The Far­rells have al­ways had their own views on tack­ling

The Rugby Paper - - Premiership -

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.

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