The Biggest Hits in World Rugby This Week, Wallabies Leave Mark on South Africa

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

The Biggest Hits in World Rugby This Week, Wallabies Leave Mark on South Africa

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    In the penultimate weekend of this year's Rugby Championship, it's the second clash between South Africa and Australia that again yielded the grizzliest hits of the week.

    That being said, two red cards in the Top 14, a piece of ITM Cup magic and a sizable Pro 12 contribution also make up the body of this week's most physical impacts. 

    Read on to satisfy all your big hit needs.

7. Lolagi Visinia Hand-off to Patrick Osbourne

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    In a titanic battle between two of New Zealand's big boys, it was Auckland's youthful cast that managed to overcome Canterbury in this weekend's ITM Cup encounter.

    Lolagi Visinia once again starred for the victors, showing precisely why he's regarded as a strong rising talent in the sport and pitching in with this massive fend-off of Patrick Osborne before gliding over for a try.

    As well as an excellent piece of attacking skill, the commentator's reaction is also inspired.

6. Duane Vermeulen Tag-Teamed by Wallabies Defence

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    At the international standard, it's difficult enough trying to make a go of things against one defender, but giant Duane Vermeulen had the unfortunate honour of coming a cropper against multiple Wallabies on Saturday.

    The South African No. 8 found the test of James Horwill and James Slipper a little too trying and, even weighing in excess of 18 stone, was easily bested by Ewen McKenzie's duo.

5. Mathieu Bastareaud Teaches Trucking 101

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    There aren't many centres in world rugby who look more out of place in the position than the mammoth Mathieu Bastareaud, but the Frenchman showed glimpses of why he's an asset there during Toulon's loss to Oyonnax.

    Conrad Barnard found out firsthand just what Bastareaud brings to the role but eventually had the last laugh as the Top 14 giants were dethroned. 

4. Michael Hooper Tip Tackle on Eben Etzebeth

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    He's at it again.

    Three weeks ago, Michael Hooper was shown a yellow card for his tip tackle on South Africa's Bryan Habana, and this weekend he received identical punishment for his challenge on Eben Etzebeth.

    In fairness to the Wallabies youngster, South Africa's towering lock did jump into the challenge and make it that much easier for Hooper to rotate his frame.

    That being said, Romain Poite was nonetheless justified in sin binning the Australian flanker, and Willem Alberts was even kind enough to dish out a piece of body slamming vengeance of his own.

3. Thomas Sanchou Shows Big Things Come in Small Packages

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    Often the most hot-headed men on the pitch, tempers can tend to flare between half-backs, just as they did at the Stade Lesdiguieres this Saturday.

    Coming off the back of a scrum, Thomas Sanchou got in under his opposite man at the ruck before nonchalantly straightening up and bringing Valentin Courrent with him the whole way.

    Sanchou was shown a red card for the challenge and watched on for a great deal of the game as Brive eventually ran out a 12-12 draw against Grenoble.

2. Ben Mowen Stops Francois Louw Dead

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    Unlucky not to be biggest hit of the week, Ben Mowen's perfectly timed tackle on South Africa's Francois Louw was everything that Australia's limp performance at Newlands wasn't.

    Louw was unfortunate enough to be running onto Fourie du Preez's pass but needing to jump ever so slightly to collect and making Mowen's job of taking out his upper half all that much easier.

    The Springboks flanker was able to get up from the challenge straight away, but undoubtedly left some of his dignity indented in the Cape Town turf.

1. Christian Loamanu Goes a Tad High on Luke Marshall

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    Ulster's soaring success over the last year has been an intriguing rise to watch of late and is in no small part thanks to the fine form of Luke Marshall.

    However, the sky-high centre was brought firmly down from cloud nine by Treviso winger Christian Loamanu, who was slightly fortunate to get away with this challenge on the young Irishman.

    Marshall gets hit in the chest and up, and the way in which his head jolts after temporarily leaving the rest of his body says it all.

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