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Daily Archives: March 19, 2017

Howley fumes over North bite, Atonio substitution


There was plenty to talk about in that 19 minutes injury time in the France v Wales RBS Six Nations test but one of the biggest talking points was the claim from George North that he was bitten.

There was a clear bite mark on North’s arm and referee Wayne Barnes had no choice then to go to the TMO to have a look. No evidence was found in the video the TMO had so the play went on with no sanction against the French.

Allot of confusion dominated the closing stages of France’s win after Uini Atonio was taken off for an HIA and replaced by Rabah Slimani, despite speculation over where he picked up an injury.

Wales coach Howley was not impressed by it all “It’s gone to the TMO [television match official]. The evidence was inconclusive in terms of the images that were shown to the referees, and ultimately they’ve made a decision on that and it’s absolutely fine,” Howley told the Press Association.

“I am 100 percent behind that decision in terms of the pictures they saw. Obviously, there is evidence to suggest otherwise on George’s arm.

“The evidence suggests there is a bite.

“The referee only had one angle. I haven’t seen any other angles, so unfortunately it’s inconclusive and you move on.

“I am sure you can ask George if you can have a look at his arm. There is evidence to suggest that there is a bite.”

Turning his attention to the fall-out from the suspicious replacement of Atonio for Slimani, Howley suggested the game has been brought into disrepute.

“Integrity in our game is pretty important,” Howley clarified.

“What happened towards the last 10 minutes shouldn’t happen again on an international rugby field.

“The process leading up to the change of the French tighthead, the way that process occurred, we love our game too much to have those decisions. It was hugely disappointing.

“The process — him [Slimani] warming up prior to him going back on. One of their coaches outside the technical area had a conversation with the doctor, and within a minute of it, the tighthead was taken off.

“In terms of the HIA and the process, I’ve spoken to Wayne [match referee Wayne Barnes] to talk about that process. The evidence suggests that it is not in the integrity of our game.

“There is a technical area, and you are not allowed outside that. Ultimately, someone has come outside that and allowed the doctor to go on at a break in play, which is outside the laws of the game.

“You can hear Wayne Barnes ask him [Atonio] if he is okay. He [Atonio] said he had a sore back, but that he was okay. And then the doctor comes on, and he goes off.

“Wayne, in terms of the last 10 minutes, that wasn’t Wayne’s fault. He has listened to a medic.

“You can imagine the emotional fall-out. I don’t know what can be done, because ultimately it is the trust of the information between management and a referee.

“Whoever has come outside the technical area – I don’t know who it was – but he has been able to get to someone to get on the field, and they were able to make that switch.

“The integrity of the game has been brought into disrepute.”

Top 14 Weekend Wrap


The French Top 14 are in Week 21 and here is a wrap on the weekends matches

Just three Top 14 matches took place on Saturday following the postponements of matches involving Stade Français and Racing 92.

La Rochelle extended their lead at the top thanks a bonus-point victory over Brive, to keep their remarkable campaign going.



Bayonne 24-20 Bordeaux-Bègles
Clermont Auvergne 65-13 Pau
La Rochelle 36-17 Brive

Castres p-p Stade Français
Montpellier p-p Racing 92

Bayonne 24-20 Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne

Martin Bustos Moyano scored 14 points as Bayonne’s very faint survival hopes were given a boost thanks to a 24-20 triumph over Bordeaux Begles.

The hosts started brightly and deservedly opened up a 13-point buffer via Jean Monribot’s try and successive Bustos Moyano penalties.

Simon Hickey responded for Bordeaux off the tee but Gabiriele Lovobalavu’s touchdown allowed the basement-dwellers some breathing space at the break.

Hickey added a second three-pointer and Ole Avei crossed the whitewash as UBB threatened to come back but the home side’s sharp-shooter took Bayonne to victory, despite Ian Madigan’s late consolation.

