We’ve seen this sort of thing before, players hitting refs, but this might be one of the most egregious examples ever recorded.
It happened 25 minutes into a semi-final French Cup match between junior teams Saint-Esteve and Toulouse after the unnamed player received a red card from referee Benjamin Casty.
The player then proceeded to drop Casty with a murderous overhand right, and all hell broke loose as players from both sides got tangled up in a massive free-for-all. Things got so out of control that the match was ultimately forefeited. Casty was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries to his jaw and cheekbone.
French Rugby League Federation president Marc Palanques said he was appalled by the incident and expects league officials to come down hard on the players involved.
“I hope that the National Disciplinary Commission, which will meet on Wednesday, will prove uncompromising,” he said.
The player who slugged the referee was reportedly involved in a skirmish earlier on this season that resulted in his receiving a four-game suspension. We can only hope this guy’s rugby career ends with this latest incident. Anything less than a lifetime ban from the sport and/or criminal charges would be a surprise.