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Monday, March 31, 2014

Carlin Isles dropped ball blooper ruins great fifteens debut try

USA flyer Carlin Isles played his first full game of fifteen a side rugby at the weekend, turning out for Ayr against Hawick in a Scottish club game. The good news is he fared well and skinned multiple players. The bad news is he dropped the ball before scoring.

If you hadn't heard yet, Isles signed for Glasgow Warriors recently after having had a practice contract with the NFL's Detroit Lions a few months back. He has since committed to rugby though, leaving the Sevens game behind for now and taking up a career in the RaboDirect Pro12.

"Everything has happened so quickly for me over the last couple of years and I'm just happy to be playing rugby and getting the opportunity to play at the highest level," he said.

Isles played his first full game for Ayr this past weekend. He was up against Nikki Walker, who is 6'5 and has Test caps to his name. Isles tracked him down on one occasion, then when finally getting the ball in a bit of space he beat a whole host of players for what looked to be a great first try.

It certainly was memorable, but perhaps for the wrong reasons as he made the extra effort to get the ball under the posts, but failed to ground it properly after having done all the hard work. No try.

Gregor Townsend was impressed nevertheless, with Isles drawing comparisons to Thom Evans.

"Like Thom, he is very quick, but also very brave, and he certainly didn't shy away from the physical stuff and wants to get involved," said the Glasgow Warriors coach.

Isles felt he had grounded the ball and there was some debate as to whether he dropped it backwards or not, but the referee's interpretation was that the try wasn't scored, so Isles' big moment was blundered.

View a candid interview with him on page two of this post, where he talks about his move to Glasgow, the non-try itself and how he had to change his 'spikes' to be able to move properly.

Thanks and credit to bordersrugby.net

Page: 12View All

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:33 am | View Comments (61)

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Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 61 comments

DanKnapp March 31, 2014 12:23 pm

I know the man well from playing alongside him in my imagination. He'll listen to my advice and learn from it.

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ConnachtMan March 31, 2014 12:50 pm

I am always telling our U7 minis to carry the ball in 2 hands! Case in point.

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DanKnapp March 31, 2014 7:17 pm

Yeah, but they're a lot bigger than Carlin Isles, so it's easier for them to grip the ball.

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stroudos March 31, 2014 1:19 pm

Ach, they'll have been singing in the streets of Hawick when that laddie droaped the ball...

Someone in Scottish rugby needs to lock this guy in a room and make him sign up before it's too late and he's got an actual 15s cap for USA.

He's got a really unusual style though, hasn't he? I mean apart from the pace, agility and acceleration it's that low body position / centre of gravity that seems to completely throw defences - I don't think a single player got a hand to him here, did they?

It's also amazing how an American can say "I *just* want to be the best rugby player" and yet somehow it doesn't sound immodest. Just seems like a natural thing for them to say, (along with the obligatory God-bothering blabbery).

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byehiday March 31, 2014 2:22 pm

as i understand it any mens level cap, whether 7's or 15's, locks a player down to that country or am i wrong? i know u20's caps dont but i thought mens level does

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stroudos March 31, 2014 2:53 pm

I would bet money on me being wrong, but I thought there were a few instances where this has happened.

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TotesMcGoates March 31, 2014 10:02 pm

Pretty sure that underage has no bearing on full international. Struggled to find an example until I came across Sean Maitland's Wiki page. Richardt Strauss is another one.

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Guy March 31, 2014 1:41 pm

Good to see him play 15s. I do hope he will bulk up a bit. There is less space in 15s and somehow I have a sneaking suspicion he will twist an turn his way straight into some Jerry Collins-ish monster that will break him to pieces upon first contact.

But as I said: very Exciting!

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FatProp March 31, 2014 2:03 pm

'He's got a really unusual style though, hasn't he? I mean apart from the pace, agility and acceleration it's that low body position / centre of gravity that seems to completely throw defences'

It's from his American Football background, they run on their heals and in weird straight lines.
Back onto dropping the ball over the line, Umaga did it and I don't think anyone really cares about that. The best have done it. Just score 20+ tries a year and it don't matter.

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Mariano March 31, 2014 2:16 pm

He is a runner, he only knows to start running from that position, he never played American Football, he only made a testa after playing for USA Sevens.

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byehiday March 31, 2014 2:19 pm

he played american football up through college actually, and being american and playing with football converts i can say that football practices are so ingrained in the players heads that often its hard to get them to open up and flow with rugby play

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Canadian content April 01, 2014 1:37 am

Fellahs, he was only running so low because he was making some outstanding change of directions in the mud and he was struggling to keep his feet, nothing to do with running on his heels or anything like that. Running backs run pretty low when they hit the line of scrimmage, but everything else is pretty much the same as rugby.

