Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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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

Monday, March 10, 2008

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.




  • That is rugby league, not rugby union...

    By Anonymous red68baron, at March 10, 2008 4:17 pm  

  • another example of henson's inability to tackle legally. the only one i remember was unfortunatley the tacke on tait.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 4:23 pm  

  • Wow, people have a better view of the incident from a distant single shot replay than a ref stood 4 yards from the incident? If you say so. ;)

    By Anonymous Geoff, at March 10, 2008 4:28 pm  

  • ^What he said.

    From this poor footage, it would appear that Henson made no attempt to wrap. Also, henson is perfectly capable of tackling legally.

    By Anonymous canrugby, at March 10, 2008 4:35 pm  

  • Nothing wrong with that, he didn't have time to wrap his arms around before Horgan hit the deck!

    And im English by the way....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 4:36 pm  

  • That isn't a tackle thats a shoulder charge no attempt was made to wrap the player up using his arms.

    Nonetheless good hit and Henson can tackle thats just not an example that proves it.

    By Anonymous Gazzy B, at March 10, 2008 4:38 pm  

  • Absolutely legal , Horgan's bodyposition was poor,shifting sideways at the moment of impact,Henson's BP was ideal,most of the impact came from the shoulder,which is the intent of any tackle i would hope, the arms die wrap around, but let go due to the hit,watch the arms just after Horgan goes backwards.So Barnes,being as close as he was,got it spot on,

    By Anonymous Dutchrugby, at March 10, 2008 4:39 pm  

  • that hit would make butch james proud

    By Anonymous stickeymickey!, at March 10, 2008 4:39 pm  

  • i say fair play to that hit...horgans one of the dirtiest players around anyway...looked legal enough to me and Barnes said it was fine so just need to let it go...Henson is a very good tackler.He made phil vickery turn the ball over in the first game with a quality tackle...He's having an amazing tournament

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 4:47 pm  

  • quality tackle, nothing wrong with it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 4:55 pm  

  • I think it was a legal hit because on the very slow replay you can see Henson wraping around horgans leg, and also he did not have much time before horgan fell to the ground.

    By Anonymous Travis, at March 10, 2008 5:10 pm  

  • Henson went full pelt into him so think it was just due to the speed he went in with rather than if/because he was hit by his shoulder. I was hoping during the game they'd show it on a different angle but they didn't so no-one apart from the ref had a good view so we'll have to take the ref's word for it.

    Was quite a dirty game really, admittedly most of it (or at least the incidents shown) were because of the welsh. Don't know why but wales vs ireland games are always angry affairs.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 10, 2008 5:43 pm  

  • one of the anonymous ones up there....horgans one of the dirtiest players around anyway...wer the fuck are you getting that from???
    also i think it all happened to fast but i was in the ground opposite that hit and he didnt wrap the arms...but again probably due to the speed...henson seems to have a habit of doing this though...i recall him doing it quite often during the lions tour 2005.

    By Anonymous cornamonian, at March 10, 2008 5:48 pm  

  • When I was watching it live my first reaction was to call it illegal. But Horgan was standing very upright and was almost standing on his back foot which caused him to be knocked back easily. Henson drove the shoulder in making the initial hit but the time he was beginning to wrap Horgan up, Horgan was already on his arse. There was nothing really dangerous about the hit, is was firm, firm but fair. Big hit for a big game.

    I'm Irish by the way, lets hope it knocked a bit of sense into him. Steady Eddie must go. Shun Edwards for coach!.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 5:49 pm  

  • "horgans one of the dirtiest players around anyway"

    Give me two reasons why?

    And its deffo a shoulder charge and he knew thats why he skips away from the ref after like a little bitch!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 5:49 pm  

  • Lol!

    Can't back up the "horgans one of the dirtiest players around.." comment with a proper answer, but i (think) remember one occasion where he was punching someone in a ruck, think it was a magners league game. So if i am right i'm guessing that's the reason for that comment.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 10, 2008 6:03 pm  

  • I think the "skipping away" was henson going back into the defensive line...
    Want to know why Wales' defence isn't shit?

