Iamanol Harinordoquy's father joins son in brawl during match

 

Tuesday’s Basque derby was always going to be a spiky affair – Biarritz, bottom of the table and without a home win in the league this season, against the star-studded ensemble put together on the chequebook of France’s Mr Specsavers, Alain Afflelou.

The two clubs share a proud heritage while their home grounds are just five kilometres apart.  The occasion was given additional significance by the clubs’ disappointing starts to the season. Biarritz, champions three times in the last decade, were bottom and without a league win at  home this season. Bayonne, meanwhile, having seen their budget boosted by 45 per cent over the past two years, continue to battle in the bottom half.

Basque pride and even top flight status were at stake.

Caught in the middle holding the whistle was the Irish referee Peter Fitzgibbon. He will have been anticipating a lively affair but, like just about everyone else, could not have possibly predicted what came to pass under the floodlights at the Stade Aguilera.

The result was, of course, significant though not the real story of the night. For the record, in a desperate and dramatic conclusion – and with the last kick of the game - Julien Peyrelongue’s successful penalty from 40 metres won the game for Biarritz, 21-19. That after Bayonne replacement Thibault Lacroix’s brilliantly crafted try seven minutes before time – and when the visitors had just 14 men on the pitch - appeared to have stolen the points.

The 80 minutes was peppered with the sort of mischief you tend to associate with Basque derbies. Bayonne’s former All Black Troy Flavell was yellow-carded for a high hit on former England international Ian Balshaw while the Ciel et Blanc’s tight-head prop Renaud Boyoud was similarly excluded for a coup de tete – that’s a headbutt to you and me.

But the incident which grabbed the greatest attention happened barely six minutes into the game. Having won the ball from their own lineout, just outside the Biarritz 22, the Bayonne scrum-half, Wales and British Lion Mike Phillips, darted through a gap in the defence and set up what one phase later appeared to be the first try. But as the Bayonne loose-head Aretz Iguiniz crashed over the try line, assistant referee Christophe Berdos was flagging from the touchline and alerting referee Fitzgibbon to three players brawling back at the scene of the lineout.

Biarritz captain Iamanol Harinordoquy was in the thick of it and grappling with the Bayonne combination of Boyoud and back-rower Jean-Jo Marmouyet. As the firsts flew a bespectacled, grey-haired gentleman in a brown jacket jogged on to the pitch from the main stand and started directing blows at Marmouyet in apparent support of the Biarritz icon.

By then, attention had shifted from the scene of the “try” to the fate of the fan who had been tackled, violently spun on to his back, and then pinned to the turf by Bayonne fly-half Benjamin Boyet.

As Mr Fitzgibbon sought the views of both assistants, the interloper was escorted off the pitch, firstly by Biarritz hooker Benoit August and then the club’s head of security who had dashed across from the opposite side of the ground.

The first sign that Harinordoquy and the fan knew one another became clear shortly after the referee had ruled out the try and awarded a penalty in favour of Biarritz because of Marmouyet’s foul play.

As tempers cooled down and the fan was about to be repatriated to the public enclosure, Harinordoquy walked across to him and offered a consoling hand and a few words. I have no idea what was said but it may have gone something like this: “Now come on, Dad, I’ve told you about this sort of thing before.”

A club spokesman confirmed this morning the fan was 68-year-old Lucien Harinordoquy, a fierce Basque patriot and passionate supporter of his son’s rugby career.

Boyet told French sports daily L'Equipe earlier today: "I tackled him because he was attacking one of my team mates. I put him to the ground and (Biarritz hooker) Benoit August told me to stop, because it was Imanol's father."

Bayonne president Michel Cacouault condemned the attack and says he plans to take action against the France loose forward's father.

"It is intolerable. The club will lodge a complaint against Mr Harinordoquy," he told the club's website www.abrugby.fr.

According to Biarritz spokesman Mr Harinordoquy spent the rest of the match under observation in the Biarritz club office. 

ESPN rugby expert Martin Gillingham is the lead commentator for the broadcaster’s live coverage of the French rugby union championship, the Top 14. Visit espn.co.uk/tv for more information

Video courtesy of ESPN, which broadcasts Top 14 Rugby in the UK.

 

Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
News
news
News
peopleCampaign 'to help protect young people across the world'
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
Life and Style
tech

News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker