justin Marshall throwing wild punches at Cannon, and more than likely hitting their own player most of the time. Both players were lucky to get away with no further punishment.
Big Justin Harrison tried to dish out his own form of justice too, but idiotic touch judge Shaun Veldsman got in the middle of it and stopped it, possibly risking his own safety by trying to hold back the pumped up players - something that in my opinion officials should never try do.
Wallaby Brendan Cannon received a two week suspension for his punch. The All Blacks were penalised for retaliation though and both hookers were yellow carded.
So, were the other players lucky to get away with their actions, or should they have been forgiven for losing their cool, as they were?