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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chris Ashton's huge hit on Gio Aplon and Ryan Kankowski's on Thomas Waldrom

South Africa and England drew 14-14 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth yesterday in what was the third and final Test of their three-match series. The match was scrappy for the most part, but there were some great hits throughout.

England were much improved and came close to a win, despite the series having already been decided by South Africa in Durban and Johannesburg. England coach Stuart Lancaster said that even though they leave the country with a 2-0 series loss, there were positives to work with.

"It has been a fantastic opportunity to take a wider group of players and work with them," he said.

"In the last Test we could have used every excuse not to put in a performance but we didn't. We rolled our sleeves up and fought to the end. We possibly could have edged it at the end."

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer was pleased with the series win, but is concerned with the form of star kicking flyhalf Morne Steyn, who was uncharacteristically off with the boot.

"Morne is a worry at the moment as we know he is not playing well, but I thought he played well in the previous two games, it was just his kicking that was off," he said.

"He has high standards and will come back stronger with at least three Super games to get himself right and he knows we need him in the Rugby Championship. I have a lot of confidence in him although he is not striking the ball well now."

The match could have been different if Steyn kicked as well as usual, but as it was things went down to the wire, and both sides bashed eachother about for the full eighty minutes.

Below are two of the biggest hits of the game, and perhaps the series, as Chris Ashton smashed little Gio Aplon, then Ryan Kankowski let Thomas Waldrom know he was on the field.

Highlights from the match will be archived soon

Posted at 2:41 pm | 33 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 33 comments

UpandAway June 24, 2012 5:59 pm

The only hit I want to see is Manu Tuilagi's on Bismarck Du Plessis that left him on the ground for a couple of minute......... MT does miss a few but when he gets you you know about it, even if you're a cyborg!

The other awesome tackle in the series was his try saver on Pierre Spies in the first test......... absolute marmalization.

Shame the South African feed didn't show replays of this at the time, but they hate showing their big hardmen getting served. Best to just pretend it didn't happen ;-)

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paimoe June 24, 2012 9:09 pm

Yep, I'm going to now have to steal the term marmalization

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Dylan June 24, 2012 9:50 pm

Yes thats why they showed the replay of Aplon getting hit a couple of times.

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poccio June 24, 2012 11:05 pm

aplon is hardly one of their big hard men though... great hits btw!

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dave June 24, 2012 11:49 pm

yo dylan how come when you were captaining england you allowed yourself to get carded?
that play was rediculous
you better set a good example next time

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dave June 30, 2012 5:08 pm

I saw the hit, but it didn't look as spectacular as what the damage it did

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Ruggernut June 24, 2012 6:38 pm

I remember seeing Ashton's tackle and thinking that I wasn't going to see a bigger tackle in the game.

I was proved very wrong. Great stuff Ryan.

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browner June 27, 2012 1:43 pm

& perfectly legal, as he resisted the 'regularly seen' temptation to slide upwards & take his head off.

Applaud this, ruggernut - & i'll continue coaching it [but not the other type]
x

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cool calm and collected June 24, 2012 7:15 pm

I heard haskell dump tackled the beast, any good?

Also Rugbydump is there a chance you could make a compilation of the biggest hits in this series between SA and ENG? because there have been so many!

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Facepalm June 24, 2012 10:36 pm

It was more of a Joe Worsley tree cutter than a dump. Certainly surprised the crowd.

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Reality June 24, 2012 9:39 pm

Poor Dan Cole at 0.21.

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Juggernauter June 24, 2012 10:29 pm

Obviously if you're asking Ashton to make a big hit it must be on SA's smallest player, Aplon. I really hope he doesn't future for the Lions next year, who knows what he'll do.

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i love bacon June 24, 2012 11:40 pm

who knows what he'll do.

Probably nothing, since that what he's done since all the hype rose up around him last year. Surely there are some more deserving wingers to put in the English squad? Maybe not, I don't know.

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Murina June 25, 2012 2:16 am

You're kidding, right? Ashton had a cracking game (you know that as even the SA commentators were giving him that....) in both defence and attack.

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UpTheLowEnd June 30, 2012 9:43 am

Yeah but the point still stands that ever since that breakaway try against Australia Ashton has done very little in terms of impressive rugby. Its as if he got a bit bigheaded and thought himself better than his ability.

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Josh June 25, 2012 8:55 am

the pace that ashton was going at and the size that he is that hit would have knocked have most on the pitch really, and it was beautifully timed off a great kick

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Facepalm June 24, 2012 10:38 pm

Jheez, Waldrom was absolutely levelled :O

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Nick June 24, 2012 11:20 pm

Always love it when a player gets hit with no feet on the ground - makes for spectacular watching. Happened here with Kankowski cutting Waldrom in two, and the first other example that springs to mind is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGpgZv61Jss.

You can't time it better than that. No feet on the ground, no resistance to getting boned.

