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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Canterbury too good in classic Ranfurley Shield tussle with Southland

Southland failed to hang onto the Ranfurley Shield after a valiant effort in front of their home crowd at Invercargill on the weekend, as Canterbury proved too strong, taking the game 26-16 thanks in large part to great performances from Colin Slade and Sonny Bill Williams.

The Southland Stags have hung onto the famous log of wood since claiming it from Canterbury a year ago, and despite showing incredible form this season and fighting all the way, struggled to hang onto it as the bigger union wretched it from their grasp.

At halftime the gap was just three points, but Colin Slade came to the party as he scored a try and amassed 21 points in total. "You know the boys really dug deep and put on a fantastic performance, and it’s something the whole community can be proud of, and it's a fantastic turnout," sad Slade of the team performance.

Williams on the other hand did what he’s done all season as he showed touches of genuine class throughout the game, including setting up the first try for Telusa Veainu, playing a part in the Slade try’s build up, and then making a 50m break which featured a massive hand off on a would-be Stag tackler.

"I think we had the overlap and the bloke in front of me was drifting pretty hard. It was probably just instinct, you know," Williams said.

"I don't have a really big boot on me, so I thought I would just tuck it and have a crack. It was another first and something I will look back upon with fond memories because we are taking that shield back home, brother." The All Blacks touring squad will get picked on Sunday. Expect his name to be on that list.

For Southland, heartbreak, but they had lived on the edge in recent times, only conceding three tries in their last six matches but also managing to score very few. The results were close, and with Canterbury coming into the match with the better pedigree and a few experienced All Blacks, they were always going to be the favourites.

"It had to come to an end some day, and I'm pretty devastated today," said an emotional Jamie MacKintosh, Southland captain. There was a nice touch afterwards as he handed over the shield.

"But at the end of the day these memories are going to stick with me till I die."

Time: 06:24



  • 23rdd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 5:17 pm  

  • Very good performance by SBW!!
    I think he should get his chance to play for the All Blacks!

    Can anybody tell me who Canterburys N°10 is?
    Looks not bad either!

    By Anonymous Berliner, at October 12, 2010 5:50 pm  

  • Its colin Slade. He will be playing for the Highlanders though in next years super 15 to get more game time for the world cup. Hope Slade and SBW make the tour squad.

    By Anonymous Thomas, at October 12, 2010 6:02 pm  

  • @Berlinder. Colin Slade was the guy at 10. Not a patch on DC in the looks department though I'd have to say!

    By Blogger PineTree, at October 12, 2010 6:03 pm  

  • Like him or not but SBW is a beast. What a line breaker!

    Crusaders 10: Colin Slade. I don't know much about him though.

    By Anonymous Maximus, at October 12, 2010 6:06 pm  

  • Sonny Bill looks better every game I see him play. Really complete player isn't he: strong powerful runner, big decisive tackler, also quick and agile and seems to get in the right places. A very natural instinctive player, inmy view. Well, apart from his own advmission above that he doesn't have a big boot, which I think is a very modest way of explaining why you made a 50m break from your own tryline - and who needs a big boot when you can do that! Seems very humble in interviews too. And another thing - that hand-off!! Awesome.

    Having said that, I'm a fan of both Nonu and Smith too and they seem to have developed a highly effective partnership in the ABs midfield. I've seen Sonny Bull look good at both 12 and 13, so who - if either of them - should make way?? A very nice problem for Graham Henry and gang to have to ponder anyway.

    By Anonymous Von, at October 12, 2010 6:41 pm  

  • can you actually "throw" an opponent?

    If so, great stuff.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at October 12, 2010 6:47 pm  

  • ^^^
    I forgot to mention his offloading, which is among the most accomplished I have seen.

    By Anonymous Von, at October 12, 2010 6:51 pm  

  • @cheyanqui - damn right you can!

