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Monday Jan 4, 2016

Conrad Smith dummies Ma'a Nonu to slice through and score first Top 14 try

Conrad Smith dummies Ma'a Nonu to slice through and score first Top 14 try
8
Comments

Conrad Smith left Ma’a Nonu clutching for air as the two World Cup winning All Black midfielders faced off against one another for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. Both now playing for French clubs, Nonu came away with the 21-17 Toulon victory, but it was Pau’s Smith who took the bragging rights.

Toulon suffered a defeat at the hands of Toulouse last weekend so this was a much needed win, and it came about thanks to two tries from former Reds and Wallabies star, James O’Connor.

The matchup between Smith and Nonu was one that had the fans paying close attention, and following Nonu’s loose intercept pass that he gifted Gael Fickou, the last thing he would have wanted is to be shown up by his former teammate for both the Hurricanes and New Zealand.

While Toulon were in complete control at the time, Smith got the ball and went on one of his mazy runs, carrying with both hands, before throwing a dummy that Nonu will be kicking himself for buying. He then fended a tackler before showing the ball again for another former All Black, Tom Taylor, then dived over for his first Top 14 try.

O’Connor however was the star of the day, playing right wing and crossing for two tries as Toulon moved into fourth place on the Top 14 table, while Pau sit in 11th spot. 

8 Comments

  • drg
    10:39 PM 06/01/2016

    Hear hear, I remember the days when RD's main topics were big hits and dirty play.... I despise all this skilful activity that is being shown consistently on here. There is something nice about a cracking hit, it's something I can happily emulate... however catching a ball with my middle finger and skilfully farting it over to the next player whilst dodging three or four hits is not something I'm great at...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:26 PM 05/01/2016

    He certainly does. :) But I'm a "rugbydump purist" - I come here for the big hits. I wouldn't care if Smith had passed, if it meant I could watch Nonu scything his old buddy in half. Anyway, I still maintain that "if in doubt smash the bastard with the ball" is the most effective defensive tactic in this situation. Worse case scenario you leave a 2 on 1, but you've still smashed a guy in the tackle and that's more important in my view And, covering those overlaps is what the full back is there for anyway. Case in point: Toulon full back here was wrong-footed; he'd have had a far easier job dealing with the winger on the outside - and of course not least because he could use the touchline as another defender effectively making it a 2 on 2.

    Reply
  • mozz87
    10:14 AM 05/01/2016

    And if Nonu smashed Smith a guy that good would've gotten the pass away first and there'd be a 2 on 1 and we'd all be saying "Nonu should've stayed out not stepped in"! Basically he was never gonna win that situation, Snakey knows what he's doing!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:58 PM 04/01/2016

    Brit50, It's a good thing you and I don't play in the same defensive line... It was a nicely timed run by Conrad Smith to join the line, but once he was there he became Nonu's man, in my opinion. Nonu should have smashed him and not worried about the overlap - to borrow your phrase, you must have faith in your outside players when covering a 3 on 2. That way, if Nonu is able to make the tackle on Smith, #17 is there close by to get over the ball and try to secure possession. If Smith gets the pass away the next guy smashes his man; if that man gets the pass away the last attacking player is almost out of room and still has the covering scrumhalf and fullback to beat. More likely than not they'll shepherd him into touch.

    Reply
  • drg
    5:35 PM 04/01/2016

    Still went for the intercept though... so he wasn't really marking his man...

    Reply
  • brit50
    4:57 PM 04/01/2016

    If only commentators knew their rugby. It was 3 on 2 and Nonu was taking his man. #17 was at fault for not covering inside, (and therefore C.Smith) quicker. You must have failth in your inside players when covering across.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    4:13 PM 04/01/2016

    King Conrad has still got it. Best 13 in world rugby, imo. I'm sure Nonu will come good with time, he was excellent in 2015 for NZ and the Hurricanes.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:29 PM 04/01/2016

    No video... or video is private. Seems to me Nonu hasn't had a great start..

    Reply


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Conrad Smith dummies Ma'a Nonu to slice through and score first Top 14 try | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos