Video highlights of Stephen Larkham for the Wallabies and Brumbies

Stephen Larkham Tribute

Stephen Larkham Tribute

During the recent Wallaby of the Decade series plenty of readers dropped hints suggesting we put together a video showing highlights of Stephen Larkham’s career.  Well, here it is!  After wading through hours and hours of footage of the Wallabies over the 12 seasons from 1996 to 2007, this video shows Larkham in all his glory … those magnificent passes, ghosting runs and glorious kicks … and of course, that Drop Goal!


No matter how many times I’ve watched these clips during the edit, I’m still amazed at Larkham’s passing skills and how he managed to regularly slice defences open when he chose to run.

One of the other delights is watching Horan, Herbert, Burke, Tune, Mortlock, Latham & others take full advantage of the opportunities Larkham created for them.

  • Freaking Fantastic.

    Thanks for the effort, it is a great watch.

  • Robson

    I can’t find words to describe those sublime skills. There is no doubt in my mind whatever that Larkham at the top of his career was head and shoulders above Wilkinson and, yes, Dan Carter too. The video also gave us the opportunity of seeing Gregan at the top of his game too. Marvelous stuff Scotty. Well done.

  • Henry


    Excuse the French.

  • chief

    Amazing. Best attacking Flyhalf the game will ever see. No one can doubt that. What a genius, it takes someone very special to do this.

  • Noddy

    Like the first song you used, I gotta feeling…

    that this will be one of the most watched videos ever on G&GR.

    My fave try was the one at 2.00 v the Poms.

    You didn’t have his one v the Scots in about 97? Playing fullback over there, stepped through the entire team.

    Regardless, I envy your DVD collection.

    Top work.

    • Bobas

      He’s done extremely well with his collection.

      But yes whoever has the rights to all the internationals and super 14 could have an hour long larkham highlight reel (and also make a shit load of money).

      There is plenty of stuff left out due to lack of vids. There is only 1 super 14 game in there…

      • Scott

        Yes, video collection only goes so far and unfortunately some of the older stuff that was on video has deteriorated badly. None of it included games against Scotland Noddy.

        If you had all the footage, I think you’re right – it would be very long.

        Interestingly the only Super Rugby DVD I could find on the market to replace some lost stuff is a highlights DVD of the first 10 years. Does that suggest there’s no market for old games?

  • kinghitz

    Despite the difference in eras, Bernie was up there with Mark Ella IMHO.

  • Maybe one day, we’ll get another genetic freak that’s just “born with it”

  • chief

    Hey man, you should rename it on youtube with more tags and you’ll get more hits, more people aware of how fucking amazing Stephen Larkham is.

  • Bobas

    This is the first good thing to come out of Larkham’s retirement.

    Brilliant work Scotty!

    God Bless GAGR.

    and by God I mean STEPHEN LARKHAM.

    God in rugby form.

  • Ryan

    Awesome video! Awesome player!

    One highlight that isn’t in it that I always think of when I hear the name Stephen Larkham was from around 04′ in Super rugby vs. the Blues when someone put up a huge bomb into the in-goal and Doug Howlett turned his back to jump and catch it while Larkham ran up from behind him and did an unreal superman dive completely clearing his head to snatch the ball out of mid air and score the try… Was pure amazingness.

  • Nick

    Great work!

  • Glenda

    That was brilliant to watch, the ease in which stephen larkham passed the ball….so exciting.

  • Emily

    Man I miss Bernie!! Thanks for this! Great memories and an legend forever for me!

  • Dani

    Great video! Thanks so much for putting it together.

    Oh and I echo what Ryan said about that try he scored vs the Blues. That was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen on a rugby field, I wish the footage was available.

  • Me

    Nice video, however I feel there are definitely better highlights of his career.
    Who can forget the leaping try against the Blues in 2004, try setup by Joe Roff.
    I think his best international game was against South Africa in 2005, Sydney. First game of the Mandela plate.

  • ezekial

    Brought a tear to my eye mate, thank you very much for posting.

    Bernie had an awesome nonchalant style only to exploded when he wished and or wasn’t passing the pill. Hats off lads

  • mattydee

    Thank you.
    Wonderful to see those clips again.
    What a player he was.

