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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mike Phillips vs Fabio Semenzato - The battle of the number nines

Mike Phillips vs Fabio Semenzato - The battle of the number nines

While Wales came out 24-16 victors over Italy in their Six Nations meeting on the weekend, there was a bit of a sub-plot as the two scrumhalfs on the day had quite the battle throughout the game.

Mike Phillips is hardly your traditional number nine when it comes to size and physicality. He's an angry man that likes to get in the face of the opposition, and perhaps at times would probably be better served focussing his energy on other aspects of his game.

That said, he's quite a unit and is comfortably the biggest scrumhalf playing the game at the highest level currently. Italy's Fabio Semenzato, well, he isn't.

Just 24 years old and recently capped by his country, the Treviso man is still finding his feet but had an outstanding game against Wales, in fact earning the Man of the Match award despite being on the losing side.

"I thought we was fantastic," said Nick Mallet. "He controlled the game well, got stuck in and was everywhere, for a young guy in just his second game at this level he really stepped up to the plate."

The two players, both in the same position but possessing totally different attributes, had a full go at each other, making for quite a fascinating contest. Phillips got the better of the first collision, ploughing through the smaller Italian, but Semenzato got his own back a little later, possibly not doing as much damage but certainly making the Welshman sit down .

Here's a short clip highlighting those two moments from the match. A word of warning: you will be humming the song to yourself for the next few hours, at least.


Time: 01:51

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:37 pm | View Comments (40)

Wales tested in Rome but tough it out to beat Italy

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 40 comments

Matt March 02, 2011 8:00 pm

First! lol im welsh and i love this clip:L If you cant see the funny side of it grow up lol. loving the song too :P

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Omama04 March 02, 2011 8:06 pm

I found this clip along with the song very funny. sit down sit down.

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I hate ppl who write March 02, 2011 8:08 pm

Well Welsh Matt, that First! followed by lol makes for quite irritating reading! as for the rest of your comment, who cares

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WelshOsprey March 02, 2011 8:14 pm

Mike phillips is a fuarking tank

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 8:20 pm

ahahaha the italian guy got destroyed

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Sisk0 March 02, 2011 8:24 pm

I think that this clip is brilliant. The song and the editing went excellently together.

Well done RugbyDump.

Great to see Semenzato get his own back as well. Great clip

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PUNter March 02, 2011 8:36 pm

don't you mean *scrum* of the earth?

oh god, i'm hilarrrrious!

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PUNter March 02, 2011 8:37 pm

Ah, jaysus, the post got deleted a second before posting?

As if the pun alone didn't make me look like big enough of an ass!

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ZAK March 02, 2011 9:02 pm

A bit embarrassing for Phillips. You'd expect him to bounce Semenzato since Phillips has 6" in height on him (6'3 vs. 5'9) but you wouldn't really expect Semenzato to be able to put Phillips on his ass.

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Parisse & Semenz March 02, 2011 9:03 pm

Don't forget that Parisse smashed Phillips out of the way there too just after Semenzato did. Really though, Semenzato seems to be a great find.

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 9:03 pm


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Italia per sempre March 02, 2011 9:19 pm

Haha, I love the way Big Man Phillips is smashed out of the way, then he gets up and is really eager to make the next tackle to prove his worth, and then Parisse smashes him out of the way as well, so he gets really annoyed and just takes out the Italian player at the side of the ruck, as if to prove he's still big and strong.

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 9:37 pm

"Parisse & Semenzato are Gods" and "Italia per sempre" need to take your heads out of parisse's ass. He brushed against phillips while someone else tackled him. Hardly smashed him out of the way.

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 10:17 pm

Great clip :)

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 11:37 pm


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Balanza March 03, 2011 12:13 am

Italy has found some good scrumhalfs, but it's still too bad in 10

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Sam March 03, 2011 2:24 am

Well Parisse pushed Phillips out the way... Not smashed but Phillips got shown up again. Phillips did take his frustration out at the side of a ruck...

It wasn't a surprise that he bounced semenzato, but Its a good demonstration of body position..

But the highlight for me was def Phillips getting bounced. I loved it. (:

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Sam March 03, 2011 2:25 am

I actually think italy's 10 played well... What they need is a decent kicker!!!!!

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DavidandGoliath March 03, 2011 4:44 am

As a saffa I really hope Phillips continues to play for the Welsh: His service is shocking and they're (usually) talented backline never gets a perfect platform. However, since I also support the Welsh when they play other teams I would love to see a Fourie Du Preez or Dewald Duvenhage in their team (or the Welsh equivalent-obviously!)... they'd be hard to stop, running other teams ragged all over the place.
Sorry, i digress! Yes, an awesome clip. I have never seen a big guy get charged to the ground by a midget 9 (no offense to the vertically challenged!).

