Matt Talaese red carded at fulltime

George Gregan's halfback Masterclass

Some of the greatest amateur rugby hits

Alipate Fatafehi huge hit vs USA Eagles

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move try

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Ruck Clean Out to dominate breakdowns

Recap from Highlanders' historic win

Richie McCaw reveals breakdown secrets

Monday, March 14, 2011

Robbie Freuan's oustanding trysaver on Adam Ashley-Cooper

Robbie Freuan's oustanding trysaver on Adam Ashley-Cooper

There were two outstanding try savers of note this weekend around the world of rugby. One of them took place in the England vs Scotland game, and the other was this beauty by up and coming Crusaders centre, Robbie Fruean.

The Crusaders beat the Brumbies 52-10 in a Super Rugby rout at Nelson's Trafalgar Park on Friday night, and while Sean Maitland scored four tries for the Christchurch side, it was this moment that stood out in the memory for not only the fans, but coach Todd Blackadder too.

"For me, that was the highlight of the match, just to see the determination that he showed that was all about attitude," said Blackadder. "If the Brumbies had scored a try then, it would have been meaningless because the result was safe, yet he still got back there to make it."

Blessed with midfield talent to pick from, the combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Robbie Fruean is one that should strike fear into even the staunchest of oppositions. Their size, offloading ability, and awareness allow the outside backs to run riot, as Maitland testified to.

"You can see the problems they are causing opposition defences," Maitland said. "It creates huge opportunities for blokes like me. I need to be there when they make line breaks, on their shoulder sniffing out opportunities."

As for Fruean, Blackadder says that he is being managed better this season, which has led to three 80 minute performances as a result. He rates the young man extremely highly.

"He is showing plenty of hunger and aerobically he is probably one of the most explosive and physical players in New Zealand. I also think he is really enjoying his partnership with Sonny and you can see that."

We should take bets on how long it will be before he earns an All Black cap. My money is on it happening before Rugby World Cup kickoff. The guy has it all, and has actually been overshadowed somewhat by the arrival of Sonny Bill Williams. They're working well together though, making the Crusaders even more powerful than we've known them in the past.

The other great trysaver from this weekend, Chris Paterson's on Ben Foden, will be posted soon.

Time: 01:34

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:35 pm | View Comments (52)

Viewing 52 comments

(u-p)rick March 14, 2011 4:59 pm

I actually reckon if he'd backed himself and not given an arm for Robbie to grab, he'd have made it...

ofcourse if's and but's dont win games...

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phil 3 March 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Just heroic. inspiring to see this kind of attitude

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 5:24 pm

Wow is all i can say. the strength of freuan to stop cooper dead in his tracks and to stop moment taking them both over is incredible.

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Von March 14, 2011 5:44 pm

Awesome!! Especially on someone with the usual powerful fend that Ashley-Cooper's blessed with.

I still rate Nonu and Smith but can't be long before they're displaced by Freuan and Williams. I reckon they'll both be at the RWC as back up at least.

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No.7 March 14, 2011 5:51 pm

^^^ probably both get some game time in the *easier* games...Also helps blood the youngsters whilst resting people like Nonu etc for the bigger games..

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Guy March 14, 2011 5:52 pm

The stuff i saw of freuan lately on RD (thanks for the great clips by the way) is all very impressive.
By now he must be in reckoning for the All Blacks, isn't it?!

Any opinion on this from our New Zealand rugby brothers?

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Xavier March 14, 2011 6:06 pm

Is it me or NZ boast 4 of the top 5 centres in the world (the remaining being, of course, Jaques Fourie)?

Be afraid, be very afraid

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Diego March 14, 2011 6:08 pm

SBW offload... O.O

Great effort from Freuan, that's how he'll get to the All Blacks

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beans beans beans March 14, 2011 6:35 pm

The part of me that wants NZ to not win the RWC says, "Yeah, play Nonu in the big games. He's half-bound to make some silly hot-headed mistake and get carded and possibly hurt the ABs." But then I think, "Well, that before or after he sets up or scores three tries?" And the flipside is just as bad...Williams and Freuan coming on? Goddamn all these incredible player from NZ!

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Jammers March 14, 2011 6:38 pm

Fuck. NZ have such depth. Any team would be lucky to have 1 of the centers that NZ has. Smith, Nonu, Freuan, SBW, all world class players. And I'm probably forgetting someone...

People talk about Brazil being able to field 2 or more world class teams in football. NZ could field 3 or more and probably occupy the all the top placings in the IRB world rankings. Amazing.

