Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud, often affectionately referred to as the Tank, is the type of player you generally want to avoid when he has ball in hand. His ability to get over the gain line is what makes him so valuable a player. His tackling isn’t half bad either.
Bordeaux wing Metuisela Talebula experienced the full (considerable) weight of the man this past weekend when Toulon beat Bordeaux 22-20 in a tight Top 14 clash. Talebula received an awful, floated pass from centre Julien Rey, and got man and ball at the exact same time.
Unfortunately for him that man was Bastareaud, who took full advantage of the hospital pass to make this big rib tickling tackle, earning Toulon a turnover as a result. Fair play to Talebula for keeping his eyes on the ball and taking the hit though.
Freddie Michalak, who made an interesting pass here, actually scored 14 of his team’s points on the day though, with Bryan Habana scoring a try as Toulon came back from trailing 20-9 at one stage.
“To win the match after a catastrophic first half where we weren’t in the match, I have to congratulate the players for their comeback,” said acting head coach Pierre Mignoni.
Toulon are third on the Top 14 table, equal with Clermont one point behind Montpellier. They face Perpignan in Barcelona this weekend, while Bordeaux, in 7th place, are away at Stade Francais.