Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hosea Gear bumps Keith Earls out the road on his way to the tryline

Hosea Gear will be back playing for the Highlanders this weekend as Super Rugby returns. Against Ireland he celebrated a rare Test start with a powerful try, smashing the hapless Keith Earls out of the way, summing up a miserable night for Ireland.

New Zealand famously beat Ireland 60-0, crushing not only the record books, but the spirits of the tourists, who had done so well and came close to sneaking a draw in the second Test.

The All Blacks backlash in Test three was too much for them, as the World Champions were at their clinical best, scoring tries from all over the park. This one from Gear was one of the most memorable, coming from an Ireland lineout error, and resulting in an impressive sprint for the line.

Young gun Julian Savea has taken his opportunities of late, meaning that the rare start for Gear, who has now played just nine Tests, was his chance to impress.

"I would have done anything to get over the line and that's what happened. I guess that keenness, that eagerness to get over the line again, I was quite happy with that," he said.

He said recently that, believe it or not, he's actually trying to get bigger around the shoulder area, to be stronger in contact and avoid injuries. It's clear that the only people at risk of injury are the opposition, especially if they go in too high, as Earls did on this occasion.

He paid the price with a forearm to the chin, resulting in an exit from the field and a try to New Zealand. It wasn't pretty in slow-mo, but made for good TV, some may say.

View Highlights of the Third Test here  | Watch the full match here

Posted at 5:44 pm | 31 comments

Posted in Great Tries, See it to Believe it

Viewing 31 comments

Bunn June 28, 2012 10:24 pm

I've always been a huge Hosea Gear, he's such a great finisher and most other teams around the world would be dying to have him on their team. The fact that he's only player nine tests shows how much depth the All Blacks have!

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Guy June 28, 2012 10:26 pm

Yeah, I agree: he definitely needs some extra muscle in the shoulder area....

Great speed, strenght and timing by Gear. And again, good to see that the first one to help Earls is a player of the other team.

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Juggernauter June 28, 2012 10:35 pm

Oh man. I almost feel sorry for Earls here! Remember, don't try to tackle the big boys at chest height... I remember my u12's coach used to say "if he's too big, aim for the ankles... all ankles are roughly the same size, no matter how big or powerful your guy is".

Really the AB's strenght in depth is crazy. Gear is one heck of a player. Big tackler and incredible finisher. With him and Savea rampaging on the wings and Dagg at FB the ABs look formidable. Add Guildford, Jane, Sivivatu, Masaga, Ranger, Umaga Marshall, Nanai Williams, Poki, Taylor. Jeeze.

I still think they are a good way off from the world's best triumvirate. Fpr some time, the back three of the All blacks was made of Jeff Wilson, Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen. It really doesn't get any better than that.

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stroudos June 29, 2012 9:11 am

"Really the AB's strength in depth is crazy. "

I actually think it's got to the point where it's unfair on the other teams.

You've got Carter, Nonu and Read sitting in the crowd - they'd be a huge loss to most teams, but no young Aaron Cruden steps right up to the plate and plays awesome rugby until, oh shit he's injured. No problem, in comes this young Barrett bloke and looks like he's been playing international rugby for five years. Read injured, Kaino injured, that should cause a problem but oh no just chuck Offside Rich in at No 8 - I thought he totally looked the part there, although I did notice his invisibility cloak seemed to have slipped a bit with the positional switch, I actually saw him done for offside in this game?!? But hang on, McCaw is a talisman at openside and surely irreplaceable? But no, this bastard Cane comes in and plays like a seasoned professional - seriously, he was brilliant.

It has gone too far now, the ABs' squad depth is making a mockery of international rugby.

I propose they have to lend out a minimum of 15 players to other teams on one-season secondments. Or they play games against NH teams with 14 men, or lead in their boots.

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kadova July 01, 2012 7:58 pm

LOL ! You made my day !

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redwan_ June 28, 2012 10:42 pm

So good to see a pair of All Black socks turning Earls over into the recovery position after the try at 0:20 on the video. Refreshing to see good sportsmanship is still around, even if it only rears its head occasionally. Massive hand off by Gear, though Earls should know better than to try make a tackle on anyone like that.

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POCandROG June 28, 2012 10:46 pm

Jeez,fair play to Earlsy,36 points down and still burst his hole to cover the opposite wing,pity about the tackle...Its was more of a elbow than a forearm to be honest..Great sportsmanship too by one of the ABs,who was it does anyone know?

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ruckinmaul June 29, 2012 12:03 am

its Sonny Bill, judging by the boots he wear, and his position when earls been smashed.

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Philo1403 June 28, 2012 10:53 pm

I think Earls thought himself bigger than he is. He's a professional, he should know when to go low! I haven't heard much of a reaction to this game, what went so wrong?

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jackson June 28, 2012 10:54 pm

yeah... nothing dirty here, just bad luck. you could say that Earlsy just came up too high but i'd be impressed if he'd managed to get lower in his breakdown for that tackle coming in at that speed anyway. Gear really gives him the "softer" part of his fore arm too, no elbow or fist. you really just have to be impressed with the physicality of the ABs as a squad.

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Pretzel June 28, 2012 11:12 pm

Quite a few key things in this clip:

Earls did BRILLIANTLY to come steaming across the pitch to make a brilliant...well..what WOULD have been a brilliant try saving tackle, had he been a little bit more sensible.

Gear, what a brilliant try and brilliant effort to get in for the try. Also echoes of what the other people comment above about him and AB depth.

0:20 again, as someone else has said, it was brilliant to see AB socks helping out the Irish player. Brilliant bit of sportsmanship, gave up the opportunity to pat Gear on the back to help out a downed player.

