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No "Malicious Intention" For Rugby Player Who Grabbed Opponent's Balls

This is a few days old, but forgive us for being so late with it. International news about testicle-grabbing in rugby sometimes takes a while to get to us.

The video above is from Saturday's test match between South Africa and Samoa. At the 10-second mark, watch as South Africa hooker Adriaan Strauss (not a typo!) comes up swinging from a ruck, then pause to make a mental note about how rugby has the best terminology in sports (and players named Adriaan). There's confusion as to what happened, after which replays from numerous angles make it clear that Strauss is pissed at Samoa's No. 15, James So'oialo, who appears to have gotten a little handsy.


Be sure to listen to the commentary as all this plays out. At 2:20, one of the announcers asks, "I think that he's just, uh, you know, did you see where his hand was?" Another replay is shown. "Facial expression tells you a lot [about] what's going on there," an announcer says. Which is followed immediately by, "I think he's had a bit of a squeeze there." To which comes the reply, "Sure has. Well put, [name unclear]."

The referee, who happens to be mic'd up, then says, "15 Blue, I can confirm that 15 Blue did grab that player in an indecent manner." So'oialo was penalized. He was called to a hearing the next day, where he admitted he grabbed Strauss's nuts. But So'oialo said he didn't do it on purpose. A judicial officer named Jeff Blackett agreed, and decided not to punish him. Strauss, the judicial officer said, "himself accepted that there was no malicious intention."

Here's Sky Sports, quoting Blackett:

"I determine on the balance of probabilities that the player did not intend to squeeze Strauss's testicles, nor were his actions reckless."



[Sky Sports]

h/t to Dave F.

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