Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Barbarians too good for England XV


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Japanese player loses ball over tryline

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ma'a Nonu high tackle on Clint Newland - banned for one week

Ma'a Nonu high tackle - banned for one week

This past weekend, we once again saw the back of Hurricanes wing Ma'a Nonu after he was dismissed from the field for putting in a dangerous tackle on Highlanders front rower Clint Newland.

Newland himself is no stranger to controversy, after he was banned for 10 weeks for punching Neemia Tialata in the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup.

This weekend's dirty play is overshadowing the great rugby that was on show, and believe me, there was some great rugby, as you'll see in the upcoming Pick of the Week in the next couple of days.

Ma'a Nonu's swinging arm-strangle-wrestle (choose which you prefer) has meant that he's since been cited and suspended for one match by the SANZAR judiciary, therefore missing his teams upcoming clash with the Brumbies.

At first this tackle looked like nothing, but if you watch it closely you'll see the forearm connecting with Newland's face. Foolish stuff from a player who should be doing everything he can to fix up his reputation.

Posted at 1:32 pm | 23 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 23 comments

Bonzai March 12, 2008 3:18 pm

Its not as if Nonu's too weak to smash him with the shoulder either, which is probably part of the reason he got binned, refs tend to be more lenient when it comes from a smaller player who struggles to bring down the big guy's any other way. Its a shame because Graham Henry seems to be hunting for excuses to not to play Nonu, and this is just providing him with more evidence that Nonu is reckless.

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Anonymous March 12, 2008 3:45 pm

I rate Nonu but he seems hell bent on ending his All Black career, GH is not going to pick a player who he thinks is a liability. He reminds me a bit of Grewcock should be great but has the self control flaw.

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David March 12, 2008 4:22 pm

he's fast getting a bad reputation for this sort of thing...shame.

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No.7 March 12, 2008 4:37 pm

definately agreed with the anonymous above about grewcock, great player just some stupid stuff......and obv in similarity to nonu, he is a huge guy, great skill, just h doesnt have his head on all the time which is a big shame.

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Kerivoula March 12, 2008 4:45 pm

The first two comments have it wrapped-up. Nuff said.Come on all you anonymous's, get an identity!

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Prae March 12, 2008 5:03 pm

Nonu is superb, but he seems to lack the self-control needed. I rate him as a 12 more than a Winger though!

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Jeeves March 12, 2008 6:22 pm

Nonu is a tank he can do what he wants.

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Anonymous March 12, 2008 7:01 pm

If Nonu doesn't want a career with the all blacks, and fancies a bit of cash.. ...Heineken cup rugby?

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cpaulsso March 12, 2008 7:05 pm

It's so frustrating that Nonu can't keep his temper under control. He is such a great force to have on the field. I hope he can get his act together so he still has a chance for AB's.

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dj reza March 12, 2008 7:08 pm

seems like a major discipline problem there....just talking about him, grewcock, another player who is an incredible hothead...Nathan Hines??anyone agree?

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istya March 12, 2008 8:40 pm

It's sad, but occasionally you see this in all professional sport. Certain people just get it in their heads that they're *owed* a professional career, and should be able to do whatever they want. It's too bad, really, Nonu's a really good player, but I wouldn't mind seeing him replaced by someone with a bit of humility.

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Sander March 12, 2008 8:47 pm

The Grewcock-comparison is not far off. If Nonu ever had a chance of establishing himself as an All Black, now is the time.The All Blacks didn't have any real ballcarriers in their backline (nor in the backrow, as far as I'm concerned) during the World Cup. McAllister, Muliaina, Rokocoko and Sivivatu are all great players, but they're not going to crash over the gain-line and smash somebody in the process for you. Nonu is that type of player, but he has a lot of weaknesses, disciple one of them, unfortunately...

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G-unit March 12, 2008 10:18 pm

Clint Newland's just on the Karma Train...i'm sure, he'll get a few more for what he did last year! What about that idiot Ron Cribb? he could never keep himself from being sin-binned as the only all black EVER to give away a penalty try... Troy Flavel, Ali Wiliams, maybe it's a lock thing from Auckland?? i don't think ill discipline stops you from being an all black...i think it depends on the coach, i mean you play the guy who scores 15points even if he gives away 6...and you just hope he gives away less as he gets more experienced or 'matures'... just a thought.. =)

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boomshanka March 13, 2008 1:26 am

yep, as said above... great player, not so great discipline.on a similar note twas also disappointing to see Jerry up against the board

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Hotdog_Wales March 13, 2008 4:29 am

Nonu in my opinion is defo a 12/13! With the size he is and the power & speed he has who else would you want to smash the ball up the middle if he was on your side!?And as far as the tackle goes... Its Rugby! Your going to get those high tackles now and again and from what i can see from this clip is that it doesnt look all that bad but then again i doubt i would be saying that if i was the one being tackled!I think for some refs these days its just an excuse to pussyfoot around and blow the whistle more than they need to!

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Anonymous March 13, 2008 4:43 am

when i first saw this (in the actual game) i thought it was nothing. didn't even think it was high.then i saw the replay. there was so much malice in the shot, absolutely no remorse. first he goes high, then he tries to rip the guy's head off on the way down and while on the ground. there can be no mistake that nonu intended to do this.personally, i think he deserved more than a one week ban.

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hackneygriffin March 13, 2008 10:27 am

I don't think it is discipline with this guy, seems more like technique. He's put so many shoulder charges in over the years it was refreshing to see him hit with his arms. I was beginning to wonder if he knew he had any!For those guys seeking to excuse or under-play the tackle, watch it again. Nonu's feet leave the floor! Just as with his shoulder charges, he has no interest in putting in a legal hit, but is simply looking to cause as much damage as possible. Hotdog is right on one thing, it is RUGBY. If the guy wants to fight maybe he should take up a different sport.

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Anonymous March 13, 2008 11:02 am

Amazing what a replay can do. I didnt realise how bad it was until now - should have been a definite red card and at least 3 weeks - he aims that swinging arm and then continues to strangle the guy.As for him being an AB - from a Bok supporter, I would love that! There are other NZ backs with more skill, pace and brains than him, albeit with slightly less impact. The days of a brainless, bulldozing 12 are long gone - NZ has shown that more than most - I thought we Saffers were the ones who struggled to accept that concept?

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sesenta y cuatro March 13, 2008 3:30 pm

I like Nonu but this can't be tolerated.

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sesenta y cuatro March 13, 2008 3:31 pm

Stephen Brett is currently the best suited to take the black 12 jersey.

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Superprop May 21, 2008 5:13 pm

I'm a big fan of Nonu and i'd to see him play for the all blacks but he needs mre discipline

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Anonymous June 18, 2008 12:57 am

I agree with the 'losing temper' bit, but He didn't lose his temper - it was just a bit of a revenge for Tialata who got knocked out flat in the lineouts in the NPC a few years back. Clint Newlands apparently didn't too much of a punishment for such blatant abuse, so Nonu thought he might take it into his own hands...lawl bad for his AB chances but he's a great player

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