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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Ma'a Nonu puts the shoulder into former team mate Piri Weepu

It was a miserable Friday night in Auckland for the Otago Highlanders as they lost yet another match, going down 29-18 to the Blues. Ma'a Nonu had a forgettable night, starting with this shoulder shot on former Hurricanes team mate Piri Weepu.

Despite seemingly haiving all the ingredients for success, the Highlanders are having a horrible time so far in this year's Super Rugby competition. They sit bottom of the log after eight rounds, and the game against the Blues was another frustrating one for them.

Ma'a Nonu was sinbinned for a reckless tackle on All Black and former Blues and Hurricanes team mate Weepu midway through the first half. Referee Steve Walsh, who made use of the TMO on regular occasion throughout the match, originally chose to only penalise Nonu for the offence.

Ali Williams took exception to that, and could be heard saying to Walsh that "If it's a deliberate and illegal charge, then it's a card surely?"

"You can't guy nice on Ma'a because you and him have got beef," he added. Walsh seemed to listen, and after having watched the big screen replay and given it some further thought, changed his mind, and showed Nonu the yellow card after all.

The Highlanders conceded two tries during the time that Nonu was off, cancelling out their early 10-0 lead. Weepu suffered no ill-affect from the hit, other than being winded, and went on to score two important tries in the second half.

There were no hard feelings between the two All Blacks though as they were seen chatting and laughing on the field after the game, and big hitter Nonu later tweeted a photo of the two hanging out in the changeroom, saying Weepu was the better man on the night.

They have been mates for ages, as is evident in this hilarious clip of Nonu falling off his chair.

In other news from the same game, George Moala has been banned for a week for the tackle he made on Buxton Popoali'i. The Highlanders wing was knocked out cold from the hit.

Posted at 8:26 am | 34 comments

Robbie Fruean's huge handoff on Piri Weepu

Andrew Hore asks if they're allowed to tackle Dan Carter

Ma'a Nonu big shoulder on Jimmy Cowan results in red card

Ma'a Nonu apologises for swearing during radio interview

Piri Weepu try for the Maori after a nice run from Hosea Gear

Ma'a Nonu puts in a huge hit on young James O'Connor

Friday Funnies - Ma'a Nonu falls off his chair

Ma'a Nonu gets 1 week ban for tackle on Clint Newland

Ma'a Nonu finishes off a great team try

Ma'a Nonu absolutely slaughters Ben Blair

Ma'a Nonu spear tackle on Gordon Darcy

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 34 comments

adakins April 06, 2013 7:19 pm

once again Ma'a has proven how much of a douche he is..

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hamsandwhich April 06, 2013 7:26 pm

hoping that Walsh got some info from his touch judges and didn't decide to change his decision because of the conversation he had with Brad Thorn. We don't need that to start happening.

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DrG April 06, 2013 7:42 pm

...Ali Williams.

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hamsandwhich April 06, 2013 8:20 pm

sorry that's who I meant

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DrG April 06, 2013 11:11 pm

Sorry, I was about to reply but I got distracted and just left that comment. But yes I agree with you, I also hope that it wasn't "a captain in his ear" that caused his change of heart. Last thing we need is a football nature of pushing and pulling the referee so he listens to you.

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stroudos April 07, 2013 12:27 am

Agree with the sentiment, but thankfully there's still a massive difference between the captain making a point reasonably politely to the ref and the sort of shenanigans we see in football.

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matt April 08, 2013 1:50 pm

I agree with Stroudos and DrG
But, I was furious watching this live, and am constantly when referees identify the offence correctly, and then don't follow through on the punishments outlined in the rules. There is no doubt that a shoulder charge is at least a yellow, so how can you possibly identify it as a charge and then say it'll only be a penalty?
Having said that, I admire Walsh's confidence having seen it on the screen to then change the decision, too many referees would've muttured 'ooops' and continued as it was.

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themull April 06, 2013 8:29 pm

While it is illegal, I don't see why shoulder charges so long as it is shoulder vs shoulder should be illegal..Of course shoulder charges to the chest and back can be dangerous but shoulder charges to the ball carrier's shoulder are allowed in plenty of physical sports and personally I don't see how it is any more dangerous than your average big tackle..

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browner April 06, 2013 8:59 pm

Are you serious !

Name another 'worldwide' sport where it's legal

Cos a player who becomes a 25mph 'missile' is endangering opposition & themselves.

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joe April 06, 2013 9:55 pm

soccer...but thats two people going for a ball not one with a ball getting blindsided like here so i agree with you

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themull April 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Gaelic football, aussie rules, hurling, ice hockey, american football, soccer in old days...not entirely sure it should be legalized given how it may become dangerous if it was a blindside hit..

Even so, it's not nearly as dangerous as some are making it out to be..It will hurt the player for sure, but rugby is about hurting a guy in the tackle, not seriously obviously but winding a guy or giving him a few sore ribs etc...In terms of serious injury, so long as it is shoulder to shoulder (side on) then there really isn't much more danger involved than a guy getting absolutely creamed after catching an up and under...

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BestHookerInTown April 07, 2013 2:16 pm

Difference between Gailec Football, Hurling and Rugby is that you don't have 18 stone cannonballs throwing themselves around. (Although if you play Junior B like myself this statement can be wrong).

