Monday, February 20, 2012

Bath and Gloucester get to know one another in mass brawl at the Rec

Gloucester beat Bath 14-11 in muddy conditions in what was a typically fiesty West Country Aviva Premiership derby at the Rec on Saturday. The tone was set early on, with two players being sent to the sin-bin to cool off after a mass brawl erupted.

Young replacement flyhalf Ryan Mills kicked the winning penalty late in the game as Gloucester picked up an away win over their rivals. Played in rain and mud from the onset, this was always going to be an old school battle up front and that's exactly how it started out, with the big guys sparking things off, then the rest of the players joining in.

Gloucester's lock Jim Hamilton and Bath's lock Ryan Caldwell appeared to exchange words after the scrum, possibly about something that happened there that can't be seen on camera. It resulted in Caldwell and his locking partner unleashing on Hamilton, and it went downhill from there.

Punches were thrown from more than a handful of players, although it was difficult to see how many actually landed. In the end referee Wayne Barnes and his assistants agreed that yellow carding just Hamilton and Caldwell was the best way to deal with the altercation.

On the way to the sideline it looked as though it could kick-off again, but common sense prevailed. Off the ball niggles continued throughout the game though, but this was biggest of them. 

Check out the related posts below the video for more mass brawls from the archive

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:04 am | View Comments (19)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 19 comments

Nico February 20, 2012 1:12 pm

Typical French thugs.... Oh, hang on....

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Colombes February 20, 2012 2:34 pm

u stole my words ;)

are we in the france southwest? ... oh wait!

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RedYeti February 20, 2012 1:34 pm

Not sure I agree with Hamilton being carded for defending himself when he essentially got jumped by both the Bath 2nd rows...

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Fettsack February 20, 2012 2:24 pm

The Bath second row is clearly responsible for this brawl and only them should have been punished I think.
The ref's attitude is right though: it's impossible for him to see everything and he acts with authority binning both teams since a lot a people where involved.
Fighting in rugby is the week way to get your frustration out. Good players get it out by putting bit hits and running hard. That said I don't think it's a big deal if professional players fight a little, as long as it stays on the field. Once the players have been yellow carded they should leave in silence, there's a reason why it's called the "sin bin".

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Pretzel February 20, 2012 2:32 pm

Red card them all...ref wins.. hooray....

Btw, how many red cards can referees issue in a game? Is there a certain number before a team has been deemed for forfeit or something...

For instance... could we actually get 9 players sent off on one team or something?!?! or would the referee turn around and that's it folks...

Btw as for this video, look at 0:09 the gloucester player who got jumped by the bath players is the first COMPLETE player (where we can see all of him) he is also wearing the muddiest kit...He seems to run but looking over his shoulder... now I wonder if he did something to set the second rows off? blocking them or something?!?

Not saying it was justified but it seems odd as it was seemingly unprovoked...

I'm with Fettsack, let a bit of a scrap go ahead, sort the players out involved with some yellow cards and get back on with the game... I am sick of reds for a scrap!

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gustyguest February 20, 2012 7:35 pm

Apparently the minimum number of players is 6. Enough to form a scrum and get the ball in (front and 2nd rows and a 9). Was told that by a ref last weekend when we had 4 sinbins in 5 mins

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Pretzel February 20, 2012 8:09 pm


Quite interesting imo, I only wondered because I remember being younger and playing some sort of football game on the playstation and basically hacking out players legs and getting red carded, but once you got 4 players sent off i think it was a forfeit.... No idea if that is the case in a real football match (not that I give a hoot personally) but as I said, I wondered if rugby had a similar process...

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gezza82 February 20, 2012 3:04 pm

Perhaps a good example for one of these new "white cards" whenever they come around in the NH... I'm sure this would lead to some new and very interesting problems too, lovely to see Bath and Gloucester still have affection for one another.

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Pretzel February 20, 2012 3:31 pm

White cards? google here i come...

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Pretzel February 20, 2012 5:34 pm

Ah yeh, sorry i did hear about that before.. I don't seem to see how it will help reduce incidents... just sort of makes them more obvious for citings... :/

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gezza82 February 21, 2012 12:10 am

Indeed... just an extra option for me and the guys the place a wager on when the referee reaches into his pocket :)

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jarrowlad February 20, 2012 4:26 pm

is violent conduct not a red?
Fondze (newcaslte falcons player) at weekend threw only 1 punch at armitage (London Irish) and recevied a red. Happy days !!!???

There was a lot more punches thrown on this clip.

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GraceOfBod February 20, 2012 5:20 pm

Who is number1 for bath.? Def deserved a red.. Threw loads of punches

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GraceOfBod February 20, 2012 5:20 pm

Who is number1 for bath.? Def deserved a red.. Threw loads of punches

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filth February 21, 2012 12:49 am

You're kidding? Nothing wrong with a bit of biff mate. I can understand what your saying, but I reckon Wayne Barnes got it right!

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Stefan February 21, 2012 9:57 am

To be brutally honest I think the only way to allow the game to carry on afterwards is to make sure that both sides are punished evenly. In the heat of the moment both sides are probably gonna feel "well he started it" (unless it's a blatantly obvious case of ABH), so if the ref were bold enough to punish more from one team that would probably lead to more altercations down the road.
In general I'm all for just showing them the cheese and getting on with the game after a scuffle, but just so long as we don't see it every week from the same players!

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cheyanqui February 21, 2012 7:04 pm

To me, these two locks had their fracas, and sure probably deserve a yellow.

But the two guys (#1 Blue, and I think #2 Red) who came into the human masses throwing punches were IMHO more egregious.

If Barnes were determined to only give one card to each team, it should have been to those guys. However, in the heat of a moment, and at eye level (vs from cameras up above), there is little way for the ref to see them jump in.

To use hockey logic -- the 3rd man into a fight deserves worse sanction than a simple 1v1 dispute.

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stroudos February 21, 2012 7:14 pm

Ach, they're just exchanging telephone numbers, as the late great Bill McLaren might have said.

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