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Sunday, October 28, 2007

WC07 Defining Moment - JP Pietersen try saving tackle

WC07 Defining Moment - JP Pietersen try saving tackle

JP Pietersen has never been renowned for his defensive prowess. Still a youngster, a few years ago he may have been singled out by coaches or opposition players as a flamboyant player with ball in hand, but on defence he was a little leaky. Some would say very leaky.

But, when Fiji were at their most dangerous against the Springboks in the Quarter Final, JP pulled off a vital tackle that will forever be looked back on by Fijians and South Africans alike. A tackle that, at that stage in the match with Fiji looking absolutely deadly, may have just saved the Boks' outcome that day and possibly changed the course of rugby history forever.

Yes, it was just one tackle some may say. But it was a tackle that was made by a 85kg wing on a 120kg lock that had just inches between the ball, the tryline, and most importanly for the Springboks, the William Webb Ellis trophy.

We can speculate all we like, but the truth is that if Pietersen had given big Ifereimi Rawaqa that extra inch he needed to score, Fiji would have then scored 3 tries in the space of about eight minutes, and with the Boks' heads down they may well have gone on to cause another upset and knock the men in green and gold out of the World Cup. This was no ordinary tackle.

"That tackle was like I was tackling five guys in one. He was huge and moving," said Pieterson.

"I just closed my eyes and tried to hit as hard as possible.

"I guess I was lucky that he was carrying the ball in the wrong hand. When I tackled him I put my eyes on the ball. I knew when I tackled him and pushed him over that I'd got the ball.

Definitely one of the most important Defining Moments of the tournament.

Posted at 6:27 am | 17 comments

Viewing 17 comments

Northy October 28, 2007 6:22 pm

Better than the gregan tackle.Englishman.

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Anonymous October 28, 2007 6:44 pm

So lucky...

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Anonymous October 28, 2007 6:48 pm

great stuff i cant believe that ireland and scotland are ranked better than fiji in the irb world rankings board, ireland and scotland ae no way better or as good as fiji

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James F October 28, 2007 8:11 pm

Thats good stuff- its not so much the rib breakers but the try savers that count in the end. Pietersen is the man.

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Anonymous October 28, 2007 10:10 pm

I would like to see Ireland, Scotland or Wales beat Fiji! If they can take the negative out of their play, they will get a lot more respect. With the law changes coming in these guys will beat England as well.

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 12:00 am

lol to that comment!

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 12:08 am

one of the best takles of the tournament

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G-unit October 29, 2007 1:19 am

Your right! Try-saving tackle of the tournament! possibly saving the springboks from Defeat! definetely the game turned after that anyway! I love the way Fiji Play! Just can score from anywhere! awesome Island Style!

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 8:22 am

The Boks were damn fortunate there, because firstly it was a certain forward pass which was missed by the refs, and had the carrier carried the ball in the other arm, it would have been a try, turning the game and the tournament once again upside down.The reffing at this worldcup has been singularly atrocious, and should surely be adressed by the IRB. Rugby is becoming more and more competative, with a single wrong decision having huge effects ala New Zealand falling out.

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 8:30 am

foward pass anway i love the fijians and im an auzzie

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 10:54 am

A great tackle, but despite some confusion on a few sites, you should note that JP is actually a pretty big lad, and weighs in at 95kg, not 85 - that was probably some journalist trying to make the tackle sound even better than it was.Kid is only 21 though - got plenty of gas and runs like Serge Blanco used to. A season or 2 and he will have experience and a 100kg frame to go with that - expect great things from him.As an aside, he played lock throughout school and switched to the back 3 about 3 seasons ago.

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Anonymous October 29, 2007 12:59 pm

still can`t believe he didn`t score and they didn`t win...

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Asterix November 09, 2007 1:09 am

Thank god for JP.

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Anonymous December 07, 2007 4:33 pm

Amazing tackle by the smaller man, I'm welsh and i really admire JP Pietersen, shame he seems to live in the shadow of Habana he has so much skill.

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Rugbydump December 08, 2007 6:53 pm

Agreed, but he is still very young and he was the top try scorer in this years Super 14. In some ways I think he's the type of player who probably performs better with less pressure, therefore I reckon he likes the fact that Habana is the guy everyone focuses on.

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Anonymous January 16, 2008 7:37 am

What? "A small winger against one of the biggest men on the field"? RIDICULOUS!!! They are only ten centimetres diffrent and they are both tall!

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Alain July 01, 2008 7:46 pm

GREAT tackle..yea jp is bout 6ft1 he def aint short..i doubt he'l ever weight 100kgs..

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