Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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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, September 06, 2010

John Smit's one handed catch against the Wallabies

Springbok captain John Smit has lamented his team's poor form in this years Tri Nations following their 41-39 loss to the Wallabies on Saturday. It wasn’t all bad though, as Smit himself pulled off this fantastic catch as the Boks upped the tempo. It’s been much requested, so here it is, along with his thoughts going forward.

It was another amazing Test match that went right down to the wire as Kurtley Beale broke the hearts of all South African fans with that final kick to win it. The Springboks, who came back well, should never have been trailing 31-6 in the manner that they did though, something Smit is all too aware of.

"Our defence was not good, especially early in the game, and they cut us too easily. It certainly did seem way too easy for them to get through and again we needed to play catch-up rugby. We wanted a good start but we didn’t get a good one," said Smit, speaking at a press conference about the Boks’ worst Test start of the season.

"We’ve been disappointing in the Tri-Nations when one looks at the players and experience we have. We’re below par and far off the pace. It will be no use giving a bunch of excuses – we’re off our best and have work to do.

"Everyone knows here we have players with experience. I told all the players that we have to get up tomorrow and have a good long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and see if we’ve brought everything we have got to the team.

"The margins are small but for two weeks in a row now we have had to play catch-up rugby and we don’t want that. We want to be clinical for a full 80 minutes and if we are honest with ourselves we are below par and off the pace," he added.

This clip is short, but shows a nice passage of play leading up to the great catch. Take note of the clearout from Gurthro Steenkamp at the beginning of the clip too.

Videos from other tournaments around the world will be posted soon. If you have anything in particular you’d like to see, please get in touch via the requests forum.

Time: 01:32



  • 1st

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2010 3:30 pm  

  • thought this would be up here. well done RD!

    nice skill but still they lost

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2010 3:37 pm  

  • He can surely catch a ball, but he can't throw into the line-outs...
    Great Game!!! NIce win for the Aussies!

    By Anonymous Carl, at September 06, 2010 3:53 pm  

  • not even a scoop, picnhing the end!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2010 3:58 pm  

  • Best pick-up i have ever seen - he is past his best but still the best captain in World Rugby

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2010 5:52 pm  

  • carl you idiot the Boks have the best lineout in the world!
    you need your jumpers and a good thrower!

    By Anonymous BINZO, at September 06, 2010 6:06 pm  

  • Easy tigers. No more of that please. Let's try keep things constructive

    By Blogger RD, at September 06, 2010 6:12 pm  

  • That is quality. That is just obscene.

    I doubt many teams in the world would give up the chance to have a guy like Smit as Captain. I know as im English and know a solid Captain makes or breaks your international team...isn't that right Mr Borthwick?

    By Anonymous Bradders, at September 06, 2010 6:32 pm  

  • as anonymous said,he didnt even scoop it up,he just plucked it out of the air.unbelievable!
    great clear-out from steenkamp as well.

    By Anonymous Leeners93, at September 06, 2010 6:41 pm  

  • Nice skill!
    I have no love for the Springbok team (no particular reason actually...) but I always liked Smit. Even when he wasn't the first-choice hooker, he was always doing his talking on the pitch and is a true gentleman of it. A great example for young, aspiring players.

    And incredible hands, too! ;)

    BTW: probably one of the best line-out throwers in the game as well!

    By Anonymous Sander, at September 06, 2010 7:02 pm  

  • What a badass!

    By Anonymous Rams, at September 06, 2010 9:32 pm  

  • absolutely disgusting level of skill from a front rower! Find me someone in the Premiership / Magners League who can do that (without pretending the ball's a meat pie). Well done Smitty, you might be a bit old and slow these days but dammit you've still got the magic.

    By Anonymous Tommo, at September 07, 2010 12:28 am  

  • Outstanding

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 07, 2010 12:39 am  

  • Great skill, amazing how quick the game is too this season.
    Smit's a great player and seems like a really good bloke too.

    By Anonymous Jono, at September 07, 2010 12:58 am  

  • Amazing skill from the big fella... He caught it like a loaf of bread lol.

    And no he's really not the best captain in world rugby... There's a guy named Richie who takes that prize. :-)

    By Anonymous The Truth, at September 07, 2010 1:13 am  

  • tommo,

    Find anyone anywhere in world rugby that can do that

    By Anonymous CelticCamma, at September 07, 2010 1:30 am  

  • Just imagine a slap with this hands. Scary haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 07, 2010 1:36 am  

  • What we are now seeing highlights of catches! Am I on a cricket website? Haha.

