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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two Jamie Noon crunchers against Ireland

Jamie Noon has really come to prominence of late as one of the biggest tacklers, and particularly crash tacklers, in international rugby.

He's been a stand out performer for England in this years Six Nations, and against Ireland put in some great hits.

Here is a very short clip, just to illustrate exactly why a lot of people have been talking about him so much lately.

Note: For the Irish fans, we're hoping to post that Trimble hit that a lot of you have been talking about as soon as we manage to track it down.


Cheeky Tongan try at the Hong Kong Sevens

In a tight encounter between Tonga and Australia at this weekends Hong Kong leg of the IRB Sevens, Tongan flyer Teu Nafe showed that a bit of trickery can go a long way.

Nafe got the ball a few meters out and all he had to do was dot it down, but realising the importance of getting the kick closer to the posts, very important in Sevens as all conversions are taken as dropkicks, he pulled of his bag of tricks.

A little step, a huge dummy and he was away, leaving the hapless Aussie defender on the floor. Outrageous, possibly even unnecessary, but in a tight game, every point counts.

Whichever way you look at it, pure entertainment factor is what makes Sevens great to watch, and this was just another example of that.

Note: More highlights from the weekends events to come.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Ma'a Nonu big handoff on Richie McCaw

In this mornings Week Six clash in Wellington, the Crusaders saw off a valiant effort by the Hurricanes to record another victory with their continued dominance of this years tournament. 20-13 was the final score, after leading 17-3 at the break.

With 15 mins left in the game though, big 'Canes center Ma'a Nonu got the ball in midfield and stuck All Black captain Richie McCaw on his backside with this powerful handoff.

Great strength despite McCaw being a bit off balance. Still, for the non All Black fan out there, nice to see him knocked down for once.


Friday Funnies - Justin Marshall Header

After a crazy week for the Rugbydump crew, things have resumed normality (as normal as it gets), and the Friday Funnies are back for this week with this funny incident during the EDF Enery Cup Semi Final in Cardiff last weekend.

The Ospreys team in Wales are blessed with two very fine scrum halfs. One, an up and coming, no nonsense, physical and extremely large number nine. And the other, an All Black legend.

The rivalry between Welsh international Mike Phillips and former All Black Justin Marshall is there for all to see. In last years EDF Cup Semi, Phillips was still at the Cardiff Blues when Marshall totally outplayed him, which ignited the rivalry ahead of Phillips' switch to the Ospreys.

They're now teamates and have to fight for the starting berth each week. We couldn't resist posting this little clip of Marshall getting whacked in the head from Phillips' pass while on was on as a blood replacement for Lee Byrne.

Tongue in cheek, I think we know who won that battle.

NOTE: We're aware that this video is currently down, but are working on getting it back asap.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

A young Vincent Clerc smashed by Jonah Lomu

Long before Vincent Clerc was the star French winger that he is today, he was a small, rather funny looking quick guy who wore a goofy scrum cap out on the wing. That's how I perceived him anyway.

Today he's a try scoring machine with all the finesse and flair of French wingers of the past. Back then though, 2003, in only his second test for his country against the mighty All Blacks, it was a baptism of fire as he was up against the most feared runner in the game. That's right, Jonah Lomu. A bit of a miss match to say the least.

It wasn't on defence that 5ft10 Clerc struggled on this occasion though, it was with ball in hand. Clerc made the silly mistake of not kicking or passing straight away. Lomu was never known for his huge defensive capabilities, but when it's David on Goliath, the safe money would have been on Goliath this time round.


Deacon Manu suspended for hit on Robin Sowden-Taylor

Llanelli Scarlets prop Deacon Manu has been suspended for two weeks for this tackle on injury plagued Cardiff Blues flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor.

Sowden-Taylor may now need a shoulder operation and will have a scan on Thursday following an inconclusive X-ray.

The tackle, by former Chiefs & New Zealand Maori prop Manu, was deemed dangerous by the WRU Disciplinary Committee, although it was at the 'lower end' of the scale.

I'd say the suspension was more than likely influenced by the fact that Sowden-Taylor was unfortunate to get badly injured as a result. Good hit nine out of ten times. One problem though - he didn't have the ball, so it was badly mistimed by Manu.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Biggest hits of the 2008 Six Nations

The 2008 Six Nations dished up a fair helping of great hits, both legal and, well, not so legal.

Competitive right till the last day of the tournament, players put their bodies on the line for their countries, which resulted in some massive hits, collisions, and the odd ridiculous shoulder in the back.