Also due to the speed, skill, space and nature of GF and H you don't get the same chances for clear shoulder on shoulder chances like you might get on a rugby field.

Plus as another person on this post said, rugby is a skilled based game, so why can't the tackle be a skill to perfect instead of a tool to try injure opposition players.

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Jimothy April 06, 2013 9:26 pm

They've even banned it in League so it must be bad!!!! Rugby is a game of skill and tackling should be skillful. This clip showed that these tackles don't take a great deal of it and just brute strength!!!

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themull April 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Gaelic football, aussie rules, hurling, ice hockey, american football, soccer in old days...not entirely sure it should be legalized given how it may become dangerous if it was a blindside hit..

Even so, it's not nearly as dangerous as some are making it out to be..It will hurt the player for sure, but rugby is about hurting a guy in the tackle, not seriously obviously but winding a guy or giving him a few sore ribs etc...In terms of serious injury, so long as it is shoulder to shoulder (side on) then there really isn't much more danger involved than a guy getting absolutely creamed after catching an up and under...

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JV April 07, 2013 3:15 pm

"Rugby is about hurting a guy in the tackle" Are you kidding me? I've played for 8 years never gone out of my way to hurt someone, what is the point? I want to play a fair game, not one where you're knocking seven shades of sh*t out of each other. Tackling is about getting the ball, not winding or bruising their ribs, it's about getting the ball and nothing else. You don't want to see someone go off because you've broken their leg.

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rufio April 07, 2013 12:49 pm

you have NEVER obviously experienced a should charge before have you, you fucking keyboard warrior!! There is a word to describe people like you, and it aint pleasant!!

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skronydn April 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Nonu is a douche and in my opinion should not be an All Black any more. Walsh changed his decision after seeing the big screen and l think(l could be wrong) in consultation with the TMO. Hore is a liability to the ABs as well. Why can't they trust the defence or be more professional having played at the highest level of the game for the best team in rugby union?

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Stubby April 07, 2013 1:00 am

he said that he saw it on the screen and because there is the TMO protocol now that he decided to make it a yellow card. Without the TMO protocol he would have been stuck with the original decision.

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UpTheLowEnd April 06, 2013 9:29 pm

Whilst he managed to make the right call in the end... eventually, I think Walsh is a disgrace and isn't fit to ref schoolboys.

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DrG April 06, 2013 11:13 pm

Meh, I quite like Walsh, he comes across as one of the "oldies" who enjoys a game with a bit of fair biff.. lol..

But of course we disagree, so each to their own.

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matt April 08, 2013 1:54 pm

I think he's one of the strongest, least influenceable (pretty sure that isnt a word, but you get it) refs around, and it seems to me he will back himself 100% all day, which is admirable and IMO a good thing. But he isn't always right.

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JV April 06, 2013 9:36 pm

How he didn't see this yeas a yellow to start off with I have no idea, kudos for admitting his mistake and correcting it, but for not giving it in the first place I have to say he is one of the worst refs I've ever had the displeasure of seeing.

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Strabane April 07, 2013 12:20 am

Can I get an ABP on Ma'a Nonu's eye brows?

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TisE April 07, 2013 4:31 am

I knew this thread would have its share of posts bagging Walsh. So just to even things up a bit, I think he's one of the finest refs in the game and this piece of common-sense reffing is just another small reason why. So many others would not have had the smarts to look up at the screen nor the guts to change their mind. Well done.

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asdfero April 07, 2013 7:30 am

I applaud you quietly from my laptop, sir.

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Yannoche April 07, 2013 12:02 pm

Same here, Walsh is my fav ref !

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rufio April 07, 2013 12:47 pm

walsh is a good ref, infact, one of the best, but hes had a few shockers recently!!

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matt April 08, 2013 1:56 pm

Having the guts to change is commendable, but it still baffles me how he arrived at the conclusion that that was just a penalty in the first place.
There is a lot to be said for someone who is willing to sort out their mistakes, but that doesn't change the fact that they made them in the first place.

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Kdot April 08, 2013 2:27 am

I see there are still the group of pansies who think tackling is ALL about skill, and that you NEVER tackle/play to hurt. These are the same people that think the shoulder charge is the worst possible thing that could happen to Rugby.

They discredit the shoulder charge out of pure fear: as they do not have the ability or aggression to perform one, but most importantly...hoping they will never be on the receiving end of one.

Hurting people in Rugby is a part of the game,...just like intimidation and aggression, it is a part of Rugby. Anybody that has played at a high level will know these are important parts of the game to help your team win. Its important in ALL sports. Its common sense really.

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matt April 08, 2013 1:58 pm

I love the charge, I disagree with your love of hurting people, and I miss it now that it's gone from league. However, the ARL did an enormous amount of work looking into the risks and rewards of it being legal, and concluded that it is just too dangerous to justify.

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CEO Front Row Union April 08, 2013 3:36 am

Meh .. that had about as much impact as two front rows engaging at scrum time

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Dragon Arms April 10, 2013 12:59 am

Exactly!!!...without the risk of breaking 6 front row necks. The hatred towards shoulder charging by a group of people baffles me sometimes.

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asdfero April 11, 2013 2:45 am

If you think that the amount of force in a scrum engage is the same as being hit by a 100kg dude going at 10-14 mph, I would say you're horribly wrong; and I play front row.

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