The Human Hurdle Attempt


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass


Why you should always tackle low


Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Southland sensational try after big bump

Monday, April 30, 2012

Darren Cave & Johan Muller hits plus highlights of first Heineken Cup semi final

Springbok Ruan Pienaar put in a flawless kicking display as Ulster beat Edinburgh 22-19 in the first of the Heineken Cup semi finals on Saturday. Today we've got quick highlights from the game, as well as two of the biggest hits.

A controversial first half try from South African Pedrie Wannenburg gave the Ulstermen an early lead before the game turned into a kicking dual between Pienaar and Edinburgh's Greig Laidlaw.

Both were outstanding, but it was Pienaar who took all his opportunities, stretching Ulster's lead in the second half. He was humble in victory, choosing to pay tribute to his forwards and make the point that despite the celebrations after the game, there is still a lot that can be worked on.

"The scrum went brilliantly, and the line-outs, but it was disappointing that we didn't get a lot of opportunities in the first half as we were defending most of the time," Pienaar said.

"It wasn't our best performance, we'll have to improve, but we'll take the victory and know that we'll need to work hard over the next couple of weeks," he added.

Two of the biggest hits from this game are included here in one video. First it's Darren Cave's massive tackle on Jim Thompson, and then Johan Muller's midfield hit on Matt Scott.

We've also got quick highlights from the match, including both tries, some of Pienaar's impressive kicks, and the Stefan Terblanche yellow card for smacking Ross Ford around the ears.

The videos are presented as a playlist below, hits first, then the highlights. Use the video controls to navigate, or just push play once and watch both enjoyable videos.

Posted at 4:15 pm | 19 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Heineken Cup Knockout Stages

Viewing 19 comments

Tullowtank April 30, 2012 5:35 pm

Fair play to ulster, they're a quality side and deserving of their place in the final. In another year or two I could see them winning it but this Leinster team is too experienced and much better from 1-23 that I don't see them having too much hope. Delighted for them and for Connaught who will again be in the H Cup now that there's a guaranteed Irish winner! Have to wonder again if this competition is just perfectly suited to the Irish provinces because they can't stop winning it recently! Pity the national team can't replicate it!

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Wylie April 30, 2012 5:47 pm

You missed the most extraordinary moment of the match, where little Greg Laidlaw somehow ripped the ball from the giant Ulster/bok - number 8 right underneath the post, incredible commitment from the smallest player on the park!

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cool calm and collected April 30, 2012 5:57 pm

As a wasp fan i am gutted that both Clermont and Edinburgh lost, especially Clermont who came so close, and like Leinster will (and would have) blow away Ulster in the final.
If wasps had qualified for the heineken then a buyer would have been a given!

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terminan May 01, 2012 5:43 pm

there are so many things wrong with this post but here goes for starters:

1. why is your allegiance to wasps (notice how I'm not taking the easy kill of referring to wasp) relevant to the fact of your being gutted that both these teams lost (is there some kind of reciprocal thing between wasps and other losing rugby teams)?

2. Ulster have already beaten Clermont this season at home and got a bonus point away so let's not pretend that the result would have been a foregone conclusion shall we?

3. "if wasps had qualified for the heineken" - and if my auntie had b***s she'd be my uncle

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Theno1SouthAfricandu May 02, 2012 10:53 pm

Very good replay to "cool calm and collective", Ulster

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launish116 April 30, 2012 6:49 pm

Great atmosphere at the stadium, felt bad for Edinburgh there handling error's cost them the game, as for the final! always feel Ulster play better as the underdog and wouldn't write them of! Leinster have played unreal so far but last time they met few weeks ago it wasnt a walk in the park!

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ulster 2012 April 30, 2012 8:22 pm

Last time leinster played Ulster They were without Afoa Best Ferris and henry big difference

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grumbo April 30, 2012 9:57 pm

yes but Leinster were without Nacewa, Heaslip, Darcy and Jennings. granted leinsters squad can cope better but add on top of that it is now in a neutral venue so should be close, can't wait! really looking forward to the clash of O'Brien and Ferris, collisions between those two will measure on the Richter scale.

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Reality May 01, 2012 12:18 am

I'm more inclined to agree with ulster 2012 here. Afoa, Best, Henry and Ferris are absolutely vital to Ulster's cause. And Ulster without Ferris is very different to Ulster with Ferris. But Leinster's losses were a lot less important in my opinion. Nacewa and Heaslip were big losses ok, but Jennings doesn't even start usually, and Darcy is just too crap for words; they were better off without him.

And I think O'Brien is definitely not the player he was last year. He's been fairly ineffective this year. He doesn't get over the gain-line like he used to, and he gives away far too many silly penalties. I think Ferris has that battle won, assuming he plays to his potential.

Although even if Ferris wins that battle, Leinster will probably win all the other battles, and therefore win the match. But who knows?

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grumbo May 01, 2012 10:30 am

i agree with you mostly, i don't think i made my point very well..... my point was that leinster also had players missing whereas ulster2012 implied an under strength ulster faced a full strength leinster which was not the case, plus it was in ravenhill. Ferris is definitely Ireland best 6 but both O'Brien and Darcy had their best games for a while against Clermont i thought. Jennings does usually start, he started in the biggest game of the season only a few days ago.

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themull April 30, 2012 11:22 pm

Last year Leinster were supposed to stroll through NH too and look how that turned out...

I would be very surprised if this was anything but a very close final...Ulster's defense is immense, as is Leinsters, and the missing guys coming back into the fold for Ulster it will only get better...

On another note, Stephen Ferris is an absolute warrior..The guy has been playing on a banjaxed knee since before the Lions tour basically and he still performs up there with the very best backrows in the world..He is the best defensive backrow in the world imo...

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themull May 01, 2012 3:36 pm

Also should be added that Laidlaw is turning into a great player too!

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Canadian content April 30, 2012 11:45 pm

Felt bad for Edinburgh, but they are their own worst enemies, blair was brilliant. Ulster try was bs.

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moddeur May 01, 2012 7:58 am

As a partial neutral (because of the Auld Alliance), I thought the Terrblanche yellow card was very harsh. I know you're not supposed to have your hands come into contact with another player's face, and I know that at full speed it looked far worse than it really was, but if that is a yellow then Cullen in the semi against Clermont (punched a player) should have received an orange card.
I love Edinburgh's insistance of passing the ball around, but like Scotland's national team, they never do small chips over the defence, they never vary their attacks, so in the end they just end up tired and frustrated. It's a pity! Ulster look powerful, but I think Leinster is a tad stronger.

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Pretzel May 01, 2012 6:06 pm

Lol, an orange card? What does that one signify? 15 minute sit down?

I too thought that card was quite harsh, there was not much in that, just a bit of rough housing, however it was reported as a punch wasn't it? So in that sense I am glad it was JUST a yellow and not another pathetic punch=red...

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Robbie May 02, 2012 10:28 pm

People doubted us (Ulster) before playing Munster at Thomond too! I don't doubt how strong and experienced Leinster are, but we favour the underdog tag and anything can happen in a final! SUFTUM!

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Theno1SouthAfricanNI May 02, 2012 11:05 pm

Many people have doubted Ulster It looked at one stage that I was the only supporter they had playing the big teams, but I could see where they were going with their play. I would watch Leinsters 7-8 12 and 13. Well done so far, my money is on Ulster, just don't get on the back foot and Henry is a bit expensive with yellow cards although a brilliant no 7. Robbie I think that you could be a brilliant and world class 7, you just need some fine tuning.

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