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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

George Pisi's brutal blindside hit on Nick Abendanon in Challenge Cup Final

Nick Abendanon played his final game for Bath in the 30-16 Amlin Challenge Cup final loss to Northampton Saints. The nuggety fullback has racked up a huge amount of Bath caps, and during that time has been on the receiving end of a fair share of big hits.

England capped Abendanon missed out on a fairytale farewell in his final game before joining Clermont Auvergne. The 27-year-old found himself in an unfortunate position early in the second half as turnover ball went his way, but he had his back turned to Samoan hitman, George Pisi.

It was a brutal hit, but as we've come to expect from the tough as nails fullback, he got back up. Former Saints flyhalf Ryan Lamb made a pretty accurate observation about it on twitter.

It's not the first time that Pisi has smashed Abendanon. A few years back the Bath back made a big hit of his own, but then later in the game Pisi came flying in with a massive crash tackle.

In 2010 he couldn't get up straight away when George Stowers floored him with a flailing forearm, and then a year later against Leicester Tigers, it was a Tuilagi nightmare of epic proportions.

Both Manu and Alesana knocked him about, and as if that wasn't enough, he then received a big tackle from a Tongan, Steve Mafi. His courage to keep getting up was hugely admirable.

Clermont are getting a gutsy player, who will cope with some of the rough stuff that the highly competitive Top 14 brings. Bath fans will miss him. As will all the Samoans in the Premiership.

"It's meant a huge amount to be here a decade. I've loved it - it's been a great ride," he said.

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:09 pm | View Comments (14)

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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

Viewing 14 comments

Facepalm May 28, 2014 9:37 pm

The premiership will sorely miss this guy. Top bloke, and unlucky to never really get a chance for England. I suspect this sparks the end of any further potential caps. Not a Bath fan but I've got a lot of time for Abendanon.

Great hit.

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Canadian content May 28, 2014 10:37 pm

I think this penalty is a little harsh, the 9 might not even realized that the ball went forward.

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Inside Shoulder May 29, 2014 3:10 am

Its way harsh - the ball goes forward off the tackler's arm not the tackled player's.

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Eddie-g May 28, 2014 10:38 pm

He not only got up, he acknowledged the hit to Pisi. Top attitude.

I feel England did take a decent look at him, he certainly earned a few caps, I think the issue was he seemed to make a couple of bad errors a game. Especially at fullback, that's not something coaches have the stomach for.

But good luck to him at Clermont, they've got a good man joining their squad.

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DrG May 29, 2014 12:42 am

Brilliant to see a short bit of history between the two players get another chapter. Good sport from Abendanon, gets smashed but accepts the fact is was fair and square!

He has had a brutal career in the Premiership but he's bounced back so many times!

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10stonenumber10 May 29, 2014 1:03 am

Pisi looked more shaken than he did.

Perfect example of the right way to put someone off their game, keeping with the spirit and fair play. Great legal hit, fantastic timing, wrapped the arms, no mucking about.

This would make a great coaching clip. Perfectly legal car crash tackle, and an even better response to it. I've known some players to lash out after being smashed (the ones who aren't used to it). A game changing hit flipped back immediately by the reaction from Abendanon. "wtf? did he just walk away from that?"

Also an example of why you need to communicate on the field... Someone must have seen him!

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DrG May 29, 2014 1:20 am

Actually one of the most amusing things from here is seeing the clip that is related: and listening to Barnes commentary on Abendanons tackle - The guy would be up in arms today moaning and groaning about how it should be a card of some colour..

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Guy May 29, 2014 6:40 am

I've got such big respect for this guy. Got up so many times from such big hits. And never took a step back. Seems like a great caracter!

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Lockdown May 29, 2014 7:37 am

He was the best attacking full back in the Aviva!

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rufio May 30, 2014 6:58 pm

Not quite. I can think of a few that are probably better (in my opinion) Foden/Tait/Lewsey/Brown to name a few.

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krip May 29, 2014 7:57 am

I watched the whole game and I have to say Abendanon was the worse player of Bath on that night. He was absolutely awful. He made so many positioning, handling and decision errors it was hard to believe I am watching a professional rugby player. He totally choked.

I really don`t know why Clermont are signing him. This guy is too awkward. So many better talents in France.

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jimmy23 May 29, 2014 8:10 am

I've come to the conclusion that Abendanon's ribs are laced with steel

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rufio May 30, 2014 6:43 pm

i think you'll find it adamantium!!

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James May 29, 2014 12:40 pm

Abendanon is a brilliant representative of the game. small in comparison to his competitors he thrives in the contact. both on the giving and recieving end. has quick feet too. have been a fan of his since the classic Abendanon vs Tuilagi video.

Brian Habana should sit down with a cup of tea and watch some Abendanon videos, might sort out some of his antics

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