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Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Southland sensational try after big bump


Tony Brown takes big hit from Pakalani


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Brock James amazing reverse flick pass

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Danny Care brilliant inside flick sets up Matt Hopper try vs Clermont

Harlequins lost 16-13 to Clermont in the Heineken Cup on Saturday but one of the moments of the match came from Quins scrumhalf Danny Care, who produced a piece of magic for Matt Hopper's try. Care unfortunately limped off later with an ankle injury.

Care set up Hopper's try with a superb piece of skill after a Chris Robshaw kick ahead, but later in the game he injured his ankle and now faces a race for fitness ahead of the Six Nations. Coach Conor O'Shea praised his attacking instinct that gave Quins a 13-3 lead.

"We didn't start particularly well but then a piece of absolute genius from Danny changed the energy our way and we were pretty much on top for the rest of the first half," said O'Shea.

"Danny's piece of skill was quite exceptional. You can't practice that. He gave us a bit of momentum and he's a game changer."

Clermont came back with a try to Napolioni Nalaga, and then fellow Fijian Sitiveni Sivivatu scored to level things at 13-13 before Brock James slotted an easy penalty late in the game.

As a result Clermont have reached the last eight, while Harlequins are now effectively out the running. This excellent try, that included a chip ahead by a forward, will live long in the memory.

Posted at 10:47 am | 30 comments

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Posted in Great Tries, See it to Believe it

Viewing 30 comments

nzbougnat January 12, 2014 7:12 pm

Happy for Clermont with yet another cool-headed performance. But what a piece of skills by Care!

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DrG January 12, 2014 7:28 pm

A video with Clermont which doesn't involve Cudmore in a fight??

Awesome flick, I think we should also congratulate Robshaw on his chip ahead too! Good take from Hopper too.

0:41 onwards makes me laugh, the angle looks like Hopper gets punched in the face by his celebrating team mate..

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Owen January 12, 2014 8:30 pm

TMO takes the piss a bit doesn't he

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DanKnapp January 12, 2014 8:47 pm

He needed those last few seconds to finish himself off. What a lovely piece of skill.

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Gavin January 13, 2014 1:43 am

Danny Care's flick pass is an incredible piece of skill, but as impressive is the amount of ground he covers. Look where he takes the initial tap penalty, he the ends up gathering robshaw's chip and throwing that pass. Not only is it incredible skill from danny care but it is incredible commitment and rugby intelligence. He should literally take a bow for this entire play.

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stroudos January 13, 2014 7:49 am

Sublime piece of skill. England need him to get fit again fast. This is exactly the sort of creative spark Care offers that I don't believe the other England scrumhalves do, not on current form anyway.

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matt January 13, 2014 4:55 pm

I was thrilled when I saw he wasn't available for the 6N. I think that he has proved himself to be a terrible role model off the pitch, and I find his performances on the pitch to be central to the the slow paced and unthreatening nature we've come to see from England over the last 10 years.
I get that he can be dangerous in right situation, but I think he kills off any dynamic play whenever he plays for England.

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stroudos January 13, 2014 6:44 pm

Seriously? Slow and unthreatening? We've either been watching two different blokes both called Danny Care or maybe we have just watched him playing in different games.

Here's the Stroudos analysis of England scrumhalves in the current EPS, (from my book, Unsolicited Opinions, available on Kindle for 10p):

Ben Youngs - most consistent in an England shirt, best link man with forwards, gets the game organised well and injects the odd moment of brilliance when the chance is on. From what I've seen recently though (which is not much admittedly), doesn't quite be hitting his usual high level.

Danny Care - with more of a maverick approach, I would argue England's most dynamic scrumhalf. His game is characterised by sniping runs around the base and he usually delivers quick ball. (On the occasions when I've seen him delaying in getting the ball away, it looked to me like he was obeying game plan instructions which were very unnatural for him). Prone to the odd loose piece of play / moment of madness, he's a riskier option but he delivers skills like those seen in this video fairly frequently.

I couldn't care less what he does off the pitch - none of my business.

Lee Dickson - safe pair of hands, consistent and reliable. I've never been that excited watching him though - is that a problem? Probably not. Terrible haircut.

Richard Wigglesworth - under-the-radar man, gets the job done with the minimum of fuss. In my ill-informed opinion, I'd put him in a similar category to Dickson.

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Facepalm January 13, 2014 8:56 pm

Pretty spot on. Might be worth throwing Joe Simpson into the mix. Not as good as any of the above but great delivery and utter gas. The type of player you want in an attacking team. Dan Robson of Gloucester isn't half shabby either.

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stroudos January 14, 2014 8:06 am

Agree on Simpson - would have been almost exactly the way I'd have described him, but Mr Lancaster has not included him in the EPS.

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Phil mc avity January 13, 2014 10:16 pm

Danny care for me needs to prove himself in an england shirt, as does Cipriani. Dickson is just a back up nine for me, not a Dawson, where as Youngs... He needs to have a good six nations but I recon he can play well and make brilliant choices, plus if we've got a good back (quick ball) and good backs, I don't see how Youngs can go well as long as he provides quick ball

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matt January 13, 2014 11:29 pm

Ha, Dickson does have shite hair, but he's still my first choice 9. I think when he plays there seems to be an urgency in the forwards and the delivery to the backs that we don't see with the other two. Somehow his presence seems to raise England's tempo and makes us seem much more dangerous to me.

I can't fault much of what you said about Youngs, he's been good, but perhaps isn't having the best run at the moment.

