Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Imanol Harinordoquy's father joins fight against Bayonne

The Basque derby between Biarritz and Bayonne in the Top 14 last night turned out to be as fiery as expected, with a fight kicking off just minutes into the game. What wasn't expected was that Imanol Harinordoquy's father would run on to take part in it.

The French number eight's father took to the field after his son was involved in a scrap a few meters away. He appeared to take exception to something Bayonne flanker Jean-Jo Marmouyet did, so left the stands and got stuck in.

Flyhalf Benjamin Boyet tackled him to the ground, possibly the strangest tackle he's made in his career, and things fizzled out from there as Mr Harinordoquy senior was escorted from the field.

"I find his behaviour deplorable that he came onto the pitch to defend his son by boxing with Marmouyet at the beginning of the match,'' said Christian Gajan, Bayonne's director of rugby.

"You could have been mistaken for believing it was a youth match between two local villages, it was a scandalous episode," he added.

Biarritz won the game 21-19 after flyhalf Julien Peyrelongue kicked a last gasp penalty.

Harinordoquy himself chose to comment on the win, but avoided talking about the incident. 

Posted by Rugbydump at 8:05 am | View Comments (24)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 24 comments

Citing Commissioner November 30, 2011 10:12 am

What a chump, ban him from spectating for ten years!

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stroudos November 30, 2011 10:15 am

I reckon Harinordoquy Junior will be immensely embarrassed by his clown of a father. Outrageous to get involved like that, but as if Big Imanol needs any help in a brawl anyway!?

Still, good to see the old Biarritz-Bayonne rivalry as intense as ever!

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The Mad Mailmaa November 30, 2011 10:26 am

Way to get stuck in, Papa Harinordoquy!

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Baines November 30, 2011 10:32 am

Classic pushy parent

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Colombes November 30, 2011 10:38 am

quite surprising to watch this kind of stuff in professional rugby.
i remember a big saffa fan tackling a ref on the pitch, a samoan supporter trying to tackle luis koen on a penalty attempt and a clermont-wasps brawl where fans were involved... but these incidents are fortunately quite rare.

i think imanol must be embarassed by his father stupid reaction, rugby deserves better. but basques has "piment d'espelette" in their veins and sometimes, it explodes ;)

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Fettsack November 30, 2011 12:24 pm

It's always sad to see the spectators getting involved. Let the players and the ref sort things out themselves. I'm not pro-fighting but a few punches between players in tight games are not a big deal. As long as it stays on the pitch.
Finally a win for Biarritz!

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moddeur November 30, 2011 1:00 pm

Although I enjoy a good streaker once in a while, I don't really like it when spectators invade the pitch (except at the end of a game in some smaller towns). So in my eyes this was really too much ... but you have to give some credit to the old man: he goes out there and strikes a 15-foot and five-ton flanker in the face, while wearing glasses.

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No7onthepitchNo1inyo November 30, 2011 2:10 pm

If the guy wants to go toe to toe with giant men, let him! He'll soon learn! Professionalism pales into insignificance when compared to a parents love for his son, it's good to see a bit of human emotion now and then!

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newbie November 30, 2011 3:49 pm

Totally agree

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BuzzKillington November 30, 2011 2:11 pm

I think what's most confusing is that Harinordoquy was absolutely fine. I could MAYBE understand why a concerned parent would try to take to the field if his or her son were taking a beat down of epic proportions... Maybe something like the beat down ROG got in the Lions tour way back... But this? Harinordoquy isn't even hurt or being set up on. The reaction just seems downright retarded.

Would like to see replays of the incident as I have a feeling the fight was going on about 30 seconds prior to the try. It could be something underhanded did happen which we haven't seen. Not that it would excuse his reaction, mind.

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stroudos November 30, 2011 2:26 pm

Don't know if you posted this before the new and improved video was uploaded, but on the new one have a look at 0:10, bottom left corner of the screen - bit of a scuffle between Harinordoquy, Bayonne prop and another Bayonne player (presumably Marmouyet although I can't quite see him). Then a few seconds later, about 0:13, Harinordoquy is either pushed or possibly (hard to tell) headbutted to the ground.

