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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Prop Ben Franks' big hit and unbelievable try-saving tackle on wing Frank Halai

The Blues put on an impressive showing away from home as they beat the Hurricanes 28-6 in a fast paced Super Rugby derby in Wellington. While the win was comfortable in the end, the 'Canes tried their damndest to keep out the lethal Blues outfit.

There were a number of big tackles throughout, with Julian Savea knocking back a few players and hitman Motu Matu'u flying at Blues players with mixed success.

It was prop Ben Franks who made two of the tackles of the match though, the first being a big hit, the second something that was actually quite unbelievable to see.

His hit on Jackson Willison early on was impressive, but later, after a frantic period of play that included multiple turnovers, Franks miraculously chased down speedster Frank Halai.

Halai has spent a good amount of time in the New Zealand Sevens team, being one of the highest rated players in the World Series. He actually scored the first try of the game, but on this occasion he met his match as powerlifter Franks' determined chase prevented a try.

The Blues racked up four converted tries in total, giving them a bonus point win after a run of three losses, and helped them leapfrog the Hurricanes into second on the New Zealand conference.

We can only speculate as to whether Halai would have made it to the tryline or not. What we do know is that a huge All Blacks prop somehow caught one of the quickest wings in the country.

Posted at 11:52 am | 18 comments

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, See it to Believe it

Viewing 18 comments

johndoe April 14, 2013 3:18 pm

It's a good tackle, but Halai hadn't actually gotten around him. He was outpacing him easily but Franks had the angle and timed his tackle fantastically.

It was a brilliant tackle but I don't think Franks will be keeping up with any wingers in the future.

Absolutely fantastic player though, no doubt about it.

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Stubby April 14, 2013 5:46 pm

That is still some pace for a prop to cut off a winger.

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DW April 14, 2013 5:55 pm

There was another defender coming over to cover just out of shot which caused the winger to slow down while deciding if he should step inside or go around the last man on the outside... in which time Franks had caught up. Not quite out gunning the winger for pace but still did very well to get the tackle in.

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browner April 14, 2013 5:57 pm

Great pace from the All black , isn't he born in Melbourne Aus !

Which to my 'old fashioned' thinking makes him ............. Australian?

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Full Back April 14, 2013 7:03 pm

Well if you are going to be 'old fashioned' go the whole hog, Quade Cooper, Dean Mumm and Digby Ioane were all born in New Zealand, while Tuiquiri is Fijian and David Pocock was born in Zimbabwe....was there a point there???

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matt April 15, 2013 1:35 am

And Rokocoko would have to play for Fiji, Collins for Samoa along with Muliaina, Toeava and Kaino. But this is just the tip of the ice berg in terms of global squads.
In my mind it is getting a bit silly, players are going where their talents will get them the highest level of exposure, and dont seem to care too much whether it's their country or not

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joeythelemur April 15, 2013 7:47 am

Matt, are you suggesting players go to NZ to get the highest level of exposure? Somehow I doubt that's true, as the competition for roster spots is arguably the toughest there.

More often you see second tier NZers headed to Scotland, England, or elsewhere through some ancestral connection as they couldn't crack the ABs. In fact, 38 NZ-born players in the 2011 RWC played for other nations. I agree that it is all a bit silly, but many (most?) of the foreign born ABs, particularly the Polynesians, came to NZ with their families as children (Kaino, for example).

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joeythelemur April 15, 2013 7:50 am

Muliaina moved to Invercargill at age 2. I'm sure his talent was really shining through though between diaper changes.

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onceagain April 15, 2013 9:02 am

Muliaina (2yrs), Rokocoko (5yrs), Collins (similarly young) along with many others, all went to NZ as small children, they grew up and went to school there, went through the NZ rugby system – they are New Zealanders, so the remark that they don't seem to care too much whether it's their country or not is absurd. NZ is their country!
And for a bit of perspective, at least 15 of the 2011 RWC Samoan squad were born in NZ.
There have been several recent AB sides with no PI-born players. In fact NZ might play Wales using current players and the only PI-born player would be in red, Faletau (Tonga).

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Gungehammer April 15, 2013 10:40 am

Fact check: Kaino was born in American Samoa so, under your logic, would have played for USA. And the team with the most "imports" in the last world cup was Samoa ... all born in New Zealand.

The thought of Hartley or Cooper pulling on a black jumper makes me feel queasy.

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AV April 15, 2013 1:38 pm

That was a serious comment about CrossFit. That's part of their training. See below.

http://journal.crossfit.com/2012/01/franks-strength-part-1.tpl

They're fit boys for being props.

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CEO Front Row Union April 15, 2013 2:52 pm

Back to the important subject ... IT WAS A PROP and that is good enough for me

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Sanka April 15, 2013 6:40 pm

I don't want to know how faster is the prop, they will always smell my shit behind... But for your info, the winger slow down for the defender in front!

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DrG April 15, 2013 9:17 pm

You regularly smell like shit do you?

Try either wiping your bum a little better or having a shower..

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Canadian content April 16, 2013 4:09 am

Savea's hit to start the sequence was much more impressiv than franks first big hit ball carrier was prepared and still got rocked.

His back tracking was still quite good though, I'd be happy if my props did that

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10stonenumber10 April 16, 2013 11:56 am

The Front Row Union will be over the moon, a prop shifting more than 10 yards to make a tackle? Absolutely unheard of outside 7s (but they aren't real props anyway), exquisitely epic seeing a bloke that size in full flow making the tackle!

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CEO Front Row Union April 16, 2013 2:30 pm

Normally we props wait for the hair gel wearing backs to run into us ... but sometimes we just have to prove our hunter-gather skills to the world

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