Thursday, September 22, 2011

James Pritchard penalised for off the ball push on Vincent Clerc

On Sunday France and Canada played an intriguing game of rugby with many talking points, with one in particular bringing back memories of an infamous incident in the 1995 World Cup. Here's another look at what happened a few days back.

In 1995 the Canadians were, as always, not going to back down from a physical challenge. The incident between Pieter Hendricks and Winston Stanley actually happened in pretty much the same spot as this weekends, which involved Vincent Clerc and James Pritchard.

As with '95 when James Dalton and Scott Stewart came running in, this one threatened to kick off as some of the French players obviously took exception to Pritchard's push, and perhaps more so, the way he showed little regard for Clerc after contact.

Other than the lack of concern, there was probably nothing in it though. As pointed out by the commentators, if the boards weren't so close, there would have been no issues. Assistant referee Vinnie Munroe felt otherwise, and recommended a penalty to referee Craig Joubert.

There were a few of you who wanted to see the incident again. Let us know your thoughts.

Posted by Rugbydump at 8:58 pm | View Comments (25)

Posted in Rugby World Cup, Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 25 comments

AdamK September 22, 2011 10:23 pm

I actually thought Clerc was just having a laugh... Especially the way he pops his head over the boards... Hahah, straight out of a Monty Python sketch... I was in tears when it first happened.

But in all seriousness, didn't warrant a penalty whatsoever. Neither player could go anywhere, Clerc opted to jump over the boards to avoid the contact, that's all. Poor call from the assistant.

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AdamK September 22, 2011 10:25 pm

.... Hahah, it's actually more funnier the more you watch it. Clerc is hilarious... proper head over heels... And watching it again I noticed that as soon as he flies over the crowd start applauding! HAHAHAHA!

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WelshOsprey September 22, 2011 10:25 pm

Nudged him but i dont think he meant to flip clerc over the boards.

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Guest September 22, 2011 10:28 pm

I also agree that it didn't warrant a penalty. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd tier nations rarely get the benefit of the doubt at the RWC. Much like the iRB fixes the schedule to the benefit of the top nations, the refs do their best to help in terms of calling penalties.

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Mike September 22, 2011 10:47 pm

Any ice hockey player or Canadian knows what happened there - Pritchard finished his check. Always finish your checks.

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Arthus September 22, 2011 10:48 pm

I think it could have been dangerous if Clerk hadn't jump the boards... But obviously, they are too close from the playingfield...

Give players some space !

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bigwhit September 22, 2011 10:48 pm

complete poppy cock, he was obviously throwing himself over the barrier to try and get a penalty inside the Canadian's 22.

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moddeur September 22, 2011 11:34 pm

I watched the game with a few French countrymen and we were all shocked at the penalty call. That was not a penalty. More of a Benny Hill moment. Initially we laughed like mad when we saw Clerc's head popping up, then wondered why the hell the referee was giving out a penalty (Clerc wasn't even simulating injury, so why?). As for the resulting push and shove, I also tend to have my moments when on the field, it's just theatrical really.

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no9 September 22, 2011 11:35 pm

my pet hate when watching rugby is crap assistant referee's who are so bored on the sidelines they have to make mountains out of mole hills.

it seems to me that they either miss a big call or make a stupid one.


(rant over)

on the upside id give clerc a 7.5

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Juggernauter September 22, 2011 11:45 pm

Sad, sad penalty... At first I yhought Cerc was milking it big time, but then I got that he was just having a laugh...

I must say I didn't know much about the canadian team before the World Cup but I am now a big fan of them, scpecially their superb back row of Carpenter, Beardo Kleeberger and O'Toole. Hopefully they will upset Japan to finish third and open another spot for the Americas for 2015!

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HeavyHooker September 23, 2011 1:34 am

What a load of crap. I do not know which is worse: the Frenchman making a soccer dive or the touch judge acting like a soccer ref. I'm with Guest - no benefit to the 2nd and 3rd but coddle the 1st tier. Guarantee that NZ or the Boks wouldn't have been penalized. Can hardly wait to see what would happen if Canada was actually putting some pressure on the Black, refs would go bloody mad.

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whids September 23, 2011 1:47 am

brutal decision by Mr. Joubert and Mr. Monroe. Another example of how the Teir 2 countries are getting screwed at the RWC. No chance Piri Weepu gets penalized for that.

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medicaluke September 23, 2011 7:45 am

There is so much extra grass and the put the advertising boards like 2 metres from the line?!
Definitely think Clerc was thinking "Hey might as well do a flip" because i think he could have easily hurdled them. I bet he was bemused to have a penalty.

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medicaluke September 23, 2011 7:46 am

I also find it amusing that the ball boy's (or whatever) first and only concern is that the board needs to be put straight again. I would have asked Clerc if he was ok first...

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Oliver September 23, 2011 10:46 am

I do not agree at all here...
The ball was already out of bounds, so that was unneeded.
Pritchard just pushed Clerc intentionnally towards the boards.

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Colombes September 23, 2011 11:09 am

lot of noise for nothin.
was just a little incident, maybe a slight shove by pritchard but nothin malicious, the ads were too close. clerc wasn't milkin, just havin laugh
can't wait for the AB's! it will be hard, tense and i hope, wonderful

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Fullback September 23, 2011 1:51 pm

Total dive - I would expect that from the Soccer world cup. If Canada played France again my expectation is that the Canadian's find him and cleanly give him something to think about. There would be no need to dive.

I am a little disturbed by the amount of diving showing up in the Top 14 - would have to see rugby degenerate into soccer.

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moddeur September 23, 2011 2:42 pm

That's not even a partial dive. No one wants to fall on the edge of a panel, thus the ridiculous slow-motion flip. I bet that if you told Clerc right then that this would earn him a penalty, he wouldn't believe you. It's that foolish linesman who made a fuss out of nothing. Well him and the French players who were just as far out as him, also thought that this was a big hit, and then came with fists flaring.
Your allegations about the Top14 are strange, I've never seen anything but exceptional milking in it, about as much as you'd see in any championship.
How do you dive in rugby anyways? Are you talking about diving to pretend there is an obstruction?

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stroudos September 23, 2011 3:52 pm

FANTASTIC!! That is bloody brilliant!

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stroudos September 23, 2011 4:01 pm

From the alleged "culprit" -!/JPritchard_21:

"not too often I get to bully someone on a rugby field that's for sure."
and - commenting on this page:
"Barely touched him sir!!"

Top bloke.

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themull September 23, 2011 5:27 pm

Literally about 15-20 metres of grass between the touchline and the crowd, yet the advertising boards are placed withing 2/3 meters of the touchline...Terrible decision...

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Guy September 23, 2011 6:54 pm

On a side note: great to see ZZ-Top having a go on the rugby pitch for Canada. Those beards look frikkin' AWESOME!!!

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Hry September 23, 2011 11:56 pm

Reminds me of Flood in the 07 RWC Final on Montgomery (I think) over the dead ball line. That one was super petulant and deserved a yellow, god Flood was so immature back then. The ref gave him talking to like he was ten.

This one isn't as bad, and yes the advertising boards are too close, but that works both ways - Pritchard shouldn't be pushing him, taking into account that the boards are close and it's potentially dangerous. I'm fine with a penalty for that, it's just petty and cheap. Plus it technically counts as an off-the-ball tackle....

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Clerc September 27, 2011 2:09 pm

I can seejust few french peolple are folowing your site. I am watching and reading all comment, and I feel sorry for the commentator. That's a penalty and that's it. We can clearly see the intention from the Canadian player.

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