The Wraparound from Rugby HQ - Week 27

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC

George Gregan's halfback Masterclass

Some of the greatest amateur rugby hits

Jerry Collins' club perform Haka

Andrew Trimble big hit leads to try

Top Three Try Saving Tackles ever!

Sky Sport NZ's Super Rugby Player Awards

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gio Aplon knocked out with brutal elbow from teammate

Stormers and Springbok flyer Gio Aplon took a horrific knock against the Rebels, resulting in him slumping to the floor in one of the most awkward looking positions we've seen. Luckily he soldiered on, and will be available for their next match.

The Stormers beat the Rebels 26-21 in Cape Town in a less than convincing display that may have raised a few eyebrows ahead of their Super Rugby semi final clash. They were however in control for most of the game, so will be confident going forward.

They've been the most watched team this season, with statistics released last week showing that while they continue to pack their home ground of Newlands, they also consistently rank number one in terms of TV viewership for the competition.

Exciting players such as Aplon have a lot to do with that, and while they haven't scored many tries this season, their consistent defence has meant that they've also conceded the least.

Aplon was unfortunate to be on the end of a clumsy Rynhardt Elstadt elbow midway through the first half as he flew into a tackle situation unaware that his left arm would produce a knockout blow.

Aplon folded in two, and while hooker Tiaan Liebenberg tried desperately to get referee Lourens van der Merwe to stop the match, he allowed play to continue for a few more phases.

Thankfully Aplon, one of the smallest players in professional rugby, made a full recovery and resumed his place on the wing for the rest of the match. He has since been cleared to play in the Stormers semi final. If they win that, they will host the Super Rugby final for the first time. 

Stormers vs Rebels match highlights | Super Rugby Round 18 highlights

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:33 am | View Comments (38)

Chris Ashton's huge hit on Gio Aplon

Midweek Madness - Beau Robinson falcons Rynhardt Elstadt

Gio Aplon's brilliant individual try against the Chiefs

Dylan Hartley's forearm drop on Richie McCaw

The Springboks thump France in Cape Town

Bakkies Botha suspended after dangerous clearout on Aplon

Ben Foden charge floors big Ally Kellock

Excellent Gio Aplon Try in 2006

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 38 comments

Wilso July 18, 2012 1:48 pm

He got knocked the fook out

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Clarkey000 July 18, 2012 1:56 pm

I do not understand why the game was not stopped sooner than this. The referee had a clear view of the whole incident, and I feel it was pretty obvious that Aplon was completely knocked out and in a dangerous and uncomfortable position. If it weren't for his team-mate's attention I don't think the referee would have stopped the play until the next breakdown. Incidents like this are becoming increasingly ignored by referees during games, and for the safety of the players I really think play should be immediately stopped in situations like this

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medic July 18, 2012 1:57 pm

He should not have been allowed to play on imo ... another bad example to set for junior rugby .. concussion is dangerous and should be respected

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Charlie July 18, 2012 1:59 pm

Really don't think he should have stayed on after a knock like that?

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wally 25 July 18, 2012 2:15 pm

I think the referee should never ref another game at any level and the fact that stormers management allowed him to continue to play suggests to me that they don't really care about the longevity of the players contracted to Them! Disgraceful!!!

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Andy July 18, 2012 2:16 pm

that is some poor refing he could clearly see he was knock out and the whistle should.have been.blown straight away even the players pointed to the player amd the ref carried on

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rugby_prezz July 18, 2012 2:28 pm

Absolutely agree with Medic and Charlie. As a coach I would be crucified if I allowed a player to stay on the field after a hit like that. Further I would not have them playing next week either.
Wally .. Dead on .. Disgaceful

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Froliks July 18, 2012 2:36 pm

Wow! The ref is either blind or negligent. It is immediately obvious that something is wrong and he does nothing. Isn't it part of the ref's job to tend to the safety of the players? Goon!

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browner July 18, 2012 3:06 pm

Shame on the REf / the medic & the coaching/management team . FULL STOP.

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Reality July 18, 2012 3:22 pm

It's great to see how much progress has been made in terms of player safety in rugby. The guy gets a sickening head blow right in front of the referee, but he lets the game go on and lets people fall on top of the unconscious player, and then the player's management tell him to play on and risk further injury instead of taking him off to be checked out by a doctor, and the referee lets them do this. That's not absolutely disgraceful at all.

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Scrummie July 18, 2012 6:02 pm

I agree. I stopped watching the NFL because of the concussion controversies. From my playing experience w/ rugby, concussions were always taken seriously. But if this sort of mistreatment continues, I'm going to have to start supporting golf as my number 1 sport. This isn't to say I want contact taken out of the game; it's just idiotic to see that scientific facts be ignored.

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rob10 July 18, 2012 7:26 pm

I thought they wore helmets in NFl.

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jonny July 18, 2012 9:15 pm

They do, but that just means they're getting hit by helmets too...

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Uncensored July 19, 2012 12:06 pm

You stopped watching NFL because of media created controversy? What a silly thing to do. You do realise, don't you, that at the professional level the concussion rates in NFL and Rugby are the same. The only difference is the media coverage of the epidemic in both codes, with the rugby concussion situation being ignored and covered up, largely.

If you've given up on the NFL because of the concussion situation then you absolutely shouldn't be watching rugby, either.

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No9scrum July 21, 2012 6:46 pm

The difference os that in both concussion is treated well these days and players recovery is a big thing,
The controversy is old players who are acctually suing the nfl and saying that they should have done more whilst they were playing to reduce long term affects.