    Have a look at these other great examples of players "putting the rubbish out" (this link and the related posts below it):

    By Anonymous Von, at October 12, 2010 7:02 pm  

  • Sonny Bill is good yeah, but a big hand off and some flash isn't enough to win you a place in the All Blacks. Have him on the bench to bring on as an impact player for sure. Definitely bring him on the tour to the Europe but I don't think it would be wise to break up Nonu and Smith right now given the performances they have been turning in. The two go together like bread and butter.

    I think an argument could be made about Williams being better than Smith, or Nonu but when those two play together they become greater than the sum of their parts (in my opinion).

    Having said all that, what a handoff!!!

    By Blogger Rowan DeBues, at October 12, 2010 7:02 pm  

  • Von, he's sensational. Those who doubt his ability surely haven't seen him in action in the last few weeks.

    I don't think he's the finished product yet, but he's the closest to the 'Lomu' factor that the sport has had in a while. You see how the kids line up for autographs and the media clamours for interviews and photos etc. I expect him to be a huge factor next year, albeit off the bench.

    By Anonymous GMC, at October 12, 2010 7:03 pm  

  • SBW is class, also great to see the respect by both teams at the end in their speeches and the crowd for cheering for both sides, not many sports in the world that have that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 7:31 pm  

  • sevens highlights from the common wealth please

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 8:15 pm  

  • that was a disgusting hand off!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 8:36 pm  

  • Why am I not surprised? They didn't show Jamie Mackintosh running into SBW and bumping him off. But yeah, no one wants to ruin the image of your dreams of a civil union with the guy, do they?

    By Anonymous Josh, at October 12, 2010 8:42 pm  

  • Yep Josh, big conspiracy at play.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 8:44 pm  

  • Did Whopper put a hit on SBW? I'd like to see that actually.

    Awesome game, awesome occasion. Can't wait till any other team manages to nick it off Canterbury.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 9:30 pm  

  • SBW was at good school in Toulon

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 9:56 pm  

  • sonny bill has to pay for that poor lads funeral costs

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 11:41 pm  

  • hope he gets on the tour and we'll see how he matches up against o'driscoll, jauzion and roberts. i think he's the real deal but at international level its a bit more conservative and its more important not to make a mistake than to do something outstanding

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2010 11:44 pm  

  • Nah, Mackintosh jogged into SBW and he (SBW) hit the floor. Pretty funny. He seemed quite hurt aswell, was on the ground for a few seconds before trying to get up again.

    By Anonymous Josh, at October 13, 2010 12:33 am  

  • SBW got caught by a flyhalf...lol, not too quick then is he? No he isn't.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 3:52 am  

  • Agree Josh. Hey RD, why didn't you put that in the clip? Big old Jamie bumping SBW on his ass.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 3:57 am  

  • SBW isn't quick no, he never was.
    Tht's why he was a forward in rugby league, not a back.
    But he is incredibly strong, big, great offload, capable of massive defense and very strong runs (sheds tacklers).
    He's a natural centre in union, where pace isn't the fundamental thig.

    By Anonymous Bill, at October 13, 2010 4:25 am  

  • So Mackintosh, a 130kg prop, hitting a smaller man harder is a big event? There's a reason Mackintosh will remain a 1 test All Black. SBW? Let's just say I'm guessing he'll get more than one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 4:32 am  

  • Bill, they're pretty much only playing him in the backline because he's too small to be a forward. Just shows the size comparison then. I remember SBW being hailed as a giant in league, meanwhile he is only like 6 foot 2 which is nothing really.

    By Anonymous Nah, at October 13, 2010 4:50 am  

  • actually SBW 6 foot 4 110kg, he's as big as Spies. Keiran Read is 6 foot 4 and 105kg's. Kaino is 6 5 108kg. Richie is 6 2 and 105 so SBW is big enough to be in the forwards, maybe not as a lock but will be perfect at 8 or 6.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 5:01 am  

  • I can't wait until SBW gets his chance to prove himself in the AB's jersey, big things to come from him IMHO.

