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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tana Umaga's big tackle on Jarrod Saffy of the Rebels

Tana Umaga's big tackle on Jarrod Saffy of the Rebels

Tana Umaga played a full eighty minutes of rugby for the Chiefs on the weekend, making a large contribution towards their 38-10 Super Rugby win over the Melbourne Rebels.

It was the former All Black captains 323rd first class game, and while hes now 37 years old, he showed no signs of taking a backward step. Big tackles, well timed breaks, and a sense of calm and organization at the back all helped the dominant Chiefs performance.

One of his bigger tackles was this crunching hit on Rebels flanker Jarrod Saffy, who himself had earlier taken out one of the Chiefs players. Captain Mils Muliaina copped a heavy shot in the back from Saffy directly from the kickoff.

He stayed on for a bit but eventually left the field, and it has since been revealed that his injury is worse than expected, with a fracture to the side of the spine, side-lining him for four weeks. You can see that tackle in this clip too.

Shortly after Muliaina received medical attention, Umaga got a bit of payback on Saffy with a big hit. There was a marginal tackle by Stephen Donald too. In fact both tackles were borderline, with the rush defence getting up in the face of the Rebels.

Umaga will return to his hometime of Wellington this coming weekend, where he faces a Hurricanes side for which he played 122 matches. "They're all pretty special. I haven't played a lot of games for the Chiefs. I'm looking forward to obviously going back to my home town." said Umaga.

His 80-minute performance was highly impressive. He stayed on for the entire match and at his age simply shouldnt be playing the way he is, competing with men nearly half his age.

"I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Tana and it's great to see him out there. It doesn't make me feel so old,'' said 33 year old opposition centre, Stirling Mortlock.

Time: 01:10

Posted at 12:38 pm | 55 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 55 comments

RD March 08, 2011 1:39 pm

What are your opinions on this (and Donald's) tackle?

Also it must be said, this one tackle alone isn't a fair reflection of his performance. He was excellent all night, this is just one moment from the game.

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Flow March 08, 2011 1:42 pm

A bit high, no?

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Norb March 08, 2011 1:49 pm

As the commentators pointed out, it was running the risk of being a bit high, but I think there was nothing wrong with it. If anything, had he maybe gone lower, it could've been an even bigger tackle.

Donald's looked a little more awkward - almost a bit of a slap mixed with a body check (with less attempt to wrap than Umaga, since Donald was probably following the ball and pulling out of the tackle as he was making it), but not every tackle can be beautiful, I suppose.

It's good to see Tana playing full matches, as he's one of the greats.

...and I think he'd have to be pushing 50 before he'll be down at the level where most people play.

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GTI March 08, 2011 1:51 pm

37 and still rocking the house...
underlines again what a true legend he is!
All Blacks dont need to be afraid, if Sonny Bill Williams, Nonu, McAlister,Fruean, Ranger all get injuried before the world cup ;)

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Stephen March 08, 2011 1:53 pm

To be honest, I don't care if he walked on water, I simply cannot respect the man after the BOD spear tackle incident.

And I didn't think this particular tackle was so spectacular. Seemed quite average to me.

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 1:53 pm

Umaga has lost some pace, but his distribution and D is still world class... Not his best hit by a long way though.

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 1:56 pm

Stephen - get over yourself... this is a contact sport and Umaga is not a malicious player. O'Dipsh*t (lost all my respect for this guy after numerous on camera and media rants) should take a feather out of the caps of the few Irish legends there were - best case in point: Keith Wood (hard as nails and never b*tched and moaned)!

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 2:17 pm

Stephen no one cares about your stalker like sycophantic love of BOD. Get over it.

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HoopsvSolids March 08, 2011 2:18 pm

Umaga keeps getting older and moving closer to the pack. I love it! By the 2015 RWC he'll be playing #8!

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tb March 08, 2011 2:23 pm

Tackle was kind of/maybe high. When in doubt, let them play.

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 2:24 pm

Stephen, it's time to get over it! Move on with your life! The BOD incident is not the only example of foul play that the world of rugby has ever seen - no other nation seems to have such a chip on its shoulder about one act of foul play in the past.