  • Fantastic! Absolutely loved it. Mark Ella at his best (that’s a big rap).
    Steve carried the ball in two hands, used the pressure of the defence on his ‘lead’ shoulder to determine his decision making, was quicker than most people thought and was a VERY accurate passer.
    Lest we forget.

  • Something I haven’t seen in the Wallabies for a while – ball passed for the man to run on to. Makes or breaks tries

  • Who Needs Melon

    I’m only half way through but have hit pause and had to post that there is some freaky s.h.i.t there.

    Each one I think is the best and my favourite, along comes another but one that stands out for me is at about the 2:20 mark when he just stops – there’s too many ABs in front of him guarding their line. Three of them think “here’s a dear n the headlights” and charge him and he waits for them, slips the pass to Burke for a fairly easy try, created from nothing.

    He was very, VERY, VERY good. I join Buddha Handy putting my hand up as a doubter when he switched from 15 to 10 but I remember his first game. I ate my hat then and have never enjoyed eating anything quite so much.

    I hope Bernie gets a video or something of this. He brought so many people so many fantastic moments… on this side of the ditch anyway. :)

  • Who Needs Melon

    Also at the 3:30 mark: Proving that you don’t have to ALWAYS kick out of your 22. The guy turned a defensive position into an attacking one single handedly.

    One of the keys to Bernies game was doing the unexpected which made him (a) very effective and (b) incredibly entertaining to watch.

  • Who Needs Melon

    PS. Sorry for typing so much. I’m getting all nostalgic and emotional here.

    • Yeah, the Bowie We Could be Heroes track was totally unnecessary. Turned me into a blubbering mess!

  • Stephen

    Best 6 and a bit minutes that I have seen in a long time!

    Amazing skills, drawing and drawing the opposition, then just running down the middle.

    Now I know what Aust. Rugby is missing – and what I miss watching – the speed, the passing, the running. Having a go. Come on Australia.

  • Lance Free

    Weren’t they just Golden Years? They’ll be Dancing in the Streets in Canberra. Bernie was a real Star-man.

    Outstanding work Scotty.

  • Reddy!

    I didn’t request this, but I have always secretly been wishing someone would put up a highlights reel of Larkham onto youtube. Top effort!

  • Sam

    All Blacks can have Carter…. Sending this link to all the Kiwi’s I know just so they remember Carter is not the greatest gift to rugby… Pleasure to watch… Big thanks!!!

    • Gumby

      While you’re at it send it to the Poms who think JW is the flyhalf God of God’s.

  • GC

    Sublime. The greatest 10 of all IMO. Unlike any of the current crop (including Carter), incredible ability to consistently do freakish things against very good teams.

  • Me

    I hope everyone has seen this DVD.
    Pretty good compilation especially on Larkham.

  • Dani

    There are some great highlights of Larkham included in this youtube vid also He really was a freak!

  • Calexico

    That alone was worth the price of my donation :)

    I’d forgotten how crisp Gregan’s passing was in his prime as well.

    Many many thanks.

  • D

    Awesome video. However…. I have 1 issue with it. I think one of the best moments in larkham’s career was the conversion charge down. The wallabies were playing like shit and he charged that kick down and the team turned around from that and so did the crowd and the wallabies ended up winning. Was that the lions tour? 2nd game?

    Anyway that clip should be on your video. Once again loved it!!!!!

  • Paul Okong’o

    Stephen Larkham, and his run’s was just awesome.My greatest Larkham game was in Sydney in 2000 versus the Blacks, from 24-0 down…..Then the World Cup Semi in Sydney in 2003.The Drop Goal in ’99

  • Seb V

    YESSSSSSS FINALLY! you are a champion! i have been posting for ages about a larkham video clip and it didnt dissappoint. Great work

  • K Dog

    Guys THANK YOU. What a beauty to watch. This should be compulsory viewing for all the young Wallabies. What vision Bernie had……… damn he was good. And that smile after kicking that drop goal…Priceless

  • Rhyso

    Awesome video Scott – my favourite player of all time for so many reasons.

    While watching this I was trying to keep track of all the qualities he had that separated him from the humans.

    Some of the ones I came up with, where he was absolutely world class:

    – Vision
    – Timing
    – Accuracy
    – Positioning
    – Balance
    – Deception
    – Intelligence
    – Determination

    And something which isn’t shown in the video but deserves a highlight video of it’s own:

    – Guts

    Determination to win is one thing, but another aspect to this is physical commitment. People don’t tend to talk about his tackling but gee he made a lot of big tackles on massive bastards, and he didn’t back down from the niggle either. He also wasn’t afraid of running it into contact. For a guy who was held together by duct tape, that says a lot about him.

