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, July 31, 2008

The British Lions' famous 1989 series win in Australia

The 1989 British Lions tour of Australia will be remembered as one of the most confrontational battles to be seen in Lions rugby history. More importantly though, it was a tour that produced a historic Series victory for the Down Under.

Led by coach Ian McGeechan, the Lions tour of Australia encompassed a 12 match schedule, with the visitors coming out highly successful, winning all eight non test victories.

They lost the first test in Sydney, but in the second in Brisbane they didn’t back down to the Wallabies, and a few famous fights broke out that had the hostile media labelling the visitors thugs.

The platform was set for a classic decider as the two teams went into the third and final test squared at one-one, with plenty of animosity adding to the occasion.

Much of the match was decided by the boot, with respective goal kickers Michael Lynagh and Gavin Hastings having a contest of their own until a costly error that will never be forgotten.

Star Australia winger David Campese had been starved of possession for the majority of the match, and it was that frustration that led to one of Campo’s most notorious blunders, and a moment that possibly cost them the test series.

After an attempted drop goal by Rob Andrew went wide, Campese picked up the ball and instead of dotting it down or booting it down field, decided that there was an opportunity to counter attack.

He was confronted by Lions wing Ieuan Evans, and thinking that he would have drawn in the defender, he threw a pass out to Greg Martin, who was completely unaware of his intentions.
The pass was a shocker, and it allowed Evans to easily dive on the ball and score the soft try that resulted in the Lions winning the test as well as the series.

Campese was severely castigated in Australia for his failed attempt at the spectacular, and the moment would be one that haunted him for years to come.

‘It was my fault because I tried to step inside and pass at once, thinking that Evans would come with me,’ Campese wrote in his autobiography On a Wing and a Prayer.

‘In fact, when I passed, he was in between me and Martin, and when I threw such a hopeless pass he had a simple job in touching it down…. I still think the idea was perfectly sound, it was just that the execution was wrong.’

So the try enabled the Lions to snatch a historic 19-18 victory, and take the Test series 2-1 by the narrowest of margins.

Time: 06:35



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Midweek Madness - The Dan Carter freak conversion

A lot of you will have seen this incredible kick by Dan Carter from last years Super 14 match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders. Until now though, we haven't added it to RD for whatever reason, so it is long overdue.

The conversion came about from a nice Caleb Ralph try in a match that saw the Crusaders run away with the second half, coming out winners 38-3 over the guys from Otago. The try is included in this version of the footage, as well as a replay of the boomerang-like kick that somehow went over.

I can tell you now that there was virtually no wind in the stadium on the night. This kick was pure brilliance. Either that, or pure luck. You decide which way you want to remember it.

Whichever way you want to look at it, we felt it needed to be added to the archives for the superb display of skill, freakishness, or all of the above.

There you go kids - aim it at the corner post and see what happens.

Time: 01:20
Note: For those who don't understand what the commentators are on about at the end, they're talking about cricket - a sport where players balls aren't odd shaped, but do swing through the air.


David Smith brilliant individual try - 2007 Air NZ Cup

New Zealand's premier provincial rugby competition, the Air New Zealand cup, gets under way tomorrow as the weekend sees an assortment of matches, with no less than seven games taking place.

Title holders Auckland will look to continue their dominance this season, as last year saw them go unbeaten en route to the final against the Wellington Lions.

One of the tries of the tournament that contributed to their great season was this masterpiece from flying winger David Smith.

Reminiscent of Rupeni Caucau in his heyday, the way with which Smith breezed past defenders, changing direction and then throwing in the little step, was sensational to watch.

It's a classic, and one of the better tries you'll see as he gassed the Tasman team on the way to finishing a try that once again added to his pedigree, making him one of the most exciting wingers in New Zealand at the moment.

Unfortunately his Super 14 showing for the Blues this year wasn't quite up there with the best, but I'd say that we may yet see the name David Smith achieving higher honours in the future.

UPDATE: Video removed by Mediazone. Apologies from our side.

Time: 02:02


Chris Rossouw knocks himself out with this no arms tackle

Former Western Province, Stormers, and more recently Toulon flyhalf Chris Rossouw is now at the Cheetahs, plying his trade in the Currie Cup in South Africa.

Rossouw, brother of former Springbok wing Pieter Rossouw, had a mixed experience in France, mainly serving as backup for Andrew Mehrtens.

He's back in SA now though, and while playing for the defending champions the Cheetahs on the weekend, he somehow managed to knock himself out while attempting this tackle on the Valke's rising star flyhalf Len Olivier.

Rossouw was actually penalised for the tackle, which can only be described as clumsy. In fact, it looked like he almost tried to run through Olivier, forgetting to get his arms up, resulting in the headclash.

Peculiar technique, and he paid for it, leaving the field and playing no further part in the match. The Cheetahs weren't effected though, coming out comfortable victors 55-14.

Time: 02:04


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

George Smith's rib breaking tackle on Andy Ellis

Since the weekend I've received a few emails from guys wanting to see how New Zealands's number nine Andy Ellis bruised his ribs in the epic Wallabies vs All Blacks test in Sydney.

The injury actually occurred in the first half when in form Wallaby flanker George Smith put in a crunching hit on Ellis as he made a little break after some nice play. To make matters worse, big Rocky Elsom sandwiched him from the other side. A scrum half stuck between two powerful loosies is not a pretty sight. Well, maybe for some.

Not for Ellis, but he did continue besides looking laboured, and got himself a nice try early in the second half before being taken off to stick an ice pack on those aching ribs.

Replacement Jimmy Cowan came on and also ended up injuring himself, resulting in the All Blacks now having two battered halfbacks leading up to the next test at Eden Park.

