Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow


The Top 5 French Flair moments


Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vincent Clerc's incredible volley almost leads to try

If you watched France vs Scotland on Saturday night you will have seen this great piece of play by French winger Vincent Clerc, who managed to keep an attacking move alive via some impressive quick thinking. France went on to win the game 23-16

Freddie Michalak, who had an eventful game to say the least, put a cross kick in late in the first half as France looked to attack. He found Clerc, who realised that there wasn't much point in catching it so nimbly pulled off a perfectly placed kick ahead, as Scotland wing Tim Visser looked on.

The ball was eventually knocked on a few phases later, but it was a moment of brilliance. In fact it may remind you of another Frenchman who at times makes things look easy, Lionel Beauxis.

A few years ago Beauxis, while playing for Stade Francais, volleyed the ball with consumate ease, controlling it in such a way that the ball popped up perfectly into his hands.

You can view that in the Related Posts below, as well as another more recent moment of superb ball control as Welshman Tom Grabham kicked the ball up to himself at the Glasgow Sevens last year.

As commentator Andrew Cotter said, unbelievable tekkers.

View all archived Six Nations 2013 Highlights

Posted at 3:55 pm | 17 comments

France get first tournament win with win over Scotland

Tom Grabham's incredible foot control in Glasgow

Lionel Beauxis incredible skill against Bath

Posted in See it to Believe it, Six Nations 2013

Viewing 17 comments

Utility back March 19, 2013 9:33 pm

True French flair

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DanKnapp March 19, 2013 9:50 pm

Class. This is why I can't help but love the French rugby team. You never know what you're going to get.

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Askelkana March 20, 2013 2:57 pm

Mama said the French team was like a box of chocolates...

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Guest March 19, 2013 11:16 pm

What an incredible play by the French, too bad they neither crossed the line nor kicked a 3-points penality: number 1 black completely offside.

Remember that if you're offside at the ruck, you stay offside even when the ruck is over unless :
- you come back behind the last feet line OR
- one opponent carries the ball on five metres OR
- one opponent kicks the ball

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Askelkana March 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Fair enough, but it's with rules like these that we cannot but feel sorry for the ref. How on earth is he going to keep tabs on all involved players' all possible breaches of all relevant rules?

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Guest March 20, 2013 3:41 pm

I agree that is not something easy but after all that his job for 80 minutes !

One could except better from a top-level referee (touch judge in RWC 2011 Final)....

But as a Frenchman, I was way more disappointed by the French than by the ref who did a decent job there unlike France.

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browner March 21, 2013 7:43 pm

Answer.... I'll tell you how, because it was bloody obvious & bloody cynical & one of the easiest YC decisions IMO

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phunni March 19, 2013 11:32 pm

Hard to be certain, but I think it was Chris Patterson who said "tekkers". Not that it really matters.

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Rugbydump March 20, 2013 11:24 am

You could be right - spot on either way

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Canadian content March 20, 2013 12:28 am

Is it just me or does Visser look kinda wussy here? Not that i expect him to take a boot or the ball in his face, but he certainly looks to be much more concerned with self preservation than anything here.

But maybe i am just pretty dissappointed with him overall. The way he was tearing it up in the Magners I figured for sure he was gonna be a star a test level, but other than a few moments where he's been put into space and benefitted, I have found him quite average. Not great defence, not much of a counter game, and kinda shaky under the high ball in general.


Last summer I was syaing he's a lion for sure, not anymore I'm afraid.


My lion wings ppicks: North and Cuthbert, Brown (cover 15 obviously) and Gilroy (a dark horse I know, but he's the new shane).

I really hope they don't wuss out and take ashton, who's been poor or maitland because of his pedigree, the latter has played well but hasn't earned it over the other fellahs.

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Guy March 20, 2013 9:27 am

To me it looks like het did the only sensible thing: take out Clerc.

Have to agree with you on most of the rest of your post: defense is not his best asset. Not talking about the physical aspect, more about his positioning. I've got the feeling he is improving though.

Too bad he (and Maitland and Hogg) have not been used more this tournament. Because when they did, Scotland produced some pretty exciting stuff!

By the way: don't underestimate the importance of a player like Visser for rugby in the Netherlands. I know a lot of people moan about him not being a Scot and all. But everytime he scores a try, rugby gets media attention in the Netherlands. That can only be very good for the sport over there.

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browner March 21, 2013 7:52 pm

Eh.... Everytime what ............... ?are you serious, they celebrate his defection......


That's as bad as George North singing at the top of his voice "land of my father'

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Canadian content March 20, 2013 12:29 am

Great skill by the way,

quel tire

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Guest March 20, 2013 2:14 am

If you listen, Nigel Owens said he wasn't offside because nothing had formed...

Completed tackle, ball placed on the ground, 3 french players clearing out two scottish players. Looks like a ruck to me Nige.

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browner March 21, 2013 7:48 pm

In which case all the other scottish defenders must've collectively all misread the ruck formed

as they all went back to the offside line !

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Yannoche March 20, 2013 1:49 pm

Too bad Huget didn't keep it.

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Ithilsul March 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Another thing to take into consideration is that Clerc is left-handed. Skill++

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