Last week I posted a video of an English rugby game that erupted into violence. It proved popular, and while we all decided it was a poor show for professional sport the link got passed from person to person. Would we see the likes of it again? We publicly said “we hope not,” but in our heads many of us were thinking “FIGHT!”
Now this has happened in France.
This particular scuffle, for the uninitiated, is taking place in the French Top 14. It is a division where there are no salary caps and French millionaires and playboys try to load every team with superstars and monsters.
It is also a division of brutal physicality and sometimes the monsters are allowed to get at each other. In this instance a rather large Frenchman named Yoann Maestri has a disagreement with a Georgian chap called Mamuka Gorgodze. He is otherwise known as Gorgodzilla.
Gorgodze of Montpellier is no stranger to a ban and he knows his way around a punch. His opposite man is only 24, but he is one of Toulouse’s enforcers and has been on the international scene since he was 22. Both men are part of the French rugby environment where to back down is to be shown up in public. Ugly scenes are part of the overall scene.
This is another case of hardy men refusing to wilt. Perhaps, in this case red cards were harsh as many more were involved, but flare-ups like this don’t appear to be dying down. Will other professionals be discouraged from swinging a fist purely because a few high profile instances have been colored in red by officials, recently? We will have to wait and see.