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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Young hooker Christopher Tolofua demolishes fullback Juan Imoff

Toulouse have found an up and coming star in the form of 18 year old hooker Christopher Tolofua. He featured strongly in their 19-13 win over Racing Metro on the weekend, with two big carries in particular in what was his first Top 14 start.

The French giants suffered a hooker crisis recently as Gary Botha is out with a long term leg injury, while William Servat will be unavailable because of the Six Nations. Their cover, Georgian hooker Akvsenti Giorgadze then ruptured his groin, so he will sit out for 6 months.

They've since brought in another Georgian hooker, Jaba Bregvadze, but Guy Noves has turned to young Tolofua, and so far it's proved a success. He had a storming game against Racing Metro, including two big carries (one which was huge) and seems to be slotting in nicely.

"He's managed the last fortnight," Noves told a French newspaper. "He was looked after by the old guys, especially Johnston, who took him under his wing. But he's got physically enormous density.

"We knew he had potential. You hope for a performance like that but until they play, you never know. He's got a great future. That's why we're keeping him," he added.

Tolofua, who only turned 18 a month ago, is already part of the French academy and could possibly go on to be a permanent fixture for the national side in years to come. His standing start charge on unfortunate Argentinian fullback Juan Imoff is one of the biggest collisions we've seen this season.

Imoff left the field two minutes later. Tolofua had another impressive carry earlier in the game, as did Racing Metro center Francois Steyn, so those two have also been included in the clip below.

Posted at 11:21 am | 31 comments

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 31 comments

Citing Commissioner January 31, 2012 1:48 pm

Imoff should get a lengthy ban for booting Tolofua in the goolies

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stroudos January 31, 2012 2:54 pm

Ha, good spot! I didn't see that when I first watched this video - mostly I suppose becuase Tolofua didn't even flinch even as the foot was being driven into his Jacob's crackers.

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D-Matt January 31, 2012 1:49 pm

This kid is a beast.

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Michael Aussiedude January 31, 2012 1:56 pm

Beast - this is what you call an Islander Sidestep. H.Tuilagi being the best at it ofcourse.

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Colombes January 31, 2012 2:33 pm

yep, i had noticed the guy these last weeks
he is part of a top14 players colony from wallis&futuna as yann david, ali fakate, lakafia who will be very soon in the french XV

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Tinoup January 31, 2012 11:40 pm

Yann David is from Bourguoin-Jallieu. He was in the list of 30 of the french selection but not in the 23. Also he has already played for France, I remember a France-Springboks in 2009 where he was a huge revelation. An other player was also here...Picamoles

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stroudos January 31, 2012 2:52 pm

Eighteen!?!?!? EIGHTEEEEEEEN!?!????? That really is ridiculous!!

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D-Matt January 31, 2012 4:43 pm

And he just turned eighteen a month ago...

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stroudos January 31, 2012 2:59 pm

His earlier run is arguably even more impressive as it's a big tighthead prop that gets dumped on his arse!

Very nice run from Steyn too, shame about spilling the ball at the end, unlike young Christopher. Particularly enjoyed his soft pass in the Imhoff scene - in fact, it looks like it was only when a non-front-row player got involved that the move went to shit...

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bnations January 31, 2012 7:12 pm

It almost looks like Steyn managed to poke the ball forward with his foot rather than spilling it. Fantastic run all the same.

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thbts January 31, 2012 3:02 pm

He will mute a lot in the next few years...

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Sam January 31, 2012 3:25 pm

this is brilliant. there was a big fight in the Toulon/Bayonne game that resulted in Yoann Huget getting sent off, any chance of that being uploaded please?

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Fettsack January 31, 2012 4:25 pm

The best part in this is that he doesn't charge at Imoff, he just pushes him with one hand. I'd love to see the result if he does the same with his shoulder.
He's also got years ahead of him to improve, we'll need to keep an eye on him.

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bnations January 31, 2012 7:11 pm

Meh, it looked worse than it was. Imoff popped right back up and got back to help disrupt the movement shortly thereafter. It was poor form on Imoff's part to try a ball and all tackle on such a motor, which got him rightly dumped on his hind end.

