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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Midweek Madness - Todd Clever flies into George

Midweek Madness - Todd Clever flies into George

This year has been pretty serious one in terms of incidents, both off field and on. We don't need to go through them all, but you've read about and seen them right here on RD. With that in mind, what you're about to see is a breath of fresh air.

USA flanker Todd Clever is a busy man. Contracted to the Lions in South Africa, Clever is also the USA Eagles captain, and an integral part of the USA Sevens side for the last few seasons.

In the past year he's played Currie Cup & Super 14 rugby for the Lions, played against the Lions (of the British & Irish variety), played in the Sevens Rugby World Cup, and played in 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

Travelling between Johannesburg and San Diego, Clever leads a hectic, but eventful life. Earlier this month he attended the premiere of Invictus in LA, and was fortunate enough to meet Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, and the other stars of the movie on the red carpet.

Not originally scheduled to play at this years George Sevens, Clever got a last minute phonecall to say that some of their players were injured, and he needed to fly 'home' to South Africa earlier than planned.

Arrangements were made, and he got on a last minute flight to make it down for the second leg of this season's IRB World Sevens Series in the Eastern Cape.

That brings us to this clip, and a hilarious, but awesome moment as Clever brought his own piece of showmanship to George with an outrageous dive over his teamate and physio on the way to the tryline.

It was a classic dive and brilliant piece of entertainment for the crowd, the viewers at home, and now us. The physio might disagree, but she stayed calm and apparently only let out a little scream as he flew over her by a matter of inches.

Yes he could easily have run around, and yes if things weren't timed right, he might have injured a few people in the process. But, in much the same way that he intercepted a pass to start the best try of the 2007 World Cup, everything worked out perfectly.

Time: 0:44

Posted at 1:50 pm | 43 comments

USA qualify for 2011 World Cup after beating Uruguay

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Todd Clever quality try against Wales - USA Sevens 2008

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Viewing 43 comments

Rob H December 16, 2009 2:32 pm

Todd Clever is one hell of a showman!

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Hendrick December 16, 2009 2:47 pm

Right now he is the the best American born player, playing the game.

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Dave December 16, 2009 2:56 pm

Brilliant! :)

Great player. Hope he has a good season for the Lions.

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 2:57 pm

Todd Clever is a legend.

Good to hear he's still playing for the Lions in SA. I originally thought he was being signed on a one season basis.

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bennybunny December 16, 2009 3:15 pm

He should of Jonah Lomued her out of the way...now that would have been entertaining!

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No.7 December 16, 2009 3:15 pm

Could have been amusing if he had mistimed that!

great clip RD

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 3:29 pm

would expect that of a young cocky winger, but a mature flanker!! nice

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Phil December 16, 2009 3:37 pm

Love it! Better than Philip Burger's do you think?

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mat December 16, 2009 4:00 pm

"flew over her by a matter of inches," he clearly knees the physio, ?

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 4:29 pm

Awesome, I don't think he planned it, just started running, watch his eyes move to where he was running, it was a quick decision that luckily payed off! Clever don't do side steps so what else was he gonna do?!

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 5:24 pm

Awesome, love it.

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luxi December 16, 2009 5:46 pm

hilarious!! but it's definitly a great dive !! xP

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rodney December 16, 2009 6:00 pm

I think he was just getting some plyometrics training in there. Playing the game must not be hard enough for Clever...he's a beast!

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Chris December 16, 2009 6:01 pm

Love the touch judge's smile after Clever scored XD

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Ted December 16, 2009 6:08 pm

If he'd kneed her in the head he would have looked like a right numpty.

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semperfimamba December 16, 2009 6:33 pm

LOL...i was surprised to hear Hugh saying "like an american running back" ...he knows his sports that old cat.

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 6:59 pm

Hugh? Is that the commentators name? What's his surname?

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fitz December 16, 2009 7:17 pm

It sucks Clever is only there for the George leg of the Series because he's already down in SA getting ready to start training with the Lions...this year, we don't seem to have anything going for us in the 7's...at least last year we came in 11th.

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 9:07 pm

I love the SA commentator in this.

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Nursedude December 16, 2009 9:09 pm

It's a great visual. Luckily the physio stayed bent over,they would still be scraping bits of her off the pitch had she stood up.

I thought it was funny as hell. We American fans don't get many chances to see an American player actually doing something special.

Now if we could just start producing decent fly and scrum-halfs...

