Final ‘filthy’, French eye-gouging: McCaw


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    All Black captain Richie McCaw has broken his silence on French eye-gouging in the Rugby World Cup final and says the game had turned “filthy” when it happened.

    The International Rugby Board did not cite French player Aurelien Rougerie despite video footage showing him raking his fingers across McCaw’s face. It is now looking to extend the citing window past 36 hours after the match.

    At a breakfast fundraiser in Christchurch on Monday, McCaw said he was “surprised” Rougerie was not cited and the final had become “filthy” when he was eye-gouged, Fairfax NZ reported.

    “The French are worse when they are scared … They were as bad as they have been and were going for the eyes,” he said.

    McCaw said he felt “sheer relief” when the All Blacks won the closely fought final 8-7.

    McCaw joked that all the unwritten rules about the William Webb Ellis Cup went out the window.

    The cup is never supposed to be alone, no-one is allowed to drink out of it and no-one is allowed to drink near it.

    “We broke every single one of them.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (107)

    • Columnist

      December 6th 2011 @ 8:50am
      Brett McKay said | December 6th 2011 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      No-one’s allowed to drink out of Bill?!?

    • December 6th 2011 @ 8:58am
      Ben S said | December 6th 2011 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      The final was ages ago. Why bring it up like that?

    • December 6th 2011 @ 10:01am
      allblackfan said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Ben S, he made the comment at a fundraising breakfast. Someone must have asked him about it.

      • December 6th 2011 @ 10:21am
        Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        I suspect Ben’s query was directed to why nobody made an official complaint about it within the 36 hour window.

        If it was an eye-gouging (and the video clips certainly appear that way) then its dangerous play. Surely all players in every team have an interest in this being properly investigated?

      • December 6th 2011 @ 10:49am
        Ben S said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:49am | ! Report

        I realise that he responded to a question, but I think his answer lacked class. I recall the vitriol directed at Brian O’Driscoll post-Lions tour when he brought up his injured shoulder. The game is over, NZ won, and what stays on the field stays there. I think gouging is beyond contempt, but it’s happened and there was no official response so all he had to say was that it was a rough/tough game etc. I just don’t think there’s anything to be gained from that sort of answer, however it was intended.

        • Roar Guru

          December 6th 2011 @ 12:10pm
          Jiggles said | December 6th 2011 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          I don’t condone eye gouging for a second, but I must say I have lost a lot of respect for this All Blacks team with how they have acted throughout and after this RWC. The team should’ve brought this up after the game with the IRB or dropped it, and McCaw shouldn’t of responded to the question when asked months later – you’re right it lacks class. The most defining thing about the ABs is that they always played with respect and were humble in victory, not these blokes.

          • December 6th 2011 @ 12:24pm
            Dc said | December 6th 2011 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            What a load of poppycock …Richie was reported on a comment at a charity event ….he gave a straight answer …there was no pre semi final baiting vs the wallabies before they were smashed .and none after from the ABs …unlike t he wallaby cheer squad who said we couldnt win without DC …Richie has been pretty tight lipped post tourney and his humility is streets ahead of many other players in the game .. I realise there will always be AB haters but they need to have a deep think about how their attitudes are formed ..

            • December 6th 2011 @ 1:02pm
              soapit said | December 6th 2011 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              so why tight lipped before but open book now?

          • December 6th 2011 @ 1:38pm
            Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

            Hmm Jiggles – we didn’t see the eye-gouging by the ABs – just the French who seem to pull these dirty tricks out all the time

          • December 6th 2011 @ 7:05pm
            Matt in Norway said | December 6th 2011 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

            Let’s all have another crack at McCaw aye, christ, do you guys ever stop your whining? The guy is a legend and magnificent ambassador for the game, yet you keep taking cheap shots at both him and the AB’s… Let it go you bitter and annoying people.

            • December 6th 2011 @ 7:11pm
              Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

              Spare us your mock outrage Matt in Norway,

              You consider yourselves and your team beyond criticism. You aren’t, so get over it.

              I would not have put it in the same terms as Jiggles, but the fact is his criticism of Richie and the current ABs was pretty mild. Your whining about “cheap shots” or “bitter and annoying people” is no more justified than DC’s “AB haters”.

