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Monday, March 03, 2014

Scott Higginbotham sets up try with crosskick then scores with goose step

The Melbourne Rebels got their Super Rugby season off to a flying start with a 35-14 bonus point win over the Cheetahs. The five try victory came about through some great leadership, and play, from Wallaby Scott Higginbotham.

The win was their biggest in Super Rugby to date, and on the back of strong preseason victories, they're in confident mood and will continue to put bums on seats in Melbourne. It was also their first win in four encounters with the Bloemfontein based side, who last year made the playoffs.

Despite losing the likes of James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale, the Rebels have tightened up aspects of their game that let them down in the past, particularly defence, and in Higginbotham have a genuine leader.

"Higginbotham was quite outstanding in terms of how he was so instrumental in terms of leading by example," said former Auckland Blues Super Rugby winner Sean Fitzpatrick. "He has been crucial in terms of the team culture and what it takes to be successful."

The 23-times capped Wallaby set up a Jason Woodward try in the corner through some excellent quick thinking, and a decent amount of skill and confidence too. His crosskick from a quick tap penalty was perfectly placed, and possibly only outdone by the way the match finished.

The final try was scrappy but it came from a deep counter attack and after going through a number of hands, found the big number eight out on the wing, who opted for a sprint, goose step and fend before diving in at the corner and dotting down with one hand.

"Scott Higginbotham's try was excellent. He really got stuck in and inspired his players - they never let up and even when the Cheetahs came back in the second half, he rallied his players to close them down," said former Wallaby flyhalf Michael Lynagh.

"A great performance from him. He made a lot of good decisions with and without the ball."

It was two great pieces of play by a hefty number eight, so worth sharing in the video below.

Posted at 3:25 pm | 24 comments

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Posted in Great Tries

Viewing 24 comments

finedisregard March 03, 2014 5:23 pm

That's one where if it works then you're a genius…and it worked!

Watch the Cheetah that gets tackled place the ball three times around 1:10. They really let you muck around with the ball on the ground these days.

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FatProp March 03, 2014 5:28 pm

I said it before that the lions where lucky this guy was injured for the wallabies because he is possibly the best blindside in the world.

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Eddie-g March 03, 2014 5:47 pm

@Fatprop - I reckon 8 is his best position, but no question he is a world class loose-forward. He and Pocock were both injured for the Lions series, and they were badly missed.

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FatProp March 03, 2014 6:02 pm

I just love how he is a complete player I mean if he was a 12 he would be class 6/8 is just unbelievable but Australia with Higginbotham/Pocock/Palu jesus Christ are England screwed for the world cup.

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Facepalm March 03, 2014 8:05 pm

hmm Palu's a seriously average player. Nothing to worry a competent team.

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Eddie-g March 03, 2014 8:16 pm

Palu isn't as good as the other two. Very good carrier, but not the complete loosie by a long stretch.

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FatProp March 04, 2014 10:41 am

Palu has actually been quite impressive this super 15 I thought but even so put higginbotham 8 have someone like Hooper at 6/7 with pocock

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perfectthirteen March 04, 2014 8:31 pm

hav to agree there 6 pocock 7 hooper 8 higginbothem.....doent not get any better

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TotesMcGoates March 05, 2014 3:45 am

Looks like Pocock's dusted for the year... Knee's gone again.

Higgs, Hooper and Mowen for my money.

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FatProp March 05, 2014 3:36 pm

Thats a shame everytime you have an injury like that it makes you less of a player. Well I guess Gill and Hooper aint bad back ups

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DrG March 03, 2014 6:17 pm

Brilliant display of skill. It is already well done, but as others have said, him being an 8 makes it amazing!

As for the goosestep, not entirely sure he fooled anyone, but it was brilliant to see, and that finish - ball in 1 hand was sublime.

Not starting a NH SH thing here, it is merely an observation about this game, but that was some awful defence leading up to his try - not the part where he charged through, but the breakaway part.

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Leighton March 03, 2014 7:12 pm

We lost to the Lions because we had too many players who thought they were bigger than the team. Higgs and Pocock were a big loss too. I would love to see Pyle get a call up as I think he is very under rated

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Ron_Mexico March 03, 2014 7:30 pm

That's almost as beautiful as Ali Williams' Cross Kick some years ago against the Wallabies. Brilliant stuff!

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Pagra March 03, 2014 8:03 pm

Thinks he's Zinny Brooke does he?

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Canadian content March 03, 2014 10:30 pm

You need to get the best players on the field and let them play. Right now, Hooper, Pocock (has he returned to form?) and Higginbottom are the best backrowers in Oz rugby.

Let Scottie run with the ball and do the fancy things, maybe do some of the necessary inside hard yards as well and just let Hooper and Pocock go off on the opposition, stealing balls and tackling everything. Pocock also offers a good ball carrying option occasionally, he's fricking huge, and Hooper has awesome pace. This backrow is a la england 2003, with no real 8 (dallagio, more of a 6) or 6 (hill was a 7) but whose chemistry was awesome. They could tackle, steal and carry, that's all you need.

Put these three with genia, cooper, beale, falau, spreight, christian, matt (the brumbies two) AAC (a little overrated in my opinion) and they will run circles around the opposition.

With Moore and the tahs hooker at 2, a couple of good locks, Oz only has to get some class props and they will be dangerous at rwc 2015.

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Facepalm March 03, 2014 10:43 pm

I understand you're point about the 03 England team, but surely the balance Australia would get with Fardy at 6 instead of Hooper is worth something. Bear in mind Fardy has performed every time he's played for the crims. To me he resembles a slightly more athletic and just as crazy Tom Wood. Neither Hooper nor Fardy is a bad choice and it's one of those good dilemmas coaches often face I guess.

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perfectthirteen March 04, 2014 8:35 pm

mowen would be good at 6 too...they hav option there

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stroudos March 04, 2014 6:31 am

Someone needs to let him know that Movember finished over three months ago. Jesus that is a hideous tache.

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DanKnapp March 04, 2014 10:06 am

Sorry mate, but you're ignorant of the laws.

Law
36 [a] : Players should attempt to dress and groom themselves in line with international norms and expectations of fashion and good taste.
36 [b] : Exemption: Australia

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DanKnapp March 04, 2014 10:14 am

Just to clarify, I think the Aussies facial hair looks absolutely awesome. I love it.

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Guy March 04, 2014 11:15 am

I have to agree with both of you: it is so awfully hideous that it's actually becoming beautifull again.

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Flow March 04, 2014 3:14 pm

What a stach !

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