The video will hopefully bring back some good memories and remind you of the some of the more physical moments we experienced in recent weeks.

Here it is - the Biggest Hits of the 2008 Six Nations.

Time: 02:30


NFL star Dhani Jones playing rugby

The comparisons between NFL and Rugby will be the subject of discussion for probably as long as the two games exist. Not a lot of top athletes are privileged enough to get the chance to try their hands at both. Until now that is.

Dhani Jones is an American Footballer who spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. Earlier this year though, Dhani came to Blackheath RFC in London to experience rugby for the first time, and even appeared for them in a cup match against Cornish side Launceston.

Jones is an aspiring television presenter, and thought it would be great to learn more about rugby as part of a new tv show called Dhani Tackles the Globe, in which the 30-year-old American footballer tries new sports.

The tv company making the pilot contacted Blackheath's director of rugby, Harvey Biljon, and requested that Jones visits the club for the experience.

“Our players thought it would be fantastic to have a full-time athlete from a top American sport testing himself among our amateurs,” Biljon said.

Blackheath, until a couple of recent defeats, were pushing for promotion from National League Two and weren’t prepared to risk introducing a rookie to competitive rugby in an important league for them.

The cup competition was where the opportunity existed, so a few training sessions later and he was ready, almost. Before training on one occasion, Biljon took Dhani for a jog, passing the ball between them. “Try and spin the ball,” Biljon told him. “I’m trying, man, I’m trying,” was the response.

Jones got his chance to come on as a sub against Launceston and made a few tackles, but most importantly, got a taste of this great game and now knows exactly what rugby is all about.

Time: 4:33 mins


Leicester vs Wasps EDF Cup Semi Final highlights

Leicester Tigers booked a place in this year's EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup Final with a 34-24 victory over London Wasps in an entertaining clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Andy Goode featured prominently as he overshadowed England's new star flyhalf Danny Cipriani. Goode scored one try, created another two and kicked 14 points, his inspired performance showing his class, maturity and of course, experience.

Cipriani did show touches of brilliance though, scoring a great try of his own as well as putting Paul Sackey away for a try with a neat flick pass on one occasion.

Wasps battled to the end but tries from Seru Rabeni, Dan Hipkiss and Martin Castrogiovanni sealed Leicester's win.

The Tigers will meet Ospreys in the final at Twickenham on 12 April, which is set to be quite an occasion.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Late tackle on Lifeimi Mafi causes a mass brawl

Ulster prop Tom Court was yellow carded this weekend for this late shoulder on the flying Munster center Lifeimi Mafi as he attempted to chase his own kick after a great run.

Late, a shoulder charge, and with no effort to pull out of the hit, Court was then dealt with by one of the Munster players, which caused a chain of events that saw virtually the whole team getting involved, giving the front row supporters the best seat in the house.

Referee Alain Rolland restored the calm, sending only Court off his offence, which was probably the correct decision seeing as it's difficult to see if any clean punches landed or were even thrown for that matter.

Apologies for the lack of commentary on this clip.


Fastest ever Guinness Premiership Try

Leeds Carnegie made history against the Newcastle Falcons on Friday night by scoring the fastest ever Guinness Premiership try.

Try scorer Lee Blackett had to wait 22 matches and four years before scoring his first try for the club, but when it came, it came in style, writing his name into the record books after exactly 8.28 seconds.

The previous best was from Tom Voyce of Wasps, who touched down against Harlequins in 2004 after 9.63 seconds.

Blackett, who picked up the bouncing ball straight from the kick off from flyhalf Alberto Di Bernardo, said "I said to Albie to give me the ball inside the opening minute but I didn't actually mean within the first eight seconds! It was a shock when Newcastle missed the ball from the kick-off and it bounced straight back to me.

"I don't really know how to celebrate tries. Obviously, it was a great start and it was an impressive performance as a whole," he said.

It was a bizarre bounce that wasn't claimed by any of the Newcastle players, and once Blackett had it in his hands they looked almost shell shocked, with Toby Flood in particular not going for a tackle that he probably should have made.

Leeds went on to achieve a famous victory over Newcastle, coming out on top 16-15.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

The offside line at the tackle under the ELV's

The Experimental Law Variations have understandably be one of the most talked about new innovations in Southern Hemisphere rugby for a long time.
The laws address a number of areas in our game where there was a need for improvement, with opinions varying widely on whether they have thus far been a success in the Super 14 or not.

