Australia has produced many great rugby players. David Campese is one of the most entertaining and most elusive runners in rugby history. Campo.
David burst onto the Australia rugby Test scene as a fresh-faced 19 year-old and quickly made his mark.
He scored a try in his first Test in 1982 against the All Blacks.
I loved watching him play. Free spirited, daring, back-yourself attitude.
A very fast rugby winger or full-back, tremendous ability to kick the rugby ball.
Incredibly elusive runner. Great vision, great swerve, great dummy, great change of pace. Exceptionally well balanced runner, sidestep, his famous goose-step, very deceptive body movement.
So much ability combined with daring and the willingness to have a go.
You will find huge amounts of information and any number of clips featuring Campese. He has a whole dvd of his own
"CAMPESE - Rugby`s My Life", which I have enjoyed watching.
David has also made a name for himself as being somewhat controversial in what he says.
It`s great when someone answers a question giving a real point of view rather than what they believe they are expected to say!
One thing I have not heard him talk about is an interesting incident featured on his dvd.
The Campo and Ackerman incident is fascinating.
You will find it on the dvd, included in scene 12 "Barbarian Glory".
You can have a look now because someone has put it on YouTube
The story is told by Australian rugby coach Alan Jones.
He tells how Australia thrashed Wales in a rugby Test Match.
At the after-test-function, according to Jones, Welsh team member Ackerman maligns the Australian backs by expressing his opinion that they did not play well that day.
Jones believes this opinion was voiced within hearing of the Australian Rugby Test players Michael Lynagh and Campo.
He suggests they may have regarded it as a sleight. Alan Jones indicates he, Jones, certainly did.
The next week Australia played the Barbarians and who do you think was in the Barbarians team?
Yes, the very same player, Ackerman!
Now the incident
A Barbarian attack breaks down close to the Australian 22. Ella gets the ball, shapes to move it wide but passes back inside to Campese, cleverly coming in from the blind-side wing and going through a gap.
Once through the gap, he has a straight run of about 65 metres to the Barbarian line with one man to beat. That man was Acker-MAN!
What does Campo do?
He puts in a couple of faint (almost non-existant) sidesteps with Ackerman still 10-15 metres away in front, with little-to-no effect.
Ackerman keeps his distance, falling back, not committing himself.
According to Jones, Campo could have run past him or passed but chose to swerve from side to side turning Ackerman "inside-out" and humiliating him, reporting that the crowd started to laugh.
Much as I love Campo, this is how I see it.
Ackerman did a really good job. He was covering back for the full-back who had been beaten at the initial break.
He slowed down Campo by not committing himself which enabled another player to tackle him and almost prevented a try from being scored.
Campese didn`t run past Ackerman because he couldn`t run past and he didn`t pass because no other player was better placed.
On a hiding-to-nothing, Ackerman did well. Much better than many other players would have done in the same situation.
Think a little, now.
Do you agree with me
that Peter deserves to no longer be a rugby nobody
or do you want to be on the side of Alan Jones
who was the Australian Rugby Coach at the time.
Have an opinion? Want to share it?
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