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 2:26 pm

I'm sorry but how you can defend umaga's tackle on odriscoll it was no where near the ball and he dumps the guy on his head in the 1st minutes of a lions series i cant think of anything more malicious tbh

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wow-jiffy-lube March 08, 2011 2:27 pm

@ stepthen and Anon

Don't start this shit again. Ye're as bad as each other if you bring up what happened over half a decade ago. Both men are great players, both have had their highs and lows and both have moved on. Just bloody drop it already. If you wanna bitch at each other I suggest you get each other's phone numbers cos we don't wanna hear it.

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Benson March 08, 2011 2:42 pm

^ exactly.

Build a bridge. It was a once off incident that happened a long time ago, and it involved another player too, Keven Mealamu.

Should Sharks fans hold what Rory Sidey did against Ndungane for the rest of his life?! No, that's ridiculous.

About this tackle, it was good. He was great all match. Amazing fitness levels and commitment at his age.

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Mike March 08, 2011 3:35 pm

I genuinely believe that it's actually SH trolls who keep bring up the BOD spear. I haven't heard an Irish person mention it for 5 years. Some troll mentions is, knowing that the discussion will quickly go down the toilet with loads of morons insulting both players based on very little (e.g. a single episode in a game, a single interview). Anyway, wasn't it Mealamu who was more at fault for that than Tana?

Regarding this - it shows that class is permanent. Although I thought Tana was coaching now?

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 4:36 pm

By current standards, a bit high. I'm surprised he wasn't pinged but I'm glad he wasn't.

Love watching Umaga play. Can't believe he can play like that at 37. Stick him back on the ABs I say/

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Dozzy_X March 08, 2011 5:09 pm

Umaga can play for 50-60 minutes a game at Super 15 level - at 37 years old he proves he's still got the class. As a Chiefs fan, I was impressed with his signing this season, purely to bring his experience and coaching to the younger players and wider training group, but with the performances he's put in the 2 games he's played so far I've been really impressed. Just wished he could manage more than one game in a row. lol.

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Manuel March 08, 2011 6:13 pm

I heard that in this same game Cipriani was penalized for a high tackle on Umaga that was actually lower than this one. Did anybody see that? Does anyone have footage of it?

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Von March 08, 2011 6:23 pm

323 first class games?!? Is that a record???

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 9:35 pm

Cipriani's looked alot worse than it really was and i can see why in the heat of the moment the ref making a snap decision could call it high. Nothing wrong with this tackle, shoulder to shoulder and fully wrapping.

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Jono March 08, 2011 10:40 pm

All three hits were fine. In the words of the great Umaga himself "it's not tiddlywinks".

Seriously this was just a great hit, and I'm an Aussie. Part of the game.

And seriously, anyone still talking about the O'Drsicoll incident needs to let it go. Spear tackles happen in rugby. No other spear tackle has ever been talked about as much. It's a joke to think people still go on about it.
As someone rightfully said, should the Sharks fans hate Sidey for the rest of his life? Of course not, that would be nuts.

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Anonymous March 08, 2011 10:55 pm

@Jono

You shouldnt just say spear tackles happen in rugby because its wrong their dangerous and thats why theres a rule against it and bans in place, in attempt to stamp it out of the game

and as for the odriscoll incident, it shouldnt be let go because umaga wasnt cited for it and it should always be remembered as a failure of the officials to punish him, mostly so it doesnt happen again in the future.
Also MASSIVE hit and umaga is and always has been a class player!

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Jono March 08, 2011 11:52 pm

Mate, come on, of course it should forgotten about.
Spear tackles happen, they don't always get punished.
You let it go, and move on.
The thing with O'Driscoll was ridiculous, and in my honest opinion, alot of it was bitterness at how badly the Lions got beaten by NZ in 2005.

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Pussy Patrol March 09, 2011 1:08 am

@ Stephen, please keep you BOD wet dreams for a non-super rugby thread.

You soppy muppet

Cheers :-)

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 1:12 am

I can't believe people still bitch about Tana and the spear tackle, like it's the only ever spear-tackle to occur in a game of rugby.

Pathetic, I agree, its just to take the focus off the Trashing the Lions yet again recieved.

And to allow the Irish to take the attention off never winning a game against the AB's.

It's also a large river in Egypt

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Jono March 09, 2011 1:19 am

Uh, I don't get it.

The Nile?

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Nicko March 09, 2011 2:36 am

LOL denail is a large river in Egypt.

I gotta agree though, this BOD/Tana thing needs to stop!

