The new Federale 3 campaign got off to a broken start for two players following a mass brawl that was sparked just a few seconds into a clash between Bazinos and Gan.
French rugby holds something of a reputation for team-wide melees and semi-frequent fights, and players from the two fifth-tier teams took little time to remind as to why.
The Federale 3 competition resumed at the end of September after an eight-month wait, with the 2020/21 season curtailed in February as a result of the global pandemic.
And that time spent out of action appeared to build up tensions for some among the Bazinos and Gan camps, who were only too quick to succumb to their frustrations in Week 1.
The footage came from a clash between the two amateur teams on September 26.
One overzealous Bazinos player can be seen hitting his Gan target out of possession straight from kick-off, failing to adjust in time after the latter pulled out of receiving the ball.
What immediately followed was to be expected as several Gan players show their anger at the attempted tackle, but the opposition are only too happy to stand their ground.
Cue a fist-flying frenzy involving around 20 of those on the field, with officials left helpless but to watch as the game briefly escapes their control.
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One Bazinos winger can be seen bobbing and weaving while taking blows from up to four Gan players before two of his back-row team-mates fly in to even the odds.
Another mini-duel saw three Bazinos players holding a member of the opposition on the floor until back-up arrives to get him back on his feet.
A level above the usual handbags that tends to break out in rugby, this particular punch-up went a step further judging by the number of blows being thrown with genuine venom.
The Federale 3 pair suffered a red card apiece after Bizanos prop Salim Barrara and Gan representative Bernard Sedze were dismissed following the incident.
The truth is the referee might have identified more card-worthy offences judging by the footage, with the two teams perhaps fortunate to get off that lightly.
Hosts Gan ultimately got their revenge for the late knock that ignited the fracas, emerging as 13-10 victors to get their Pool 11 campaign up and running with a win.
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