Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Midweek Madness - Adam Ashley-Cooper's try saving superman double tackle

Finely poised at 16-13 to the Wallabies, the Springboks had a good chance of going ahead midway through the second half in their Test in Perth on Saturday. Adam Ashley-Cooper had other ideas, as he launched himself into an incredible double tackle.

The versatile back pulled off a miracle tackle which prevented a try that may have had a significant impact on the final result. He has since called it his 'two for the price of one' tackle.

Speedster Lwazi Mvovo looked to be in space and when caught by Ashley-Cooper, offloaded to Jean De Villiers, who the Wallaby back then dealt with too.

His simultaneous tackles were so good, referee Nigel Owens seemed to overlook the fact that either one could have been blown up as a high shot. 

"I was lucky I didn't get done for two high shots in the one tackle," he said after the game.

"There was a lot of desperation. Fitness probably got us over the line in the end and the desperation in defence was a positive.

"There's been a few jokes about it, two-for-one special. I can't explain it. I was a bit lucky. I committed to one and ended up making another," he added.

Do you think he should have been penalised, or were you happy with the call?

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:20 pm | View Comments (45)

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 45 comments

JamesH September 12, 2012 3:11 pm

Quite clearly two high tackles one after the other.
Neither is worth a red card but would giving two in a row ever be an option?

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JamesH September 12, 2012 3:12 pm

*two yellow cards in a row*

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Genorious September 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Great effort, but that really should have been at least a penalty. He was stopping a near-cert try with two tackles at neck level; either one should have been blown up. Don't want to detract from his commitment though- never seen anything like it.

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Manuel September 12, 2012 3:15 pm

Move along now, nothing to see here. Just two incredibly high tackles.

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Tex15 September 12, 2012 3:15 pm

Definite high tackles, but brilliant nonetheless. Should have been penalised though.

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Ingmar September 12, 2012 3:15 pm

even though thats some great defense. i cant escape the thought that something, somewhere isnt completely legal, wether its a taking a man out without the ball or a high tackle.. wouldnt know what I would do would that ever happen in a game i'm reffing.

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Ando September 12, 2012 3:42 pm

I'm a big AAC fan - he's been such a loyal servant to the Wallabies over the years, quite the unsung hero in my mind.

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ItalianRef September 12, 2012 4:00 pm

spectacular yet a clear high tackle and, unless a second ball was introduced to the game with the latest changes in the laws of the game, one of the tackles was on a bokkie without a ball. second infringment. so what I see is not a double tackle but a double infringment.

I would definitely have sanctioned him and, while not pulling a yellow card, I would have made clear to his captain that anything like that would lead to a yellow card in the future.

i look forward to the citing comission to say something

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cheyanqui September 12, 2012 4:18 pm

You could argue for a third penalizable offense -- Adam Ashley-Cooper perhaps jumped / was in the air before making contact with JdV..

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Pretzel September 12, 2012 4:27 pm

Brilliant effort summed up by "There was a lot of desperation" said by AAC. But yes, they were high shots and either could have/probably should have been penalised. But how many times have any of you guys done something "illegal" in order to stop the opposition.

So really, penalty, no card, and enjoy the rare sight....

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stroudos September 12, 2012 5:18 pm

Christ, I had no idea RugbyDump posters had turned into quite such a miserable bunch of bastards.

This is awesome defending - hats off to the man!

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stroudos September 12, 2012 5:20 pm

ItalianRef said:
one of the tackles was on a bokkie without a ball. second infringment.

Watch it again in slow-motion/pausing. He tackles Mvovo when he has the ball, he tackles De Villiers when he has the ball.

It really is quite a feat of athleticism and timing.

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matt September 14, 2012 11:42 am

Agreed, does not make either of the tackles legal though

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stroudos September 12, 2012 5:25 pm

Cheyanqui at 4:18 - you're being sarcastic, right? Tell me you're not serious!

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stroudos September 12, 2012 5:25 pm

(Anyone else finding the "Reply" button not working?

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Rugbydump September 13, 2012 7:44 am

Still? Seems fine here. Let us know please. Thanks

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SN September 12, 2012 8:31 pm

Cheyanqui, seriously. You got no idea on the game. Whether it was high or not it was a pretty fine line between the two. Springboks are probably the dirtiest team in world rugby and many times recently have I seen incidents go unreported. Have a geeze at the athleticism

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cheyanqui September 13, 2012 5:10 pm

I agree that the Boks are about as dirty as Tier 1 rugby gets.