Now, when Tolofua bowled over the prop in the first hit; well, that was impressive. And that prop was using good form as well.

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Frenchie January 31, 2012 7:21 pm

18 yrs old and 118 kilos...good hands too!
Indeed it's not the best tackling technic here from Imoff...

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Frenchie January 31, 2012 7:25 pm

Another youngster from Toulouse who really impressed me is Gillian Galan, he's 20 yrs old and weighs 120 kilos. For a flanker he's very mobile and also has great hands.

Toulouse/Noves are so good bringing on young talent, year after year.

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Frenchie January 31, 2012 7:40 pm

Here's a link (French TV) with the Huget incident, you'll find the details at the end of the video.

http://www.lerugbynistere.fr/videos/le-carton-rouge-de-yoann-huget-contre-toulon-3101121541.php

The touch line calls on the ref and tells him Huget headbut the Toulon winger. The images show that Huget didn't actually touch his opponent.

Is a red card there harsh? I really don't know...

Anyway it seems that the officials penalize the intention the same way as a "proper" headbut.
Huget said he only came to separate the guys but flipped out after being provoked by the Toulon winger.

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stroudos February 01, 2012 2:34 pm

Well. I'm sorry to say that I don't have a lot of sympathy for Huget here. It's OK for us watching a slow-motion video, but if you're a touch judge standing 20m away, in real time this would absolutely look like an actual headbutt. How is he supposed to know that he's just playing pretend?

By the way, did I understand the commentary correctly? As the fight developed I thought I heard "il continue, ce pas de deux" - like ballet dancing?? Is this the French equivalent of English "handbags"? Very nice expression if it is, almost up there with Bill McLaren's "they're just exchanging telephone numbers"...

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Rico76 February 01, 2012 8:36 pm

Indeed the commentator said 'Il continue ce pas de deux', well spotted. It's sometimes used in this kind of context but not very often. Pretty funny euphemism though!

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Tobbser January 31, 2012 11:14 pm

Good hit and hand off! But what i really hate to see is, when players, which got send to ground, try to trip the other player up.
Mit tiefen Grüßen Tobbser

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La Foudge February 01, 2012 4:23 am

Next time, he'll target the ankles... that's the problem when you tackle too high

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ChairmanRice February 01, 2012 10:13 am

18 and 1 month and already kicking ass

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Maximus February 01, 2012 11:47 am

I'm so happy to see this new generation of players: Tolofua, Galan, Doussain, Boukerou, Bézy (whom I'd like to see more often), and I could add Maestri and David (even if they're respectively from Toulon and Bourgoin). I agree with you Frenchie, Novès and the Toulouse staff are incredibly good at bringing on young talents. Tolofua will be the next Servat, no doubt.

As for Huget, he seems to be more than unlucky: 3 unnecessary punches after the whistle (even if there is a late tackle) by Bastareaud turn into a yellow and an air headbut (after stupid bickering) in a brawl by Huget equals red? I mean, Lapeyre didn't even flinch.The refs should have the right to call TMO for this.

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Rico76 February 01, 2012 8:42 pm

I was in the stadium and remember asking to my friends: 'what the hell is the fatty doing on the wing?', the answer came right after with this awesome hit..!
Great to see Tolofua (18) and Galan (20) stepping up while the first choices are with the French squad. Future looks bright (and heavy!) for Toulouse.

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Iscoredonce February 01, 2012 10:23 pm

He's 18? Are they feeding these young rugby players other rugby players?

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koxmoz kox February 03, 2012 11:30 am

imoff va muy alto, si estuviera mas bajo, no le hace eso·!·!·

imoff don´t have time to try a low tackle and eat that, i think in another circumstances it had been different·!·!·!·!·

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Federico February 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Its funny how the french commentors always says "UFF" when a big hit happens.

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Sankeor February 05, 2012 3:58 am

At first I was like woaaaw.... most amazing hand off ever !! And yeah, maybe it is.
But now I'm thinking more and more that Imoff was already off balance (on his heels) before the hit and not prepared at all for it (or maybe am I just looking for simple explanations). But still, amazing ! I'm trying to picture what it would have been with more speed and a lighter opponent.

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