New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Ruck Clean Out to dominate breakdowns

Horrell hit hard by Malakai Fekitoa

Rayno Benjamin's sneaky trip gets yellow

RWC 2015 Players to Watch: Finn Russell

Jerry Collins Haka the day before crash

Josh Kronfeld & Highlanders celebrate!

Get 2 Months Free Professional Rugby S&C

George Gregan's halfback Masterclass

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Francois Hougaard's great try saving tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper

Francois Hougaard's great try saving tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper

One of the defining moments of the classic Tri Nations match that took place in Pretoria on Saturday has to be when young Springbok scrumhalf Francois Hougaard made this fantastic last ditch try saving tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper.

After affecting the turnover when the Springboks looked threatening, the Wallabies then ran the ball out from behind their own tryline as they trailed 34-31 in the second half. The Boks were under the cosh but managed to get back and form a defensive line, with a one-on-one between Hougaard and Ashley-Cooper looking likely to be a try as the Wallaby centre cut back inside to beat the cover.

Hougaard has already shown hes the business though, as his performances in the last two Tests have given some relief to South African fans who have been left without star number nine Fourie Du Preez while he recovers from shoulder surgery.

While it was desperation stuff, Hougaard managed to jolt the ball free in what has been described by Ashley-Cooper himself as game changing.

"I can safely say that had a direct result on the match and that just comes down to doing the basics well and I didn't do it at the time," he said.

"It was probably a wrong-sided ball carry and it probably would have been a different result if I'd carried it in my right hand. I obviously give respect to Hougaard, he did very well to make that tackle.

"It popped out of my hand and I was very disappointed with that because I know that that's a non-negotiable for me and the other nine times out of 10 I would have kept that ball," he added.

The tackle itself happens right at the end of this clip, but the whole passage of play is included as it was an equally thrilling breakout by the dangerous Wallaby backs.

Time: 03:18

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:37 pm | View Comments (30)

Springboks come good against the Wallabies at Loftus

That George Gregan tackle on Jeff Wilson in 1994

Viewing 30 comments

Bradders August 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Not a great step so an average tackle required. Straight forward as AAC barely looked fussed about scoring.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous August 31, 2010 4:40 pm

Ouch!!nice tackle son,brilliant determination

· Reply · Report

Bradders August 31, 2010 4:41 pm

Ha, funny what impresses some people

· Reply · Report

Benson August 31, 2010 4:50 pm

^ funny what a dick some bitter people can be :)

Great tackle.

· Reply · Report

Jake August 31, 2010 5:19 pm

Perfect hit for the situation. Am I the only one impressed by the after-pass hit just before the one we are all talking about. Looks like he might've had the wind knocked out of him XD

· Reply · Report

Jake August 31, 2010 5:19 pm

Perfect hit for the situation. Am I the only one impressed by the after-pass hit just before the one we are all talking about. Looks like he might've had the wind knocked out of him XD

· Reply · Report

ChrisMaffit August 31, 2010 5:28 pm

Wow..........Great rugby all around!

· Reply · Report

miner August 31, 2010 6:03 pm

Great work from both Habana and Hougaard there - something BOD does often and Habana has been doing pretty well for a while too is rushing up from the line to make the tackle. It's risky, but it paid off here.

Not so sure Hougaard intentionally put his arms there to dislodge the ball, but he deserves all the credit for keeping SA's lead there - would've been a certain try.

Another good tackler all game was Juan Smith. He managed to drive Elsom back more than a few times...I was really confused why PdV left him out of the first few matches.

· Reply · Report

kevin August 31, 2010 6:19 pm

If AAC jus sprinted 4 de corner, use his strength nd hand off, nd dived early - simple try. no way de no:9 wud of been able 2 stop him. might of tackled him still , but an easy stretch frm AAC wud of guaranteed a try. Cooper played in2 his hands by executin a poor sidestep.

Gud tackle though

· Reply · Report

Anonymous August 31, 2010 6:22 pm

Juan smith was not playing for personal reasons i think someone in his immediate family passed away, Well impressed with Hougaard the questions should be why PDV didnt play him from the beginning i think we may have not won but the scores wouldnt have been so massively one sided. all in all bokke heading in the right direction. Pockock wasn't able to work his magic at the break down. Wallabies lacking something not sure what it is but its only a matter of tweaking and they will find their form just like the all blacks but what a game we play in the SH no one can say SA is playing boring rugby anymore.

