Possibly the game of the weekend in the Air New Zealand cup was the tussle in Palmerston North between Manawatu and North Harbour. It went down to the wire, with some poor option taking and over eagerness at the end costing Manawatu the match 20-17.
We got to see two great textbook hits, one from each side. The first in this clip is on big All Black Sevens star, Lote Raikanbula as he cuts through the line. It looks like halfback Chris Smylie who actually puts in the hit, lifting him and driving him back to the ground, halting his progress instantly.
The second came from Manawatu replacement prop, the big Tongan Talau Hala. His was more of a hard hit, as he knocked back North Harbour eighthman Viliami Maafu. Ma’afu scored two tries on the night, so getting smashed by the opposition wasn’t too much of an issue for the 105kg loosie. The hit itself was great to see though, and shows what good timing and technique can do.
This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.