The scorers:

For Bayonne:

Tries: Monribot, Lovobalavu
Con: Bustos Moyano
Pens: Bustos Moyano 4
Yellow Cards: Monribot, Bustos Moyano

For Bordeaux:
Tries: Avei, Madigan
Cons: Hickey, Madigan
Pens: Hickey 2
Yellow Card: Madaule

Bayonne: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Félix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Kade Poki, 10 Raphaël Lagarde, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 Jean Monribot, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Pablo Huete, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz.
Replacements: 16 Gregory Arganese, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Pelu Taele, 19 Tom Donnelly, 20 Lucas Meret, 21 Romain Martial, 22 Bastien Duhalde, 23 Jon Zabala Arrieta.

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Romain Lonca, 11 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis-Benoît Madaule, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Gautier Brut de Remur, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Luke Jones, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Gauthier Doubrere, 21 Ian Madigan, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Marc Clerc

Referee: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina)
Assistant Referees: Christine Hanizet, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Eric Briquet Campin

Clermont Auvergne 65-13 Pau
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont Auvergne improved their chances of a top-two finish after thrashing fellow play-off chasers Pau with a 65-13 bonus-point triumph.

The game was effectively ended as a contest after 27 minutes with Clermont taking a 25-0 lead through Flip van der Merwe, Benjamin Kayser and Raphael Chaume tries.

Two Tom Taylor penalties reduced the deficit just shy of the interval and Paddy Butler touched down in the second half, but by that stage they were 24 points in arrears.

Fritz Lee and David Strettle went over for a 37-13 advantage before the English wing added his second and Aaron Jarvis, Nick Abendanon and Scott Spedding completed the rout.

The scorers:

For Clermont:

Tries: van der Merwe, Kayser, Chaume, Lee, Strettle 2, Jarvis, Abendanon, Spedding
Cons: Parra 2, Radosavljevic 5
Pens: Parra 2.
Yellow Cards: Iturria, Yato

For Pau:
Try: Butler
Con: Taylor
Pens: Taylor 2
Yellow Cards: Votu, Vatubua

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Adrien Planté, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphaël Chaume
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Judicael Cancoriet, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Damian Penaud, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Aaron Jarvis

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14 Thibault Daubagna, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Andrew Cramond, 3 Chris King, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Jamie Mackintosh
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Masalosalo Tutaia, 19 Ben Mowen, 20 Steffon Armitage, 21 Brandon Fajardo, 22 Pierre Dupouy, 23 Malik Hamadache

Referee: Maxime Chalon
Assistant Referees: Thierry Mallet, Sebastien Herbert
TMO: Laurent Sclafer

La Rochelle 36-17 Brive
Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle

La Rochelle maintained their charge towards top spot and a home semi-final final after overcoming 14-man Brive 36-17.

The surprise league leaders were superb in the first half and went into the interval 28-10 ahead following tries by Vincent Rattez, Eliott Roudil, Jason Eaton and Benjamin Noble.

Seremaia Burotu’s score in the opening period kept Brive in contention and Sisa Koyamaibole’s effort after the break gave them genuine hope of pulling off a shock victory, but Albert Patrick Toetu’s red card halted their progress.

Brock James slotted the resultant penalty to go with his four conversions before Mathieu Tanguy’s last minute try secured the bonus-point win.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Rattez, Roudil, Eaton, Noble, Tanguy
Cons: James 4
%u200BPen: James

For Brive:
Tries: Burotu, Koyamaibole
Cons: Germain, Lapeyre
Pen: Germain
Yellow Card: Devisme
Red Card: Toetu

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Eliott Roudil, 10 Brock James, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Levani Botia, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Lekso Kaulashvili, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Mathieu Tanguy, 19 Damien Lagrange, 20 Jean Victor Goillot, 21 Benjamin Noble, 22 Steeve Barry, David Feao

Brive: 15 Gaëtan Germain, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Seremaia Burotu, 12 Sevanaia Galala, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Saïd Hireche, 5 Sisa Koyamaibole, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Jan Uys, 19 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 20 Arnaud Mignardi, 21 Thomas Laranjeira, 22 Benjamin Lapeyre, 23 Albert Patrick Toetu

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Assistant Referees: Cedric Clave, Patrick Beuriot
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure

Sunday Fixtures:

Toulouse v Lyon
Grenoble vs Toulon