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Jono March 09, 2011 2:57 am

Ha, yeah, I knew it was something obvious.

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granite March 09, 2011 6:34 am

@Manuel: As a rebels fan I watched the whole game. While borderline, there was nothing wrong with Tana's tackle.
The fact that Cipriani got pinged cheesed me off, though. It was the same height if not lower and if consistency is the word then it shouldn't have been pinged. The NZ commentators actually said that Tana might have argued with the ref against a penalty, if for nothing else but to keep his reputation in check ;)

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Stephen March 09, 2011 7:28 am

There are a lot of posters here who really need to grow up and quit the childish comments. I'm here for the rugby and not for the puerile comebacks, so if you can't come up with better, then go find some other forum to express your infantile rants.

I only mention the BOD incident because it never had closure (as has been mentioned) and still rankles. To call it a spear tackle is actually a misnomer, since the move was (a) not a tackle and (b) clearly premeditated, since the two NZ players involved acted so quickly and in harmony. They knew what they were doing, and bluff dismissals cannot get around that. BOD was "fortunate" to escape with only a dislocated shoulder - it could have been a lot, lot worse. I can only conclude that BOD had been targeted prior to the game and one can only guess where the idea for the "solution" started.

So although the incident occurred some years ago, it was never dealt with satisfactorily, as has been mentioned, and Umaga never put his hand up to say sorry. It was all brushed under the carpet. I totally disagree with any "macho" attitude that says that such things just happen. Things like this have no place in sport, even in one as "violent" as rugby.

So, Umaga might be a gifted player, but it is to say he's not malicious is to be in denial. An evident blatant disregard for fair play and, worse, a willingness and intent to seriously cripple another player leaves no room in my book for adulation or admiration. How was this different from an attempted eye-gouge? *IMO* the man lost any entitlement to celebrity because of this.

If anyone wishes to comment, then can we at least try keep it mature? For the record, I'm *not* a BOD fan, and have both Irish and Kiwi blood running in my veins, so I am impartial in this matter.

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Norb March 09, 2011 8:26 am

I think Mike is on to something. I'm a huge Irish fan and I've never thought of Umaga as anything less than an amazing player. I also never hear actual Irish people complaining about him either.

The vast majority have built that bridge, crossed over, and burned it down again - it's basically a non-issue. Stephen is in the tiny minority who still give a flying shit.

So please don't accuse the Irish of dredging up the issue and refusing to "let it go".

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Mick March 09, 2011 10:41 am

Well I have always been a fan of BOD and always a fan of Umaga.... I'm a NH fan (from Ireland) and yes I suppose initial allegiances were with BOD.... however time and time again umaga has never repeated those actions... So whilst I truly believe at the time umaga should have had a ban (few weeks nothing more) I'm well over it, as should you all be... And whilst you may always view umaga as a dirty player (if you're that bitter) you should at least admire his skill and passion...

Awesome tackle, didn't like the other chiefs tackle though...

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RememberTheMer March 09, 2011 10:42 am

Stephen my man, chill the F out. Everyone agrees that the spearer's should have been banned, but its been nearly 6 years.

What you really need to let go of is the whole "pre-meditated malicious" garbage because its utterly illogical. To believe it you also have to believe that the

1. The All Blacks were so in fear of the mighty St BOD, that they were willing to have 2 men sent off in the first minute of the first Lions Test. You would need to believe that Umaga would sacrifice the pinnacle of his captaincy in his final AB season, just out of fear and spite against the sainted one.

and/or

2. The AB's, the ref, the touch judges, the citing commissioner and the IRB itself were all in on a dastardly plot to gip Woodward and his intrepid Lion's.

and

3. Brain O'Driscoll, despite never having been in a team that beat NZ, is the most awesome colossus to ever stride across a rugby field.

That all sounds much more plausible than it simply being an incident got out of hand.

P.S. since you presumably are not BOD, Umaga owes you nothing.

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 2:32 pm

I hate it that any vids involving either bod or umaga the same thing is brought up...

I think bod is class and would cheer for ire if they were against NZ but I reckon that the whole incident was spur of the the moment. BOD is not shy, I'd imagine he has about as much cheeky shite in him as an old school scrum half, so I'd imagine he did something and they both went to have a little retaliation that ended up not how they wanted...

