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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shane Williams great try saving tackle on big Matt Banahan

Shane Williams' great try saving tackle on big Matt Banahan

One of the more memorable - and most requested - moments of the Wales vs England game in Cardiff this weekend was this excellent try saving tackle in what should have been a sure thing for England.

Matt Banahan got shifted onto the wing in place of ace finisher Chris Ashton, who possibly would have done a better job of scoring the try. In fairness to Banahan though, and not to take anything away from courageous Shane, the pass from Mike Tindall was a bit loopy (despite what Stuart Barnes says).

Banahan was also a bit flat, so all in all it was a chance that England should have taken.

Williams however, at 5ft 7 and up against 6ft 7 Banahan, had other ideas, as he used the big guy's weight brilliantly, pulling him down and with James Hook nearby, Wales managed to not only prevent the try, but affect the turnover.

It's difficult to judge whether it was more a case of bad finishing, or brilliant tackling. I suppose we'll just go with both, and give the credit to Williams, who throughout his career has had to deal with being one of the smallest guys on the park, yet will no doubt go down as a Welsh legend.

Williams, now 34, will be retiring after the world cup, so is fired up to have a great final tournament. He remains humble though, citing the other talent in the squad as a reason for him having to work extra hard to be a first choice player.

"You know one slip-up, or if the guy in your position has a great game and hits a bit of form, you could be sitting back home when the World Cup is going on in New Zealand," he said recently.

"There are no sure things these days, and that is great because it ensures there is no complacency with guys just assuming they are going to get picked. There are a lot of youngsters who are really impressing in training and have had great seasons with their regions. That's great for Welsh rugby and keeps everyone on their toes," he added.

Who would be your first choice wingers for Wales for the RWC, and England for that matter?

Time: 01:10

Posted by Rugbydump at 3:26 pm | View Comments (53)

Wales bounce back to beat England at the Millennium

Viewing 53 comments

Anonymous August 18, 2011 6:45 pm


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Savage August 18, 2011 6:48 pm

Hooky deserves mention in dispatches for that to

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 6:52 pm

just shows he does not hae what it takes to be a international

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 7:06 pm

Agreed should be absolutely steam-rollering him. Useless Banahan!
Begrudged respect for Shane though been accused of not standing up to physicality in the past this pretty much rubbishes that.

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Bash August 18, 2011 7:30 pm

I was going to say that Bananaman would have slid over to score if Hook hadn't made it across to strip him but, no, looking again, Banahan loses the ball when he hits the turf. Rubbish.
After that game, I'd rather a chance was taken with Sharples in NZ than Banahan.

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Spuff August 18, 2011 7:33 pm

Banahan should have score with the amount of space he had and against a smaller opponent.

His fend wasn't good considering his height advantage. Shane put his smaller frame in his way and stuck to him for dear life and used Banahan's size against him.

Hook's intervention and smart play robbed England of any opportunity. Well Played Shane and Hook

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 8:00 pm

It wasn't a great tackle at all! A great tackle would have been low around the legs and would have dropped Banahan straight away instead of letting him get so close to the line!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 8:16 pm

I think you have to take into account the amount of international experience between the two players....but i would have expect banahan to stand up to him a bit more.....

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RememberTheMer August 18, 2011 8:18 pm

Its good defence, but truly inept wing play.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 8:23 pm

Guess it shows you size isn't everything and rugby is still a game for all shapes and sizes....

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 8:32 pm

Bahanahanahna should have scored, but also, Williams actually managed to hit him high. He went down holding on to his neck. We used to call this the flying squirrel, or simply the Martinez, after our cowardly fullback.

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Shane is the man August 18, 2011 9:00 pm

Shane who???

Still sorting out the big boys and scoring tries, very humble guy and a great talent who deserves all the praise he gets!
Go Shane you're a welsh rugby legend!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Yes of course chris ashton would have DEFINITELY scored. Ridiculous commentary...