A trim looking Piri Weepu has since been called up as backup, and will be determined to make an impact if his services are required.

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

Time: 02:21


Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Mayhem - Bringing back the biff in the NRL

For the League fans out there, and those who just enjoy watching a good scrap, here’s a clip we’ve come across from last weekend in the NRL in Australia. The match saw the Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragons go head to head in a brawl that had three players sent off, and another just three minutes later.

There’s been a lot of talk about the other code lately, with a few big name players moving across to union, striking fears that the money in Union and the salary cap in League will be the downfall of the game.

Whatever the case, there’s no denying the entertainment value in a sport where, when a brawl breaks out, the commentators and crowd egg them on as if it were fight night in Vegas.

An explosive first half in Melbourne saw four players sent to the cooler for their part in incidents that for many were the highlights of the match, with the Storm easing to a 26-0 victory in the end.

As this scuffle kicked off, referee Gavin Badger virtually blew the pea out of the whistle as every player on the field joined the fray.

Rather than big men shaping up to each other, the main event was a bantamweight title fight with Billy Slater and Jason Nightingale throwing a flurry of punches.

After the match, Slater argued that his actions were sparked by being head butted three times by winger Nightingale.

"The third one, that's the one I react to," Slater said. "As he flings me across, he hits me in the head, and then he goes in again. I reacted straight away to that. The first one, I let slip."

He’s since been suspended for one game.

One of the things I found most entertaining about this incident was the reactions of the commentators, who were clearly old school and quite a far cry from what we’re used to in Union, where they would probably choke on their tea and biscuits.

Time: 05:06


Brad Thorn yellow carded for high tackle on Matt Giteau

All Blacks lock Brad Thorn was again in hot water as he was sent from the field in the fifth minute of the classic match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks on Saturday, in which the Wallabies came out victors 34-19.

Thorn's lazy high tackle on the darting Matt Giteau was enough for referee Craig Joubert to produce the yellow early on in the game, despite no previous warnings.

It was a careless stiff arm that was more out of reflex than malice, but referee's don't like big locks touching key flyhalfs. Just ask Jannes Labuschagne about his red card in 2002.

Giteau landed the resultant penalty without any problems, but the attack, that looked dangerous, was stopped as a result of the tackle, possibly adding to Joubert's assessment of it.

It was Thorn's second yellow card of the season, after he was sin-binned in the Super 14 final, and follows his one-match Tri-Nations ban after being cited for the Smit tackle in Wellington.

Under Sanzar rules, three yellow cards in one season of Super 14 and Tri-Nations leads to a tribunal hearing and a possible further suspension.

Talk of Thorn being a dirty player has been quashed by Wallaby coach Robbie Deans though, who's spent a lot of time with the second rower in the past.

"In terms of his mentality he is not a dirty player, but these things happen."

All Black assistant coach Steve Hansen dismissed it completely.

"He plays a physical game, and tonight a guy stepped back inside him and he reacted to that and got him across the shoulder. I don't think we can say he's got a discipline problem."

Was a yellow card harsh so early in the game, with no previous talkings too? Or was it fully deserved, as Matt Giteau playing without a head wouldn't be quite as good as him playing with one. Thoughts?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wallabies sink All Blacks 34-19 in Sydney

Australia stormed to a stunning 34-19 triumph over New Zealand in an exciting Tri-Nations encounter in Sydney.

Having led at half-time, the Wallabies were forced to come from behind following an early try from the All Blacks five minutes after the interval.

But as they have done throughout coach Robbie Deans' five-Test stint at the helm, Australia found their way to the finish line with tries from forwards Rocky Elsom and James Horwill to extend their unbeaten run to five matches and claim top spot in the standings.

Fly-half Matt Giteau was superb throughout for the hosts, as was stand-in skipper George Smith and veteran Lote Tuqiri.

For the All Blacks, Dan Carter was at his sublime best, while Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu looked dangerous, but it was not enough to avoid a second consecutive defeat.

Ryan Cross, Peter Hynes, Elsom and Horwill were the tryscorers for Australia, while Muliaina, Andrew Hore and Andrew Ellis touched down for the All Blacks.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 09:30
Article: The Press Association


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sonny Bill Williams leaves the Bulldogs & League, goes to Toulon

Sonny Bill Williams has sensationally walked out on the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club to try to secure a contract with a French rugby union club according to media reports.

Williams left the country with the brother of his manager Khoder Nasser on Saturday afternoon with the apparent intention of initiating negotiations with Toulon, the club currently coached by former All Black Tana Umaga.

The deal is believed to be worth around $3m over two years.

The Kiwis international has three and a half years to run on his contract with the Bulldogs club and his departure would constitute a breach of that contract.

Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenburg told ABC radio that Williams' manager Khoder Nasser had confirmed the star player's sudden departure.

"Quite simply, if Sonny intends to play overseas, we'll be looking to take out an injunction which will effectively stop him playing in France, England or anywhere else he intends to do it."

However, while the whole of the Australian League fraternity are up in arms, Toulon's president Mourad Boudjellal has since denied the signing, stating that they had spoken in the past, but nothing has been confirmed.

It's a sensational story in the world of League, with Sonny Bill Williams being one of the biggest names, if not the biggest, in the sport.

Mark Gasnier signed for Stade Francais recently, also of the French Top 14, shocking League fans. It looks like the big money is talking, with Williams hot on his heals.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Funnies - George Gregan ruins Jeff Wilson's 1994 holiday

The first clash of this years Bledisloe Cup gets under way in Sydney tomorrow night, as old rivals Australia and New Zealand do battle in the first of four meetings that will decide who gets the Trans-Tasman bragging rights for the next year.