So that's probably what his old man objected to - for him to go onto the pitch like that I reckon there must have been a headbutt or something- but I'm speculating.

Absolutely no excuse in any sport for a spectator going onto the pitch fully clothed.

And trying to attack a player is just contemptible. Although it did make me laugh that the flyhalf came to the big back row forward's rescue. Looks like he was ready to dish out a thrashing -and rightly so- but Harry Senior got an unlikely let-off (quote from Guardian website):
"I tackled him because he was attacking one of my team-mates," Boyet [Bayonne flyhalf] told L'Equipe. "I put him to the ground and [the Biarritz hooker] BenoƮt August told me to stop, because it was Imanol's father."

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BuzzKillington November 30, 2011 4:31 pm

"Absolutely no excuse in any sport for a spectator going onto the pitch fully clothed."

Fantastic! I agree

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moddeur November 30, 2011 5:44 pm

That's exactly it, when asked by referee Fitzgibbon, linesman Berdos said there was a headbutt. Excellent point about clothed spectators!!

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Pretzel December 02, 2011 7:11 pm

Headbutt = Instant red card.....

I'm not saying there wasn't a headbutt but it seems odd that the referee didn't take the linesman's information and issue a card...

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The Green Mafia November 30, 2011 4:05 pm

Couple of points: Although his actions are inexcusable, you have to feel for the man, seing his son get ganked 2 on 1. Still, he shouldn't have intervened. Good from the flyhalves part for not dishing some punches in the heat of the moment. He got the man away from his teammate and left it at that. But the worst part is, I bet Imanol is going to get a whole lot of stick from every rugby player he meets, something like "Are you going to call your father to beat me up?". Or then again, maybe not, as most people wouldn't dare tell that to his face

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patedelievre December 03, 2011 1:20 pm

thanks for some intelligent comment at last!
fed up with all those trolling comments always looking for comparisons between football and rugby. Rugby's a fighting sport, there'll always be tensions. Lucien Harinordoquy did something stupid, he'll pay for it, period. Still reckon he should just have some kind of practical work to do, like refereeing a few junior rugby games and, I dunno, like help the stadium gardeners or something.
Now to reply to all those who keep on comparing rugby to football, sorry RD if I am not politically correct but here's what I think: wether you like it or not, the reasons why football is so insane has to do with the fact that it's always played by thugs (to play football you just need a ball. can play in the streets, thus anyone with plenty of time and a round ball can do it. sorry guys but it very often starts with guys skipping class and else...) other reason: much more money. ok, money's coming in the rugby world, but it'll never be as insane. and a good way to prevent it is to forbid clubs to put the player's name on the jersey: apart from the whole "anti-team, individual glory" spirit it provides, it also allows clubs to sell tons of jerseys, which is one of the best ways to make money in sport.
could talk for hours about how rugby is different and will never be as insane as football, but I'll leave it to that.

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Fettsack November 30, 2011 7:22 pm

Stroudos is right, you can see two Bayonne players (including a prop) putting Imanol on the ground at about 0:11-13.
Still no excuse to get involved.
I once saw two guys beat up a team-mate while on the bench and sitting back not helping is hard to do but subs or spectators getting on the pitch just make the ref's job harder.

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Javier Xavier November 30, 2011 10:05 pm

Amazingly, the old man did not lose his eyewear during the fracas. Rugby is getting soft!

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stroudos December 01, 2011 4:37 pm

Yes, but what if your son's NOT taking a beating and, as a professional rugby player and double your size, is quite capable of looking after himself?

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Guy December 01, 2011 6:55 pm


Great example...normally I would add: 'for the kids'.

In this case however I am more worried about their parents.

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VladIlitchOulianov December 01, 2011 11:17 pm

I really appreciate Mr. Fitzgibbon for doing efforts and speaking French, some may say it's a minimum but still...

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Just Call Me Ehtch December 01, 2011 11:56 pm

Kiddies rugby comes to Top 14 french rugby! Or is that just kiddies footie that these sort of things happen?

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crosser December 05, 2011 2:59 am

Nice job with the French Mr. Fitzgibbons!

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