              • December 6th 2011 @ 7:37pm
                Matt in Norway said | December 6th 2011 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                Hmmmm, funny, no mock outrage tiger, just getting very tired of the McCaw bashing and the AB’s vitriol that I read constantly, what ever happened to good natured ribbing?

                Don’t assume that I consider myself or my team beyond criticism, that statement is simply wrong, haven’t you directed that statement at me several times now?

              • December 6th 2011 @ 8:01pm
                Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

                Only when people deserve it, Matt. But I have no criticism of your response to Damo at the end of the thread and happy to withdraw.

          • December 7th 2011 @ 10:18am
            Snobby Deans said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            Jiggles – are your comments for real or just a piss take?

            The All Blacks stayed silent after the game probably because they didn’t want it to overshadow their accomplishment in winning the game – just as I’m sure the Wallabies don’t want the 1999 final to be remembered for the threat to leave the pitch after the French were engaged in foul play including eye-gouging (!).

            The French can play sublimely when the mood takes them, but this sort of dirty play – which even makes Quade Cooper’s clumsy attempts at thuggery look childish – cannot be tolerated. It should not be swept under the carpet, and if McCaw or any other All Black is asked about it in the context of that final, it should be addressed.

        • December 6th 2011 @ 12:21pm
          Bakkies said | December 6th 2011 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          to be fair to O’Driscoll he was dumped on head first with his shoulders in to the turf by two players which put him out of action for several months and the Kiwis tried to use the clear out excuse that the Saffies come out with when Bakkies is regularly cited for trying to mame players at the breakdown.

          • December 6th 2011 @ 1:39pm
            Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            O’Driscoll was being cleared out of the base of the AB scrum by two players who didn’t even seen each other..It wasn’t a spear tackle at all..

            • December 6th 2011 @ 5:17pm
              Ross said | December 6th 2011 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              These are the kind of ridiculous myopic excuses NZ’ers come up with for their team’s thuggery that makes people lack sympathy when they are the victims of thuggery by other teams.

              The footage is plainly not clear enough to see whether Umaga and Mealamu could see each other ( and given how close they were to each other it seems unlikely that they weren’t acting in tandem) & to describe one of the most blatant spear tackles of all time as not even being one is a joke.

              • December 6th 2011 @ 6:07pm
                granville said | December 6th 2011 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

                agreed Ross………..and what did the ABs and the NZ public said to O’Driscoll and the whinging Lions team ”get over it”……so to McCaw and the ABs GET OVER IT.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 10:21am
                Snobby Deans said | December 7th 2011 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                Ross – how does a 6 year old incident become an excuse for All Black bashing? The question was raised at an event and McCaw responded to it.

                Your answer is akin to someone saying to the Wallabies after the 1999 final, hey, you can’t bring up the eye gouging by the French after the thuggish assault by Michael Brial on Frank Bunce in the 1996 Tri-Nations game in Brisbane.

                What a load of poppycock!!! McCaw answered the question just as the Wallabies did when asked. Eye gouging is too serious to be ignored.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 12:20pm
                Mike said | December 7th 2011 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                Snobby, you have taken Ross’ post way out of context. He was responding to kiwi Mike’s attempt to downplay the seriousness of the O’Driscoll incident. Ross wasn’t using it as “an excuse for kiwi bashing” as you put it.

                The O’Driscoll incident was raised on this thread (originally by a NH fan, I believe) because it is another example of dangerous play in a test match that was not dealt with by the IRB. In that respect, it has a clear relationship to the McCaw eye-gouging. Both are dangerous play, both should have been dealt with severely by the IRB.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 12:56pm
                Snobby Deans said | December 7th 2011 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Mike – sorry, don’t agree. Ross’s comment was about Kiwi’s wanting sympathy for foul play against All Blacks when they commit foul play themselves. It wasn’t about foul play per se – and I’m guessing Ross never uttered a peep when Quade Cooper was the one committing the acts of thuggery.