I can't blame BOD for being bitter, his tour was over and as a youngish guy having a severe shoulder injury is never the sort of issue you want. (it certainly doesn't get better for it!!!! Trust me I know!!)

But he hasn't talked about it for a long time..... This video just highlights some of Umaga's defensive skill and is no real place to bring up any things umaga has done in the past...

Ok here is another, umaga laughed when shaw got sent of early in an England match, he is terrible and should be banned for life.....

Put it this way, for the BOD incident I can see him getting a couple months max, but even if we said a year he would still be on the field today. So ... You can't really begrudge what he has achieved today...

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 2:32 pm

I hate it that any vids involving either bod or umaga the same thing is brought up...

I think bod is class and would cheer for ire if they were against NZ but I reckon that the whole incident was spur of the the moment. BOD is not shy, I'd imagine he has about as much cheeky shite in him as an old school scrum half, so I'd imagine he did something and they both went to have a little retaliation that ended up not how they wanted...

I can't blame BOD for being bitter, his tour was over and as a youngish guy having a severe shoulder injury is never the sort of issue you want. (it certainly doesn't get better for it!!!! Trust me I know!!)

But he hasn't talked about it for a long time..... This video just highlights some of Umaga's defensive skill and is no real place to bring up any things umaga has done in the past...

Ok here is another, umaga laughed when shaw got sent of early in an England match, he is terrible and should be banned for life.....

Put it this way, for the BOD incident I can see him getting a couple months max, but even if we said a year he would still be on the field today. So ... You can't really begrudge what he has achieved today...

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 2:40 pm

A quote from BOD:

"it's not about the two lads, it's not that the authorities didn't get it right."

....so if that's his stance then who the f' are you to bitch about umaga....

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 3:02 pm

Stephen go see a psychiatrist if you want closure.. what a cry baby!!! I really hope you aren't a b*tch like this when you play rugby!! Do you play?

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 3:29 pm

@Jono

i wish you stop saying all this spear tackles happen bollocks
I missed 2 years of rugby because of a neck injury a result of being speared. we should never accept some dont get punished as if its a a slightly acceptable part of the game.

apologies for joining in this convo which should be about the class hit by Umaga! just thought that had to be said. does anyone know if umaga's guna play in next years super 15?

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wow-jiffy-lube March 09, 2011 3:47 pm

@anon above

I'm sorry about your injury but these things do happen. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning spears but in the heat of a match people tend to get a little crazy. Umaga should have been punished but bear in mind that the only clear video evidence came to light after the citing commission found that there was insufficient evidence. There is a time limit on these things. Sometimes incidents slip through the net and all you can do is put them behind you.

It is worth pointing out though that Umaga has an award from the International Fair Play Committee so it's pretty wrong to say that he's a dirty player. One incident does not define the character of a man.

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Sam March 09, 2011 3:54 pm

Jiffy lube, I'm pretty sure that anonymous accepts that's spear tackles can happen... One player picks a player up slightly and another grabs the top half and bingo an accidental spear, however I think the main point is to not allow them to go unpunished..

Totally agree with the BOD and time limit thing, I'm wondering where the guide dog for that touch judge was however....

Class act from umaga, never fails to amaze, even though he's an old git.

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Anonymous March 09, 2011 4:21 pm

Tana has always been know for his huge tackles. I wasn't aware that we was 37 though...that is incredible going for such a fierce spot.

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Max March 09, 2011 6:49 pm

So STUPID. I get that BOD is your star and all but do you see kiwis bitching about when Lote Tiquiri spear-tackled Richie McCaw? I reckon most people have forgotten that tackle. Why? because Richie's not a whiney bitch who would make it a big deal.

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Sam March 09, 2011 8:32 pm

'but do you see kiwis bitching about when Lote Tiquiri spear-tackled Richie McCaw? I reckon most people have forgotten that tackle. Why?'

because richie mccaw didnt have his shoulder dislocated at the pinnacle of his career thus ending his tour, and damaging his shoulder which (as someone who has dislocated a shoulder before) is never quite the same again.

Also, possibly because it was one on one, and pretty much on the ball carrier (i know he offloaded), rather than 2 on one on a guy that was attempting to ruck...

But hey...im sure they compare well...

