Oval Talk

Habana makes humble admission after Heineken Cup final win

Oval Talk

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Toulon winger Bryan Habana has issued a public apology following his actions in the Heineken Cup final victory over Saracens.

Habana, who collected a World Cup winners’ medal in 2007, hit the deck in a theatrical manner under the challenge of Owen Farrell midway midway through the second half.

Replays showed that there had been minimal contact from Saracens’ fly-half Farrell and that the 2007 International Rugby Board’s player of the year had exaggerated the contact.

While he was awarded the penalty, referee Alain Rolland could be clearly heard saying to Saracens captain Steve Borthwick that it was "a bit of a dive" but that the Springbok winger had still been impeded.

Borthwick reacted by scolding the South African with shouts of "embarrassing, embarrassing".

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Habana receiving treatment after the challenge

And now Habana appears to have agreed with that assessment as he took to Twitter to offer his apologies for his part in the incident.

It is pretty revelatory stuff from Habana – whose unreserved apology was forthcoming despite the fact that there was clear contact.

Put into context against, say, football it really does reflect a complete difference in the culture of sportsmanship between the two sports – pundits and ex-players often praise players for "buying" a free-kick or a penalty when exaggerating contact.

A question must be asked, did Habana even do anything wrong? He was clearly caught by Farrell and was impeded - what if he didn't go down and what if Saracens had got an advantage from the foul.

Regardless, Oval Talk is almost certain that this sort of apology wouldn't be forthcoming in the same situation in football, and, in Oval Talk's opinion, it shames football.

Would a footballer ever come out and apologise for such indiscretions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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