                Every team has had players who have committed acts of foul play, so no-one should be throwing stones. What irks me about Ross’s comment is the tie-in to an old transgression that I don’t believe was valid . . . as in, the All Blacks speared O’Driscoll, so Kiwi’s have no place getting upset over the eye-gouge.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 1:35pm
                Mike said | December 7th 2011 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                Snobby, you can disagree all you like, but you obviously haven’t been following the thread. Ross’ response was directed to Kiwi Mike, and Kiwi Mike’s post was trying to play down the seriousness of the O’Driscoll incident which (if you bother reading up the thread) was raised by Ben S.

                And Ben S rightly brought the O’Driscoll incident into the thread precisely because it was another example of dangerous play (not just foul play) that wasn’t properly dealt with. It was NOT a jibe at kiwis.

                “I’m guessing Ross never uttered a peep when Quade Cooper was the one committing the acts of thuggery.”

                Whatever issues you may have with Ross are your own affair. But as several of us have already pointed out (again, please read the posts) Quade Cooper’s antics were not by any stretch *dangerous* play, nor was Richie McCaw’s knee on Parra, or other incidents that some people mistakenly bring up. Anyone who puts such niggles in the same class as truly dangerous play, such as eye-gouging or spear tackles, needs a reality check.

                “Every team has had players who have committed acts of foul play, so no-one should be throwing stones.”

                Again, if you read the posts you will see that I and others have made the point that *foul* play should be left on the field, but everyone should be citing *dangerous* play. There is a real difference between things like the gouging of McCaw or the spear tackle on O’Driscoll on the one hand, and mere foul play (like Quade or Richie get up to from time to time) on the other.

                “What irks me about Ross’s comment is the tie-in to an old transgression that I don’t believe was valid …”

                Then you need to be having a go at myself, Ben S and others, because we made the tie-in before Ross did (others have also tied in even older incidents, like the French eye-gouging the Wallabies in 1999). The IRB dithered and did nothing in 2006, just as they have done nothing this time. Sooner or later, it will happen – the speared player will be a paraplegic or the gouged player will lose his sight. At that point, national sensibilities will be irrelevant.

              • December 7th 2011 @ 2:54pm
                Ross said | December 7th 2011 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Snobby Deans- the other Mike has explained my point perfectly.

                Look all fans are a little bit one sided and give their team the benefit of the doubt when they would castigate others but I do think that tendency is exceptionally strong with New Zealand rugby supporters. Look at the fanboy elements on this site (led by Mr Zavos) for examples.

                The reaction of New Zealanders as a whole to the spear tackle left a seriously bad taste in the mouth & when even after 6 years the likes of Kiwi Mike are still coming out with absurd & dishonest excuses for it, it needs to be answered.

            • December 7th 2011 @ 11:07am
              Bakkies said | December 7th 2011 @ 11:07am | ! Report

              O’Driscoll wasn’t even bound to the ruck

    • December 6th 2011 @ 10:32am
      mikeylives said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:32am | ! Report

      On – The headline reports Richie saying the All Blacks “broke every Aussie” in the semi final. This seems like a full-on statement. But on reading the article he is quoted as saying “we broke every one of them” – referring the the unspoken rules about handling the webb-ellis trophy.
      If this is a misquote, then the editor should be fired, because a 12 yr old would actually read the article before making the headline.

    • December 6th 2011 @ 10:48am
      mattamkII said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      This in gutter writing at its best.

      Ben, it was an answer to a question from the floor at a boozy rugby charty event. In case you’ve never been to one of these events I can assure everyone that this would have been said in good nature. The idea of these events is to get smashed and have laugh at the war stories.

    • December 6th 2011 @ 10:56am
      King of the Gorgonites said | December 6th 2011 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      Hey Richie – have you heard the one about the pot and the kettle?

      • December 6th 2011 @ 1:40pm
        Mike said | December 6th 2011 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        Ritchie seems to get all the cheap shots and bears up remarkedly well – I can count about 5 citable thug attacks on McCaw that were all let go in tests.

        • December 7th 2011 @ 11:09am
          Bakkies said | December 7th 2011 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          Maybe if he didn’t get away with cheating so much he wouldn’t get attacked?

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