Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When Clermont Auvergne and London Wasps met at High Wycombe on the weekend for their fourth round Heineken Cup fixture, who would of thought we'd see such a classic match filled with high drama and rugby of the highest quality.
Both teams scored some incredible tries, with a first half being dominated by the future England flyhalf supremo, young Danny Cipriani. Expect to see him in the White jersey in the upcoming Six Nations...
For all the domination that Wasps had in the first half, Clermont were equally as dangerous in the second. Classy tries from wingers Aurelien Rougerie and Vilimoni Delasau kept them in the game.
With tight, physical encounters such as this, the tension sometimes gets the better of the players, and a fight broke out when Canadian flanker Jamie Cudmore was cleared out and retaliated by throwing numerous punches on Wasps prop Tim Payne. Cudmore got yellow carded for his part, but the most startling part of the whole incident happened seconds after Cudmore's first punch had been thrown.
James Haskell went in to help teamate Payne, but somehow got involved in a scuffle with Clermont prop Martin Scelzo. This was close to the advertising boards and 62 year old Alan Black, an RFU Official and former Wasps captain, lost the plot and took it upon himself to get involved.
Black struck out at Scelzo with a rolled up match programme, purely out of instinct in seeing what was going on around him. From what I can tell he didn't even connect, actually hitting his own player ironically.
Likeable 'Blackie' as they call him, is the leisure manager at London Wasps, and has since been banned from the touchline for the remainder of the season. He's apologised profusely for his out of hand behaviour, stating he simply lost the plot and got caught up in the moment and has accepted his punishment for an act that, in perspective, was similar to an old lady swatting off a villain with an umbrella.
It's a good thing he wasn't holding a beer bottle at the time.