Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sam Norton-Knightmare of a debut for the Cardiff Blues

Sam Norton-Knightmare of a debut for the Cardiff Blues

Former Waratahs back Sam Norton-Knight is one of many southern hemisphere players now playing his trade in the UK. Norton-Knight was brought to the Cardiff Blues to replace Nicky Robinson, but had a shocker of a debut against Edinburgh.

Norton-Knight, whos only 25 but has a fair amount of professional rugby behind him, was predominantly a fullback when playing in Australia. He now insists that his preferred position is at flyhalf, but his performance shows otherwise.

He was replaced after 63 minutes and left the field angrily, tossing his scrumcap to the floor. Coach Dai Young still has faith in his abilities though.

It was a game to forget for him, admitted Young. He is very disappointed and he did not play like he could.

He is a far better player than that and we are confident he will put things right. I am sure he will like to get that game under his belt.

We will put our arm around him because we know he is a better player than that.

He is so disappointed because he wanted to start well. But it does not make him a bad player overnight and I dont want to go overboard. There are very few players in world rugby who dont have a bad game.

And I am sure he is going to get better with every match.

He was very nervous before the match, said Young. In fact, I dont think I have ever seen a debutant so nervous before a match.

The Blues lost the game 22-21.

Time: 02:50

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:21 am | View Comments (25)

Viewing 25 comments

Kearney for tests September 09, 2009 8:31 am

What is the story with this guy? Anytime I saw him in the Super 14 he was terrible in whatever he did, and now Cardiff go and buy him? Why do European clubs keep buying in crap SH players? Surely there are enough crap players here to get a Welsh player to do the same job.

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Anonymous September 09, 2009 8:45 am

Kearney for tests > Yeah they could have bought ROG to lose them games like he did in the 2nd test of the Lions tour.

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Jon September 09, 2009 9:20 am

He wasn't a terrible player in S14, but not a stand out either.
He was a guy who was tagged early as really promising, but he never fulfilled that promise.
NSW didn't try that hard to keep him, even though he was there starting fullback.
Thing is, he is a decent fullback, good with the high ball, good at running from deep and a good support player.
He's never been a recognized fly-half in top level rugby, he hasn't even had much chance to play there.
He's out of position, in a new team he doesn't know, with players he's never played with before and it shows.
If he was playing at fullback, I'm sure he would have had a much better debut. Playing him at fly half is an experiment.

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Duncan September 09, 2009 9:23 am

What do they mean edinburgh are a limited side....i hate w*lsh commentary!

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Anonymous September 09, 2009 9:50 am

Duncan, because they are. When was the last time Scotland or a Scottish side did well in a competition?

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opfazonk September 09, 2009 10:50 am

i always recognized the waratah's coaching staff as quite clever and professional. they have been the most dominant AUS side for the last 4 years. and when kurtley beal had a shocker of a S14 in 2008 they never thought of bringin norton-knight at 10. i guess that indicates how much trust they have in his flyhalf abilities...

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Hackney Griffin September 09, 2009 11:13 am

Anonymous name = idiotic post, there's a frequently replicated pattern here...

In what way are Edinburgh a limited side? They finished 2nd in the Magners last year with Phil Godman orchestrating some great rugby behind a solid pack... nothing limited about the rugby they played.

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Herbie September 09, 2009 11:54 am

Forget about this guy, it's great to see the first Dutch professional rugby player, Tim Visser, scored a try in his Magners Debut! If only more dutch players would follow and the game would grow in a country where it's not popular!

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David September 09, 2009 12:27 pm

HAHA love the second comment, so true.

The blues need to sort it out, i say give him a second chance.

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WelshOsprey September 09, 2009 7:58 pm

He was utterly terrible. Debut or not hes a professional and lacked basic skills.
That dutch winger edinburgh had looked VERY good, Vissing?

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F September 09, 2009 9:04 pm

Edinburgh are limited? I watched this game and they played Cardiff off the park! They very rarely kicked from what I remember.

As for Norton-Knight, give him time. It takes a while for a 10 to get used to the players around him and then we'll see him run the show and show us his talents.

