Hard hitting number eight Chris Hala’ufia made this bone-jarring hit in the Aviva Premiership as he lined up and crunched Newcastle prop Scott Wilson. Unfortunately he then casually slapped him in the face, as if to further assert his dominance.
Hala’ufia only joined London Welsh two weeks ago, on a short term loan deal, providing injury cover for the Premiership new boys. The 35-year-old joined Scarlets during the off season but has yet to make an appearance, so the opportunity with London Welsh should provide some game time.
“Due to our mounting injury list we’ve brought in Chris to help fill the gap on a short-term basis,” said London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell of the Tongan loose forward.
He put all of that at risk against Newcastle though, with the tackle perhaps viewed as borderline by some, but then the little slap afterwards all too unncecesary. It caused a bit of a scuffle but referee Wayne Barnes chose to only penalise him.
Barnes said that Hala’Ufia made initial contact below the shoulders, but slipped up high. It seems as though he didn’t see the slap, because you’d think that if he had, he would have mentioned it.
Hala’ufia has a bit of a record for huge hits, sometimes illegal (see the Related Posts below this video for more), but in this case he probably got it spot on. The post tackle slap – albeit a soft one – on an injured player was totally uncalled for though.