Random great tries from 2008


Japanese swallow dive try blooper


Schalk Brits runs into Wayne Barness


Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud


Visser penalised for preventing lineout


Tony Buckley's big handoff on Simon Shaw


Sam Tuitupou's big tackle on Sherridan


Henry Tuilagi swats Zee Ngwenya away

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jonny Wilkinson's trysaving tackle on Andrea Masi

Jonny Wilkinson's trysaving tackle on Andrea Masi

Jonny Wilkinson is playing second fiddle to Toby Flood these days, but despite not being the key figure he used to be, hes adjusting to the role well and contributing where he can, as was seen on Saturday during Englands whitewash win over Italy.

Flood has come into his own at flyhalf, showing some of the form of his career, including a Man of the Match performance in the win over Wales. For Wilkinson, that means hes playing the backup role, which can be slightly frustrating at times, as he said recently.

"It is hell sat on the sideline but at the same time it is massively important. Being on the bench brings new lessons for me," Wilkinson said. "My desire to play for England is still as great as it was when I won my first cap. I am now in a role where I contribute slightly differently."

While not starting, he is playing some top quality rugby and still has the ability to come on and do the business when needed. Its a great position for England to be in, and injuries aside, Wilkinson will play in his fourth World Cup this year.

"To play and play and play is crucial for me. It's been a while and there were all kinds of different injuries going on. Seven years of coming in for cameo appearances has thrown me around in a way I don't think I'll ever understand fully.

"Your confidence goes with all these things. It has been an interesting journey for me. I've learned that if I want to play rugby I can only play it one way or I don't play it at all. My desire is to keep trying to get better and better. It would mean a huge amount to me to play in a fourth World Cup. I'm in it for the long run and I will give it all I've got and nothing less," he added.

As can be seen in this clip, Wilkinson came on against Italy and showed his commitment to the cause with a sensational try saving tackle late in the game that prevented Andrea Masi from diving in at the corner. Its been one of the most requested clips this week, so here you go.

Time: 01:21

Posted at 4:39 pm | 66 comments

Chris Ashton dives into the record books

Toby Flood steers England to victory over Wales

Jonny Wilkinson - The Real Story - Parts 5-8

Jonny Wilkinson - The Real Story - Parts 1-4

Jonny Wilkinson hit knocks out Jonathan Thomas

Jonny Wilkinson huge hit on Emile N'tamack in 2000

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 66 comments

RedYeti February 16, 2011 4:54 pm

Really sums up Wilko's dedication. Match was over and won and he still put his body on the line for his country

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mat February 16, 2011 4:56 pm

guy makes a tackle and the world goes mad.

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Moody is god February 16, 2011 5:02 pm

When did the world go mad mat? Wilkinson is still the best fly half n the world.

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geordie February 16, 2011 5:09 pm

@ mat
you could say that about every video on rugby dump 'guy scores a try world goes mad' stop being a negative t**t and admire a brilliant tackle regardless of who did it, bet if it was one of your countrymen (probs bok or NZ) you would get sexually turned on by it!

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Francois February 16, 2011 5:12 pm

Great player, great person what a legend of the modern game.

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Sander February 16, 2011 5:14 pm

Amazing tackle, considering the cirumstances. He could so easily have thought "to hell with it, let him score" and it wouldn't have mattered nothing.

To make that kind of tackle, with that kind of score and time on the clock says everything about Wilkinson you need to know. Legend.

(Not to say that others wouldn't try to make that tackle, but hey ...)

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Sander February 16, 2011 5:19 pm

Let's put it this way: the tackle was pretty damn good under any circumstances. The fact that it was made in the 78th minute, with England up by 46 points, makes it an ever better example to any (young) player.

Apart from the "hurting yourself in the proces" part, maybe ;)

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Ludo February 16, 2011 5:19 pm

He should give the ball back to his fullback

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 5:20 pm

Magnificent, its been a privilege seeing him play in Toulon and its a pleasure seeing him play here also.