One of the laws that is confusing a lot of people and is quite difficult to accept for some, is the Offside Line at the Breakdown law, where an offside line is created immediately when the tackle is made. This means that any other players have to enter through the gate, with any interference from the wrong position being deemed illegal.

Breakdown (tackle/post tackle)
1. Players entering the breakdown area must do so through the gate.
2. Immediately the tackle occurs there are offside lines.
3. The half back should not be touched unless he has his hands on the ball.

This came into play last weekend when the Stormers played the Chiefs, and a Penalty try was awarded when Schalk Burger was tackled from an offside position. Confusion reigned supreme, with Schalk himself looking shocked, but it's all explained nicely here by former Bok Nass Botha.
Even so, it seems like a crazy new law and one that really needs to be looked at.

For more details regarding the ELV's, read here


Shane Williams scores vs Saracens

Shane Williams continued his rich run of form on the weekend, scoring two tries for the Ospreys against Saracens in the EDF Energy Cup Semi-Final.

The Ospreys winger kicked ahead and out sprinted some of the quickest men on the park, including Richard Houghton and Brent Russell who are both supremely quick.

Williams somehow managed to control the ball, and, according the the TMO, get it down for a great try. After numerous replays from various different camera angles, I'm still a little unsure though, and feel that the TMO made his decision on instinct rather than clear evidence.

Should a try be given on the assumption of the try being scored? Often we all know it's a try, but the TMO can't clearly see the ball grounded and therefore has a tough decision to make, as in this case.

Great stuff once again by the little maestro though.

Final Score: Ospreys 30-3 Saracens


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blues Prop John Afoa playing like a back

This one's for all the fat boys out there who know that, deep down, they have the talent, ambition, and skills of any one of the pretty boy backs.

Big John Afoa of the Blues had a stormer on the weekend. Afoa was all over the place in the loose, which is always great to see from a guy who's position demands so much hard work come scrumtime.

He showed us that he can mix it up with the best of them, with tall Western Force center Ryan Cross being no match when it comes to taking a high ball.

Weighing in at over 120kg's, the capped All Black prop then showed us that running with ball in hand, changing direction and getting a pass away isn't a problem for him either.
Now if only that slug second rower Troy Flavell had kept up...


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great interview with Justin Marshall & Warren Gatland

As an avid rugby fan, it's always interesting to hear what the great's of the game feel about rugby's current goings on. Ten years of test experience and 81 Test matches behind him, Justin Marshall has a fair bit to say and is well worth listening to.

In this 9 min excerpt from Sunday nights Scrum V episode, Marshall discusses the Six Nations, does his Welsh accent impersonation, praises Shane Williams, and talks about Wales' chances for their upcoming tour of South Africa in June.

Marshall is also wearing a New Zealand choker at the beginning of the show, because he lost a bet from last time he was on there.

Warren Gatland makes a surprise appearance with the Six Nations trophy and talks about celebrating, but importantly also about why Wales need to remain level headed.

Note: 9 mins


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Italy beat Scotland with a last minute drop

In their final game of the Six Nations 2008 campaign, Scotland's improving performances came to none, as they lost out to Italy with virtually the last kick of the game.

Scotland were leading 17-10 at halftime and were looking good, with few errors and good control of the game.

But the last twenty minutes in Rome proved vital after star number eight Sergio Parisse intercepted a pass and flew off down field, tossing the ball inside which resulted in a great try for Gonzalo Canale.

Chris Paterson slotted another perfect penalty later in the game, resulting in a perfect Six Nations kicking record to add to his perfect World Cup record.

With time almost up and the score at 20-20, Italy pinned Scotland back deep in their half which led to Italy's Andrea Marcato slotting the match winning drop goal from 22 meters out to seal a famous Italian victory in front of a passionate home crowd.

Congratulations must go out to Italy who, under Nick Mallett, will surely get better and better.

Final Score: 23-20 to Italy


The dirty stuff from Cardiff

On Saturday we saw Wales take the Six Nations championship in a historic match for all the right reasons. Records were broken, milestones were achieved, and both teams played some good rugby.

There were two notable blotches on the perfect day though, namely Lee Byrne taking a forearm in the face from Damien Traille, and Gavin Henson getting to grips with French flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo.

The first incident was a bit of a strange one, with Byrne giving Traille some kind of push with the arm, then Traille showing him how it's done. The funniest part of all of it being Brian Moore's comment. 'Footballer.'

Gavin Henson's tackle that got him ten minutes in the bin was a bit more malicious, or perhaps even clumsy. Whatever the intention and outcome, it was dirty and a player of his quality should know better. It was so blatantly high that Ouedraogo actually almost snuck underneath it.

