Arizona Wildcat's Haka angers fans

5 of the Best Tries so far at RWC2015

Winner chosen in Under Armour comp

Scotland beat USA for second RWC win

All RWC Highlights from opening round

All Blacks stay composed vs Argentina

England finish strongly to beat Fiji

Gareth Thomas features in emotive ads

James Schrader's sensational try saver

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Courtney Lawes smashes Owen Farrell with trademark hit

Courtney Lawes made another of his trademark crash tackles at the weekend, this time on England team mate, Owen Farrell. The Saracens flyhalf didn't return from the tunnel at halftime but has since been cleared as not having a foot injury, and will resume training this week.

Lawes flew out the line and smashed Farrell just as he passed the ball, resulting in a tough landing on the artificial pitch of Allianz Park for the smaller, but tough as nails flyhalf.

This is from the same match as the Marcelo Bosch big penalty kick (and Kelly Brown try), and it was Brown himself that was on the wrong end of another big tackle, that time by Samu Manoa. You can view that on page two, and see more big Lawes (and Manoa!) hits in the Related Posts below. 

Page: 12View All

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:10 pm | View Comments (41)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 41 comments

finedisregard April 17, 2014 5:03 pm

Samu Manoa is bad as hell!

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

SurpriseSurprise April 17, 2014 5:16 pm

Once again showing that he can tackle half backs as well as anyone.....

Yet also being anonymous against the big guys.

England's "enforcer". Hilarious.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 17, 2014 10:09 pm

Who called him an 'enforcer'?

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

FatProp April 18, 2014 12:50 pm

We don't really have an enforcer for my knowledge. He puts in a lot of tackles but so does Launchbury, Wood and Robshaw. The only 'Enforcer' we have would be like Carl Fearns if we decided to play him. We don't really have a Botha or Cudmore

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 18, 2014 5:34 pm

A Botha or Cudmore... (probably more aimed at Cudmore): Yeh.. there is nothing like having a player in your team that can consistently break records for the most red and yellow cards in a season.. useful..

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:42 pm

Hard to call him anonymous in the last 6 Nations. I've previously felt this was a valid criticism, but I think it's a bit unfair now. Yes, he can hit the little guys, but only because he's fast enough to catch them under a high ball or when the ball comes back from a breakdown.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 18, 2014 5:33 pm

I'm with Dan on this topic, I was once a Lawes naysayer, unfortunately I didn't see enough 'international standard' playing from him (probably due to his injuries) and figured he was quite overrated by some. But he certainly stood up to the task this 6N and I think showed that not only can he play at a good standard, he also showed his ability to improve (which I am sure will continue).

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

WelshOsprey April 17, 2014 5:41 pm

Another crunching tackle on a small back who still managed to get the ball away..

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

SharpLinesRugby April 17, 2014 7:57 pm

some pretty bitter comments here fellas. Unbelievable athlete, making his mark and setting the tone as per. Would walk into every international team in the world right now.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:47 pm

Not sure about walking into EVERY team, but he'd walk into a lot of them. He's been playing really well.

I agree with your first two sentences. I think he showed in the 6Ns that he doesn't just tackle the little guy. What I think most people miss is that the guy has such incredible linespeed that he is able to CATCH the small guys in the first place. In the past I felt this was about the only aspect of his game, but he has been much stronger against guys his own size recently. He was fantastic all 6N against players of all shapes and sizes.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

AJR April 17, 2014 7:58 pm

He outplayed Alun-Wyn in the last outing.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

fastmongrel April 17, 2014 8:15 pm

How many Locks would even get near a Fly Half. Lawes has got serious gas for a big fella and he has put crucial tackles on a lot of big men.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

sebas April 17, 2014 9:08 pm

late tackle...again, high tackle...again, always on a small player...

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 17, 2014 10:11 pm

I suppose we just watched different videos, in the one I just watched Lawes hit Farrell exactly 1 second (in slow motion) after the ball was passed, so not sure how fast in full speed, and Lawes shoulder was lower than Farrells so it wasn't high..

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:48 pm

Maybe his internet wasn't streaming properly.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:49 pm

Also wondering what sebas thinks is happening in the photo at the top of the page. Pretty sure that hitting someone below their shoulder isn't a high-fucking-tackle.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Maybe Sebas is high...

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

Sharky April 18, 2014 8:52 am

The flatter to the defensive line a 10 plays, the more dangerous he is. By smashing him and proving he is not safe to play with defenders in his face (as well as taking him out of the game for a phase or two) you put doubt in his mind and hinder the attack. Lawes is the best row in world rugby for unsettling a fly half.

Smashing a big lad is pointless, hindering the 10 changes games.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

CambridgeshireKid April 22, 2014 10:58 am

Are you familiar with the game of rugby union?

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 17, 2014 10:08 pm

Yes yes, ok everyone, big man on little man, little man still got ball away etc etc

But who can honestly say they didn't enjoy watching Cocky Farrell get smashed and hobble about afterwards :D

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

Boozingncruising Top Comment | April 17, 2014 10:58 pm

The comments above really back up the following quote:

'In life, just as in sport, the boos always come from the cheap seats'

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

Vladimir April 17, 2014 11:51 pm

Problem is, as impressive as they may be, Lawes' tackles on little men do not interrupt the flow of the game. He hits the player without disrupting the pass. Look at Serge Betsen, McCaw, always managing to get the man with the 10 on his back and with the ball.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 18, 2014 8:12 am

Agree, and slightly disagree, Farrell is the Saracens playmaker, and he was not up and running immediately after the tackle, so I dare say that Lawes did; somewhat, interrupt the flow of the game, but albeit the next flow - if that makes sense.

