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Tuesday Jun 10, 2014

Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup draw with Samoa

Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup draw with Samoa
11
Comments

The Midyear Tours are currently on the go but the Pacific Nations Cup is also under way, and featured a dramatic 18-18 draw between Samoa and Tonga in the opening game on Saturday. In the first half there was this huge hit, by a fullback on a prop.

Tonga scored through Otulea Katoa before Josh Afu helped them to a 12-5 lead at halftime, with Samoa’s first half try coming through Fautua Otto. Northampton Saints star Kahn Fotuali’i came on after the restart, and while there were errors on both sides, things opened up late in the game.

Flyer David Lemi scored a try for Samoa on 65 minutes, which Tusi Pisi converted for a 15-12 lead. Tonga held their nerve though and Fetu’u Vainikolo beat a few defenders before Samoa killed the ball and replacement prop Census Johnston was yellow carded.

The kick was slotted and the scores were tied at 15-15 before another Pisi penalty looked like they were on track for a hard-fought 18-15 victory.

On fulltime a lineout infrigement left Wayne Barnes with no choice but to award a penalty, which  replacement Fangatapu Apikotoa stepped up and slotted for a well-deserved 18-18 draw. Samoa attacked the line but Tonga held out, and looked the happier of the two sides at the final whistle.

We’ve got highlights of the match on page two of this post, but the featured clip here is of a massive hit by fullback Tevita (David) Halaifonua on big prop Sakaria Taulafo. The tackle was penalised by referee Barnes, and some might say Halaifonua was lucky to only get a talking to.

View the match highlights

11 Comments

  • danknapp
    4:14 PM 13/06/2014

    Thanks wookie, that's a really insightful comment. 1 internets point for you.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    4:13 PM 13/06/2014

    I know exactly what you mean. I love watching games between two Pacific Islander teams. Normally from behind my sofa.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:44 AM 12/06/2014

    The highlights clip is worth a butcher's. Looks like a pretty entertaining game - some decent running rugby and a few big hits as you'd expect. Nice solo try by the Samoa #14, from the halfway line, right up the middle of the park. Quite amusing to see 4-5 defenders taken out of the move by one massive telegraphed dummy!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:41 AM 12/06/2014

    I'll be honest, I enjoyed the tackle just before this more. The one where the rampaging winger was stopped dead in his tracks right on the 22. But in that case the winger made a cheeky offload (clearly forward, by the way) and kept the move going. No chance here of the prop making a quick offload!

    Reply
  • drg
    11:00 PM 11/06/2014

    It is interesting, I think at some point the 'tackled' player has to take some responsibility for their body position when they enter into contact. As for my original comment, I meant more that you have two teams that when attacking will be performing the 'Samoan sidestep' on each other, and when defending will be stopping players with the force of a small truck..

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:44 PM 11/06/2014

    Slightly melodramatic, don't you think?

    Reply
  • foxy
    7:52 PM 11/06/2014

    I think the player with the ball going low explains why the tackle ends up high but doesn't excuse it totally. Dan. In terms of the laws of the game I think tacklers are and must be duty bound to not hit high or we will have injuries all over the show. Also it is sensible and commonplace to dip into contact when carrying the ball rather than remaining upright, it doesn't mean players can hit high. Also not much use of the arms in that tackle so foul play on 2 fronts for me

    Reply
  • guy
    4:19 PM 11/06/2014

    Actually, this is exactly the kind of tackle I DON'T like. The sole intent of the tackler seems to be to hurt the opposing player. I (and I guess we all) have read quite a few articles on concussions etc. lately so even if this tackle is legal, it's still dangerous.

    Reply
  • irelandwest
    12:56 PM 11/06/2014

    This is an excellent example of 'not using the arms'. However entertaining we may find these huge hits, they have no place in the game. Unfortunately it will continue until a serious injury is caused to a well known player in a high profile match. At that point the rugby world will realise that this type of tackle constitutes dangerous play. I would ask RugbyDump.com to feature only those instances of these 'hits' where the tackler is penalised. I don't want to attend the funeral of a team mate (or opponent) fatally injured in this manner. Do you ?

    Reply
  • xxxwookie
    12:10 PM 11/06/2014

    ducking into the tackle isn't a law per se, it's a guidance for referees to use. Underneath the already complicated laws are a set of guidelines for referees to consider and it's down to the referee's interpretation of those laws and guidelines. Now you could judge that the tackler's strike is at around shoulder height, but the referee will be considering how much influence the ducking had on where the tackle is made and whether the tackler had an opportunity to adjust. For me, he's standing up in the tackle to hit high and make an impact, he could have kept lower in the tackle and it's a penalty. Looking again, it's very high as it's impacting with the head. When referees call ducking in the tackle, they're usually looking at a tackler who has already committed when the carrier has ducked down and gotten caught. My other problem though is how he uses his arms. Impact is made with the shoulder and there's no attempt to wrap the arms in the tackle and the result is a shoulder charge. So combine the contact with the head, with the manner in which he made the tackle and the lack of arms, it's quite easy to give a penalty and the yellow card can't be too far away

    Reply
  • drg
    11:21 AM 11/06/2014

    Must be a brutal game, two of the hardest hitting nations pitted against each other... I know they call it 'the Samoan sidestep' but it is often used by all of the Islanders, so that's got to be an interesting scenario...

    Reply


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