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Pretzel June 25, 2012 3:15 am

Lol they do make for spectacular viewing. I remember playing when the opposition had a 22 drop out, I got distracted and wasn't ready for them to kick it high but short, I ran in to try and get it, but their 8 jumped (arms above his head!!!) to catch it, I knew tackling was all I could do, I remember just looking at the guys feet and amazingly I timed it perfectly, his feet touched the ground just as I hit him.. then they came off the ground again.. Our crowd gave out a resounding "Oooooo"... It was possibly one of the most satisfying tackles I've ever made... he knocked the ball on, and we ended up scoring before myself and the number 8 had got up off the ground...

...or there was that other time, when I tried to step someone and got levelled from someone coming in the side... I was surprised my boots didn't come off!!!!

I love rugby..

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Pretzel June 24, 2012 11:22 pm

Both brilliant tackles. Juggernauter, well you couldn't expect Ashton to miss that opportunity, regardless of player size: "oh he is small, I'll hold back a bit"...

England's discipline let them down (and could have resulted in a win if SA had played as they did) and South Africa's Morne Steyne let them down (and could have resulted in a win if England played the way they did!)... I'd say a draw was probably the best result.

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Pretzel June 24, 2012 11:23 pm

...Best result from a neutral point of view that is..I doubt the boks or the English were too "thrilled" over it.. Well saying that, Stuart Barnes seemed to be relishing the draw...

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Foamy June 25, 2012 7:10 am

What's with Ashton peacocking around after the tackle and doing bugger all to get onside and get into the ruck?

Ok it was a big hit but that's not where it ends, stop doing your 'who da man' act and play to the whistle.

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Philo1403 June 25, 2012 10:26 am

Looks like he was yelling at the ref for Aplon holding on, I don't think he was shouting 'who da man'.

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katman June 25, 2012 12:02 pm

There certainly appeared to be an element of Who Da Man about the way he was explaining things to the ref.

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BigWhit June 25, 2012 7:00 pm

I agree. Ashton might well be one of the most athletic and talented wingers in the NH but his constant looking to the ref and waving his arms at a break down annoys the piss out of me. I'd like to see him get scored on while he stands idly by looking at the ref instead of the opposition.

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Guy June 25, 2012 3:38 pm

Let's judge this tackle on it's own merit, regardless of who makes it: it's absolutely fabulous, spot on, well timed, perfectly executed, completely within the laws and totally copybook stuff!

Immense respect for Aplon too BTW for getting up and getting back to his position immediately afterwards....because that hit must have hurt.

I love the second smash too but that one seems a bit 'easier' to execute (due to the speed of the player with the ball, two tacklers and body position of the ball carrier e.g.). Both tackles seem good contenders for next Try Savers & Rib Breakers though.

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dave June 25, 2012 11:12 pm

anybody got some simple straightforward ways to train for rugby?
I'm trying this workout recommended for rugby by a pro power trainer called dan john
you clean/press a weight for 8 repetitions and then sprint 40-60 metres and repeat the cycle for 10 sets, when you can master the weight for the 10 sets you add more and keep progressing, trains rucking endurance and then sprinting to the next tackle or ruck
Never felt so annihilated in my life

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dillan June 27, 2012 10:06 pm

can someone explain to me the rule on morne steyn's diving interception penalty?
I'm from canada and we dont usually hear to much about the intricate rules to the game over here
and also I have 2 question on rucking, in the second test dan cole turned the ball over in a ruck, he was on his feet and pulled the ball from the sa side of the ruck and it became a turn over, i'm aware of the rule that you cant have hands in the ruck but i'm obviously missing a few advanced details
and also I remember from a japan game in 2007 the guy jumped over a ruck and took the ball and set up a try, what's the rule on those kinds of plays?

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UpTheLowEnd June 30, 2012 9:55 am

Is it possible that the ruck never technically formed? This is the only way i can see of what you have described not being penalised. If the Japanese guy could jump over a ruck and get his hands on the ball its likely that the ball had come out of the ruck and therefore was free to take. As for Cole, did you mean he hooked it out with his hand, if it was a strong counter ruck and they drove SA off the ball Cole would be entitled to hook the ball out with his foot. Are you sure thats not what you saw?

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dillan June 30, 2012 5:04 pm

it's possible the ruck wasn't technically formed, but I for sure saw him take the ball out with his hands and i'm not too sure that they drove sa off the ball, I think both teams were competing at the ball although it was originally sa ball, right after cole got the ball he was immediately tackled by etzebeth so it was either etzebeth or cole who was going to have the ball and cole saved england from a sure try, with the japan play although it was a while ago (I think it was wales they played) wales might have been trying to get someone to play scrumhalf to get the ball out when the japanese bloke leaped over the ruck and started the break, thanks for your input bro, does anybody else know about the morne steyne penalty because I probably would have made that play, playing rugby over here in canada and wouldn't understand why I was being penalized, if it's going to be a sure try shouldn't you try and stop it?

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Mitchell July 18, 2012 6:53 pm

Anyone else think this commentator always sounds like he's just taken a knock to the head that makes him talk slowly?

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