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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Springbok John Smit's big hit on All Black Brad Thorn

Springbok John Smit's big hit on All Black Brad Thorn

A few years back, sectors of the South African media and public were calling for John Smit to be axed as Springbok captain. Jake White stuck with him though, and Smit has had the last laugh, with World Cup, British & Irish Lions, and Tri Nations victories under his belt.

Moving from hooker to prop in recent times, Smit has had his critics over his perceived weakness in the scrums. He silenced them on Saturday as he held his own against the powerful Tony Woodcock.

"You always get a massive boost when you blast over the ball after the opposition has opted for a scrum, and that was a turning point,"' Smit said in his post-match reaction.

Smit was courageous on Saturday. His face was a mess with blood flowing all match. He took a few massive knocks, one from a head collision with his teammate Schalk Burger, and then he got smashed by Isaac Ross.

He soldiered on though, and put in this crunching hit on All Black enforcer Brad Thorn, who famously dumped him in last years test in Wellington. That tackle caused the injury that meant Smit wasnt able to celebrate their Dunedin win last year.

The obvious questions now arise about whether Smit will be around to lead his country to the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, to defend the trophy they won in 2007.

"I get asked the question a lot these days and it depends on how I'm playing, whether I'm good enough to make the team. But I have a two-year contract with the Sharks and the next World Cup is not that far away," Smit said.

In his 90th Test, Smit finally achieved one of his own person goals to beat New Zealand in New Zealand, a feat which eluded him last year but can now be added to his impressive resume.

"I think it is a special day for him and I am just glad we have done it for him. He is such a great leader, such an inspirational leader that it is fantastic to have done it with him in the team," centre Jean De Villiers said of his captain.


:: Related Posts ::
Brad Thorn gets one week suspension for spear on Smit
Time: 01:16

Posted at 12:19 pm | 41 comments

Viewing 41 comments

Cheis September 15, 2009 2:50 pm

beautifull tackle, good technique

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Phil September 15, 2009 3:22 pm

I always thought of him as a love or hate sorta guy. Not exactly sure why though lol.

Is there any footage of the Australia vs. South Africa scrums from the 5th September, 2009 match?

I thought the Australian scrum driving and picking the SA front row was a marvel to see.

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Anonymous September 15, 2009 3:52 pm

I like the "flashback" thing

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Anonymous September 15, 2009 3:54 pm

i haven't bothered to look at the comments on the nonu tackle on here because it will be the usual fools complaining how rugby has gone soft.

Here is a great, perfectly legal tackle, great technique that led to a knock-on, these are the sort of tackles we want to see!

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Manfred September 15, 2009 3:54 pm

Sweet Legal Vendetta

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Ally September 15, 2009 4:08 pm

Have a lot of respect for the guy.

Always seems a gracious loser, leads from the front and a devoted family man.

Should get more credit/recognition than he does in my opinion.

And I am a Brit yes!

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RedYeti September 15, 2009 4:14 pm

Am I the only person who thinks the laws about the ball going out of play need to be adjusted? Smit would have been horrendously offside making the tackle had the ball not gone out, and a similar thing happens whenever teams try to take quick lineouts nowadays: offside players who have been put onside from the ball going out of play can interfere with the quick lineout and stop it being taken. It's just something that really annoys me because it stops teams speeding the game up and playing sexy running rugby :(

On a lighter note, bloody brilliant hit by Smit there hehe

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felipe September 15, 2009 4:25 pm

Smit did everything right here. I was watching and after Owens set the precedent for penalizing for not retreating when in an offside position (after a kick), I had to watch the replay to see if maybe Smit had infringed on the law. There's no offsides once the ball is thrown in at a quick throw-in, but if he didn't make an effort to retreat before it went into touch, it COULD have been penalized (doubtful, but possible).

Anyways, Smit had EVEN turned partially and was retreating when the ball was thrown in and STILL made the crunching tackle. It was painful to admit it, since as a back, I hate it when quick throw-ins come back to bite you on the ass. Really some quick reaction there.

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felipe September 15, 2009 4:30 pm

Oh, hey, I didn't even read the comments before posting. RedYeti, there isn't really a line of touch for the quick throw-in, since under the ELVs, you can throw it backwards (and who wants to do all the derivatives to find the perpendicular to whatever angle you throw it in at! - joking). But there is still the offsides in front of the kicker rule and if there's no effort to retreat, if the ref is feeling pedantic (and Owens was definitely so - in a good way), he can penalize for that.

There's a couple of discussions at rugbyrefs.com, and basically it comes down to the referee's discretion since there's no official IRB ruling.

It really was a good play by Smit - followed the law to the T and still made a big hit.

