Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Juan Martin Hernandez's incredible banana-swerve kick vs the All Blacks

Argentina were buoyed by the return of mercurial flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez for their match against New Zealand in Wellington, but while he couldn't influence the final 21-5 result, he did come up with this magical bit of play in the second half.

Hernandez, widely recognised as one of the most naturally gifted players in the game, missed the Pumas' 16-16 Rugby Championship draw with South Africa in Mendoza due to a groin injury. 

He returned against the All Blacks, proving his worth with not only his strong defence, but his well placed tactical kicking too, including one clearance in particular that caught the eye.

A few years back Dan Carter came up with a freak kick (albeit from the kicking tee), and against Carter's All Blacks Hernandez's natural ability came through as he kicked one of the best touch finders you're likely to see.

If you watched the game live, you'll know how tense things were at that stage, so to serve that up in what were challenging Wellington conditions was quite a feat.

Argentina play Australia next, on the Gold Coast, and coach Santiago Phelan has rewarded his forwards for their stong performance. There are only two changes to the side that faced New Zealand, and they come in the backs, where Martin Landajo replaces Nicolas Vergallo at number nine, while Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino slots in at fifteen, with Martin Rodriguez moving to the bench.

Argentina team to play Australia:
Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla, Juan Martin Hernandez, Martin Landajo, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Julio Farias Cabello, Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Rodrigo Roncero. Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Leonardo Senatore, Thomas Leonardi, Nicolas Vergallo, Martin Rodriguez, Juan Imhoff

Do you think this kick was intended, or are we getting excited about a bit of luck? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted by Rugbydump at 1:51 pm | View Comments (27)

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 27 comments

Seba Brunato September 11, 2012 5:07 pm

Sick kick.

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The Green Mafia September 11, 2012 5:11 pm

I guess that's why the argentinians call him "El Mago", the magician.

One of the most exciting talents in the world for quite some time, but constantly cut short by his strings of injuries. There is still time, though, and argentina will need him to build on their concrete defense with some strokes of genius on attack

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Kiwi Mate September 11, 2012 6:58 pm

the only magician is LOS.

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Vinicius Guedes September 11, 2012 7:45 pm

Awesome kick. He's not El Mago for nothing.

I need it as a Wallpaper !

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Gallego September 11, 2012 8:10 pm

Three-fingers kick, NOICE. Never seen one of those outside of a football match.

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TabladaDeMiVida September 11, 2012 8:10 pm


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Facepalm September 11, 2012 8:13 pm

'king hell. Credit where credit is due..

I'm sure the plays team will have plenty to say about that.

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Juggernauter September 11, 2012 10:08 pm

Nada que decir, puta el huevon bueno!!!

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Marius Niculae September 11, 2012 10:47 pm

sheer class

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JuanFLarrivey September 12, 2012 4:29 am

Realmente es un mago, me da mucha lastima por el que ha tenido muchas lesiones.

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Guy September 12, 2012 7:38 am

Stunning kick. Reminds me of a placekick Carter took a few years ago...seemed to go hopelessly in the wrong direction, than curled all the way in. Must be on this site somewhere (can't look it up because I am acting as if I'm working at the moment).

Not saying one of both is better by the way. They are both evenly astonishing.

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stroudos September 12, 2012 7:50 am

Guy, the Carter kick is linked in RD's intro and in the related videos underneath!

I think this one beats that because it's done under quite a bit of pressure, whereas I think I'm right in saying Carter was pissing about with his team miles ahead on points. Also the pinpoint accuracy of this (OK a bit of luck to get it quite that close) but to put that much swerve on it and land it within a foot of touch is awesome.

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Guy September 12, 2012 11:20 am

Stroudos, that's what you get when you have to do things too hastily because you've got the feeling the boss is looking over your shoulder...

I guess you're right in saying the pressure under which the kick is done, is the difference here. And somehow, one seems to expect there kind of kicks more from a Carter than from Hernandez. I guess that is a bit of bias from my side.

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Krysten September 12, 2012 11:07 am

with 160km/h winds it's actually more of a challenge to kick the ball straight than to do a banana kick like that...

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Hi Ho September 12, 2012 11:27 am

That's one of the most insane banana kicks I've seen. He got so much bend on it.

But in AFL (Aussie Rules) banana kicks or "check sides" have been done for decades. Do a Youtube search for AFL banana kicks and you'll see plenty of it. In fact I'd hazard a guess that AFL is responsible for banana kicks coming into rugby via the Australian players, just like the drop punt kick for touch instead of torpedos was influenced by AFL. Rugby League in Australia has also been influenced by the kicking skills in AFL.

I could be wrong, and maybe rugby players around the world came up with banana kicks and drop punts themselves.... but I doubt it.

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DanKnapp September 10, 2013 2:02 pm

I would imagine an Argentinian player grew up doing this with a football, rather than from belatedly learning it from Aussie players via AFL, but I've got nothing expect a hunch to hang that on.

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flanker2712 September 12, 2012 5:19 pm

Great kick - and great to hear the commentator at the end make a reference to our beloved soccer.

Shame to see quite a few empty seats. I remember reading a while back that the All Blacks game sold out within a few days of tickets going on sale. I still tried to get tickets for the game a few weeks back (both through the official rugby federation site and through a number of tour operators) but had no luck, so quite upset that I could have actually gone! If there are any Argies on here that are a bit more in the know, I'd appreciate any thoughts. Maybe the touts/scalpers had a bad day?

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flanker2712 September 12, 2012 5:31 pm

Ignore that post! The score in the top left corner had me thinking Argentine were playing at home, but that clearly isn't the case... should have realised something was up when I was amused by how much the Argie stadium resembled the Cake Tin!

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Hry September 12, 2012 9:44 pm

El Mago ha vuelto. God he's good, if only he didn't have such injury troubles...

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Owen September 12, 2012 10:52 pm

always rated hernandez as a quality player since i saw him in the world cup 5 years back and this just proves my point, such a shame he has been dogged by injuries

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Max September 13, 2012 11:53 am

Damn, it looks like a Roberto Carlos free kick ! Where does hernandez play his club rugby nowadays ? Wasn't he was with Stade francais few years ago ?

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eglionel September 13, 2012 6:06 pm

Stade Francais ---> Sharks ----> Racing Metro 92.

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Vinicius Guedes September 13, 2012 3:16 pm

The Crystal-Glass-Ankle-Players are the best xD

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lg adf September 13, 2012 11:03 pm

are you kidding, luck? Hernandez always do this things.

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Ponimaker September 14, 2012 4:03 am

I am from Argentina. Hernandez does this kick every time he cans, if he is very close to the touch line. He holds the ball horizontally and then the magic is done. Tha MAGO is coming back to his best!
Thanks for letting us into the Rugby Championship.

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