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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

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.



  • those south africans obviously secretly train tackling bulls and than have an easy time tackling humans in their rugby games

    By Blogger sebastian, at July 16, 2008 5:01 pm  

  • ja, burger is a machine!!


    By Anonymous Cheis, at July 16, 2008 5:27 pm  

  • No mention of the fact its not actually legal cause he doesn't even attempt to use his arms

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 5:38 pm  

  • Tony Johnson above, you had your say during the game, now please use your name rather than post as Anonymous... ;)

    I hate the way commentators influence peoples views on incidents. It was a strange tackling technique, or rather BAD tackling technique, but calling it not legal is a bit much IMO.

    By Anonymous Benson, at July 16, 2008 6:02 pm  

  • He's a complete monster that Burger. When I first saw him play I didn't think he's be able to sustain that work rate, for such a huge guy, but he must have an incredible natural sort of fitness to be able to keep it up.

    Poor Williams on this one though. Looked horrible and sad to see him go off after getting through the ankle niggles from the previous week.

    Strange collision though I have to say. Reminds me of Williams and Chabal.. last year was it?

    By Anonymous Lachlan, at July 16, 2008 6:13 pm  

  • There is only one explanation for that, Burger is harder than williams...

    By Anonymous Eric, at July 16, 2008 6:15 pm  

  • Bosh!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 6:17 pm  

  • it was a bad tackle thats all.. you see his arms trying to wrap round but both players bounced back before burger could wrap his arms.. there was an attempt.. pls dun get influenced by the commentators.. there were blind too..

    By Anonymous WH, at July 16, 2008 6:31 pm  

  • I feel sorry for Williams lol. Chabal charged through him head to head and knocked him into next week.

    A year on and he tries to charge through Burger in a similar fashion and again gets knocked into next week.

    By Anonymous Rancid, at July 16, 2008 6:33 pm  

  • Gents, the commentator actually gave ol "Bash-em-crash-em" Burger props, but this cat has craaaazy stamina!

    Would love to see him reaaally tackle Palu outa his socks.

    But i totally agree with Mallet...SA and the island teams are all VERY VERY physical, and the awsome thing is they all respect each others ruff stuff...lol...once the match is over theres normally smiles on their faces.

    Love it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 6:38 pm  

  • of course he is! he's a flanker and flankers are the toughest players on the field. 2nd row is the least demanding possition in the pack (physicaly).

    By Anonymous T, at July 16, 2008 6:40 pm  

  • I wouldn't say that T, the second rows are the engines of the scrum. Without them pushing the props, scrums wouldn't nearly be as physical.

    Either way, Burger is a machine.

    By Anonymous Richard, at July 16, 2008 7:00 pm  

  • I easily rate Schlak best openside, miles ahead of the weed that is McCaw. Burger feels no pain and takes down anything. He is incredible.

    By Anonymous 212, at July 16, 2008 7:13 pm  

  • i wanna see the video of henry tuilagi running thru all three of SA backrow at once... probably the only highlight for samoa in the whole world cup tourney!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 7:23 pm  

  • Anonymous above - use the request section for that please. And use a name when posting comments. thanks.

    By Blogger Rugbydump, at July 16, 2008 8:37 pm  

  • I admire Shalke, but that tackle wasnt legal.
    Good clash tought.

    By Anonymous Cotton, at July 16, 2008 9:04 pm  

  • Williams needs a bigger scrum cap. or should get one of those nfl helmets. that hat of his probly saved his life right there.
    skulk crushes tanks on his head for fun.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 9:21 pm  

  • saffa propaganda, schalk should have been penalised at least for that filth

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 16, 2008 10:38 pm  

  • look at how schalk keeps looking at the ball!!!! wasn't trying to hurt williams, just wanted the ball.. doesn't see anything else...

    Schalk doesn't feel pain!!

    bring on saterdays game!!

    IT'S BURGER TIME!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Cheis, at July 16, 2008 10:56 pm  

  • 1 all between burger and ali. search for burger getting rocked in the 2006 match in SA off the kickoff. Looks like jerry collins from the caera angle but its actually ali who sends burger back to earth..LOL

    both been pwned by each other!