Result aside, I thought some of you would like to see these incidents again, and mainly, have a chuckle at another Brian Moore classic.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Tonderai Chavhanga blitzes the Chiefs

I've said it for a while now - Tonderai Chavhanga is quick. In fact he's not just quick, he's probably in the top three fastest professional players in the world. Bold statement, I know, but if you watch Chavhanga enough you'll know that it's probably true.

Until now he's underachieved on the international stage. Sure, he did score six tries on debut for the Springboks, a South African record, but that was against Uruguay who didn't offer too much resistance. It was still a great achievement however, and a glimpse of what he was capable of in space.

The Zimbabwean born and schooled flyer has always had the potential to light up a game with his mind blowing speed. A few years back, against the Blues in a classic Super 12 match in Auckland, Chavhanga scored a scorcher of a try when he chased a kick ahead and left the speedy Joe Rokocoko for dead.

Injury worries have always been his downfall though unfortunately, with him having spent seasons off the field, thus hampering his progress.

This season he's looking good, with this sensational try against the Chiefs on the weekend being a great example of the man's talent and his genuinely gifted running ability. His long strides and deceptive step blew the Chiefs' defence to pieces. On another occasion in the match, he caught up with Sosene Anesi, who is himself widely regarded as a true speed merchant.

Tonderai Chavhanga has arrived, and for rugby lovers around the world, we're hoping he's here to stay this time.



England and Cipriani come right against Ireland

New England wonderboy Danny Cipriani led England to victory with a well deserved 33-10 win over Ireland on Saturday.

Wilkinson's replacement had a dream game at number ten, scoring 18 points in total, kicking seven out of seven kicks at goal. His all round game play was virtually faultless and he looks a mature player who can take control of a game and the forwards, hard to believe at only 20 years of age.

Wilkinson did come on, at centre as replacement for Toby Flood, to huge cheers from the Twickenham faithful who, despite his run of poor form, still show the loyalty that the great man so richly deserves.

"Playing anywhere on that field will be fantastic and I think my big challenge is the same as every day - find the best of me," said Wilkinson.

"Danny has deserved his go and he took it brilliantly. Every day is a learning experience and I'm at a different angle now watching from the sidelines."

Ireland did score a nice try through Rob Kearney, but it just wasn't enough and without experienced centre pairing O'Driscoll and Darcy, Ireland looked poor once again, and the calls for coach Eddie O'Sullivan's scalp will now be stronger than ever.

The result means England finish second, with Ireland coming in fourth, their worst Championship result since 1999.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wales achieve the Grand Slam

Wales were crowned Grand Slam champions for the second time in four seasons as the records tumbled on an historic evening at the Millennium Stadium.

Shane Williams once again provided the decisive moment with the try that put Wales on course for their 10th Grand Slam, 100 years and a day after their first ever clean sweep.

Williams' 41st Test try broke the Welsh international record and sent Cardiff into a frenzy of excitement as the misery of last year's World Cup was finally forgotten.

The victory over France - and the championship triumph as a whole - was built on an extraordinary, heroic defensive display.

Wales kept their try-line intact once again and only conceded twice during the tournament, breaking the previous record set by England's World Cup winners in 2002 and 2003.

Time: 02:56


Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Funnies - Andrea Lo Cicero watch your back

This weekend we see Scotland meeting Italy in each teams final Six Nations match. So I figured, before the intensity of a great weekend of rugby begins, why not have a chuckle from last years match between the two sides an Edinburgh (edit).

As if being substituted isn't bad enough, Andrea Lo Cicero found out the hard way that you probably shouldn't turn your back on the field when heading towards the tunnel with a clearing kick on the way.

It's a good thing for scrum half Alessandro Troncon that big Lo Cicero's back was turned and he couldn't actually see who kicked it! Although, I bet with accuracy like that, Troncon would have been telling all the boys that he hit him deliberately, while making sure that Le Cicero never found out of course.

Have a great weekend!


Super 14 Pick of the Week Round 4

As Round 5 of this years Super 14 is about to kick off, we take a look back at Round four that produced some excellent rugby, with a few contenders for tries of the tournament being scored all across the Southern Hemisphere.

The Force and Crusaders played in a try-fest that saw both sides scoring some fantastic tries as illustrated here by some great hands by the Force backs to send young David Pocock in at the corner.

For the Hurricanes, big Jerry Collins scored rounded off an excellent team try against the Highlanders, starting the move then staying in support to finish it off after some brilliant draw and pass play from the backs.