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Lucius February 16, 2011 5:29 pm

He almost broke an arm to tackle Masi. This is the man, this is Wilko. You can't stop him making what's right in the (not so) right moment. That's what a real champion should be. And, yes, I'm an italian rugby fan.

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Dan February 16, 2011 5:29 pm

Great hit! Second favorite play next to Dan Carter, but I'll be the first to admitt, DC could never tackle like that. Damn flanker in a first-five's body haha.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 5:31 pm

I'm a guy but even i would go out on a date with wilko if he asked me.

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Colombes February 16, 2011 5:36 pm

To moody is god,

no he isn't actually the best fly half of the world. he certainly was in 2003.
but it's always a joy to see him play and tackle with such commitment. watchin him in the top14, i've discovered an exemplar player and person, and he still have his left foot;)

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Martin Johnson February 16, 2011 5:58 pm

I don't care how incredible he is. Toby Flood does sexual favors for me, so he'll always be my starting flyhalf.

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Ted February 16, 2011 6:00 pm

Wilko should start at 12 with Hape at 13 - he's always good to have on the pitch.

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Guy February 16, 2011 6:20 pm

I can understand that Johnson tries to breed a flyhalf for the next few years.
But than again, when you see tackles likes this: man, what a player! And it's certainly not the only one he made last two weeks.

@Ted: I would start Wilko over Hape and leave Tindall in place. Have not been really impressed by Hape last few matches.

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Jonno February 16, 2011 6:28 pm

Meh, see tackles like that in the super 14 all the time.... Just wait, the super 15 this year will yield tackles like this every game.

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(u-p)rick February 16, 2011 6:30 pm

Probably more the fact bananamans heavy ass landed on him which caused him to stay down rather than the tackle on masi....

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 6:31 pm

wilko is not a 12, nor is he good enough to start for this England team.

What he is the best in the world at is being number 21. There's no one else I'd rather have come on and close out a tight one.

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Benson February 16, 2011 6:39 pm

@ jonno, it's not even called the super 15, you muppet. Back in your cage.

Moving on as we're now going down that road (coming from a Bok fan)

Great tackle. Not only try saving but some big contact too, with two minutes left on the clock when your side has scored 50 points. Pure class.

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John Birch February 16, 2011 6:44 pm

Nicole Beck's tackle in the WRWC was far better...

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Martin Johnson February 16, 2011 8:10 pm

"...nor is he good enough to start for this England team."

Yeah, because Toby Flood is such a one-of-a-kind flyhalf.

Wilkinson could start. I don't necessarily blame Johnson for not starting him, though. But what does irritate me is the fact that he gets such little playing time. Why not bring him on with more than 5 minutes left in the clock...I'd say that if Flood isn't having an exceptional game, what's the harm at switching them with 20, 30, or even half the game left?

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 8:29 pm

great player but theres nothing great about this tackle..would never have scored..jonny could of tuned around and Banahan still would have stopped masi

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Jonno February 16, 2011 8:48 pm

Ok benson you c*nt 'super rugby' if you want to get all technical. Wilkinson wouldn't make one of those teams anyway!!!

An embarrassment!

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Phil February 16, 2011 9:03 pm

^^ Let's not lower the tone eh?

Great player, great tackle, great vid, thanks RD. I don't see why people are getting upset about it!

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(u-p)rick February 16, 2011 9:04 pm

@ Benson, your an idiot, jonno was talking about the Super 15, and you clearly thought he ment the top 14. You are a retard

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 9:32 pm

poor masi :(

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 9:45 pm

If a tackle this is going to happen in 'every' Super Rugby game, then I expect them all up on here.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 9:49 pm

@ Jonno
Do you know anything about rugby or just come on here to talk rubbish, wilko wouldn't make the starting line. Melbourne has Danny Cipriani, third choice England fly half at best.

