Wednesday Mar 14, 2012 Motu Matu'u makes biggest hit of the season on Matt Hodgson

Motu Matu'u makes biggest hit of the season on Matt Hodgson
23
Comments

Without a doubt the biggest hit of the weekend, and perhaps the season, was made by young Hurricanes hooker Motu Matu’u against the Force in Perth on Friday. Nicknamed ‘Bubbles’ in the past, he says he’s come a long way to get where he is today.

A product of Rongotai College in Wellington, the same school that Ma’a Nonu attended, Motu made his Super Rugby debut this season after having previously played ITM Cup rugby for the Wellington Lions. He says the move from the ‘size group’ has made all his hard work worth it.

“For me it’s always been fitness. I’ve been in the size group pretty much since my Wellington Academy days. Man, I’ve been in that group forever, a long time,” he said of the group that categorises players who are viewed as carrying too much fat, and not enough muscle.

“I just had to try and trim down, I was always pretty much a chubby boy, so I had to lose quite a bit. It wasn’t easy. Being an Islander and going home to food like that, of course you are going to indulge. But if you really want it, then of course you have to sacrifice something and that (food) was it for me. I’ve made the changes, I feel pretty good, probably the best I’ve ever felt in my career.”

He doubled up on training, attending Wellington Lions commitments as well as every one of the Oriental Rongotai club academy’s fitness sessions. He did this while working as a builder, where he had a forgiving boss who allowed him to start later in the day. “It was tough waking up early in the morning, getting to training at 6am, then after training finding the energy to work.”

He says nowadays it feels like he’s dreaming, playing alongside All Blacks like Cory Jane and Conrad Smith, and says that Nonu (who has since moved on to the Blues) had a huge influence on his career, motivating the 24 year old him to reach great heights.

“He has encouraged me big time. Having Ma’a there as a family friend as well, I grew up seeing him as an older brother sort of, so to see him crack it, I was like if he can crack it, how come I can’t?”

While he’s still playing off the bench due to the good form of hooker Dane Coles, Matu’u has said that the positive attitudes of the starters during training has helped motivate the reserves to make a difference when they get their opportunity.

He did exactly that on the weekend against the Force, as he came on and within minutes absolutely demolished number eight Matt Hodgson, who buckled under the weight of what looked to be one of the most impressive legal hits many of us have ever seen.

To add insult to injury, the Hurricanes scored 6 tries and won the game 46-19.

Credit: Fairfax Digital for the quotes

23 Comments

  •  pedro
    pedro

    I come and watch this every day

    Reply
  •  terminan
    terminan

    OUCH! That hurt!

    Reply
  •  paimoe
    paimoe

    Ouchhh

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    One more time, and no more. You clearly have never played at any decent level. Because every SINGLE tackle leads with the shoulder. It's the ONLY way to tackle properly. It's simple physics. If a guy is running at you, he;s going to hit you with most of his bodyweight. If he's a 120kg Tongan propr this could really drop you on your arse. How to stop it? Get your footwork right so you have a solid base and balance, move into the hit, and lead with the point of your shoulder. Tackling 101. This way you are hitting with your whole body weight. Ideally this means you are big and strong enough to stop momentum and drive the guy back. In a very rare case (like this hit), you'll go one better and smash the bloke backwards. The whole point is force meeting force. It's a brutal application of physics. The shoulder charge rule in union was brought in specifically to prevent league style shoulder charges, where you actually fly into a hit reclessly, with the point of your sholulder turned, your arm tucked into your chest (folded with your other arm usually) and sideways. No base, often with your feet off the ground, simlar to an NFL hit. Totally different from a normal tackle. The idea that hitting with shoulder at all is illegal is abusrd and the kind of opinion of someone who doesn't actually have any idea about tackling or rugby.

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    EVERY SINGLE TACKLE LEADS WITH THE SHOULDER. Every one. If you don't tackle with the shoulder get off the field cuz you aint doin your job.

    Reply
  •  jeri
    jeri

    "Up so early feels so bright i didnt get much sleep last night freight train rattled through my head whistle blowin love is dead, is dead" LOL it can't be a coincidence that "Wish You Well" started playing during the replay. Good job song choice guy.

