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Ben Flower red card for vicious punches

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rory Kockott misses long range penalty but tries again with dropgoal

Rory Kockott was key to another Castres victory over Toulon as the champions won 22-15 at the Stade Pierre-Antoine. Kockott kicked seventeen points, including this huge dropgoal after a penalty kick hit the post. He is eligible for France next year.

The former Sharks and Lions number nine was key to Castres winning the Top 14 last season, and while he at one stage considered moving on to other larger clubs, including the likes of Toulouse, he is now firmly committed to the cause and aiming for another title shot.

He out-booted Jonny Wilkinson at the weekend with four penalties, a drop goal and a conversion.

If all goes well, 27-year-old Kockott, who was top points scorer in the Top 14 last season, could achieve higher honours in the not too distant future. Earlier this year he spoke of his desire to play Test rugby, preferably for his native South Africa but would be equally pleased to play for France.

"I definitely want to play Test rugby one day, whether it's for South Africa or my adopted nation. I haven't closed the door on my Springbok aspirations, even though I'm based in France," he told SA Rugby Magazine earlier this year.

@Rugbydump tweet last week, before this match

Making his Super Rugby debut agead 19, Kockott spent five seasons with the Sharks in Durban, often as understudy to Springbok Ruan Pienaar, but temperament and attitude seemed to hold him back. He spent a season at the Lions before opting for a change of scenery.

Now at Castres and proving to be one of the best players in league, Kockott has fully embraced life in France, but still has ambitions to fulfill the potential he believes he has.

"I'm a strong believer that if I'm playing the best rugby of my career, I'll catch the attention of the selectors back home. But if that doesn't work out, I hope to do well enough to get into the French team. I'm still very young and I'd like to have an international career.

"Here (in France) or in my country. I have three or four years left to achieve that."

Behind Fourie Du Preez, Ruan Pienaar, Jano Vermaak, Piet Van Zyl and Francois Hougaard, he might struggle to get a look in, so Les Bleus might beckon.

"I don't see anything wrong with it (playing for France). If you're not getting any opportunities in your home nation, you should get the chance to play for another country if you're good enough.

"There's a lot of competition for the French No 9 jersey, but if I keep working hard, I can get there."

The video below shows his initial missed attempt at a long range penalty, and then the booming dropgoal that followed after receiving the ball back from a Delon Armitage clearance kick.

Posted at 8:32 am | 33 comments

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Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 33 comments

Guest September 18, 2013 11:00 am

Hahaha. That's the coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

Damn, missed the penalty. Oh well, I'll just nail this 50m drop goal for the points instead.

Class.

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Francois September 18, 2013 11:10 am

The guy's good, period. If he keeps performing like he has on the second part of the last season or this early season, i'm more than happy to have him with a blue jersey indeed.

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browner September 18, 2013 3:21 pm

there are 10 SH in NZ leagues better than him, just buy one of them !!! French National Pride, whatta joke

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Irish_jimmy September 18, 2013 6:14 pm

Why does New Zealand have to be injected into every conversation?Ok we get it , you guys are the best at rugby. happy? Not everything revolves around NZ and I believe a country has the right to pick people who qualify to play for them, just like NZ does with the millions of Islanders who have played for NZ over the years.

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Badge September 18, 2013 9:13 pm

Please list ten SHs you reckon could be the top points scorers in the Top 14. The man has found a home in both SA and France, both of which are awesome rugby nations. He should have a sense of pride playing for either the Boks or Les Blues. And by the way, you're selling off your "ten better scrum halves" to the French. Where's your sense of pride?

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Colombes September 19, 2013 11:54 am

seem u've lost an occasion to shut up, isn't it?
first, what's the place of NZ in this article....?
second, why france shouldn't look at Kockott for the selection?
third, France doesn't lack 9 with parra, machenaud, tillous-borde, doussain...

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Julien September 18, 2013 12:02 pm

I hope he plays for France... If SA really valued him they would have selected him a long time ago. Picking him now would just make them look like opportunists... While with France he has a real shot I think.

