Rugby Union

Montpellier Glasgow Warriors.

Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors brawl in European Champions Cup

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In what should have been a victory to behold for Montpellier in their European Champions Cup Pool 3 Group game against a lively Glasgow Warriors, actually turned into a boxing brawl which spilled onto the sideline and saw referee JP Doyle knocked over onto the ground.

After they were three tries down in a thrilling opening quarter, a quick double response from Nemani Nadolo and Romain Ruffenach put them back on track, but that's when things got a bit too fiery.

In the footage, the French side’s hooker Bismarck du Plessis is seen at the heart of the brawl, which occurred in the 79th minute of the match, and both he and Ruaridh Jackson of Glasgow Warrior were given yellow cards and their marching orders to see out the rest of the game from the side.

It seemed like a tactic to unsettle a spirited Glasgow as Du Plessis is seen smiling and winking to a teammate after his dismissal.

It made no difference, however, as Montpellier saw out the game 36-26, which saw them hold second place behind Leinster with two games remaining and a five-point difference.

The real question remains, though, what is up with Du Plessis’ temperament?

This latest incident supports perhaps Allister Coetzee’s decision to omit Du Plessis from the latest South African, also known as the Springboks, squad.  

In May, Coetzee justified his decision saying that he wants local players to have preference over fellow internationals playing abroad. Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, and Chiliboy Ralepelle were selected as the squad's hookers.

Maybe this brawl hasn’t helped Du Plessis chances of changing Coetzee’s views.


Bismarck du Plessis has admitted before to having anger issues. In 2015, whilst captaining South African side the Sharks, he received a red card after numerous off the ball incidents.

He pleaded guilty at the judicial hearing, which is automatic when receiving a red in the sport, and apologised unreservedly for his behaviour. He then went on to say of his anger issue: “I acknowledge that I need to have better control of my emotions…”

A few years earlier, in a national match against New Zealand, Du Plessis was red carded following two yellow card offences, but this was overruled by a judicial officer who felt his first tackle on fly half Dan Carter was fair.  

However, this was a clear indication, given he still received a yellow card in the game, that he had issues controlling his anger.

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