Thursday, June 12, 2008
Powerful centre Mathieu Bastareaud was one of Frances most impressive players at the u20 Six Nations earlier this year, and is already a senior Stade Francais regular in the Top 14. Hes talented and elusive, and clearly throws his hefty 110kg frame around the field, which proved to be his downfall this a few days ago.
Against Italy in the current Under 20 World Championships in Wales, Bastareaud found himself receiving his marching orders after he was adjudged to have committed a dangerous spear tackle, worthy of a red card.
The young Fijian touch judge James Bolabiu felt that the tackle was malicious and made that recommendation to Ref Tim Hayes.
The ensuing disciplinary hearing, that took place at the Millenium Stadium earlier today, resulted in Bastareaud receiving a one week suspension, making him unavailable for the match against Wales on the weekend. He has 48 hours to appeal the ruling.
Commentator Gareth Llewellyn absolutely disagrees with the decision on the field, disputing whether it was actually a spear tackle of not. Momentum, the other centre being involved, and the power of Bastareaud may all have contributed to the manner in which the Italian player came down.
His hips where above his head and the result is that he landed dangerously. How he got there, and the other factors involved, well, that's not for us to decide, and the independent judicial officer's decision was a one week ban.
Opinions will vary though I'm sure.