The video doesn't show much of what happened in play after the pass, but it is safe to say that the Saracens weren't able to ruck, crash ball and reset and start again with their 10 in his channel...

But I know what you mean regarding Betsen, McCaw etc..

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

Canadian content April 18, 2014 2:31 am

Have to say manoa's much more impressive, on the ball carrier receiving and killing the player rather than too late to have a direct impact on the play.

Lawyers would not walk into SA or dare I say Ire.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

dave April 18, 2014 4:54 am

Lawes outplayed Ireland by himself
go watch some baseball clown

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:54 pm

Samu Manoa's tackle is after the second/third pass after a breakdown, when he has had a chance to make up some distance after getting back 10. Lawes' tackle is on the first receiver. In that respect I think we can probably cut him some slack for not getting man and ball. He's had an extra five yards to make up there.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

dave April 18, 2014 4:52 am

Welshosprey is butthurt because lawes got man of the match against Wales

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

Canadian content April 19, 2014 2:47 am

What's your purpose on this site, to troll your tribal BS, taking pot shots at sensible people wanting to discuss some rugby?

No matter what nationality you are your a grade A jackass.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

dave April 24, 2014 12:11 am


 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 27, 2014 8:04 pm

If it's 'Correct Grammar Like A Twat Day', I suppose I should point out your name should be Dave, not dave.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

Jim April 18, 2014 11:46 am

We're calling Farrell small now? 6ft2 at just over 15st is hardly a tiny half-back (although Lawes has almost killed a few French 9's in his time). Disrupting playmakers is something a lot of 2nd rows aren't quick enough to do, and the aggressive style/speed of Lawes would panic just about anyone.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

FatProp April 18, 2014 12:47 pm

I think people are forgetting the six nations, especially against wales where Lawes was hitting Robert time and time again, so much that Roberts hardly got on the ball and when he did he just kicked it away. He doesn't just tackle the small guys but the ones where tackles the big guy is not as impressive to put in a highlight video. When you are 6 ft 7 and 118 kg I think you almost always tackling the smaller player. He is an incredible athlete who could get into MOST international teams, South Africa has Etzebeth and ? Bekker ? Du Toit ? he is better than either of those two. Ireland has O'Connell and no-one, he gets into the Ireland team easily.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 18, 2014 2:51 pm


·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

Vladimir April 18, 2014 10:13 pm

Agreed, there against Robert, Lawes is efficient as it is against a crash runner. Would the 'hit the man hard' strategy be that efficient against BOD, Smith, and other elusive players?
Again, I do not see the point of 'hitting the man'. Disrupting yes, hitting no. One big hit is changing nothing to the game except if it breaks one or two bones of the player, whereas putting constant pressure, being a permanent threat is more efficient than any 'hit' but less impressive i reckon.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

Canadian content April 19, 2014 2:49 am

He's good, will be great, but if he's walking into any side in the world now, I'd imagine he'd have been at least a touring lion last summer.

·   ·  Reply  ·  Report

jim April 24, 2014 12:14 am

You could say the same about Mike Brown and the Lions but we all know that's not the case

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

rugbyfun April 21, 2014 6:17 pm

I never see this guy making the tacke on time. Always a second after the ball is gone

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 21, 2014 9:11 pm

Watch this video then. I am no Lawes fan, but as I stated above, this tackle occurred at about 1 second at the most after the pass ON THE SLOW MOTION section of the video, so in full speed we're talking fractions of a second...

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

rugbyfun April 22, 2014 12:12 pm

What i m saying is that he never tacke the player with the ball in his hands. So why are we amaze by this guy if he didn t do anything good

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DanKnapp April 22, 2014 9:28 pm

Hard to know how best to respond to this idiotic comment. I'm going to go with:

Watch some rugby matches that Lawes has played in.

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

DrG April 23, 2014 7:52 am

Rugbyfun, whilst I respect the fact that this tackle would have been far greater had he smashed Farrell when Farrell had hold of the ball YOU have to respect the disruption that a tackle like this can cause. I don't think it's possible to tell from this video, but I myself (a second row/back row) have targeted number 10's when I've played and tackled them full on whether they have had the ball or just after they've passed it on. What this does (as someone has explained above) is cause them to doubt their field position and alter it - If you've been flattened 2 times shortly after passing the ball or with the ball, you either pass it quicker, or take the ball deeper, so it alters the opposition teams entire attacking method. That is the aftermath of a big tackle like this, the immediate outcome of a rib tickler (when the player has just passed the ball on) is that the number 10 (specifically) is left trying to get his wind back, so if there is a breakdown and another phase of play, then they have to continue WITHOUT their 10, until he is able to get back into line.

So again, whilst we can all probably agree this tackle would be a world great had Farrell STILL had the ball, we need to all open our eyes and recognise what a tackle like this can actually mean for the rest of the game.

...and like I said before, it's enjoyable to watch Farrell getting smashed and hobbling about...

 ·  Reply  ·  Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.