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Jammers March 14, 2011 6:39 pm

And the thing is they have massive depth in every single position.

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 7:35 pm

Ashley-Cooper probably would have made it if he didn't try to fend off Freun. It gave Freun something to grab onto.

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Chris Boy March 14, 2011 7:54 pm

should have finished that really. good determination from robbie thou.

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 8:24 pm

Richard Kahui is an excellent centre aswell, was battling it out for a starting spot with Smith a couple of years ago but has been unlucky with injuries.

Centre has been a problem for NZ at the last two world cups where injuries have forced fullbacks to play out of position. Shouldn't have that problem this time!

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boomer March 14, 2011 9:11 pm

As a Bok supporter I haven't been so afraid of an AB backline since the likes of Cullen, Vidiri, Umaga and Lomu...

Bring on the World Cup!

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Jono March 14, 2011 9:44 pm

How good was the lead up play from the Crusaders too, before the break by Ashley-Cooper.
Amazing rugby i reckon they'll win the S15 again.

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The red rose March 14, 2011 10:01 pm

Maybe England can borrow a couple centres from NZ? Hape and Tindall aren't that convincing, and, come on guys, you've got Nonu/Smith and SBW/Freuan...

Just one? Smith? Nonu? SBW? Freuan?


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Juggernauter March 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Wow, amazing stuff... indeed NZ can field three XV's that are world class.

Anyway, they should really, really win the World Cup this year. The guys will no doubt be every inch motivated, and specially after everything extra-rugbistic that's been going on there this year...

And we should start an internet campaign for an annual match between the HC champion and the SupeRugby champions. That would be a total cracker.


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Anonymous March 14, 2011 10:11 pm

Everyone is forgetting Kahui who is exceptional and big in his own right with the gas of a wing.

They are absolutely overloaded at center and wing (Sivivatu, Jane, Dagg, Maitland, Masaga, Rococko, and whoever else I am forgetting - big winger with the islander afro).

Jesus, only team I can see beating them is Aus (or the mercurial French).

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fry March 14, 2011 10:40 pm

Hey, Juggernauter, that's not a bad idea. Surely, RD carries quite a bit of clout in the rugby-oriented website arena. There is even big name stars being interviewed and write occasional blog posts, and I wonder if Grant must have some level of communication with some broadcasters. In any case, the point is that in terms of rugby websites, this is the good stuff.

I wonder if it would be a good place to start such an internet campaign (those words, strung together, do sound a bit sad and feeble though...).

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 10:58 pm

Rene Ranger was the winger I forgot!

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RememberTheMer March 14, 2011 11:15 pm

The red rose said...

Didn't we already lend you Hape? (just being cheeky ;)

At the mo, NZ has absurd depth from no 12 out. Its the backup at 10, 9 and 7 that worry me.

Looks like my Hurricanes, with the earthquake enforced bye, avoided having their pants pulled down by the Crusaders.

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 11:33 pm

a maori chases a convict. lmfao.

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 11:37 pm

Btw, retards were saying that the All Blacks could field three teams that would win the world cup in 2007 too... we all know how that turned out. They got raped out in the 1/4 finals. How funny, lol in your faces.

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Anonymous March 14, 2011 11:38 pm

Carter gets injured and the All Blacks suddenly become fiji A. Running around with Donald at flyhalf, what extraordinary depth NZ has.... LOL.

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Juggernauter March 15, 2011 12:06 am

@ RemebertheMer

Yous should look no further than the Crusaders for that back up at no. 7... Matt Todd is the name.

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Leon March 15, 2011 12:25 am

The only position we dont have depth in is at 1st 5. I hope donald isnt backup at the world cup. I think fruean is a better player than sonny bill.

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 12:40 am

How are Freuan's legs moving so damn quick?! I had AC to score that try for sure. He should have just pinned his ears and gone for the line, defender be damned! Fine defensive effort nonetheless...

Heineken Cup winner vs Super Rugby winner is an awesome idea that has been thrown around a few times now. The logistics/red tape give people something to argue about and hold the process up a bit so not holding my breath. I hope it happens in this lifetime though

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Jono March 15, 2011 1:10 am

It's the seasons not being aligned.
With international commitments, the only time HC vs S15 winners could be done would probably be at a time that one team is in offseason, and the players for tha team would be unfit (some unsigned).

