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Andrew Trimble big hit leads to try

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Alesana Tuilagi crunches big winger!

Super Rugby Hits of the Season 2015

New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Thursday, October 25, 2007

WC07 Defining Moments - The Joe Worsley Ankle Tap

WC07 Defining Moments - The Joe Worsley Ankle Tap

In the first of a series of Defining Moments from the 2007 World Cup, we take a look at a moment that could have perhaps changed the outcome of the tournament if it hadn't happened.

In a game where France were in most peoples minds the favourites, the victory for England in the Semi Final of 2007 may well have had a different outcome if it weren't for a courageous, desperate effort of a tap tackle by flanker Joe Worsley.

A cross kick from Yannick Jauzion was brilliantly tapped inside by the French number eight Julien Bonnaire to winger Vincent Clerc who charged for the line unopposed. Worsley came out of nowhere to ankle tap the flying Clerc, who in all likelyhood would have scored if it were not for the timely intervention by the big English flanker.

Clerc fell to the ground and popped the ball to the menacing Sebastien Chabal who proceded to bulldoze his way to the line. English guts and sheer determination stopped him a meter short and resulted in the try being saved.

"I was over the moon I could help out and make a difference," said Worsley. "I had to get on my bike to catch him."

"He would have won any foot race so my only chance was to knock him off balance. I just dived and got a bit of his leg. It is what games are won and lost on."

Bernard Laporte said the French could have won if not for that ankle tap in the 68th minute.

That was the turning point. If we had scored, the game would have been over and we would be in the final, said Laporte.

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:09 am | View Comments (31)

Viewing 31 comments

Anonymous October 25, 2007 2:11 pm

i think France would had lost it anyway

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Anonymous October 25, 2007 2:21 pm

damn chabal looks good when he powerful

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fnleonhardt October 25, 2007 3:11 pm

wasn`t it a beautifull world cup full of surprices!!!!!!!!!!!!! i mena loock at argentina, fiji, TONGA ALMOST GIVING THE BIG HIT, nz once again showing they have milk insteade of blood. it was great specially because once for all, new names appeared in the rugby world!!!!!!!!sory obout my english!!!!

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Anonymous October 25, 2007 3:28 pm

A lot can be said about what England lacks.Determination is not on that list.

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Andy October 25, 2007 4:16 pm

I enjoyed that world cup even though we lost in the final i had a lot of fun on the way to it. The future is brighter than i thought for rugby in general. What a superb sport.

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Anonymous October 25, 2007 4:33 pm

simply the tackle of the tournament!screw big hits..... they're easy compared to thative done them a few times and they're so satisfying!!

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FetchingFly November 14, 2011 4:27 pm

good tackle but no chance it beats JP Pietersen's try saving corner cover tackle against Fiji!

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ArtuR October 25, 2007 6:19 pm

Can you translate in spanish? It's a joke. Spain isn't good in rugby but we are training hard. We hope taht in a few years we will go to a mundial.sorry for my mistakes i'm from catalonia.I like a lot this web, congratulations.

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Anonymous October 25, 2007 7:36 pm

The french were unlucky there

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Christopher October 25, 2007 8:17 pm

That tap was amazing. Someone has been playing volleyball!

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Anonymous October 26, 2007 5:43 am


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James F October 26, 2007 6:34 am

The tap back in bounds by the number 8 is what American rugby needs to cultivate. The organic and creative style of rugby like that of the Fijians or the Springbocks (at times) is what sets good teams apart from bad teams. With America's athletic ability, a little savvy in terms of creativity would boost our international standing immensely

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coolfordy October 26, 2007 8:40 am

I think that that ankle tap probably saved us that semi-final because give the french credit if we gave them half an inch they looked dangerous which I think also shows the greatly improved defence of England, not havin silly trys just run past them as it happened in the group stages!

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steve bet on footbal October 26, 2007 9:51 am

France always looked in it until wilkinsons drop towards the end...England definately lack something in the backs... Their game is based on bashing opponents off the park and acurate kicking for field position...They bashed France about but you always kind of knew the South Afircans are made of tougher stuff...

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Anonymous October 26, 2007 11:53 am

did you see how the english 9 fly against chabaaaaaaaaal...?

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Anonymous October 26, 2007 1:38 pm

that was good by worsley but corry the stupid tit slipping, he had him covered so the french were lucky that clerc had the space and then worsley was lucky to get the tap tackle so the luck balanced out

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Anonymous October 26, 2007 4:19 pm

Im guessing the scrum half learnt a valuable lesson about going high on players like chabal. Tap tackle was so sweet!

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aaron October 26, 2007 4:36 pm

Sweet play by both teams. I didn't realize when I watched it how close Chabal was to the try line (a meter short with four guys on top of him). Another meter and it would have been similar to what Lomu did to his countrymen back in 1999. Guts by the English.

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aaron October 26, 2007 4:40 pm

Good thing for the Enlgish that Clerc has crappy vision. Chabal had to slow all the way to a stop to collect the pass. If Clerc would have offloaded as soon as he was tripped, Chabal would have taken it as pace. From a standing start it took four English to bring him down. Great game!

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nortonrule October 27, 2007 10:10 am

damn that was an important tackle shame we lost though

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Anonymous October 28, 2007 3:53 pm

two reasons why england won. Chabal was put on too early to perform to his usual standard and the joe worsley ankle tap. great video

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Anonymous November 22, 2007 10:02 pm

i think it is 1 of t best tackles i saw in the world cup... damn important aswell

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Anonymous November 23, 2007 2:27 am

Close to being the tackle of the tournament, but I'm going to go with Petersen's tackle on the big Fijian lock

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Anonymous December 22, 2007 9:04 am

to the bloke called " steve bet on football" "England definately lack something in the backs... Their game is based on bashing opponents off the park and acurate kicking for field position"If you think that than you dont know shit do you mate?, in case you didnt notice, they got the the final you stupid cunt p.s they deserved to win the final aswell it was a try

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Anonymous December 27, 2007 1:03 pm

calm down, love

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Dundar666 January 04, 2008 12:29 am

that was a powerful ankle tap! Most taps just hit the foot and trip them, but Joe Worsley just took out his leg! lol aaron makes a good point; If Clerc ahd unloaded earlier Chabal would've ahd enough steam to plow through the English for the winning try. These things happen, and are what make and break a game.

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Anonymous January 08, 2008 8:04 pm

i think it looks like more French players bringin down chabal than english... awsum ankle tap... see gomersall go flying????

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Anonymous January 12, 2008 8:58 am

when they said we made history to make back to back finals, didn't the aussies do it in '99 '03?

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Anonymous January 13, 2008 8:46 pm

you're right, the aussies did do it in 99 and 03. It looks as if though chabal had all his pace instead of having to stop for the pass that he may have crossed over for the try. who knows though!

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angus April 11, 2008 9:16 pm

I love the way at the end the English guy just lay on the floor when they won.

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