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Saturday, June 29, 2013

George North picks up and carries tackler Israel Folau

Earlier in Melbourne George North did something that we've probably never seen on the rugby field at this level. Winger Israel Folau went in to tackle him, but North decided he'd counter that by simply picking up the big Wallaby and running with him. As you do.

North, a man mountain himself, lifted 6'4 Folau, stuck him on his shoulder, and with the ball in one hand he literally carried him back towards his own tryline.

As spectacular as it was, North actually ended up coming off worse for wear as he was dumped to the floor when the two players went to ground.

His head was driven into the turf WWE style, something followers on Twitter didn't miss. In fact the term DDT, which is an old wrestling move that looks pretty similar, was practically trending.

The good news for Lions fans is that North continued playing after a quick checkup, but he'll probably have a bit of a headache tomorrow, and might not try that move again in a hurry.

Highlights of the game are now up and you can share your thoughts on the overall result, and the predictions for next week's decider, here.

Posted at 2:14 pm | 27 comments

Wallabies snatch second Test to level the Lions series

Posted in British & Irish Lions 2013, See it to Believe it

Viewing 27 comments

Guy June 29, 2013 2:47 pm

Impressive move...starting with some poor tackling.

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WelshOsprey June 29, 2013 4:13 pm

Folau got absolutely beasted

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oz gold July 01, 2013 1:08 pm


clever work by North as Folau was upright trying to strip the ball. But overall, Folau 11 carries for 90m , North 5 carries for 7m. The pic of Folau outjumping North for a high ball is more jaw dropping as well imo.

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bobo June 29, 2013 4:23 pm

Folau seemed to be trying to fight for the ball after making contact in a position far too upright to execute a tackle. North's response though, was to give up contesting the ball and instead pulled a silly maneuver. And got injured, as you do.

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Swing June 29, 2013 4:32 pm

There's going to be a press conference in the morning (BST) for George North to apologise for making Folau look like a sack of spuds

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browner June 29, 2013 4:37 pm

Despite massive respect for Folau [In my view the most exciting player on the park] I think that once North has 'ensured he landed safely [well done GN] that IF's action of dropping him on his head is very dangerous & is precisely why lifting tackles were outlawed...

This should be referred to the citing commissioner to decide whether it was foul play.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/britishandirishlionsrugby/10150112/George-Norths-amazing-firemans-lift-on-Israel-Folau-in-pictures.html#?frame=2603691

IMHO dangerous & subject to action.

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Benny June 29, 2013 6:54 pm

I suspect the reason we don't see this happen often is that most ball carriers realise that picking up a 100kg man on your shoulder can only end badly, probably for yourself. If anyone endangered GN, it was GN.

On the topic of wrestling moves, did anyone see Same Cane do one earlier this year? He was also upright in the tackle and grappling with someone but couldn't bring them down completely. He kicked his own legs out, using his weight to bring the guy face first to the ground. Hard to describe but definitely looked WWF style. He always seemed like such a nice boy

And then there was the intentional self spear tackle in the NRL, i forget which game, when a player flipped himself over int he tackle, winning a last minute penalty to take the game. dangerous but entertaining

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Kiwi In Germany June 29, 2013 5:00 pm

(IMHO) He picked up a 100 kilo weight and ran with him and was always going to fall awkwardly. If anyone should be cited for anything dangerous it should be GN. But then seriously this is rugby. This is a freak incident next you'll want to start citing people for running over other people like Lomu did in 95.

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DrG June 29, 2013 5:02 pm

Can't read browners comment as it goes off the page, so apologies if this is similar.

I was actually wondering how this could work in a legality side of things. I don't wish to detract from a highly amusing (at the time) piece of work by GN, or try and put any negativity onto Folau, but if one was to grab an opposition player around the midriff and roll backwards so that the player landed on their neck, would that not be some sort of illegal tackle/spear tackle etc...??

Of course Folau was not exactly in a particularly dominant or dominating position, on GN's shoulder, so perhaps all he did was cling on for dear life so that his head didn't hit the turf. It all just looked wrong.

But what does anyone think? I particularly like the idea of it just being something that isn't recommended, but is just ignored (in a citing sense) but with this day and age, does this seem like something which could be flagged by the citing commissioner??

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Kiwi In Germany June 29, 2013 5:28 pm

On Folau - I don't think he had much choice in the matter once GN picked him up. (Like as sack of potatoes as someone else commented.)

