Sunday, May 15, 2011

Manu Tuilagi likely to be cited after flurry of punches on Chris Ashton

Manu Tuilagi likely to be cited after flurry of punches on Chris Ashton

It's clearly the most talked about incident of the weekend in the Premiership, so if you missed it, here is the moment that Manu Tuilagi lost his cool and unleashed on Chris Ashton, landing one devastating blow in particular.

The Aviva Premiership semi final between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints was expected to be a ferocious battle between two top sides in the English game, and it's didn't disappoint. Unfortunately things crossed a line though at one stage in the first half, with young Tuilagi totally losing the plot.

Leicester played the second half with all their fifteen players on the field, and took the 11-3 win late in the match with a powerful Alesana Tuilagi try. Saints fans, neutrals, and perhaps even Tigers fans, will all realise though that they're very lucky to have not been a player down for a longer period.

Young Tuilagi took England winger Ashton out off the ball with a hit that itself could have been worthy of punishment. A little shove to the back of the head followed from Ashton, but Tuilagi, who could well be his Test team mate in the not too distant future, stood up and dished out what can only be described as a three punch combination more fitting for the boxing ring than the rugby field.

Ashton looked stunned, unable to fight back before the third, devastating blow landed. The fact that he stayed on his feet through it all was quite something, but he needed stitches afterwards, and some initial bandaging while the great injustice took place, as referee Wayne Barnes chatted to his touch judge.

Saints boss Jim Mallinger was appalled at the decision that followed. "First of all, you can't have players taking players out, and you can't be hitting players directly to the head, punching," he said. "Chris Ashton did go over and give him a push, but you cannot react with three punches to the head without a red card.

"It's a big game, live on television and it should be one of the highlights of the Premiership season. I guess the referees and referees' assessors will have a real good look at it and work as hard as they can to make sure it doesn't happen again. All I know is I have seen it, and to me, it is a clear red card. What did Ashton get a yellow card for - pushing?" he added.

Richard Cockerill from the Tigers said he didn't see it, instead trying to focus on the match. "It was a good performance against a really good side. Let's talk about that shall we? Let's talk about how we controlled the game, let's talk about Alesana's try, let's talk about the scrum contest, not all the crap you boys want to talk about and make headlines out of."

The RFU will now decide whether or not Tuilagi will be cited, and what the resultant punishment will be. It seems almost certain that he'll miss the Premiership final, and possibly the Churchill Cup with the England Saxon's. Just how long he is suspended for will be interested to see.

UPDATE 18/05/2011: Manu Tuilagi has been suspended for 5 weeks, reduced from 10.

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:33 am | View Comments (204)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 204 comments

Themis May 15, 2011 9:56 am

Manu Tuilagi should get a 6 month ban.

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Kev May 15, 2011 9:57 am

"Anonymous said...

erm, for the people that didnt see it but the ball was going to be passed to him but was knocked down by castro, tuilagi was within every right to tackle him"

So what you are saying is, if i think someone might get the ball i can tackle him regardless, he has no right to make a hit on anyone untill the ball is in their hands. Of course you can give him the BOD but he still has no right.

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TommyD20 December 05, 2011 12:17 pm

@Kev, Comment relating May 15th.

The fact of the matter here is that Ashton was taken without the ball, i say taken as there was no attempt at a tackle being made by Manu, it was a straight arm which in itself is illegal and is a penalty/yellow card for no attempted tackle,

Further to this point the shove from ashton in the back, which in fact was a knee was retaliation to the fact he had been straight armed, which is a penality aswell.

And finally, the punches from manu, are numerous, if this was done in the street he would be arrested for ABH/GBH and put in prison, so why is he getting away with a 5week ban and a yellow card. This should have been a straight Red card with a ban exceeding the 5weeks he got given.

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Binky May 15, 2011 9:59 am

You are racist and homophobic. You talk about the way he looks instead of the way he plays?
The fact is, the southern hemisphere are better at rugby. Full stop. I thoroughly believe that racism stems from jealousy and fear.

Although I'm not condoning this, the arrogant way Ashton plays would appear to be very irritating. I'm happy that his involvement petered out during the last few six nations games :)
The main problem I have with his swallow dive is that kids are copying it. My cousin got in underneath one and made him cry. So proud :)

Not often you see professional looking punches being thrown in rugby though..

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 9:59 am

Proper Northern lad staying on his feet. Tuilagi has just ruined his chances of playing at the RWC. Johnson wont have liked that.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:06 am

Haha Aston IRFU

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:11 am

I guarantee all of these people laughing would have been crying in a heap on the floor if this had happened to them. Shame you can't appreciate that Ashton actually took that really well.
Also I Adam am pretty sure thuggish doesn't have two g's.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:15 am

What a thug we who wants to see that on a rugby game. he's just rinsed himself for the rugby world cup squad as well. what a bender.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:17 am

i dont know how anyone can sit there and defend that ashton pushed him its the kind of niggling you get from all players throughout a game - similar to castros light slap on hartley. However, standing up and unloading three? thats a red and a citing, no world cup manu well done we have to make do with tindall now

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:20 am

V. impressed that Ashton managed to stay on his feet after that third haymaker!!! Also the way he reacted afterwards & just got on with his game deserves a lot of respect. Tuilagi deserves a long, long ban for this.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:20 am

@Ihaveaname and @ThugNutz ... I am surprised you two rednecks know how to post comments. Did you take a break from coloring in the McDonald placemats you collected during your sister's wedding to jump online?

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Leicester scum May 15, 2011 10:23 am

I used to have a reasonable amount of respect for Leicester, but considering that now, on top of their long-standing reputation of being cheats, one of their players essentially assaults someone, and then the coach speaks about it as if nothing happened, and after all that idiot's whinging about referees being biased and giving Leicester a raw deal...

Also, people who are saying that Ashton was a good man to shake Tuilagi's hand afterwards...why is that good? If I was him I wouldn't want to shake the hand of scum like that.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:28 am

Stop this people punching on the rugby pitch... Once you could behave like this, now you're on tv and you are role-model for young generation.

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Born To Ruck! May 15, 2011 10:29 am

I like the way people are saying that Tuilagi will need to sort his head out if he's to be picked for England; a team that gave 69 caps to Danny Grewcock!!

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Coops May 15, 2011 10:30 am

Let's try and be balanced here.

The tackle was fine, if Ashton had the ball - which Manu thought he had. He was diving to take man and ball - the ball was knocked down. Would have been a penalty, nothing more (it was CHEST height).

Ashton's reaction, also fine. Certainly not a yellow card. I'd probably be annoyed if I got smashed without the ball too.

Manu's reaction was bizarre. He's completely lost it there - and he's never been a dirty player before this. A definite red, but in terms of a ban - do people really think this deserves more than an eye gouge or sly forearm drop?

At least this wasn't an underhand cheapshot - this was face to face, and because it was more open, people have got their knickers in a twist. He will get 8 weeks ban, reduced to 4 due to previous good record, an early guilty plea, his age and his genuine remorse. He looked like he was about to cry when the ref called him over!

And on a side note, kick these racist scum off rugbydump please. If they're too pathetic and stupid to have a decent opinion on causes of aggression, they won't have a decent or credible opinion on rugby.

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Adam May 15, 2011 10:31 am


A comedy of errors, I meant g's and you meant t's.


Not much effort in your comment there lad. Try taking some time to think of something which at least appears to make you look like you have opposable thumbs before commenting.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:32 am

The Tuilagis are good players, but they need to get their anger under control... in France it's the same with the older one....

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:35 am

well for a start tuilagi wasn't back ten, it wasn't an overly high tackle but it wasn't very nice was it? it was a sinical tackle, he made no attempt to use his shoulder he swung a straight arm at ashton, and chris didn't even have the ball. ashton should not have been carded, manu should've had a red,i dont think that well see him at cardiff and by the way im welsh so i dont really like either of the two teams

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:36 am

RD you might as well just remove the comments page, its obvious that it'll never go back to being as good natured as it was when the blog first started

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:37 am

Some moron has said it was an OK tackle - no it wasn't and where was the ball - there shouldn't have been a tackle at all. What Tuilagi did was utterly wrong, only someone who doesn't understand the game would say it was OK. It is hard enough without brainless thuggery - he needs a long ban, Cockerill is a liar and needs his board to remind themselves that it is a sport that Leicester were great at - but now not as good.

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Nathan May 15, 2011 10:38 am

@ Themis said...
Manu Tuilagi should get a 6 month ban.

lol, are you kidding!!! Your saying this is worse than eye gouges!!