So with Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup being the sole focus of world rugby right now, we've found this hilarious clip that was created by the lunatics at Pulp Sport, and thought now would be as good a time as any to share it.

The video is based on one of the most famous incidents in Bledisloe Cup history, that being the George Gregan tackle on Jeff Wilson from 1994, also in Sydney, where the game will be played tomorrow night.

If you haven't seen the tackle in question, watch it now quickly, then sit back and enjoy this ridiculously funny skit that pokes fun at how Gregan ruined not only Wilson's try, but the rest of his Sydney holiday too.

Time: 01:31


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jerry Collins smashes Nathan Sharpe in 2003

Hard hitting former All Black Jerry Collins is known for being somewhat of an enforcer, and has over the years put in a few famous tackles that have more often than not left the opposition lying on the floor in a heap of dizziness and discomfort.

Back in the 2003 World Cup Semi Final, when Australia stunned New Zealand by knocking them out the tournament with a 22-10 victory, the ferocious number 8 sent Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe into la la land temporarily, with a hit that had viewers around the world cringing.

The high shot all but knocked Sharpe out. Collins was lucky to escape a visit to the sin-bin, instead, he got a stern lecture and telling off from referee Chris White, and added to his reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the game.

Timing, Sharpe lowering into the tackle maybe - there are a number of factors that could have accounted for the hit looking as bad as it did. One thing there is no disputing though is the impact, with Sharpe being knocked back hard from one of the hits of the tournament. He was also probably very lucky to avoid injury, as his and Collins body weight came down on his crumpled legs below.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spears & Dumps galore - Falcons vs Western Province

Western Province have once again fallen at the hands of a so called ‘minnow’ of South Africa’s Currie Cup, this time losing 38-32 in nice try thriller in Brakpan on the weekend. The Gauteng Falcons claimed the scalp of the boys from Cape Town to record a famous victory for a small union who were very much the underdogs in this one.

Province were looking for an improved performance after their loss to Griquas last weekend, but once again disappointed as the game went to the side who showed the greater heart on the night.

The Falcons, commonly known as the Valke, have impressed many with their exciting brand of rugby so far this season. The expansive aspect of the game was matched by the physical though, as we saw hits flying in from all angles.

The game produced two yellow cards and one red, all of which are possibly up for discussion.

The first yellow went to Ross Skeate, who last week was on the receiving end of a few crunching hits himself. Skeate’s tackle this week was a bit of a Brad Thorn, picking up and tossing the player to ground rather than spearing or bringing him back down safely.

Next we saw a red card for Johan Swartz, the Valke winger who picked up little Gio Aplon and flipped him around before slamming him into the ground. The tackle was possibly based on momentum, and was similar to Paul Emerick’s tackle on Olly Barkley in the World Cup last year. Swartz got his marching orders, and Aplon, despite looking badly injured at once stage, got up and carried on showing no signs of bodily harm.

Once the standard had been set, referee Marius Jonker, along with his touch judges, made a point of being consistent, so when young Francois Louw made a tackle that closely resembled a spear, he promptly got his marching orders and spent ten minutes in the cooler himself.

So in summary, 70 points, two yellows, one red, and a whole bunch of big hits and running footy on display. Just a regular night of Currie Cup rugby really.

Over to you:
What are your thoughts on the tackles that were carded? It’s a nice example for us to examine and compare three supposed spear/dangerous tackles from the same game with the same ref. Were all of them dealt with accurately, or did you think that the Valke were hard done by with their red, when Western Province only got yellows?

Time: 04:35


Midweek Madness - O'Connell thanks O'Gara

This very short clip comes from the after match celebrations a few months back, when Munster came out triumphant in the Heineken Cup Final against Toulouse.

Apparently this is how you thank your star flyhalf in Munster - with a face full of champagne.

We came across this clip and thought it was good for a laugh. O'Gara may disagree, but the jubilation of the win would have meant he probably forgot about it the next day.

Make sure you keep sending in those funnies so we can keep sharing them here on Rugbydump.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christian Cullen ripping through Scotland in 1996

When twenty year old Christian Cullen made his debut for the All Blacks back in 1996, few could have predicted what was to come from the young flyer.

The boy from Wellington scored a hatrick on debut, followed up by 4 tries against Scotland, the very next week. An amazing start to the career of a man who went on to regularly tear defences to pieces in his prime.

In his first season of top flight rugby, before he made his senior Test debut, he was the standout player at the '96 Hong Kong Sevens, scoring a miraculous 18 tries.

He was a mercurial talent, one that baffled defences with both his phenomenal stepping and blistering speed. He's scored some of the most memorable tries to be seen to this day, and will always be remembered for striking fear into the opposition when he getting the ball in open play.

Cullen's four tries against Scotland, added to his three against Samoa the week before, meant that the young twenty year old had literally exploded onto the scene, launching a career that saw him achieve greatness at his peak, and be remembered for all time as one of the most devastating runners to ever play the game.

Time: 02:14
Note: A request for this clip came through the Requests section here on Rugbydump. If you find something you would like to have featured, please post a request and we'll have a look at it and possibly stick it up.


Monday, July 21, 2008

The BEAST flying down the wing in Perth

One player that provided a glimpse of excitement for disappointed South African fans in Perth on Saturday night was Tendai Mtawarira, affectionately known simply as, The Beast.

The Zimbabwean born prop from the Natal Sharks has come on in leaps and bounds since converting from a flank to the front row. He is now a standout performer whenever he wears that black jersey, and more recently, the green and gold of the Springboks.

