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Monday, March 15, 2010

Xavier Rush smokes Kevin McLaughlin

Xavier Rush smokes Kevin McLaughlin

Leinster beat Cardiff Blues 29-20 in the Magners League last weekend, scoring a late penalty that snatched the losing bonus point away from the Welsh region. One of the moments of the match though was this great hit by Kiwi Xavier Rush.

Centre Fergus McFadden kicked 21 points for Leinster, but it was Blues number eight Rush who put in the biggest hit of the match, with this cracking blindside hit on flanker Kevin McLaughlin.

Rush, who captained namesake Auckland Blues to Super 12 titles, also played for the All Blacks on eight occasions. Hes a talismanic figure who unfortunately for Cardiff Blues, will be leaving to play for Ulster at the end of the season.

There was talk of Rush being linked to a move to the new Super Rugby franchise, the Melbourne Rebels, as well as a move to Japan, but Rush chose to stay up north after having lived there since 2005.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time living in Wales, representing and captaining the Cardiff Blues has been a real honour," Rush said. "Over the years I have developed many friendships that will last a lifetime.

"However, my original intention having moved from New Zealand in 2005 was always to experience life in Europe and after five years in the capital city of Wales, which has been a real privilege, I feel the time is right for a change before I consider the future following my playing career," he said.

The Blues loss is Ulsters gain as Rush is a powerful ball carrier, has great hands, works like an ox, and as you can see here, hits incredibly hard.


Time: 0:55
Note: This clip was found thanks to a request on the forum.

Posted at 2:36 pm | 18 comments

Viewing 18 comments

Oli March 15, 2010 3:57 pm

Great hit! Some will say it's not legal because he doesnt' wrap but I think it's perfectly legal. When you put so much energy into a tackle the player will bounce and fall backwards so you can't really wrap you arms around him.
Keep em coming RD, thats awesome stuff

cheers

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Anonymous March 15, 2010 5:38 pm

Legal on every day of the week. If you think this tackle is illegal go play touch.

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Scotsdale March 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Sweet hit. Thanks for posting it.

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Anarchangel March 15, 2010 6:42 pm

Wow, Xavier Rush, there's a blast from the past! He looks like he's still doing well for himself! Nice hit!

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Mike March 15, 2010 7:10 pm

Xavier Rush is an example of one of those fringe NZ players who would have had a great career with a lesser rugby nation. Always stands out when he plays - Ulster did well to land him.

Oh, and nice hit - McLaughlin obviously never saw him. Oops!

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jpm March 15, 2010 8:07 pm

Hmmmm....I have seen many referees call that type of challenge illegal and give a penlaty and or yeloow card.

The Tuilagi hit on Fodden and the Andy Powell hit v. Western Province in the summer were quite the same IMHO.

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canada for gold March 15, 2010 8:25 pm

jpm I'd have to disagree. AP's hit on vermeulen was one where he just stood still and layed him out shoulder first, arms flailing later. Rush came at him from an angle, was going to wrap, but the tacklee got hit too hard and flew away from him (LOL) and therefore he couldn't wrap. If the player had held his ground, rush simply would have wrapped him and taken him to ground, but he's too good and instead monstered the poor guy.

Xavier Rush has been one of my favourite players to watch ever since I got into the game 4-5 years ago, watching him play for Cardiff at a level above everyone else just caught my attention, then the commentators mentioned he was Kiwi and it explains a lot. Shame he couldn't have an outstanding All Black career, great player, great hit.

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Anonymous March 15, 2010 10:57 pm

Good hit, completely legal, because the rule is NOT whether or not a player wraps, simply that he makes an attempt to.
That is the rule.
It was brought in to prevent people tucking their arms up across their chest and charging in with no arms at all.
What it basically means is that 90% of hits that get called as shoulder charges aren't shoulder charges at all and are good hits. It's also fairly obvious that certain players ('cough' Islanders 'cough') get unfairly targetted. I honestly believe if Rush was an Islander he might have been yellowed. That only applies in the north really though, since in the south like 20% of players are Islanders.
Anyway, great hit, just like alot of hits that have been yellowed recently in NH rugby are also just great hits.
The rule is about an attempt to wrap with the arms, that's all.

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Anonymous March 15, 2010 10:58 pm

Rush wasn't good enough for the All Blacks.
Playing for NZ is alot harder than playing NH club rugby.

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Chris Boy March 15, 2010 11:19 pm

i'm so pleased this wasn't deemed illegal by the ref. so many great hits (banahan on bergamasco, palu on kearney etc) have been wrongly penalised this season.

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Juggernauter March 16, 2010 2:29 am

Haha I guess Kevin didn't "McLaugh" after that... you get it?
Awesome tackle by the way. Rush is one of theose southerners to whom glory was denied down there but Europe has welcomed them.
Cheers for him.

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Tui March 16, 2010 2:49 am

Oli... how could anyone thing that is illegal? Go watch a game of union before you comment next time.

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Alexander March 16, 2010 4:13 am

Sorry anonymous that's disrespectful to Rush. He WAS good enough, and did play for them (8 times), leaving for NH at his peak when playing as the driving force for the blues pack!!!

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Anonymous March 16, 2010 6:12 am

Glory wasn't really deined to Rush, he just got offered alot of money to go up north.

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Mike March 16, 2010 9:34 am

Playing for NZ is alot harder than playing NH club rugby.

Why did someone think this needed explaining, and spend there valuable time typing it out? The vegatables you come across on the web... *facepalm*

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Anonymous March 16, 2010 10:00 am

Rush is still on form, watched him play at the weekend vs Glos. If it wasn't for Rush and Laulala that match would have been a drubbing.

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FrankyH March 16, 2010 11:10 am

Taine Randell was first choice Number 8 for the All Blacks at the time, not so? That's why Rush didn't play more for them.

I might be wrong (will need to NZ folk to verify this), but I recall there being some kind of 'politics' involved at the time, with him being from Auckland not helping his cause when it came to AB selection. Any truth in that?

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Anarchangel March 16, 2010 4:09 pm

FrankyH: IIRC, not politics, but Auckland wasn't very good at the time and it's hard to fight for a place when your team's not winning. This was also about the time of the Hurricane's resurgence and Rodney So'oialo was breaking onto the scene at no 8.

Anonymous (!): Laulala is an amazing player, I hope he has more luck with injury in the NH. If he hadn't kept breaking things he could have pushed for a spot in the ABs.

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