France convincing winners over England

Wallabies 31-man squad for RWC 2015

World XV convincingly beat Japan

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC

New Zealand hold onto Bledisloe Cup

Alipate Fatafehi huge hit vs USA Eagles

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Sensational Stepper Nehe Milner-Skudder

Jerry Collins Haka the day before crash

Monday, July 07, 2014

Ma'a Nonu's bumps off Colin Slade with massive charge

Crusaders back Colin Slade, who has broken has jaw on multiple occasions, was on the receiving end of a huge Ma'a Nonu charge during the Crusaders and Blues' Super Rugby game at the weekend. Nonu's superior size and body position meant Slade was sent flying, gumguard and all.

*As pointed out in the comments below, an almost identical thing actually happened to Slade last weekend too, against the Hurricanes' Hadleigh Parkes. View that here

More big hits and huge charges can be found in our Big Hits and Dirty Play section

Page: 12View All

Posted by Rugbydump at 3:40 pm | View Comments (33)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 33 comments

Reality July 07, 2014 4:09 pm

Good hit, but it would have been a lot more impressive if he hadn't completely c*cked up the pass afterwards.

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finedisregard July 07, 2014 4:30 pm

What's up with Nonu's eyebrows?

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rufio July 07, 2014 8:26 pm

Slade really needs to look at his technique. He rushed up far to quick & was carrying far too much speed still, realised who it was, and then put his head on the wrong side again all because Nonu saw it and changed his line slightly!!

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10stonenumber10 July 07, 2014 8:50 pm

I bet Slade is glad he has that plate in his jaw, it would be all over the 10m line otherwise.

As for the eyebrows, i suppose it is better than bleaching it like he used to.... but could be some sort of genius. Our innate ability to read an expression and recognise direction of view is through the spacing between the pupil/iris and eyebrow, and the lack of/disruption of a main subconscious visual reference point throws everything off. Body language and expression are the biggest giveaways and hardest to hide, this is all theoretical and has an absolutely minuscule effect, but in a game of percentages the small factors add up. I could also be talking completely out of my arse, I'm pretty sure I got a 'D' in Biology, which again might also explain why i've been stuck doing shift work with more body clock jet lag and sleep deprivation than any rugby tour I have heard of.

Like colourful boots... At that level, physical mechanics are too rigid, footwork can deceive, you are instinctively drawn to bright colours, but to read an attacker, like saving a penalty or reading a fly half's boot (except a J-MH banana kick), "the hips don't lie". An awful Shakira reference, the song is crap but that video is unforgettable. For example, DCarter is hard to read because his gait is unnatural. e.g. not so much slide through gaps as fall through and regain his footing. It is why he has had so many injuries recently

Check the "Testing Ronaldo" video for reference, he can read a cross and trajectory before the ball has even been struck

Anything introduced from outside the recognised equilibrium is going to have an effect.

View Video

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stroudos July 08, 2014 7:03 am

"I've been stuck doing shift work"

Mate start blogging or something. No way a bloke with your way of words should be doing a job that doesn't harness that ability.

Or getting some rugby coaching qualifications so you can share your unique rugby insight with the rugby universe. For someone who regularly comes up with an unusual and innovative take on skills and tactics, I'm sure you'd be a breath of fresh air for players used to the usual coaching by numbers approach.

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 10:03 am

Thanks for the support and vote of confidence, I've been thinking of starting one for a while... "Team Tacklebag" - analysis and perspective from someone who has never been coached beyond 4 in a line passing drills

I've had plenty of time to think about what I say, I worked in a Bureau de Change in an airport, 10-12 hour shifts in social isolation, no internet, phone, radio, books, magazines etc., some days we would only serve 4 customers. Got to keep the mind active somehow, so I would play games of 'back-line chess' against myself on A4 paper, turn based with 2 'teams' of 7 players (either 7s or a 15s back line)

Coaching is the way I wanted to go, but I tore my achilles playing touch last October, still very delicate on my feet, a 2hr drive put me on crutches the next day, and stairs are now my mortal enemy.

A blog would be fantastic though, all i'd need is wi-fi, a beanbag and this laptop, much less depressing than minimum wage also!

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DrG July 08, 2014 10:33 am

Nasty injury, best of luck regarding the blog. I think Stroudos is right, you'd be great at it.

As for the comments above about eyebrows and colourful boots, I'm not sure about the eyebrow part, but if I think about it, I suppose you're right, they do play a huge part in expression. BUT, then colourful boots side of things, you could be partially right with that, but the main reason for colourful boots is that it's a well known fact that they make you run faster...

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DrG July 08, 2014 10:34 am

Sorry, that's "best of luck regarding the blog AND the recovery!"

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 11:29 am

Thanks guys! (or girls, you never know on the internet) Blessing in disguise really, wake up call to start looking after myself and planning a future beyond the weekend! I'll keep you posted.

