Rupeni Caucaunibuca video clip (3.48mb - need codec)

This guy is freakishly talented. He’s listed at 5’10" at 96 kg (210 lb). He has kind of a strange running technique but the way he moves on the field is unbelievable.

He might even be able to get a half scholarship at a Division II team as a running back in the states!

I noticed a few things immediately:

A - he is playing against a bunch of dopey white guys.

B - he overstrides like a mother when he is cutting… not the most efficient, and he is slow through his cuts compared to American athletes.

C - the white team has no idea of using angle in tackling fundamentals. The first few guys are just simply slow as crap, and took bad angles… the last guy he cut around gave him a 5 way go. This means that he was running directly towards the point of attack, instead of using the sidelines as a friend, and banana’ing his approach towards the ball carrier. This is a high school level mistake in the states… well, it depends on the level of coaching and drill work honestly, because I have seen the same simple errors in a few bowl games this year… sickening.

The guy is really good, but the level of play during this particular series left much to be desired.

Just a yankee coach’s opinion.

Bit of a tough call there! Earlier this year NFL scouts were expressing interest in England’s rugby winger Ben Cohen (who isn’t as quick as Rupeni and a lot of other players).

B - he overstrides like a mother when he is cutting… not the most efficient, and he is slow through his cuts compared to American athletes.

Could you elaborate on this one? I’m aware of his peculiar running stride (footstrike is a bit too far forward) but I’m not sure about being slow with his cuts. On the first man he beat, his cut looks fast, just a smooth change of angle. The second and final cut does look slow but then again, he didn’t have to do much to beat the defender who as you say was running a very bad angle instead of trying to force him towards the sideline.

Many NFL scouts look at many players…

The first thing they probably notice was really my biggest point: the level of competition. If you lined up Taylor, Green, Holmes, or any other NFL running back against a team full of white guys, they would pee a little because they would be laughing so hard.

I think the player in the clip looks great, but his level of competition enhances this quite a bit. He pulls away from guys not because he is so fast, but because they are ssssslllloooooowwwww. The NFL has D-ends that run sub 4.5 forties… LB’s that run the same. I hope you aren’t somehow implying that the athletes on the clip are that gifted, that aggressive, and that skilled at ‘attacking’ tyhe person with the ball. In the states it isn’t really defense versus the run… it is attacking the ballcarrier.

When one of these players actually makes it to the NFL, plays a couple seasons on Astroturf against jacked up, ungodly tough, and fast players, and makes a contribution, then I will start thinking otherwise about rugby. I will start to think that maybe one or two players in the rugby league could play in the US.


I just never got a chance to play rugby because I never got cut from the football team…

Haha you are kidding! Take their padding off and put them up against the Auckland Warriors. They wouldn’t know what hit them. Plus they don’t have anything like the fitness of the Rugby League guys. They only seem to play for 30 second bursts between 10minute ad breaks from what I can see? Not only that, there are four teams on the field to give the other guys a break after their hard 30 seconds of effort.

What is a 4.5 forty yard time converted to 40m time?

There are quite a few rugby union and rugby league players who test around the mid 4 second mark for 40m. Rhys Wesser from Penrith Panthers did a 4.59 this year for 40m and these guys test with FAT (no BS stop watch timing by high school coaches here!) He’s not even near the speed of some of the faster players either (Joe Rokocoko, Brent Russell, etc)

Also the scouts are doing more than just looking at rugby players, Jonah Lomu was offered a pretty high paying contract for the Dallas Cowboys and this was well after his prime when in my opinion he was one of the slower wingers around.

I just never got a chance to play rugby because I never got cut from the football team…

It’s exactly the opposite in my country.

That’s pretty interesting. Ben only ran a 4.66s 40m in his Seoul final. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Rupeni is a FREAK and that is meant as a compliment.

He is one of the most talented players in world rugby. He starred in the Super 12 for The Blues last year and probably will again this year starting late Feb. As for his running style, it may not be perfect but he scores tries…lots of them and has pretty good hands to go with it.

Would he be as good as most of the players in Colege Football in the US? Without doubt no, 'cause nobody is ever as good as the good old US of A.

They do the speed tests using the windgate timers (timing begins when you cross the laser of the first set and ends when you cross the laser of the second set).

This is one of the few test results that the public hears about, we don’t have testing combines or release the results (teams test their athletes for their own training benefit) so I would see no reason for them to exaggerate the time.

From the sounds of it “windgate” timed tests are “flying” tests. There are lots of female sprinters that can run a mid 4 second 40m with only 20meters to accelerate.

LOL, no these are not sprints with flying or rolling starts. Actually I screwed up the terminology. On my testing protocols sheet it just says the sprints are electronically timed with splits at 10m, 20m and 40m and use of wind meter if testing is done outdoors. The players must start within 50cm of the light beam.

My God - it turns out to be Rugby VS American Football! As far as MONEY is concerned American Football is the winner. That’s sure.
But both sports simply require differnet skills. Maybe some US guys are faster, but they only move 5 min in 2 hours…so maybe they would not look so good playing rugby either?

IMHO it seems as stupid to compare football and rugby in that way as it is to compare boxers and kickboxers or even 200 and 800m runners…how would Mutola look agains White over 200, how would White do over 800 - nonsense…

And, no doubt, that Fiji guy is a great rugby-player - but I don’t know how fast he really is - AFAIK the 100m record of the Fijis is not impressing, people there are built more for Rugby, Strongman Contests and Combat Sports or maybe it’s simply the sports they are doing.

All of you make the argument for football. The simple fact that you all read this post would say that you should understand exactly why American football players are more powerful and faster… they do only go for 5-7 second bursts 75X per game over 3 hours. They need far less aerobic conditioning unless they are a DB or a WR.

Just like a 100 meter runner, the 800 meter runner is no where near as explosive due to his training. Isn’t this COMPLETELY OBVIOUS?

DCW, you mock the NFL guys for playing in intervals… do you mock a 100meter man because he runs such a short distance… do you say he isn’t as tough because he doesn’t run for prolonged periods… if you don’t see the disparity in your own logic, please post at a 3000meter site.

I am in no way saying a football player is better at Rugby than an English or Fijian player… but, we don’t know… Rugby has neither the money nor the fame to draw an NFL athlete to your little island.

But, to try and say that a Rugby player has the skills to compete in the US is silly… the money and fame is amazing… try to tell me that an Englishman wouldn’t be a GOD if he came over here and showed up the Yanks at our game… go ahead…try.

Many players get huge contracts… but they have to come here, make a team, survive camp, not get cut, survive being showered with girls and distractions…and still perform. Also, a Rugby player would have to learn how to hit differently…

American football is not a game of arm wrap, run up next to the guy and hug him down tackling…it is a game of collision. Laugh all you want at pads…meanwhile we all laugh at the sissy ass way you all tackle… neither is wrong, but they are different and each are facilitated by the use of equipment or no…

Any great hitter in the US injures himself trying to play backyard tackle football due to the fact that he runs full speed through another guy with no pads on…skulls crack, noses break, collarbones snap, etc… the force of a non-pad hit is placed directly on the point of collision, while while pads it is transferred through a much larger range…therefore, far more force can be transferred without worry of structural breakage…but you feel it like you wouldn’t understand…

Rugby players tackle like our old timers used to…because they do not have face masks and helmets…these items allow a player to run full speed through another man without fear of skull fractures…

But, the force is transferred… believe me… I have played pick up football ( was an option QB in HS (much like rugby play)), and I have played Division I american football… they are immensely different…immensely.

This is why almost any backyard superstar sucks when he first starts playing in pads… he can’t believe that you must run full speed into another player or you will get trucked…period. We don’t lock up in a scrum in biomechanically disadvantaged postions, we drive block. Ever watch an ISO Play? Go ahead…find something that compares… When do you all line up two players, 240 lbs with less than 12% BF… both who can squat upwards of 700 lbs… both run sub 4.6 forties (not timed by high school coaches…since when was an NFL time done by a HS coach…whoever said that earlier is less than dumb) and tell them they are to meet full speed at the line of scrimmage. This is the true test for FB’s and LB’s…can you play the iso… go in your back yard and try it about 10 times in a row… oh…wait…you don’t have nearly the power or mass of the guys I just mentioned, so you have no comprehension of what I or You are talking about.

Like I said before… I do not know how you 40m 's are timed…nor do I care… I do know we have the most famous market save for Futbol (true football, yes I played this also). I do know what Ben’s splits were, and I scratch my head when you spew nonsense about players being faster than him. Didn’t he have the best start and acceleration phase of any man who ever lived…hmmm…maybe you need to check your own timing practices… or wake up…or both.

In the end, rugby and american football are very different. The athletes, as stated before are very dissimilar… very. I personally will choose to watch the 100meter and NFL, so I can watch the most powerful and explosive athletes.

If, I am feeling very cynical though, and decide that I want to watch a bunch of soccer players who are angry because they got fat and have no lower body coordination, then I will probably turn on Rugby… if real soccer isn’t on… or golf… or ping pong…or women’s tennis… or maybe a marathon… or the weather channel.

Silverback, i’ve gotta agree with you man, team sports here in the uk are all endurance based and playing them is even more boring than watching. Speed and power is what it’s all about. This comment in particular amuses me;

If, I am feeling very cynical though, and decide that I want to watch a bunch of soccer players who are angry because they got fat and have no lower body coordination, then I will probably turn on Rugby


simple…NFL players have far superior ‘nutritional’ programmes!!!

First off, Rugby League is a different game to Rugby Union, the hits are much much harder. You should try watching a few games. Have a look at some of the hits in a State of Origin game.

Let’s face it NFL is just a plain boring game for people with a 2 second attention span and a need to visit the bathroom every 3 minutes. No other country plays it and no other country could really care less about it.

Down here we laugh at all the poofy padding and helmets they wear. Even with all those props, they still don’t seem to hit very hard either. A bunch of sissys if you ask me :smiley:

I have no interest in a rugby vs football debate.

But I will respond to being called “less than dumb.” If you’re going to resort to insults, please read my points carefully. Those 4.6 forty yard times are handtimed at combines - not electronic and therefore not entirely accurate - especially if the timer wants the player to have a fast time which I am told is not a rare occurance.

I did never state that these players are faster than Ben. Ben’s 4.66 split at 40m in Seoul was including his reaction time - the speed tests for our players are done from first movement. Subtract Ben’s reaction time for Seoul and immediately his time is faster than the 4.59 player I mentioned. The timing procedures are also different for testing. The speed tests for rugby players have them start closer to the line than a 100m sprinter and also the timing ends when any part of the body crosses the second laser - the timing for 100m ends when only the chest crosses the finish line. Basically the timing procedures are exactly the same as football combines except for the fact that the timing is done electronically, therefore more accurate and more consistant. Evidently, when Ben was tested for the 40yd by a football coach he ran 3.7s - his split at 40yd in Seoul was around 4.1 as I recall. I may have overestimated you and prophet when I thought you would be able to figure this out by yourselves.

I never said anything which undermines football, other than trying to provide some evidence for the fact that we do have good athletes in rugby. I often enjoy watching NFL and College games on ESPN. What amuses me is you Americans your superiority complex about your sport. Good grief, give it a rest. Remember, you turned this into a football > rugby thread with your constant attacks on rugby, I have nothing bad to say about football.

I read an article about the NFL players at the weekend, about the increase in the weight of the heaviest players (don’t know which position that is)

The most disturbing statistic was the average life expectancy was about 50 for these guys because of their obesity. Talk about fat rugby players!

article: the times 18 Jan

I think we’re getting into apples and oranges. These are two different games. Different skills are needed. I’ve seen many HS exchange students that CAN’T play football, because they can’t tackle correctly for football. I’ve seen many former football players separate shoulders trying to football tackle in rugby.

I personally enjoy football more - it is what I was raised on and played. I can enjoy the game of rugby, but get sick of the scrums. If I need a reason to go to the bathroom or have insomnia and need sleep induced through boredom, I’ll see if a men’s soccer game is on.