The Farrells have always had their own views on tackling
THERE being nothing new under the sun, the furore over the tackling technique of a rugby player by the name of Farrell first reared its head on the other side of the world years ago.
Like those of his superstar namesake, Francis Michael ‘Bumper’ Farrell’s ancestors came from Ireland and not because they fancied a change of scenery or climate.
‘Bumper’s greatgrandfather Patrick arrived in Sydney on a convict ship during the middle of the 19th century as punishment for reputedly stealing a pig.
In the macho world of Australian Rugby League where the phrase ‘Go the Biff ’ was a euphemism for an allin brawl, ‘Frank’ Farrell stood out as a feared member of the oldest club in the country, Newtown in the innersuburbs of Sydney.
Before retiring to concentrate on his work as a senior policeman in the Sydney vice squad, ‘Bumper’ stood accused of biting off part of an opponent’s ear during a match against St George. The inquiry took seven months from start to finish before arriving at a not-guilty verdict on the Kangaroos’ prop who died in 1985 at the age of 69.
Owen’s no-arms tackle at Twickenham last week seems positively trivial by contrast even though South African referee Jaco Peyper failed to impose the penalty try.