@ThugNutz said...
Total nigger move by Manu. Does he think he is in South Central LA? Ban the fucking monkey.

Hows about you piss off, nobody needs your sort on here.

@ Leicester scum said...
I used to have a reasonable amount of respect for Leicester, but considering that now, on top of their long-standing reputation of being cheats, one of their players essentially assaults someone, and then the coach speaks about it as if nothing happened, and after all that idiot's whinging about referees being biased and giving Leicester a raw deal...

Also, people who are saying that Ashton was a good man to shake Tuilagi's hand afterwards...why is that good? If I was him I wouldn't want to shake the hand of scum like that.

Lets be honest here, by the sounds of it you never had any respect for Leicester. Cockerill said he didnt see it, possibly like the linesman who was probably following play (prob why he got his decision wrong). Long standing reputation of being cheats... What the feck! Every team trys on it on!!

Manu actually went up to Ashton and gave him a hug and apologized. you wouldnt of shook his hand... well that obviously shows the sort of bloke you are....

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King May 15, 2011 10:42 am

This basically shows that Manu is not an international yet and Ashton definitely is. Plus he's basically hard as nails.

You can't lose your cool like that in an international level. In fact there is a big ethos on keeping your head, being calm and making correct decisions. Big respect to Ashton.

My opinion of him has changed.

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Red Kev May 15, 2011 10:44 am

Speaking as a ref the touch judge was the problem there, and with the time he had to think about it before talking to Barnes he should have broken the incident into three:
(1) Tuilagi's tackle was a penalty not a card. Dangerous, potentially not actually and worth a warning in addition to a penalty. I'm not convinced he was committed when the ball was knocked down and there was minimal if any attempt to wrap arms. It was certainly not high.
(2) Aston's shove - nothing in it, but the fact it's the back of his head while he's on the ground means I'd've reversed the penalty.
(3) The punches - red card, no question, touch judge must be one-eyed. He'll miss the next match on review no doubt. No idea at all how Aston got a yellow out of that.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:51 am

COCKerill is full of shit. They see the feed from the broadcaster right there from the coaches box. What do you think they are looking at on those laptops? Along with Manu they bring the game down to the level of football. Shameful.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:54 am

Cockerill is a twat of the highest order. He spent about two weeks moaning about Leinster to whatever journalist or TV station would listen after being knocked out of the H Cup. Yet when one of his viciously assaults an opposition player he brushes it under the carpet. I know a coach should defend his players but Cockerill's attitude lately has led me to lose all respect for the man and Leicester.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 10:54 am

Just a point about the commentators. I dislike Stuart Barnes as much as the next man, but the criticism here doesn't make sense. They spend most of their time criticising the REFEREES not Manu Tuilagi. And the criticism of the referees is pretty unquestionably apt in this case.

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Cian May 15, 2011 10:56 am

ashton got what was coming to him for a long time. but how did he stay standing, if that was me im pretty sure id wake up the next day in hospital. unfortunetly tuilagi wont be on the world cup squad, i was looking forward to watching him play.

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Christ May 15, 2011 10:57 am

everyone who attempts to defend this is a complete and utter tool. He twatted him three times pretty much to the face. If it hadn't been on a rugby pitch he'd be in prison. And everyone who hate ashton is also a tool. He's a great player and just because he has the ability to rinse people and is proud about it makes him arrogant how?

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coops May 15, 2011 10:58 am

Red Kev - well done on an excellent comment. I'm a Leicester fan and you echo my thoughts on this - it's good to see some perspective.

I would have liked Manu to have been red-carded in hindsight, it would have stopped a lot of complaining from Saints fans. The fact is in the second half you had 21% possession - Manu had very little to do with that, it was all the forwards hard work.

I hope Manu will miss the final and learn what an idiot he was - then go on to impress playing for England.

He's probably more ready for international rugby after this incident - he will learn to keep calm.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:03 am

Rugby is a joke. Looked like the WWE complete with a fake referee! What a fucking joke rugby has become.

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moddeur May 15, 2011 11:07 am

I don't see how anyone can rejoice in a player getting punched three times in the face to the point of needing stitches, regardless of who that player is.

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carlulander54 May 15, 2011 11:08 am

That's my reaction as well Red Kev, nicely analysed!

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Irish ref May 15, 2011 11:11 am

can't blame the ref for missing it since he was doing his job and focussing on the ball.

really thuggish reaction from the wee fellah. I'm pretty sure he'll get some rest time and perhaps he can do some community work with battered kids as part of his punishment


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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:12 am

This article is truly biased and unsympathetic towards manu. I am most certainly not a tigers fan, yet i feel unprecedented anger when reading this article, 10 seconds of reckless actions have been transformed into a a full period of thugishness. Please do not be so naive as to think Ashton gave 'A little shove to the back of the head', his soft punch too was intended to hurt and it too was a moment of anger amidst a controlled performance. Please do not forget that we players are still humans too and that we may be prone to make mistakes.

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King May 15, 2011 11:14 am

Red Kev - I agree.


Sorry mate, as I said in a few comments back this just proves that he is not ready at all. He's a great player but rugby is a very mental game as well. Ashton showed why he is an international by taking the hits on the chin and was probably thinking 'you're going off for this mate'. You need to channel you're aggression into running hard fast lines, winning the contact situations etc. Not flip out like a nutter when someone pushes you in the back of the head, I mean come on. Especially after taking someone out off the ball, albeit I don't think it was intentional.

You're right in saying that he will learn from this but I think for someone who was on the brink of an England start he just showed Johnson why he needs to play a few more of the bigger high intensity matches first.

I hope he does learn though because Englands centres since 03 have been nothing compared to our rivals. Manu looks like he's got all the skills.

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Dance Maniac May 15, 2011 11:16 am

Islanders pretend they're tough?

Ashton left himself wide open and Pooilgai couldn't even put him on the deck.

What a fucking pussy.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:28 am

This is why Islanders make shit boxers.

David Tua, crushed by Lennox Lewis.

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Grow a pair May 15, 2011 11:35 am

Punching someone when the're not expecting it is a mark of a total pussy, it's something I'd expect from other pussies like Bakkies Botha

All of these no mark countries are shit when it comes to real fighting (wars and boxing) but great at cheap shots when people aren't looking.

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museluver May 15, 2011 11:39 am

Insane, clearly making it harder to stick by rugby over football but still stick by it but still.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:45 am

wonder how many of you who are scorning Manu for throwing punches condoned Sean O'Brien's actions against Nyanga a few weeks ago?!

Glad someones finally shut Ashton's mouth

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:54 am

cant believe the amount of people on here defending what tuilagi did. its a disgrace and he should be banned for quite some time for what is basically assault.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 11:58 am

one more punch and ashton would have been knocked out quicker than hatton v pacquiao!

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jpm May 15, 2011 12:00 pm

God you lot have gone soft.

Watch this video from the Lions v. Australia.....50 odd punches in a mass brawl. This has always been part of the game.

Result? Penalty to Australia!

Some if you idiots are acting like Manu killed somebody. I think a yellow was correct, and Ashton should not have got a card. To be fair, in real time it looked like Ashton threw a punch...ok Ashton did not connect. Still.....

Barnes and Harrison's reaction was over the top. You do not get a straight red for a punch. Sometimes you do, sometimes you get a yellow. Barnes has a deep bias against Tigers from his playing you have to take his ranting with a lot of salt

View Video

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 12:03 pm

Good job done by Manu.That cnt realy deserved it,he is a clown not a rugby player.A real man would have punched back

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 12:03 pm

I still don't get it. Why sanctions are so inappropriate? Is the touch referee scared of Tuilagi to be so unfair ? It's a red card for Tuilagi because he destroyed Ashton and no even a yellow card for Ashton who just had a simply gesture of annoyance after the late tackle. And I'm French but I don't like to see such things. I hope Tuilagi will be cited and will receive a massive sanction. If cudmore for example had done that, he would have received a red card and a 2 months suspension.

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Coops May 15, 2011 12:06 pm

King - Perhaps I should clarify. What I meant was the fight showed that he certainly wasn't ready for international rugby. However, he has never done anything like this before, and I think he will learn a huge amount from missing the final.

My point is - he will be more prepared to play international rugby NOW than before. He showed genuine remorse straight afterwards, and I think the incident will teach him a lot about keeping your cool. As you rightly point out, you could tell Ashton was 'the old head' in this - and it's interesting to think that less than 3 years ago he had the same sort of red mist that Manu displayed!