The Blues took on last seasons finalists, the Sharks, in Durban, where we witnessed the fastest ever Super 14 try. Keegan Daniel ran it in with Joe Rokocoko hot on his heals after just 16 seconds.

The Crusaders' Casey Laulala ran in for a great try from the men in red, showing exactly how dangerous they can be with turnover ball and a bit of space. The running from depth and the little flick pass was awesome to see.

Against the Reds, the Stormers started to play some great rugby, with their Harlem Globetrotter quick hands sending Tonderai Chavanga in at the corner. Brilliant passing, following the adage that the ball travels faster than the man.

Richard Brown's try for the Force was one of my favourite, with eighth man Brown himself flinging the ball wide, then taking the return pass from always impressive Ryan Cross to finish a great try. It was quick and sneaky, but watch carefully for Scott Staniforth's no look pass. Brilliant.

Note: I named last week's Pick of the Week as Round Four, whereas it was actually three. Apologies for any confusion it may have caused.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wales vs France - Six Nations 2005

As a preview to this weekends Six Nations decider between Wales and France, here is a fantastic clip from the classic match in 2005 between the same two nations.

This documentary style footage tells the story of a great day in Paris, when the French flair and pace put Wales to the ultimate test.

Inspired by Martyn Williams with two tries, and Stephen Jones with as accurate a boot as ever, Wales came out winners 24-18 and later went on to win the Grand Slam for that year.

This weekend's showdown between the two sides should be a classic, with both teams having shown that they like to throw the ball around and play exciting rugby.

It's tough to call this one, but I reckon Wales may just have the edge, especially with the 75 000 faithful cheering on their every move.

Predictions anyone?

Note: video length is 4:32


Greg Holmes shows us how it's done with this great hit

In the past couple of weeks we've seen some shocking tackling, in the Super 14 particularly. I'm not sure if it's the intensity of the tournament, the physicality of some of the players, or just plain over exuberance.

Whatever the case, there's absolutely no place on the rugby field for a spear tackle, and most of the time, it's landed the guilty party a suspension and somewhat of a bad reputation to go with it.

So in light of that, when I saw this fantastic hit by Greg Holmes last weekend, I figured I'd have to share it with the world. Let's be honest, we love seeing the hard hits but when they're dirty, it leaves a bit of a sour taste.

Reds' prop Holmes, famed on RD for his incredible solo try against Ireland, showed us all exactly how to stick your opponent on their backside the legal way. You'll note that halfway through his smashing of young Stormers flanker Francois Louw, Holmes gets him into the position of a typical spear tackle.

But, by controlling the tackle and driving to ground with him, as opposed to just dropping him, Holmes pulls off a one hundred percent safe, legal, and bone crunching tackle.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ma'a Nonu high tackle - banned for one week

This past weekend, we once again saw the back of Hurricanes wing Ma'a Nonu after he was dismissed from the field for putting in a dangerous tackle on Highlanders front rower Clint Newlands.

Newlands himself is no stranger to controversy, but that's a different story altogether.

I'm starting to feel like this weekend's dirty play is overshadowing the great rugby that was on show, and believe me, there was some great rugby, as you'll see in the upcoming Pick of the Week in the next couple of days.

Ma'a Nonu's swinging arm-strangle-wrestle (choose which you prefer) has meant that he's since been cited and suspended for one match by the SANZAR judiciary, therefore missing his teams upcoming clash with the Brumbies.

At first this tackle looked like nothing, but if you watch it closely you'll see the forearm connecting with Newlands' face. Foolish stuff from a player who should be doing everything he can to fix up his reputation.


Zane Kirchner red carded for off the ball spear tackle

It's not often that we see red cards dished out these days. If we do see them it's normally for punches or blatant dirty play which normally involves some kind of thugery on the field.

On Friday night Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner received this red card for an off the ball spear tackle, which has resulted in him having been suspended for two weeks.

Bakkies Botha was yellow carded at the same time for an alleged head butt, which he's since been found not guilty of committing.

My original feeling was that the red for Kirchner was a bit harsh. However, the assistant referee, as they call them these days, was Mark Lawrence and he loves dishing out the discipline. The discussion between ref and Lawrence amounted to them both agreeing that it was extreme, a spear, and off the ball.

