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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hooker Jason Rutledge's incredible tryline defence against Waikato

Hooker Jason Rutledge's incredible tryline defence against Waikato

Southland retained the Ranfurley Shield with a famous 9-6 win over Auckland on Thursday night, beating them for only the 8th time in 51 attempts. Hooker Jason Rutledge has been inspirational this season, as he showed a week back against Waikato with some great defensive play close to the tryline.

Rutledge, the son of a Southland legend and All Black flank, has come a long way to reach 100 caps for his team. No longer a youngster, the burly hooker has inspired those around him to greatness, as they now sit firmly at the top of the table in the ITM Cup.

Rutledge has impressed former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains, who has stated that he feels the gutsy hooker should be going on the end of year tour with New Zealand in a few months time.

The 32 year old had a strong Super 14, but was overlooked by the All Black selectors. His recent performances have suggested that he was fairly unlucky.

"I would be selecting Jason Rutledge and the reason is that the All Blacks have played a much more aggressive and physical game at the contact area this year and that has brought them great success," Mains said.

"Jason Rutledge absolutely fits into that mould. He is the best of the hookers in New Zealand in that close contact area whether it be offensive or turning over ball.

"There is a chip of his great All Black father Leicester in the way he plays. He just loves the game so much and clearly he loves the fierce competition. The tougher it is seems to be the better he goes and we see that particularly in his pick and go, but in other areas of the game.

"We are seeing him do things that we don't expect front rowers to be pulling off," he added.

Usually we see flash moves from the backs featured here as short clips on RD, but this is one for the forwards as it features two superb try line tackles against Waikato last weekend, epitomising the way Rutledge plays the game. Definitely worth watching.


Time: 02:46

Posted at 1:02 pm | 26 comments

Viewing 26 comments

Anonymous September 26, 2010 12:34 pm

Im not saying First.

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Stubby September 26, 2010 12:38 pm

Still an idiot though.

Incredible strength

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Robbie Mac September 26, 2010 1:06 pm

Anyone know what the record is for the oldest AB debut? Can't help but think it would mean so much more for this guy than some twenty year old that's come up through every academy and age group going, being told at each stage that he'll be an All Black one day.

Not of course that sentiment is any way to pick your team, but it would be great to see him get a run.

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Anonymous September 26, 2010 1:20 pm

what a strength demonstration! nice skill!

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Alexander September 26, 2010 2:10 pm

Great heart!!

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Anonymous September 26, 2010 4:37 pm

god is ugly though

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dutchrugbyplayer September 26, 2010 6:07 pm

it's not all about scoring tries. defensive rugby can be very entertaining too!

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falafel September 26, 2010 7:03 pm

How good is he at lineout? If he's decent, then why not put him in the AB squad? They could use a hooker who's good at throwing in.

Although, it should be said that Mealamu has an incredible work rate around the pitch as well, so I could see maybe why Rutledge is (unfortunately) being passed up.

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EARugbyFan September 26, 2010 7:44 pm

Sweet. The celebration of a nuts and bolts man.

Good on Him. I too would love to see him get a run in an AB jersey.

The problem though is that much like Tennis, Golf and Athletics, the difference between the Best and the 5th for instance, is microscopic.

Also, as Robbie Mac said, with the academy scheme and all that Jazz you have to be ridiculously talented in all areas to get a look from the selectors as a wild card.

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TB September 26, 2010 7:48 pm

Really really cool. Thanks RD!

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Von September 26, 2010 7:56 pm

More of the same please Mr Dump! I love the free-flowing backs moves too, but this sort of thing is awesome to watch. I'm at a loss to work out how you can hold a bloke that size in the air, both his bodyweight and the fact he's pushing downwards, just phenomenal.

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Anonymous September 26, 2010 9:36 pm

yeah hes good at lineout aswell, mealamu is new zealands best hooker at the moment but rutlidge would easily be my choice for backup, especially over flynn. even de melmanche and elliott are ahead of flynn in my books.

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mise September 27, 2010 12:13 am

The fact that his back is bent too makes it all the more old skool perfect as a display of pure strength.
Perfect body position from the attacker and pure Arm strength in the tackler.