    By Blogger shaz13, at October 13, 2010 5:23 am  

  • It seemed obvious that everyone was ready for the big occasion and was prepared to put in their best. must have been a great atmosphere!

    I'd like to see SBW in the super 15 or with the ABs, just to see if he can keep making these line breaks and fend offs in the highest level of the game. I suspect they won't come as easily, though that may be an opportunity for him to show how talented he is. Having only seen him in highlights, I'm wondering how deep he goes as a player.

    By Blogger granite, at October 13, 2010 5:25 am  

  • Anon, nah. You can see he doesn't stand out. He's 6 foot 2 and around 100kg. Average size for a back. Like said, in League he was considered a giant, but that's because he was up against 5 foot 7 little aussie blokes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 5:37 am  

  • ano look at his profile


    or are you just taking the mickey?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 6:11 am  

  • Also I live in CHC and seen him around trust me he is not 6 2 and he sure does stand out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 6:13 am  

  • Actually Nah, he played lock, which is sort of a pseudo-back in league.
    He was not considered a giant in league, he was considered to have amazing strength. There are much bigger players, but they weren't considered to have the same physique.
    Lock in league operates like a bigger stronger version of a fly-half or five-eight. He was a ball player, they utilised his offloading ability.
    As a lock he would set up alot of tries by getting passes to other players.
    He wasn't considered fast enough to be a centre and was a little bit bigger than most centres (just as he is a little bit bigger than most centres in union), but not big enough to play as a second rower or front rower in league.
    He is almost 110kg and about 6' 2", which is bigger than alot of the wingers and centres in union.

    He is playing centre in union because it requires power players these days, like Mortlock or Nonu.

    He could just as easily play flanker.

    By Anonymous Bill, at October 13, 2010 6:40 am  

  • Nah, I stood next to him in real life and I'm a solid 6 foot 4... he was at least two inches shorter than me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 6:44 am  

  • Wow, scientific.
    Seriously though what are you trying to say that he's small?
    Because he clearly isn't.
    That league has only small players? Cuz he's smaller than most second rowers or front rowers in league.

    By Anonymous Bill, at October 13, 2010 6:49 am  

  • thats funny bill, Roy Asotasi was once considered the best prop in league and he's considerably smaller than SBW.

    By Anonymous Max, at October 13, 2010 8:01 am  

  • What would happen if Willy Mason played prop in proper rugby? Snapped neck lol.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 8:20 am  

  • If sbw creates a good combination with carter then that could easily be greater then the nonu and smith combination.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 8:48 am  

  • Damn, who was the guy that got stiff-armed by Williams? Brutal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 9:16 am  

  • SBW was owned by Burgess, a useless scrumhalf.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 9:41 am  

  • Lots of hype about Sonny Bill but he was distincly average on many occasions in the Top 14.

    This is a final, where are the crowd?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 10:56 am  

  • ^ you've just shown how knowledgeable you are about international rugby, so your comment about Sonny Bill being average will be disregarded..

    This wasn't a final. And there were over 14 000 there, which isn't bad for a Southland home game.

    By Anonymous Scotsdale, at October 13, 2010 11:29 am  

  • Well a competition decider, same difference (hard to tell when a final is a final in New Zealand due to the poor crowds). It still doesn't take away that SBW was nothing but average here in France.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 12:11 pm  

  • ^ Agree. SBW will be yet another overhyped poo from league.

    By Anonymous Susan Stronger Than U, at October 13, 2010 12:17 pm  

  • You agreed with yourself? Haha, cute. :)

    By Anonymous TrollAlert, at October 13, 2010 12:24 pm  

  • Nothing to do with me, get the admin to check the IPs. Just because something is right, it doesn't mean people are trolling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 12:56 pm  

  • Im sure im going to get some stick for this, although I do rate SBW, but shouldnt that first "tackle" from SBW (arm over the shoulder into the neck/chest area, and hurling a player with no intent of going donw with him) be a penalty?

