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Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Southland sensational try after big bump


Why you should always tackle low


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Brian O'Driscoll Breakdown Masterclass

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Va'aiga Tuigamala Try - Barbarians vs New Zealand 1993

Va'aiga Tuigamala Try - Barbarians vs New Zealand 1993

When you hear the name Va'aiga Tuigamala you think of one thing - raw power. The man who was the first of the big wingers, Tuigamala struck fear into his opponents with extraordinary physical presence and dazzling runs.

We forget that before Jonah Lomu came along, this other powerful force existed. In his early days he was capable of the impossible on the field, but after a few seasons things changed and he became the bash up guy in the center, which led to him bulking up even more to deal with the demands placed on him. Therefore, tries became more scarce sadly.

But in his prime, a modern day comparison would possibly be Alesana Tuilagi at his most potent, putting the head down and charging into opposition, bouncing them off with discontent. Or perhaps because of his height, he's quite similar even to a slim Rupeni Caucau. Whoever you'd like to compare him too, one thing is certain, and that is that back then players of this size, speed and ferocity just didn't exist.

Inga, as he was commonly known, had a career that had many different phases and are difficult to capture in these few paragraphs. Nevertheless, on form, as seen here when scoring this try against the Baa Baa's, he was unstoppable and struck fear into the opposition.

He was signed up by rugby league side Wigan during this tour in 1993, and New Zealand rugby never got to see more of that tremendous potential he had shown since 1989.

After a highly successful league career, he returned to rugby union in 1996 with Western Samoa, and then later played club rugby for Wasps and Newcastle in England.

He is a legend of the game, for his valuable contributions to so many facets of rugby life both on and off the field, and this rare clip is just a small example of the great man in action.

Extra: Did you follow Tuigamala's career closely, and perhaps have a favourite memory of him in action? Post it here or in the forum as we'd love to hear it.


Posted at 2:51 pm | 19 comments

Viewing 19 comments

Rawling May 22, 2008 4:16 pm

Nicely done :DThat's an interesting mix of kits...

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Anonymous May 22, 2008 9:05 pm

I remember watching tuigamala playing both codes - one word... powerhouse!

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Nikos May 22, 2008 9:07 pm

Nice play by the Number 9 aswell

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Anonymous May 22, 2008 9:09 pm

nice hearing Bill McLaren again

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ed May 22, 2008 10:06 pm

the video ref would have a field day with that one today. great player tho

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Anonymous May 22, 2008 10:22 pm

Sorry for my lack of knowlage - Who are the barbariens? What sort of play to they stand for?I heard Volcano and Balshaw are in this years, does that mean they are a collection of English players that screwed up?Brian

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nesianrugby May 22, 2008 10:57 pm

samoan power!

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G-unit May 22, 2008 11:55 pm

Inga the winger!!! Loved him! great player! the original jonah... Anon: Barbaa's are just a collection of different available players from around the world, it's usually who ever they can get!!! usually some top names in thier though...it's like if you could pick a world XV...except that they don't have the same combinations as the teams they play against! just goes to show, its not the team with the best players who win (all blacks world cups...) its the team that plays the best that wins!

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martin May 22, 2008 11:58 pm

oh brian, well they are an invitational side formed by 1 of the games early players, who played for blackheath, because he wanted to play on the same side as some of his friends from other clubs. just type in barbarians 1973 to youtube and get one of the games greatest games and "that try". they are synonyms with carefree rugby at its finest, where a deft flick is favoured over a crash ball. all of the greats have played for them and continues to do so. can we hav some footage from 1973 please?

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Eoghan May 23, 2008 1:38 am

martin,there is some, champ. http://rugbydump.blogspot.com/2006/08/barbarians-great-team-try.html is "that try"i think thats it from that game, but its a great try and fantastic commentary none the less.

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David May 23, 2008 7:38 am

Bill McLaren, what a legend.No brian, and i'd be surprised if the guys you mentioned ever made it to join the barbarians, basically they are a team of "elite" players if you like, selected from around the world to play together. if you don't recognize the player, maybe you can tell by the socks! :P

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Grizz Wyllie May 23, 2008 10:11 am

Inga the Winger! There's some forgotten names of NZ rugby in that backline, Stu Forster, Marc Ellis, Lee Stensness.Simpler times.

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Waltonio May 23, 2008 10:47 am

I remember seeing his last competitive game for Newcastle and he put two people out of the game with two massive hits

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Cheyanqu May 23, 2008 2:19 pm

RD,Please consider tagging these and other Bill McLaren commentaries with a tag for McLaren.Whenever I need a good retro rugby experience, I can listen to a "McLaren mix".While we know "Jesus Can't Play Rugby", if he could, McLaren would be calling the game in heaven.Cheers.

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Rugbydump May 23, 2008 9:49 pm

Cheyanqu, sounds like a good idea man. I'll try get that done soon, cheers for the input. McLaren is a legend and totally worthy of the praise and tribute. cheers

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Muzza May 23, 2008 10:27 pm

An awesome player in his day. Never saw him play after he left NZ.Any good clips on John Timu? Another potential great who went off to League.In fact how about a look at some of the League transfer players of that era (UK, Aus, NZ)? SHoudl make a good clip of highlights.

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Biggie Smalls June 09, 2008 5:01 am

That was a great try but I feel that he was at his blockbusting best when he played for the All Blacks in a pool game in the 1991 World Cup against the U.S.A., he scored an amazing individual try off a lineout about 60 metres out and broke so many tackles on his way to the tryline, you could say that it was a "jonah lomu"-like try, if someone could find it and upload it that would be great.

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Tank August 13, 2008 10:58 am

Biggie Smalls said... That was a great try but I feel that he was at his blockbusting best when he played for the All Blacks in a pool game in the 1991 World Cup against the U.S.A., he scored an amazing individual try off a lineout about 60 metres out and broke so many tackles on his way to the tryline, you could say that it was a "jonah lomu"-like try, if someone could find it and upload it that would be great.June 09, 2008 7:01 AMYES, If anyone can locate this video of Inga at the 91 wirld cup vs U.S.A and upload it that world be awesome...Tuigamala at his best. Try of the 91 world cup!

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