A few more points, I'd like to know what the tv ratings were at the beginning of the match and then 30 minutes into the match, I wonder if they dipped significantly. I watched the match as a neutral, and really I semi lost interest after about 10-15 minutes I think, when the AB's had already run in at least 2 tries. I was actually interested in watching a potential Irish upset, seeing as they came so close the previous week, however I was also one to say that I suspected an AB backlash because of the result. I never predicted it to be quite so brutal though. Definitely an embarrassing scoreline.

Jumping back to Earls, I don't remember 100% but am I right in suggesting that he is a fairly average player for Ireland? I seem to remember people slating him saying that he has an ego which he can't live up to? or at least something along those lines?

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Juggernauter June 28, 2012 11:30 pm

Earls seems like a nice chap. He's very good but keeps getting switched from 13 (imo his best position) to the wing, by that clown Kidney. How he still thinks that guys like Paddy Wallace deserve more to be in the national team than Darren Cave and many other young irish midfielders is beyond me.

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Pretzel June 29, 2012 1:44 am

Ah, I didn't know he was a 13. I suppose with a player like BOD in the team, it's probably hard to prise that 1-3 out of his hands. From the little that I do know about the Irish team, I have to say I am right in line with countless other rugby fans when it comes to questioning Kidney's decisions...

Well thanks for putting a more positive spin on Earls for me. I appreciate it.

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Juggernauter June 29, 2012 3:55 am

His Munster online profile says he's a "universal back". I've seen him wearing the 13 for Munster and alongside Lifeimi Mafi he played really well. Of course BOD is miles ahead of him so I guess he'll just have to be content with a sopt on the wing.

Maybe he's had some of the James Hook syndrome. Tons of quality but always seen as a "world class reserve" for his versatility. It'd be a shame if he'd get lost for that.

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Jon June 29, 2012 4:33 am

Bit small for a 13 isn't he?

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stroudos June 29, 2012 9:04 am

"Universal back"! Nice one, sounds a lot better than Utility. As someone who plays anywhere from 9-15 (admittedly not very well in any of them), I think I'll start using this new name immediately. Can run around pretending I'm Jean-Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren now.

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F89 June 28, 2012 11:44 pm

Player helping Earls was SBW, you can tell by the boots and he was hovering in the background also.

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winston June 29, 2012 1:19 am

get some!!

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Jon June 29, 2012 4:32 am

Haha, lesson no 1. Don't tackle with your chin.

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Guy June 29, 2012 7:58 am

Two more things:

Absolutely terrific offload by Smith. He deserves some credit for this try too.

And part of the reason Earls took Gear on like he did, was that Gear slowed down before impact. I guess that, if he had ran on full tilt, the tackle would have been good and probably would have prevented a try.

Well spotted by Gear!

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WelshOsprey June 29, 2012 11:00 am

Never really rated earls
Great play from conrad smith though

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Arfur Jock June 29, 2012 11:14 am

Quite similar to the Banahan / Kelly Brown collision which many slated at the time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6k_EIOogX0

Some people might think you lot were anti-English :-o

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Pretzel June 29, 2012 11:59 am

Well Banahan is originally from Jersey, which is a crown dependency or something like that ?!?! So maybe they're anti-Jersey...

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Eggman June 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Well that was just the perfect example why New Zealand are the best rugby team in the world. I don't think the main difference between New Zealand and the other top teams is skill (although they do have a bit more of it), but it's attitude.

Just compare the Aussie to the Kiwi attitude: Both win very narrowly and a bit fortunate the week before. While the Aussies seemed to be happy to have won the game, the kiwis were absolutely furious at how close it got. And this really is the main difference. The kiwi's not only want to win, but they want to be the better team and they want to demolish their opponent in every single game. Whereas most, if not all, other countries seem to be happy if they win.

It was this attitude difference that really won them this game. Just look at McCaw, when they're about 40 points up with the series already won, he's still yelling at his team to be better and go for more.

As long as they keep that attitude (and their excellent player programme etc. of course), they will stay the best team for a long long time.. (even if they go back to choking at world cups ;-))

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kisbo June 29, 2012 11:52 pm

kidney needs to get over his fixation with earls. the man isn't international standard, definitely not a centre anyway! the guys been around since 2008 and still hasnt done a thing.

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anonymous no7 June 30, 2012 2:02 am

What an offload! Conrad Smith is just class, everyone goes on about depth in positions but he's the one that keeps that backline ticking over and you won't be finding a replacement for him any time soon. His decision making in defence and attack is so consistently good and I feel its a great shame he's so under appreciated.

Also I'm not a big fan of the forearm to bump people off, in fact I remember playing in a match when i was younger where the ref gave a straight red so I can't be the only one... Banahan did that against Kelly Brown a few years ago and that was fairly controversial with people asking how it's acceptable to hit out with the forearm just because you are holding the ball when it wouldn't be allowed from a tackler. I know in this video it isn't the same thing but I still think its ugly and dangerous.

As for Earls, its not his fault Kidney keeps moving him anywhere between 12 and 15 whenever he feels like it.

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Guest June 30, 2012 3:09 am

Really earls is an mixed bag, great finisher and line breaker but seriously weak in defence tending to shoot out of the line a lot. Reason BOD has been so important more than his attacking presence over the years has been his defence roll, earls just dosen't cut it.

Also his presence mite be another reason reddan dosen't start, ya dont want to risk leaving a weaker defensive scrum-half as well as small 13 on the field.

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cheyanqui June 30, 2012 12:00 pm

No way Hosea?
No way Keith!

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