    Still, I am a bit curious as to what would the result of having both Nonu and SBW at centre would be. Anyone reckons opposing centre pairings would be crushed into rubble?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 1:45 pm  

  • Anon above. No, you can't have two bashers as centres. You need at least one of them to have a brain, and neither SBW or Nonu have one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 2:25 pm  

  • 1. macintosh a 6ft4 130kg prop bumped a off balance SBW sideways, not really that big a deal.
    2. Robbie Ross (southland 10) is lightning quick so theres no shame being caught by him
    3. Slade is the next best 10 weve got in the country so hopefully he goes on the tour
    4. nonu and smith are tried and true. i say we take fruen, ranger, SBW and Kahui (if hes still not injured) on the tour as our centres, give them as much time as possible. if they dont work out nonu and smith will step back into the ab's without skipping a beat for the june tests next year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 3:11 pm  

  • HA! to the guy saying Sonny Bill was average in the top 14, he was just last week picked in the top 14 dream team. hes still fairly new to the sport so those little instinctual things that make good players great will take time to get. He's playing centre because that position best suits the type of game he used to play in league. Forwards in rugby are more heads down arse up which doesnt really equate to rugby league players. thorn being the obvious exception to that rule.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 3:21 pm  

  • Like said, in League he was considered a giant, but that's because he was up against 5 foot 7 little aussie blokes.


    SBW wasn't considered a giant at all.

    Also the average height in League and Union is exactly the same.

    The only difference is in the weight, as Union allows for players to bulk up more.

    By Anonymous Chris, at October 13, 2010 3:35 pm  

  • thats funny bill, Roy Asotasi was once considered the best prop in league and he's considerably smaller than SBW.


    Roy Asotasi is 6'0. SBW is 6'3. Hardly a considerably difference

    By Anonymous Chris, at October 13, 2010 3:37 pm  

  • "HA! to the guy saying Sonny Bill was average in the top 14, he was just last week picked in the top 14 dream team"

    So was Marc Andreu and he struggles to get a game for France.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 3:38 pm  

  • 1) Agreed re: Robinson, he played at fullback for the Maoris and has great pace, especially for a #10

    2) Will be interesting to see where SBW fits in. The midfield of Nonu/Smith is rock solid, and Kahui, Ranger, Luke McAlister, Robbie Fruean are all options at Henry's disposal next year.

    3) For the fall tour, I expect Henry to take SBW, but not Fruean, unless Ranger is hurt. Henry loves Ranger in the bench role, with his ability to cover centre and the wing. It's tough though, Fruean is really coming on, would be an international in nearly any other country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2010 5:45 pm  

  • Mackintosh, 130kg vs SBW 110kg. Mackintosh wins, yet gets no praise, everyone dismisses it as nothing.

    SBW 110kg vs 80-90kg backs, SBW wins. OMG HE IS A GOD! NUMBER 12 FOR THE ALL BLACKS, BEST PLAYER EVER. WORTH 550,000 NZD A YEAR (Mccaw gets 600,000 a year).

    By Anonymous Josh, at October 13, 2010 8:39 pm  

  • Lots of strnagley bitter people in regards to SBW.
    He was probably the best player on the pitch in this game.
    Considering he's played about 40 games of pro union in his entire life, he is doing very, very well.
    His offloading ability is better than almost anyone in the ITM CUp at the moment.
    Just because he is from league, some wierdos hate him.
    What the hell is wrong with you people?

    And in regards to his size, he's bigger than the majority of centres and wingers in union.
    He's about the same size as the bigger centres, and alot of flankers.
    He could play flanker, but it would be a waste since his offloading and running lines are so good.

    If I was a kiwi I would just be grateful for him adding such depth to the midfield.
    NZ now have many great centres, with SBW as one.
    In regards to his pay cheque, do you numbskulls realise that he'll bring value to the NZRU due to his popularity? That he'll probably pay his own way in the end, with the exposure he gets in the media?