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secondfive September 27, 2010 12:21 am

As the man said, "he deserves a lie down".

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Nicko September 27, 2010 2:41 am

Rutledge has alot of heart... But I reckon Hika elliot should be the number 2 hooker in NZ...

Elliot is an animal on attack and defense and has a great throw... Flynn does nothing for me, he get's so many opportunities and never seems to deliver.

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Anonymous September 27, 2010 5:00 am

I like Hika as well. Post RWC Hika will probably come into the fold as will the man-mountain Ben Afeaki at prop. On the other prop you've got the Franks brothers and that equals a pretty phenomenal front row heading into the future.

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Anonymous September 27, 2010 5:54 am

Yea I agree, Owen Franks, Elliot and Afeaki would be the meanest front row in a couple of years....

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Bradders September 27, 2010 7:56 am

Great strength, Looked like he didn't release the player both times after making the tackle??

Seen people get pinged for less and as Waikato were going forward a Pen try may have been given for a professional foul. He was killing the ball in the first one.

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Craig September 27, 2010 8:05 am

It is amazing that he was able to hold up the guy driving so low and close to the ground.
Rutledge seems to be highlighting the heart of this southland team

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Nakiman September 27, 2010 8:46 am

Rutledge has been a decent hooker for years but because he has kept the faith with Southland (that are not one of NZ's glamor sides) he has been over looked. Now with Southland on top of the ITM I hope guys like him get a chance as he is exactly the type of player that made the Black jersey so well respected. All balls and determination.

Well done also to Southland on their shield defense against Auckland. Lets hope the shield stays in the provinces where it really does wonders for rugby in the area where it is held.

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Anonymous September 27, 2010 10:24 am

@bradders holding the ball up over the line never has and never will be called killing the ball. What is he supposed to do, let the Waikato players waltz on in to score?

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felix September 27, 2010 4:21 pm

being a forward myself i'd like to see more of that stuff! flashy runnig und passing is one part of the game. before that happens, theres the hard grunt work up front. i thought a while about asking exactly that question: can we please see more of that action rd? hard charges, gang tackling, tryline defence, big scrums etc...
would really like it!
sorry for the bad english.

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Mark September 28, 2010 11:19 am

If we had 15 guys in the AB's or any team for that matter putting the effort in that Rutledge does for 80minutes there would not be a team on earth that could beat them. He plays the game at 120% night in night out period, there is not reverse no pacing himself no nights off. Like most seasoned provincial professionals there have been opportunities to step away from the game and moments when when others tell you your time may be up but he has not simply up and left or shelved the rugby boots for the plumbers tools. He had been told as a youth to give up due to concussions yet he kept playing and only two seasons ago was told by Southland couches he was number 3 and was free to look elsewhere, but to wear another provinces colours was not on the agenda and he fought back to number one in Southland, number one in the Highlanders and arguably at least top 3 in NZ. While I'm sure he would love to be an All Black you can bet your swedes, oysters and mutton birds he will be pulling on that maroon jumper, be it as starting hooker, reserve or even development squad for as long as his body is able to get the tight Lycra over his large shoulders! This man epitomises everything that has made NZ rugby great if you could bottle it it would be worth millions its what wins world cups, is an inspiration to young children sitting at home, its what movies are made of, NZ rugby needs a fairy tale and not an Eric the Eel fairy tale but one where the guy actually deserves the jersey like Rutledge. We have seen the black jersey given away to the likes of Caleb Ralph, Xavier Rush and co for far less than Rutledge accomplishes in a single outing for all that is good and fair in the land give this man his Black Jersey its not like he is going to let anyone down.

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NiWiTa September 28, 2010 1:58 pm

Nice one @Mark. Nothing like having someone with grit and the character/experience of a number of years playing....Simon Shaw is like that for the England team - I wish the rest of the current England squad had his backbone..

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Scotty Donaldson September 29, 2010 7:54 am

He is a brilliant player and truly inspirational. The selectors probably won't go for him because of his age, but he gets better with age. At least this means he will be around to help the Stags retain the Shield and have a good shot at the ITM Cup.

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