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Tuesday May 14, 2013

Tom Croft's brilliant try and try-saving tackle against Harlequins

Tom Croft's brilliant try and try-saving tackle against Harlequins
16
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Tom Croft played a key role in Leicester Tigers’ 33-16 Aviva Premiership semifinal win over Harlequins at the weekend, scoring a great try and making a very impressive try-saving tackle. They will face Northampton Saints in the final on May 25th.

Croft spent a large part of the season out recovering from a serious neck injury, but this year has returned strong, showing the kind of form that excited fans when he first came onto the scene.

The 27-year-old put in good performances in England’s last two Six Nations game, and has found his straps with Leicester, culminating in a Lions call up for the tour of Australia.

“We know how good Crofty can be. We have been very patient with him, and he’s been very patient with us. Our loyalty to those guys who get injured is always the same,” said Richard Cockerill.

Croft’s brilliant 50m sprint in the second half followed on from a vital try-saving tackle he made before the break, stopping Danny Care getting in for what looked like a certain try.

“The tackle on Danny was probably more important than my try because I should have been on the blind-side anyway,” Croft said. “We knew we could not give Quins a chance, and the defence was superb today, and that is what has won us the game.”

Harlequins’ Conor O’Shea paid tribute to both Leicester, and specifically, Croft. “Tom Croft is a very special athlete. But it is also the physicality he brings to the game – he is an incredible competitor.”

View his fantastic try saving tackle | View match highlights | Bet on your Android device

Would Tom Croft be in your Lions loose trio to start against the Wallabies?

Tom Croft’s excellent try-saving tackle on Danny Care in the first half

A quick highlights wrap of the semi final, courtesy of Premiership Rugby

16 Comments

  • reality
    11:26 PM 16/05/2013

    Two opensides doesn't really seem like the best option to me. And if I remember correctly, O'Brien has been in pretty good form. He suffered from being on a crap team in the Six Nations, but he still did all that could have been asked of him.

    Reply
  • facepalm
    2:14 PM 16/05/2013

    If you're looking for the form 6 then look at the last international games. Croft was nothing, O'Brien was nothing and Lydiate didn't even play. Selecting anyone other than Tipuric and Waburton as your flankers is nonsensical to me.

    Reply
  • brawnybalboa
    1:38 PM 16/05/2013

    I am really intrigued as to how Gatland will approach this tour. I have a feeling a lot of his selections will be based on how he wants to play the game. If he wants brute force to smash the aussies, I would imagine his XV would be: Front Row: Healy, Hibbard, Jones Lock: O'Connell, Evans Loose Forwards: O'Brien Warburton Faletau Halfback: Phillips, Farrell Centre: Roberts, Tuilagi Back 3: North, Cuthbert, Halfpenny Ball carriers galore (Healy, Hibbard, O'Brien, Falatau, Roberts & Tuilagi) and lots of power and bulk But then if he wants to play a bit of rugby: Front Row: Jenkins, Youngs, Cole Lock: Parling, Wyn-Jones Loose Forwards: Croft, Tipuric, Heaslip Halfback: Youngs, Sexton Centre: Davies, BOD Back 3: Halfpenny, Kearney, Bowe A lot more pace in the pack, plus more creativity in the backs. Personally however Gatland picks, I would love to see Tipuric and Croft on the field together, probably the two fastest back rowers in the home nations.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:39 AM 16/05/2013

    "sustained the injury while playing in a pre-season match in August." ...so I was a little off, but yeh..

    Reply
  • drg
    1:36 AM 16/05/2013

    Strokosch not Kellock, but no, apparently in the warm up to the Autumn tests or Summer tests :S he broke his neck.. still has all movement etc, but has been advised by medical staff to not continue. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/22537531

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:20 PM 15/05/2013

    Has he? Nothing to do with the long-term effect of that headbutt celebration (with Kellock?) when they beat the Strayans that time?

    Reply
  • bunn
    2:36 PM 15/05/2013

    I comment about Croft not having enough power doesn't really hold up at he did fine in South Africa who play a much more physical game, two tries if I remember correctly. He's also a top quality line-out option which mean you can do more with the rest of the pack. I'm not saying he should start, just that because he doesn't run over lots of people doesn't mean he shouldn't play. Northern Hemisphere rugby has too much focus on running over people

    Reply
  • drg
    12:38 PM 15/05/2013

    Don't mean to change the subject, but sad news about Joe Ansbro being forced to retire.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:11 PM 15/05/2013

    Problem I see with Tom Croft if all he has is being a large fast runner, is that the Aussie backs are not afraid to put in good hits, and Croft is no steam roller, so of course get him into a big enough space and he'll make some ground, but again the Aussie backs are damn fast. I know that is no excuse to write him off completely, I just wonder if he has/had more hard graft to his game he'd be more useful as an out and out pain in the arse flanker..

    Reply
  • drg
    2:17 AM 15/05/2013

    "Floody is down" - Sorry WHAT? "Did you see that?" - Again wtf? Are you a referee/AR or are you one of the lads? Hard to base Crofts position on just this single play. It was a brilliant run, but with fast Aussie backs would the Lions not be better handing the shirt to a relatively slower player with much more bash?

    Reply
  • matt
    1:26 AM 15/05/2013

    Even if some of the criticism of croft turns out to be true, this Lions team desperately needs some dynamism, and since it looks like it won't come from the backs, you need a man like croft hanging around a dominant tight 5 to pounce.

    Reply
  • reality
    12:32 AM 15/05/2013

    I think Sean O'Brien might disagree with you about who the form number 6 is.

    Reply
  • coops
    11:55 PM 14/05/2013

    If we are talking about stats, then Chris Robshaw should be in the Lions squad ahead of Warburton and Tipuric. And anyone should be in ahead of Lydiate (in terms of stats this season)!. O'Shea also came out and essentially referred to those who doubt Tom Croft's physicality as idiots. His work rate is excellent and considering Harelquins didn't have the ball in the second half, 8 tackles in one half is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. You are right though in that the backrow requires balance - but Croft IS the form 6 at the moment. My reviews, highlights and player ratings are here: www.ruckedover.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • reality
    10:44 PM 14/05/2013

    I'm inclined to agree with Owen. Croft is fast, yeah, but I'd prefer a powerful blindside who gives his team go-forward ball than a fast one. Pierre Spies is really fast as well, but he's a fairly average number 8. Although I definitely don't agree with Owen's all-Welsh backrow. Maybe the openside, but at 6 I'd have O'Brien and at 8 I'd have Heaslip who has been on fire for the last few weeks. Warburton or Tipuric at blindside is quite simply ridiculous if O'Brien is fit.

    Reply
  • browner
    10:00 PM 14/05/2013

    Blodwyn Owen, The coal dust has pickled your brain ........ 8's don't do anything special nowadays, Faletau is midweek filler... as is Tipuric Croft, Warburton, O'Brien [or Lydiate] IMO

    Reply
  • upthelowend
    8:00 PM 14/05/2013

    Crofty is looking on fire! Bring on Oz! (not to mention the finals)

    Reply


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