Sunday, October 18, 2009
Perpignan overcame their shock Heineken Cup defeat last weekend by bouncing back to beat Northampton Saints 29-13 at Aime Giral on Friday.
A week in rugby is clearly a long time. In round 1 Perpignan lost to Treviso, and Saints had beaten Munster. This time round though, Saints failed to repeat their heroics as the hosts were more clinical, taking their opportunities.
They led 20-8 at half time following a penalty try and score from David Marty, with Chris Ashton scoring for the Saints. Brian Mujati later narrowed the gap with his try, but five penalties from Perpignan flyhalf Jerome Porical sealed the convincing win for the home side.
With about 25 minutes left in the match, Saints fullback Ben Foden set off on a little run that was emphatically brought to a halt by the massive number eight, Henry Tuilagi.
Its one of the biggest hits weve seen in a while, with a huge impact as the big Samoan leant all of his 125kg into the far smaller Foden.
Some will say he was lucky to escape punishment as he looked to have led with the shoulder/arm. It wasnt high though and he appeared to have his left arm involved in some way, albeit slight.
Surprisingly, in this day and age, none of the officials got involved and the tackle was deemed 100% illegal. All too often lately we see big hits get blown up simply because they look bad, and not because theyre illegal.
This one though, was brutal either way. Many have different interpretations of this type of hit. Some will say it was all shoulder, whereas others will say hes a giant of a man who legally smashed a small guy, hence the spectacular looking impact.
What do you say yellow card or good, legal hit?
Tuilagi welcomes Van Niekerk to the Top 14