Seems there are two groups of people watching this, those who know something and regardless of being english, nz, boks respect a good hit for what it is.

then the other which should just go watch football or something that suits there IQ levels

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Nam February 16, 2011 9:52 pm

That was one of the best try saving tackles and I've ever seen.

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matt February 16, 2011 9:57 pm

LOL at anon 1 above. You're comparing rugby in Melbourne to rugby in England? lmfao

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King February 16, 2011 10:33 pm

That's not the first silly comment I've read from Jonno on this site. Don't think it will be the last either.


Wonderful tackle from Jonny. Absolutely nailed him! So good to watch.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 10:54 pm

probably the best human being in the world....

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 11:17 pm

What a great player to have coming off the bench. Gives his all, all of the time and no matter the circumstances. A lot of players would have thought 'screw it' and made a soft tackle.

Great morale booster if you are playing and you see someone making a tackle like that 2 mins from the end with the game clearly won.

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Benson February 16, 2011 11:22 pm

@ (u-p)rick, firstly it's you're, not your. Secondly, I knew exactly what he was talking about, Super Rugby, but its nice to know you're inside my head and can read my thoughts. And no, I'm not retarded, physically or mentally, but thanks for showing your maturity level.

@ Jonno, not technical, that's what it's called officially. It just shows how disconnected you are from what's really going on.

The only embarrassed one should be you, who seems to think that Wilkinson wouldn't make teams like the Lions, Cheetahs, Highlanders, Rebels, etc. In fact he'd walk into most Super Rugby teams, and I'm sure the Crusaders would even pick him ahead of Colin Slade, as DC's backup.

This is a global rugby website for open minded rugby fans from all walks of life. If you can't handle that, maybe go somewhere else?

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 11:25 pm

@ Matt the comment was @ jonno who seem to think that wilko wouldnt make the starting line of any of the super teams.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 11:33 pm

BENSON - couldn't have said it better myself. Bored of people having a go when wilko is mentioned. He was and is a great player, the number speak for themselves. Plus everyone goes on about his injuries etc. imagine how far ahead he would be if he hadnt been injured so much Honestly, (some might find this hard to accept) but he changed flyhalfs to what we see today. Why is it that if he doesn't play for your country he is rubbish all of a sudden. Thats the IQ of football fans (soccer if out of uk) The best thing about rugby has to be that you can play 80 mins of a hard game and then sit and have a pint and laugh afterwards.

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Anonymous February 16, 2011 11:50 pm

im English and just like the year we won it, we're starting to hit good form....apart from new zealand, who personlly i hope we avoid like the plague in the world cup i fancy England to beat anyone. thats just a hunch from a positive Englishman...now all u saffers and kiwis can rip me to shreds....

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(u-p)rick February 17, 2011 12:37 am

Benson, Whilst I admire your grammatical skills I'm afraid I'll have to inform you that your were entertaining a troll on that one. That was not my comment, just someone trying to be funny.

P.s people trying to use my nickname, at least use decent spelling and grammar. You may like to troll my nickname, but it's could be found to be quite obvious if you are a retard who cannot construct a sentence...

P.p.s if there is any spelling/grammatical errors here I'm blaming it in predictive text....

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Tom February 17, 2011 1:07 am

Great tackle, Wilkinson was always an excellent defender.

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Jono February 17, 2011 1:08 am

There's more than one Jono on this site. Or Jonno.
I'm a Jono, but one of at least three.

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no9 February 17, 2011 1:19 am

What!!! whats the big deal?? it's so easy to tackle a guy running like that.

the real try saving tackle of the tournament so far came from richie Gray against france.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 2:30 am

@ Martin Johnson

Well Flood's been exceptional so far in the 6N so he can bloody well stay on for the whole match for all I care about 'giving Wilkinson more time'.

We should all agree that JW is a special player and has given a tremendous amount to English rugby.

Back in 1999-2003 he had what it took to be a truly world class 10, and he certainly had the players around him to help.