Good to have a reasoned debate with someone on here compared with some of the crap that gets posted!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 12:06 pm

if henson ends up back in a wales shirt and manu is in an england one, I am happy to say that we most likely wont get a international debut like taits!

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Paul May 15, 2011 12:06 pm

Red card and ban for Tuilagi - carried to next season. In terms of Premiership games.

High tackle and VERY dangerous punches. No mitigating circumstances. No consideration for any previous good behaviour. Thuggish and completely out of order.

To be fair to the ref - he was looking more at the ball and the actual game. It was the touchjudge who made the (incorrect) call about the yellows.

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Will May 15, 2011 12:34 pm

3:10 that is some fantastic camera work... often these things don't get cuaght properly by the cameraman but here he was spot on!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 12:40 pm

Thousands of mothers are going to dissuade their boys from playing rugby after seeing things like this. Thanks Manu in helping us grow the game.

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Henry de B May 15, 2011 12:56 pm

Fair play to Ashton, the guy must have an iron chin to stay standing after that hit.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 12:58 pm

I know ashton can be arrogant but nothing warrants that attack. On the street Tuilagi would be looking at ABH and assault. Shouldn't go to the world cup now thank god, we can't afford that on the world stage

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 1:08 pm

If your going to shove a samoan in the back of the head then you need to be able to accept the consequences. Chris ashton gave up without even doing anything. He well and trully got tanked. DON'T MESS WITH THE SAMOANS!!!!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

If you're going to shove a samoan in the back of the head then you need to be able to accept the consequences. Chris ashton gave up without even doing anything. He well and truly got tanked. DON'T MESS WITH THE SAMOANS!!!!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 1:46 pm

Punching techneque is shit.

Pretty sure Aston wasn't fighting back because he has some form of control and wanted to stay on the pitch.

I like Manu as a player but let himself down big style here, which from his face after I think he realised.

If he dosn't get a ban think he should go to the RWC but for Samoa where he was born.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 1:49 pm

As a Leicester fan, I thought it was a red card. And probably a ban too. He showed Martyn Jonhson his limitations when it comes to temperament. Bad timing.

At the same time, he is 19 and only guilty of loosing his cool. The punches look far far worse in slow motion. And as a former player, I guarantee that Ashton's "push" with both hands into the neck felt like a punch.

Again it looked much worse than what it was. But what it was is a red card.

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Flipje May 15, 2011 1:50 pm

I am not keen on Asthon (far from it), but there is nothing he can be blamed for on this one except that he kept his nerve and take 3 pretty impressive punches without falling on the floor. On the evidence of the video and some comments given on this site, he did not make a meal of the incidence (and to be honest, he could have rightfully).

All credit to him.

About Manu, well, I do not care about the nationality/origin of a player but you do not have to be a genius to see that he clearly lost it on this one. The original tackle on Ashton was illegal (I am not saying dangerous, this is up to the interpretation of everyone here....I won't start/continue the discussion on this) as for the rest.....

He might be a great player or prospect. He may not be a dirty player....but somehow you have to be responsible for your act and behavior on or off the field.

Cannot say Asthon deserved the special treatment he got.

Probably 4/6 weeks unless The Saints might want to push for more?

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 1:57 pm

Fair play to Ashton to standing up to those smacks and not reacting! What a hero... Tuilagi - what a stupid act, boy! A smacked massive ass from his mother and the rfu is due

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:05 pm

If Ashton was the aggressor, this would be considered a hate crime.

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nohandsintheruck May 15, 2011 2:15 pm

Wow. I hated Ashton but this changes things. 3 full on punches from a out of control thug to the face, no retaliation AND keeping his feet. Absolutely tough as nails and was signing autographs for the fans afterwards.

Manu on the other hand is very overrated, he might seem 'tough' but his decision making defensively and attacking wise is often very poor and he only gets away with it due to the players around him. This act of thuggery will no doubt follow him around for the rest of his career. I can't see Ashton being out of the England squad any time soon too so if Manu somehow makes it in I would be intrigued to see how well he's received.

No place for it in Rugby, hope Manu enjoys his long ban and has some time to think about his obvious anger problems.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:18 pm

very sensible comment no hands

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:22 pm

Ashton didn't do anything because he was too shit-scared! It's rugby, not ballet - if you shove someone on the neck from behind, expect to get some bones thrown at you!

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Adam Keni May 15, 2011 2:24 pm

Ashton deserves it. He's a dolt. The only reason he stood up to the 'attack' was because he wasn't expecting it, he was stunned, and probably was half realizing he shouldn't have aggrivated him.

Aside from it being just a shove, he did go for Tuilagi, on the ground, from behind. You can't say he was acting in a 'noble' fashion by standing there and taking the punches - he started the thing. He's notoriously hot headed, and he prodded the wrong bear this time.

I think Manu was in the wrong obviously, and for the integrity of the game he will get cited.

What's more important, I hope Ashton learns from it.

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tacklersconcussed May 15, 2011 2:30 pm

lol @ Adam Keni

A shove after a late, no hands tackle is equal to 3 straight full on punches to the face?

So based on your logic if someone throws a rock at you and you thought they were a bit arrogant you would nuclear bomb them to teach them a lesson...well don't you sound like a friendly chap.

I'm guessing there's no football on today?

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:31 pm



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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:34 pm

Watching those punches felt so good :) boom Boom BOOM

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:41 pm

Slim chances of a World Cup spot gone, thuggishness nobody wants to see on a Rugby field at any level.

Absolutely awful from both the linesman and referee too, how the hell did they not see that?!

Hope he gets banned for a long, long time.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 2:52 pm

I'm glad Ashton got punched. I don't like the guy but I'll be the first to admit that he did amazingly well. First, staying on his feet and then accepting a card without whinging. Class.
If only Mvovo didn't make him look so inept in November hahaha

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MonsterManu May 15, 2011 2:56 pm

Man that was a joy to watch. Left left and a right to the temple. I think he should of finished with a left hook from way out cos you could see his legs buckle a bit. Deserved everything he got, what do you expect if you shove someone from behind AND on the floor. Fucking coward. After seeing his clip from the newcastle game where he was acting like a cunt this is exactly what he needs. Poked the wrong animal today!

This is what rigby used to be about anyone saying otherwise is either a faggot or hasnt watched an international featuring south africa pre 95'

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:03 pm

MonsterManu said...

"This is what rigby used to be about anyone saying otherwise is either a faggot or hasnt watched an international featuring south africa pre 95'"

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:03 pm

Finally, he was given what was coming to him. Good on Tuilagi. Ashton is a coward for pushing him on the ground. I'm Irish but I hope Tuilagi makes the English Wc squad. He deserves it after this season.

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The Commentators are May 15, 2011 3:11 pm

English commentators are a disgrace to the game. Bunch of feminine lady boys. That original tackle wasn't high in the slightest, no idea what the commentator was watching.

Ashton got what he deserved for attacking a bloke from behind without reason. Not Manu's fault that Ashton fights like a choir boy.

This fucking commentator has no idea what he's on about. Everytime I hear him I wonder if he's suffering from dementia or severe eye-sight problems. How he can say that original tackle was a yellow, never mind bloody high, it beggars belief. The commentator is mentally ill! He's got so much conviction in his fucking moronic world view that he just makes it up as he goes along.

I hate Leicester and I'm arguing the ref got it right. Yellow for Ashton for attacking Manu, yellow for Manu for beating up Ashton too severely :D

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:16 pm

So what you are saying is, if i think someone might get the ball i can tackle him regardless

Yes, you hit people on suspicion. If a team is running good lines it's bound to happen. I worry for NH teams if you think tackling a bloke when you know for 100% he has the ball will work. By that time the ball will have moved on!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:17 pm


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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:19 pm

That dickhead commentator is always obsessed with sending people off, He's the one who needs a punch in the face.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:22 pm

If you watch the video you will see that Chris Ashton also threw punches - they just failed to connect, so actually the same punishment for both players is fair. If Manu Tuilagi is cited then perhaps Chris Ashton should also be cited. Northampton were guilty of several late tackles early on trying to unsettle players (see incident with Toby Flood) - perhaps they should have concentrated on playing the good rugby that has gone them to the semis of two major tournaments.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 3:35 pm

I dont even think that Tuilagis hit was that high, around the chest....maybe a bit of a stiff arm but not high.