Mtawarira made his Test debut against Wales, and ran in for a nice try against Italy the very next week. He’s rapidly becoming a cult hero at Kings Park and around the world, with crowds bellowing ‘BEEEEEEEAST’ whenever he touches the ball or makes a tackle. It’s quite a phenomenon, and one that Beast himself has come to enjoy.

"It is a bit overwhelming. For me, it is very humbling to hear the crowd chant my name. The guys always tease me about it. But it is awesome, hey. You just hear a hum, like a big hum," he said.

He says he’s been called Beast since he was 8 or 9, when he was bigger than all the other kids at his Harare primary school.

Late in the game against the Wallabies on the weekend, we saw the Beast take off down the right wing with a run that started close the Springboks tryline and ended after an offload somewhere around the halfway line. It included a handoff, sidestep, shimmy and possibly even a change in direction, and would have made front rowers around the world proud.

There was even a hint of a ‘BEEEEEAST’ from the Perth crowd, made up partly of the South African expats who’ve all but taken over the Western Australian city.

He made another short burst, this time up the left wing just before the final whistle, but was stopped successfully and didn’t pull out the sidestep on that occasion.

These runs lasted for a matter of seconds, but the impact with fans was huge as we've received many an email requesting to see this footage again. Enjoy.

Time: 01:26


Lote Tuqiri tackle on Jean De Villiers in Perth

As South Africa struggled to create an attacking opportunity that would bring them back into the match against Australia on the weekend, Lote Tuqiri made sure that he was going to do what he could to halt their progress.

Tuqiri came in off his wing and timed the tackle perfectly, hitting Springbok center Jean De Villiers hard, causing the ball to be spilt and the turnover to the Aussies.

It was yet another moment of frustration on the night for the men in green, and meant that once again they'd turned over ball, losing possession when it was so vital to hang on to it late in the game, with the scoring of a try m

Tuqiri, who was injured against France a few weeks back, had a stormer of a game, getting on the scoresheet and showing one or two glimpses of what makes him one of the most potent forces in world rugby with ball in hand.

This hit, while not the biggest we've ever seen, was probably more significant for the manner in which it broke down the Springbok attack. That said, it was still a great example of perfect timing and technique.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wallabies triumph 16-9 over the Springboks in Perth

The Wallabies won their fourth straight game under New Zealand coach Robbie Deans to open their Tri-Nations campaign with a 16-9 victory over South Africa in Perth on Saturday. Australia scored the only two tries of the match, with Berrick Barnes sealing the win in the final minute with a neat 25 meter drop goal.

The Springboks went into the game confident after their win last weekend, but from the outset looked weary and uninspired, with the Wallaby backrow trio of George Smith, Wycliff Palu and Rocky Elsom making them pay for their All Black hangover. They dominated the breakdown virtually all match, forcing 35 turnovers in all.

It was a scrappy match that lacked any real flow, marked by mistakes from both sides with the Wallabies halfback combination looking rusty, and the Springboks generally not looking up for it. Some quality finishing, and the domination at the breakdown by the Wallabies was ultimately what made the difference on the night.

"We were taught a lesson at the breakdown. We lost too many balls there and without the ball you cannot play. They also put us under pressure on defence." Springbok captain Victor Matfield said afterwards.

"The intensity definitely wasn't up to what it was last week, but we still created three or four chances in the first half. If we took those then we probably would have had the boost we wanted, but we didn't and the game got away from us."

Winger Bryan Habana blamed himself for the loss, after he had the Sprinboks’ beat chance to score when out wide, before being tackled by Ryan Cross and losing control of the ball.

"Credit to Ryan Cross, but at the end of the day as a team we pride ourselves on execution and I wasn't able to execute. We didn't execute and that cost us the game more than the Wallabies beating us."

Wallaby head coach Robbie Deans was full of praise for his players in the way they handled the game.

"The thing that I took a liking to was the pride, and as a result of that pride the willingness to engage and defend," said Deans.

"These guys are very proud, they love what they do, love representing Australia and that is a necessity when you have traffic coming the other way that is just as willing."

Australia host New Zealand in Sydney next week for the first of their Bledisloe Cup encounters.

This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 09:02


Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Funnies - George Gregan clearing up who the ref is

As the Wallabies and the Springboks prepare to face off against each other in Perth on Saturday, we’ve pulled out a funny clip from their meeting at the same stadium, Subiaco, four years ago.

Cheeky George Gregan was playing his 100th test and felt on top of the world. After Schalk Burger gets clobbered by George Smith, who turns the ball over briliantly, he ends up on the wrong side of the ruck and gets a bit of shoe pie from Georgie.

Bok captain John Smit takes exception to this, pointing it out to ref Chris White, but White is having none of it, which further encourages Gregan as he kindly points out to Smit exactly who the referee on the day is.

“Are you the ref mate? I think he’s the ref. I think he’s the ref. We listen to Chris White.”

George Gregan at his best, as even the ref couldn’t help but crack a smile.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Riaan Viljoen's 62m monster penalty for Griquas

As we saw earlier in the week with the big hits on Ross Skeate, giant killers Griquas pulled off a memorable win against the much fancied Western Province (Stormers in the Super 14) on the weekend in Kimberley.

The game ended 21-20 in favour of the home team, which came in part thanks to a kick of mammoth proportions from young fullback Riaan Viljoen.

Regular kicker Conrad Barnard had a shocker, missing four out of five, so young Viljoen stepped up and took over, slotting all three of his kicks on the day.

Kick number two, close to the touch line about 40m out, sailed over easily from a two step run-up. Western Province regained the lead through Willem De Waal, but then with less than ten minutes left in the game, shortly after a massive hit from Gcobani Bobo, a penalty was awarded well inside the Griquas ten meter line.