Who knows what Kirchner was thinking when making the tackle, and despite Dusty Noble landing safely on a pile of other players, it's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured by a tackle of this nature.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jason White smothering hit on Paul Sackey

It's been a long time since I've had so many requests for a particular clip, but since Saturday, the requests board and my inbox has been inundated with messages from Scottish fans & neutrals alike who've been wanting to see this hit.

We've said it before - Jason White is a lethal tackler. Not a dirty tackler, but a technically perfect, hard hitting, in your face, do not run at me type of tackler.

Coming on as a sub against England on the weekend, White laid into wing Paul Sackey with another one of his trademark hits, lifting the Murrayfield crowd and of course, his Scottish team who later went on to lift the Calcutta Cup.

Congrats to Scotland on the victory and to Jason White, cracking tackle. Is there a harder hitting (legal) tackler in international rugby out there I wonder? Doubt it.


Classic Tries from the 80's & 90's in the French Top 14

We all know the French are great with ball in hand and have produced some of the best running rugby on show for as long as I can remember. This is what makes the Top 14 such a delight to watch.

There's something special about the running angles and natural flair that almost all of the French backs seem to possess.

It's with this in mind that I'm posting this great video of ten classic Top 14 tries from the Eighties and Nineties.

Look out for current French coach Mark Lievremont scoring a nice try in his heyday, and of course, the great Phillipe Sella scoring an amazing try to finish off a nice compilation that should bring back some great memories for some of the more mature Rugbydump viewers.

Time: 04:17


Monday, March 10, 2008

Anthony Tuitavake burries Odwa Ndungane

Last week we saw Anthony Tuitavake score an incredible try against the Cheetahs, stepping through the defence like they didn't exist, showing what a dangerous runner he really is.

It looks like he's just as lethal on defence, as Sharks winger Odwa Ndungane found out on Saturday when he received this horrible hospital pass from Waylon Murray.

It's not called a hospital pass for nothing, as Ndungane had to reach up for it ala Derick Hougaard and exposed his ribs for all to see. Tuitavake timed the tackle perfectly and hit him hard, driving him to the ground knocking the wind out of poor Odwa.

The best part about this hit, after some of the shenanigans from the weekend, was that it was one hundred percent legal.


Gavin Henson knocks down Shane Horgan

As a neutral, is it just me who thinks that Gavin Henson was lucky to get away with this hit on Shane Horgan? Horgan is a far larger man and yet he was absolutely flattened by Henson, which makes me think (besides the video evidence!) that the shoulder was what supplied the majority of the impact.

Sure, Henson is bigger and stronger than people realise, but the fact that Henson stayed on his feet and Horgan went flying pretty much tells the story.

The referee shouted 'Chest chest', meaning the hit wasn't high, but Henson made absolutely no effort to wrap his arms around Horgan.

It would have been great to see it from another angle, preferably from the side the ref was coming from. Perhaps Henson got the left arm around him, making it look like a legit tackle.

I'm no citing commissioner, and wouldn't want to be, but this has been requested and I figure it will be interesting for all to see.

So what's the verdict - was Henson as innocent as he looks above, or has Wayne Barnes got it wrong? I'm going with the latter.

Afterthought: Congrats to the Welsh for achieving the Triple Crown and beating Ireland at home, capping off a great season so far.

UPDATED with the slow motion close up for those of you who preferred that version.



Sivivatu flips JW Jonker into next week

Chiefs winger Sitiveni Sivivatu received a sending off on the weekend for this spectacular 'tackle' on Cheetahs center JW Jonker. Spectacular only for the fact that Jonker got about as high as a Matfield lineout jump.

Recently there was quite a bit of discussion on here after the dangers of this type of flip tackle after I posted the Ross Rennie hit on Brian O'Driscoll. Some felt it wasn't really dangerous to toss a player over your shoulder whereas others agreed it's not part of the game.

What this tackle shows though is that once again, if you're not bringing the player back down to ground safely, there's going to be yellow cards, citings, and of course, injuries.

In this case, Jonker wasn't injured luckily and Sivivatu's yellow should be sufficient, with no citing needed I'd say. Some may think otherwise though, particularly if Jonker had been badly injured, which could so easily have happened.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ian Balshaws knee meets Rory Lamonts face

The Calcutta Cup has gone to Scotland after they achieved a historic victory over arch enemies England on the weekend.

It came with a price though, as Scotland winger Rory Lamont will miss his side's final Six Nations match against Italy after sustaining a facial fracture after this unfortunate collision.

Lamont was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with Iain Balshaw in the first half at Murrayfield. The collision was purely accidental after both players slid in for the ball. The impact was such that even Balshaw had a pretty sore knee afterwards.

