On Saturday Gibraltar hosted Israel in what was only their third ever Test match, held at Victoria Stadium. The underdogs achieved an impressive 25-12 victory, but felt the might of the 49th ranked side in the first half with this thundering try saving tackle.
Israel, who play in division 2B of the European Nations Cup, were reportedly treating this as a warm-up game and clearly didn’t expect Gibraltar to offer much resistance. The hosts played their first Test in 2011, and are currently battling for FIRA/AER (European Rugby Federation) recognition.
They surprised everyone with the win, and it’ll go a long way towards building rugby in the region.
A packed stadium were on hand to witness the victory, and seemed to enjoy this huge tackle too, even if it was on one of their own players, centre Adrian Thomas.
Flyhalf Harvey Armstrong made a great break with a dummy and offload, putting Thomas through the gap as he broke the tackle. A try looked certain, but big number eight Yonatan Kaplan came out of nowhere to make a massive covering hit.
Thomas seemed to jump into it slightly, which no doubt made it more spectacular as he was flung onto his back and slammed to the turf, right in front of referee Julian Bevan of Wales.
Mr Bevan felt that the tackle was okay, and reportedly viewed Kaplan’s tackle as having been legal due to an attempt to grasp the player with both arms (even if it did look like a clothesline).
To his credit, Thomas presented the ball nicely and his team continued to attack. The Gibraltar union have since told us that they have no complaints about the tackle.
View an animated gif of the tackle on page two of this post. Note: We realise the quality of both the image up top and the video is poor. If we get better we’ll replace asap.
credit to Rockstream.tv
Above is an animated gif (looping graphic) of the tackle for your viewing pleasure. There’s no sound on this but there’s something about it that is a bit like a carcrash, in more ways than one.
Thanks to snedds (@captainsneddon)