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:08 pm

^^^ Actually, I'd say Shane is one of the least humble players in the Welsh squad....

Anyway great tackle by him, totally outsized..

I'm wondering if its fair, I personally think Banahan lacks experience, I don't think he is quite up to scratch but I would pick him as a replacement and at least get him some game experience.. He is 24 at the moment, I'm just wondering if he will improve in say a year or two... I know it doesn't help right now... but watching the guy, I can't really right him off as useless, and really I can only really pin point a lack of experience or something... maybe its an over excited feeling of size.. what would say jason robinson do in that position? hand off? rather than barge through or over...

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Chris Boy August 18, 2011 9:15 pm

that was a dreadful finish rather than an excellent tackle.

banahan just needed to go wider and throw a fend and he's in easily. simples.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:26 pm

Banahan cant go wide and through a fend because the pass from Tindall isnt quick or flat enough.

Yes maybe he shouldve scored but look at the metres gained in the tackle - he can do that every time he receives the ball and will probably score that 90% of the time.

Not a starter during the RWC but should be on the plane and everyone who writing him off for one missed opportunity is retarded and jumping on the anti-banahan bandwagon.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:36 pm

As great a tackle as it was, that should really have been a try. Poor attempt by Banahan. Too over confident.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:38 pm

"It wasn't a great tackle at all! A great tackle would have been low around the legs and would have dropped Banahan straight away instead of letting him get so close to the line!"

Obviously you've never played the game... you don't tackle low near the try line. You wrap and prevent them offloading or reaching for the line.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 9:46 pm

That was like watching a second row trying to finish. Banahan is a joke.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:06 pm

0:26, Wales fapping to shane william's effort

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:13 pm

i think he might have stopped going for the line cos of the way his face hit the floor and his body almost folding over the top of his head.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:14 pm

lesson go for the corner dont be hulk about running over little players ,,,

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martin-offload August 18, 2011 10:19 pm

RD your right about the pass and Banahan's position. However he still should have scored and I cannot imagine that many other international wingers not getting over from there. Should have fended, used his weight and put it down with his outside hand. Hosea Gear scored a much more difficult one last year at Twickenham!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:31 pm

If Sharples isn't picked next week, I am going to throw my arms in the air in frustration like a french man. "PUTAN!"

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ElTigre August 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Stuart barnes needs to take his tongue out of ashtons ass.

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rooney August 18, 2011 10:45 pm

it was not a great tackle. will genia can make it a lot better. and genia is only a centimeter tall than williams. banahan should fenced off with his left arm straight at williams chest.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:12 pm

Shane Williams is an absolute legend! you would expect Banahan to be scoring that against pretty much anyone, let alone Shane Williams, he's an amazing player and really proved size isn't everything in rugby with that tackle.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 12:00 am

I actually agree with the anon saying the pass was piss poor from tindall... it was a slow lob that banahan took to the side of him... personally i think a chip would have been the better option for banahan to run onto... but there we have it..

and really if you look at the experience williams has against the experience banahan has there is a bit of a mis match. I honestly don't know if Ashton would have scored that, I think Williams would have just used the experience to be a real pain in the behind!

Agreed, not a world cup starter, not unless he pulls something out the hat, but give him time and i think he will be better...

Remember a large amount of players who are professional have played "the backs" all their life or "the forwards" (obviously this gets mixed about a bit within the two groups) banahan came from the forwards, so some of the early developmental skills for back play are coming to him now...

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 12:46 am

I don't understand the flack Banahan got for this, tbh. It was just a very good and fortunate tackle by Shane.

And I really don't rate Banahan or want him near the England team, but I feel slamming him as hard as people are for this incident does a massive dis service to the efforts of Shane William - Who I also don't like ;)

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 12:46 am

"It wasn't a great tackle at all! A great tackle would have been low around the legs and would have dropped Banahan straight away instead of letting him get so close to the line!"