I call knock on, as even if he dropped the ball backwards, when he went to touch it down it looked like to was propelled forward before being touched down.

Mere slip of the hand though, nothing many other players haven't done thousands of times before.

I personally hope he plays for the US and never for the scottish.

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Ty S March 31, 2014 2:14 pm

Just a thought looking at the video but when he drops the ball he is actually heading back towards his own posts which means the ball went backwards as he dropped it.. Or am I the only one seeing it that way? He still applies pressure after the drop so in my mind that was a try.. Thoughts anyone?

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byehiday March 31, 2014 2:20 pm

i came here to say the same thing, looks like a fine try to me.

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Max March 31, 2014 2:42 pm

Technically, surely that wasn't a knock on as he was running back towards his own half by that point which meant the ball went back?

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anenthusiast March 31, 2014 2:56 pm

Interesting, as soon as Isles goes to 15's the US sevens starts competing

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me March 31, 2014 3:35 pm

if u consider 3-7-1 competitive, then, yes

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anenthusiast March 31, 2014 2:57 pm

This is from a Canadian supporter

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stroudos March 31, 2014 2:59 pm

I don't understand all this business about him running back. It's not about which direction the ball moves. It's whether you had control of the ball when it touched the ground. They got rid of the "downward pressure" thing a few years ago, but you still need to have control of the ball.

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Ty S March 31, 2014 3:06 pm

Have a look at law 22.1.. Especially the (b) part.
Control of the ball has absolutely nothing to do with grounding it.
Pressure is required ie. if a player presses down on the ball then it is grounded.
Revise your laws mate

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JamesH March 31, 2014 3:24 pm

22.1 (b) is one way of scoring, another is 22.1 (a) in that case "No downward pressure is required"

You might want to "Revise your laws mate"...

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TyS March 31, 2014 3:28 pm

Regularly refresh my laws mate!
In this case the ball was dropped backwards towards his own line which means a 21 (b) score by pressing down a ball which is already on the ground.
21(a) is when a player has the ball in hand and must touch the ball on the ground.. That doesn't fit Mr Isles after he dropped it

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Steve April 22, 2015 6:03 pm

The ball bounces off the ground though before he grounds it? No expert on laws, does it then revert back to the first instance of him being in control since it's not already on the ground?

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JamesH March 31, 2014 3:17 pm

I agree with your point about pressure I thought that had been removed years ago too. Looks like it's back in again according to TyS.

You don't actually need any control of the ball to score a try though. The IRB seem to have dumbed down the laws on their site so I can't find the wording.
But if you think about it, you could score a try from my kick with no control over the ball at all, you just need to touch the ball when it's on the ground over the try line. You can (or at least could several years ago when I last read the laws) even be off the pitch when you touch it down. Not sure if that's still the case as I'm no longer quick enough to worry about scoring that sort of try.

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TyS March 31, 2014 3:42 pm

Yep you can still score without being on the pitch!!

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TotesMcGoates March 31, 2014 10:25 pm

I might be wrong but downward pressure (with ball in hand) seems to be a phrase that has come over from league, much like the term "double movement" and should be disregarded.

In this case, assuming the ball did not go forward, it's down to 22.1 b) and the player is require to "press down" on the ball in goal.

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Facepalm March 31, 2014 4:35 pm

Usually when someone loses control of the ball over the line it's a knock on so any grounding thereafter doesn't count. But in a weird situation like this the ball goes backwards when he drops it. So the game's still live and he's free to ground the ball, no?

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DrG March 31, 2014 9:10 pm

I think you're correct. I'm sure there was a try last year (perhaps) where the ball was kicked or chipped through and a player ran forward dived, caught the ball and flicked it back into the try zone (instead of holding onto it and it going dead where he would have landed) and another team mate dotted it down for the try.. I can't for the life of me remember who or what or when but yeh...

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JamesH April 01, 2014 7:22 am

Think that was NZ rugby league - same/very similar rules apply. But saying that he deliberately passed/chucked the ball over his head rather than Carlin "knocking" it. I agree it should have been a try.

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DrG March 31, 2014 9:10 pm

I think you're correct. I'm sure there was a try last year (perhaps) where the ball was kicked or chipped through and a player ran forward dived, caught the ball and flicked it back into the try zone (instead of holding onto it and it going dead where he would have landed) and another team mate dotted it down for the try.. I can't for the life of me remember who or what or when but yeh...

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Lokkie March 31, 2014 3:13 pm

It used to be that 7's caps didn't count for 15's, but that has changed some years ago.

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SdF March 31, 2014 3:25 pm

Pretty classless reaction from opposition - running into his face and clapping a mistake.

Good on him though, he seems to throw himself into it - bravery clearly not an issue.

