Rugby World has done a magazine feature on cup capers – crazy moments from European club rugby. Here are a couple more, complete with videos…
George Robson took over the captaincy from the injured Chris Robshaw when Harlequins travelled to Toulon for their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final clash in April 2012. It should have been a highlight of the second-row’s career but instead it turned into something of a lowlight. As Robson led his boys from the dressing room he slipped on the polished floor, taking a tumble with the TV cameras recording every moment.
“Woah!” yelled Mark Robson on Sky Sports, as Danny Care and the other subs failed to suppress their giggles. “George Robson, the first error of the night.” Alas, there were others to follow from Quins as Toulon cruised to a 37-8 victory.
Venter one’s spleen
In October 2010 Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter was slapped with a £21,000 fine by ERC after making derogatory comments about the referee in the wake of his side’s narrow defeat to Leinster. Any repeat offence, warned the powers-that-be, and the suspended portion of his punishment – £13,000 – would be taken from his wages. Venter was livid with the levy but what could he do? After all, he’d been gagged, hadn’t he?
Then he happened to watch the hit film Mike Bassett: England Manager in which Dave Dodds plays the part of a clueless coach. “I thought, ‘If have to do an interview this can be my template’,” Venter later explained.
So after Saracens had lost 24-21 to Racing Métro in the next round, Venter stood before the television cameras for 57 seconds and gave what one paper described as “a series of non-committal answers” to nine questions. Or in layman’s terms, he spoke gibberish.
“To keep a straight face throughout – I thought I did a great job,” the South African said later. The ERC said they were “disappointed” by Venter’s stunt, but then hasn’t comedy always been a question of taste? You can watch the famous interview here…
For more funny Heineken Cup tales, see the June issue of Rugby World. The magazine goes on sale on Tuesday 6 May.