On the citing commissioner - This day and age every petty damned thing. Though I don't think there will be many recurrences of GN's feat. Just like we haven't seen anyone run over another player in a while.

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DrG June 29, 2013 5:35 pm

Hmm, true.

As I said, I didn't wish to drag up a negative on this video, but I did out of pure curiosity and as perhaps an interesting point of conversation.

I was once caught standing upright as a player with the ball had his head down, he ran into me, his shoulder in my stomach, I grabbed him round the midriff with my right arm and grabbed his shorts with my left hand and sort of lifted and rolled back, the guy landed on his head and a whole world of fuss kicked off about it being a spear tackle etc, nothing came of it (referee;an old schooler) blew up for potential injury but said the tackle was fine, I wasn't too sure myself...

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Kiwi In Germany June 29, 2013 7:09 pm

Well if we're going to look at it in detail. As in the act in general and not just this particular case. I'd say that any player lifting dangerously (tackler or ball carrier) has a duty to put the player down safely. Any injury brought about to himself by poor technique whilst it's not a what anyone wants to see is not a job for the citing commissioner.

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Brennie June 30, 2013 2:26 am

I remember Lote Tiquiri doing something similar to Jason Robinson in rwc2003, no?

Except Jason Robinson didn't hang on:)

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YannB June 30, 2013 9:24 pm

Aurélien Rougerie did that to Jason Robinson

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em95rwj June 30, 2013 6:18 am

My observation was that the no 19 or 18 Australian player lifted up north's legs as he was landing with folau. This was why north went onto his neck. This player should be banned for a match. This was very dangerous play & could have resulted in a player getting injured in a bad way.

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Colombes June 30, 2013 10:21 am

i tried to find ur observation
but after 4 or 5 replays, my only conclusion is that north only put himself in a dangerous position with this weird move

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Kiwi In Germany June 30, 2013 7:01 am

IMO No. 19 had absolutely no impact on this whatsoever. GN was already falling and it was always going to be a risk that he would fall awkwardly whilst carrying another player on his shoulder. (Making him ridiculously top heavy.)

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Jorge June 30, 2013 11:55 am

Let's leave aside the intelligence of the move, and just admire the strength and commitment of George North. That was amazing.

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Michael June 30, 2013 1:14 pm

I'm not sure about that. On the last camera angle Aussie 19 certainly tips North over more than he would have otherwise gone on his own and certainly adds his considerable weight onto North's neck.
Also on an earlier angle you can see North prepare for the impact on the ground by turning his right shoulder, upon which Folau resides, towards the ground to protect his head but Aussie 1 stops that from happening by coming into the tackle (obviously not on purpose, just a random occurrence).
So if numbers 1 and 19 hadn't come into the tackle North would have been fine but obviously you can't cite anyone for that, although 19 did in my view unnecessarily tip North over onto his head but there was no intent there so I can't have a go at him there but he definitely in my view had an 'impact'.

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DrG June 30, 2013 11:55 pm

I don't think he really had much if any impact on the outcome of this event. I think if you took every other player away from this scene the outcome would still be exactly the same. GN had Folau in the air, Folau managed to use his weight (and perhaps GN couldn't sustain the lift and run) back to the ground, and as soon as he hit the ground he fell backwards (as GN still had hold of one leg) and GN went head first into the ground.

I think the effect the 19 might have had would only be to concertina GN some more, or help bend him double, but by that point GN had already done his ostrich impression...

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Tom July 01, 2013 12:24 am

I can't believe North wasn't cited for a dangerous lift; the tackler is always pinged if they lift the players legs past 90 degrees. I'm glad North was injured and not Folau, as it's a good deterrent for others.

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matt July 01, 2013 10:52 am

They are only ever penalised if they aren't brought back to the ground safely, it has nothing to do with 90 degrees, and in this case he practically puts IF back on his feet.

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Dan July 02, 2013 2:53 pm

He could of just stamped on his head after it? thats the oz way to play isn't it?

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Cheis July 01, 2013 8:44 am

GN really spear tackled himself...

It was an impressive lift, but he got nothing for it!

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Bish Bash Bosh July 01, 2013 10:39 pm

He should ask his teammates inside him for advice - in that Scarlets/Leinster match, Jonathan Davies made about five times the ground with Kevin McLaughlin on his shoulder than North did here, and didn't injure himself. And I think McLaughlin's heavier.

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Mighty Rubble July 04, 2013 11:30 pm

What Folau did when they went to ground was very dangerous, driving North head first into the ground. He should have been cited for that, you can break a guy's neck.

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