I find with Care that you do occasionally/frequently get pieces of brilliance and flair, but it is offset by consistently slower service at the rucks and an infuriating tendency to take a step or two with the ball every time he touches it. I know that this is all my opinion on him, and therefore worth no more than anyone else's, but I do feel like Care has had more than enough time to show us what he can do at international level and has not managed to replicate his club form.

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CambridgeshireKid January 14, 2014 10:50 am

Latest news on Dickson's hair: he has had it cut! Praise the Lord!

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stroudos January 14, 2014 4:06 pm

Really!? Oh, well that changes everything! Brilliant player, I've always said that. ;)

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DrG January 15, 2014 1:41 pm

Stroudos, not that I wish to read into a bit of tongue in cheek too much, but it's funny how you mention you couldn't care less about what a player does off the pitch, but do care about another players haircut...

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stroudos January 17, 2014 8:17 am

The rest of my post may have been tongue-in-cheek, but I stand by the haircut point. From what I can gather though, it seems Mr Dickson peruses the pages of the Rugbydump comments board and has taken my advice on board, (too much coincidence in timing for his new barnet not to be a direct correlation.

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DrG January 18, 2014 12:09 am

hahaha, I'm sure it was the reason!

See if you can get one of the Irish international players to dye his hair green for the 6N!

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Jamie Dorman January 16, 2014 12:22 pm

Alright Stroudos, I'm gonna give you a cheeky little bit of info on the little people, as I see it from the Premiership.
Ben Youngs has in the past been a quality Scrumhalf, but has recently lapsed back into his habit of taking the ball a few metres out of a ruck before passing it. Coupled with that, his delivery at the moment is very slow and loopy. Youngs is the embodiment of an out of form scrumhalf, and is exactly not what England need at this moment in time being neither penetrative nor organised.
Danny Care is a maverick and would be England's first choice scrummie if he could sort out a few things in his game. His kicking game is simply not in the same league as any of the others and worst of all, his delivery. He actually has a fast, flat pass, but his problem, the way I see it, is that before he passes he is always looking for a chance for himself rather than waiting for an opportunity to open up. This leads to a very slow style that England have been trying to shake-off for years.
Wigglesworth is at this point in time, the form Scrumhalf in the league. He has the best kicking game and is great at organising his forwards, having learnt from some of the best at Sarries (Justin Marshall). Coupling his education from Jus and the experience gained from playing alongside De Kock. Has made his game awareness brilliant. His delivery always looks slightly loopy to me, but doesn't seem to effect the play from his team mates - may not be a problem. However, if Lancaster gives him a start, this is something to watch out for.
Finally, Dickson. He is a safe pair of hands and used to playing a high tempo of rugby at the Saints. Playing with a large bunch of forwards, he is also good at organising players. However, in the Autumn Internationals, I thought he was appalling . The reason for this in my mind is that he was either trying to stick to the game-plan rigidly, or that international rugby is already played fast, so taking away his only real weapon.
Just my opinion.

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stroudos January 17, 2014 8:28 am

Nice one, cheers for that mate.
So who would be your starting scrumhalf for the 6 nations then? Wigglesworth by the sound of it?

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Jamie Dorman January 17, 2014 1:58 pm

Yeah I would start Wiggs based on form. I would've dropped Youngs from the EPS...if you haven't seen him this year for leicester, he has been awful :/ I think he needs more time with his club to be brought into reckoning for the summer tour.
I would probably bench Dickson or Care, based on their performance in the training camp. I've heard Care interviewed and he seems relatively intelligent, I just wonder if the coaching staff sat him down and discussed the problematic way he plays in relation to the team, whether he may drastically improved in terms of distribution/greed.
It would probably have it between Dickson and Care on the bench, but would also bring Simpson into the running. As both you and Facepalm have said, he has great distribution, incredible speed and a booming kick. I know he has never shone internationally, but he has only every been brought on as a late replacement behind either a retreating England pack, or against very weak opposition. He does have problems with game management, but for the sake of the advancement of English rugby, I would give him a start in one of the Six Nation matches.

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stroudos January 13, 2014 7:58 am

BTW, see 0:12 for the worst piece of rugby commentary ever from Miles Harrison - and he's got some previous for shit commentary. "There's Brown again, doing the Leigh Halfpenny bit" - what, playing fullback!? You fucking idiot.

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Reality January 13, 2014 10:18 pm

I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he was continuing a reference that he made just before the beginning of this clip which then sounds ridiculous when taken out of context. I'd like to, but I just can't do it; I'm not naive enough.

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TapperJones January 14, 2014 2:37 pm

See: "WHAT IS THE CAPTAIN DOING?!?!"

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stroudos January 14, 2014 4:12 pm

Ha ha! I hadn't seen that before! Christ he really is an insufferable bellend isn't he? Although on this (Care) video, he's just being retarded, "What is the captain doing?" is just bizarre...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETkXH-t4rnY
PS nice try there by Thomas, by the way.

View Video

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DanKnapp January 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Hahaha! Never spotted that commentary before. Good spot boys. Thank you!

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Kettlerugby January 13, 2014 5:28 pm

Stroudos, yeah agreed. Terrible commentary on Mike Brown...

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Eddie-g January 13, 2014 10:03 pm

Heck, Quade Cooper might even have been impressed by that.

There's been some good reasons why England haven't picked Care in the past, but more than ever he looks like the type of player the England team needs. Hope he gets fit for the 6N, and hope he gets selected.

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Eddie-g January 13, 2014 10:27 pm

@Stroudos - "the worst piece of rugby commentary ever from Miles Harrison"

No need to include the last three words mate.

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