Viljoen had no hesitation, and confidently blasted the ball over for this incredible 62-meter kick that reclaimed the lead for his team, and in the end, was the difference between winning and losing.

Griquas captain Herkie Kruger, delighted with the win after going into the match as underdogs, had only one thing to say about the kick after the game.

"It was a monster of a kick."


Wayne Barnes laying down the law to Corry & Borthwick

This amusing and impressive clip is from earlier in the Guinness Premiership season, and is basically a nice example of the referee taking complete control of matters, and speaking to two of the hardest men in rugby as if they're disobedient little children.

Barnes, who notoriously took a lot of criticism after his handling of the 2007 World Cup Quarter Final between New Zealand and France, has done well to put that behind him and move on.

In this clip he takes command brilliantly after there's a dispute over the ruling of the try, as the touch judge made an error, causing confusion all round.

Martin Corry and Steve Borthwick, Leicester and Bath captains respectively, start a shouting match about it, so we see Barnes put them in their place in no uncertain terms.

It's a great piece of officiating and a nice example of how a young ref can assert his authority in a game, making sure that he doesn't take any nonsense from anyone.

It's also really funny to see how he shuts down Corry and Borthwick, making them look like they're getting a telling off from their junior school principal.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Ali Williams clash with Schalk Burger

A defining moment in the recent Springbok victory over the All Blacks in Dunedin was possibly in the 11th minute of the match when New Zealand lock Ali Williams ran into South African brick wall Schalk Burger.

Burger, who some people think is half man and half metal has been referred to as anything from the Incredible Schalk to RoboBok. He has no regard for his own body, and throws himself around with little regard for the opposition either.

He made an impressive 22 tackles against the All Blacks, showing his true worth as one of the most important players in the Springbok side.

Ali Williams, himself an integral part of the New Zealand team, came off second best with the nasty collision when running into Burger early on in the test match.

It’s been described as a headclash, but looks more like Ali Williams’ head on Schalk Burger’s jaw, which makes one wonder how Burger barely flinched after a hit that saw Williams fall to the floor in a pile of daze and discomfort.

Williams wasn’t the same again, and besides the ringing in his ears, his ankle started to play up too. He soldiered on admirably, but left the field in the 29th minute, to be replaced by the totally inexperienced Kevin O'Neill. The stand-in did a decent enough job, but the value of Williams is immense, and it was a huge loss to the All Blacks.

Nick Mallet, now coaching Italy, has described Burger as a ‘thrashing machine’ with ‘absolutely no fear’. When talking to The Independent about comparisons between the Tri Nations and the Six Nations, he says the key difference is not the technical, fitness, or even skill levels of the players, but the intensity.

‘The Afrikaaner is very physical; he loves tackling and is very brave. It’s the same among the players of island origin in the New Zealand sides.’

I’ve had plenty of requests for this clip since the match. It’s not malicious, or even spectacular, but it’s quite amazing to see two huge men collide, with one falling to the floor and the other totally unaffected.

Time: 02:06
Read further: Full interview with Nick Mallet here.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ross Skeate smashed twice by Heinrich Stride

Western Province narrowly lost to Griquas in a tough Currie Cup encounter at Kimberley's Absa Park on Saturday. The game brought with it a number of crunching tackles, most of which would have had the boys from Cape Town missing the perfectly manicured green turf of Newlands.

Captain Ross Skeate, celebrating his 50th cap, got the warmest welcome of all from warhorse Griquas number 8 Heinrich Stride. Stride cut Skeate down to size not once but twice, as it seemed that whenever Skeate got the ball, the Griquas defence somehow managed to find and smash him backwards. It was quite comical at times, even more so than the big lock's facial hair.

Skeate has reportedly been signed up by Toulon, and
if the rumours are true, will be playing his rugby in the French Top 14 soon. He's a hugely talented player so will be a big loss to the Stormers & Western Province.

Unfortunately the camera work on both big hits didn't show them as well as they could have, but the impact was huge on the first and solid on the second, as Skeate describes in his regular column on sarugby.com

'I’m not sure what’s hurting more…my body after a tough physical typical Kimberley game, or my pride after losing my 50th game in the way that we did…or maybe it’s the big hits that I took in the beginning of the game, I think my boots are still at the field after being hit out of them.'

Griquas won the match with an incredible 62m penalty from young Riaan Viljoen. We'll try get a clip of that up soon for those who are interested.

Final Score: 21-20 to Griquas.


Monday, July 14, 2008

James O'Connor - Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand?

Young Western Force centre James O’Connor made history in this years Super 14, becoming the youngest ever player in the tournament. He's recently re-signed with the Force in Perth, and will continue to play in Australia for now. But, he has the unique option of choosing to play for either one of the Tri Nations teams – Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand.

Australia is his home, but his grand parents are from South Africa, and mother and father from New Zealand. He’s played for Australia Sevens, but not for Australia A, which means he’s still eligible for either one of the three countries, placing him in the unique situation of having to choose which country to play for.

It’s not presumptuous to talk about him playing international rugby at this stage either. After getting his break in this years Super 14 at the age of just 17, O’Connor, who was originally touted to be a back-up player, impressed so much that he played in every game since his debut.

He is just 180cm, weighs 83kg, and looks like a member of a boyband rather than a rugby player, but has grown in confidence with his four Super 14 appearances.

“It was everything I expected it to be; faster, harder, with bigger players, bigger hits and fewer open spaces."

Now the question is - which colour international jersey will he choose to wear in the future if the opportunity arises?

"I had a bit of a chat to the New Zealanders but I'm happy with where I am right now.

