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Monday, March 22, 2010

Gareth Thomas takes a battering on League debut

Gareth Thomas takes a battering on League debut

Union to League convert Gareth Thomas had a rather forgettable debut for the Crusaders against the Catalans Dragons on the weekend as took a knock within a few seconds of kick and never quite recovered.

Thomas, playing in his first professional Rugby League match since making the surprise switch earlier in the month, left the field battered and bruised after just 30 minutes.

The 35 year old former British & Irish Lions captain later revealed that he spent the majority of that time with blurred vision following another big knock he received early on.

"I don't know what happened but in the first tackle I took a clout on the top of the head. Then 20 minutes later my head's gone into someone's knee. As much as I didn't want to go off, I had to," said Thomas.

"But I feel fine now, I feel good. Towards the latter stages of the game I wanted to go back on but it was to the benefit of the team because I wasn't one hundred percent.

"This could have been my first game or my 100th, and what happened would have happened. It is a contact sport and it could have happened at any time.

"Now it has gone behind me I can carry on enjoying what is, I think, really and truly a great game. It is a fantastic sport to play, that is why I wanted to play a full 80 minutes," he added.

Crusaders coach Brian Noble said Thomas still has a lot to learn, but he'll get there.

"We are going to have to teach him a few of the nuances of how to protect the ball in the tackle. He wants to carry the ball a lot but he needs to learn how to do that and when to do that.

"But for his first 30-35 minutes hes done fabulously well given hes never played any rugby league," he said.

While Rugby League isn't a regular feature here on RD, many will have be interested in how Thomas is getting on. And if rumours are to be believed, there could be one or two other well known Welsh players making the switch very soon too.

League fans, you can now also check out Engage Super League highlights on the Omnisport Player on the sidebar, top right. Just mouse over the video and scroll through the options to find what you're after.


Time: 01:55

Posted at 11:23 pm | 41 comments

Viewing 41 comments

baptism of fire March 22, 2010 11:13 pm

Aaw damn. Tough going Alfie. Hang in there mate.

It looked like he just didn't really know what he was doing. He can only get better from here on!

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 11:26 pm

He ran into contact with his head down. Obviously he'd get knocked out. The contact in League is alot more physical.

He'll learn from that though, and I doubt he'll run with his head down anytime soon.

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 11:29 pm

To add onto my last post and explain. In rugby league you usually have 2 men in the tackle. One will go high and hit you with his chest or shoulder. The other will go for the waist.

So if you run into a tackle with your head down, you're basically going to hurt yourself. In the same way you shouldn't attempt to tackle someone with your head lol

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flapjack March 22, 2010 11:32 pm

As someone who doesn't get to see a lot of league, I appreciate the explanation, anonymous.

Thanks.

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 11:37 pm

who else is going to league?

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Alexander March 22, 2010 11:46 pm

Always thought League was actually a slightly tougher game physically speaking. But don't be fooled, Alfie is hard as nails, he'll get into the swing of it. Would love to see Andy Powell play League, he has the right physique and tends to run more upright as you do in league (as anonymous pointed out).

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HTFU March 23, 2010 12:53 am

maybe he should have converted to ballet or horse jumping or figure skating.

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Third Centre March 23, 2010 1:28 am

thats just silly......

he's not a horse

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Tough Back Rower March 23, 2010 1:40 am

League sucks...
I think football is where Alfie should have ended his career...

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 1:57 am

It's a tougher game, league, the hits are more brutal.
Problem is he is leading with his head, trying to burrow in like you can in union.
If you do that in league you are going to get knocked the fuck out.

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Richard March 23, 2010 7:13 am

shows how brainless u have to be to play league

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 7:21 am

hate league

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Scotsdale March 23, 2010 8:05 am

Thanks for posting this RD. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise.

Unfortunate for him, but I'm sure he'll get in the swing of things soon.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 8:29 am

League?! Shame on you Thomas!

League is just a poor union imitation without rucks, mauls, lineouts and proper scrums...

and btw.: the intensity of the tackle depends on the tackler and the one who gets tackled not on the code!

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 9:37 am

Kudos to him for staying on as long as he did. He's hard as nails, I'm sure he'll only get better in RL. Good luck to him.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 9:38 am

"HTFU said...

maybe he should have converted to ballet or horse jumping or figure skating."

...says the guy who's probably never picked up a rugby ball in his life, let alone played the game professionally for 18 years. Keyboard warrior.

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dezzy March 23, 2010 9:45 am

Final score?

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 10:22 am

"and btw.: the intensity of the tackle depends on the tackler and the one who gets tackled not on the code!"

No, it's an objectional fact that the tackles in League are ALOT harder than in Union.

The intensity of the tackle actually in this case depends on the law. In League you don't have to wrap, therefore the tackles are harder.

