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, January 15, 2009

Another two big hits from the Top 14

We have another two big this for you from the weekend, and this time they're coming once again, from the Top 14.

As we all know, the Top 14 is littered with foreign players these days. From Kiwis to English, Samoans to South Africans, it's what makes the league so interesting to watch, and adds a new dimension to what would have been possibly a different style of play.

The physically of the south sea islanders in particular is often on show, as it is here when we see this huge hit from Bayonne's Filimone Bolavucu on Montaubans's flyhalf Cédric Rosalen. Watch as Bolavucu reads the long, floated pass, timing the tackle perfectly and flying in to hit him hard.

It looked pretty spectacular, but there is a question over the legality, despite him seemingly looking to wrap his arms. Tackles like this will always be up for discussion, with opinions varied. It wasn't high, but the impact was huge as the shoulder made contact with the frame of the much smaller Rosalen.

The second hit in this clip comes from the incident packed Perpignan and Bourgoin game again, with Karena Wihongi putting in a solid, textbook looking hit on Perpignan flanker Jean-Pierre Perez.

Well timed, rocking him back, it was great commitment and timing from the big front ranker. It's always good to see the big boys throwing themselves around the pass, so this tackle in particular was a pleasure to watch.



  • the first hit didnt look illegal looked like he was trying to get his arms around the man

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 11:59 am  

  • Debate about shoulder charge tackles seems to be ongoing on rugby dump (although in some cases there is more agreement than others).

    As a a player what i understand is that its not the intention to wrap ones arms that counts so much as one not 'leading with the shoulder'. What is meant by this is that the player should have their elbow level with, or in front of ('forwards' in this case being in the direction of the tackle), their shoulder. This also accounts for swinging arm tackles as to swing ones arm into the tackle would require swinging the the elbow from behind the shoulder.

    This is the reason Butch James used to get into so much trouble while at the same time protesting his innocence. He would lead with his shoulder and then look to wrap his arms. He was blown up for what was an effective shoulder charge which can still be achieved without (and has very little to do with) wrapping your arms.

    Having said all this i am unsure of what exactly the rule book says.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 12:26 pm  

  • i reckon the first hit was okay, fairplay if u read the game well u get to make easy tackles.

    the impact in a tackle allways comes from the shoulder so it is logical that the shoulder leads ?

    kind of confused now

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 1:00 pm  

  • for me both legal

    By Anonymous el nino, at January 15, 2009 1:21 pm  

  • What the hell? Why would anyone think it was an illegal tackle? That's nuts, it was just a very good, well timed tackle. It was a hospital pass and the guy got cleaned up. So what? Nothing wrong with it, that's the whole frigging point of the game, to dominate the other team physically. Wrapping the arms around is a misnomer alot of the time anyway. Any good tackler will use the point of their shoulder when pitting in a hit. Who cares? It's been legal in League for decades and, 'gasp', no one has died because of it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 1:21 pm  

  • in the first tackle u could see the guys arms wrap around but he had hit the guy so hard that his arms missed...not his fault. He made every attempt to make that tackle by the laws. Yet another example of poor refereeing in the top 14:(

    By Anonymous dr, at January 15, 2009 1:57 pm  

  • first tackle is fine. The french coaching staff are just throwing their toys because one of their own got mopped up. Had it been the other way round I have no doubt they would've been clapping their hands in admiration.

    anyway wats with all the analysis of tackles these days? Since SUPPORTERS started dissecting every hard tackle that's made, (wrap, no wrap, leading with this body part not that, elbow in front of their shoulder, etc..) the influence and arguments have spread to players minds leading them question perfectly legal solid tackles on the field raising their arms at the refs, "reaching" for a penalty. I see it every Saturday and just shake my head when I know deep down those players know the tackle was fine but playact anyway "football style" to influence the ref.

    Our Rugby forefathers would be ashamed!

    By Anonymous hardenUp, at January 15, 2009 2:09 pm  

  • Poor Perpignan, I think the first tackler was trying to use his arms but just too late

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 2:59 pm  

  • I particually liked, in the second clip, the 7 coming in and taking the opposition 9 out after the initial tackle. Excellent work there.

    By Anonymous FredD, at January 15, 2009 3:30 pm  

  • nothing wrong with the first tackle he clearly had the intention of trying to get his arms around the man , but once tackled he bounced off so he wasn't able to wrap his arms around. nothing wrong with it at all

    By Anonymous win, at January 15, 2009 4:26 pm  

  • There is a reason that it is called a 911 pass.
    Don't do it or your teammate will get labeled. It is not illegal to hit someone hard on a terrible pass. It should be a lesson and I think that it was understood.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 5:16 pm  

  • It's not "hit from Montaubans Filimone Bolavucu on Bayonne's flyhalf Cédric Rosalen" but "hit from Bayonnes Filimone Bolavucu on Montauban's flyhalf Cédric Rosalen"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 5:56 pm  

  • both tackles were brilliantly timed

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at January 15, 2009 6:01 pm  

  • Both tackles were LEGAL. I saw nothing wrong with either tackle....That 1st hit was awesome, perfect timing.

    Is rugby in danger of becoming a poof sport? I always laughed at those mungo ball fans who say Rugby is weaker than League, if we're not careful, we might just prove them right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 15, 2009 6:33 pm  

  • Being a fervent Bayonne fan, i created a group right after the game to give bolavucu the honor he deserved. It wasn't a french ref but still. Top 14 makes the ref referring bad maybe.
    check it:


    By Anonymous Xi, at January 15, 2009 6:50 pm  

  • commentator says it sin bin for the first hit
    NO WAY !!!

    By Anonymous scot, at January 15, 2009 6:54 pm  

  • It's not called a 911 pass, it's called a hospital pass... USA does not equal the world you know. Both hits were great. I predicted this a year ago: yellow for a hard hit. Rugby is getting soft.

    'Is rugby in danger of becoming a poof sport? I always laughed at those mungo ball fans who say Rugby is weaker than League, if we're not careful, we might just prove them right.'

    He has a point!

    By Anonymous Dodo, at January 15, 2009 7:13 pm  

  • it's weird, the NH refs and competions seem to be going crazy with cards for perfectly legitimate tackles, simply because they're too tough. It's absurd, it's a huge part of the game, and if players in the north keep getting penalised just for putting on good hits then they will continue to get dominated physically by the SH teams internationally. Cuz i garuntee you, that tackle would never, ever get pulled up in the SH. In fact it would be applauded as an excellent hit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 16, 2009 12:46 am  

  • referees always spoil rugby with their over penalising and contstant disregard for the nature of the sport. they tell players to play in the spirit of the game, well they should referee in the spirit of the game.

    from my point of view, a shoulder charge is only when the arm is braced in front of the body. soon enough, rugby players will be to afraid to lead with the shoulder in fear of getting penalised.

    i hope that everyone agrees that both these tackles are perfectly legal, and that we should (instead of constantly penalising and reaching for the cards) form a more discipline match review panel, who can punish foul play severly, without it ruining the spectatle that is the game itself.

    By Anonymous rohan, at January 16, 2009 6:54 am  

  • this is rugby!
    and thats wat its about!
    would that have been as amazingly awesome if it was legal(definately legal).......

    well the 2nd defo was legal
    the 1st was just so freaking awesome who cares!!!

    By Anonymous yar im a pirate!, at January 18, 2009 1:36 am  

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