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Anonymous December 16, 2009 9:41 pm

wow he's hot and i'm a geezer!

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Cheis December 16, 2009 11:51 pm

haha brilliant!!

He knows rugby is not that popular in the US, his showmanship at least might get rugby some attention!!

Good player!

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 12:13 am

Good showmanship, but bad sportsmanship, no need for that in rugby, leave it in America!!

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Cowboy Dan December 17, 2009 12:26 am

"Good showmanship, but bad sportsmanship, no need for that in rugby, leave it in America!!"

Leave it to America? Yeah, because no other players go out of their way to celebrate tries?

Shane Williams surely didn't make an over-the-top try against Argentina. Schalk Burger didn't boot the ball into the stands after scoring against Ireland or anything. New Zealand doesn't do the haka at the end of winning a 7's tournament (and seemingly rub it in the face of the team that just lost). Oh, wait, all of that DOES happen.

This is hardly bad sportsmanship. Clever was having a bit of fun - it's Sevens, mate, it's supposed to be fun. Check your anti-america attitude at the door.

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opfazonk December 17, 2009 1:14 am

the touch judge's smile after he scored is just priceless x-D

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 2:22 am

He's the man!! Lol

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Extramask! December 17, 2009 3:32 am

How far was that jump? From the physio to the try line looked about 3-4 meters.

Pretty stupid really. The physio is trying to do her job and this nutter puts her in danger. I bet Clever would have had a talking to by the coach about it.

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 4:53 am

SOULJA BOY - SUPERMAN DIVE!

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vinniechan December 17, 2009 5:34 am

It looks funny, but it's borderline to recklessness. If I were the ref I'd definitely have given him a word just to make sure something is seen to have been done.
Rugby is dangerous as it is, no point having more stupid injuries to players and others.

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 6:05 am

hahaha fkin hilarious
awesome job

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 7:26 am

anyone who has a problem with this is either daft or has never played rugby before. The man is out there having a great time, the way the game should be played. Great stuff. I only hope that I can enjoy myself that much when i step on the pitch

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FrankyH December 17, 2009 9:37 am

^ I totally agree. Everyone moans about the 'good old days' being a thing of the past. Fun, both on and off the field. The game needs characters, and Clever seems to be one. He's also an incredible athlete for a forward, so certainly wouldn't have tried if if he knew he couldn't pull it off.

All good stunts have an element of danger anyway ;)

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Sander December 17, 2009 12:04 pm

Even if it would be truly American showboating, it's a brilliant move by Clever.

This move is sure to be among a shitload of highlight reels all over the US, thus drawing the attention of an enormous number of people. If one out every thousand people who have seen that dive would join a local rugby club or start attending matches, it's an incredible boost to the game overall, let alone in the US.

To me, this is just part of the Sevens spirit, and hats off to Clever.

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 12:21 pm

it was so brilliant that ref has delete the try

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Anonymous December 17, 2009 1:39 pm

BTW. commentator is Hugh Bladen

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cheyanqui December 17, 2009 6:17 pm

Great player, but rather disrespectual of the trainer.

Imagine if he had of bowled her over and injured her.

Especially since there was no need to do it.

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Dazza December 17, 2009 10:44 pm

If Clever ever gets injured in the future I bet that physio will take her time to get out there.

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NickDanger December 18, 2009 12:13 am

Well, I know the the physio, Nikki and she is only like 5 feet tall, so it wasn't as big of a leap as you might imagine.

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Uncle Randy December 18, 2009 5:05 am

T Clever with a split second decision to leap the physio put her in no danger, but it did put her into about 15,000 hits on you tube. Kudos to her and to Todd as Rugby becomes a more noticed sport.

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Wolfman21 December 18, 2009 7:21 am

A great piece of drama. It reminds me a bit of the Jonty Rhodes run out in 1992 where he put in the dive.

Something which will make highlight reels for a good while.

Classic!

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Anonymous December 19, 2009 2:14 am

That's a clever little jump there

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Anonymous 3:16 December 23, 2009 4:16 pm

Cowboy Dan - well said. All of you with the anti-American banter can shove it up your collective arses. Any one of dozens of other tries, in 7's and 15's, contains non-Americans doing over-the-top dives, rolls, throwing of the ball into the stands, etc, yet they bear no such remarks from the lot of you in the peanut gallery. The only comments bearing merit would be those questioning the safety aspect of the leap.

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Kevin February 18, 2013 1:31 am

asshole, he didn't need to do that, could just run on the side.

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