DUBLIN, IRELAND – Two rugby players started a melee in a Premiership match on Saturday. Was it for a Sam Warburton-type tackle? No. An eye gouge courtesy of French centre Aurelien Rougerie? Non. How about one of my patented Declan Yeats Speacials – a fishook in a ball-carrier’s mouth in the middle of a maul? Nope. No, instead Northampton Saints winger Chris Ashton and Leicester Tiger Alesana Tuilagi started a brawl because somebody’s hair got pulled. Jaysus! And where did this happen? In the backline, of course! Backs could botch up a two-car funeral procession. They’re shite. But that’s for a different column…
Here’s the incident for those that missed it:
Now, I may be a cantankerous, set-in-my-ways and allegedly dirty Irish prop, but there’s plenty else to deal with between the white lines than having to worry about somebody’s haircut. Further, if you’re going to cry about having your hair pulled, cut your hair. In American Football, the bastard son of Rugby, they got it right: If you wear your hair long, you can be tackled by it. Simple as that. Do I have an exception to this rule? Certainly. Women players can’t be tackled by their hair. They are SUPPOSED to have long hair, so pulling hair in a women’s match would be tantamount to tackling a man by his John Thomas in a men’s match. It’s just not right.
Granted, there may have been more to Ashton mistaking Tuilagi for Rapunzel… See, there was a certain punch-up between Ashton and Manu Tuilagi last season – if you call Manu knocking the little British wanker wing “…into next Tuesday” a punch-up. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Two things come into my dented-from-headbutting head:
1) Is Ashton daft? He got man-handled by the “little” Tuilagi, so now he’s taking on the bigger brother?!
2) His flanker, Tom Wood, who saved him from getting murdered, should have all his fines and missed wages paid for by… Tuilagi! That’s right, the Samoan Sampson should pick up the tab for having the “hairdo of interest” in the whole caper. Don’t start throwing punches just because you can’t find a barber, Alesana!
And what of the governing board, the RFU? They ruled with a heavy hand! The RFU Disciplinary Officer offered this:
“We accepted that this started by accident but it became clear that at some stage Chris Ashton knew what he was doing… If you pull somebody by the hair there is an element of denigration and this act was a catalyst for a mass brawl that resulted in two red cards and significantly affected the image of the game.Without any laid down guidance on sanction we have aligned the offence to that of spitting.”
Spitting!!! That’s nearly as bad as name-calling. These bloody backs are ruining the game. I’m anathema to them! And that goes for 7s, too. We should be playing 8s…. My scrum vs your scrum. No backs. My lock wouldn’t whine about his locks. You can hang your hat on that!
A man with a man’s haircut and man’s position – prop & hooker are the only one in 7s – is back tomorrow. So please tune in for USA Eagle Matthew Hawkins. And tell your mates about our bloody site!