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Anonymous March 03, 2011 8:08 am

Oh this is priceless :D

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Laura McBeer March 03, 2011 9:11 am

@ Balanza

100% agree, Italy lacks a decent 10 with some attacking skills and a reliable boot since the times of Dominguez

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Anonymous March 03, 2011 11:42 am

after phillips got floored he couldnt quite handle it, was my impression

good vid

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Mike March 03, 2011 1:36 pm

That's what rugby is about - the smaller guy gets smashed, then looks for his opportunity for the rest of the game and returns the favour. You have to respect courage like that.

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steve March 03, 2011 1:38 pm

I've always found it a bit interesting that Italy struggle to find have good goal kickers. Bergamasco blows hot and cold, so sometimes he's good, but there's no one particularly consistent. I wonder if they're just really good at kicking the round ball and an elliptical one is a mystery. No, but they just lack a good kicking coach?

Meanwhile, other teams like France, Wales, and especially Australia all have an abundance of players on their regular squads with different specialities (distance, angle, drop, etc.).

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Anonymous March 03, 2011 1:42 pm

Mike Phillips is the most over-hyped c*nt ever. What a prat - I wish him all the worst. T-W-A-T

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tb March 03, 2011 2:24 pm

Hold up, Mike Phillips is 6'3?

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Anonymous March 03, 2011 2:46 pm

Love it, great work RD

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samir March 03, 2011 3:22 pm

@ steve. The italians dont actually have a kicking coach. apparently mallet himself had to teach bergamasco.

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Von March 03, 2011 3:47 pm

So is Mallett the one responsible for that bizarre goose-step thing Bergamasco does at the start of his run-up? My god that looks ridiculous. Mind you I don't like Wilkinson's set-up. Or Flood's. And as for Quade Cooper's - looks like Jim Carrey in The Mask.

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Clle March 03, 2011 6:10 pm

Phillips was smashed? He stopped Parisse dead, even if he did get knocked backwards... I hope that's not what you consider a "smash" in Italy, then again, it would reflect the terrible quality of rugby in Italy.

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MagicMikey March 03, 2011 6:31 pm

In fairness semenzato had an excellent game but i dont think i would of given the m-o-t-m award to him. I thought morgan stoddart put his hand up for it aswell as..... well he would be the only guy on our side i would of gave it tbh everyone else had a nightmare.

Oh and to all those people who said Jonathan Davies is biased i'd like to see your home commentators give the man of the match award to the losing opposition

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Anonymous March 03, 2011 9:31 pm

my favourite bit of that game, great stuff rd

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Sam March 03, 2011 11:21 pm

'However, since I also support the Welsh when they play other teams I would love to see a Fourie Du Preez or Dewald Duvenhage in their team (or the Welsh equivalent-obviously!)...'

Lol... you mean a Fourie Du Jones, or a Dewald Jones..

Also to the above, Jonathon Davies didnt give the motm reward...the italians chose it...he did however say he wouldnt have picked semenzato, but if it was an italian it would have been castrogiovanni or parisse...

(I noticed some trolls creeping in again...)

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Nick March 04, 2011 12:31 pm

Always had Cooper's approach as a bit more matador.

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Von March 04, 2011 5:15 pm

@Nick - I'll give you that! Still looks ridiculous though. (Until the ball sails between the uprights of course).

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Von March 04, 2011 5:34 pm

Got to hand it to Phillips - despite being knocked down by the diminutive rudely-named Italian, he remains a double-hard bastard.

I love the way he just gets up from that and immediately repels Parisse and gets stuck into the hooker. Good lad.

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sebastiano visentin March 04, 2011 5:35 pm

@SAMIR & STEVE: Italy has a kicking coach, he's Philippe Doussy, and this guy is such a good coach, our problem is finding out a steady kicker

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for those... March 04, 2011 9:56 pm

I'm just glad an Italian player is mentioned for smth positive once in a while.
I'm also amused at how this pisses off some of the readers here who still think rugby belongs to two or three nations and the rest of the world is shit - really shows the true spirit of the game!

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Anonymous March 05, 2011 1:42 am

it doesnt matter if phillips 6'3. it even doesnt matter if he made the best break or attack in the game... he is still the worst scrum half in the six nations, the worst scrum half wales had for a long time now and he is not nearly as good as the others 9s in europe (italians semenzato and gori also)...

so... sad for wales i really liked them b4

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Canadian content November 02, 2012 11:53 pm

To be fair to Phillips, it's tough to get in a nice low strong position against a short guy like Semenzato, who I imagine is pretty strong.

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