"I've always had the dream, from when I was young, to play for my country. So I definitely want to play in a World Cup, hopefully the next World Cup would be awesome if I'm ready for that."

This feature on O’Connor, done by Total Rugby, gives us a great insight into the world of the talented young man who’s sure to have a huge future, wherever he plays.

Time: 04:39


Bok victory marred by three week suspension for Du Plessis

bismarck du plessis adam thomsonThe Springboks historic victory over the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday night has been marred by the three week suspension of hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, the replacement for injured captain John Smit.

Du Plessis, filling in for Smit, who will be sitting out the rest of the Tri Nations after being injured during the first test, was cited for making contact with the eyes of All Black flanker Adam Thomson.

The abrasive hooker was cited by citing commissioner Dick Byres under Law 10.4 (k), for contact with the eyes or eye area. SANZAR judiciary commissioner Kim Garling found the Springbok had not intentionally made contact with the eye though.

Du Plessis acknowledged his fist had come into contact with Thomson’s lower cheek and then his left hand knuckle appeared to come into contact with Thomson’s face near the eye area, but did not come into contact with his eye. Video footage showed there was no visible mark to Thomson’s face as a result of this contact.

Du Plessis conceded the carelessness of his actions at the first available opportunity when the matter came before the Judiciary and had shown regret for his actions. His legal representative argued that the contact, while careless, was not deliberate.

Garling agreed with the submission but said any action in which a player’s fingers, hand, or a knuckle comes into contact with the eye or eye area of a another player was very serious.

He was cleared of gouging, but was found guilty of careless conduct and subsequently suspended for three weeks.

With Smit at home and Du Plessis now suspended, it means that exciting Stormers hooker Schalk Brits will leap to number one and more than likely start against the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday. Young Cheetahs hooker Adrian Strauss will fly over as backup to Brits.

Over to you: One week suspension for Brad Thorn. Three weeks suspension for Du Plessis. Is this consistent, or does the citing process have a long way to go before being perfect? We want to hear your thoughts, as obviously there's been a mixed reaction to both incidents' outcomes.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Springboks end All Black home winning streak in Dunedin

South Africa ended a 10-year wait for a win in New Zealand with a 30-28 victory over the All Blacks in their Tri-nations test on Saturday. Scrumhalf Enrico Januarie scored the winning try with four minutes remaining after the Springboks had been reduced to 14 men by captain Victor Matfield's yellow card.

Matfield had been sent off three minutes earlier for a high tackle and New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter kicked his sixth penalty to give the All Blacks a 28-23 lead.

However, the world champions showed tremendous willpower to fight their way back and register their first win in Dunedin at their eighth attempt and their first in New Zealand since a 13-3 triumph in Wellington in 1998.

In a fiercely contested match the Springboks snatched a 17-15 halftime lead with a 32nd-minute try by wing JP Pietersen.

The All Blacks regained the lead in the 56th minute as replacement flank Sione Lauaki stepped inside to score.

In the end, a moment of individual brilliance by Januarie settled the outcome. The gutsy scrumhalf broke from a ruck on the New Zealand 10-metre line and chipped the ball over replacement fullback Leon Macdonald, before winning the race to the ball and scoring.

Peter De Villiers, South Africa's first black coach, had been under pressure both in New Zealand and back at home after the world champions lost 19-8 in Wellington last week.

"I always believed in the players and tonight they put it together because they believed in themselves. The players worked really hard in the week before the game and, because they are the world champions, they knew they had to uplift their game."

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said the test had demonstrated the high calibre of rugby played in the Tri-nations tournament, which also features Australia.

"There are three very even sides in this competition and you couldn't get a bigger test than this one. It was a superb game, a really enjoyable spectacle and a great showcase for the game.

South Africa now travel to Australia to play the Wallabies in Perth next Saturday.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 10:01
Source: Reuters


Friday, July 11, 2008

Tana Umaga and the first Kapa O Pango in 2005

When the Springboks lined up to face the All Blacks in Dunedin three years ago, as they will tomorrow, there was something very different about to happen that changed the face of the traditional New Zealand Haka forever.

Tana Umaga led the All Blacks as they revealed the Kapa O Pango to the world for the first time. It was a rousing and impassioned performance that will never be forgotten, and was has since been performed sporadically, but more commonly, on special occasions against feared opponents.

This performance in 2005 is considered one of the most memorable, not only as it was the first time we got to see the challenge, that was secretly rehearsed for weeks, but because of the way Umaga led it, giving chills down the spine for viewers around the world, let alone the awaiting Springboks.

The throat slitting action at the end has since been withdrawn after it sparked controversy for it's violent, misunderstood message.

The final score on this day in Dunedin was 31-27 to the All Blacks.


Friday Funnies - Lote Tuqiri try line blunder

This week's Friday Funnies clip is an absolute shocker from the Super 12, as it was known back in 2005, as Lote Tuqiri commits the ultimate blunder over the line against the Bulls in Sydney.

A brilliantly executed sweeping backline move by the Waratahs ended up in the hands of the Wallaby winger, with him only needing to stroll over the line and dot down for the five pointer.

I'm sure you can tell what happens next, as big Lote takes things a little easy, and somehow manages to butcher this one. Funny to watch, but makes you cringe with embarrassment for the big guy, and I bet he was buying his teamates, particularly the backline wizards who set up the move, beers all night after this one.

Luckily the 'Tahs were already up by almost 30 points so it didn't have too much of an effect on the game. A moment Lote won't forget though, and you can be sure the next time he crossed the line, he was diving down, with both hands securely clutched on the ball.