As for the play, I think the play was penalizable. That said, I think the referee's human element comes into play. He looks at the tone of the match (not a niggly, cynical match), and probably also has a look at the player (AAC is not one of his usual suspects), and just lets it go.

If this were Butch James, he probably would have gone to the bin. But this is Adam Ashley Cooper. He's got a clean history as far as I can tell (and considering just how long this guy has been playing top level rugby, that's no mean feat).

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cam September 12, 2012 10:34 pm

I think that the time between mvovo passing the ball and aac tackling him was pretty reasonable, so I din't think it was late but they were both incredibly high, probably didn't get penalised cause the ref got caught up in all the drama.

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rowan September 13, 2012 1:16 am

both obviously high and the bok's should of had a penalty but thats all. The two players pretty much ran into each other letting AAC tackle em both, dont need any cards or a penalty try espically when it was the bok players that butchered it.

As for tackling the guy without the ball put your glass's on he tackled him as he was about to pass then moved onto the other guy, nothing there besides high tackles

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Jon September 13, 2012 4:10 am

Pretty awesome stuff.
Marginally high? He gets em round the shoulder/neck, pretty close to being illegal.
But neither of them complained, and you see this all the time (ie arms collaring guys round the shoulders, bending the neck a bit).
Usually it's let go.

All that aside, holy shit, what an amazing effort from AAC.

For people saying he tackled the guy without the ball or (and I'm hoping this was a joke) he was 'in the air' when he tackled him, get real.
Learn the rules.

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matt September 14, 2012 12:00 pm

I dunno mate, JDV got up pretty sharpish and had a work with the ref

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PiratesRugby September 13, 2012 6:50 am

Its not tiddley winks you know.

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UpandAway September 13, 2012 8:06 am


Who cares if it was legal or not.

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sanuZ September 13, 2012 10:27 am

I'm happy with the call...they have made rugby such a girl sport, bring back the dangerous tackles, broken bones, awesum American football style tacking! Lets do it! Less penalties, more running game! Booyah!

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Dom September 13, 2012 10:36 am

I haven't played rugby properly in a while, but I could swear that "high tackles" are acceptable as long as they aren't deemed to be "dangerous tackles"? In which case, I'd say they were fine tackles.

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Matheus September 13, 2012 12:23 pm

I'm with you, Dom. They were not dangerous, so you are going to penalise him for what?

It was an amazing defense.

If people keep sticking so strictly to the rules, rugby will lose lot of its fun.

People should not forget that some of the rules are there to avoid unecessary injuries.
Clearly, dangerous play was not happening in this case.

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filth September 13, 2012 12:50 pm

I’m sorry, but how the hell can those two tackles be penalties? Stop being such Prima donnas you idiots above. It’s a contact sport; if you have a problem with that, piss off back to soccer. I can’t stand reading about rugby now days, because it’s always about scrutinising players. The game is over, now just get over it.

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Pretzel September 13, 2012 1:20 pm

You tit, they can be penalties because they were high tackles, and high tackles carry a sanction of a penalty. It's not the most difficult thing to comprehend, but apparently you cannot put 2 and 2 together....

No one is saying "it's the end of the world. we'll all be broken necked by December" or any other bullshit... but it WAS a high tackle, or two...

Even AAC thought it was: "I was lucky I didn't get done for two high shots in the one tackle," he said after the game.

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stroudos September 13, 2012 12:59 pm

@Rugbydump - in reply to your post at September 13, 2012 7:44 am - still can't click on "reply" - maybe it's just me though...

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stroudos September 13, 2012 1:06 pm

Can anyone confirm this - remember that mental tackle Offside Rich did a while ago, I think it was in the world cup in fact, where he jumped over the oppo's head and over the other side, landing on his arse and dragging the player down by the scruff of his neck? Coincidentally I'm pretty sure that was on Adam Ashley-Cooper.

Anyway, I don't remember anyone complaining about that one - then again of course it was Saint Richie and the usual ban on criticism was in force.

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Pretzel September 13, 2012 1:23 pm

I recall the incident but I cannot for the life of me remember how exactly it happened or what happened.