Now, the game's moved on and England's pack isn't so dominant. And when he hasn't got the greatest forward pack the game's ever seen grinding him out tired defences, quick ball and kicking oppurtunities, and hasn't got Will Greenwood standing outside him telling him what to do, then he looks a little limited.

On the other and (in 2011), Flood takes the ball flatter and wider, has more pace and a better eye for gaps, has a superior game kicking out of hand and holds his own defensively and off the tee.... no brainer.

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Tom February 17, 2011 2:31 am

Greatest the game's ever seen?
That's a big call.

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AB13 February 17, 2011 3:22 am

Despite what moody is god said i don't think Wilko is the best fly half in the world anymore.. he can certainly tackle though but as you can see sometimes his tackling technique is not up to scratch. doesn't wrap very well which means his muscle doesn't cover his collar bone, leading to big tackles but sometimes leading to a broken collar bone. still a great player though prefer him over flood.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 3:47 am

Ofcourse wilkinson isn't the best in the world...he is entering his teignmouth years if the game (or has entered) and he has lost some pace etc... But it's the same as any 'old' player, he has lost some stuff but gained game knowledge and experience... Making him still a fantastic player...

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Chris_J February 17, 2011 4:41 am

Let's not forget that by stopping that try he helped keep England's points difference intact. So that does put them in a stronger position in the standings. So very smart play from Jonny.

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Xavier February 17, 2011 8:45 am

He may not be the player he was a few years ago (that's age for you), and England's style of play may not favour him as it did some time ago (now it favours someone like Flood, a more pacey flyhalf), but he certainly still a great flyhalf.

Not many sides (national or club) in the world wouldn't like to have him. And even though he seems to truly shine when he has a pack like England's in 2003 (I'd love to see, in some fantasy dreamworld, a game with SA's 2009 pack, with FdP at scrummie and 2003 Wilko at flyhalf), he has a dangerous boot, a mean tackle and above all, he keeps his composure and his head cool, thus avoidind some costly mistakes (yes, I'm thinking of you, mister Ronan "I can't make a tackle to save my life and I sometimes have some stupid 2009 Lions-like brain farts" O'Gara).

My two cents

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Rob February 17, 2011 8:46 am

What was so awesome about this tackle was the way that he covered the line all the way from right next to the ruck on the other side of the pitch.

Also, I was at the game and the roar that went up from the crowd when he came on was absolutely huge. Flood is playing superbly at the mo but as a morale boosting talisman you can't beat Johnny. I'd keep him on the bench and bring him on for the last twenty or so.

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Flipje February 17, 2011 9:44 am

Nice tackle and great commitment from Wilko.

I really would like to see Wilko at 12 on international level. He showed at Toulon (for instance vs Musnter in the Hcup) an interesting level even if Hcup/Top14 is something else than playing vs the SH teams.

On the recent games, Flood has been playing very well, also it seems to me that his switch to Leiscester has been very positive, and you see his complementarity with Ben Youngs. Sound difficult for Wilko to get back in starting line up in front of Flood....

As for Wilko as n#12, he does bring the same characteristic than Tindall, but most importantly I believed MJ will not risk him because he remains a fantastic "second" choice at 10, in case of injury or misform from Flood.

Still he can bring some very interesting option as 10 and may be at 12. In a certain way, if MJ is clever he could use/misuse Wilko in the same way Clive Woordward did with Mike Catt....during the 2003 WC.

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Daaaaave February 17, 2011 10:41 am

God, it's just like watching O'Driscoll... The only reason that these players are so 'respected' in their respective countries' is because they spend half the match 'soldiering on' after any decent contact.
I've lost count of the amount of times you catch Drico or Wilko getting a bit of Wendyball 'magic sponge' action after a tackle, while milking the crowd's attention. Only to see them get back up and 'shake it off' to carry on playing.
Boys, if you're actually injured and can't give 100%, then get off the park and let someone on who can. If you're not injured, stop writhing about like some sort of tasered seal...