· Reply · Report

Kevin's mother August 31, 2010 7:05 pm

Kevin, please see the following links:


· Reply · Report

speckledjim August 31, 2010 8:01 pm

Kevin's mother: your just as cheeky as you used to be

· Reply · Report

Bas Horneman August 31, 2010 8:10 pm

Good thing Hougaard made that tackle seeing the he blew his pass to Juan near the Aussie goal line. Also JP's kick should have been out. 2 Big mistakes that should never happen with South Africa's best players.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 August 31, 2010 9:19 pm

yeah great tackle and all that, but why's he got a couple of rats hanging off the back of his head?

Great rugby from the wallabies.

· Reply · Report

Rico August 31, 2010 10:44 pm

Get up the Margaret Alphonsi hit vs america in the womans rugby PLEASE :)

it was epic, and by a woman too

· Reply · Report

Anonymous September 01, 2010 1:11 am

Can you post up Butch James's hit please?

· Reply · Report

wassup September 01, 2010 2:23 am

Whilst Hougaard's try saver isn't as legendary as Gregan's in 1994, the Aussies now know our pain.

That memory has haunted us to this day.

View Video

· Reply · Report

just wondering September 01, 2010 2:46 am

Just a question - not related to the video (sorry) - but where has Stirling Mortlock been this year? He hasn't off and retired already has he? If not, why hasn't he been playing center?

· Reply · Report

Craig September 01, 2010 3:27 am

That was a horrible step, instead of off footing the defender he only ensured he was almost stationary as Hougaard came flying at him. I think Ashley-Cooper completely misread the angle and speed Hougaard was running.

I was interested to read that Ashley-Cooper was really disappointed he lost the ball preventing the try, because from viewing the tape I think that even if he didn't drop the ball Hougaard had him pined behind the line (although I guess he may have been able to pop the ball to another attacker).

In some ways it was a shame they didn't score, it would have ended a great moment starting with a turn-over right on their line where they then run with long risky passes in their in-goal area.

But I must admit Hougaard showed a lot of skill to prevent a try in a situation you'd expect the attacker to win.

· Reply · Report

Craig September 01, 2010 3:49 am

Stirling Mortlock has a long-term injury (I think he picked it up in the last round of super 14). He wasn't available for the last Nov tour and I think his days represented Oz are over. Next year he is signed to captain the new Melbourne super 15 team the rebels

· Reply · Report

Anonymous September 01, 2010 6:39 am

You have a talent like Hougaard not even in the 22, while Ricky Januarie stuffs up our Tri-Nations in the first two games. Really annoying. Hopefully with Hougaard now playing so well and du Preez coming back next year we won't be seeing Januarie in Springbok colors ever again.

· Reply · Report

secondfive September 01, 2010 6:45 am

Watching this at the time I just assumed he'd pin his ears back and go for the corner, he might've had to make a strong fend but I couldn't see anything other than a try. AAC didn't help himself but it was the perfect tackle all the same, a game changer.

· Reply · Report

Xavier September 01, 2010 10:58 am

@ miner:

Regarding habana's usual advanve from the defensive line, sure, it paid off... today. But usually, and it has happened a few times this tri nations already, all he does is oppening a gap in the line, which the oposition is more than happy to explore. Even in this year's tri nations, SA have suffered at least one try because of habana's greed for the intercept.

He needs to be more disciplined. You can't really affor to keep gambling like that, especially when things haven't really been going your way

· Reply · Report

RD September 01, 2010 11:20 am

@ Anonymous, the Butch James tackle didn't have any replays, so while it was a cracking hit, it won't be posted on it's own. Also, please use a name in future so it's easier to answer you. :)

@ Wassup, that tackle is listed as a related post below this video. There's definite similarities, despite that one being legendary, as you say.

· Reply · Report

Disco September 01, 2010 1:34 pm

I don't think you can write off a player like Stirling Mortlock. Watch this space.

· Reply · Report

Richard September 01, 2010 4:07 pm

Bit of a cheeky elbow/forearm from SA 5 a few seconds in.

· Reply · Report

SuthySuthy September 01, 2010 10:38 pm

Bees Roux Bees Roux
What u gonna do
what u gonna do when they come for u

· Reply · Report

Jono September 02, 2010 12:38 am

Great tackle but AAC did kind of butcher it.
He admitted as much himself, while paying credit to Hougard for an esxcellent tackle.
He should have had the ball in his right arm for one thing.

· Reply · Report

muz September 03, 2010 1:04 pm

Absolute bollocks to those idiot journos who penned this as the"losing" of the match. AAC was never gonna score that try and he had noone in close support to offload to anyway!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous October 29, 2010 5:29 am

Francois Hougaard is my hero

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.