The Biggest Hits in World Rugby This Week Plus Damien Traille's Swan Dive
Once again, the world of rugby was on hand to provide our weekly dosage of collisions en masse as the northern hemisphere verges toward the Autumn period.
While Sevens season slowly ebbs away, the domestic season of most European leagues edges ever nearer, while those south of the equator continue their rampant form.
This week, New Zealand and South Africa are on display to satiate the needs of those thirsty for big hits, with the ITM Cup and Currie Cup providing most of the action, as well as more amateur flair this edition.
Honourable Mention: Damien Traille's Ridiculous Dive
Just as those perfecting the art of the tackle deserve to be celebrated for their hard work, those looking to make a mockery of the sport's regulations deserve to be pointed out for their sins.
Entre, Damien Traille.
In a Top 14 fixture against Clermont Auvergne, the Biarritz centre attempted to fool the officials into awarding his side an additional 10 metres—a ploy that would unfortunately succeed and see a member of the opposition sin binned.
Manipulating the laws of the game comes part and parcel with the game, but doing so in quite so sly a manner is just downright despicable.
Honourable Mention: Luke O'Donnell's Illegal Flip On Tim Simona
A highly dangerous move and deservedly punished as a result of his actions, Luke O'Donnell's fiery temper again came to boiling point in last weekend's NRL action as the Sydney Rooster sent an opponent flying with a sorry excuse for a tackle.
Though not part of rugby union, this cartwheel attempt deserved a small mention simply due to the athleticism it takes to pull off such a stunt, albeit against the rules.
6. Steph Roberts Upended by Gerbrandt Grobler
Growing up in rugby, coaches will always tell you "a man can't go anywhere without his leg," and that tackling low is the only effective way to go about the defensive part of the game.
Well, Gerbrandt Grabler certainly paid attention in his development, and despite being one of the tallest men on the field, managed to get low enough to tip Steph Roberts on his opposite end.
Considering the Griquas prop is no lean bean himself, it only makes the tackle all that more impressive on Grobler's part.
5. Marcel Van Der Merwe Bulldozes Elton Jantjies
And then of course, there's the less calculated way to go about things when a man of Marcel van der Merwe simply sees a smaller mass ahead of him.
The Cheetahs prop managed to latch onto a the ball in midfield, running from deep only to line up pint-sized Elton Jantjies as his opposite man.
In fairness to the Lions fly-half, Van der Merwe was only permitted to make a few yards and Jantjies can be happy with the stoppage he managed to eventually pull off, although he was assuredly sore the morning after this one.
4. Jonny Wilkinson Missed Tackle on Francois Trinh-Duc
In his long and illustrious career, Jonny Wilkinson has been one of only a few fly-halves truly willing to get grubby and experience the more brutal aspects of rugby, experiencing long battles against shoulder injuries as a result.
The Toulon No.10 was shown a piece of his own medicine by Montpellier counterpart, Francois Trinh-Duc, last weekend however, and was flattened by the French international in the two teams' Top 14 clash.
3. Tony Ensor Hit Late by Brian Alainu'uese
Unfortunately, Tony Ensor was left with a dislocated shoulder thanks to the blatantly late hit inflicted upon him by Brian Alainu'uese this weekend.
On the up side, it was Ensor's Otago team that would go on to win the encounter against Waikato, giving the fullback some small cause for encouragement, although he personally won't feel too much healthier for that fact.
One of the more morbid aspects of the sport, even though a player was left in pain following the impact, it's occasions such as this that do make it so beloved in a way.
2. Julian Savea Invents the Intercept-Bosh
The intercept is an admirable part of a defender's trade, just as the bosh (slang for knock, hit or demolition of the opponent) is an attractive weapon in any attacker's arsenal.
Julian Savea, though only having just really arrived on the international scene, is already showing massive innovation in the game after combining the two.
Unfortunately for Tevita Kuridrani, it was the Australian who played the role of guinea pig in this weekend's Bledisloe Cup encounter. An international newcomer himself, Kuridrani was not only unable to retain possession, but was bounced a decent few yards as Savea showed his opposing back just who's set to reign as superior between these two for any future Bledisloe meetings.
1. Sean Scott Flip Tackle on Te Hauora Campbell
Finally, this week's biggest hit came from outside the professional spectrum in the midst of Malrborough's Press Cup win over Nelson in a New Zealand college match.
Thanks to Sean Scott, the winning team's Te Hauora Campbell had his world turned upside down in all too literal a sense that thankfully saw the player left uninjured.
Despite the severity of the challenge, it's great that rugby can react to such a tackle with the commentator commenting that "there's nothing in that."
Maybe there's hope for this world of diving and simulation just yet.
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