    By Anonymous ..., at March 10, 2008 6:04 pm  

  • I think that you are being hard on Henson. As a Welsh man i am of coure biased, but I don't think it was malisious and was not as bad as the Sivivatu tackle below.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 6:07 pm  

  • If I see it correctly, his left arm is stiff, and held next to his body; thus, a shoulder charge.
    However, the angle makes it difficult to tell.

    Maybe Henson was lucky, maybe not... but he's having a great tournament (and I don't like the man!). Whatever Gatland, Edwards and Howley are doing, works!

    By Blogger Sander, at March 10, 2008 6:12 pm  

  • Henson has a history of shoulder charging and tackling rugby league style. This was illegal but probably unintentional due to Horgan's pace.

    I'd really like to know what the comment about Horgan being a dirty player is based on ? The only thing i can think off is him knocking over strettle in Croke park when running on to a chip but even that was a grey area. Or the time he got in a fight with that shithead ref (think he's South African) on the Lion's tour. Anybody remeber that ? He said something anti-Irish to Darcy ?

    Well done Wales you deserved it, Ireland were a disgrace bar Kearney

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 10, 2008 6:23 pm  

  • Good hit. Nothing wrong with this kind of tackling. Should be allowed in Union. League has got it spot on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 7:47 pm  

  • Sorry, but that's flat out an illegal tackle. You can even see it without the slow motion. Henson's right arm never leaves his side, i.e. he never attempts to wrap.

    By Anonymous istya, at March 10, 2008 8:39 pm  


    By Anonymous evzman(WALESROCK), at March 10, 2008 8:47 pm  

  • the punching incident was horgan at his dirtiest. Perhpas the guy who dropped it in there meant he's a bit of a cheat sometimes. The ref called horgan a "Pikey" i believe and got appropriately banned for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2008 9:24 pm  

  • dunno about legal. but it wouldnt be the first time someone's got away with it, Ireland have their fair share of luck.
    bring on Le Bleus!

    By Anonymous David, at March 10, 2008 10:07 pm  

  • I would not be surprised if the ref got it wrong for not penalizing Henson ...
    What do you expect from Wayne Barnes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 3:57 am  

  • Geraint, I know that Wales had its fair share of fouls...and two yellow cards, but I don't think that the "majority" of foul play came from them. Both teams had a couple of incidents at line-outs, but Ireland did its part with Jackman's wholly stupid shoulder into Jones' (I think?) back.

    I'm not sure, because I didn't take down notes or anything, but it seemed less of a dirty game than the Ireland/Scotland match...I didn't see fists flying wildly in the rucks.

    I was pretty disappointed watching this game. Ireland had momentum for the first, oh, 25 minutes...But they seemed to give up, and Wales played like a team who knew what they wanted to win.

    Regarding the clip, I'm not sure if it's a good tackle or not (definitely effective), but there was a moment in the game where Kearney just gave Byrne a hefty shove into touch...not entirely the same situation, but in Kearney's case as well, there was no attempt to wrap his arms around Byrne.

    By Anonymous Elliot, at March 11, 2008 6:26 am  

  • Too distant a shot to tell if its illegal, surely?

    Anyway, its nothing as bad as some of the hits in the S14 at the moment - certainly not malicious.

    As for the comment about Henson "skipping" away from the ref like a little bitch - thanks for the laugh; you obviously never played rugby or you would realise what preserving a defensive line is about.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 8:03 am  

  • Video is too distant to tell, i was at the match and it didnt look much like his arms tried to get round but the ref was right there so we have to bow to his greater knowledge - even when he's an idiot. As someone has mentioned before it pointless citing this and gettign upset about it as it was far less dangerous than the shoulder barge into the back of Ryan's neck and nothing was done about this. So lets stop faffing and wishWales well on their charge towards the Gland slam, D'acha Cymru!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 10:42 am  

  • Not very legal to me, but not so dirty... it doesnt deserve a yellow card anyway. But OMG how much do i hate Henson's faggot face!! As a frenchman i hope France will break welsh's dreams, and above all close Gatland's mouth!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 12:37 pm  

  • Shoulder barge.... should have been a penalty to ireland... henson does at least 5 each game.
    Henson has done close to nothing this tournament.

    By Anonymous David, at March 11, 2008 3:24 pm  

  • I wouldn't mind having a "faggot face" if I had £20m in my "shared account". ;)

    By Anonymous Geoff, at March 11, 2008 3:33 pm  

  • "Henson's done close to nothing this tournament"....??