Call me superstitious, but i hurt myself wearing the only pair of black boots I think I have owned... Like Slade, really should have seen it coming, after all, the 7th commandment from the Rugby Gods is "Thou shalt playeth in bling, or not playeth at all"

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Rugbydump July 08, 2014 12:05 pm

10stonenumber10, start by registering your account on here (having to manually verify via email each time is a pain).

Keep posting and I'm sure at some stage we could give you an opportunity to write something for the site. Nothing is in place yet but we could explore more in the future.

All the best with recovery, and killing time at work

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 12:37 pm

Thanks for the support! Rugby truly is a friendly community :)

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DrG July 08, 2014 1:57 pm

Hahaha, probably the only 'friendly' community that congregates weekly to beat 7 shades of **** out of each other....

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all_blacks_gg July 07, 2014 9:07 pm

Just wanna mention (I don't think RD has picked it up yet) but this was the second week in a row that this happened to Slade. Week previous, Hadleigh-Parks rolled over him when they played the Canes, same result with his gum shield popping out and everything.
You can't help but grimace and chuckle, he really needs to look after himself better!

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10stonenumber10 July 07, 2014 9:43 pm

or get a proper gum shield! Like a motorbike helmet, it really is worth spending a little more... an extra fiver is much more affordable than a lifetime of dentures and crowns. Dangerous to have a loose object in your mouth, an opro feels like it is welded to your teeth but it comfy.

Someone give that man some boxing lessons, I always thought it was natural to bite down when bracing for/taking/giving a hit. He can't say he didn't see him coming. Maybe the broken jaw is still weak

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stroudos July 08, 2014 6:52 am

I was going to make the same point! I've been smacked in the face during a few rugby tackles but the gumshield has never budged a millimetre. If I was playing against people like Ma'a Nonu I would be even more determined to have a secure gumshield.

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DrG July 08, 2014 10:36 am

Playing against Nonu, or getting clocked by him, you'd probably bite through the blooming gumshield...

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Rugbydump July 08, 2014 12:16 pm

Thanks, all_blacks_gg. Missed that somehow but it's now been added to the post (on page 2).

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DW July 08, 2014 9:27 am

Looks like Slade is lacking some confidence. I don't think someone at that level doesn't know how to tackle but more that given the recent injuries he looks to be going in at 50% some times and leaving himself more open to getting hurt than if he were to just instinctively tackle at 100%. Bit like the "yips" really. Hope he sorts it soon as his body won't stand the punishment for much longer!

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 10:42 am

He is human. At that level, if you think twice or flinch, you have lost the collision. Breaking your jaw isn't nice, you can't eat, your bite pattern changes, you've probably damaged teeth too. Back in the caveman days that would have been a fatal wounding, we evolved to realise a degree of self-preservation within our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and can react like the stereotypical spooked horse to recurrences of 'threatening' experiences. Fortunately we have the conscious ability to override it somewhat to our favour when it comes to fight or flight. And like Carl Froch shooting down Groves for questioning his use of Sports/Performance Psychologists, this is where they are worth their weight in gold.

He had a choice of fronting up and tackling chest to chest, or get your head/body out of the direct line, go low and pull him down as he goes over the top. Instead he sort of faltered for a moment, gave Nonu the chance to dip and rise into the hit, and was caught in No Man's Land taking a shoulder/elbow to the face.

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Tex15 July 08, 2014 12:15 pm

I broke my jaw a few years ago and it took me a long time to recover mentally and play at 100% again. Something that is not really considered in the game is mental recovery from injuries, these days it seems that so much reliance is placed on the team doctor saying yep his guy has physically recovered and players are expected to be thrown right back in. As 10stone said if you are not playing at 100% then you have lost the collision, this isn't just about being macho and getting on with it. it takes a while to get over that little voice in your head that worries about getting injured again.

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DrG July 08, 2014 2:11 pm

Definitely, some of the worst injuries I've had have been as a result of messing around not being focussed - Physical contact in training is by far one of the worst parts of rugby in my opinion. I have found there is this 50/50 game you play with yourself when it comes to training contact. Being 6'6" and in excess of 100kg's and being reasonably quick getting off the line, one has to make decisions in training in order to benefit the 'opposition' (other members of the team) when they are caught in the perfect spot for a big hit - There is no point lining up our own 10 and smashing him; I'm not going to get any brownie points for leaving him staggering around, so you end up checking yourself, not working 100% and potentially leaving yourself to get knocked when that same 10 decides he is going to go into a tackle 100%....of course... this is all presuming I catch the little bugger!

I fortunately have never had any big breaks - fingers, toes, a rib and my nose are the extent, but I can't imagine what a leg break would put my mind through, especially as these things take a huge amount of time for recovery.