    Oh and one more:

    – Facial expressions

    I’ve always been a fan of the Larkham cranky face, but he also did a good ecstatic face as well – he kept a pretty cool head, but his feelings were generally obvious. Reading his face was a simple way of gauging our position in the game. Cranky face = we’re losing and Larkham will shortly produce some magic to win it. Ecstatic face = post-magic.

  • Sam

    Would have been great to see a few clips displaying his courage and loyalty to his team mates…. Where ever there was a scuffle no matter how many forwards were on his team mate you could bet your bottom dollar that Larkham was one of the first there to help him out… how many 10’s have the balls to do that today… If Rod Macqueen can come out of retirement maybe there is still hope of seeing Bernie again… There was the “Bring back Bill” campaign for the 91 World Cup, maybe the Wallabies slogan for the 2011 World Cup should be “Bring back Bernie”….

  • Gumby

    Bernie. We miss you. Sob!

  • mudskipper

    Jeez Larkham could slide through the line and what a great pass… what a champ… he saw the game at a different speed… thanks Scotty for the post…

  • Conor

    It takes an incredible man to make it look as though he’s walking through the the all blacks defence.

  • Pedro

    yeah first receiver getting the ball whilst running makes a huge difference.

    Larkham was how I play (in my mind).

  • Pingback: G&GR Wallaby Player of the Decade & e-book – THE Aussie Rugby Blog for fans of Australia and the Wallabies()

  • D

    Oh I have one more issue with the clip, it’s only 6:38 long. I watched it 3 times now and I still can’t get enough.

    He truly was the best flyhalf australia has ever seen. I’m glad I named my son Larkham

  • Pingback: Heroes of the game – Stephen Larkham, legend amongst legends | BlogSpot Rugby()

  • Glenn Condell

    Great stuff, thanks very much.

    I’m with those who would part with a considerable sum to see a full DVD of Larkham magic, perhaps leavened with some interviews of team-mates and especially opposition players.

    It would be interesting to hear what Mehrts, Spencer and Tony Brown might have to say, Larkham having seen them all off at one time or other.

    Martin Johnson named him in his alltime best team for some Pommie newspaper a while ago, and Gregor Townsend was effusive in his praise when it looked as if SL might move to Edinburgh.

    Which reminds me of the game he played v Scotland in 97, where he had a poor first 40, but blitzed them on his own with two freak tries after the break, beating nearly everyone with his step. Geech or Jim Telfer was Scot coach and he couldn’t quite credit it.

    Good comment from Rhyso – yes, his guts in defence was something people tended to miss. It wasn’t unusual to see him make 3 or 4 tackles in a row. It’s true that early in his time at 10 he did have some problems with big physical opponents like Henry Honiball for the Boks, but bulked up a bit and worked on his tackling, which became world class.

    But really he’ll be remembered as the greatest running/passing number 10 we’ve had, perhaps that anyone has had, and a crucial factor in the Wallabies remaining a great team from 98-02, and a threat thereafter, even without forwards that produced Test standard set pieces. How would he have gone with the ball Wilko got from his pack in 03?

    His importance in the wider world of rugby hinges on the fact that his quality changed the way 5/8ths play the game. Defensive structures had to be re-aligned to diminish his threat and attack coaches pored over his tricks trying to get their charges to do the same.

    But he was as someone said ‘a natural’, with superior gifts, the most obvious of which was that wonderful pass, the best I reckon I’ve seen, with only maybe Andrew Johns in league with the same level of control and placement. The one he threw to Stirlo to start the comeback in Sydney 2000 will do me as evidence. In fact if you add the little ghost thru the defence just prior to the pass, you have in a nutshell what made him so great.

    When you think about it, he was the form fullback before switching to 10. I seem to recall Burke being injured some of the time but there’s no doubt Larkham was playing far better Super football. He could have stayed there and been a hero. Then you read that his first intro to Gregan was after a schools game in which Larkham at 9 had outplayed George at 9. He was a freak that would have made a go of any backline position.

    It’s probably obvious but he’s my favourite player, with Eales and Kearns in the minor medals.


Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

More in Rugby