The father of French international Imanol Harinordoquy brought the Top 14 Basque derby between Biarritz and Bayonne to a halt on Tuesday, after running onto the pitch to defend his son.
According to an AFP correspondent Harinordoquy's father came down from the stands in the sixth minute of the clash and faced up to Bayonne flank Jean-Jo Marmouyet after his son got involved in a punch-up far from the action.
Harinordoquy senior's admirable sense of family loyalty was brought to an abrupt halt by Bayonne flyhalf Benjamin Boyet, who tackled him to the ground before Biarritz hooker Benoit August stepped in to restore order.
Christian Gajan, Bayonne's Director of Rugby, was outraged by Harinordoquy's father's behaviour.
"I find his behaviour deplorable that he came onto the pitch to defend his son by boxing with [Jean-Jo] Marmouyet at the beginning of the match," he said.
"You could have been mistaken for believing it was a youth match between two local villages, it was a scandalous episode."
* Meanwhile Biarritz won the 100th Basque derby with the last kick of the game, as Julien Peyrelongue landed a penalty to beat Top 14 rivals Bayonne 21-19 and give the hosts only their second win in 11 matches.
It was a fiery encounter - three players were sin-binned, aside from the intrusion of Harinordoquy senior.
Bayonne looked to have sealed a win against their bitter rivals when Benjamin Boyet converted Thibault Lacroix's try six minutes from time but Peyrelongue landed his fifth penalty of the match to give Biarritz a crucial win.
The victory took Biarritz off the bottom of the table, although they could return to the bottom should Lyon beat Montpellier on Wednesday.
Harinordoquy junior preferred not to comment about his father's behaviour, the Biarritz captain opting to talk about the positives of the match.
"It's a really huge relief, and it relaunches our championship campaign," said the 31-year-old, who had an outstanding World Cup in the knock-out stages.
"We were at the bottom of the stairs before the match, we have climbed the first step, now we have to climb the second one against Montpellier on Sunday."
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