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Vaea Fifita hurdle over tackle goes unpunished despite danger

BY Grant Constable  ·  Wednesday Jun 30, 2021

Wasps have today announced that they have signed All Black lock and flanker Vaea Fifita, who will join the club next season. Five years ago, a little piece of athleticism from him went viral. 

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The 29-year-old has been capped 11 times for the All Blacks following his impressive debut against Samoa.

Wasps are relishing the opportunity to see his athleticism in action, with him being the New Zealand player with the most lineout steals (22) in Super Rugby since the beginning of 2016.

In that same year, Fifita was playing for Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup when he pulled off an unbelievable hurdle straight over the top of would-be tackler, Piers Francis.

The Counties Manukau flyhalf couldn’t quite believe what happened, as he set for the tackle but found himself grasping at thin air, as Fifita continued his charge behind him.

While Fifita got away with this one, we’ve seen similar incidents penalised.

We saw Sione Kalamafoni penalised when he did the same thing in 2012, being told by the referee “You cannot jump over a tackle.. you run, don’t jump”.

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Two years prior, in 2010, Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom was penalised for jumping into a tackle, being told by the referee  “You jumped into the tackle.. it’s dangerous play”.

Shane Williams got away with it though, as he hurdled covering defender Topsy Ojo in the same year.

WASPS

The 6ft 5in Tongan born and raised forward  said: “I am proud to be joining one of the most historic rugby clubs in the world. I can’t wait to get started on what promises to be a very exciting journey with Wasps. I will be working hard to help the team achieve as much success as possible.

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“My family and I look forward to experiencing everything that England has to offer.”

Wasps Men’s Head Coach Lee Blackett said: “We have been looking for a quality lock and back-rower and Vaea fits the bill perfectly. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring an experienced international forward like him on board for next season.

“We are all excited to work with him and the strong group of forwards we have at the Club for next season.”

Amusing video of the same moment:

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