Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gloucester and Harlequins score classic tries in great game of rugby

Jonny May scored a fantastic try as Gloucester beat league leaders Harlequins 29-23 in an Aviva Premiership classic at Kingsholm on Saturday night. There were some positives for Quins though as they scored a brilliant late try to seal a bonus point.

Gloucester's tries were scored by Charlie Sharples, Akapusi Qera, and May while Freddie Burns kicked four penalties and a conversion. James Simpson-Daniel was on top form too, setting up Sharples' try and showing that well known flair we've come to expect from the now 29 year old.

Fullback May, who scored a genuine contender for try of the season, says that Simpson-Daniel has had a huge influence on him. "Sinbad (Simpson-Daniel) and Tom Voyce are both gurus in that back-three position. They are great mentors for Charlie and me, and we've got massive respect for both of them. James is still class, he's still a world-class player.

"That first try, he created that through a fantastic piece of skill. Fair play to him to still be world-class after 250 games. He's a great guy to have around, an inspiration, a great mentor and someone to learn from.

"If ever we need to pick his brain he's always there for us, and that's invaluable. He's more than just a finisher. Give him the ball and he can always finish, but his ability to create is what sets him apart and his work for the first try is the prime example really."

Ross Chisholm scored two tries for Harlequins, his second a brilliant consolation effort which gave Nick Evans a chance at getting the bonus point, but all the talk has been of May's try, and the way he darted through the defence with ease.

"I think they were quite cautious about covering across and so that left a little gap to step back inside. I managed to find the gap and then I could get away. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do, then I do something and five seconds later I'm over the line," he said.

Do you think some of the players on show in this game should be playing for England?

Posted by Rugbydump at 6:02 pm | View Comments (31)

Viewing 31 comments

Owen February 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Jonny May's try is hardly a classic, 3 poor tackles and a bit of gas, as overrated as Ashton's vs Australia

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cool calm and collected February 28, 2012 8:52 pm

Ashtons try was not overated!

That try invoved the english forwards turning defence into attack, with the added pressure being almost on their own tryline, a feat that very liitle teams have done since. Then feeding the ball to ashton who had to run 90metres, out gassing all of the aus defence, stepping drew mitchell, and scoring under the post.

This was a try which involved the whole team, and in the context the game, it was an absolute classic!

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Ruzty14 February 28, 2012 8:59 pm

I have to agree with you man!! Kept coming up in tries of the season and I couldn't understand, it was just one fella being faster then another!!!

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cool calm and collected February 28, 2012 9:14 pm

Yer, BUT the try was not just good for ashtons run, it also included the turn over, under pressure, then ben youngs playing the ball (on the try line) rather than kicking it, dummyinng quade cooper in the prosess, playing it to Lawes who drew two tackles, and offloaded it. It's about the big picture!

Also it was not against some second rate international team it was againist Australia, the team considered at the time to be the best attacking unit!.

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Owen February 28, 2012 11:04 pm

hahaha oh dear, so a turnover, dummy, pass and pace is now worthy of try of the year?

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cool calm and collected February 29, 2012 7:30 pm

I would love to hear your idea of a 'classic' try. Judging by your comments, there would only ever be 1 try (if that) making it on to your shortlist.

Its comments such as owens here that really enlighten you on people who have no clue of the game.

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Arfur February 29, 2012 10:17 am

Please live up to your name and don't rise to those trolling.
Anyone with a scrap of knowledge about rugby knows what a classic try that was. You don't have to justify it to plonkers trying to fish people in

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stroudos February 29, 2012 10:38 am

Interestingly the one man who never gets any individual credit in that whole move is Mike Tindall, who was the one who won the turnover, making the rest of it possible.

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Philo1403 February 28, 2012 9:09 pm

Hahaha. You mean the IRB try of the year!? Voted on by lots of people who aren't as qualified as you.. Keep your awesome opinions coming

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Nathan February 28, 2012 8:28 pm

It was a brilliant try.. Maybe a little too daring, although he had support so there was nothing wrong with showing off.. You can't always put it down to poor tackles either... he really danced his way through them. You wouldn't put someone up against Lomu and then say it was poor defence when he tramples over them :P Although I agree Ashton's try was overrated because it was just "gas"... :)

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Alex February 29, 2012 1:21 am

I love how rugby fans have lost respect for each other and fans alike...wait, no I don't!

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ChuckDick February 29, 2012 9:56 am

I always thought Simpson-Daniel was worthy of a spot in the England squad. I suppose he has just been plagued by injuries. Looks like he's back on form recently though..hope to see him in an England jersey again soon!

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Arfur February 29, 2012 10:15 am

I agree. I said the other day that we are not playing to Ashton's strengths at the moment and need a winger who can add more options to the midfield combinations. If only Sinbad wasn't made of glass he'd be the perfect man

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Pretzel February 29, 2012 2:59 pm

Ashton just isn't providing any of the flair or work that we actually recognised him for. Whether that is due to:

Other teams closing him down and not giving him any room,
Him not being given any chances by his own team,
He has just dropped off his work rate,

I couldn't be sure, but he doesn't seem to be doing enough to keep that shirt. Someone else should be given a chance even if it is just so that Ashton knows to work harder.

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Arfur February 29, 2012 4:35 pm

I'm not sure it's work-rate related.

He got high profile when he came off the wing and took the ball on the inside straight from Flood. Johnson didn't use that tactic in the WC and it looks like Lancaster wants to either retain the ball with the pack or use the centres so it's just not getting to him.

That's why I feel we would be better off with wingers who offer a little more in terms of an all-round game. It might even be worth trying Foden out there with Brown coming in to full back but that might just be tinkering for the sake of it.

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Pretzel February 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Yeh you could be right, maybe he has been told to stay on the wing... he used to always go sniffing for the offload and it worked so well for him (or at least I think it did) Now he seems to play the role of "fast man on the edge of the pitch" rather than "fast utility back" (I use the term utility a bit loosely)

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Colombes February 29, 2012 10:20 am

if i was stuart lancaster i would test sharples and may, in the places of ashton and foden vs ireland or france. it doesn't mean that the saints duo was bad, but a bit previsible, particulary ashton runs.
both gloucester players have a fine season, and did very well against toulouse few weeks ago. only risk? guinness premiership defences are not the ones they will attack in the 6N

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Arfur February 29, 2012 4:43 pm

Harsh to put May ahead of Brown at this stage. Only reason we haven't heard much of Brown for last five weeks is that he's been bench-warming for England. He was probably best player in Prem before Christmas.

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SpencaH February 29, 2012 10:23 am

I agree Alex, but dont guys dont rise to the stirrers on here just looking for a web fight. And certainly dont judge all rugby fans on the few that comment on websites such as RD. We are a far cry from the footie fans of this day! I am sure the day will never come when you are hesitant to take your boy to a rugger game for fear of what he will be exposed to in the stands as you would with footie games.

And some cracking tries here (despite the cynics), a classic might be a bit dramatic but a textbook case of good attacking rugby undoing even the finest of defences. Def a few England potentials I reckon.

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stroudos February 29, 2012 10:35 am

I hate to piss on Jonny May's bonfire, but there was crossing from Glos 7 and 13 which created the space for him to exploit. Fair play he still had a lot to do, but I'm not sure he'd have got through that heavy traffic without the obstruction.

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stroudos February 29, 2012 10:47 am

James Simpson-Daniel should have had 50+ England caps by now. Probably would have had a few more than he has were it not for injuries, but even when he's been fully fit and in form he's been ignored by successive coaches, and that is an absolute mystery.

One of the most creative players in this country and definitely had the composure for international rugby. Not many people can claim to have made Jonah Lomu look as amateur as Sinbad did that time.

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Arfur February 29, 2012 10:55 am

I think only really Andy Robinson ignored him - and when he finally called him up he played him at 13 when his position has always been wing unless Glos have a shortage inside.

The rest all tried to call him up but he then seemed to get injured. Johnson called him up pre-World Cup but he was unable to train with an injury and was cut.

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stroudos February 29, 2012 11:49 am

Oh yeah, So he did. I'd forgotten about that most recent experience.

