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Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper

Saturday, May 17, 2008

17 Year old James O'Connor scores his first Super 14 try

17 Year old James O'Connor scores his first Super 14 try

On Friday night in Perth young James O'Connor sparked one of the most amazing comebacks you'll see as he got on the score sheet for his very first Super rugby try, remarkably at the age of just 17.

The away team the Brumbies were leading the Force by 22-0 at one stage, and it looked as though one more try from them would surely see the floodgates open.

But through teenager James O'Connor they scored the try that began the comeback of all comebacks, seeing them come out eventual winners 29-22.

O'Connor's try itself was regulation quality finishing, but extraordinary simply for the fact that the boy is barely out of nappies and playing professional rugby, last week getting smashed by Ma'a Nonu and this week being up against Wallaby legend Stirling Mortlock.

He's already being tipped as the next Matt Giteau, being compared to Tim Horan, and is in the unique situation of being eligible to represent each of rugby's three southern-hemisphere powerhouses in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

His father Warren, born in Auckland, and grandfather both played high-level rugby in New Zealand. O'Connor's mother is South African and his great-grandfather went close to representing the Springboks.

There's also talk of League teams snapping him up, with him having played it until three years ago when he gave it up for rugby union. While his preference is to represent the Wallabies, the teenager is keeping his international options open.

"I'm eligible to play for the big rugby nations," said O'Connor.
"I'd like to play for the Wallabies, but I'm not ruling out anything, so we'll see what happens."

Posted at 1:41 am | 31 comments

Viewing 31 comments

Dave May 17, 2008 12:22 am

good on the young man, he's only 2 years older than me but he's already out there and is making a name for himself :)

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jj May 17, 2008 12:43 am

lol...where's the commentaryanyway, would like to have heard what the Australian commentators had to say about a 17 year old scoring in the super 14brilliant comeback by the Force coming from 0-22 down to win 29-22

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Anonymous May 17, 2008 12:57 am

it's incredable how obvious it is he is 17. I'm 16 and to be honest if i was up against him and didn't know who he was i don't think i would be intimidated at all. Must be living the dream playin super 14 at 17 years old and imagine getting up after scoring a try against someone you most likley idolized as a center in aus, stirling mortlock.

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Anonymous May 17, 2008 1:22 am

nah he is a good player just to small i think but he still will grow! he looks like a good half back!bob

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Ryan May 17, 2008 1:31 am

motivating.. im 17 and playing in a rugby tournament tomorrow on a mens team for the first time... if he can do it?... y cant i...

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No.7 May 17, 2008 1:46 am

BOOOOO....Yeh yeh good on the guy, still makes me jealous though, he's younger than i am!!!so yeh, ill leave with sour grapes and the bitter taste of envy in my mouth!

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Cheyanqu May 17, 2008 3:57 am

I wonder how many man-boys there are playing with the adults in small leagues around the Pacific Islands?Regardless, an impressive feat from this kid. Unfortunately, by 2011 RWC, he won't be old enough to break the youngest player ever record (held by Thretton Palamo / Federico Mendez)

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nick May 17, 2008 4:47 am

he's a BABY !!! when i first saw him i thought he would be smashed but he's going danm good !!!, i hope this games full highlights come on becuase i was there and it was unbeleivable!!!!!!!!

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Shaft May 17, 2008 7:35 am

JJ, I can hear the commentary?! It's a bit soft but it's there...? Anyway.. total babyface this kid. He looks a great prospect. I think they're going on about him already basically because at such a young age he's just doing all the basics perfectly. Sure he's not running through people or scoring flash tries, but for a 17 year old to be so composed under pressure and command respect around guys like Giteau, he's doing alright. Commendable.

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Redron May 17, 2008 10:41 am

I haven't seen the matches, but how does he match up defensively?

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robbie May 17, 2008 11:00 am

met this guy at the airport after the hurricanes game. he's a really nice down to earth kid and looks like he's got a great future.

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Third Centre May 17, 2008 12:41 pm

James O'Connor ? Any chance he'd declare for Ireland ? Worth a shot !

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Anonymous May 17, 2008 3:22 pm

i think sa should get him to play for them.

