Brock James choke - Leinster vs Clermont Heineken Cup Quarter Final 2010





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Published on Apr 15, 2012

Clermont Auvergne's Australian fly half Brock James had for the past years been one of the best fly halves playing in European rugby. One of the most prolific points scorers in the Top 14 and a great kicker who broke and still holds the record for consecutive successful kicks in the Top 14 which is 41 in a row.

However playing against Leinster in the 2010 Heineken Cup quarter final, Brock James went to pieces. He missed five kicks at goal and three drop goals which in total cost his team 23 points. Only one of the kicks had to be successful for Clermont to win, but as James choked the last drop goal and missed it was Leinster who went through to the semi finals by one point. Some commentators noted that at the final drop goal that he looked scared to go for it.

After the match, realising that he had cost his team the game, Brock James admitted in interviews that he played "crap".

People said that James' breakdown in this match represented Clermont's mental fragility in big knockout matches (they had previously lost 10 consecutive Top 14 finals), but Clermont managed to win the Top 14 later that year, as Morgan Parra took over goal kicking duties from after this match.

James lost confidence for a period after this choke, and he has had to battle to be first choice at Clermont this season with David Skrela. But recently in another Heineken Cup quarter final against Saracens, James showed signs he may have put this performance behind him for good as he came on and played very well. He now will play his nemesis Leinster in the Heineken Cup semi finals very soon.

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