That 'great tackle' would have probably left Shane Williams with a serious concussion and allowed Banahan to score - dummy

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 6:34 am

to Mr anonymous who said "tackle him around the legs"

If you watched the video properly u will see Banahan receives the ball on the five meter line, gets tackled 4 meters from the line, he is 2,01m tall and with outstretched arm and momentum he would have slide and stretched over the line for touch down no problem , the only thing that stopped him was a great smoother tackle from a great professional William who put his body between the ball and the goal line. This was a great tackle on a winger with height and weight advantage!

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Michael August 19, 2011 7:34 am

Indicative of England's approach to contact in that game - cross your arms around the ball and try and bounce everything off with your chest, if he'd have checked inside and tried to fend it could have been a different story. The whole challenge with tackling wingers is they jink and shift your feet putting you off balance, a prop would have picked that line and i'd much rather tackle a prop than a jinking winger any day (or NOT tackle a jinking winger as the result may be..)

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 9:03 am

"If you watched the video properly u will see Banahan receives the ball on the five meter line,"

I think it is ironic to comment people not viewing something properly, where its clear as day that banahan received the ball well before the 5 metre line....

He gets tackled about 2 metres before the 5 metre line... and still makes it to about 20cm from the line... so really I'd say its great technique to shift the ball from williams, but banahan did well in that situation...

I think all the insults being flung at him are quite unjust.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 10:02 am

Jesus wept, give bahanan a break ffs! one missed chance and hes shit etc... "if we had ashton...bla bla blah". Ashton would have swan dived and made even more of a cunt of himself. I cant stand stuart barnes either, why are his ears non existant? did he cut them off so he cant hear the shite he spouts? Fuckdog.

Tom (in Connacht)

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 10:59 am

Bit confused by all of this stuff about 'great tackle'. It's pretty obvious that Banahan only goes to ground because Williams has him by the neck! Pause footage at 53 secs. Hence he ploughs into the ground head first - no wonder he loses the ball! Extremely dangerous and illegal tackle - penalty try to England, yellow card Williams!! Everyone's getting hung up on the david v goliath victory without thinking about whether he tackled him legally.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 11:29 am

I'm not sure if it can be argued williams had banahans shoulder first?!?

Yeh barnes does spout some real shit sometimes...

"pass from tindall was his left hand"

What does that mean? it was a shit pass if it was off his right hand? or it was a perfect pass.. and it was off his left hand?!?!?

You could tell banahan wanted the chip thats why he was up near the line so much...the gap behind the welsh defence was HUGE and that pass was a nice lob which gave the welsh tons of time to get across and meant banahan had to take it almost stationary.

Tindall as "well seasoned" as he may be is to blame for this large fuck up.. Ok, banahan might have to practice keeping control of the ball. But tindall has to learn how to read the fucking game!

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Matthew August 19, 2011 12:01 pm

The combination of Tindall's pass and Bahahan's positioning wasn't great, because Banahan had to check his run to collect the ball. Not sure which of the two to blame for that. Banahan would have been over if the pass/run had been a little sweeter.

Terrible fend from Banahan, mind.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 12:10 pm

Bloody hell, Nick Easter could of scored that try :/.Anywayz my ideal starting English back three (I know it won't happen though) is Monye,Ashton,Foden with Armitage on the bench and sharples also in the squad.

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Canadian content August 19, 2011 1:11 pm

Any one who has played the game realizes that a great play by one player usually requires a mistake by his/her opponent. Banahan looked very naive to believe that he could just run over his opponent, looked for intent on sending a silly message than scoring. A step and one hand fend would have probably put him in.

However, this takes nothing away from williams tackle as he played what his opponent gave him and his weight against him.

I think that banana looks better as a battering ram 12 than an 11 anyway.

Is anyone else as sick of barnes's Ashton love festival? He finished one try created by youngster and lawes and now every time he talks about winger play he cites him.

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 1:23 pm

IMHO was a dangerous tackle. Too high

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Juggernauter August 19, 2011 1:46 pm

I'll call shotgun on the "anti-banahan bandwagon".

