Ben Tameifuna banned for pushing referee


Cheslin Kolbe dazzling run, no look pass


James Haskell's wasp related banter


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Horwill & Bismarck Du Plessis slaps


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Female Streaker has no regrets


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass

Monday, November 05, 2012

Best Tries of the Top 14 - Rounds 8 and 9

With the two domestic competitions down south now complete, there's a bit more breathing space as we focus on the northern hemisphere tournaments, and of the upcoming internationals. For now though, we're starting the week with a feast of tries.

Up north the RaboDirect PRO12, Aviva Premiership, and French Top 14 are ticking along so we'll continue to scan the games to find the best bits of play from all three tournaments. Your help is needed though so don't be shy to submit your suggestions or contributions when possible.

Today though we're featuring two of the latest Top 10 Tries compilations from Canal Plus in France, which includes their picks of the best tries from Rounds 8 and 9 of the competition.

With these videos it's quite subjective usually, and while there's 20 tries in total for you to watch, you'll possibly only find a handful to be outstanding. They're all enjoyable though so if you have the time, skim through and feel free to let us know below which were your favourites.

As mentioned, there are two videos below, but we've placed the latest (Round 9) at the top of the queue, so that'll play first, and then automatically jump to Round 8 if you fancy watching that too.

Posted at 9:54 am | 23 comments

Viewing 23 comments

katman November 05, 2012 4:57 pm

Great skills by Vincent Clerc. And David Smith had no right to score his try either. Nice to see some of the fatties get in on the action too.

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To November 05, 2012 6:14 pm

The best try IMHO is the first from armitage - mainly because of the way the defensive line fanned out allowing a quick pick from the base of the ruck - very well read

Highlight has to be bakkies sending the opposite lock flying around 1min 13sec mark using the palm of his hand

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Guy November 05, 2012 10:44 pm

Sooooo...if I understand correctly your highlight from a 20 try compilation is the handoff by Bakkies? Interesting choice.

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Tc November 06, 2012 7:18 pm

Guy, there's nothing that special in this compilation tbh. Some nice tries, but nothing that will live in the memory for long

I'm a Englishman, but have always been a big fan of bakkies. He was the best second row in the world imho for a number of years, mainly due to the momentum he generated in rucks.

That is a monster handoff. Far more impressive that a 5m scrum and 8 pick up, or a chip through for that matter. Just an opinion

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stroudos November 06, 2012 9:51 pm

I'm with Tc/To on this one. The handoff was a beauty and it's always nice to see someone of the size of Botha's oppo here being sent flying.
Mind you I also enjoyed the Clarkin handoff at 0:40.

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jeppy89 November 05, 2012 7:01 pm

some great tries, and some great skills, but equally some god awful defending and hands in there

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Benny November 05, 2012 8:57 pm

Good to see Taumalolo still scoring tries!

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Froliks November 05, 2012 9:44 pm

Can anybody explain why in almost 50% of these matches the referee is speaking English? They weren't European games were they?

Puzzled.

PS: Steffon Armitage would walk into most Test squads - why not the English one?!

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thunor November 06, 2012 1:48 am

Due to the selection policy which says that overseas players are only chosen in exceptional circumstances. The reason for that is to provide a disincentive for players to move to France and Australia, despite the big money, crowds, weather and other aspects.

I agree though, he's probably the best flanker in Europe at present. In some ways he is England's nearest equivalent to Schalk Brits; a skilful attacking forward who wouldn't look out of place in the back line, with great handling, pace and even reasonable kicking.

My view is that he should be one of the aforementioned exceptions.

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browner November 06, 2012 2:39 pm

Steffon honed his skills playing 7's, European rugby suits his style.... fast flowing etc...

I agree pick him....but where do you draw the line?....without a disincentive all our top players will bugger off to french leagues, & leave us with 2nd/3rd tier south sea islanders all filling our leagues .....

The 3 year residency rule stinks...... one day England will line up with Tuilagi, Vunipulu [, & Baritt, Hartley Botha Stevens [SA] Waldron,[NZ] Paice [Aus] & more of their bands of brothers ....... it will be a sad day ..... but it's coming sooner than we think !

