It was one of those crazy rugby weekends as the Midyear Tours kicked into action and rugby fans were treated to Test rugby yet again. Over in the US the Eagles hosted Ireland in Houston, with this being one of the moments of the match.
Everyone has been talking about the Samu Manoa tackle on Ireland number eight Peter O’Mahony.
We’ve received tweets, emails, and even a WWE commentary version of it. The original commentary didn’t sound too dissimilar actually, as the Northampton Saints beast gave the Houston crowd plenty to get excited about.
He was called ‘Manu Samoa’ on more than one occasion, which seems to be a fairly common mistake, but soon Manoa will become a household name as his star continues to rise.
He was named Saints Players’ Player and Supporters Player of the Year in 2012/2013, and was recently picked to play for the Barbarians against the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong.
Hailing from San Francisco, Manoa is of Tongan heritage, and is actually a nephew of legendary Australian number eight Viliami Ofahengaue, more commonly known as ‘Willie O’. So it’s in his blood, even though it took him a while to really get into rugby.
“I did rugby for a weekend thing, to have something to do and to stay fit, for fun,” Manoa says. “I was laying concrete with my dad, doing electrician work, chopping trees – you name it, I did it.
“Golden Gate wanted me to play for their Super League team and I got red-carded in my second game. I didn’t come back to rugby for four years, but my uncles kept pushing me.”
USA Rugby is the better for it, and now he’s becoming one of the biggest hitmen around.
“Hitting people is what I like. I don’t really mean to hurt them but whoever is in front of me I’m going to give you what I’ve got. I’m not scared of any player.
“Even if you’re bigger than me I’m still going to put a shoulder in. If I get bumped, I get bumped, but even if I go back, you aren’t going to run by me.”