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M May 15, 2011 3:46 pm

i hope you remove some of these comments RD, some things people are writing here are just unreal

I hope manu gets a nice long ban, and i dont want to see that samoan ever play for england

Push in the back = 3 punches to the head? you want to watch that go switch on boxing.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 4:05 pm

A shame this took the lime light off a brilliant game. The tackle stats at the end of the math showed Saints resilience and Leicesters dominance. Manu is only 19, he'll come back from this, and Ashton showed a mature side in dealing with the incident.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 4:14 pm


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Anonymous May 15, 2011 4:21 pm

Bout time someone gave the swan-diving arse a good hiding!!! Long overdue!!

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No.7 May 15, 2011 4:37 pm

Lol, well somebody had to batter ashton one day.....

I know punching is not a part of rugby, however I certainly do get sick of players getting red carded for punching....

Maybe Manu should have been red carded, but I dont like seeing players throw 1 punch and get a red....

I'm not trying to be a "hardman" etc, or one of these old men that lives for losing body parts on the pitch, however I believe Manu's tackle wasn't that bad...and he only tackled ashton without the ball cos ashton knocked it on...

I dunno, yellow card for both seems fine to me... I get sick of citings for everything...

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SmellyNerfherder May 15, 2011 4:38 pm

Quick point: it wasn't a high tackle.

I think it was inevitable that someone would put a fist in the face of the cocky gobshite from Wigan. Both brilliant players, but one talks too much, and the other has shown he hasn't quite got the composure to play international rugby just yet.

I agree with some of the other comments on here: the inevitable ban does save Johnson a selection choice! However, when the alternative is Shontayne Hape, don't you just wish Tuilagi had kept his cool?

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 4:46 pm

Stuart Barnes what a plonker. "High challenge, that's yellow card" For a tackle that hit Ashton on the arms/chest??? Ashton yellow? No. Tuilagi red? No. And no it wasn't the worst call of the season. Get a grip!

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life2lifele55 May 15, 2011 4:57 pm

RD get rid of the comments application, this has descended into levels lower then that on youtube.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:03 pm


If ur gonna post stuff like this then be ready to disable the comment section for it, it always descends into anarchy and forces you to spend ur weekend trolling through it to remove the really offensive stuff, some of which you miss by the way..

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:13 pm

maybe if he spent less time getting in fights and tackling people illegally and more time playing rugby they wouldnt have lost to leinster

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No.7 May 15, 2011 5:26 pm

Can I make a point did anyone watch this video:?!?

I see so many bashing tuilagi for an illegal tackle.. I thought the tackle was fine... it wasn't high, he looks to have a good grip on but swings round ashton.

And those saying he is a thug... how would you react if you carried out a legit tackle and someone shoved your head, especially someone renowned for being a gobby git...

Im not saying he didnt go overboard with the punches but I bet most players would get up and grab Ashton for a bit of a tussle...

Is this REALLY the incident of the year? is it REALLY that big a deal?

Ban him? I dunno, maybe, but for how long? a couple weeks max, if at all...

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:31 pm

Look how many times this has been shared on facebook. Look at all the comments.

This is what Rugby thrives on. Controversy is the life-blood of the game. Sporting theater!

All you people who want to sanitise the sport will be in for a shock when you realise there's already an abundance of sanitised-soft sports. Fans will slowly leave the game.

Shared 3,000 times. This is Rugby.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:31 pm

i hope you remove some of these comments RD, some things people are writing here are just unreal

I hope manu gets a nice long ban, and i dont want to see that samoan ever play for england


Like bigotry that borders on racism?

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:38 pm

i agree with the guys saying the comments app should be disabled. it used to be a good channel for discussing rugby, now its descended into racism, trolling and plain offense. shame

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Jonathan May 15, 2011 5:40 pm

YAS. Take that Ashton you arrogant k**b. There should be no ban. It is a contact sport and fighting is a part of that. It gives a game that wee bit extra entertainment. And plus it is always fun to see and english player getting stuffed. :D

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CB15 May 15, 2011 5:43 pm

@Jonathan - you are a special type of retard, if it was up to you rugby would be played with a frown and noone would enjoy it

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:48 pm

As for the tackle it wasnt high, not a chance. As for it being off the ball? I wouldnt say it's any worse than Hartley's. Anyone who has actually played the game will agree that a player of ability about to receive the ball should get tackled when you have the chance, if you wait and see then they will be past you. I think as far as Manu is concerned he has seen the pass coming to Ashton and tackled him(even though he made a very very poor attempt to wrap).
Prior to tackle he may not have seen Castrogiovanni knock the down and was busy concentrating on getting a known try scorer on his ass, i know i would be, so again i doubt it is an illegal act.

As for aferwards:
That push like someone else said would have felt like a punch, coming from behind when he was defenceless on the ground. Manu has gotten up, and instantly reacted with a "follow up" few punches. Which to me seems like he thinks he has been punched. As for Ashton's reaction to getting punched he is trying to punch Manu back you can see his poor attempts at a jab, i think he is just rocked by those perfectly landed punches.

I think the yellow for both was the correct decision.I believe Manu(thinks) he is reacting in self defence, if im wrong and he was just performing a thuggish act, he is only young, i know i wouldnt have been able to handle that sort of pressure.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:54 pm

Tuilagi wasn't 10 when he made the tackle. One offence.
The tackle was borderline at shoulder level. The game was hyped up over fine lines, and that was a fine line.
The tackle was just an arm; no use of the shoulder or wrapping around. Third offence.
Tuilagi stupidly loses it and unloads three cracking shots on Ashton. Fourth offence, worthy of a red itself.

Tuilagi had enough time to realise Ashton didn't have the ball; you could perhpas even say his head was looking up so would have saw the ball knocked to the ground.
And for anyone saying he was standing around waiting for a box up, he was probably waiting to have a bit of a grab with Tuilagi over the late hit, not for three rounds with David Haye.
Don't even wanna get started on the Cockerill situation. Or the clown running up and down the side of the pitch.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 5:55 pm

Couldn't be arsed reading through all the posts but in-case it hasn't been said (although I'm sure it has) Chris Ashton is an arrogant prick who has had this coming for some time

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:04 pm

I was just going to say the same thing ^^ haha

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Alan May 15, 2011 6:07 pm

Manu does try to wrap around in the tackle.If you watch the slow-mo you can see it.He should have been red carded for what he did,and Ashton's so called ''punches'' looked like pushes to me.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:10 pm

glad to see ashton finally put in his place. however tuilagi shouldn't have done what he did however it was not a high tackle!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:13 pm

If Manu is going to get cited by the RFU, will the referee and his assistants also get a rollicking for getting it wrong? If the RFU cite Manu then they have to admit that some of their best big match officials are not good enough. 2 week ban and some community work, max.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:14 pm

The quality of refs in rugby and football has really gone down hill, something has to change. the constant mistakes and errors by officals is making pro sport less attractive cuz offical errors are deciding matches instead of the teams on the pitch giving their all, its not fair to them and its not fair to spectators.

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Ross May 15, 2011 6:19 pm

That was totally the correct call to make, in all fairness the original tackle by Tuilagi does merit a penalty but the retaliation by Ashton is the root of the problem. This lack of maturity on the field with this incident and those ridiculous dives, its uncalled for. So if that punch doesn't knock sense in to him I don't know what will.

plus the commentators should give it a rest and get on with the game Chris Aston id not the Golden Boy of English rugby. If anything he is a disgrace to the game.

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katman May 15, 2011 6:35 pm

I think we've just found Sonny Bill Williams's next opponent in the ring.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:41 pm

Chris Ashton is exactly the kind of role model we need in rugby.It seems to me theres alot of jelousy for the crime of having a personality and being a world class rugby player.I bet all the haters were cling ons to the school bullies bet your parents are really proud of you laughing about someone being assaulted retards!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:46 pm

SBW's next opponent? He cannot even floor a smaller man with 3 bare knuckle punches (credit to Ashton).

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:47 pm

good on Ashton for staying on his feet.. what a hit!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:50 pm

Tuilagi what an ugly c**t looks like the fucking hulk.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:53 pm

Im not an Ashton fan at all, I'd go as far as to say I hate his stupid face, but how people are saying he deserved this is beyond me, tackled off the ball, retaliates with a shove and then gets 3 huge hits to the face.

No logic in a lot of peoples comments here.

I'll still beoverjoyed when Sean O'B rolls over him next weekend.

Leinster fan.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 6:56 pm

"bet your parents are really proud of you laughing about someone being assaulted retards!"