    In regards to people saying he was no good in France, do you notice now how his offloads are gettin caught and utilised in the ITM Cup, instead of going to ground as they did in the T14? That's because kiwis are the masters of support play, and in the ITM cup they back up, unlike the slow, conservative T14.

    Asotasi was not considered a very large front rower, by the way, but very athletic. And he is no longer considered one of the better front rowers in the game, he's been dropped from the national team.
    Players in league overall are thinner, don't carry as much bulk on average. It's because they do alot more running and tackling, much much more in a game.
    The 130kg front rowers you see in union simpyl could not survive in a league game, they'd be a massive liability.

    By Anonymous Bill, at October 14, 2010 1:25 am  

  • Bill, all you can mention is his offloads, it's really not that hard to do. Rugby players often prefer to go to ground than offload, because if you offload too many times at international level things start to get loose. Example: The Abs in 07 World Cup were offloading none stop against teams like Portugal, but when they came up against the French it worked against them and they were kicked out.

    SBW hasn't done anything special, get over it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 1:44 am  

  • SBW will be named on Sunday, I think he will do well under the abs coaching staff. SBW will improve and be a great player because NZ have the best rugby development program in the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 2:12 am  

  • 1. SBW is quick as when he strides out (proved that last week)

    2. Robbie Robbinson is quick and usually a fullback so he would always catch a 110 kg midfielder

    3. Mckintosh never put a hit on, SBW put a half shoulder in and they both walked away (which game were you idiots watching?)

    4. Why are ppl still hating on SBW? Looks like he has proven himself to me.

    5. Blah blah blah what's the point

    By Anonymous 2 many trolls, at October 14, 2010 2:22 am  

  • He's made a good choice to go and develop his rugby in NZ. Had he stayed in the NH he would have stayed an average player.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 2:40 am  

  • @ too many trolls.

    I agree! When exactly did Hackintosh put a hit on Sonny? I watched the whole game and saw one little shoulder and no1 hit the deck

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 3:41 am  

  • Burgess certainly owned Sonny though. Yeah, Sonny bitch Williams is more like it, lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 6:28 am  




    Sonny Bill Who? This game was about the Shield.

    By Blogger Anarchangel, at October 14, 2010 7:26 am  

  • Watch a tape of last seasons Amlin final to see what a liability SBW is, always looking for a magical pass and 9/10 they go straight to the other team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2010 12:39 pm  

  • There's one troll who thinks he's hilarious by continuing to bring up a tackle that was made by Burgess on SBW..

    To that guy, you will read this (because you're a troll), so here goes - you're ugly and your mom dresses you funny :P

    That's about as factual as you saying that Sonny Bill was 'owned' and that he's done nothing special yet. It's pathetic. You quite clearly haven't watched the last 4 rounds of ITM Cup rugby. So why not educate yourself before commenting?

    By Anonymous El Lamo., at October 14, 2010 3:16 pm  

  • Yea and what has burgess done since? Not much.... ;-)

    SBW for AB's end of year tour.

    By Anonymous Nicko, at October 15, 2010 12:15 am  

  • "Watch a tape of last seasons Amlin final to see what a liability SBW is, always looking for a magical pass and 9/10 they go straight to the other team."

    The difference is that those passes in NZ are getting caught and are leading to tries.
    The fact those passes were going to ground is an inditment on the support play of Toulon, it's a reflection that they don't know how to support a good ball player, a guy who can offload.
    Kiwis are the best support runners in the world, and now that SBW has good runners coming off his shoulder, his ability to offload in contact is being rewarded.

    By Anonymous Jono, at October 15, 2010 1:49 am  

  • Looks like it was a magic game - I do wish people would stop building up SBW as much. Leave the man a wee bit of air to breathe!

    SBW is a good player - thanks to the Rugby League offloading skills he developed whilst in the NRL. He also seems to have power and a decent rugby brain and I guess he is going to a be a good asset for NZ....

    There I said it - some rugby league players are skillful - now I look forward to the barrage of pathetic anti-league sentiment!

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at October 15, 2010 5:00 pm  

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