I don't think anyone is particularly "complaining" about this as such... I have said myself that I think it should have resulted in a penalty, but it is far from a complete travesty, and of course we all understand referee's do miss things from time to time, as well as it not being a cheap shot by AAC... it was a desperate tackle that ended up being high...twice...

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bnations September 13, 2012 2:15 pm

You mean this one? I believe that it was Fainga (sp?) losing the ball there?

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Eggman September 13, 2012 2:36 pm

I was expecting the ref to blow the whistle, maybe even give a yellow card. Was happy though when that didnt happen ;)

Apart from that: Amazing effort by AAC to save an almost certain try with those two tackles!

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stroudos September 13, 2012 2:50 pm

bnations - yeah, that's the one! Mental. Awesome skill and athleticism by Offside Rich - or, as someone on your youtube link pointed out, "off his feet as usual!".

But that move did make a mockery of both the lifting tackle directive (seeing as he's voluntarily pointed his head directly at the ground) and the high tackle law - you can't get much higher than going over someone's head and draggin him down by his neck from the other side. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it, but thank God it was Captain Tackles and not someone like Mad Dog Moody or Schalk Burger, otherwise I can imagine the IRB quickly rushing in a new "not putting your entire bodyweight on a bloke's head while he's bent over" directive.

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stroudos September 13, 2012 2:54 pm

Pretzel to filth... "You tit, they can be penalties because they were high tackles, and high tackles carry a sanction of a penalty. It's not the most difficult thing to comprehend, but apparently you cannot put 2 and 2 together...."

Bit harsh. Esepcially considering the fact that the referee is the arbiter of what's a penalty and what isn't. Nigel Owens the referee did not award any penalty, therefore they were not penalties. ;)

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Pretzel September 14, 2012 6:10 pm

Yeh it was probably a bit harsh, I apologise to filth for the insults...

But just because Nigel Owens does not mention it does that make it acceptable?

I know the referee is always right, so therefore you could say "yes"... but at the same time, according to the LAWS they were high tackles, (unless my eyes deceive me) which are; as far as I am aware, illegal.... So in a sense, AAC does 2 tackles at neck height, flick through the law book, see neck tackles are dangerous, therefore illegal, = Penalty. No?

I mean I have no issue with them, they weren't the worst high tackles I've ever seen, and it was a brilliant bit of effort to stop the two players... but if we want to be technical about it, they were penalty-worthy... if we want to enjoy ourselves and bring back some biff then I'll keep my mouth shut, and we can all enjoy the game we used to play :)

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guest September 13, 2012 5:26 pm

If its tackling a player without the ball then it should also count as obstruction by that player.

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Mark September 14, 2012 12:40 pm

Absolutely unbelievable tackle(s)... yeah they were high, but surely everyone on this site needs to appreciate the commitment and ability of AAC to actually be able to do this sort of thing. Fair play to the ref for letting it go for us to enjoy!

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Guy September 14, 2012 7:29 pm

Isn't 2 green off side when the ball comes of Genia? If so, it should have been penalty to Aus.

And De Villiers is an ass for not running the scissor line. It would at least have confused the tackler and would have made it impossible to tackle both.

Greeeeaaaat piece of defense though...!!!!

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ruppansy September 15, 2012 2:05 am

Actually, Mvovo is an ass for not straightening and leaving space for De Villiers on the outside. Another good reason that Mvovo is not on the bench this week. He has legs and is decent but not of international standard.

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stroudos September 15, 2012 12:24 pm

Yeah, good point. Actually it looks like about 2-3 Boks who are in front of that kick then get involved in the maul. Also I think the pass to Mvovo looks a bit forward!

Anyway, I tend to agree more with ruppansy that Mvovo was more at fault of the two for eating up all the wide space - he looked like he was anticipating JDV to switch inside but he'd have been running straight into two Aussies anyway.

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gibbs September 16, 2012 11:31 am

astonishing committment, While the tackles were high neither looked too dangerous to me with more pressure on the shoulders than the head or neck. Also sanctions are and should be down to the discretion of the referee, given AAC's record and the fact that there were other defenders btween the tackle and the line, surely a quiet word from owens warning cooper to be careful would have been in order, it'd be a shame to see citing commisioners get onto this one.

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moon September 23, 2012 9:01 pm

defiantly a high tackle and also tacking out a player without the ball.. no penalty awarded, if it was the other way round probably would have been a penalty and a citing with a two week ban !

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