Chris Ashton was the one who attacked Manu. If not for the fact Manu is clearly the physical superior his actions would have been considered self defence.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:04 pm

Well mister Tuilagi, enjoy your time in the team hotel in two weeks while you realise your entire career will go without international honors. *Double thumbs up*

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:10 pm

yes manu 'self defence' I bet he feared for his life dont give me that hes a thug!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:12 pm


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Andrew May 15, 2011 7:13 pm

In his post match interviews Ashton is clearly a nice guy, his aggression is always confined to the pitch where it should be. He has also proven himself to be the best English winger of his generation. I would be dumbfounded if anyone disagrees with this, his running lines, stamina, immense pace and quantity of tries show how class he is. (of course he relies on his team mates and management, i'm not saying he is a one man army) I'm really sick of people having a go at him for his celebration, when you score a try for your club or country you should be elated, the dive isn't an insult to anyone its not as if he gets in anyones face.
I just hope that punch didn't fracture his eye socket or cheek, if so it would be a race to get back to the world cup let alone the warm up games.
Manu is a great player as well, I was hoping he would play against the barbarians. He deserves a citing though.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:15 pm

Chris Ashton fucking legend all respect to him awesome player.

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Jimbo1 May 15, 2011 7:17 pm

Am amazed by some of the comments on this blog! Watch the video again and you can see Manu is perfectly entitled to attempt the tackle on Ashton because that was where the pass was going until it hit Castro and bounced the other way. The tackle was below shoulder height but was maybe not the best - penalty. Ashton reaction, over the top, Manu's reaction - over the top perhaps doesn't cut it! Finally - why would this stop Manu's WC hopes? The England team could do with a few players with a bit of fire in them! MJ would get the best out of Manu! All just my opinion, apart from the ball hit Castro...THAT'S FACT :)

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:19 pm

Manu will get cited and banned for Striking, it is irrelevant how powerful the punch was. People saying he'll be banned for months is ridiculous, the letter of the law says he can't get banned for a long time.
Julian White got a straight red for punching Andrew Sheridan a while back, he only got a 2 week ban.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:26 pm

Oh was it a RUGY match or a boxing match , Because that blow to Chris`s head was a deliberate box to the head not once but three times! That ref has got no balls , it was easier for him to act like a fucking girl with his yellow card. That ref needs to go back to tag rugy for children , no wait a minute I wouldn`t even put him on that , the useless piece of fucking shit! That twat Manu is not worth his place in any rugby team , but a boxing ring ! What a wanker.....................

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:32 pm

fair play to manu!! ashton is an arrogant knob on the field and more than likely worse off field!! got a playground schooling!!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:39 pm

The useless wanker that is meant to be a touch judge couldn`t wipe his own fucking arse. What a fucking digrace , yeah that`s right a fucking disgrace Manu needs a good fucking hiding . Jumped up little shit !

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Adam Keni May 15, 2011 7:43 pm


I don't watch footie, I hate it actually.

I take it you never played rugby outside of your school, or at all.

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Adam Keni May 15, 2011 7:51 pm

.... also, you missed my point. What I was trying to say is it's very easy with slo-mo to say 'Oh, he just shoved him, and he's after punching him three times to the face'. Hind-sight is a beautiful thing.

My point is that if you're in a vulnerable position on the ground, and someone shoved you HARD, in the back, you'd be pissed.

Tuilagi is pissed. He gets up, and obviously over reacts. He throws the first punch, and Ashton raises his hands. Remember this is all happening within two, maybe three seconds.

If you punch someone and they raise their hands to your face your natural instinct is to keep punching.

Also, if you watch the video back, Ashton has his fist clenched, and is trying to punch Tuilagi, he just can't connect, and isn't fast enough.

Tuilagi's 'attempt' at the tackle is fine. The reason he probably doesn't wrap him his because AFTER he's committed to the leaping tackle he's noticed Ashton isn't carrying ball, and doesn't wrap him to minimize the effect of the tackle.

So under that basis, I'd say that Tuilagi will, and should be banned, but due to his record and depending on the hearing goes he might get 8 weeks reduced to 4.

@Red Kev, Yes I agree with most of your comments, and it's refreshing to hear that from someone who officiates matches, but I'd have to say it's very easy for the touch judge to have presumed that Ashton was throwing fists as well, his hands were in Tuilagi's face for the whole instance.

Again, this is going back to the fact that we all make seemingly (in our mind) very good referees, so long as we get to watch everything in slow-mo a million times. :)

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Ronan May 15, 2011 7:53 pm

ha ha, i love this clip have watched it over and over, ashton got whats been coming for a long time..... what a pussy.... brilliant.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 7:59 pm

If everybody was allowed to act like that after a tackle, illegal or not, then we would have no good, skilled players left- they would probably all be injured well before they reached international level.
Still, Ashton should not have let his anger get the better of him - his shove pushed Tuilagi over the edge. Both should have behaved better - this is professional rugby.

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Colombes May 15, 2011 8:12 pm

Objectively, wrong decision from the touchline ref. Tuilagui punch deserved a clear and straight red.
How this ref can't have seen it!?

Subjectively, i would say that Ashton received the punchs that many other players wanted to adress him. ashton must understand that he is not a star and that other players can tackle you hard without retaliate yourself, cowardly. His stupid and cocky behaviour begin to annoy a lot of players.

Who win the match?

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The Frenchman May 15, 2011 8:16 pm

What a sequence ! Reminds me of some Bziers/Toulon in the seventies...
Now this is french flair !

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 8:24 pm

Things certainly get heated on here don't they??!! why anyone could turn this video into a reason to start using racist remarks is beyond me!

Basically, it stems down to a miss timed tackle, all be it lacking in technique, Ashton be himself and giving a shove, and an over-reaction, from a young guy in a tense environment!

the punches deserved red, but were brilliant! maybe a couple of weeks ban for misbehaving and lets all forget about it!

its rugby and people sometimes get carried away, that is why the red card was invented! Ashton proved himself to be able to take a hit, always knew a boy from wigan could, and they both proved they were decent blokes with a hug and a kiss at the end!

Johnno is never going to not pick someone based on that, but i don't think Manu will be picked for any pressure games incase he causes england to lose a player.

lets just enjoy the rugby!! Haters... get off!

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 8:28 pm

Chris off to New Zealand the sort of player we want to represent England.Manu can represent the backalleys dirty looking piece.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 8:29 pm

ref = wrong decision, saints were throwing in numerous late and high tackles before the incident, was only a matter of time before it escalated shame a young player couldn't keep his head tho, good on ashton for not going to ground

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 8:42 pm

Manu's technique with punching is horrid. He didnt "knock Ashtons block off" because it was a winging arm punch. It wouldnt KO a guy half his size. Both hands down, eyes closed and feet off the ground. How exactly are you supposed to get power into a punch when your feet arent even touching the ground, not allowing you to torque your hips properly. I would say his boxing is almost as bad as Sonny Bills.

Anyone defending his actions are incredibly ignorant. He smashed into a guy without the ball on purpose. Ashton (wrongfully) gives him a small shove back (that would make them even). Then Manu loses his cool and throws 3 (awful) punches at Ashton. Im not an Ashton fan at all but theres no way you could possibly see this incident otherwise. Manu didnt have a good game at all and he was just frustrated. I would like to see him make an appearance for England in the RWC though.

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Geraint May 15, 2011 8:52 pm

Unbelievable that it wasn't red. He will definitely be banned after that. Richard Cockerill is equally a knob for trying to brush the incident aside as though it was nothing. Fights happen in rugby, but that was ridiculous.

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LOL May 15, 2011 8:58 pm

to anonymous, about the punch, I'm sure you would kick manu tuilaguis ass wouldnt ya? Comoe on Manu is a beast and that punch would have put us down any day to anyone of us. But hey credit to Ashton wich didn't go down, wich means hes quite a tough guy. What's your name? Are you going to be fighting for the heavyweight chamion title soon?

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 9:01 pm

On the boxing matter: a pity Tuilagi didn't land a fourth one to finish the job!
Ashton is a very good player but i can't stand his arrogance.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 9:02 pm

Ashton is a lad

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Rob May 15, 2011 9:04 pm

I really wish commentators would stop pretending to be referees with their high-angled views and instant replays. Why would anyone want to ref, when people treat them with such commentary, esp considering there's a shortage of them everywhere!

If he were given a straight red and Northampton went on to rout the Tigers other announcers would probably say the ref ruined the game by reducing the contest.

