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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Napolioni Nalaga knockout hit on Jean-Baptiste Elissalde

Try scoring machine Napolioni Nalaga saw red yesterday as he was sent off for an awful looking tackle on flyhalf Jean-Baptiste Elissalde. The loss of the player did nothing to help the Pacific Islanders as they went down 42-17 to the French at the Bonal Stadium.

The unsavoury incident, which resulted in Elissalde being stretchered off unconscious, marred the match, but after the long delay for the treatment of Elissalde, the French then made their dominance show.

Referee Nigel Owens was in no doubt following the hit by Nalaga, sending the massive wing off and making his reasons very clear.

Often it’s said that a ref’s decision regarding a tackle shouldn’t be determined by the outcome of it, but by the tackle itself. In this case though, Owen’s only needed to take one look at the pint sized Elissalde to make up his mind.

"Jean-Baptiste was under medical supervision all night. It looks like everything is okay but we cannot take any chances. He has been seriously shaken up," coach Marc Lievremont said.

Young Julien Tomas, who scored a fantastic try for Montpellier this weekend, has been called up as replacement and will join the squad that will play Australia next weekend.

Time: 02:53



  • Brilliant player, but that was unacceptable

    By Anonymous ysm, at November 16, 2008 7:51 pm  

  • bad hit, he was not even looking at the player that he "tackled" i guess becuase he didnt want to get the ball in the face. . but if anything that just made it worse. . .

    By Anonymous ryebye, at November 16, 2008 7:52 pm  

  • Never seen a clearer red card in my life. Absolutely disgraceful "tackle." When are these islanders going to stop head hunting??

    By Blogger Jonathan, at November 16, 2008 7:57 pm  

  • Unacceptable...i thought he was going to escape with a yellow but a red was well deserved for that one.


    By Blogger Don, at November 16, 2008 8:16 pm  

  • ellisalde is an amazing player as shown by that volley... WHAT A VOLLEY!!! he always shows so much skill. shame to see him out

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:24 pm  

  • meet my friend pain

    By Blogger Sussex Road music rota, at November 16, 2008 8:33 pm  

  • A disgrace to rugby.. Elissalde didn't even attempt to catch the ball why would nalaga do such a thing??

    By Anonymous Eric, at November 16, 2008 10:14 pm  

  • Eric, i think that was exactly it, Nalaga assumed that Elissalde would catch the ball, se he went for the hit, not reacting fast enough he decided to follow through on the hit, and it went high. that being said, i don't condone the hit at all, and he should have went much lower.

    By Anonymous Tyler, at November 16, 2008 10:56 pm  

  • nalaga is a great player, but this tackle is a complete disgrace..

    elissalde will miss next week shock against aussies

    By Blogger Sylvain, at November 16, 2008 11:08 pm  

  • High and late and deserving of a card, certainly, but from the comments I was expecting much worse. I'm surprised that knocked Elissalde out, but I guess he is a little guy.

    By Blogger Anarchangel, at November 17, 2008 12:23 am  

  • It's got nothing to do with how big the guy is! Anyone taking a blow of that kind to head is gonna go down like a paper bag. It's all about the force of the blow and the point of connection.
    It was definitely an aweful hit and red card worthy but I don't think that you need to lay into Nalaga for it. These things happen in rugby. It's a big boys sport. He obviously didn't mean to do it.

    By Anonymous Robbie, at November 17, 2008 12:39 am  

  • Haha typical islander.

    If you pause the video on 56 seconds you can see he sees the ball getting kicked but goes through with the hit anyway.
    I don't think he is a malicious guy because thats just how the islanders play. Extremely powerful, aggressive and at times breathtaking rugby.

    Good to hear Elissalde is alright too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous no6, at November 17, 2008 1:09 am  

  • Nalaga turns his head away just as he sees that Elissalde is going to kick it rather than catch it, but I think that technically he was committed enough that he still had the chance to give Elissalde a bit of a bump just to let him know he was there .. but he jumped into it with a swinging arm and the card became a formality.

    By Anonymous robert, at November 17, 2008 2:38 am  

  • not all islanders headhunt jonathan...unfortunate incident but I've seen worse from players all over the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 3:00 am  

  • idiot

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 3:12 am  

  • i remember being a kid at training and coaches saying when there was a loose ball on the field to jump on it and regain posession for you're team. IE - if you have the ball you control the game.

    Seems to me like elissalde took the soft option. Don't get me wrong i'm not condoning the hit he received... but how often do you see a rugby player volley a ball like a soccer player??

    9 times out of 10 the ball would fly out on the full and make you look like a right twat.

    i was keen to see burgess take on elissalde - sigh. Go the wallabies!

    By Anonymous chris ash, syd Aust, at November 17, 2008 6:54 am  

  • Bad hit, by the can we saw the Chabal's hit on Koyamaibole, two big guys, Koya gets dumped.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 8:03 am  

  • It seems as though that every time the pacific islands or one of their nations play there's at least one of these hits. Ridiculous tackle and the only way to cut them out is to give hefty bans.

    By Anonymous geraint, at November 17, 2008 11:55 am  

  • It was the nalaga's first cap.... just 20mn to play!

    By Anonymous T., at November 17, 2008 2:07 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at November 18, 2008 5:58 am  

  • Napoleon taking off the head of John the Baptist?

    I would have flunked history had I told my teacher that.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at November 18, 2008 5:59 am  

  • last time I saw a Fijian pull off that hard of a clothesline, it was Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka on Rowdy Roddy Piper

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at November 18, 2008 6:08 am  

  • Logical decision with a good and clear explanation from the ref. This was absolutly unacceptable.

    By Blogger Pitseleh, at November 18, 2008 1:08 pm  

  • I seem to be a bad omen for people around players that volley the ball - I watched the game and Elissalde gets sparked. The last volley I saw like that was in a colts game and the referee took it full on in the face and went down like a sack of spuds.... bad joo joo all round it seems... Good call by Owens - definate red...

    By Anonymous Andy B, at November 18, 2008 1:08 pm  

  • so dissapointing i was looking forward to seeing him play

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 3:56 am  

  • Napoleon taking off the head of John the Baptist?

    I would have flunked history had I told my teacher that.

    lol good one

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 4:01 am  

  • High hit. Tackler wasnot watching where the ball or player was. Should have been lower.

    Unfortunately it was a tall guy vs a short guy, which didnt help the cause.

    Red card deserved.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 6:18 am  

  • He's a coward and should be banned for a month.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2008 1:39 pm  

  • Napolioni deserves his card. Disgusting hit. Islanders have to learn how to hit properly they go to high and the hits are far to dangerous. The likes of Brian lima have been playing like this for ages. Its unacceptable.

    By Anonymous AJ, at November 26, 2008 7:36 am  

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