Top 14 Orange
Harinordoquy's dad halts Top 14 match
ESPNscrum Staff
November 30, 2011
Watch Imanol Harinordoquy's dad run onto the pitch
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Players/Officials: Imanol Harinordoquy
Tournaments/Tours: Top 14 Orange
Teams: Bayonne | Biarritz

France star Imanol Harinordoquy's father ran on to the pitch to defend his son minutes into Tuesday's Top 14 clash between Biarritz and Bayonne.

In what proved to be a fiery Basque derby, the French international's father rushed down from the stands to square up to Bayonne flanker Jean-Jo Marmouyet after his son was involved in an altercation away from the ball. Despite a courageous attempt to restore the balance in the fight, Bayonne fly-half Benjamin Boyet showed little respect for Harinordoquy senior as he wrestled him to the ground. Biarritz hooker Benoit August had to step in to restore order.

Bayonne's director of rugby Christian Gajan was shocked at Harinordoquy's father's behaviour. "I find his behaviour deplorable that he came onto the pitch to defend his son by boxing with [Jean-Jo] Marmouyet at the beginning of the match,'' he said. "You could have been mistaken for believing it was a youth match between two local villages, it was a scandalous episode.''

And Lucien Harinordoquy later apologised for his actions saying: "I apologise to the fans present at Aguilera, from Bayonne and Biarritz, to the two teams and their staff, to the National Rugby League (LNR), the French Rugby Federation (FFR) and the rugby world in general. Under pressure for various reasons, I lost all control. I regret having behaved in such a manner during such a festival of rugby."

In a match which saw three yellow cards - one to Biarritz's Jerome Thion with Bayonne's Renaud Boyond and Troy Flavell picking up the other two - a last minute Julien Peyrelongue penalty was enough to give the struggling Biarritz a valuable 21-19 win. Damien Traille also contributed two drop-goals to Biarritz's total with Bayonne's Thibault Lacroix scoring the sole try of the game.

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