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Anonymous May 15, 2011 9:09 pm

Im a tigers fan and i agree that manu was out of order for throwing a punch. but in the write up it says manu hit him with a tackle off the ball but if you watch closely ashton gets a hand on the ball a split second before. besides ashton was getting a little too big for his boots about time he came back down to earth with a bang so to speak.

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Ian M May 15, 2011 9:14 pm

What a cunt.

1. High tackle without the ball. Calling it a late tackle's a bit rich - Ashton never even got the bal - so there wasn't even the 'I was committed' excuse. Yellow on its own.

2. Shove to the back of the head. Not a punch, no chance of hurting Manu. If that happened on it's own, I'd expect a talking to from the ref, but no more.

3. Vicious punches to the head. No self defence, minimal provocation, no excuse. I saw two land straight to the face that should have been red cards each. I never saw the punch by Ashton on Tuilagi that the TJ was talking about.

Seriously, was the TJ on crack? I don't really blame the ref because he was focussing on other things, but for the TJ to reccommend two yellow cards was bizzarre. Hopefully what will come of this is a long suspension, to include the Premiership final then to resume at the start of next season, for both Manu and the TJ. Much as I would love to see an apology from the TJ to Ashton and to Northampton, I know most refs are far too self-righteous to do the right thing in a case like this.

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dean May 15, 2011 9:17 pm

some people dont have a clue what they're on about saying martin johnson wont pick tuilagi now for that? hello he gave moody the captaincy the man who jonno had a fight with in the tigers changing rooms when they were playing together!!

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RD May 15, 2011 9:21 pm

Commenting disabled for now while I waste my time trawling through and removing the offensive ones.

In future if you'd like to comment, please show some respect to other rugby fans, players, and the site itself. Thanks.

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RD May 16, 2011 9:08 am

Let's keep things as clean as possible please. If you can't, then please rather don't comment.

If you choose to make an offensive, rude, low-class, racist, or otherwise type of comment, don't be surprised if it gets removed. Thanks all.

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Nick May 16, 2011 9:15 am

Ashton had been acting like a complete tool for most of the match. To be honest Ashtn has been building up to some smacking him for a while. Hopefully he'll get the point and just back to playing rugby.

Manu's a young guy and it was a big game, its not the best thing to do but it's going to happen occasionally. I imagine Cockrill will give him a beasting about it and it should all be forgotton.

To be honest this incident kind of summed up the game. If Northampton had focus on the rugby as opposed to niggly stupid off the ball stuff they would have been in it.

AS has been said above the commentary of this was rubbish.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 9:46 am

In no way was the ball near Tuilagi when he made the tackle, Ashtons little push was fine for what he got, before Tuilagi acted like a little boy. Ashtons a lad!

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 10:05 am

Well done for not milking it Mr Ashton - class act. I have notice a lot of italian behaviour in Super Rugby.

manu lost it - simples

He will get banned and if he is a man he will take his punishment like Ashton took his punch.

Shame as Manu had an OS chance of making the England RWC squad but surely not now.

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TouchUrBalls May 16, 2011 10:27 am

Got to love the armchair selectors on here. One dust-up and Manu is suddenly out of England contention and future international honours.

A bit rich coming from a nation who capped Martin Johnson, Danny Grewcock and Julian White numerous times.

Haha, nobs!

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Anrowa May 16, 2011 10:59 am

About time Ashton got a smack, but you can't do that on a rugby field. It'll have to be a lengthly ban.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 11:25 am

...but he WILL be selected for internationals in the future, he's 19 and got potential. This will be forgotten sooner than you think, how can't you all see that!?

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Nick May 16, 2011 11:29 am

One dust up doesn't make him a Cipriani.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 11:54 am

both tuilagi's are one dimensional thuggish players - if you acted like that on the street the police would be involved - its still assault. He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 12:43 pm

I don't subscribe to the 'Ashton is arrogant so deserved it' view. 3 punches was completely OTT and a hefty ban will rightly follow. RWC 2011 - only one of em is going...

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No.7 May 16, 2011 12:55 pm

I dont really understand 90% of comments on here... I got it wrong before I said Ashton knocked it on, but he didnt, it was Castro that did, but if you actually watch frame by frame from Manu's point of view Castro went in to make the tackle and left a HUGE gap that players like Ashton love to exploit, the offload was sent Ashtons way and Manu must have thought 'oh shit, better get him!' and tackled. We see players getting MASSIVELY blindsided all the time, and occasionally they dont have the ball because they themselves knocked it on.... so now why is this tackle such a horrendous piece of play. It in itself was fine and was a cracking hit, the fact Ashton didnt have the ball would have been impossible for Manu to realise.

Ashton gives Manu a shove...look at passed reactions, Smit gave brad thorns head a shove and brad thorn lifted him up and dumped him...its another example of players not appreciating stuff like that so a reaction was DEFINATELY warranted...

3 punches... now that was over the top, but imo I dont understand this "red card" talk.... It was 3 punches...Its not nice and definitely a yellow but I believe you guys are all calling for a red because of todays game... Im 23 Im not old, I remember the "old days" when rugby used to be tough... which lets face it was 5 years ago, we used our boots on players handling on the ground and ref's said 'careful' at the most...


Just like to add, 90% of these Manu haters are Ashton lovers...which says to me you are an England supporter... so why do you hate him so much?!? If someone like Manu can walk into Leicester at 13 then is he not worthy of an England shirt? I'd say England need him at 13...

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 12:57 pm

'He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.'

hmmm, well that attitude would fuck up NZ then wouldn't it!

And Australia?!? should those guys all go back to Ireland and England where their roots are?

And South Africa? how about those guys all go and play for Holland.

Geez RD seems to get more ignorant by the day.

You think most of the NZ team were BORN in NZ?

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 1:04 pm

unfortunately for poor manu there'll be no world cup for him now. if not for beating the shit out of one of his team mates then for being banned for about 20 matches. hopefully both players learn something from this

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Sarafan May 16, 2011 1:52 pm

I've got about 3/4 down this page and I can't bear to finish it, some of the responses here are ridiculous. It would be interesting to know the average age of the posters here because there's a hell of a lot of childish posts by people who seem to have little knowledge of the game. My points:

1. It's a definite red card. You don't know the laws of the game if you don't think it is.

2. Both players can feel aggrieved about how it started. Ashton has overrun the ball and obviously isn't expecting to be tackled, which is why he reacted. I think that Manu is (just about) committed to going into the tackle when he thinks Ashton's going to get the ball, so obviously he's going to react when Ashton shoves him.

3. The tackle isn't high, and the only reason he can't wrap his arms round is because he hits him so hard.

4. I think that Manu has simply lost his cool here under pressure. I have seen nothing in previous games to suggest that he does this sort of thing regularly.

5. Are commentators not allowed to have an opinion? What else are they going to say when something as blatant as that happens? 'Three punches thrown by Tuilagi. Yellow cards for him and the person he punched'?

6. It's funny how I would wager none of you know Ashton personally but think he's an 'arrogant twat' (one of the nicer insults). So what if he celebrates tries in his own way? He's having fun. He can be an arsehole on the pitch but show me a professional player who isn't - they're all so competitive that they're bound to get carried away every now and again. You can see in interviews that he's actually a decent bloke who's just a bit cheeky.

I'm a Sarries fan, not a Saints fan btw.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 2:05 pm

both tuilagi's are one dimensional thuggish players - if you acted like that on the street the police would be involved - its still assault. He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.


Perhaps you should find a different sport then mate? Even most the legal stuff in Rugby would see you arrested and charged on the street.

And clearly you haven't watched Manu play if 1 dimensional is your conclusion.

It's a shame this website has been taken over by over-reactive soccer like fags.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 2:11 pm

I know Ashton personally, and Ashton would laugh at the suggestion Manu should be banned. He'd reckon a red was harsh. Chris is from League, where it would debatable whether this even deserved a yellow!

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Hayden May 16, 2011 2:20 pm

Yes, most of NZs players are born in NZ.

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Von May 16, 2011 3:46 pm

Some comments on here with regard to ban lengths and Manu Tuilagi's international prospects seem a bit wide of the mark.

The sanction for "10(4)(a) Striking another Player
with the hand, arm or fist" is:
Lower End - 2 weeks
Mid Range - 5 weeks
Top End - 8 weeks

Taking into account his clean record, I'd suggest he'll be looking at the mid range tariff at most.

Then again, Julian White only got two weeks for this:

Admittedly, he did get a red card though. Same ref Wayne Barnes, incidentally, and I'm sure he'd have shown Tuilagi red the other day if he'd seen it - and it is acceptable that he didn't because he was following the actual game.

So probably 2-4 weeks for Manu Chao I reckon.

I think a point lost on many of my fellow posters here is that real rugby people genuinely enjoy the biff and still see it as part of the game. Listen to Will Greenwood on the White incident above, not a hint of judgement, "locked and loaded and ready for another". Barnes and Harrison on this one are different - they're paid to promote rugby to a broader audience.

Ashton will have been p1553d off at being so comprehensively tw@tted, but probably pleased that he was able to roll with the punches!

As for the people saying Martin Johnson won't approve - Johnno loves a good dust-up as much as the next man, as Exhibit A will confim:

The players will have forgotten about this already - in fact they'd probably moved on after their ten minutes in the cooler.

View Video

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Ian M May 16, 2011 3:58 pm

To be honest, I'm not that fussed about what Manu did, and neither was Ashton by his reaction at the final whistle. As many posters have said - the same and worse happens in every match, and we all have a pint together after. What's disgusting is the level of officiating. Regardless of what you think, the rules say a punch with a closed fist is a red card, especially to the head.

Will MT get a big ban? Nope. Just like our wonderful courts, the RFU have strict guidelines, and striking is not seen as a bad offense. Take off a few weeks for his relatively clean record, and another week for the 'provocation' and MT will be unlucky to see more than 6 weeks.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 4:08 pm

Ashton had it coming!!

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 4:45 pm

I like both players but I hope Manu gets a hefty ban, he'syoung but it was over the top, best to stamp it out his game now. he could have dealt retribution with a big hit something similar to his brother....

As for the Tuilagi isnt english chat has tuilagi not representing england from under 16 level?

View Video

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ivan May 16, 2011 5:20 pm

listen everyone chris ashton is a top lad got on with it no problem manu tullagi is a young lad pumped up for the occasion he messed up big time lets give him a break

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 5:22 pm

he is the worst referee in rugby history....

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 6:31 pm

Why would he do this having an opportunity to be in the England squad? what a fucking moron.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 7:09 pm

Hate all the cunts who comment on here like you're the citing officers or making a decision on whether Manu's going to play for England or not, and the ones calling him thugs are probably the same people who said Nyanga deserved a couple of elbows from O'Brien a couple of weeks ago, or saying there's nothing wrong with O'Driscolls punch at the weekend either.

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No.7 May 16, 2011 7:09 pm

I don't honestly get why you all think this could damage his England career.

The guy bashed another player from a different club... has this NEVER happened in international rugby?

Ali Williams raking the fuck out of McCaws head... did that damage his international career?

This site is getting full of wimps. As someone said Ashton came from league. The guy has probably had lumps beaten out of him for years so you really think he be crying for Manu's blood.

Those asking for 20 match!?!? are you taking the piss, it was a punch.. What was all your expected bans for Cudmore when him and POC got in a scrap? bearing in mind Cudmore threw how many more punches?!

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 7:11 pm

'or saying there's nothing wrong with O'Driscolls punch at the weekend either.'

I think the fact O'Driscoll missed his target makes it 'ok'.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 7:26 pm

I cannot believe that people are saying Ashton deserved it, personally I think him and Foden are the best attacking backs in the Premiership. Also, to those who say Ashton got slapped about and shouldn't start what he can't finish, he didn't hit the deck did he? I bet everyone who's said he is a pussy would of done! Tuilagi's tackle was off the ball, therefore unlawful, and Ashton barely retaliated.

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Threma May 16, 2011 7:38 pm

Can someone tell me why the commentator keeps on saying "TuilaNgi" when his name is obviously "Tuilagi"?

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 7:40 pm

Ashton, hows it feel to be beaten up by a south sea island teenager? u pathetic fool! n u called urself a knight? get the fuk out of here

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 8:41 pm

Some of you guys are really stupid. Firstly for supporting Ashton. He is an absolute pr*ck. He does swan dives every single try, when none of them require any skill whatsoever, he just catches the ball and receives all the praise, I've seen him side-step once. So he is a lot more one-dimensional than Tuilagi who is a very good player. Ashton was obviously giving him chat and insulting him, and his nasty personality can also be shown in the clip with bobo.
If you support Ashton you obviously have no clue about rugby and have no respect for the game as he is a disgrace to the England badge.
I think it will be a great shame if Manu doesn't get picked for England as he has great potential, unfortunately Martin Johnson is retarded and probably won't pick him along with other quality players like Tait, Cipriani, Waldouck, Fuiamanou-Sapolu, and Abendanon, he will just stick to his one-dimensional ashton and Hape.
Also what happened to rugby being a contact sport a few punches happen all the time look at perpignan bayonne.

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No.7 May 16, 2011 8:56 pm

Threma thats just the way its pronounced... I read somewhere or heard somewhere that that the AG in tuilagi is more on an ANG sound or something...hence tuilaNgi...

Anyway, I don't get why anyone bitches about either player here..

I think Ashton is a cocky git but I don't hate him for it, however I do believe he had this kind of thing coming... I dont think he NEEDS this kinda thing, however he has an attention grabbing attitude which meant it was bound to happen one day.

I also do not hate Manu for doing what he did. Anyone that gets a shove after making a LEGITIMATE tackle would react with maybe a shove back.

And those saying Johnson doesnt need to pick Manu now haha, well who should he pick? I cant think of a better 13 in the England choices...

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mtafua80 May 16, 2011 9:41 pm

ashton comes across for an offload only to not receive it while manu thinks ashton has it and tackles him-THAT TACKLE WAS LEGAL BTW!!!!!!!!ashton gets up and shoves manu in the head and neck along with a knee to the back and was dealt with 2 lefts and ashton responded with a poorly thrown left that never landed than comes the right that that the commentators keep playing over and over again painting manu as a villain while poster boy ashton is seen as the victim with comments like he never reacted and all the rubbish........if he doesnt get picked than englands loss is samoas gain but believe me marin is not stupid to deny potential and will pick manu and have him room up with ashton and together will be a force!!!!

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martin-offload May 16, 2011 11:23 pm

Some people make amazing comments considering they only have a tiny perspective on their lives. The culture from Northampton is one of the reasons why England have been resurgent. Ashton, Foden, Hartley, Lawes and Wood have all put their hands up as international quality players over the last year. They are all very close and anyone who has played in a team knows that you always play better when your mates. To say Ashton has no skill is perplexing. He is proven at Premiership and International level and if what he was doing was so easy, everyone would be doing it. Manu isn't one dimensional, he has a deftness of handling that will make him an international center.
Also every country has had thugs, it would be ignorant and one eyed to say any different and rugby is one of the only sports where you can be legally violent.

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Anonymous May 16, 2011 11:40 pm

YEA!! Fuck Chris Ashton!!!

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G May 16, 2011 11:46 pm

Ashton had it coming. Hes a disgrace to rugby in my opinion

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 2:32 am

This whole incident is just garbage. Tuilagi tackled Ashton without the ball and all Ashton did was give him a little push while he was on the ground. That's it. Considering the circumstance I think Ashton went too light on Tuilagi. But apparently, Tuilagi can't handle being wrong, so he gets up and PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE THREE TIMES! Really? I've seen more mature four year olds. Then Ashton takes it like a man because he doesn't want a yellow card, or a red card, either. But no. He gets a yellow card for giving Tuilagi a little push on the ground. He didn't even push him that hard!

But I think the real perpetrator is the touch judge. A yellow card for both players??? I think most people would agree that Tuilagi deserved a red card, much more in fact, and Ashton should have kept playing. Regardless of bias and favor, I think any sensible person would agree that the touch judge should be fined triple what Tuilagi is likely to be fined.

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Jono May 17, 2011 2:45 am

Jesus, the game ahs reall chanegd for the worse.

in the old days, this would just be a penalty.
I accept that these days you give yellow cards for a bit of boxing, so that's fine.

But the crazy over-reactions to this!
Ban him for 12 weeks? Some people have even suggested the police get involved!! What happened to rugby?

This is not soccer. Punches get thrown inr ugby from time to time.

A couple weeks on the sidelines is fine for this.

Just cuz he's good at punching doesn't mean it's any different from any other punch.

I garuntee you Ashton has seen plenty of punches thrown in his time (he played league where this would just be shrugged off as no big deal), and he's probly thrown a few.

Even a red card is an overreaction in my opinion.

