Thursday, October 16, 2014
Hard hitting number eight Chris Hala'ufia made this bone-jarring hit in the Aviva Premiership as he lined up and crunched Newcastle prop Scott Wilson. Unfortunately he then casually slapped him in the face, as if to further assert his dominance.
Hala'ufia only joined London Welsh two weeks ago, on a short term loan deal, providing injury cover for the Premiership new boys. The 35-year-old joined Scarlets during the off season but has yet to make an appearance, so the opportunity with London Welsh should provide some game time.
"Due to our mounting injury list we’ve brought in Chris to help fill the gap on a short-term basis," said London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell of the Tongan loose forward.
He put all of that at risk against Newcastle though, with the tackle perhaps viewed as borderline by some, but then the little slap afterwards all too unncecesary. It caused a bit of a scuffle but referee Wayne Barnes chose to only penalise him.
Barnes said that Hala'Ufia made initial contact below the shoulders, but slipped up high. It seems as though he didn't see the slap, because you'd think that if he had, he would have mentioned it.
Hala'ufia has a bit of a record for huge hits, sometimes illegal (see the Related Posts below this video for more), but in this case he probably got it spot on. The post tackle slap - albeit a soft one - on an injured player was totally uncalled for though.
Posted at 10:44 am | 16 comments
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Over the years Sevens has dished up some hilarious bloopers, as a few tryscorers have been way too casual over the tryline. This was the case at the Gold Coast Sevens last weekend, so here is a look at it, as well as a few other memorable blunders.
If you weren't able to follow the tournament on the weekend, we posted Gold Coast Sevens Highlights, which cover Day One and Two, including all the finals and a few extra clips in for good measure. One of those was this screamer from Fijian flyer Semi Kunatani, who was all too casual.
It was a combination of his complacency and the quick thinking from Scotland's Lee Jones, who spotted that the speedster was taking his time about things, as well as showing the ball some love. Jones swooped in with a powerful, well timed hit, so the ball popped loose and the try was wasted.
We've seen similar bloopers on the Sevens circuit before. One thinks back to England's Fijian born Isoa Damudamu and his shocker at Twickenham many years back, also kissing the ball (goodbye).
More recently a Japanese player celebrated a try at the Hong Kong Sevens with a huge dive, but left the ball behind, resulting in a few blushes. There were also two howlers at the Limerick World Club 7's in August, coincidentally also featuring a Fijian player.
Back in 2008 Wales' Tal Selley at least made the effort to get the ball down, but was caught from behind by USA speed merchant Zee Ngwenya, who knocked the ball out of his hand.
So we've seen it before and we'll see it again. Schoolboy errors, but fun to watch and this was a fantastic tackle by Jones. Fiji won the match 40-7 though, so probably weren't too bothered.
View all of the discussed bloopers, and more, in the Related Posts below this video
Posted at 4:26 pm | 6 comments
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Richard Hibbard was throwing his weight around on the weekend against Saracens, as seen here when he and Sione Kalamafoni combined to knock back England centre Brad Barritt. Saracens won the match 28-21 but this was one of the bigger collisions of the contest.
Kalamafoni went low before Hibbard flew into Barritt, who actually did well to place the ball considering the impact from the Welsh hooker, who has become known as one of the bigger tacklers out there. View more of his big tackles in the Related Posts below.
Posted at 1:45 pm | 8 comments
If you weren't able to catch any of the Sevens from the Gold Coast this past weekend, above is a round up of what happened on the final day, including the dramatic final between Fiji and Samoa. On the next page of this post you can view day one highlights, with some funny clips thrown in.
The IRB have pledged to bring fans more video clips from the HSBC World Sevens Series over the course of the season, so we'll share and archive the best of them on here when possible.
Posted at 11:22 am | 3 comments
Monday, October 13, 2014
A quick look at an awful tackle from the Australian Schools flyhalf Jordan Jackson-Hope against the New Zealand Barbarians two weeks ago. Jackson-Hope was shown a straight red card after he left the referee little choice but to send him from the field for this spear or tip-tackle.
The Australian side were made to pay for their one-man disadvantage, going down 39-21.
"Losing our flyhalf so early in the match was not ideal for our game plan, so we had to adjust to that," said coach Steve Philpotts. "We were a bit shell-shocked in those first 10 minutes but we remained patient and put ourselves in good positions to capitalise on the Barbarians' errors.
"I am very proud of the way we tried to play for the full 70 minutes, considering we were a man down for most of the match," he added when reflecting on the match.
Posted at 11:26 am | 4 comments
Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower was shown a straight red card for punching in the opening minutes of the Super League Grand Final. The Welshman hit Lance Hohaia on the floor despite the first punch appearing to have knocked the 31-year-old Kiwi out.
Flower has since apologised to everyone involved, including Hohaia and the sport of Rugby League.
"I am so sorry for what happened last night," Flower said in his statement.
"There is no defence for my actions. It is something that happened in the heat of the moment. I instantly regretted it and am devastated that I allowed myself to punch someone like this.
"At Wigan we may aim to dominate teams, but we don't aim to hurt people. I firstly offer my apologies to Lance. I hope he is OK. I'd also like to say sorry to my team-mates, our fans and the Wigan club. I accept I'll have to live with this for the rest of my career.
"Finally, I'm sorry to the sport of rugby league. It was a big night and I know I've taken attention away from a special event."
Hohaia has said that he doesn't hold a grudge, and doesn't remember the incident.
"Sometimes these things happen in a game, in the heat of the moment people do things they regret," Hohaia told the BBC. "I've done some silly things myself, so I don't hold any regrets against Ben - he's probably disappointed with himself.
"I don't remember the incident - people have been telling me what happened. I don't think the nose is broken, but I'll have a scan on it in the week. I wanted to go back on but the doctor wouldn't let me and obviously my health goes before anything else."
St Helens won the Old Trafford clash 14-6.
This was covered via Leaguedump, where we bring you Rugby League coverage daily. Follow on Facebook for more on this story and everything else in the world of Rugby League.
Posted at 8:21 am | 44 comments
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Ben Tameifuna made his return to ITM Cup rugby after serving the suspension for pushing referee Glen Jackson last month. The massive tighthead showed what Waikato had been missing with a strong performance, including this huge fend and a big tackle.
It was the final round of the regular season in New Zealand's domestic competition, as Waikato hosted Bay of Plenty and picked up a 29-12 victory to end their season on a positive note.
Tameifuna was last seen in action when he pushed referee Jackson in Waikato's round 3 match against North Harbour in early September. That resulted in a five week suspension and his side missing out on his considerable presence towards the latter stages of the comp.
On Thursday he gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, with some excellent turnovers, a big tackle in the first half and this powerful fend on huge prop Solomona Sakalia.
The two giants have played together before, so Sakalia, who weighs around 120kg's himself, should have known better than to go so high. His error cost him dearly, as Big Ben shrugged him off without too much concern, dealing with the 1.90 metre man as if he were a pesky scrumhalf.
The tackle was made eventually, albeit with the feet and some kind of clumsy trip. Right at the beginning of the match he got the better of another forward, and even though he has built a bit of a reputation for overstepping the mark at times, he wasn't penalised. Great impact all round.
View the solid hit that Tameifuna made in the first half here
Posted at 9:10 pm | 7 comments