Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Matfield makes his mark at Toulon

A while back I reported on French Pro D2 club Toulon, who've got themselves a whole host of current and former international stars.

Victor Matfield is the latest big name who has arrived at the club to much fanfare and media attention. The 2007 World Cup Final Man of the Match has joined Toulon as part of the club presidents goal of joining the Top 14 next season. Lineout dominance, experience, skill, and physical aggression are what make Matfield one of the top Second Rowers in the game today.

Against Racing Metro last weekend Matfield gave the Racing flyhalf a friendly hello with this shoulder after the neat flick pass from the number ten. Matfield got reprimanded by the French referee, being told it was a dangerous tackle.

His response with 'Me?' was probably referring to the next tackle in the movement which was by centre Mafileo Kefu on Greg Goosen. Kefu's tackle was textbook, despite being close to a spear. Driving the player into the ground like that is considered safer than dropping him on his head. That said, Goosens legs did face upwards, which technically makes it a spear tackle in my opinion.

Final score: - Toulon 21 Racing Metro 15



  • The hit and not a tackle by Matfield is uncalled for and is reprimanded correctly. Hits like that belong in League and not Union. However the tackle after that is a spear tackle which should be at least yellow carded.

    By Blogger Obed, at January 31, 2008 11:24 am  

  • That was no spear take, Mrs O'Driscoll.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2008 12:33 pm  

  • Meh, I've seen worse...

    By Blogger Don, at January 31, 2008 12:59 pm  

  • nowhere near a spear tackle. it was a great tackle!

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at January 31, 2008 1:31 pm  

  • You call that a hit? Good website but mate, i havent seen a decent hit worthy to be called a classic knockout..There is a couple of Seru Rabeni hits on this site, but can you please look up Viliame Satala's hit on Christian Cullen @ Wellington Sevens 99 or 2000..hit on John Roe in Brisbane Sevens 2000 and many, many more... If any of you havnt seen Bill "Stretcher" Satala in action.. then you have no idea what you missing!! I know for a fact that the " Chiropractor" personally fears the " Stretcher" when they clash in the centres for their respective national teams. I highly recommend some of "Stretcher's" clips..There is one guy worth digging out clips for that Gordon Titghens extremly feared when New Zealand play Fiji in Sevens.. the late Aminiasi Naituiyaga, you think Chabal and Collins are hard well let me sincerely inform you that that this guy created and revultionised the "School of Thugby Hardknocks"..Rest in Peace "Steelman"..

    By Anonymous Jon, at January 31, 2008 2:23 pm  

  • It's a spear. Once he has the player up he leaves his feet and drives him into the ground. The moment the tackler decides to leave the ground and take the player down it's a spear for me, and a damn god thing the ball carrier didn't land on his head.
    Moaning at a player for leaving a shoulder in ever so slightly late on a 10 seems a little nit-picky to me.

    By Anonymous hackneygriffin, at January 31, 2008 2:56 pm  

  • I think his response was 'oui' rather than 'me?'
    Listen again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2008 3:53 pm  

  • it was a great hit! I understand where you could say it was a spear tackle, but he didn't seem to intentionally drop him on his head, and he landed on his back. Would have to agree with r.d.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2008 4:47 pm  

  • wot a tackle, but i think it should be legal - if he'd landed on his head, different story and i have seen people getting carded for a lot less (but that was southern hemisphere), but, mates, rugby should be rugby and i think in that the refs are far too quick to call the 'spear tackle' in general.

    As for Matfield's shoulder tap, i wouldnt want to be on the recieving end, however i do this all the time and i've never been reprimanded for it. maybe it was a little high, but not a penalty...

    an openside flanker

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2008 5:00 pm  

  • To complain about either of those tackles is rediclous.
    Rugby union is really getting soft.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2008 6:13 pm  

  • Two comments on this one:

    A: The Matfield hit, it's a bit of a body check but there is nothing in it the only reason the 10 falls over is because he was already leaning back off balance to do the flip on, if he'd have been set for a hit he'd have just bounced off.

    To be honest if you're a 10 and
    want to play at the top level you've got to be prepared to take hits like that and worse.

    B: The second hit in my opinion is a spear, the legs move through the horizontal.

    Love the way the Metro player petulantly slaps at the tackler once they both go to ground... lol!!

    To be honest I don't htink anyone who's watched any amount of D2 in france would be surprised at the level of violence prevalant in the game. Top 14 is a little less, but it is still there.

    But the divisions below top14 are horrific for the stuff that goes on.

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at January 31, 2008 6:51 pm  

  • ouchee shouted the soft centre. man he got creamed, thats why i love this game. beat the sh*t out of each other for 80 mins then have a pint afterwards. any chance of digging out the clip were matt stevens smashes chabal in the semi final????????

    By Anonymous dan, at February 01, 2008 12:11 pm  

  • I also despair that either of those is worth anything! especially the second, that was just an awesome driving tackle! The guy gets knocked backwards!

    If people don't want to get tackled or hit, than they shouldn't play or moan about rugby!

    By Anonymous G-unit, at February 04, 2008 12:55 am  

  • should intent not be called into this? the centre clearly had no intent in causing the spear tackle so why should he be yellow/red for it? A penalty perhaps but no more than that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 07, 2008 11:37 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with either tackle, just good hits. MAtfield had commited, there was nothing in it. The second tackle wasn't that bad, could have become bad but the player put the guy on his back. I guess I wouldn't be too surprised to see a ref give a penalty for it, but personally I just think it was a very good tackle, which wasn't particularly dangerous. The spear tackle rule was brought in to stop people intentionally dumping players on their heads and necks, not to eliminate people losing their feet in the tackle (impossible) and not to soften the game by penalising tough defence.

    PS, shoulder charges have been legal for a long time in league and it has never been a real problem. I've been shoulder charged lots of times and it always looks worse than it feels. It just looks spectacular, cuz one guy usually goes flying, but it's just cuz you've lost your balance and your feet, not cuz you've been seriously injured.'
    And I hate the prevelance of yellow and red cards in the game these days. It's not football, it's a tough sport, the last thing anyone wants to see is a watered down version of the sport.
    In the words of Tana Umanga, "We're not playing tiddly-winks."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 1:45 pm  

  • He was driving him back and then lifted him slightly, If he'd jus lifted him straight up, tipped him and drove him down that would be a spear

    It was a great tackle in my opinion...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 17, 2009 11:13 am  

  • you cant call tha hit the other ones like a little wendy:Lhardly touched him#

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2009 4:42 am  

  • If u cant make i late shunt to make the opposition know ure thwere whats the game coming to? i no its illegal late but its not recklace or out to get anyone as for the dump tackle that should have got yellow was that pichot at scrum half??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 12:31 am  

  • It's not ileagl to dump a player. It's only ilegal if he goes beyond the horizontal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 11:12 am  

  • Obed!! Out of the closet with you. Go follow soccer or handball or something.. Please don't follow rugby anymore because you are embarrassing the rest of us.


    John k.
    St Kilda
    Vic. Australia 3182.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 2:14 pm  

  • nothing wrong with the late shot...it was barely late anyway. The spear tackle a definite penalty but not a card

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 10, 2009 11:23 am  

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