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mtafua80 May 17, 2011 2:54 am

the tackle was legal you blind idiot anonymous due to the fact he thought he had the ball and this so called little push!!!how would you feel if your facing the other way and you get jerked from behind!!!!thats what happens and ashton did throw a left only the swan missed by a mile and if you were to go back with glasses and look again you blind mann ashton throws a left after 2 lefts from tuilagi.......ashton is the instigator and he started it!!!!

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 3:48 am

Typical English soft titheads getting in a lather over a few slaps. Cop on and man up. It's part of the game.

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 5:57 am

Bahahaha, ashton poked the bee's nest then well and truly got stung.

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 6:15 am

If you knee someone in the back when they are on the floor this will happen, it looks like a push by Ashton but isn't! He did over react but thats the heat of the moment and anyone who has played top level sport will tell you that. They should both be at the world cup he will not get a long ban 2 to 4 weeks max, he is a young player with a good record who was provoked, lets face it englands backs line needs them or we will be playing like Saracens!

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 10:09 am

'both tuilagi's are one dimensional thuggish players - if you acted like that on the street the police would be involved - its still assault. He shouldnt even be in contention for an england spot as hes clearly not english but then that would be typical of the RFU letting england hand pick players regardless of their actual nationality. disgraceful.'

...and now we are moving to towards the BNP voting xenophobic take on it. Get over it, it was a couple of punches.

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Red Kev May 17, 2011 10:23 am

@ Adam Keni
That's a valid point and I should not disagree with a ref that wanted to Yellow Card Ashton for retaliating after a tackle - it's certainly justafiable in the sense that you're trying to calm the game down and Ashton's shove escalated the incident (which was then escalated again by Tuilagi).
I do realise that the touch judge didn't have the oodles of time we all did to view the incident, my problem is really that the penalty for both players was the same. If Ashton gets a yellow then Tuilagi needed a red. If you're only giving Tuilagi a yellow then you can't really justify the same punishment for Ashton. The touch judge clearly recommends yellows for both and in my opinion that's an incorrect call.

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 12:34 pm

must be martin johnson commenting above me

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 12:36 pm

Josh Lewsey flooring Cipriani certainly hasn't hurt his international career as he's been asked to come out of retirement on more than one occasion

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Rob May 17, 2011 2:24 pm

let's just remember that a few years ago Lewis Moody became the first player to be sent off at twickenham, also for fighting, when he was a good few years older than Tuilagi and really should've known better. Where is he now? England captain. So to say Manu will (or should) never be picked for England is ridiculous.

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 6:14 pm

french people are realy happy this asshole got punched!!!

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Jimbo1 May 17, 2011 6:43 pm

Absolutely ridiculous comments being made on here. Should some be fined more for throwing 'quality' punches? Anyone remember Sheridan throwing 'that' punch that didn't connect? Banned - no. The intent was there but luckily he missed and nothing more was said of it. Manu got 'lucky' with his punch and landed it. Should he be punished more...maybe a little but please, the Police? If I went into town and started tackling people I'd get arrested! Perspective please. Both quality players who will brush this under the carpet!

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Anonymous May 17, 2011 9:18 pm

love the fact chris ashtons world class lots of jelousy here so many people aguing violence is ok you mugs.chris is adored by my kids even more so now.

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Jono May 17, 2011 11:14 pm

Ashton is a former league player. I garuntee he's been in fights before.
In league no one would care about this incident at all, it's just par for the course.

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mtafua80 May 18, 2011 12:14 am

so if someone shove you hard behind you on your head,neck and knee in you in the back you should get up and smile and sing "we are the world"?.........with all these rules all you better stop complaining about the nfl and its pads cuz rugby is slowly dying from all these old farts and all these stupid rules is turning the game into a boring sight!!!"LOOK AT ALL THE EMPTY STADIUMS!!!!!!!

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secondfive May 18, 2011 3:58 am

Anonymous said... You think most of the NZ team were BORN in NZ?

Yes, the vast majority of them WERE born in NZ.

I agree with the general point of your post, Anon, but your last statement needs to be corrected.
A couple of years ago someone did a fully researched answer to a statement like this on RD, it turned out that every AB player except about 5 in the then current squad of 22 were born in NZ. The other 5 had gone there as small children or teenagers. It'll be about the same now.

Just as a comparison. The current England squad of 40 listed in Wikipedia includes 9 team members not born in England. This includes, for example, Flutey who was still playing Super12 rugby for the Hurricanes in 2005, so unlike the AB examples he went over to Eng as a fully experienced representative player.
I've got no problem with any of that but I do have a problem with the hypocritical fantasy world that some people live in.

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Ian M May 18, 2011 7:05 pm

Five weeks. About right. Would love to know what the TJ's getting. Apart from a royal bollocking from his assessor that is.

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mat May 19, 2011 9:24 am

manu's reaction is bad and he deserves his ban but people are disregarding ashton's part in this, while manu is on the floor he lands a knee in his back and shoves his head pretty hard towards the ground. its not just a little push.
i think the knee in the back deserves punishment too!

people calling manu thuggish and a bully. could say the same about ashton. at least manu hit him face to face.

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DEO May 19, 2011 4:08 pm

At anon

I dont quite think thats what he was getting at, seemings all of his brothers play for Samoa ? in your argument it'd all be pangea rfc

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Anonymous May 19, 2011 4:33 pm

England always get to handpick the player the RFU work around England, its all so unfair. It upsets me when ever someone else is in the spotlight so i like to say stupid things just so someone will type a reply to me.

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Anonymous May 21, 2011 2:11 pm

secondfive, I don't think it's hypocrisy mate, alot of these people are oblivious to the fact some nations actually have a good variety of people and races playing sport.

IT's perplexing to the English game dominated by middle - upper class white blokes. The idea of a multicultural player base is beyond their grasp. So anyone with a good number of non whites must be stealing them directly from the Islands. A sad indictment of the bigotry that's rife in the British Isles.

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Anonymous May 21, 2011 11:32 pm

im a kiwi and i see this stuff at college rugby every saturday , should be more of it i think, this aint touch it rugby throw a punch and walk away and that should be that, no need for yellow cards slap on the wrist is more than enough, and if ashton didnt want to get fucked up he shouldnt of pushed him in the back of the head, and if he dont make the england squad he can play for some boys who really play rugby manu samoa!

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Acne Free Info May 22, 2011 2:39 am

Hey! You've got really good eyes for sports... Keep it up and will bookmark your blog.Very nice.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:34 pm

Everybody saying that Ashton got what he deserved and "got put in his place" are idiots. He didn't even end up on the floor. The man's got a chin of the gods.

In my opinion he kept his cool brilliantly too, anyone else would have been throwing them back.

Tuilagi's an idiot

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Anonymous June 19, 2011 7:53 pm

u guys really need to think this through. First off if your going to slag ashton off do it when he's in international colours, i dare you. Not one of you would dare boo him if he's in a white shirt, but as soon as he's in saints colours you come down on him like a ton of bricks. yes he celebrates when he scores, but he is one of if not the best and quickest wingers in the world, wouldn't you. He destroyed the aussie's and the italians, so don't slag him off just because he is in the black gold and green. And secondly all you people saying "good man" "great punches" "just what he deserves" you try and take any one of those punches. You would be in A&E. Those punches would rattle a profesional boxer. let alone any of you. The clip is a great example of players dicipline. International and non-international or rather undeserving international. He should not have been aloud on a rugby pitch for months after that. But he is, partly i believe is the fact it was against a saint who are hated by the rfu. He is lucky not to have been reported to the police for assult.

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James December 04, 2011 8:03 pm

Ashton shouldn't go shoving people if he isn't prepared to suffer the repercussions. Ashton is ridiculous, can't tackle Alesana without pulling him off the field by his hair.

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Captain Awesome December 06, 2011 10:45 pm

Manu did deserve the red card but that's what Ashton gets for being such a wank

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Filth December 12, 2011 2:18 am

Reckon that’s about right. I can’t understand why Ashton was Yellow carded. I think a yellow for Tuilagi was justifiable. Firstly, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get carded at all. Because there is a certain process as we all know call citing. So in essence he would have got the same suspension regardless of what card he got. Nothing frustrates me more in rugby when referee send off players for fighting. IT IS A CONTACT SPORT FOR GOODNESS SAKE! It is played by MEN..Strong men. For example Paul Williams red card in the World cup was just rubbish. Without a doubt rugby is the most beautiful game in the world. But it is turning into a girl’s game. Rugby League supporters would just laugh at that. Toughen up, and stop being such sooks is what I would say to the commentators!

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