Pat Lam’s extraordinary rant about inconsistent officials goes viral

In a quite incredible interview, Bristol boss Pat Lam opened up to BT Sport after theirvictory over Northampton Saints on Tuesday evening.

He had requested to speak live on TV following with the intention of getting a number of things off his chest after Siale Piutau was given a three-match band..

“I’m just extremely frustrated,” Lam siad to BT Sport. 

“The messages and the inconsistency is what I’m struggling with here because Siale (Piutau) is being attacked by two guys. He’s 5ft 11 and they’re 6ft 7, 6ft 6 coming at him and the judiciary and our game should be a safe place but for two guys to come at him and start swinging at him. Our process means that you’re not allowed to strike back. He’s had five concussions and if he gets whacked in the head… He’s lucky he blocked the first one.

“If he gets whacked in the head, Will Hurrell’s career ended, and he’s being pummeled in the head. In common law, you can defend yourself but on the rugby field, you’re not allowed to. You’ve just got to take it. It was an unprovoked attack and it was self-defence. But the message that you can start a fight, go and punch someone and it’s the same penalty for both? 

“And also, to be able to swear at a referee and not be charged on it. I just think there needs to be real clarity and a shake-up because the message that came out of that is wrong. He’s got children and a wife and he’s a big leader in our team but to be put out there the way he has, I don’t think it’s great for our game. 

“In common law, there’s self-defence. What’s he done? He’s made a tackle, turned the ball over, stepped back and the guy didn’t like it and he walked over. He said it was in the heat of the moment and he started swinging at him.

“Yeah, he didn’t connect because Siale blocked it out but you should be able to defend yourself if someone’s going to attack you like that. For that person to get the same punishment for someone who defended themselves? What do I say to his wife and his children if he gets a whack in the head? ‘Sorry your husband’s in hospital?’ 

“We talk about mental wellness, safety and player welfare. I was absolutely disappointed and I just hope that some good can come out of this because the message we gave and for someone to swear the way he did at our number one referee and there’s no charge. We saw some of the hits on Semi Radradra and Ben Earl, I’ve had players cited for less than that. I just think things have got to change here because player safety is important. 

“They broke it down to Siale throw a punch but put it in context. Put it on the street. You’ve got two men running at you are you going to fight or just duck and take it? You either take damage or you protect yourself and you should be protected in the judiciary by our game.

“I just want the best for our game and our players.”

JOIN THE RUCK


LIST | Rugby internationals who lost a ton of weight in retirement

Below is a look at five players who lost a ton of weight after their rugby union careers ended.

1. Phil Vickery (England)

The World Cup-winning prop has transformed his body since hanging up his boots. Vickery, who won the 2011 series of Celebrity Masterchef, has recently opened his new Cheltenham restaurant, No.3, after the Coronavirus pandemic delayed first orders. He’s literally half the man he used to be.

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