Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

British & Irish Lions Tour 2001 - The Waratahs War

British & Irish Lions Tour 2001 - The Waratahs War

Against the NSW Waratahs on their 2001 tour of Australia, a near Test-strength Lions side took the field and won a bruising encounter, in which five yellow cards and one red were shown in a game that will forever be remembered for it's brutality.

The match that began with a first-minute yellow card for New South Wales lock Tom Bowman boiled over early in the second half when home full-back Duncan McRae was shown the red card for his seemingly unprovoked assault on O'Gara.

In the next passage of play another fight developed among the forwards. Cameron Blades and Brendan Cannon of New South Wales, and Danny Grewcock and Phil Vickery of the Lions, were sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. At the time, O'Gara was still being helped from the field for stitches around a rapidly closing left eye.

At one stage in the game there were three missing from the New South Wales line-up, and the Lions two short, so the game disintegrated. But even without all the comings and goings to the sin-bin, the 10 minutes when it was 12 against 13 were, as O'Driscoll put it, "absolutely farcical".

The game ended with a convinving 17 point margin victory for the Lions though, but the injuries and brutality they faced would be remembered for a long time.

Lions coach Graeme Henry maintained that it was "a bad day for rugby. I thought the game had been cleaned up. This was a shambles". Henry is in no doubt who was to blame. "Rugby needs strong discipline from both sets of players. I was proud of the way our players kept theirs."

Time: 9:24

Posted at 8:44 pm | 63 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 63 comments

Anonymous May 06, 2008 8:54 pm

nice vid luvin O'Gara "my parents will be most worried"

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Clev988 May 06, 2008 9:40 pm

Mate get more of these behind the scenes sort of things from Lions tours and other international teams, they're really interesting and they have action in too. Love seeing how the players act in the changing rooms and off the pitch.

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curTis May 06, 2008 9:47 pm

great video, love how you get to see the reaal thoughts of the players instead of their attempts at being polite in press conferences.

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Anonymous May 06, 2008 9:54 pm

aussies trying to be tough, but we stuck it right back up em - great memories!

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yousef1490 May 06, 2008 9:55 pm

ye agree with the others a brillaint vid love these sorts of things. reminds me of the video "inside the lions den 1997" fantastic film.if u cud plz get sme more like this thnx

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duncanmacraeneedstob May 06, 2008 10:01 pm

Agreed with clev988. I wish though somehow Macrae had been left on the pitch, just to see what Grewcock/Johnson/Woood would have done to him.

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No.7 May 06, 2008 10:17 pm

Excellant! I enjoyed watching that, was really informative, and like the others said, it was great to see the players in their own environment, Johnson angry at the end, ROG being optomistic as usual! but great to see!Thanks RD!

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Elliot May 06, 2008 10:24 pm

Like everyone else, it seems, I really like this video.I know that in an earlier post, RD was wondering if they should post more interview-esque clips, or stick to the action. I think this sort of meets both sides half way.Great stuff!

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Third Centre May 06, 2008 10:31 pm

I'd love to see this 'living with the lions ' movie in full but i cant find it anywhere !!! A few bits can be found on youtube but not much.There was way less of this stuff in the NZ test and thats great to see it being phased out. Some of those provincial sides in the past Lions (or any other team's) tours have been a disgrace. They've just gone out to injure players and start fights. Hope those days are behind us and clubs now go out to see how they compare to Test sides

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Anonymous May 06, 2008 11:11 pm

great vid

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G-unit May 06, 2008 11:32 pm

nice! I agree with the above comments, some nice action and some candid behind the scenes stuff...much more interesting!

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Rawling May 06, 2008 11:52 pm

Yes, this is a great mix - some good rugby and some absolutely candid opinions of people involved at the time.Wish we could've seen the ref issuing 4 yellow cards at once... did the scrums actually go uncontested in the end?Wasn't the biggest fan of O'Gara, but after seeing this I take it all back :D

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Cheyanqu May 07, 2008 12:23 am

love this video! (Well done RD)Not a Lions fan, but given the context of the game, I became one.Neil Back (~7:30): "if they play rugby, they're not gonna be in it"5:20 to 6:20 -- An Aussie team weaseling out of contested scrums? NEVER!Great point at 6:05 by the coach -- "There's no point AFTER the match"Aussies getting out of scrummaging... Maybe foreshadowing of the ELVs and 2008.

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John Der May 07, 2008 3:42 am

we all know that Aussies don't belong on rugby pitches they belong behind bars

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Anonymous May 07, 2008 4:24 am

This is one of the best clips I've seen in a long time... it was great to see the coache's box and some behind the scenes as simultaneous action was going on.Cheers!

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goodNumber10 May 07, 2008 6:22 am

never ceases to amaze me how cowardly MacRae's attack on ROG is.He was a really good player as well, so he really didn't need to act like that, and it wasn't like NSW were getting taken to the cleaners.Genuine frustration and worry on the face of henry as well.Great clip thank you for posting it

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thebull3 May 07, 2008 6:56 am

mcrae came to limerick with gloucester years later, and had to check into his hotel under a false name. what a brave man.. dickhead,

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Osprey Rich May 07, 2008 7:16 am

I for one would love to know why Mcrae unloaded like that on O'Gara, maybe the truth will come out some day. The way he gets up showing no remorse for his actions labels him a twat for the rest of his life.

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Anonymous May 07, 2008 9:34 am

I have this tour on DVD, It is very entertaining and interesting to see (as pointed out above) how a tour of such a size operates away from the media. From the team building programs early on to the heat of battle in the 3 tests. I highly recommend this DVD if you are a rugby fan no matter where your allegiances lie.It's a double DVD box set, one disk containing extended highlights of every game played and the other being made up of a fly on the wall documentary with everything from meals out with players, pre-match speeches and post match reactions.

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Darragh May 07, 2008 9:48 am

Donal Lenihan and Ronan O'Gara are legends, absolute legends.

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Rich W May 07, 2008 9:52 am

Amazing video. Keep it up RD, fantastic!

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geoff May 07, 2008 10:34 am

great vid, more please! :)

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David May 07, 2008 11:04 am

Great stuff, i hope you could show the Lions tour of 1997, equally compelling, and kind of sad, the Moment Rob Howley was told he'd be out for the tour was just agonising.

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Third Centre May 07, 2008 11:18 am

I've seen that Howley clip, its heartbreaking.How did Henry mispronounce Donal ?!!

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Hefner May 07, 2008 11:23 am

poor MacRae never thought he'd be playing against Munster in Thomond park a few years later... i remember it well....

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Wasp1 May 07, 2008 12:38 pm

I seem to remember Mcrae getting a bit of payback against Leicester a few years back when he was at Saracens!Think it was Johnson's knee vs Mcrae's ribs.

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Anonymous May 07, 2008 1:04 pm

Very nice videos love this kind of stuff, please got to put more of these behind the scenes.Also waht the hell is going on with try savers and rib brackers 10, you said it was coming soon 3 months ago.Come we want some masive tackles!!!!

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Ross May 07, 2008 2:03 pm

great stuff, what lions is all about. compare that to woodwards nz tour...

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David May 07, 2008 2:19 pm

yeah ThirdCentre, it was pretty heart wrenching, Rob Howely was one of the best scrum halves in the game, forced to usually make the best of it behind a beaten welsh pack.he finally earns the luxury of lionsforwards, and what was it? a dislocated shoulder in the first 10mins vs the boks... :(

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Bart May 07, 2008 2:24 pm

McRea is clearly an idiot. No place for violence in our game. Nothing wrong with agression, big hits and playing on the edge; just a matter of discipline not stepping over that thin line. Loved MJs very sincere FUCK when he heard about the injuries of his team mates. Great leader, great player and a nightmare to play against (coming from a Bokke fan).

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No.7 May 07, 2008 3:01 pm

Ah yeh, also pretty good to see the end of game speech. Its funny to think down at our club we get the same speech. "well it wasnt great but anyway, well done lads!" etc, just amusing when you think they are the same as you an i.....(well....a tad better id imagine, but you know what i mean!)

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bD May 07, 2008 3:57 pm

great vid! agree with rest get more...only problem is i wouldnt say many like that are available like that!!

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James May 07, 2008 9:52 pm

Good comments from all below. I remember watching this match as a teenager and being appalled by the attitude of NSW. Neil Back hits the nail on the head (as noted below). Without the injuries the Lions sustained (do not forgot Nathan Grey's elbow on Richard Hill), the Lions would most certainly have won this close series.