Rugby is such a brilliant community, I do enjoy seeing the way players and separate teams can come together and look at the bigger picture.

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 2:58 pm

In 7s training we had 2 england age grade back row and a 13 who is now at Quins, when they trained with "Team Tacklebag"/2nd/3rd VII, they would pretty much walk it... Or line you up perfectly but not finish the final yard or so. Enough to scare the life out of you and teach you a lesson, but no way would they take someone out of the game

Uni was different, like you said, train hard, but remember that you need your team mates on the weekend. Save that OTT aggression for the weekend. Us little ones have to go at 100% in training to match half-arsed physicality, 100kgs has a big effect whether flying in both barrels or not. Our ex-prop coach literally used to get off over forwards beating up backs in drills, he wanted them to practice bullying the opposition and targetting fragile players... at their own team's expense. In one year I was speared off the ball at least every other session, and lost count of the number of times he would pair me and the other scrum half against the steroid bloated starting back row in defensive 3 on 2s.

I broke my hand the day before my final year of 6th form, had to have it reconstructed, all from landing funny after being knocked in the air training. Had to take all my A levels left handed, and took me until nearly my 2nd year of uni to be able to hold a pen correctly. Like you said, bones heal but the psychological damage doesn't, I used to tackle without wrapping my right arm so i'd stand less chance of crushing my hand under both of us, still to this day I find myself subconsciously cradling/protecting it when I get involved watching a game on TV

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 8:09 pm

obviously the uni back row weren't on steroids, but they were throwing about 60kg dumbbells like crisp packets

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DrG July 09, 2014 12:05 am

That's the problem with with UK rugby (we've been here before), so much effort is placed on pointless exercises. I've been on both sides of that 3v2 training or 1v1...

We had a coach who used to get us to queue up in 2 lines, then two players would set off, run round cones at separate ends and then run face to face with one having to tackle the other... This was at a very junior level, I was definitely not in excess of 100kg's, I was indeed one of the little ones... So it became a brutal sport of "crush the small ones" by those who had a higher fat content than a stick of lard! Running with high knees was always a good way for them to squash a few noses or something... It was an utterly pointless exercise, the bigs guys could obviously run over the little ones, and the little ones were obviously not going to be able to tackle the big guys and were going to get run over.

Smashing our team mates is as well, utterly pointless, I can't imagine any player would be in the good books for writing off their own teams players such as the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, or Dan Carter etc in a training session... I actually remember we did a 1st vs 2nd team "game" which was brutal, it became a case of the 2nd team cannot do anything to the 1st team, but they could hit us around all day - We had a little huddle and decided enough was enough, we stripped the ball in tackles, counter rucked, stole lineout ball, won scrums and tackled HARD, the 1st teams morale was ruined for Saturday, and their 11 who was just back from an ankle injury was out for another 2 months with his other ankle - all pointless because of small minded coaching.

....sort of swayed from the mental aspect a little bit, but I suppose the above goes to highlight the one dimensional views to coaching..

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cheyanqui July 08, 2014 5:03 pm

Nonu should be lucky that wasn't on Dan Carter.

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10stonenumber10 July 08, 2014 5:14 pm

Interesting article, also claims Slade failed the Concussion test last week.... but was out on the field the week after? Any sort of head knock is 2-4 weeks minimum if you are being sensible

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Freddy July 08, 2014 6:14 pm

Guys, just a heads up. The Facebook page is almost complete. Thanks to YOUR likes, plastic surgery will finally be possible. Nonu, hang in there buddy! Soon it'll all be behind.

PS: love the mouthguard blown out of Slade's mouth

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DrG July 09, 2014 12:07 am

.....Gone over my head...???

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Eddie-g July 08, 2014 6:52 pm

I guess for anyone asking the question, why has Colin Slade's career been blighted by injury, this is an answer.

He's as gutsy as all hell, but you'd think at some point, he'd want to improve his technique. Only so much of this any player can take.

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CEO Front Row Union July 09, 2014 1:26 am

You could just imagine Slade lying there thinking ....
"Play Rugby they said ... 80min playing and a few hours a day training .... better than a 9 - 5 slog every day every week"

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10stonenumber10 July 09, 2014 2:07 pm

All that crap is behind, exactly where it should be. We all have our motivations, and many of us are driven by demons, you only know where you are going when you know where you have been. I think that was an Eastern philosopher, but it has been adopted by the Mongrel Mob in NZ before anybody draws the comparison and takes offence!

It is why I have the utmost respect for grassroots and second tier teams, probably one of the most defining and respectful moments was in RWC 2007, after NZ thrashed the mostly Amateur Portugal, they took a football out on the field and had a kickabout, the fans went absolutely bonkers.

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lukejohn1989 July 24, 2014 1:48 pm

Dont like Nonu, so all i'll say is "fair nuff" and im glad he balls up the offload after. :)

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