Disclaimer: Lote isn't a loser. But we saw this pic and just couldn't resist using it in this instance. Don't take offence sensitive Aussies, you know we love you.. deep, deep down.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zinzan Brooke's 1996 drop goal secures the series win in South Africa

A year after his famous drop goal against England in the Semi Final of 1995 World Cup, Zinzan Brooke once again slotted an important kick in South Africa. This time though, it sealed the fate of the Springboks as the 3 points extended the All Blacks’ lead in Pretoria, thus securing the historic series win of 1996.

The win was significant in that it was not only revenge for their loss to the Boks in the previous year’s World Cup, but it was the first time the All Blacks had won a Test series in South Africa. Inspirational leader Sean Fitzpatrick even went as far to say that he rated this series win higher than the 1987 World Cup victory.

The week before the Loftus Versfeld meeting, the All Blacks had beaten the Springboks 23-19, setting up the game in Pretoria to be a classic, with a win for New Zealand resulting in a series victory.

Despite the Springboks scoring an early try, the All Blacks led at halftime by 21-11. Late in the game the score was 30-26 when Zinzan Brooke set up in mid-field and calmly slotted a drop-goal for a 33-26 lead. Despite intense pressure for the rest of the match, the All Black defence held firm and the first series win in South Africa was achieved to the delight of the New Zealand players and the nation.

It was a special moment in the history of rugby, and one that went a long way to cementing Zinzan’s reputation as one of the best number 8’s to ever grace the pitch. He scored 17 test tries, a record for a forward, and slotted three drop goals, making him a giant of the game and a legend both on and off the pitch.

Final Score: 33-26 to New Zealand


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Midweek Madness - The old ball in the jersey trick - Pacific Edition

When Tonga and Fiji met in their Pacific Nations Cup match at Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, on Saturday, we got to see a pretty funny moment in the 54th minute.

Fiji made their way down field through some splendid handling and were close to getting over the whitewash, when the move come to an abrupt halt five meters out.

It wasn't a big Tongan hit or a brilliant driving team tackle that stopped the move, nor was it bad handling by Fiji. What it was though, was the Fijian hooker Sunia Koto's jersey being ripped off him, tossed away, and the ball going with for the ride.

It took a few seconds for the players to realise what happened, but once they did, the ref blew a quick stop to play, which allowed the commentators and viewers to have a good chuckle about it while watching the replay.

It's not the first time we've seen the ball up the jersey trick, with big Georgian lock Mamuka Gorgodze recently ripping a players jersey off, ball and all, and setting off downfield before being called back by the ref.

Tonga went on to win this Pacific Nations Cup match 27-16, with Epi Taione in particular having a great match. The best moment for me though was definitely when the ball went missing in action for a second or two.

'Stop the game so the ball can get undressed.'


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Viliame Satala hit on John Roe - Brisbane Sevens 2000

As you all know by now, here on Rugbydump we love showing the big hits from recent games. If there's one thing better than seeing a big hit live though, it's watching a big hit that's been dug up from a while back, and would probably never have been seen again otherwise.

This classic tackle from Fijian hitman Viliame Satala from eight years ago was sent to me by a Rugbydump regular. He's gone to the effort of grabbing his old footage and getting it online, then sending us the link. That's what we want. We need the old stuff. It's great to watch and is where legends are made.

Guys like Satala are well known for being big hitters, and in the past without the technology of today, a lot of footage goes missing. So please guys, if you have 'classic must see RD potential' footage lying around gathering dust, make a plan to get it to us so we can share your contribution with the Rugby world.

Before the Chiropractor, Brian Lima, came along, The Stretcher Satala was one of the most feared players around, specifically for his ability to flatten players with his hard hitting approach to the game and precision timing of the tackle.

He's put in numerous big hits over the years, with one in particular, on Scott Fava, resulting in Fava being stretchered off the field. Another big tackle of his was featured here on RD as part of the famous Vilimoni Delasau try from the Wellington Sevens of the same year as this hit.

Australian John Roe got to experience the Stretcher up close and personal as he got chopped down at the Brisbane Sevens in 2000. A great hit, from a legend of a player, this short clip is another one for the archive that will bring back some great memories for many I'm sure.


NZ Maori snatch Pacific Nations Cup from Australia A

New Zealand Maori clinched the Pacific Nations Cup rugby championship with a match-winning try three minutes from time for a 21-18 win over Australia A in Sydney on Sunday.

Wellington Hurricanes flanker Thomas Waldrom's late try enabled the New Zealand Maori to leapfrog the previously-unbeaten Australia A on the final standings and claim the tournament by just one point after five rounds.

Full-back Mark Gerrard had the chance to draw the match in the final minute, which would have been enough for Australia A to claim the title, only for his 45-metre attempt to fall agonisingly short.

Former rugby league international centre Timana Tahu appeared to put Australia A within sight of victory with his second try of the match for an 18-14 lead with 20 minutes left.

But with seven minutes remaining, the Maori chanced their arm, throwing the ball from side to side, and aided by some ruck penalties awarded by Fijian referee James Bolabiu, the Kiwis were presented with a late chance to snatch the game.

Hurricanes centre Tamati Ellison found a gap on the left and passed inside to Waldrom who barged over between two defenders. Scrum-half Piri Weepu converted from wide out to put the Maori in front with just minutes to go.

It was the first appearance in the Pacific Nations Cup for the Maori, replacing the Junior All Blacks who romped to victory in the Cup's first two years.

Time: 05:52
Article: AFP


Monday, July 07, 2008

Shannon Paku incredible finish from 2007 Air NZ Cup

With the Air New Zealand Cup, New Zealand's premier domestic rugby competition, kicking off in only a few weeks time, we thought it would be a good idea to randomly feature a few of the better tries scored in recent times in the tournament, which used to be known as, and is still referred to as, the NPC.