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Eddie-g September 18, 2013 1:30 pm

I'd be surprised if Meyer did pick him, Fourie du Preez looks like he's going to be the man again, but you never know.

That said, Kockott is the type of scrumhalf that France like to play, so I think he could probably do his cause no harm by declaring unequivocally one way or the other. He's been in great form for Castres, and he's definitely got some good years ahead of him.

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Jeri September 18, 2013 2:02 pm

Are the French fans always so quiet when the kicker readies a penalty attempt? Puts my country's rugby crowd to shame

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moddeur September 18, 2013 2:38 pm

The home crowd is generally quiet when the home team kicks, but in many towns you'll hear some whistling when the opposing team is kicking. Depends on the opposing team, too. And on the kicker (Wilkinson gets less jeered for instance). And on the home town (in Castres the fans seem more civilised than in Toulon, Perpignan, Toulouse)

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browner September 18, 2013 3:20 pm

The IRB have got this wrong.......... When 16 [or signing their 1st pro contract] All players should declare their Nationality & stick with it. Switching cheapens this sport, he seems to be saying I want to play for SA, but i'd accept France, ......whatever next????? maybe if france aren't interested Portugal, Phillipeans, Iceland or Andorra ......... National Pride - do me a favour !!

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Reality September 18, 2013 9:42 pm

I have to agree. Personally I don't want a bunch of South Africans and New Zealanders representing my country - I want people actually from my country to do so. It's essentially exporting the mercenary phenomenon so common in club rugby to the international game. A club gives a player a 3-year contract and suddenly he's eligible to play for the country, without any link to that country other than being paid to work there? It's bloody ridiculous.

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DanKnapp September 19, 2013 11:25 am

That's actually a really simple idea. I like it.

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Growad September 19, 2013 2:43 am

Browner you still didn't respond. NZ does this exact thing every year. Giving contracts to island kids hoping the will one day be all blacks and turn there backs on their home nations.

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joeythelemur September 19, 2013 7:15 pm

NZ gives contracts to PI "kids"? What, like 3 year olds that move there with their parents? Examples?

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Frenchie September 19, 2013 7:56 am

I like him a lot but i don't think he should be picked up for the french team. This would make things even more difficult on a long term.

Personally i'd like to see Trinh Duc with another young player who has been picked up already for the coming tests. Both Tales and Lopez have a big potential.

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Frenchie September 19, 2013 7:57 am

Why are we discussing the 10 jersey by the way? He plays 9, right?
I got it wrong...

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Mauman September 19, 2013 9:39 am

guys, the nationality thing is important, but, having lived out of my home country for 7 years I have to say that I have become part of my adopted nation. As such, if you go and live and work in a place for at least 3 years you should surely deserve the opportunity to represent that country if you have made it your home. I will always be English, but if I was ever good enough (haha) I would still be proud to represent Italy, my second country. The modern world means we move about much more and instead of just having one country and upbringing to be proud of we can realistically have 2.

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Reality September 19, 2013 1:08 pm

Were you offered a big fat paycheque to come play rugby in your adopted country though? There's a difference between having some sort of long-standing emotional link and being offered loads of money to go work there. If someone accepts a pile of money to play somewhere else, I don't he does automatically deserve the right to represent the country. Picking to go somewhere you'll get paid much more is hardly an act of patriotism towards the new country.

That's the point of international sport - it's people from one nation against another, not people who have decided that playing for their first country isn't feasible, so they're open to whatever second one comes along. If Kockett was going to become a French citizen and get a French passport and forget about South Africa, then fair enough - it would at least show he's willing to fully embrace his adopted 'homeland' and being 'French' - but I someone doubt he's going to do that.

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finedisregard September 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Absolutely correct!

Players should have to renounce citizenship of their 1st country before they play for their second.

SH players taking a job in Europe then representing that European nation is not what international team sports are about. Think how it would be in soccer if all those guys in the Premiership played for England? Kind of a joke.

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joeythelemur September 19, 2013 7:19 pm

Doesn't the Olympics require citizenship to represent your country? Maybe it's different from sport to sport, but I don't think you can represent there without being a natural-born or naturalized citizen.