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Anonymous September 09, 2009 10:36 pm

Norton Knight has played like 5 games at flyhalf... give the poor guy a break.

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Anonymous September 09, 2009 10:52 pm

"played them off the park?"

Cardiff have half a team missing due to Lions players resting + injuries and still almost won the game with a flyhalf that couldn't do anything right.....

...if that's playing them off the park....

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Alister September 09, 2009 11:20 pm

Yes Anonymous they "played them off the park"; the phrase has nothing to do with who's missing now does it?

If you can then checkout the extended coverage on STV's website, find the Magners League programme from Sunday, if you need further proof and I'd also ask you to check recent history of the fixture and spot a common pattern.

Is it Edinburgh's fault that Cardiff couldn't play first teamers? No. Were Edinburgh also missing first teamers? Yes. We could even twist it and ask which team did have an SA Lions player in it if we're going to get like that.

Edinburgh could and maybe should have put the game to bed in the first half and would have felt mightly aggrieved if they not won it, not least for the terrible decision on the first Cardiff try.

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Anonymous September 10, 2009 1:15 am

Alister said...
Yes Anonymous they "played them off the park"; the phrase has nothing to do with who's missing now does it?


They won by a point and would have lost had Blair kicked the conversion, was my logical point. On top of half the squad missing.

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Anonymous September 10, 2009 1:16 am

Winning by a point equals being played off the park? lol

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granite September 10, 2009 8:40 am

Watching Super 14 for a few years now, I've never been a fan of SNK, especially when he played flyhalf. Good luck to him, but I always thought there were better guys going around.

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Jon September 10, 2009 12:20 pm

There are, especially if you're in the market for a five eight.
NSW had a problem with five eight last year, and alternated between Halangahu and Beale, but never really considered Norton-Knight.
He's never proven that he can marshal a team and his kicking game is only average.
Again, he's a decent fullback, very safe under the high ball, an elusive runner in broken play and a good support player who can finish tries, but he's not a fly-half.

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Alister September 10, 2009 11:18 pm

this is getting boring, tell me where "played them off the park" automatically means a big scoreline?

If Blair had kicked his kick then they may have won yes, but if the touch judge had done his job then all things being equal Cardiff wouldn't have been in that position anyway.

Back to the subject, hopefully the lad gets a decent run out this weekend with the pressure off him

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Wagga Magpie September 11, 2009 7:47 am

SNK is very cot and cold, but when his confidence is up he has a great running and passing game and is very safe under the high ball. Most likely not a 10, but would od much better at 15.

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Get dai young out September 11, 2009 8:50 am

I've read all the comments posted so far and I want to clear a few things up.

Firstly I'm a die hard blues fan, SNK was rubbish, Gwyn Jones' analysis on him in the clip was spot on, I watched the game and can honestly say that he did nothing good.

For the people who took offence about Gwyns comment about Edinburgh being limited, if you watched the whole scrum v show then you would know that Gwyn had a lot of praise for edinburgh and he didn't mean it as a criticism he meant that edinburgh are good at playing a simple game that andy robinson had developed.

For the people who say that SNK hasn't got any high quality experience at fly half then find out in what position he won his two caps for australia. He played full back for aus a and fly half for aus.

No excuses, he was a rubbish buy there are loads of welsh men who can do a better job.

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Get dai young out September 11, 2009 8:56 am

Also Edinburgh unquestionably played the blues off the park. The score line didn't reflect the game at all.

Bring back Lee thomas!!

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Jon September 11, 2009 2:36 pm

He is a 15 not a 10.

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Alister September 11, 2009 9:37 pm

Sorry "Get dai young out said..." but I'm also a Sale supporter and the only chance you've got of getting hold of Thomas is if Wales management suggest a return home will get him in the national set up. Off to see him and the rest at Newcastle on Sunday, not expecting such a tryfest as tonight!!!

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Asterix September 12, 2009 2:47 am

He was never a superstar in the S14. Money could have been better spent else where.

Perhaps he's lost confidence ever since Lote yelled at him?

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