Although French rugby may be traditionally associated with flair, creativity, and imaginative fly-halves, the domestic game in the country has always harboured a dark side.
Even today, eye gouging is a common occurrence in the lower leagues, while players have also had to endure their testicles being painfully pulled at the bottom of rucks. In addition, fracas, large-scale brawls and fist fights seem to break out with regularity in the Top 14 and Pro D2, as the authorities have struggled to stamp out incidents of foul play.
Such brawl broke out during the game between Biarritz and Montauban on Thursday night, which resulted in two players being sent off.
The incident occurred after Montauban attempted not engage with a Biarritz maul, enabling Terry Philippart sack the ball carrier in the second minute of the volatile game.
However, Biarritz hooker David Roumieu wasn’t best pleased with Philippart’s unexpected arrival, as both players very quickly began exchanging blows. The incident soon escalated, with both sides weighing in along the sideline.
Although replays showed Philippart delivering a series of blows to Roumieu, both players were given their marching orders.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
On this week’s edition of The Oval Office podcast, we talk about the Irish back row with Niall Ronan and get the Scottish perspective from The Scrum Magazine’s David Arnott.