France number ten Jules Plisson was left wondering who had allowed a runaway bull into Twickenham on Saturday, only to return from a world of pain to realise it was England second row Courtney Lawes who had thumped him to the ground.
The recently back from injury Lawes was in his usual ferocious form, epitomising his desire with a trademark monstrous tackle on the French playmaker.
Well known for his ability to put formidable pressure on opposition fly-halves, Lawes’s execution was timed to perfection as he made contact just as Plisson passed the ball.
Fully committed to the challenge, the English lock was subject to some French remonstration immediately following the hit, but subsequent replays showed that there was no fault in Lawes’s technique and referee Nigel Owens was happy for play to continue.
To Plisson’s credit, having taken some time to catch his breath and comprehend what had just happened, he returned to his feet and threw himself back into the game – but was perhaps a little more wary of Lawes’s whereabouts whilst in possession.
Video of the hit has been circulated widely since the match, with this one, in which you can hear referee Owens reacting to the tackle, already reaching around half a million views in just one day.
England went on to win the match 55-35, which although it was an impressive victory, wasn’t enough to win the Championship, as they finished second for the fourth consecutive year.
You can view more of Lawes’ brutal hits in the Related Posts below this video