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Jono March 09, 2011 10:37 pm

Once again, I am not advocating spear tackles. I ahve been spear tackled, and it's not pleasant. In fact, I was lucky not to be seriously injured and I got up swinging (not that I hit anything, a few wild haymakers that missed their mark). But then after the match, I went and shook the guys hand. Why? Cuz on reflection, I realised he didn't mean it. There's almost no one in rugby who would ever intentionally spear tackle someone.
No one is in it to cripple anyone. Not Umaga, not the guy who speared me, not me (I got penalised for it once, I hit him lifted him and his weight toppled him over, I didn't realise what I was doing and he landed on his neck. Luckily he was fine, I got sent off for ten and felt bad about it).

The point is, sometimes it happens, despite best intentions.
I've never seen it done on purpose.

And you accept it as a part of the game. It should always be penalsie and punished, but that's the extent of it.

Then you let it go and move on.

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Anonymous March 10, 2011 12:16 am

Jono, i think everybody understands that, i think the whole point is to impose big sanctions, therefore scaring players into NOT lifting players up....

lifting a player only gives him more time to offload...hitting him mid chest destroys him and gives him no chance to offload...so its not even the best form of tackling...

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Jono March 10, 2011 12:50 am

Depends on the situation.
Ususally you don't actually mean to lift a guy off his feet, it just happens.
Players will lift guys sometimes, there's nothing wrong with that.
It's never been illegal, and never will be, for good reason.

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Sean March 10, 2011 1:49 am

Stephen: I'm Irish and probably one of the biggest BOD fans you'd ever meet and even I don't give a fuck any more. Get over it. Clearly you're never played any sport in you're life.

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Anonymous March 10, 2011 10:29 am

Yes Jono you are correct there is nothing wring with lifting a player. Unless that player (through his own body weight) topples and you end up driving him head first into the ground....

Which is the whole point. Sure I see nothing wrong with a classic dump tackle. Picking up a player and dumping him on his ass... Nothing wrong at all... My point is, if you go to dump a player and end up spearing him it's your fault and you pay the consequences.... I don't see what's so wrong with that?

Obviously it's not quite the same but if you decide to speed an do 61mph in a 60 zone and you get home and don't get caught then good for you, you took the risk an you came out ok. If you do get caught then it's tough luck, you ran that fine line, so deal with it... Players know what they are getting into when they get on a pitch... Potential breaks. Pain. And they voluntarily do it! They enter scrims which are potentially life threatening... That's fine, they voluntarily did that. But a spear tackle is not expected... And you think it would be justified if you were in a wheel chair for your life and the guy that speared you doesn't get any sanction? For doing something illegal?!?!?

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JC March 10, 2011 10:38 am

Nicko said..."LOL denail is a large river in Egypt."

No, denail is what you hit with dehammer.

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Anonymous March 10, 2011 3:40 pm

Stephen get over it. I'm british and you can't say umaga is a dirty/ malicious player.

Have you even seen the colin charvis incident?

collins knocked charvis unconscious and umaga stopped everything (even though ball was still in play) and pulled his tongue out so he didn't choke!

yeah he probably got carried away with that bod spear tackle but so does everyone once in a while. He clearly is not a malacious player in general

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Sam March 10, 2011 7:26 pm

LOL, well spotted JC, cant say i even read that comment!!!!

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Jono March 10, 2011 10:28 pm

Yeah absolutley, if you do a spear you deserve punishment.

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4LC4TR4Z March 11, 2011 9:28 am

Stop these stupid story about BOD and Umaga.

Both met last year in Nice, France, in 2009.

And there was no problem between them.

So, don't be stupid with that.

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Anonymous March 11, 2011 5:47 pm

Everyone arguing about an incident that occured half a decade ago are foolish, I'm Irish. I've never heard ANYONE Ireland bad mouth Tana, Although I agree it was a malicious and a potential career ending tackle I don't see the point in arguing about it. I have huge respect for you kiwi's and I'm not ashamed of the fact we have never beaten you as a nation.

Tana is a fantastic player, BOD is a top class player too. As an Irish person, i have huge respect for NZ rugby, and proud of our Irish rugby. There is always a silly argument on any video I watch which includes BOD, Umaga or the lions.

I give Utmost sympathy and concern for Everyone involved in the Christchurch.

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Charif September 06, 2011 3:25 pm

I love Tana Umaga, I Thiçonk he will face de Tri Nations and de RWC.

Great Player.

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