Joe Moody's attack on Kurtley Beale is a throwback to an age where rugby was the wild west.

Undeterred by TMOs and general TV scrutiny, the Crusaders prop clobbered the Waratahs back, both men lucky there was no serious injury. Moody then escaped a big penalty, thanks to his "good character".

We take a trundle down New Zealand rugby's hall of shame, find out where Moody could end up sitting, and throw in a few character references.

1. John Ashworth

The prop squished JPR Williams' head in a sickening 1978 double-stomping incident.


About the only thing that could be said in Ashworth's defence is that this rugby splatter movie occurred in an era when boot sprigs were not just regarded as implements for attaching a rugby player more firmly to the earth.

At the time, and considering the appalling incident, the outrage was mixed in this country, with a sort of unstated belief in some quarters that Bridgend's famous fullback had . . .

* Made his head available

* Was on the wrong side of a ruck

* Came from the wrong side of the world

* Been the victim of a horrible mistake

An unbelievably brave Williams actually returned to the field, after his doctor father applied 30 stitches.

When Williams snr brought the incident up in a post-match speech, the All Blacks walked out.


A day later, Welsh and Lions legend Williams reckoned: "I have no wish to play against them again". You couldn't blame him.

Character reference: Ashworth never apologised but did get a bottle of wine from his Hawkes Bay vineyard carried back to Williams by tourists which belongs in the Making Amends Very Lite category.

John Ashworth...great prop, shame about Williams' face. Photo / Photosport
John Ashworth...great prop, shame about Williams' face. Photo / Photosport

2. Richard Loe

Forearm to an Aussie's head, eye gouge on a compatriot.

The number one All Black villain in many eyes including some fellow players.

At least one former test front-rower was known to scoff at Loe's hardman image, suggesting that landing a forearm on little wing Paul Carozza was cringey.

Character reference: Journos found him among the chattiest of All Blacks. Loe much later admitted the Carozza offence without overwhelming remorse.

3. Canterbury

Exhibit A: They assaulted the 1971 British Lions, which led to . . .

Exhibit B: Last year, when asked about the 1971 game, the great Auckland All Black Bryan Williams told Britain's Telegraph: "I gotta tell you, they were mean hombres. Back then we didn't have television replays or TMOs or anything like that, and if you played in Canterbury you knew you were going to be stomped on and you were going to be kicked and all the rest of it. People just accepted it. That was the Canterbury style."

Character reference: Still waiting for a positive one from the 1971 game.

4. Andrew Hore

His appalling swinging arm from behind which hospitalised Welsh lock Bradley Davies in 2012 led to one of the great judicial findings, that Hore had "not intended to make contact with the victim player's head". The judicial officer - a Scottish professor of banking law no less - was persuaded to give Hore a sentence which saw him miss just two proper matches.

Character reference: Hore did immediately make contact - the apologetic sort - with Davies. Post-incident comments were typically All Black-centric, about letting the team and the country down.

Andrew Hore...had a great day in court. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Andrew Hore...had a great day in court. Photo / Sarah Ivey

5. Colin "Pinetree" Meads

Ended the career of Aussie great Ken Catchpole by dismantling his pelvic and groin area with a leg lift which had horrific consequences.

Meads' mere presence could persuade people against foolhardy acts, like trying to jump against him in a lineout.

Keith Murdoch (see below) was apparently one of the few people indifferent to these particular charms.

Even Piney was a bit wary of Keith.

Character reference: Lovely fella - you could even ring him up from the pub and have a chat.

6. Keith Murdoch

According to the history writers, a bit unlucky to get sent home from the 1972/73 All Black tour after clobbering a guard in a Cardiff Hotel.

Then again, he probably deserved to get sent home for what went on in the Llanelli game a month earlier.

Character reference: Came across as an unsophisticated man in a dark mood. Best to steer clear if there was any doubt.

7. Keven Mealamu/Tana Umaga

A weird one. What brought these two together, resulting in serious injuries to upended Lions star Brian O'Driscoll in 2005?

Was it thuggery at all, or a twist of circumstances, unfortunate angles and too much early adrenaline?

We shall never know, and the video evidence is scant. Hard to leave off the list, yet hard to put on it.

Character reference: Little Kevvy was portrayed as the world's nicest front-rower. Tana Umaga was an international fairplay award winner. What next - Nobel prize recipients picking the wings off butterflies?

8. Joe Moody

Considering some of the filth above, Moody represents mere doodling in a hall full of Rembrandts.

But Jolting Joe is giving the sanitised modern game a decent whack by steadily compiling a list of dodgy on-field acts although the QC hearing his latest case was oblivious to Moody's CV.

Crusader Moody received a two-game sentence for clobbering the Waratahs' Kurtley Beale, who was so far away from the ball he qualified as an innocent bystander.

In a nutshell, Moody waltzed up to Beale and smacked him in the mush with his elbow.

Joe Moody throwing an elbow at Kurtley Beale. Photo / Twitter
Joe Moody throwing an elbow at Kurtley Beale. Photo / Twitter

The Aussies cried cheap shot — Moody didn't miss, and nor did those critics.

Moody has previously been warned for a head high shot which came "very close to" the red card threshold and was carded for upending Ireland's Robbie Henshaw in a horror tackle.

Moody has just about cemented himself on this list. One suspects All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has had a word.

Character reference: Who is the real Joe Moody?

9. Frank Oliver

Gets into this list on his nickname - "Filth". But if Oliver actually wanted to project this sort of image, he ran into serious branding issues with a dainty dive out of a lineout in an effort to swindle Wales out of a 1978 victory.

You wouldn't catch blokes like Keith Murdoch doing that.

Character reference: From a media perspective, came across as a reasonable character to deal with when he coached Super rugby.
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