This particular try was scored brilliantly by the flying Wellington Lions, Hurricanes, and current New Zealand Maori winger Shannon Paku.

After a movement that started back in Wellington's own half, scrum half Piri Weepu sparked life into the backs as he flew down the wing and bashed into a few North Harbour defenders. Current All Black star Ma'a Nonu then carried it up strongly before it was moved wide through some quick hands, and given to Paku, who had the narrowest of space to work with.

His momentum, and a slight touch from the first tackler, meant that he was never going to make it safely into the corner, especially with another tackler coming across. The big dive followed, and with Paku's body outside of the field of play, airborne, he somehow managed to get the ball down to stylishly finish off a brilliant try.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Harinordoquy and Boyoud suspended - Australia vs France punchup

French forwards Renaud Boyoud and Imanol Harinordoquy have been suspended for three weeks for ugly punches on Wallabies second-rower James Horwill at Suncorp Stadium. Horwill was sent to hospital for scans on his eye socket after being struck by both Boyoud and Harinordoquy during a wild first-half brawl in the Wallabies 40-10 win last night.

English judicial officer Christopher Quinlan handed down the sentences, to commence from the start of the French season on August 1, after both pleaded guilty to striking .

Number eight Harinordoquy threw a flurry of upper cuts at the Australian lock after he ran in to assist Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore who was in a scuffle with French flankers Matthieu Lievremont and Fulgence Ouedraogo.

Tight-head prop Boyoud then landed a heavy punch that Horwill, who will visit an eye surgeon tomorrow, first feared had broken his eye socket.

“I just went in to give Squeak (Moore) a hand and there was a flurry of punches and I stood up and turned the wrong way and just copped one from behind and my eye swelled up and couldn't see out of left eye,” a heavily-bandaged Horwill said today.

Ironically, the Australian was penalised by New Zealand referee Paul Honiss on the advice of his touch judge for inciting the brawl by running to the aid of Moore.

“Squeak had two guys on him and there was a guy around his neck so I was just trying to get him off and help him off,” Horwill said.

“I'm not sure why it escalated.

“That's footy, it's not the first black eye I've got and won't be my last in my Test career.”

Quinlan found Harinordoquy threw deliberate and repeated blows to the head of Horwill while Boyoud was found to have struck Horwill once “but it was a significant blow, struck from behind”.

Time: 03:15


Wallabies rampant against the French in Brisbane

Australia beat France by a record-breaking 30-point margin in Brisbane on Saturday - just one week after delivering a 34-12 thumping to Les Bleus in Sydney. The Wallabies can now concentrate on preparing for their Tri-Nations opener against South Africa in two weeks time, while France end their season with both bodies and egos bruised.

A second-half double from replacement centre Ryan Cross capped a dominant display as the hosts stormed to a 40-10 win - their biggest victory over France in 38 meetings. Matt Giteau was superb throughout, kicking eight from eight with the boot and delivering the final ball for each of the Wallabies' four tries. The fly-half set up a score for Peter Hynes before a superb break and reverse offload saw lock James Horwill touch down for a 26-3 half-time lead.

It was a miserable night for France. Despite dominating possession in the opening half, their sole reward was one penalty - from Francois Trinh-Duc - following an ugly scrap which left Horwill with a black eye after exchanging blows with France No8 Imanol Harinordoquy. They didn't breach the Wallabies' defence until the 79th minute when Trinh-Duc crossed for a consolation try that was insufficient to stave off the ignominy of a record defeat.

Australia will certainly encounter more resistance against their southern hemisphere rivals than they did against the French. The new national team coach, Robbie Dean, will take satisfaction from the strongest team performance to date under his stewardship. But the victory came at a cost, with James Horwill (eye), Berrick Barnes (shoulder) and Cameron Shepherd (ankle) all suffering injuries.

UPDATE: Video has been removed by Mediazone.

Time: 05:09
Article: the Guardian


Brad Thorn gets one week suspension for spear on Smit

Brad Thorn has been banned for one week and will miss New Zealand's second Tri-Nations Test against South Africa next weekend. The 33-year-old lock was cited by citing commissioner Tim Harland for a tackle he made on South African hooker John Smit in the sixth minute of Saturday's 19-8 Tri-Nations win in Wellington.

After slight provocation by Smit, Thorn picked him up and dropped him on the ground after the whistle, sparking a mass brawl which oddly enough saw no punches thrown or more importantly, landed.

Miraculously, referee Stuart Dickinson only penalised Thorn, opting not to give him a yellow or red card, which judging by their reactions, was a pleasant surprise for both Thorn and captain Rodney So’oialo.

Smit later left the field with a groin injury which he said developed after he was treated "like a tent peg."

Thorn was later cited by the match commissioner, and not by the Springboks.
"Mr Wheelahan (SANZAR judicial officer) said the conduct was an act contrary to good sportsmanship rather than a dangerous tackle," New Zealand Rugby Union said in a statement.

"After taking all matters into account, including Thorn's previously excellent record as well as the sanction guidelines prescribed in the IRB Regulations, Mr Wheelahan imposed a suspension of one week."

After the Test, Smit described the tackle as a "heat of the moment" incident and said Thorn had immediately apologised.

"It's part and parcel with any combative situation between All Blacks and Springboks," the Springbok captain and hooker said.

"The first thing he did was come and say sorry and that it was unnecessary. There are no personal issues with things like that."

Anthony Boric is likely to be Thorn's replacement for next week's Test in Dunedin.


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