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RememberTheMer March 15, 2011 1:58 am


haven't seen much this year but Todd did look pretty good. Opposition wasn't much chop though. Thompson has also started well this season.

We need someone. McCaw has been so good for so long that any decent player with international aspirations has taken up another position.

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oj March 15, 2011 2:23 am


Fruean is actually a Samoan not Maori

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Griff March 15, 2011 4:59 am

Robbie Fruean is a New Zealander of Samoan heritage. He was born in Wellington in 1988.

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 5:18 am

Fruean didn't release AAC after he tackled him - penalty try

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 6:08 am

Yeah with Todd and Thomsons form so far we're all good for back up 7's, only spot we're not 100% is at 10. Hopefully when Slade comes back he has an absolute blinder otherwise its a 3 horse race between Donald Cruden and Mccallister.

Oh and AAC was playing the ball on the ground so a penalty could have gone either way.

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 7:26 am


His nationality is NZ, yes! But that doesn't make him Maori. He is still a Samoan!

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 8:41 am

patersons was better

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Von March 15, 2011 8:57 am

Anonymous said...
Fruean didn't release AAC after he tackled him - penalty try

Must admit, that was my initial thought, then I thought I was just being churlish...

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 9:12 am

he stood up without releasing the ball penalty crusaders

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Nick March 15, 2011 9:15 am

' The red rose said...
Maybe England can borrow a couple centres from NZ? Hape and Tindall aren't that convincing, and, come on guys, you've got Nonu/Smith and SBW/Freuan...

Just one? Smith? Nonu? SBW? Freuan?


I've got a better idea, we'll do a swap, they can have Hape back on the condition we give SBW/Freuan/Kahui starting game time. C'mon, they're just being greedy!

On a side note, how many Whitelock's are in the Crusaders team? It looks like the whole family are contracted...

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Von March 15, 2011 9:58 am

Excellent news for England-based Super Rugby fans - looks like that Crusaders v Sharks match will be played at Twickenham after all.

Well done to all those involved in sorting this out.

Hope we see a good turnout for this match!!!

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fry March 15, 2011 10:57 am

To the anonymous saying AAC played the ball on the ground, I think that's only because, as the other anonymous pointed out, Freuan didn't release his legs, making it pretty darned hard to stand up to play the ball.

But no matter, I'd rather not see a penalty get called here...Crusaders deserved the ball for Freuan's efforts to chase down AAC.

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Madflyhalf March 15, 2011 11:42 am

Herioc, but penalty: tackler never release the man.

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Jammers March 15, 2011 12:03 pm

"Btw, retards were saying that the All Blacks could field three teams that would win the world cup in 2007 too... we all know how that turned out. They got raped out in the 1/4 finals. How funny, lol in your faces."

I'm not from NZ... even the best can have a bad day. You're probably pissed they took a dump on your national team.

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felix March 15, 2011 1:02 pm

no mention so far of benson stanley as a second five option - he's got caps and toeava who is world class at wing, centre and fullback.

also daniel braid is good no7 cover for mccaw.

(you can tell i'm a blues fan)

colin slade is the answer at 10 - he's the new andrew merhtens.

i'd go for SBW and Fruean for the ABs now with nonu and smith in the wider squad.

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Douglas March 15, 2011 6:26 pm

Incredible link play from the Crusaders in the lead up. Wow. Kahui absolutely should not be forgotten, he's a class player, a natural #13 with the pace of a winger, he's just had a horrible run of injuries.

NZ has 3 test-level centres, and probably 4-5 test level wingers. Insane.

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Anonymous March 15, 2011 9:11 pm

its just you xavier my my friend

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RememberTheMer March 15, 2011 11:33 pm

While we're looking at great cover defence, who remembers this?

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Jacob84 March 16, 2011 2:16 am

Fruean put another huge hit on AAC in this game that took him over the sideline. AAC is supposedly the best centre in World Rugby, so Robbie must really be something special.

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Jeremy March 16, 2011 4:09 am

Robbie Freuan you focking beauty!

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Anonymous March 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Don't have a video of it, but in the All Blacks blowout of Ireland last year, Kahui himself had a pretty ridiculous covering tackle. Kahui's pace is crazy,.

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Brai March 18, 2011 10:57 am

AAC never looked like trying to stand up before playing the ball again. If he had, he may have been able to draw a penalty if Fruean had hung on. Possibly he saw the other chasing Crusaders and tried to shortcut by simply playing it again while still on the ground.

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Ben March 19, 2011 5:45 pm

awesome from freuan. He is class

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