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DrG March 31, 2014 9:11 pm

Yeh, should have awarded the try as punishment lol..

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freiburgRFC March 31, 2014 3:28 pm

whatever about the try or no try the opposition clapping and running after him to mock has no place on a rugby pitch, shameful

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TyS March 31, 2014 3:34 pm

Couldn't agree more, genuinely unwelcome attitude from the opposition but I imagine a fair bit of Hype was made of Mr Isles debut... Having refereed in Scotland and experienced a fair bit of rugby up there I can say it's not a reflection of how the game is up there. Mostly positive experiences with some great characters.
Hope the coach may have frowned upon those players reaction after and advised them of the core values of our game

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Brandle March 31, 2014 5:29 pm

Did he not drop it backwards and then put downward pressure on the ball? Looks like a try to me...

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Dillon Connor March 31, 2014 6:00 pm

carlin needs to stop worrying about being such a hot shot new guy and worry about his fundamentals, speed means nothing if you cant do the basic day one stuff. that goes for the usa team as a whole if they stopped putting all their efforts into trying to make one man great and just focus on the all around team basics (rucks, mauls, off sides, etc) i bet they would see a hell of a lot more WINS

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browner March 31, 2014 7:13 pm

TRY ......100% , ball never went toward one inch.

Sarcastic applause is unwelcome in the game, but equally is showboating....both led by the TV Elite Players ....

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DanKnapp March 31, 2014 7:22 pm

I'm not sure that trying to get the ball under the posts is showboating. This wasn't an Ashton-esque swallow dive, just fumbled it as he tried for the least-theatrical of groundings. He had the space to cut in, did so, but screwed up the score. Nothing there was showboating, to my mind.

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Carlos March 31, 2014 8:43 pm

In fact, its not considered a knock on because he droped the ball while he was looking to his try zone, so it was a fair try

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DrG March 31, 2014 9:23 pm

Ok, guys, I think it's rugby league so I know there are varying rules, but watching this video (I'm sure it has happened in union too but I can't find it)...

Watch this at 6:26, a player is chaperoning the ball into touch and not looking behind him, when an opposition player runs in and flicks the ball into the try area and another player scores the try... 'ball knocked backwards'... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEnfCuwM5oA

p.s. The entire video is a pretty good watch, mix between league, union, international, club etc..

View Video

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DrG March 31, 2014 9:26 pm

In fact there is another example at about 7:00 onwards..

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greg April 01, 2014 2:25 am

The kids has a big future. Blessed with talent, but also a huge work ethic and desire. Clearly a knock on, lesson learned. I'm sure he won't do it again. That was his first full xv's match against good competition. Pretty impressive.

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nacho April 01, 2014 4:12 am

If you watch slowly the vídeo you ser it wasn't knock con it was backwards but after all he would had have the ball in two hands

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sportsfan1 April 01, 2014 12:31 pm

I saw someone comment on an article somewhere else about this ( Scotsman maybe?). They made a good point that the majority of us will have made a mistake like this at junior level or club level where the eyes of the world aren't watching. Unfortunately for Carlin he hasn't had that experience so has to make his mistakes now when everyone in rugby wants to see what he is doing.

It's not a big deal, he is used to 7s where scoring under the posts is of more importance due to drop goals. No show boating if you ask me, just wanted to help his team get 7 instead of 5 but unfortunately made a silly mistake. Other than that I hear he had a good debut, especially against Nikki Walker, a 6'5" ex international winger.

The guy is a great athlete and has an incredible work ethic. I really hope he does succeed in his goal to represent the USA at the RWC. It would also be nice to see that there is still space for a jinky 11st player at international level. I feel union is loosing appeal as a sport for all shapes and sizes with everyone becoming a muscular beast these days!

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DanKnapp April 01, 2014 1:21 pm

Gutted I can only like this comment once. Spot on mate.

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DrG April 01, 2014 3:51 pm

Got a like from me.

Regarding mistakes, I remember once at school we played a training match, so not important in the grand scheme of things, but important to us younger guys against the older lot.. I had a rare opportunity to score 2 tries, the first I grounded too early (before the try line) because there were no flags up and I wasn't paying too much attention, the second I ran over the dead ball line (admittedly the pitch we were on had a very small in goal and there were no white lines at the time).. I felt like a right twit. The schools head coach who was refereeing at the time was very generous in allowing us to have the first (no) try, as he argued I was clear in, the second time he told me I should have learnt from the first time..

I don't make that mistake these days... I'm a forward and we all know it's the backs that get the tries!

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sportsfan1 April 01, 2014 8:46 pm

Thanks guys. Enjoy my words of wisdom while they last. I'm sure they'll be short lived!

