Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

A French Rugby Brawl, With Promotion On The Line

Welcome to Tuesday Night Fights, a weekly celebration and analysis of street-fight videos found on YouTube. Tonight's fisticuffs: "Massive Brawl in french second division !!!" Tonight's commentator: Jim Saksa, a rugby player who wants his alma mater University of Penn to win the upcoming collegiate championships in Philly. (Coming next week: An epic KO in Scandinavia.)

Rugby is an inherently violent sport. Such violence often inspires additional, unsanctioned violence, because, as it turns out, being hit repeatedly can be somewhat upsetting experience. Rugby tolerates some extracurricular fisticuffs, but not all out brawling. This isn’t hockey, after all.

This video is one match’s fight highlight reel. Much of rugby resembles a street brawl if you aren’t familiar with the finer distinctions between the two, such as the former’s no punching rule. Rugby tolerates a lot of contact away from the ball, provided that the players involved were honestly trying to play the game. That’s not what we have here. We have, as youtube poster brianrugby08 so aptly put it, a “Massive Brawl in french second division !!!”

French Rugby, like most European soccer leagues, promotes the top clubs and regulates the worst clubs. These are two of the better French Pro D2 teams, each fighting to win promotion to the French Top 14 (both just barely missed the cut). Today’s match-cum-brawl has La Rochelle’s Atlantique Stade Rochelais (in the white kit) travelling to Pau’s Section Paloise (in black). I don’t know the history between these two teams, but I get the feeling that they don’t like each other very much.

The best action starts around 1:39, with La Rochelle’s Petrus Johannes Wessels throwing the first real punch. Pau’s Marlon Solofuti retaliates, and which inspires La Rochelle’s Jordan Seneca to box his ear. The shoving match before this is mere foreshadowing of what’s to come; it’s this game’s Field of the Cloth of Gold, and Seneca is our Henry VIII.

The video starts just before the game’s 58th minute. We’re almost midway through the second half of an undoubtedly chippy match, and there is some hard rucking and counter rucking. This leads to some minor pushing and shoving – the sort of thing that happens in every rugby match at some point. The video then cuts to about 10 minutes later, and that’s when things really get going. (If you’re wondering what a “ruck” is, read this, unless you are content with your ignorance.)

Normally, when a fight breaks out between two players, it stays between those two. The bench-clearing brawl is the province of baseball, after all. But when Paul’s Marlon Solofuti clears Wessels a bit too roughly for the tastes of his teammates, all hell breaks lose. Solofuti get’s punched in the ear for his efforts.

The best punch occurs at 1:54. Pau’s number 17 tries to clear a La Rochelle player off his teammate, and is punished accordingly. About half the players are fighting, and the other half are trying to break up the fights, which is hard to distinguish from the fighting.

Wessels and Solofuti are given red cards and sent off. Because Wessels threw the first punch, Pau gets the penalty. Pau does a quick restart – a “tap and go” - taking advantage of La Rochelle’s poor positioning. After some quick yards, La Rochelle’s wing makes a nice tackle. After La Rochelle commits an accidental infringement, the ref whistles play dead and coincidentally signals the start of the next fight. Seneca is ultimately sent off for his role in this one, but La Rochelle’s number 18 is the guy delivering the most damage, delivering a KO punch around 4:08.

La Rochelle might have lost the match, but they won the bouts. Winning a fight certainly feels good, certainly better than first to your temple, but still not as good as winning.


And now, the rest of the Tuesday Night Fights:

• Holy Jesus, this is the best lady-rent-a-cop-involved dust-up I've ever seen. (Start of Violence, 1:50, but it's worth a full watch)


• Forgive me for not remembering whether we've seen this one before, but all people look the same to me, especially those who knee foes' heads after they've waved themselves out of competition. (SoV, 0:11)

• I'm not saying these women are prostitutes in Orlando. But the title of the video does. I'll take his/her word for it since I can't get over the nagging feeling of not knowing whether we've seen this one before. (SoV, 0:26)

• The Florida Slaw-Wrestling-For-'Merica Opening Act:

• If Michael didn't kill Snoop, this type o'shit wouldn't happen. But he did, so it does. (SoV, 0:10)


• When Martin envisioned spending quality time with two ladies, this was not what he had in mind. (SoV, 0:11)

• Wait, did this guy's face just get machete slashed? (SoV, 0:05)

• This is less of a fight and more of a mini-subduing, but the scene is elegant in and of itself. (SoV, 1:43, 2:05, 3:19)


• When Models Wield Bottles Intermission:

• There are several things to point out regarding "2 Sisters Fight for A husband nudity & violence 18+." It's unclear whether they're kin. It's unclear whether a husband is, in fact, the impetus for this confrontation. There's nudity, yes, but not, like, full-frontal or anything. That about covers it. (SoV, instantly)


• Scenes from a Van Damme movie gag reel. (SoV, instantly)

• Davey George vs. Tommy Spade: Who ya got? (SoV, 0:09)

• This is what happens when brothers don their best yellow T-shirts and settle their differences with fists, in front of "friends," dawg. (SoV, 0:02)


• Beefy Plumbers Battle For Submission Intermission:

• From America's birthplace, a fistfight in Vernon Park (SoV, instantly). Bonus Coverage: We also have an alley battle which doubles as a referendum on goofyass boxing posture (SoV, 0:04). Bonus Coverage II: And a SEPTA bus battle in the wee hours (SoV, 0:07). Bonus Coverage III: And a most-Merican-shirted Philly lady battling in the dark (SoV, instantly). Bonus Coverage IV: "Grown Woman Arrested Over Fight With Girl 11 Year Old Girl At Philly Elementary School!!" (SoV, not shown).


• TNF's Beijing Correspondent Anthony Tao sends word that there was a "surprising shortage of fight vids from China this week." I assured him that these things ebb and flow, and that aggression will surely return before next week's post.

• As explained by Zlatko Georgievski, "Polish immigrants/tourists get into a fight with each other. Note: There are no one of my country in this video, and I might be born in Skopja but I have some Polish blood in me, so please no racist comments against Poles or you will be banned." (S0V, 0:02)


• KTFO. (SoV, instantly)

• Your How To Beat Three Foes In A Bar Fight One To Grow On:

• With seemingly no parking permitted on either side of Hall Street, it's amazing tensions didn't spill over into the streets, on camera, before. Unless they have. In which case, sorry for assessing blame, Hall Street parking regulations. (SoV, 0:03)


• Family style. (SoV, 0:15)

• Others: "Female Raceway Brawl In AL Breaks Out After Hitting The Club!" "Stubbies fight WSU." "Vaux friends fight." "David gets a beatdown!" "A trill ass fight. Sons start fighting to." "Waitak brawl." "Ghetto Girls Brawl in Alabama 2013 18+." "Beat Down." "Hood fight blossom park." "Blossom park fight." "fight at tower park."


• The "Since The Breasty Dock Fight Got De-YouTubed Quickly Last Week Here It Is Again" Coda:

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