Lamont was released from hospital on Saturday but team doctor James Robson said the injury may need surgery.

"Rory has made good progress from his concussion but scans revealed he does have a facial fracture," said Robson.

Congrats to Scotland for a hard fought win, but for England, where to now? Perhaps Mr Cipriani's nightclub antics and suspension had an even bigger effect on this game than people realised.



Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Funnies - Top14 player imposter

This weeks Friday Funnies come to us from France, and the Top 14 match between Montpellier and Bourgoin from last year.

Funny man Gaillard from French website nimportequi.com gets himself kitted out in full gear, and runs onto the field after the teams run out, looking as if he's going to take the kick off. He even shakes the ref's hand.

The gag doesn't last too long though as soon the security catch onto it and chase him off the field, not before he manages to dive in for the try and complete the conversion though.

He gets bust by the security and peacefully escorted out the stadium but this classic is captured on video for all to see. It cracks me up every time I watch it, particularly that scrum half 'swagger' he has when he's first on the field.

The subtitles at the beginning are a quote from a local newspaper,
"Montpellier MUST win to get out of the last place at the board".

And at the end the quote says "By doing anything you become anyone."


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Super 14 Pick of the Week Round 3

As another weekend of Super 14 rugby approaches, we take a look at a few of the best tries scored in Round 3 of this years tournament.

For the Brumbies, Stephen Hoiles finished off a fantastic bit of play from reserve hooker Huia Edmonds, who put in an audacious chip before regathering and offloading.

Gavin Passens finished off an excellent sequence of play by the Cheetahs against the Blues in Bloemfontein.

Forward Adam Thompson showed tremendous gas to chase and regather a kick ahead for the Highlanders.

Odwa Ndungane scored a memorable try for the Sharks that was made from numerous phases and some excellent play by Waylon Murray, who drew in two players.

And Anthony Tuitavake scored what was possibly the try of the weekend for the Blues, beating numerous players with some great stepping and speed.

Here's looking forward to another enjoyable weekend of rugby and more great tries, from both the Super 14 and the Six Nations.


Julian Huxley's great try vs Wales 2007

Wallabies and Brumbies back Julian Huxley was diagnosed this week as having a brain tumour. The tumour is benign according to doctors, and was revealed after a regulation MRI following an unfortunate knock he took against the Reds on the weekend which had him convulsing on the field.

As a well known newspaper put it, professional rugby player one day, brain tumour patient the next. Such is life, these things happen and hope, courage, and support is what Huxley needs right now.

The 28 year old Brumbies fullback is currently seeking further advice from specialists and neurosurgeons and it is yet to be confirmed if and when the surgery will take place.

After seeing a player convulsing on the field, those 4 minutes of time off on Saturday seemed like ages. To then hear the dreadful news this week has been incredibly sad, only made better by Julian's positive attitude and spirit, talking about playing again next season and not retiring from the game entirely.

I've dug up this clip of a brilliant solo effort by Huxley from last year to basically pay respect to the man and wish him well for the future. I trust everything will be okay in the end and we hope to see him playing rugby again as soon as humanly possible.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Frederic Michalak's first ever Super 14 try

French international flyhalf Frederic Michalak scored his first ever Super 14 try this weekend for the Sharks. Michalak was on the end of a sweeping move that saw great hands put him away in the corner against the Bulls at Loftus.

Michalak has slotted into the number 10 role nicely at the Sharks, and since making his debut two weeks ago has shown glimpses of the brilliance he's known for. Sneaky crosskicks, one or two flamboyant passes, and one try saving tackle in particular, have meant that Michalak is fast becoming a new Sharks hero. He's also proving to be a more than adequate replacement for Butch James, who is now plying his trade with Bath in the UK.

Freddie has been known to on occasion blow hot and cold, so the rest of the season will be a true test of the mans worth. If he continues the way he has been, slowly improving, I have no doubt he'll make the position his own in a team that boasts many players who can cover the flyhalf slot.

Something a lot of you may not realise is that there aren't many Northern Hemisphere players in the Super 14, it's quite rare in fact. So for the French fans out there, your boy's doing well. We'll continue to cover his progress throughout the season to see if he can live up to the hype that's surrounded him since arriving in Durban.

Final Score: 29-15 to the Sharks

UPDATE: This video has been removed by rights holder Mediazone.
Apologies from our side.


Midweek Madness - Austin Healey forfeit

Austin Healey made a guest appearance at the Leicester Tigers training ground this week to pay a forfeit for Sky Sports’ Soccer AM show.