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RedArmy July 18, 2012 4:00 pm

Surely it should be mandatory to halt play straight away, have the player taken off, and not allowed back on a pitch until a full medical check, preferably at a hospital? Right now over 2000 former pro American Footballers are suing the NFL for complications arising from multiple concussions. They're suffering from memory loss, emotional issues, disorientation and dementia. How long will it be before we see the same in rugby?

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Pretzel July 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Hopefully due to the controls we have within the game, we won't see the same. The tackles we are allowed to make are hundreds of times more limited to what you can do in the NFL. Also there are many other aspects which are different, i.e. generally if you aren't carrying the ball in rugby you can expect to be left alone by opposition players, in the NFL this is not the case, therefore you can be hit from many a different angle, there is no restrictions on heights of tackles etc etc...

What WOULD be interesting (in an unfortunate manner) would be to see the similarities in long term affects of League vs NFL compared to Union vs NFL... Seeing as league there is a lot less control with the tackles.

I think overall there needs to be a big amount of education for all. Players need to feel safe to say "nuh uh, I'm not playing on after being ko'd" without feeling like they could jeopardise their future within a team for being "the soft one"... The managers and coaches also need to be able to say "look enough is enough, sit the rest of this out" etc...

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Uncensored July 19, 2012 12:11 pm

It would never be a fair comparison anyway, just look at the number of tackles in each average game, a league player gets tackled or makes a tackle about 10 x the amount a rugby player makes in his career.

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Pretzel July 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Well yes I understand their differences... However a head knock is a head knock... I am quite a prolific tackler in my team, I tend to make a lot more tackles per game than many of my team mates, however I have had less KO's than team mates (none luckily!) and generally no head knocks to write home about...

However if I did get KO'd I'd hope I have the good sense to go off or at least be persuaded off by the staff...

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No9scrum July 21, 2012 6:49 pm

I think the key word u used was OLD players things have changed now in both sports and concussion is treated more effectively now.

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Pretzel July 18, 2012 4:07 pm

Like a lot of others, I am totally shocked that Aplon was allowed to continue playing. I mean he was knocked out cold, there is no doubt about that, therefore his brain DID suffer an injury, how can the medics, the coach, and even the referee, fail to stop him playing?

Not entirely sure what Rynhardt Elstadt thought he was doing with that challenge... another case for the "wrapping brigade" perhaps?

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Fermin July 18, 2012 5:03 pm

Its a mans game.. Fuark the man up all of you whiners.. Give credit for gios courage of staying on the field

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cheyanqui July 18, 2012 5:21 pm

Utter kak

The breakdown almost fell onto Gio. Referee should have handled it.

The fact that he's in a position that voluntary brain impulses would never allow is clear that he lost consciouness. agree with previous poster that this is a poor signal to junior ruggers. Bad on the Stormers.

The player will have the tendency to say "yes" to playing, because 1) they are competitive, 2) they need to earn a paycheck, 3) they probably don't even remember what happened. It's up to the stewards of the game (referee, team mgmt) to protect him.

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cheyanqui July 18, 2012 5:22 pm

lastly. Very lucky Gio didn't suffer a lower leg injury by the way he dropped.

Recall the Top 14 game where a player hit an opposing hooker (Romanian I think), and the guy dropped like a sack of potatoes and broke his own ankle from the force of his body dropping down. {video is on RD somewhere}

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Dan Cotruta July 18, 2012 5:46 pm

Rugby has become disgusting. There are no gentlemen left, just thugs and idiots like this referee (and every member of both teams who saw the incident and didn't immediately stop play). More and more players are going to end up with long-term damage because of increasingly (and unnecessarily) hard hits and ignorance of proper brain trauma treatment. Anyone who is knocked unconscious should be undergoing an immediate and in-depth medical evaluation followed by an enforced break from any contact training or play.

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Uncensored July 19, 2012 12:15 pm

Where's the evidence for that? We should have procedures in place concerning concussions, but I'm over people making farfetched claims based on American research into a completely different sport. There is no long-term brain damage pandemic in Rugby, and neither will there be.

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Powder6 July 18, 2012 5:48 pm

What the chuffing hell is the ref doing not stopping that as soon as it happened?! clear and obvious that he is out cold.

Could have been nasty with that ruck falling on him.

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Danny July 18, 2012 6:33 pm

The ref even has the cheek to say "Safety first" for the resulting scrum. Yeah, after a ruck has gone over the poor bugger that's knocked out on the floor and a few phases of play later. Tool.

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BondTr4der July 18, 2012 10:18 pm

This is F'in ridiculous. Ref should be suspended, medics forbidden from practicing sports medicine.

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Jonny July 18, 2012 11:10 pm

Full respect must got to Dion Fourie there for getting Aplon in the recovery position and notifying the referee.

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Silky July 18, 2012 11:38 pm

as if he went back on his wing. f*ckin hard bastard

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BondTr4der July 19, 2012 1:52 am

there are a few vids of him on RD of getting absolutely creamed - kudos to the guy for being prepared to carry on, but pride comes before the fall, eh?

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Canadian content July 19, 2012 3:22 am

Glad to see I wasnt the only one who felt this way about Gio playing on. Disgusting. Same thing happened to me in my last provincial grade game in Canada. I was knocked silly, should have left the game but was encouraged to stay because we already used all of our subs. My head hasn't been the same since.

So no, based on Gio playing in the semi rugby doesn't have better control than the nfl and better man up and grow up.

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ConorL July 19, 2012 3:27 pm

Dion Fourie, take a bow son. The only one of the 30 other men on the field to stop playing and check on the condition of Gio. The ref and the medics should be given lengthy suspensions for incompetence.

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Gustavo July 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Red Card to referee and banned for rest of your life!!!

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Kettlerugby July 19, 2012 11:41 pm

scrum hat worked then...

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Pretzel July 21, 2012 11:45 pm

Could be dead without it... lol...

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