    Don't think that's true, just because he hasn't scored a try or kicked any goals doesn't mean he's done nothing. If he'd done nothing he wouldn't be in the side. His defence apart from 1 or 2 tackles against ireland has been very solid, he's turned the ball over in the tackle area and he's created chances with his passes and a couple of breaks over the gain line.

    It's fair enough to say he's not the most likeable character but don't think that comment is true at all.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 11, 2008 3:58 pm  

  • Yeah with solow-mo you can see that it was illegal and a shoulder charge. wshould've been a penalty to Ireland.

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 11, 2008 4:10 pm  

  • Fuck its rugby! the bigger the hits we see the happier we are! in the 70s the tackles like that were allowed so they should be today! it wasnt that dangerous just a quality hit, showing amazing power! i loved it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 11:42 pm  

  • cornamonian - i dont think Horgan is 'one of the dirtiest players around' but in the dragons v leinster game this season he was virtually trying to start a fight with every dragons player and was generally lary and OTT, so im quite happy henson put him on his arse.

    Its quite ironic that after Keith Wood said in the build up that o'driscoll would be looking to 'drive henson into the ground', our tanned friend does just that to one of the boys in green! Ha ha

    Yes theres been a lot of nonsense off the field with him but henson is pure class. His defence (eg ripping the ball from vickery) and attack (lovely break leaving wilko for dead) against england, his defence and distribution against jocks and italians and his defence (ripping ball from Leamy who's one of irelands biggest forwards etc) kicking and distribution against ireland.

    he's been the outstanding inside centre of the 6n and anyone who says otherwise is either blind or just one of the sad and fast becoming extremely boring henson-haters.

    If theres any celebrated centre thats done nothing this 6n, then its the posh dubliner O'driscoll whos done sod all.

    By Blogger BendoverBrenda, at March 11, 2008 11:44 pm  

  • Just because you love it doesn't mean its legal :)

    How can you say BOD's done sod all ?!!!! Henson'a having a very good 6N and I'm glad to see him settling into the Welsh team but BOD's tackling and overall defence has been immense. Although this could be a bit to do with the lack of suport from Wallace and Leamy.

    If you haven't seen it you haven't been watching Ireland matches and are just trying to sound like you know what you're talking about.

    If you have a problem with his perceived social standing well then thats just sad.

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 12, 2008 1:18 am  

  • generally you guys are fucking stupid.
    (the ones that apparently believe that mr. henson can't lay out a decent tackle)

    have you not watched a game of fucking six nations?

    maybe you should play centre against him?

    i bet that would be real fun with all his...."should barges"...and thankyou geoff, you are a smart one.

    By Blogger iamamerican, at March 12, 2008 1:12 pm  

  • Not as bad as Jackman's on Ryan Jones but then again, that was LEGAL as Jones made not attempt to move from an offside position whereas Henson, though it was due to speed and angle (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt) it was definitely a penalty but nothing more


    By Blogger Dan, at March 12, 2008 2:42 pm  

  • i didn't think Jackman's was legal as it was dangerous play and Jones was not part of the ruck.

    And i'm irish. And i love Jackman !

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 12, 2008 2:53 pm  

  • i think that this tackle is only seen as illegal because you cant see a great attempt from henson to wrap, but then again.. i think that there was little time for him to wrap because look at how quick horgan goes to ground.. didier drogba would be proud!
    i think given half a second more we couldve seen an attempt to wrap.. good hit, well done wales in all

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 13, 2008 12:56 am  

  • Guys, its a good hit - plain and simple. its a ball and all tackle, as he gets it he gets hit...

    By Blogger jase, at March 13, 2008 4:48 am  

  • how the hell is wayne barnes even still reffing should be the real question.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 13, 2008 5:31 am  

  • Yeah Horgan dived....Anonymous at March 13, 2008 1:56 AM have you ever even played rugby ?

    Its not legal because henson goes in high with his shoulder

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 13, 2008 12:53 pm  

  • Personally i think it was a legal tackle and a bloody good one at that!

