August 18, 2009

Harlequins rugby coach given three year ban: after "bloodgate" inquiry. The episode centres around last year's Heinekin Cup quarter-final where Harlequins winger Tom Williams faked a blood-injury (video) in order to leave the field and be replaced by a specialist kicker. [more inside]

posted by afx237vi to other at 09:35 AM - 8 comments

The inquiry found that Dean Richards, the coach and former England international, had orchestrated fake injuries on at least four previous occasions.

Tom Williams has been banned for four months, the physiotherapist for two years, while Harlequins RFC were fined 300,000 euro and could still be banned from future Heinekin Cups.

posted by afx237vi at 09:35 AM on August 18, 2009

Some people are simply too competitive for their own good.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:55 AM on August 18, 2009

Just out of interest, how much do you get fined for gouging?

I'm not defending 'quins at all - what they did there was just so outwith the spirit of the game it's hard to describe it - but I'm betting they just got fined more for having a player pretend to be injured than they would have done if one of their players had deliberately injured someone else.

I suppose you could claim "heat of the moment in a contact sport" if you gouged someone, whereas to do what 'quins did, you'd need to have packed the blood capsules in the first place. Premeditated cheating.

Tom Williams' little wink on his way off the pitch wasn't too bright either. Last person I remember doing that was Cronaldo for Portugal when he stoked Rooney's fire.

posted by JJ at 12:28 PM on August 18, 2009

The guy's ears at 2.00 minutes of the video are works of art....

posted by rumple at 01:10 PM on August 18, 2009

When I first read this story, I thought the RFU had overreacted, as I assume all coaches were getting players to 'fake' injuries to some extent so they could replace fading players towards the end of a match. You know, I'm limping a bit, twisted knee, I have to go off, sir! This was done in order to get around the (frankly) stupid substitution rules, which go back to the old amateur days.

Then I read about the use of blood capsules etc in this case. As JJ says, this brought a whole premeditated aspect to it. If it had just been the odd 'twisted knee', he would have got away with a warning, but what Richards did was bring the game into disrepute, and mock the RFU, which I'm sure they don't take to kindly to at Twickenham.

But the rule is still stupid.

posted by owlhouse at 05:20 PM on August 18, 2009

Wow - three years! Now THAT'S a punishment... Deserved, I don't really know. Rugby is such a brutal game (played by gentlemen, of course) this is a little funny. Seems a bit hockey-esque.

You can punch a man in the balls in the scrum and rip his ear off - but LYING!?! Good day, sir.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:55 PM on August 18, 2009


posted by Fat Buddha at 04:33 AM on August 19, 2009

While I'm all for punishing fakers this does seem a little extreme to me. Considering some of the lighter punishments that have been handed out for, imo, more serious fouls

posted by Fence at 02:33 PM on August 19, 2009

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