    That was a wicked catch! Smith showing he still has a touch of class

    With the growing skill set of the front row I guess it won't be long until we see props and hookers kicking penalties and making drop goals. I guess Zinzan and Eels are the ones who started this belief forwards can do anything.

    By Anonymous Craig, at September 07, 2010 2:16 am  

  • Dr. Smit to the Patient.
    Turn to the side and cough. you'll feel a slight tug.


    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at September 07, 2010 2:24 am  

  • hahaha true! Smitty's sure been an inspirational captain, perhaps not the best player in his position (unlike Mr ehem "Cheat" McCaw) but taking your country to WC glory is something King Richie is yet to do.

    By Anonymous Tommo, at September 07, 2010 2:55 am  

  • Gotta be the best catch I've ever seen in rugby. You see scoops all the time which are hard enough, he grabs the top of the ball. I've only ever seen stuff like this in basketball where those giant fuckers have hands the lengths of rulers. Pure class by the captain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 07, 2010 2:55 am  

  • It's happening more and more.
    In the old days that would be discouraged, cuz no one had the skills to do that kind of thing.
    These days, with the skills and handling training SH playerz get from a young age they can play fucking basketball with the pill.
    One handed catches are a piece of piss these days for the SH players.

    By Anonymous Jono, at September 07, 2010 3:28 am  

  • No, Jono...almost everything you just said isn't true.

    By Anonymous what?, at September 07, 2010 3:41 am  

  • Mad skills by Smitty.

    This clip though did highlight a problem with SA rugby at the moment. Boks had an overlap a couple of rucks after the turnover, only for a lock to grab across the field and throw the skip pass butchering the opportunity. Later on again, de Villiers tries to do a switch with a prop - du Plessis. Get the ball in the hands of the backs when in space, not forwards. This is important on turnover ball. Aus or NZ would likely not have made the same mistake, or the forwards understand when to make the pass.

    The Boks currently don't know what to do with the ball, and their forwards are always in the backline. Fourie and de Villiers aren't able to do their thing because Burger, Smith or Matfield are invariably at second receiver or hanging out on the wing.

    The backline has been getting quality ball, but attacking chances are often runined by forwards who charge it up rather than using the space.

    By Anonymous Wolfman21, at September 07, 2010 5:10 am  

  • What?, sure it is, though maybe I'm exageratting.
    But one handed catches are no big deal these days, and they used to be almost unheard of. Players get way better skills training than they used to, in the old days a hooker never would have taken that catch.
    This kind of catch happens alot in rugby league, has for some years, maybe it's just seen less in union andf it amazes you more than it does me.

    By Anonymous Jono, at September 07, 2010 7:02 am  

  • That catch would never have stuck in Durban.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 07, 2010 7:29 am  

  • Alright. Well, not to disrespect you or League, and I don't get to see it much, so you might be right - but I don't think I've ever seen this exact type of catch in rugby ever...

    I'd like to hear what game/who you've seen make this catch - where the player pinches the ball with his forefingers and manages to hang on and collect. I just can't believe you've seen it more than once or twice, much less "a lot".

    By Anonymous what?, at September 07, 2010 7:54 am  

  • What?, you're gettin a little pedantic but ok.
    I said one handed pick ups are not a big deal anymore in rugby, and they aren't really.
    Great skill but loads of players do them without thinking these days, in contrast to the old days when forwards could barely catch at all.
    In league this style of grabbing the ball, instead of scooping it out of the air has been fairly normal for some years.
    In terms of examples, I'm not gonna trawl the internet looking for clips or anything but there are some players who do this kind of thing in league fairly often.
    Inglis or Hayne are good examples.
    There was a guy named ALi Lauititi who seemed to just carry the ball this way and caught it like Smit did all the time, the guy used to play basketball with it.
    I think he might still play for Leeds Rhinos, though he isn't half as flashy these days as he was for the Warriors in the NRL.
    But yeah, I'm not trying to disrespect Smit, amazing skills.
    Just pointing out that with the skills training the players get these days, this kind of thing happens far mroe often and will happen even more regularly in future.

    By Anonymous Jono, at September 07, 2010 9:08 am  

  • Jono - There are certainly a lot of leaguies who carry the ball that way but ive never ever seen anyone (in rugby or league) actually catch the ball like that. You'd go a long way to find another piece of play as spectacular as that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 07, 2010 2:41 pm  

  • Granted Jono, one handed "catches" are very common in the modern game but normally you see players cradle the ball as opposed to this which is clearly not cradling....its clutching the ball from above which is emmence.

    Jono may have to just admit he made a stupid comment and we can all go about our day safe in the knowledge he was wrong.

    By Anonymous Bradders, at September 08, 2010 9:52 am  

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