    One tackle i dont think was legal in the same macth was when Lee Byrne was running up the wing going towards the corner and i think it was the other Irish wing he made no attempt to tackle him just came running in with the shoulder! Dont know if anybody else seen it or not and their views?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 13, 2008 4:11 pm  

  • No i don't think there was much wrong with that, he just shoved him into touch.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 13, 2008 6:58 pm  

  • Yeah Keanrey pushed him out. That was legal

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at March 13, 2008 8:58 pm  

  • It wasn't particularly dangerous, nor should it warrant a yellow, but to say it was legal is just idiotic. it was all shoulder with no intent to wrap Horgan up (the fact that it happened quickly doesn't have any impact). A clear penalty.

    The one on Byrne was probably a penalty too (from memory, I would have to see it again to be sure).

    By Anonymous Grimoald, at March 14, 2008 12:16 pm  

  • Horgan is a dirty shit!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2008 1:50 am  

  • you can all shutup you english people!!
    Henson is the best tackler in Europe he's imense. Tait is a little pufter haha well in wales in the 6 nations! ha scotland beat england LEGENDS!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2008 3:05 pm  

  • henson is a rock

    consisering hes only 6'0" and about 95kgs....he tackles like a beast

    head on with henson bad idea
    bet taits legs are still shakey

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 06, 2008 7:06 am  

  • in the end of the day rugby dump has an inherent bias against henson. In all of the clips aside from the nonu shoulder charge, henson has been the centre of foul play and yet when he treated matthew tait as handbag, the website stresses how young ("18 year old tait") and helpless tait was, rather than how well henson played in arguably the game of his career. Another clip shows henson "getting dumped on his pretty boy backside". It's quite saddening that a website such as this feels the need to portray henson in such a light all the more because of his precocious talent. Surely that should be something for reward?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2008 5:28 pm  

  • Anonymous with the big opinion but no name...

    If you were a regular on here and actually took part in any meaningful discussions - instead of lurking then giving your 2 cents when you feel like complaining - you'd know two things:

    1 - The site has some older videos/posts that obviously do not get updated whenever a player suddenly changes his act. They're a reflection of the time they were written at, which, at the time, was when Henson was nothing more than a pretty boy IMO anyway.
    2 - RD, or the guy who runs it more specifically, is actually a huge fan of Henson, citing his skill and time on the ball as being one of the best in the business.

    But seeing as you're wining like a little girl, I'll mention your comments to RD directly and maybe they'll look back and do some editing, for moaners like you. :)

    By Anonymous Sharky, at May 19, 2008 5:43 pm  

  • What really aggravates me is the total disregard for tackling laws. In recent years I have seen the number of shoulder barges sky rocket. This in itself is a minor aggravation, but the way that the players, such as Henson, who commit these poor "tackles" then swagger off as if they are world class defenders.

    By Blogger EddyD, at May 25, 2008 11:35 pm  

  • Gavin Henson is the epitome of border line, aggressive defence!! At times this is an uncompromising sport & the laws are there to protect, but sometimes you're gona get smashed!! Which is what, I believe, the majority of the viewers enjoy about rugby, aswell as the skill. Let's remember though.... It's rugby, not bloody pussy football!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 17, 2008 11:26 am  

  • That is why Wales need him back ASAP. Big hits along with sublime rugby skills come back Gav!

    By Blogger Matt O'Brien, at March 19, 2010 1:20 pm  

  • I think all you guys have got this so wrong!! Horgan, realising it was Henson in front of him, deliberately threw himself onto the ground. He obviously didn't fancy being covered with fake skin tan as well as a smattering of cheap hair dye!. Right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 05, 2011 12:29 pm  

  • Actually, I would agree with the last contributor. If I were in the same situation I would do similar. Enjoy your time in France Mr Henson and take your time coming back.....

    By Blogger larry35, at February 05, 2011 12:41 pm  

  • Hey guys. I think you lot will find that if you go onto the Try savers and rib breakers 11 video it shows a different angle of this hit at 35 seconds.

    An what do you know he does wrap his arms around because when he hits him he has picked up is left leg from the ground with his right arm. If that is not an attempt to wrap your arms around I dunno what is?

    Damn don't you hate it when your wrong?

    By Blogger Jimmy, at March 08, 2011 12:51 pm  

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