Mate I really can't believe he's been given the nod ahead of Sharples. What does Banahan offer? Poor handling skills, big size, good jump to the ball, relative pace, horrible kicking and zero game awareness.

Same with Hape. Or Tindall. Or Botha. Or Cueto. Or Fourie.

I do like England (although I'm not english), but I just can't understand some of their selections.

Jonno, you've got loads of work after the World Cup.

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Juggernauter August 19, 2011 1:47 pm

Ah, by the way, wingers to start for Wales should be Halfpenny and North, but it's Williams last World Cup so he'll start instead of Halfpenny probably.

Looking forward th the WC!! Just 20 days to go


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kaibishin August 19, 2011 3:20 pm

again i say...... GET RID OF BANAHAN!!!

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 4:30 pm

whether or not ashton, robinson, lomu or anyone else would have finished that is irrelevant.

the fact is that Matt Banahan has now won 11 caps for England and started the last 3 games. In all those caps, he's not done anything at all special. 4 tries collecting cross kicks is not special.

So, when you get chances like this, you take them. He didn't.

There are a number of other wingers in England who haven't had 11 caps, and who deserve them (on premiership form, pace, versatility etc.) far more than Banahan.

Charlie Sharples got about one touch and looked more exciting than Banahan has in his entire career. Topsy Ojo had two sniffs at tries on a shit tour of NZ and took them both.

James Short scores tries from nothing. Even Ugo bloody Monye and David Strettle have done some good things in an England shirt.

and let's not move on to Simpson-Daniel.

So why oh why has Banahan ended up starting the last 3 games?????

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 4:43 pm

Well I'll say get rid of royal tindall.

The guy's pass and game reading skills were hideous, if that was wilkinson there instead that would have been kicked to banahan and it would have been a try. Look at banahans line, he was clearly expecting a kick, otherwise he would not have been so far up, there was years of space behind the defenders and tindall cocked up!

Banahan taken round the neck and driven head first into the ground won't help his ball control skills!

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 4:46 pm

"the fact is that Matt Banahan has now won 11 caps for England and started the last 3 games. In all those caps, he's not done anything at all special. 4 tries collecting cross kicks is not special."

Hate to break it to you, but this was a clear crossfield kick opportunity, and another thing I hate to break to you is that points win the game. Therefore 4 tries help england. And if he grabs crossfield kicks in world cup matches it will do england a great favour. Not to mention tiquiri scored a try in the 2003 world cup with a cross field kick...

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 9:20 pm

anonymous above:

anyone can catch a rugby ball in mid-air unopposed. remind me of a try he's scored for England (or even created) that has been a piece of pure individual brilliance on his part. you know, even basic stuff like being able to dive over in the corner under pressure or being a supporting runner in the right place.

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 9:44 am

Just reminds me of Lomu running over Mike Catt... but he actually scored :p

View Video

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 1:02 pm

Tiquiri was not unopposed, he had robinson to beat.. although the height difference is significant it was not "unopposed" I don't really get if you are supporting or hating banahan... personally I do not blame him for this, maybe next time he will go for a hand off or a better hand off.. but really tindall's pass is what fucked this up!

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Englishman in HK August 21, 2011 12:23 pm

At least we can all agree that Stuart Barnes has once again proved that he should not be allowed to commentate.

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Anonymous August 21, 2011 7:10 pm

next time Banahan should be back in the Premiership making little 20 year old wingers look silly while a player with some kind of pace/ vision/ class that can pose even the remotest threat to an international defence is out in NZ with the England squad instead.

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Anonymous August 21, 2011 7:47 pm

^^^ Oh right, and perhaps you want to send Tindall back there too right? because he clearly possesses that fantastic vision you speak of. (thats why he threw that long weak arching pass!)

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Anonymous August 23, 2011 7:22 am

yep because a great argument to distract from the ineptitude of banahan is to blame it on the other donkeys selected by martin johnson.

birds of a feather.

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