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Sunday Apr 12, 2015

Mark Richards KO'd after colliding with the shoulder of Willem Alberts

Mark Richards KO'd after colliding with the shoulder of Willem Alberts

Making his debut for the Lions in Round 9 of Super Rugby this weekend, winger Mark Richards’ evening ended early when he was left unconscious after taking a heavy knock from Sharks flanker, Willem Alberts. 

Richards, a recognised success in sevens, was making his first appearance for the Lions since his return to 15-a-side rugby. Unfortunately the night didn’t end as he, or many of the excited home fans, would have liked.

Lions’ scrum-half Faf de Klerk chipped the ball over, but it bounced up awkwardly, as rugby balls so often do, and with credit to Richards for his commitment he kept his eyes locked on regaining possession. 

Due to this however, he was unaware of Sharks’ openside Alberts bearing down from the opposite direction with a similar desire to poach the ball from the air.

Alberts won the race, and after gathering in possession he continued to motor toward the approaching Richards, who was entirely unprepared to make a tackle as he had been hoping to have the ball himself. 

The resulting collision sent the Lions’ winger, who weighs 6 stone less than Alberts, down to the turf with a sickening thud. 

The officials and medical staff were extremely quick to react and play was stopped as all safety precuations were observed to ensure Richards safety was paramount. 

After a lengthy delay the brave winger was stretchered from the pitch, but thankfully was seen up and about on the sidelines during the second half. 

Richards will take solace in the fact that the Lions extended their Super Rugby winning streak to four, after the final whistle left the Sharks trailing 21-23 on the night. 

Alberts is well known for his aggression and powerful play, and in fact put in a monstrous hit on Jaco Taute in the same Super Rugby encounter back in 2010. 

Check out the Related Posts or head to our Big Hits & Dirty Play section for more of the same


  • danknapp
    10:23 AM 21/04/2015

    I got concussion just from watching this.

  • katman
    11:41 AM 14/04/2015

    Alberts plays no.8, not lock. And he often drops back along the touchline to field kicks and run them back.

  • colombes
    5:39 PM 13/04/2015

    The laws, the hits, the tackles... Nothing really changed since 30 years Apart the players who are 20kg bigger than 20 years ago.

  • drg
    4:19 PM 13/04/2015

    You've heard of Sarcastaball haven't you?

  • bloblabli
    3:39 PM 13/04/2015

    Please people stop trying to change the laws every time someone get Hurt! It is getting silly. It is a sport. Injuries are part of it. The players know it, the coaches know it, the public knows it. It is always sad to see that Kind of incident but its part of the game. Its nobody's fault. If you dont like contact then go play touch rugby for fuck sake.

  • finedisregard
    3:10 PM 13/04/2015

    What law would you change? It was just unlucky. Two guys going for a 50/50 ball and one player being larger than the other.

  • jonnyenglish
    3:03 PM 13/04/2015

    I, for one, bet that hurt.

  • larry
    2:43 PM 13/04/2015

    A law change that could mean more lineouts, where there rarely is injury, and less running, in which the chances of a tackle and concussion exist, is to return to the old kick into touch rules that existed from the time that the Australian Dispensation rule became a general rule (1968) until some six or seven years back when kicking into touch directly became more restrictive.

  • larry
    2:39 PM 13/04/2015

    Incidents like this one aren't all that common in rugby. It's usually the responsibility of the weak side wing to run up field on kicks into the box. Now why a big lock forward was playing back is another question, but this is just a short clip of the game. There are more tackles in the game with the current laws though, so overall there will be more concussions. Players seem to run into contact instead of running around contact more often than not. Inter passing between players, especially forwards, before contact seems not to happen as much as before. There's too much "going to ground." I've mentioned this before, but just the change in the kicking to touch rules back some six or seven years ago means more running of the ball with tackling more than likely the result, less lineouts overall, and therefore more likelihood of concussion.

  • andinov
    2:24 PM 13/04/2015

    Jesus, it's incidents like these that will kill off this game and I fear to think the long term consequences of knocks like these. The rules need to be changed

  • jimmy23
    2:22 PM 13/04/2015

    Alberts should have rubbed his face in the ground afterwards to prove how tough he is as well

  • guy
    1:52 PM 13/04/2015

    You forget to mention he wouldn't last for 5 minutes in NZ ;-)

  • drg
    11:31 AM 13/04/2015

    Quick concussion check them throw him out there... We make them tough in the SH, it's a gladiatorial sport and players should play on until they die or until the game ends... In ancient Roman times in the Colosseum, many gladiators fought until the death, rugby is the modern version. Death, gladiators, cous cous!


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