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Nick Foster May 17, 2008 3:23 pm

Darn good finishing thatNot sure who he is going to play for though? Wow, great nationalism there.

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J.Conman May 17, 2008 6:14 pm

nice to see im on one of my faavourite sites ;)

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Anonymous May 17, 2008 10:52 pm

ah to be fair i'd say its confusing for him and he'll feel bad for whatever side he doesn't declare for

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Anonymous May 18, 2008 8:38 am

good try from rabbit

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Anonymous May 18, 2008 10:39 am

i saw him play for queensland under 16s in sydney 2 years ago as a player there myself against queensland B. he made a break almost everytime he touched the ball. also on that team was matt toomua

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Anonymous May 18, 2008 2:41 pm

I'm not sure that people quite realise just how much of an achievement thisis for a 17 years old. My little bro was a starting player for my a senior team at 16 but this is super 14,it doesn't get much bigger than that!Also, the fact he is starting means he is the best choice the have in that position, better than all the players that have been pro for years (and are actually shaving!) that is an incredible thing!

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Anonymous May 18, 2008 2:44 pm

I'v known quite a few youngsters that have played at a high level at a very young age, and they are all arrogant and totally full of themselves.....i wonder if he is the same?prob magnified tenfold!! lol

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Don May 18, 2008 7:00 pm

I'm hppy for himBut I'm mad @ myselflook @ this kid...17...already playing pro rugbyLord...I'm jealous

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Bart May 19, 2008 9:18 am

According to the Force website he is 1.80 and 80kg. Is not huge but once again serves as proof that rugby is first and foremost a skill game. If Australia would be able to get a decent scrum they will be a joy to watch. Giteau, Luke Burgess, Drew Mitchell, Berrick Barnes, this kid... so much (young) potential!!!Quick big thanks to the RD guys. Excellent site, keep up the good work!

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Anonymous May 19, 2008 2:37 pm

It is a good try and serious respect to the bloke, 17 and playing super 14 but its not thee best try and tbh it could be argued that the defence messed up there (hear me out im not trying to take stuff away from him) obviously it still means a good try as he exploited the defence, but in a sense it seems that anyone with a cool head may have scored that try. so to the guy that says he is only 80kg and its all about skill to a point you are right but then if he is the last line of defence and you get a big player running at him, thats really a test of how good he is!!!but like i said cant take anything away from the guy, he is obviously no amateur otherwise he would never have made it. My only point is if he bulks out then he could prove to be a fantastic player!

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G-unit May 20, 2008 12:31 am

Yeah! i wanna see full highlights too to come back from 22 down! hell, i'll try to catch it on skysports! what a great game...actually, all the super14 games over the weekend that i watched were the best of the season, barring the chiefs beating the crusaders...

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Anonymous May 20, 2008 11:35 pm

I am 19, but I'm 1.80 and 80 kg too, just like him.. Ofc, I dont play S14 but college rugby and at my own level, i'm the quickest player of my team.. Never been out ran this season. My point is, if he wants to keep his speed and amazing side step and all (his side step is pretty awesome), I really hope he DOESN'T bulk up. You don't necessarily need to put on muscle to actually be more powerfull, or faster.Great prospect.. I wish him the very best

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Anonymous May 22, 2008 1:11 am

i cant believe hes only 17..hes one lucky guy to play professional.. awesome try too!!

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nc May 26, 2008 11:34 am

I know rabbit personally. He's good.. but all this hype... brings so much pressure. Should he bulk up? Hes not exactly skinny.. he basically lived in the nudgee gym. I guess hes still got nothing on some of the super 14 players though. He probably stilll has some growing to do.

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Anonymous June 03, 2008 11:36 am

Of course he'll have some growing still to do, because the guy's only 17, but i remember watching videos of Brian O'Driscoll when he was even a bit older than he is, and look at the size of him, and his skill.i reckon this guy's gonna be bigger than Giteau possibly?

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Anonymous August 12, 2009 10:02 pm

mayb dis guy cud b d nxt o drisscoll

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James August 22, 2009 9:46 pm

he is pretty hot ;)

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sean May 01, 2010 10:52 am

reminds me of andrew conway, future irish star. he's only 18

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