    By Anonymous pwned, at July 16, 2008 11:26 pm  

  • cotton, don't be so one eyed. Schalk tried to put his arms round Ali, you can see that after the impact, Ali obviously surprised him and he mistimed his tackle.

    Still Ali came off second best.

    By Blogger Wessel, at July 16, 2008 11:49 pm  

  • Burger has got one hard head fer sher .

    212 - tackles down anything ? u must've missed Muliaina lay him on his arse with a most magnificent fend ...

    By Blogger boomshanka, at July 17, 2008 12:28 am  

  • Burger was just sick and tired of Williams sticking out his tongue during the haka, just like the rest of us.

    By Anonymous Colin, at July 17, 2008 12:41 am  

  • When youve got a nickname like Robobok, who needs tackling technique?

    By Anonymous sfb, at July 17, 2008 12:59 am  

  • 212 you must not know much about rugby!!!

    Schalk Burger plays blindside flanker not openside!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 17, 2008 1:05 am  

  • I didn´t saw it like a big hit, just a head to head bang (thing that happens every now and then).

    It´s my first time posting here and i just wanted to thank you for all the vids. I´m from Uruguay and the local channels don´t show all the games so it´s nice to at least watch a vid with all the tries. So thanks!

    By Anonymous Rafael, at July 17, 2008 1:31 am  

  • "212 you must not know much about rugby!!!

    Schalk Burger plays blindside flanker not openside!!!"

    Schalk Burger plays openside. No surprise you're not using a proper name.

    By Anonymous sajd, at July 17, 2008 3:24 am  

  • Was that even meant to be a tackle? Looked to me that Williams stumbled into Burger without the latter really expecting it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 17, 2008 8:44 am  

  • Burger really does not have a good tackling technqiue but that does not stop him from being awesome :D

    Whenever he goes to tackle someone he just launches himself at there upperbody (and this is a guy who had a spinal fusion op after a career threatning neck injury)

    As for calls that whis was an illegal tackle. Rubbish! It was not even a tackle but a head clash, Ali was onto Burger sooner than he thought which is why his arms were still a fair way from wrapping around.

    By Anonymous Hangover, at July 17, 2008 10:49 am  

  • That certainly wasn't a legal tackle - Schalk seems to have problems with where to put his arms when making tackles - they often seem to end up wrapping around someones head - you saw his arm flying over Williams' head there, and that simply shouldn't happen. You saw the same thing in previous games - e.g. when he attempted to tackle flood previously.

    Not as bad as Henson for not using the arms though - that guy cant help but put the shoulder in.

    By Blogger Toby, at July 17, 2008 1:54 pm  

  • It was legal. just hit heads and that can't be counted as illegal. I agree with Mallet though, the mental aproach is different. The Afirkaans players are hugely physical as a culture as are the south sea islanders and the Aussies are really arogant, but in a good way for sport.

    By Anonymous martin-offload, at July 17, 2008 5:41 pm  

  • Speaking of OZ (martin-offload) i see they got their human smash machine (Palu) for the weekends test, now this is what i wanted to see....Burger lining up Wycliff.

    But then again AJ tried the same thing and came off decidedly second best!

    I'd still my $ on Burger tho, coz even if he's run over (once in a blue moon) he bounces right back up to tackle again.

    Funny thing though on a poll taken on a NZ site they would rather have Matfield than ol Burgs??

    By Blogger semperfimamba, at July 17, 2008 7:12 pm  

  • "Funny thing though on a poll taken on a NZ site they would rather have Matfield than ol Burgs??"

    Makes sense, it is the kiwi's weakest area in the game, their line outs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 17, 2008 8:12 pm  

  • any chance of geting some flankers vs flankers videos

    eg collins vs burger.

    loved chabal against masoe.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 17, 2008 11:59 pm  

  • 1st Chabal now Burger..lol....Ali "GLASS JAW" Williams

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 18, 2008 5:56 pm  

  • has anyone ever seen burger tackle someones legs he always goes for the upper body on the things i have seen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 08, 2008 2:57 pm  

  • Shows what good scrum caps are huh?Big hit though i would hate to have to run into a boy burgars size be like running into a brick wall and expecting the wall to give.

    By Anonymous Brian, at August 10, 2008 5:44 am  

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