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larry April 01, 2014 7:27 pm

I'm glad to see that he's playing 15's. I have to say that I always downed the ball as quickly as possible if I were running in a try, not wanting to take any chances, and I never got a chance to score with no one around so as to dot down under the posts. He should have taken that first opportunity and done so. And carry the ball with two hands if you are in-goal with no one around, anyway! It's not the time to take any chances palming a ball one-handed. Carlin rarely has had to carry a ball with two hands playing 7's. He will have to playing 15's.
Looks like it was a chilly day in Scotland. I'd rather wear one long-sleeve shirt than a short sleeve one with a long one under. Time for rugby to go back to basic rugby shirts and get rid of the soccer look!

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larry April 01, 2014 7:30 pm

And as an addendum, bring back rucking, real rugby shorts and socks too. Tired of this new looks with weird stripes, panels that don't do anything really, and socks with vertical stripes and no upper cuffs, and shirts with no collars or long sleeves!

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DrG April 01, 2014 8:55 pm

I wouldn't got quite as far back, I like collared shirts, even if they are the new tight fitted ones. Hated the shirts England sported in 2003 (that style)..

But I definitely agree with you on the rucking :D

Actually I have to say, one of my favourite shirts I have seen in International rugby was the England Centenary shirt they had on a few years ago, I googled it and found a picture with others, please excuse the link being from the daily mail... http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/08/article-1249492-083432DE000005DC-510_634x697.jpg

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sportsfan1 April 01, 2014 9:24 pm

Agreed. Being a Scot though i was never a big fan of the England jersey ;) I like the one Scotland wear now though, quite a classic look.

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DrG April 01, 2014 11:03 pm

Definitely, the Scottish kit has generally been pretty good over the years, I think last year or the year before there was an odd alternative kit (pale blue crosses on white) etc or something like that which I wasn't a fan of.

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sportsfan1 April 02, 2014 10:55 am

I think it was meant to be the saltire on various parts of the strip.

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Badge April 02, 2014 1:19 am

He seems like an nice guy. He needs to pack on some weight and keep his head on a swivel as he climbs the ranks. Speed is all well and good on attack but when you're the last guy standing between Willem Alberts or Read and the posts, you might need a few kilos in your back pocket for safe keeping.

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matt April 02, 2014 12:34 pm

Weight isn't important. Gio Aplon manages just fine, most of time, as a last man. It's mostly technique and commitment.
Plus I suspect that as someone who has been in conditioning rooms his whole life he may be at his most muscular already

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sportsfan1 April 02, 2014 10:38 pm

The thing is if he puts on extra weight he will lose that raw pace. His pace is the thing that gives him the chance to make it. People like Sean Lamont and Leigh Halfpenny both bulked up and it affected their pace. HP especially used to be much quicker (not that he isn't a great player now). His running game was better when he wasn't quite so muscular though

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Badge April 04, 2014 6:40 pm

I disagree Matt. Gio is a fantastic player but he's had his clock pretty thoroughly cleaned a few times and I dare say he would've walked a straighter line after standing up if he were a little heavier. Again my point was not weight on attack guys, it was on defense. Nothing can hold down a player with heart, but physics comes knocking every so often; in the case of smaller guys like Aplon, Kolbe, and Isles, it knocks a little harder.

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Gents rugger April 02, 2014 3:26 am

I think the jury is still out on carlin, I think he will either be a 15's superstar or a big flop. I don't know how many people commenting on here have watched the usa 7's team or just have watched carlins highlights on youtube, but I think a lot of people forget that carlin wasn't an automatic starter for the 7's. maybe about 50% of the time, the main reason for that was because he was too much of a liability on defense. Definitely an exciting player and he sells tickets for sure. Carlin on the 7's circuit has shown he has a lot of speed but as far as passing, kicking, tackling, defensive positioning or setting up his mates for runs he hasn't shown much, he usually just gets the ball and heads off around the corner by himself. I'm not saying he'll fail... but he really has a lot to work on if he wants to become a professional/international 15's winger. I would like to see some film of him from this game other than this blooper to see how he handled the other areas of the game, maybe I don't have a clue what I'm talking about, just how I see it.

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Wong561 July 06, 2014 7:03 pm

He runs like an American football running back. His whole style of running, juking, even carrying the ball are reminiscent of American football. He's playing football without the gear and with a rugby ball.

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Oakheart October 07, 2014 10:06 pm

All the comments seem to focusing on Mr. Isles' efforts, but I'd like to draw attention to the opposing #5. With the ball in the try zone, #5 continued to chase the player, continued to attempt to save the try, never gave up. Young Carlin would not have dropped the ball if #5 had just let him dot it down under the posts, as I'm sure I probably would have done under those circumstances.
I'm sure this could be a lesson for all young players out there - keep going!

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