Pascal Pape’s Theatrics Shameful to Rugby

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France v Argentina - International Friendly
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 22: Pascal Pape of France in action during the international friendly match between France and Argentina at Stade de France on November 22, 2014 in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

French international star Pascal Pape embarrasses French rugby with his actions against Edinburgh.

Stade Francais faced off against Edinburgh in the third round of the European Challenge Cup on Saturday. The match was fun, exciting, and an absolute joy to watch. The match also provided another controversy to distract slightly from the Dylan Hartley debacle.

During the match, Phil Burleigh was awarded a red card for slapping Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape in the face. The controversy is not the red card itself, however, but Pascal’s response to the strike. When Pape was struck in the face, he fell to the ground as if he had been hit with a baseball bat–watch the below video Tweet.

His actions in the scenario are absolutely ridiculous. If Pascal Pape had wanted to behave in that manner on the field, Rugby ‘may not be the sport for him’. The point that makes his actions even more embarrassing, is that he has been capped by France 65 times! No one is justifying Phil Burleigh’s actions–the punishment may have been slightly harsh–but is reasonable. Pape embarrassed the entire sport with his actions and should be held accountable.

Since most fans began watching rugby, the one constant is that rugby players hide injury, not fake them. If you want to fake injury, Football is the sport for you, not rugby. There is no room in the sport for that behavior.

If Burleigh is to be held accountable for his actions, then Pape should be held accountable for his. In the words of the Eggchasers rugby podcast; “whatever ban Dylan Hartley got from World Rugby, Pape should get double.”

Excessive reaction to injury becoming more of a problem in Rugby

The problem of ‘excessive reaction to injury’ has become more of a problem in the world of rugby in recent years. If the integrity of the game is to be maintained, dealing with these situations harshly is a must. In this instance, the moral integrity of rugby fans must be maintained.

If Rugby begins behaving as Footballers do, in a few years American football fans will be making these videos about the sport we all love and respect.

(video Courtesy of M A. Grant)

While only an example, the ability of Pape to gain the empathy of a referee through simulation is the real issue. No one wants rugby to degrade and weaken to that point [above], therefore World Rugby must take this issue on before it becomes systemic.

“Main photo credit”

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