At the start of the RBS 6 Nations Championship, Healey was invited into the studio and he tipped England to beat Wales, while agreeing to ‘Take one for the Team’ if his prediction proved incorrect.

One second-half Twickenham fightback later and Healey was being lined up to ‘Take one for the Team’, which involves allowing team-mates to fire footballs at you through a giant wooden target.

There was quite a queue when Austin arrived at Oval Park and, although he gave it his usual banter, Healey went strangely quiet as players including Andy Goode, Ian Humphreys and Johne Murphy lined up their shots.

Note: Big thanks to the Leicester Tigers website.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Joe Rokocoko hatrick vs the Cheetahs

Prolific try scorer Joe Rokocoko notched up another hatrick on the weekend, this time against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Rokocoko's tries weren't the most spectacular he's ever scored, but as with a lot of the All Black players, he makes the game look really simple by doing the basics perfectly and running great lines.

Apologies in advance for some useless commentary by Warren Brosnihan, who once again proved that he's the king of cliché. He did eventually correct himself on the pronunciation of Rokocoko though, who is only one of the most recognised names in the game and yet he couldn't get it right to start with. Embarrassing.

Hatricks should always be respected though, so in future, we'll be featuring some of the best hatrick's here on Rugbydump from games all around the world. Old and new, we feel they deserve to be seen.


The Ross Rennie tackle on Brian O'Driscoll

In the Six Nations last weekend we saw Scotland take on Ireland at Croke Park, in a game that produced some splendid tries and examples of incredible skill.

The game also produced this flip tackle by Ross Rennie on Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll. The footage has been highly requested so here it is.

O'Driscoll was literally flipped over substitute Rennie's shoulder, Judo style.

The referee saw nothing wrong with it, which technically is probably incorrect considering O'Driscoll's feet were above his hips and Rennie didn't lower him to the ground, as the law stipulates you should do.

It wasn't however a proper spear tackle as such, so therefore Rennie got away with it. A lot of refs may have seen it differently though, with a penalty, and perhaps even a yellow card being shown.



Monday, March 03, 2008

Wycliff Palu scores then gets yellowcard

Big Waratahs number eight Wycliff Palu finished off this nice try from a Highlanders turnover, then got yellow carded for overreacting to a swinging arm by Jimmy Cowan.

Cowan, New Zealand's player of the tournament last year, has always been incredibly competitive and at times, cocky. For a scrum half, he's not the smallest guy, and punches well above his weight.

Here he dives in on the Waratahs tryscorer Palu, I can only think to try dislodge the ball, but Palu takes exception to it, getting up and basically flat hand smacking Cowan in the face.

Palu got his marching orders, and the game actually restarted with a penalty on the halfway line for the Highlanders.

Palu went from hero to zero in a matter of seconds.

NOTE: We're aware of this video being down, and will try get it back up asap.


Nigel Walker 100m try vs Pontypridd

The debate over the quickest wing in world rugby is one that will continue for as long as rugby itself exists. Over time we have seen some truly fast wings, but perhaps one player who has a pedigree like none other, is former Cardiff and Wales winger Nigel Walker.

Walker represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 1984 Olympics in the 110m hurdles. When he unfortunately failed to make the grade in 1992, he turned to rugby and Cardiff, where he played wing.

He went on to achieve 17 caps for Wales, scoring 12 tries with his incredible speed and ability to change direction while barely slowing down, as he did here against Pontypridd.

We're trying to dig up more footage of Walker at his best, so if anyone has any footage of him that they could provide us with then please drop me an email and I'll gladly stick it up for all to see.

Note: The commentary, for those of you who are wondering, is Welsh.


Dan Carter pinpoint crosskick for the try

The Crusaders put in another impressive performance this weekend, this time against the Stormers in Cape Town.

Dan Carter marshalled the troops superbly as always, doing the basics exquisitely and showing glimpses of brilliance at times.

This cross kick to put Sean Maitland in the corner was just another example of how Carter makes the game look so simple, and once again shows why he's rated by many as the number one flyhalf in the world.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Felipe Contepomi Penalty blown back over!

The Friday night Magners League fixture between Leinster and Connacht will always be remembered for the 20th minute penalty kick from Argentinian flyhalf Felipe Contepomi.

Contepomi was on target with a 18-metre penalty, but the wind was so strong it blew the kick back out through the posts and had referee George Clancy reaching for his rulebook before he confirmed the score.

Truly one of the most bizarre things you'll ever seen in a rugby field.


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