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Anonymous May 07, 2008 10:26 pm

great vid. backstage is very interesting.

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martin May 08, 2008 1:28 pm

this vid makes me angry, even though i hav seen it many times because i hav it on dvd. show the spirit in rugby though, the footballers wud just be complaining about it.

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Red Dog May 08, 2008 1:35 pm

Basically want to repeat what has been said throughout these comments - behind the scenes videos are fantastic, and can we see more please?!?

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Anonymous May 08, 2008 6:46 pm

yeah i got this video emailed to me when it came out and watched it like 5 times after that and i agree clev988 need more behind the scenes stuff like the lions den or something

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100% british beef May 08, 2008 7:05 pm

typical convicts trying to get out of scrummaging!

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Anonymous May 10, 2008 7:36 pm

So this video is to have a go at the aussi's but i remember just as well the attack by the all blacks on BOD!

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Patron May 11, 2008 3:46 pm

He had it coming to him!!"..cheap shots..."- he used to do a bit of work with my schools team and every time he was there there would be a round of "cheap shots ooh!" even from his own brother, ahhahaha

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Patron May 11, 2008 3:49 pm

"Agreed with clev988. I wish though somehow Macrae had been left on the pitch, just to see what Grewcock/Johnson/Woood would have done to him."The English boys would have done nothing, they didnt even come over it took another Waratah to pull McRae off, your telling me that not one Lion saw it, hugely disappointed in woody too, if the Claw had been there it would have been a totally different situation

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aj.uk May 12, 2008 11:34 am

Disgraceful stuff by NWS. Blatant attempts to f*** up Lions before big test, 3 went to hospital post match, 3 were done before half time, and what was McRae's punching all about? Not even as tho ROG retaliated and provoked more, he just want apeshit on him, bloody needless, even in school rugby fights ive never seen anyone hit some1 as much as thatStill, great tour, and more clips like this! seriously, the longer the better. its that simple! you guys know what to put up, so if its long and u like it, make sure it goes up please!keep up all the great work!

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No.7 May 15, 2008 8:54 am

HAHA, i keep watching this over again an again, and when O'driscoll scores the first try and gets pushed it cracks me up the coach saying "oi you fucker stay away from him!" lollI love this video though!Nice to hear Johnson talking to the team.Gotta say though the Waratahs did score some good try's!

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Anonymous June 04, 2008 10:58 am

rmours was rog di the dit wit mcRae's isses ...cud be rumours.whoe was that giving th spach at the end

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Roach June 11, 2008 2:02 pm

"Four yellow cards? Are you serious?"- The Ref

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Anonymous July 20, 2008 3:37 pm

Harden up O'gara - the lions are crap anyway. wow they beat a few states teams in aust. Lost the ones that counted......muppets

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Vicente October 12, 2008 11:11 am

Australians, they come from convicts and they are like animals, shame of them....This proves wich kind of sh** they are. They are agressive, drunkards and malicious, no wonder why most of their women are lesbian or bisexual...

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Anonymous February 18, 2009 2:48 am

There was quite alot of dirty stuff from the Lions as well in this test series.Mcrae was well out of line, but there was so much niggle in that game from both sides, it was always gonna kick off, and did a couple times.The first fight in that game was between a few forwards from both sides and it was started by the Lions players.It went both ways in this game, though you wouldn't know it from that well edited clip.By the way, that Waratahs side was missing all of it's Wallabies players, who were getting ready for the first test.

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Anonymous April 29, 2009 5:00 pm

The Waratahs are scumbags ! they set out to injury the Lions players ! They shouldnt even play rugby if they have that type of mind set

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Anonymous April 30, 2009 5:21 pm

First Rugby game me and the miss's ever went to and where hooked after it. Sat 4 rows back from the exact spot ROG was getting a pasting and toward the end of the game the stadium filled with cops - the atmosphere was one of utter anger from the Lions fans. Was hooked on Rugby ever since.

C'mon the boys in 2009!

