Rugby's first ever OWN TRY in NRC


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Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Lee Jones makes huge trysaving tackle


Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Danny Cipriani talks about past troubles

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Toulon play Olympique Marseille in half rugby-half football charity match

A crazy game took place in France earlier in the week as Toulon hosted football club Olympique Marseille for a half football-half rugby match in aid of charity. Eric Cantona was on hand to ref and play as things got a bit strange in the second half.

Stade Mayol played host to this charity game with a difference, as the first half was played as football with goal posts in place, and then for the second half things switched as rugby posts were erected. The game was in aid of a local cancer charity, and had 12 000 fans in attendance.

The match was meant to be 11 Toulon vs 11 Marseille in the first half, refereed by Cantona, and 15 Toulon vs 15 Marseille in the second half, refereed by Marc Lièvremont.

That was the plan, but with rolling subs to give everyone a chance to play, soon players weren't leaving the field after being subbed, and at one stage it was 15 vs 11. Staff also took to the field, and teams became mixed. Toulon players wore Marseille shirts, and vice versa.

We saw some great goalkeeping from Chris Masoe and Steffon Armitage in the first half, as well as two well taken goals from brother Delon, who looked a natural out there.

In the second half it was time for rugby as the Marseille players got into the spirit of things, despite numerous forward passes and tries scored from in front of the kicker. Still, everyone had fun, including Manchester United legend Cantona, who stepped up for a conversion.

The 47-year-old, who retired from football in 1997, reportedly said to hat-trick tryscorer André-Pierre Gignac that he was going to try to hit the cross bar. And he did.

You can see that in the second part of the video, which is on page two and features the rugby half.

The first half, with football, is below and includes some subtitles for some of the commentary, including a great moment when Masoe picked up the ball and ran with it, as the commentator said: "They say rugby was born this way."

Marseille edged the hosts 5-4 in the first half, taking a 36-35 overall victory on a memorable day.

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Posted at 9:49 am | 24 comments

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 24 comments

moddeur July 20, 2013 12:19 pm

Haha I had a few barrels of laughter watching that!

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Ruggernut July 20, 2013 1:05 pm

Not too sure what I just watched. But it sure was funny.

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brawnybalboa July 20, 2013 2:20 pm

I was expecting to cringe, but actually quite enjoyed it! That scrum really made me laugh with all the footballers running in to join it, and the ref saying (in french) 'Three in the front row, two in the next row'. Comedy gold!

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mozza87 July 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Basically what scrum refereeing is like at top level nowadays! What a brilliant game though, I've always wanted to see rugby players and footballers have at it!

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Guy July 20, 2013 2:33 pm

Quite a few players out there that are pretty good in both sports. Entertaining stuff!

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silasvb July 20, 2013 5:37 pm

Everyone says Armatage is a footballer...

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crazyfool333 July 20, 2013 10:47 pm

I really enjoyed how fun and humorous that was. I hope a couple of Irish or English teams decide to play a combined match so I've a chance of watching one!

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juan July 21, 2013 7:06 am

Remember this name: FACUNDO ISA, new number 8 of Toulon RC... remember...

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paimoe July 21, 2013 8:14 pm

Ahaha absolutely no offside rule

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4LC4TR4Z July 22, 2013 6:34 am

You had to see those children eyes at the game...
So excited they couldn't sleep the whole week before !
Better than any chemotherapy.

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4LC4TR4Z July 22, 2013 7:44 am

For the story : Cantona didn't scored his conversion.
He said before kicking he was going to touch the bar, and he did it.
That worth 2 points. :D

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Tilson July 22, 2013 8:05 am

Jean-Pierre Gignac had a good game and i too was expecting more diving than there was-still should go play a mans game :P

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anon July 22, 2013 11:15 am

Quality stuff! They must make this annual or something. I would gladly watch a cross-game like this on either TV or live.

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flanker2712 July 22, 2013 1:54 pm

That scrum looked more competitive than an average Super Rugby scrum.

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DanKnapp July 22, 2013 3:39 pm

Take a bow, flanker2712.

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joeythelemur July 24, 2013 2:49 am

And the put-in was about as straight.

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DrG July 22, 2013 9:37 pm

Hahaha this was brilliant. Surprisingly good hands and passing from the footballers!!! Enjoyed that RD, thanks for bringing it to our attention. :D

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Paul July 23, 2013 12:12 pm

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant... almost like rugby football going back to it's roots. I hope this becomes an annual thing with the same good will and humour!!

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Val July 24, 2013 12:42 pm

If only there had tackles ...

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Bill July 25, 2013 8:40 am

briljant, seen some good ofloads from soccer players!!

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drivenend July 26, 2013 12:29 pm

I think it is great they used Leivrement to ref the game as he clearly demonstrated when he was French coach that he knows nothing about the positions of rugby!

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stroudos July 26, 2013 4:27 pm

I don't see Jonny Wilkinson anywhere. Too much like fun for him??? Shame he wasn't involved, that Adidas thing he did with Beckham a few years ago was quality, he looked quite handy at football.

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4LC4TR4Z July 27, 2013 7:32 am

He was there but didn't play, resting of a groin injury.

He played Toulon first pre-season trial game yesterday and missed a lot of kicks.
A bit out of rythm.

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Julien July 26, 2013 8:41 pm

I watched the game on TV (BeIn), it was fun. The 1st half was really good (football), the 2nd half alright but a bit slow (some didn't understand the touch rugby rules right away). I was surprised the football players kicked so well in the 2nd half...

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