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King February 17, 2011 11:01 am

Jees you must be hard as nails to get up straight away every time you get winded/take a knock. If only the whole world could be exactly like you.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 11:09 am

Daaave, you sound like a swell kind of guy. Can we be cyber buddies? maybe meet up one day so I can see how hardcore you really are.

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 12:01 pm

Banahan lands with his hip on Wilko's stomach hence him looking winded.
I guess we can't all be like DAVE and get up straight away . . . .
oh the envy of not being him

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Resident Troll February 17, 2011 1:09 pm

Well let's see dave,
before being winded: 100%
10 seconds after being winded: 40%
20 seconds after being winded: 100%

Seems pretty reasonable for wilko to continue to me....

Same applies with a dead leg etc... And same applies to drico....

Maybe dave isn't hard at all, maybe he goes off after first point of contact because he can't play 100% straight after it....

Why the f*ck do you think we ache on a sunday? Because we gave 100% when our bodies couldn't take 100%!!!

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 5:20 pm

Every player should have this level of commitment in the professional game. The implication that most wouldn't have done the same, if true, is worrying.

A good read and standard textbook tackle. Nothing other wordly, the beauty of physics.

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vinniechan February 17, 2011 5:53 pm

Wilko shud play 12. Think about it: his best attributes (bravery and commitment and defence) are all better ultilised at 12 than 10. He can also be a 2nd kicker and he does have the burst of pace in the open play now.
Just that in the past any attempt to shift him from 10 to 12 had all been very poorly managed. (giving 20 minute of game time b4 putting him up against the best in the world - Aaron Mauger - while he was freshly bk from injury in the 2005 BIL was huge mistake)

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Jimbo1 February 17, 2011 9:43 pm

Don't Wilkinson and Contepomi interchange at 10 and 12 for Toulon during the game? If played properly this option could destroy defences.

Clip should be used a demonstration of good technique in the tackle (unusual for wilko :)

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Nickoo February 18, 2011 2:11 am

reminds me of that New Zealand No.12 's hit on Rocky Elsome when the Babas played the AB's a couple of seasons back. Was it Luke McAlister??

Brilliant tackle by Wilko, fly-half with heart!

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Anonymous February 18, 2011 8:30 am

Even more impressive if you look where he started from and how much ground he covered to make the hit

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Daaaaave February 18, 2011 12:46 pm

It's just funny how it's always the same characters (Drico and Wilko) who need the magic sponge every time they make a tackle, while the rest of the professional rugby world either get up or get off the pitch.

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Resident Troll February 18, 2011 1:40 pm

Umm, Incorrect again Dave.

I recall seeing many an international player, have a quick hobble to shake off a dead leg, or a quick stretch to ward off that bit of cramp after a run/tackle.

I mean do you rush yourself off to hospital and lay bed ridden for weeks at a time if you stub your toe at home?

I know I dont, i hope and yell 'sh*t f*ck b*llocks tw*t' hobble hobble hobble. 'well now thats over with, where was I.'

What is the video at the very top of the RD page, second in from the left. 'Stirling Mortlock's low blow'

Last time I checked the video wasnt actually working, but assuming you've seen it, I think you can allow players to have a few seconds saving grace to recover from certain painful incidents!

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Anonymous February 19, 2011 10:24 pm

Meesage to "Dave Said" - Dont suppose you were still in the ground an hour after the finishing as I was when the only player out there still working off his hit was Wilko - but then the crowds had gone and he was still "milking it" - what a stupid comment - shows you know nothing about rugby, its code or believes - go back to football where you belong

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Welshnumber7 March 15, 2011 5:22 pm

shows real guts to be able to make it across the field to cover and make a tackle of that quality, no matter what team you support you have to admire dedication when you see it...

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J.P. March 17, 2011 11:59 pm

This was not a try saver, if Wilko missed then the other England player would have got him. Lets not get carried away here it was a solid tackle, nothing more nothing less.

Many of you just need to get off Wilko's nut sack!

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