Seems like the way it should be for rugby, though the "grow the game globally" effort is surely going to water it down as lower- and mid-tier nations can become more competitive quicker by having lax rules about who can represent them.

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Mauman September 19, 2013 9:41 am

Hey Frenchie, don't worry about the 9, 10 thing.. for the French, 9 is the playmaker anyway, so you actually have a valid point by default!!!

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Mauman September 19, 2013 1:34 pm

I know what you mean on the whole mercenary sportsman point, but, if he is given the opportunity to play for France why not?? He is not saying it isnt a feasible option for him to play for SA, its actually out of his hands..up to the saffers if they pick him or not. At that point in time he is choosing one over the other and can't realistically go back.

You are right that he choose to go to France for reasons other than "I like French women, I shall move there" but having served his time he is enough French (just) to be eligible. He isn't getting favourable treatment over other Born French, he has to fight like the rest to be good enough. I suppose it comes down to a fine line of whether you are becoming part of your adopted culture or not..and deserve the right to represent them.

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finedisregard September 19, 2013 1:51 pm

Why not? Because he is not French.

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4LC4TR4Z September 24, 2013 7:31 am

You know Andrew Mehrtens is born in South Africa, do you ?
So you are saying he should had never been All Blacks 10.

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DrG September 19, 2013 1:52 pm

Hmm it's tough, I'd have more respect for 15 players born and bred in their own country getting trounced than a mish mash of a super team in my teams colours beating everyone...

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Facepalm September 19, 2013 10:02 pm

To raise an issue other than the tedious point of nationality - can a frenchman on this forum please tell me why France have seemingly turned their back on one of the best scrum halfs in the world? Morgan parra, just 24, is surely the best option France have at 9? What is saint-Andre doing picking mechenaud and why is Kockott now being considered?

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Oliver September 20, 2013 10:35 am

well Parra was picked by St Andre for the latest "stage" with Les Bleus (how do you say that in english!?). I think he's still the number 1 for the 9 jersey but he also had a shoulder injury recently. and he's probably bound to be injured quite often, considering his small frame.
As for Kockott, up to now, it's only speculation, cause he's playing so well in the top 14. (don't forget Castres pretty much owe him the title...and how impressive was that drop goal?)

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kadova September 20, 2013 8:38 pm

Another Frenchie here :)
The national coaches also said Parra needed to rest because he has spent the last 5 years with not much time off.
The domestic season in France is 11 months long if you reach the finale of the championship. And you have to add to this the international matches (6 Nations, June tests, Nov tests,... and the last RWC).
He was injured at the end of last season so he did not play the june tests this year, and he's only coming back now for the new season. And he's not back at his best level yet, obviously.
And we will need 2 no9 for 2015 so Machenaud needs to get playing at international level.

So that makes Kockott even more tempting. But Kockott cannot play for France until july 2014, so he cannot be taken for the next tests nor for the next 6 Nations.

Parra is a natural competitor, and you can bet the competition for the national jersey will make him better than ever.

@Oliver: stage = training camp in this situation :)

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DrG September 21, 2013 8:47 am

"The national coaches also said Parra needed to rest because he has spent the last 5 years with not much time off."

Professional rugby careers are relatively short anyway, I'd say get as much rugby in as you can!!!

Then again, the Autumn internationals etc aren't as prestigious as the World cup, Quad nations, 6 nations etc so maybe he should rest up...

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Facepalm September 22, 2013 4:48 pm

Thanks for the response. I'm not sure about you but Machanaud really didn't impress me in the 6 nations. Other than the final, I don't watch Top 14 games so I haven't really got a grasp on how good Kockott is.

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kadova September 22, 2013 7:11 pm

@Facepalm: You can forget our 6 Nations. Machenaud was better in 2012. He could improve again between now and the next WC. We'll see...

@DrG: the head coach does not always say the truth....

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Facepalm September 23, 2013 10:06 pm

Haha I don't think I could ever forget a French wooden spoon kadova ;) sorry

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