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Anonymous May 07, 2009 11:29 am

The Waratahs didn't go out to injure the bloody Lions, that's a ridiculous conspiracy theory.
Duncan Mcrae would hardly be the bloke they'd select to injure someone as well, he was the smallest guy on his team. He just lost his mind and punched the hell out of that poor little Irishman. He came from rugby league, where this wouldn't be considered nearly as shocking as it is in union.
As I said, there were alot of punches thrown by Lions players, but no has a problem with that. Why? Cuz they were Lions players, and Lions players never do anything bad.
The first bloody punch of the game was thrown by a Lions player.

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Anonymous May 16, 2009 6:41 pm

you have got to absouletly adore these lions's courage, determination and balls. Any other lions player should look at this game and draw inspiration from it. you gotta love o'gara as well

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Anonymous May 16, 2009 6:43 pm

NSW had a nice few tries, you wonder how jason robinson scored so easy if NSW were so up for it? He waltzed in for that try.

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number7 May 16, 2009 7:32 pm

he was the smallest guy on his team.....

really you think that it takes a big hard man to punch the face off someone on the floor ...you really are fool condoning cowadice like that ..mcrae the ultimate coward

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Anonymous May 18, 2009 2:10 am

I didn't condone it, I said he lost his mind. I just denied the conspiracy theories about the Waratahs players going out to injure the Lions.
The idea that the Waratahs would get together and nominate their smallest player to injure the Lions is ridiculous.
I also pointed out that the first punch of the game was thrown by the Lions, in amongst alot of other punches thrown by players from both sides. There were no bloody angels on the field, and you lot need to realise the Lions were not saints in this match.

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Anonymous May 22, 2009 11:41 am

Patron, pipe the f**k down. 'Cheap shots' completely different from being a ball'less coward and hitting someone on the ground. Obviously you fit under this bracket aswell, grow some balls butt munch

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Anonymous May 24, 2009 5:17 am

Suck it up princess.
Mcrae just punched the shit out of this little guy, get over it.
Fucking whinging northern pussies.

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Anonymous May 26, 2009 8:30 am

comment above should be deleted for the dignity of its writer...


f#ckin idiot...

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Anonymous May 26, 2009 8:34 am

oh nd we won... you southerners are just clumsy fuckin thugs...

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Chris May 26, 2009 7:11 pm

At the end of the day the Lions tour is the last saloon for genuine hardness and niggle in the game of rugby.

Lets not spoil it by over officiating like we're doing with every other aspect of rugby.

The assault on O'Gara was disgraceful. That's a given. But everything else in the tour, the other fights, big hits, handbangs, genuinely flirting with the line of whats acceptable and what isn't, is what makes the Lions tour such a great institute in rugby.

NSW went out to hurt the Lions... So? Of course they fucking did! That's rugby. If you don't like it take a fucking walk.

Every lions tour is a fucking war. If you don't like teams going out and trying to batter and bruise our boys then don't fucking watch. Because it's going to happen, for as long as there is a Lions tour, it'll happen. The day you take that out of the tour is the day it's not worth having.

Disgraceful from Macrae once more, but lets no go over the top and start sulking over the physical nature of the tour. There's no conspiracies lmao, everyone knows teams go out to hurt us. That's what makes these tours that little bit more special than a standard international. The emotion, spite and passion of the old days is still alive in the Lions games. And that IS fucking special.

The Lions Tour is a war. It was and always will be. Bring on the Saffas. As a Lions fan I'm licking my lips at the prospect of this tour. Rest assured you'll be seeing more of this.

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Anonymous May 28, 2009 12:45 pm

Can someone post the clip of the tour manager's face when Justin Harrison nicked Johnno's lineout ball with minutes to go in the third test and meters from the wallaby line. Much as love the Lions, that's a classic too.

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Anonymous September 28, 2009 6:52 am

And then they call the South Africans thugs?? Australians showing their true mettle here. They cnat stand to lose and will do anything to win. Typical spoil tactics from Australia.
Saying that the Lions were responsible for a lot of the niggle in the last series against South Africa and I found it most dissapointing. if you cant win a game by talent alone then ya shouldnt be playing teh game.

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danny January 28, 2010 2:47 pm

I can't believe the righteousness of the Lions supporters here. What about the attack on Farr-Jones the series before? Did you think NSW forgot that? Fair play? What about Johnson? Back? Your mob can dish it up, but they cannot take it.

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