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Hackney Griffin September 15, 2009 4:31 pm

textbook... no better answer to Thorne's nonsense

And RedYeti, yes I believe you may be the only one. How can the offside line can still exist once the ball has gone dead? Quick line outs are frequently used by sides, it's hardly a rare occurrence. The problem is that sides don't attack from deep for fear of being turned over - a completely different problem... and one that needs sorting.

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Anonymous September 15, 2009 7:23 pm

REVENGE

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Huh!! the 3rd September 15, 2009 8:12 pm

It was Carter's fault, he should've seen Smit before he threw in, however as is discussed above, he may have thought Smit was offside and had to retreat.

Smit knew the rules and put in a cracking hit. Thorne to be fair, got straight up, no pussying around.

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Anonymous September 15, 2009 8:17 pm

Awesome hit by the best captain in the international game at the mo. Well done Johno!

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Anonymous September 15, 2009 10:03 pm

paybacks a bitch come on d props

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 12:00 am

Brad Thorn got owned.

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 12:13 am

boom! nail that miserable kiwi

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 12:40 am

great hit, thorn is on his way out i think. Big strong guy (look what he did to the beast when he tried to tussle)but he has gone missing a bit during games this year...

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gautier September 16, 2009 1:01 am

He is offside, steyn kicks and he is far behind him??

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 2:03 am

he's not offside if the kick goes out of play, play stops and everyone is automatically onside

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Phil September 16, 2009 3:34 am

Jon: Thanks for showing me those videos!

The Aussies put on a great show when they're on fire :D

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miguel September 16, 2009 4:56 am

im sure this has already been said, I just want to bring it up again that its outrageous that thorn got 1 week for his off the ball dump(practically spear) tackle on smit that was purely out of aggression, while fourie gets 4 weeks for honestly seems like a perfectly legal tackle.

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vinniechan September 16, 2009 5:37 am

One of the cleverest play I've seen. That quick throw in put everybody on side :)

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Cheesekiwi September 16, 2009 6:30 am

Vinniechan,

And a normal line-out taken, in which they are even allowed to compete, doesn't put everyone onside?

:)

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 10:30 am

SMITTY!

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 11:16 am

Average tackle.

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Andy September 16, 2009 1:15 pm

Nice tackle!!

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 1:28 pm

Thorn got owned.

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 1:34 pm

BRILLIANT FROM A BRILLIANT CAPTAIN, if he sticks around for the boks come RWC - they will retain it....

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 1:34 pm

LOVE IT!!

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Anonymous September 16, 2009 4:29 pm

At least smit showed him how to tackle leagally - not after the whistle has gone like thorn did on smit last year - which ruled smitty out with injury for the rest of the 3n that year. JUSTICE!!You won that war SMITTY!

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WelshOsprey September 16, 2009 7:01 pm

He's gotta be down for a possible player of the year.

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Jon September 16, 2009 10:36 pm

Smit would have hit anyone in that position, he wasn't trying to get square with Thron or anything.

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 6:06 am

tackle had great technique, but lets not pretend that smit "owned" thorn like it some kind of fair contest. smit was horrendously offside, ball went out, and suddenly he found himself running full speed at the ball and magically onside. he blind-sided thorn, which i admit results in some of the most violent tackles, but its hardly fair to say this proves smit is a beats of any sort. thorn only just turned around. smit is a good leader, but i have to say that last trinations game is the ONLy one i have been impressed wiht his performance. as for brad thorn's previous "spear tackle", look it up on youtube. smit is lying on the ground, grabbing thorn's head os he couldnt stand up. wtf?? hes interfering with play and trying to slow the ball down, so thorn pwned his ass. flipped him on his BACK, not his head. definitely an over-reaction, but smit was the douche in that situation.

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 7:15 am

To the above ass - OH, so that allows a player to pick someone up and dump them - no hands in mid air - Glad the boks forwards dug into him!! it's people like you who ruin our beautiful game, go and play FOOTBALL!!!!

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 7:17 am

SMIT is a real ROLE model for our beautiful game!

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 7:19 am

What amazes me about the boks is their team work, they are always there for each other. See how they rally round and high-five Smit and help him up. While none of the AB's extend their hand out for Thorn...The AB's need to start working as a team and stop thinking individually!!!

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 7:21 am

Yeah - I noticed that as well, why don't the any of the AB's help Thorn up too - they just stand there. If it was the other way round the boks would still have helped up smit. That's the difference in these two great sides - the boks work as a team and the AB's work individually...

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 7:32 am

This guy is growing on me.

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cheyanqui September 30, 2009 3:40 am

the only player that was in an offside position, was the NZ player who gathered up Thorn's knock-on.
He was ahead of Thorn when the ball was knocked-on.

Could have been a PK and 3 pts for the Boks.

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Anonymous February 17, 2010 3:08 pm

Brad thorn get smashed
smit world class player
thorn got what was coming after last time :)

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