And then they went and spoiled it all by doing something stupid like sticking their fingers in to someone’s “eye area.”
Disappointingly, frustration at Richie McCaw’s constant law-bending and Craig Joubert’s massively ineffective refereeing performance got the better of French centre Aurelien Rougerie, as the damning evidence of his use of those darkest of arts illustrates.
The Mole finds it particularly disappointing because we like Rougerie, but also because he had a barnstorming game in the centre, putting his indifferent performances and weak shoulder behind him and running with terrorising ferocity in the midfield last Sunday. While McCaw and Joubert’s performances were enough to incense any opponent (Eddie Butler eloquently described Joubert view that the breakdown was “not a crime scene but a house party”), there’s absolutely no call for this kind of skullduggery. This isn’t one of those, “If Richie leaves his body on the wrong side, he’s gonna get stamped on.” This isn’t even one of those Jamie Heaslip, “I’m going to sort out this complete cheat with a massive knee to the head.”
Similarly disappointing has been the outcome. While Sur Ruchie’s eye is fine, the incident was apparently behind the lack of courtesy between the two teams who fiercely competed for the William Webb Ellis trophy last Sunday. In the immediate aftermath, neither McCaw nor Henry saw fit to even mention the French in their after match speeches, so obsessed were they with their own plight.
Equally, it’s disappointing that everyone would rather swallow this incident. Rougerie should be cited and banned for his dirtiness and the French performance in general should be commended, while Craig Joubert’s roundly condemned. To attempt to sweep the aftermath of the game under the carpet is not the right thing to do – not least because it will give the “terrible winners” New Zealand an injustice to crow about despite the realities of the final.
Also wrong is Kiwi loudmouth Keith Quinn who saw no problem with slinging mud all over newly crowned IRB International Player Of The Year, World Cup Final Man of the Match, pantheon of greats inductee and Demented Mole hero, Thierry “Henry” Dusautoir, remarking in the NZ Herald that he was “right there” when the gouge happened.:
“Well I thought, Dusautoir, [IRB] player of the year, he was right there. You can’t see whether he’s involved but he’s right there and he made no gesture of apology and anything, or concern to McCaw. So there you go, I don’t know.”
Sounds like it will stand up in court anyway Keith.
Remarkable too has been Lievremont’s lack of comment on the issue of the referee. For a man who put his foot in his mouth so repeatedly throughout the rest of the tournament, his vow of silence on the officials’ performances has been remarkably out of character. Where was that tact when it was required?