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    Alright, I feel like you're porbably a troll still, because someone who has actually played rugby would know how ridiculous you sound. Any tackle could mess a guy up. Any legal tackle is quite capable of badly injuring someone. Guess what, this aint football, it aint tennis, it aint badminton. This sport hurts. It can injure you. Deal with it, or watch another sport.

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    Haha, yeah I did.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Shit idea for a sponsorship

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Sure, get rid of all the laws. Very good idea... You know what: let's get rid of maximum speed too. Police cars are allowed to drive faster than the speed limit so this is very confusing .... Just to be clear: there is a difference between the two tackles. Banahan's is clearly illegal, this one is clearly legal. Now shoo, up and away, go play touch rugby.

    Reply
  •  filth
    filth

    Yeah but mate, can you just admit that was a decent tackle? I mean that would be another rule rugby doesn't need. Rugby is more about referees than the actual players!

    Reply
  •  filth
    filth

    Hahahahaha my god you are pathetic and soft. If you asked professional rugby players they would admire that hit. In the IRB rule book that tackle is fine. Just because you are pathetic and soft doesn't mean that the IRB should change the rules of tackling just to suit you! Seriously mate, grow up and stop being so negative, rugby is the most beautiful game in the world.

    Reply
  •  filth
    filth

    Upandaway you don't seem to realise that rugby is a contact sport. Stop being a girl. Please fuck off and never come back onto Rugbydump.com, you are a disgrace!

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    UpandAway, again, you are more than likely a troll. In fact I hope you are. If you are not, you're opinion is ahrd to believe. You can't have ever actually have played the game, or you'd know that every single tackle leads with the shoulder, that this is how people are actually taught how to tackle, that tackling any other way is at best incompetent, and at worst dangerous for the tackler. Go watch a sport without contact if this upsets. I garuntee it doesn't bother Hodgson.

    Reply
  •  jwall
    jwall

    They spent like three minutes talking up how excellent the hit was, how great the Highlanders set piece play is, how their general play was great all night, how Matu'u had come on and really done his job as a replacement, how it was a completely fair and legal tackle and yet you still find cause to complain? Sounds like you have a real chip on your shoulder, because the Aussies in this clip did nothing but praise the Highlanders and Matu'u. It's crazy that you can't see that. Bizarre and crazy. In fact, you are probably a troll. If not, wow.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    I can't imagine any other company would have a yellow M like that as their motif...

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Are Force's shorts sponsored by McDonald's??

    Reply
  •  z3r0326
    z3r0326

    An absolutely crushing hit! In no universe was it a high or illegal tackle. Point of contact was square in the chest, and the tackler wrapped with his arms. Matu'u's arms ending up near Hodgson's head after the initial contact is incidental and in no way makes this tackle illegal. Granted, based on some historical ban decisions, it was really almost lucky that the ref didn't misinterpret this phenomenal hit for an illegal one.

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel

    Few things: 1. Not sure how you can say it was shoulder on his chin when initial head movement was forward as the body stayed still. If it was shoulder on chin his head would have gone back and his body would have continued to move forward. 2. Great to see the Hurricanes player check on Hodgson. 3. Great to see Matu'u give Hodgson a little tap on the back straight after the tackle in a non cocky way! 4. Shocked to see no card, no thousand year ban on what looked like a totally legitimate tackle! Absolutely disgraceful!

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    Kaboom! Solid, solid hit. Love it! And even better: as soon as he get's up he shows concern for the other players well being! Two reasons why this is BY FAR the best frikkin' sport in the world! Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaa, this clip made my day! Thanks a lot RD!

    Reply
  •  poccio
    poccio

    Nice tackle! The best part of the vid is at the 32 sec mark when Matt Hodgson still on the floor mouths the words "Fuck me!" which really sum up the whole play!

    Reply
  •  buzzkillington
    buzzkillington

    Based purely on outrageous decisions previously - Rangers 2 weeks come to mind - I would expect Matu'u to be banned for 14 months. This is 100 times worse than the Ranger tackle.

    Reply
  •  number8888
    number8888

    Huge hit! A complete dead weight as soon as he's been tackled...

    Reply

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Motu Matu'u makes biggest hit of the season on Matt Hodgson | RugbyDump