Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Crusaders outraged by foul on McCaw. (May 2006)

The Star.
At home in Canterbury.
After the match vs. the Hurricanes, Super 14, 2006.

Crusaders outraged by foul on McCaw

It looked like just another scuffle at the bottom of a ruck. But beneath the tangle of bodies Crusaders captain Richie McCaw was being strangled by an opposing player. Gregor Paul reports.

All Blacks captain-in-waiting Richie McCaw was strangled for 24 seconds last week (by Neemia Tialata) and came perilously close to passing out on the pitch, say Crusaders sources.
It is understood that Crusaders management were outraged by an act that left McCaw genuinely fearful for his life.
TV pictures failed to capture McCaw’s distress when he was being throttled by an opposition player (NT) at the bottom of a ruck during last week’s crunch game between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes in Wellington.
But McCaw has told Crusaders management he was staring to panic before his team-mates came to his rescue and physically restrained the opposition player (NT).
One Crusaders source who has timed the incident using video footage and heard McCaw’s version of events has described the act as “the most despicable thing I have ever seen on a rugby pitch.”
McCaw has chosen not to speak out on the incident as he believes it happened on the pitch and should stay on the pitch.
He only revealed to Crusaders management the full extent of the incident a few days afters the game when he was coming under intense media scrutiny for his work at the breakdown.
As a consequence of keeping quiet, the Crusaders missed the opportunity to bring the incident to the attention of the match citing commissioner;
The referee, Paul Honiss, dealt with the incident at the time as a fracas broke out when both sides rushed to break up the struggle between McCaw and the other player (NT).
But Honiss would have been unaware of what might have been going on while the two men were buried underneath a pile of bodies.
The other players only became aware there was trouble when the ruck was cleared. But the opposition player’s (NT) hands had been round McCaw’s neck for some time before other bodies were shifted
As a consequence of Honiss dealing with the incident at the time and the silence from the Crusaders camp, the player was not cited.
While the Crusaders have been upset by the player’s (NT) actions they are not keen for the issue to remain in the media spotlight.
As the NZRU confirmed last night, there is nothing that can now be done.
Having beaten the Waratahs on Friday night to retain their spot at the top of the Super 14 ladder, the Crusaders don’t want to appear to be still troubled by an act that is in the past.

==> As you can see this article is not new news. I personally didn’t remember this match/incident before reading the article and watching the video (see the link below). But I thought that was appropriate to publish the article now –after what happened in South Africa a couple of weeks ago. Because, as I said at that time, Richie is a target WHATEVER the name of his opponents.
This kind of incident should never happen on a rugby field (or anywhere else!) and I think the NZRU should take more responsibilities (suspending more players) even when the player who was assaulted and his team don’t “call the commission”.
One day, something worst will happen, and it will be too late to suspend the dangerous player/s!

==> Comme précédemment annoncé, cet article n’est pas tout frais (saison 2006), et je ne me souvenais ni du match ni de l’incident (vidéo sur YouTube, cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous). Néanmoins, cet incident est toujours d’actualité puisque certains joueurs se sont plaints (pour Richie !) après le match des All Blacks en Afrique du Sud il y a quelques semaines. Car, comme je l’ai déjà dit, Richie est LA cible de ses adversaires (quelque soit le nom de leur équipe).
Ce type d’incidents ne devrait pas se produire sur un terrain de rugby (et même nulle part ailleurs !). Pour moi, c’est à la fédération NZ de prendre ses responsabilités et de convoquer (et suspendre) les joueurs, même quand la victime et son équipe ne saisisse pas la commission de discipline.
Car un jour, quelque chose de plus grave arrivera, et il sera trop tard pour suspendre les joueurs dangereux !!!

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