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thunor November 06, 2012 3:08 pm

I have no problem with it, generally. Nationality is a bizarre and blurry thing which is extremely difficult to define.

At any rate, in the case of Vunipola, he's lived here most of his life (since 8 years old) - see this BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/20094952

You'd have difficulty picking Stevens in that lineup, given that he's retired :-).

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katman November 06, 2012 3:25 pm

Ireland is the next country to shop around for a national team, if the players leaving SA are anything to go by. Hooker Richard Strauss is already in the squad and now flank CJ Stander, lock Quinn Roux and centre Danie Poolman have all signed contracts with Munster, Leinster and Connacht, and expressed their desire to one day play for Ireland. And I don’t think they would have said this if it wasn’t a carrot that had already been dangled.

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smilingjim November 06, 2012 3:37 pm

Yeah real shame he can't get picked at the moment, I don't think its just selection policy, of players playing abroad, but also him not being able to join the sqaud for the training sessions a week before the autumn internationals began. So hopefully he'll be able to play in the 6 nations.

The Toulon pack seems to have better players than the English one would have, so it would take him a while to bed in. Plus some time to tinker and experiment to find a 6 and 8 to make a balanced back row.

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Frenchie November 06, 2012 9:46 pm

Because in the top14, French players are in minority, so it's easier for the ref to be understood if he speaks English in some occasions (you can see it with the try scorers in this video: 2 french guys, and 7 players who are english speakers, except Parisse). Besides, sometimes we have British refs to get prepared to the H cup!

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stroudos November 07, 2012 11:18 am

I don't object too much to the principle of allowing foreigners to play for England. But it does seem perverse that the country with the highest number of rugby players in the world - by some distance - is unable to convert enough of them to elite level as to not rely on foreign help.

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Guy November 05, 2012 10:50 pm

Agree with Katman: Clerc did fabulously well in that try. Incredible footwork. Imho, I would have chosen it to be the winner.

By the way: nice to see a Frenchie score a try every now and then. I noticed last time that most of the tries in these round-ups are scored by foreigners. I know the French competition has a lot of players from abroad but that much?

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Reality November 05, 2012 11:11 pm

It's like watching the Super 15 sometimes, isn't it? The table-topping team, Toulon, has about 3 French players, and all of their stars are non-French. A bit sad really. I suppose in the long run it'll be disastrous for the national team.

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Pierre November 06, 2012 3:28 pm

In the last 3 rounds (8, 9, 10), there were 5, 6 and 6 French players in the Toulon starting lineup. Agreed it's not a lot (and rather an exception amongst Top 14 teams) but it's more than 3.
As for the outcome of that policy regarding the national team, I don't know. But foreigners playing in Top 14 (and even lower divisions) is nothing new and France almost won last year World Cup so...

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Canadian content November 06, 2012 2:25 am

Premiere essai, Wilkinson a Basteraud est en avant.

Terrible plaquage, comme mon francais, dans le 5ieme essai de Smith, je pense que le 15 n'essayer pas.

Clerc est une de les meilleur finishers dans le monde.

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Stubby November 06, 2012 2:40 am

Vincent Clerc aurait du etre numero un.

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4LC4TR4Z November 06, 2012 9:42 am

Refs speaks in english because... They are english...
Those 8 and 9 days, there were french refs in UK and british ones in France.
To prepare the first round of the HCup which came few days after that

Of course most of french refs can speak english sometimes.
That made funny vids, when a french ref had chosen to talk in english to Steffon Armitage who's fluent in french... Then talked french to afrikaneer Bakkies Botha few minutes later.... :'-)

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Colombes November 06, 2012 1:36 pm

Clerc skills proves that he's still one of the best top14 finishers despite his age (30)
Young guns such like martin, buttin, o'connor, berard and even palisson will have to push very hard to take his place.

Refs were speaking english during these rounds, in order to help players to understand erc refs recommendations during the next Hcup weekend. Apart toulon and racing, most of the top14 teams are full of "perdon my english" french players

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Jeroo November 07, 2012 3:30 pm

You'd have to include Steffon in your team if possible, closest thing to Back since Back. If we can get him in would you move Robshaw to 6?

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