Andy Robinson really did have a nightmare coaching England didn't he. Especially with the backs, always seemed completely clueless. Seems to be getting the best out of Scotland though.

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ChuckDick February 29, 2012 1:34 pm

Yeah, this was my very first rugby game I watched and Sinbad captivated me with this move.


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stroudos February 29, 2012 5:18 pm

That's the one Chuck. Awesome moment wasn't it!

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Arfur February 29, 2012 2:10 pm

Same thing with Scotland to a certain extent - no consistency. Chucking people into do-or-die situations. While Scotland seem to be doing better we're (I'm Arfur Jock you see) not actually winning.

I put a lot of England's dark days on Robinson's shoulders. The way he misused talent like Tait, Sinbad, Allen and Hodgson stitched up those that followed. Playing Tait outside Noon for his first cap was criminal. The lad needed to be on the bench and come into the side on the wing to get to the pace and power of the game.

Don't get me started. Oh. Looks I have started...

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Pretzel February 29, 2012 3:01 pm

Hmmm Totally agree, I did feel very sorry for these young players who would start for maybe 1 or 2 big games, the pressure would get to them as they are only young and inexperienced and then we'd never hear of them again because they didn't manage to replicate what they did so well at club level...

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stroudos February 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Arfur - Agree completely mate. Robinson's mis-handling of a number of players borders on criminal. None more so than Mat Tait. Threw him in too soon and in the wrong way. But worse than that I think is the way the lad was ruthlessly jettisoned on account of one supposedly poor game. I may be in a minority here, but I don't think he actually played too badly in that match against Wales. OK, he struggled to make an impact but he had a few decent moments. All people remember is him being on the receiving end of two great tackles by Gavin Henson, (on the first one he retained the ball and managed to present it fairly cleanly for his teammates). Well, Henson is/was a very good defender (when he can be bothered to use his arms!) and was in the form of his life, so that should have mitigated a bit for Tait's substandard showing.

Robinson basically destroyed the career of a bright young talent there.

Didn't he do exactly the same thing with that league convert, Paul? Played him once and then essentially told him, "oh that was a mistake, you're shit and you know you are, get out". or words to that effect.

Strikes me as a quite unpleasant individual.

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stroudos February 29, 2012 5:48 pm

Here's one for you. The authorities talk about eradicating spear and tip tackling as those tackles may produce career-ending injuries, (noble enough). I put the case here that Gavin Henson's extremely careful and responsible technique in his second hit on Mat Tait in 2005 effectively ended (or rather produced a long break) for Tait's England career.


There's something about the way Tait is held in the air like a man playing with a toddler that just looks more humiliating than a good old dump tackle. As Brian Moore says on the commentary, Henson does very well to resist actually, but this scene became the staple slow-motion image of that game, repeated ad nauseam, with magnified embarrassment for Tait. I bet you that twat Robinson was watching replays of that incident when he decided to dump him from the team.

I suggest that had Henson simply dumped Tait on his arse (or back or shoulders), people would have very quickly moved on and forgotten it.

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Pretzel February 29, 2012 6:09 pm

Lol, interesting angle you have taken there Stroudos, I do agree though in the sense that if Tait had been victim to a dump tackle or tip, or spear etc or should I just call it a "2012 Dangerous Tackle" then as you said it would be noted down as a magnificent tackle by Henson on an unfortunate young guy... this is embarrassing...

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cool calm and collected February 29, 2012 7:42 pm

I hope it is'nt long before Matt Hopper gets hs chance to prove himself on the international stage. I know it is probabley a bit to soon, but he has shown himself to be a real class act this season, namely in the games v toulose (home and away) where on several ocassions he showed great skill to elude great players like Florian Fritz and Luke McAlister.
Also I think Jonny May could be a potential game changer. Although it would take another season or two before he gains the valuable exprience needed to play at test level.
As a wasp fan I rate Christian Wade very highly, as his pace strength and skill are immense considering his age. In my opinion he could be the spark England need, to add the flair ro the England backline. However, like Jonny May, he needs a few more seasons to gain more experience.

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