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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.

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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.

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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.

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