The first qualifier of this past weekend’s Super Rugby playoffs turned out to be quite a physical affair, with plenty of big hits and players dropping like flies. Here’s a few of the tackles that might have caught your attention.
The Waratahs went into the match with a horrible injury count. At the beginning of their campaign, their first choice team were nothing like what turned out against the Blues, and during the match itself, they lost a few more players.
While both sides – and indeed a few others – have been through a tough time of late personnel wise, the Sydney side’s injury list makes grim reading. Coach Chris Hickey refused to use that as an excuse for the loss though, and all things considered, they put on a decent display.
During the match itself, there was no holding back as both sides gave their all in the knockout clash. As you can see in this short compilation video, Jerome Kaino threw his body around a fair bit (and other peoples), and Keven Mealamu and Stephen Brett combined earlier in the game for a for a big hit on wing Atieli Pakalani.
One of the more enjoyable moments though was prop John Afoa’s impressive kick chase and tackle, also on Pakalani, and then later on there was the sickening head-clash between big Sitaleki Timani and, you guessed it, Pakalani. Rough night for him. Another short highlight was Ali Williams’ kick ahead, to add to his try in the same match .
The Blues have also got a few injury concerns, with Anthony Boric being rules out from their crunch semi final with the Reds this coming weekend. He has a foot strain.