Simple physics, comrade.

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dr March 23, 2010 11:14 am

At our rugby (union) club we play league during pre-season to practice tackling and ball retention in the tackle. Every time we play it someone gets hurt lol but it is quite good fun! Has nothing on the real game tho, it gets really boring after a while.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 11:30 am

^ To Anonymous explaining why tackling is "harder":

I think the word you're looking for is objective, not objectional. To be objective is to be impartial whereas to object is to, well, object. Grammar 101 really...

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 11:44 am

^ To Anonymous explaining why tackling is "harder":

I think the word you're looking for is objective, not objectional. To be objective is to be impartial whereas to object is to, well, object. Grammar 101 really...

.........

A*, doesn't change the stated facts.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 12:18 pm

I don't understand league
why is there knock on?
why is remaining alone in the tackle.

Well...where is a good explanation of League's rules?

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The Inside Shoulder March 23, 2010 1:14 pm

Think it will be hard for Alfie..

He's old and will be targeted for being homosexual and a union convert.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 3:13 pm

hey, anyone know who are the "one or two other well known Welsh players making the switch very soon too"???

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Noodles March 23, 2010 4:39 pm

He was silly to think he could convert to leagueat his age, he's body position was awful for both codes, either one he'd have got concussed. Obviously just went for a pay packet which you can't blame him

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Greiffel March 23, 2010 4:43 pm

The rumours are about Andy Powell and possibly Gavin Henson. All rumours though at this stage afaik - nothing confirmed yet.

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Philp March 23, 2010 8:29 pm

How nasty and miserable does the stadium look??

And I've always been a bit curious about the in-goal areas and why they're so small and close to the seats.

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cp85 March 23, 2010 9:14 pm

Not too into league myself, but you have to respect the fitness and strength of these guys. Can't think of too many successful league to union converts in NH. Jonathan Davies, Jason Robinson (obviously), Chris Ashton...Vainokolo?

Either way, Alfie got destroyed. Bit embarrassing for union.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 10:51 pm

Jonathan Davies was Union to League and then back to Union again (via playing in Oz too).

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mr measure March 24, 2010 2:51 am

Philp said... And I've always been a bit curious about the in-goal areas and why they're so small and close to the seats.

- The in-goal for League is only between 6 and 11 metres. In Union it's between 10 and 22 metres.

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Philp March 24, 2010 6:22 am

I know it's 6m-11m but it just seems like they're always on the smaller side of things. The seats are pretty close to the dead ball area too lol.

Maybe it's just me.

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Kiltedkiwi March 24, 2010 12:00 pm

Maybe some new shorts for Alfie? Did they run of of larges?

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Anonymous March 24, 2010 10:57 pm

It's mostly the Super League, in the NRL most in goals are larger.

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semperfimamba March 25, 2010 12:29 am

would someone tell me what code is bigger - Union or League? Im talking player numbers, money, clubs etc...i have noooooo clue. Im a union man :)

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Anonymous March 25, 2010 9:01 am

semper, id imagine union...look at the following...league is huge no doubt, but there is no way the same coverage of tournaments, in fact id imagine the majority of young rugby fans (whether young means age wise or young to rugby) do not know about league....

....whilst im a fan of union, i couldnt name all the competitions...and heck, i dont know any of the comps in league....

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Anonymous March 25, 2010 1:10 pm

way to represent rugby ya old queen

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Anonymous March 25, 2010 1:11 pm

"He ran into contact with his head down. Obviously he'd get knocked out. The contact in League is alot more physical."

No. knock outs occur in rugby too. rapists are not harder than rugby players.

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Anonymous March 25, 2010 10:59 pm

Clearly league tackles are more brutal.
A couple of reasons for that.
The rules are much more free, shoulder charges are perfectly legal, and tackles that would be called head high in union aren't considered so in league.
The other thing is that players line each other up from ten metres away and run at each other full tilt. It increases the force of the impact.
Having played both, league is tougher in terms of hits and theres alot more work to be done (I'd make at least twenty, usually more like thrity or forty tackles a game in league, far more than I did in union). It's a simpler game in alot of ways, just pure running, tackling, kicking and passing. No set-pieces, no strange rules, no rucks, no mauls. The ref is much elss important to the outcome of a game and fitness is more important for league players than union players.
I thought union was funner to play though, as a forward, there's less running and rucks are always fun.

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Anonymous March 26, 2010 7:52 am

You must be a con and thus have no idea what you're talking about. Rugby is far harder than league... the players are generally a lot bigger and are forced to make one on one tackles, rather than pussy five on one gang bang styles shoulder blocks

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Anonymous March 28, 2010 10:04 pm

A con?
pfft. I played union and league at school douchebag.
League is alot harder in terms of hits. Ten metres to line someone up makes a big difference. It's just physics, you retard.

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