All Blacks star Damian McKenzie got smashed by Fijian bulldozer Levani Botia during Saturday’s Test match in Dunedin.
The Chiefs playmaker was attacking the Fiji defence from the back of a scrum in the first half when he was suddenly hammered by the 103kg frame of Botia.
McKenzie was sent backwards a metre in the collision but managed to keep his composure and retain possession for the All Blacks.
Damian McKenzie got NAILED 🔨
— StanSportAU (@StanSportAU) July 10, 2021
Despite a spirited performance from the visitors, the game finished 57-23 to New Zealand and replacement hooker Dane Coles bagged an incredible four tries off the bench thanks to a successful lineout drive for the hosts.
“Fiji brought a lot of intensity and probably showed us an intensity we needed to (match) in the second half,” said New Zealand skipper Aaron Smith.
“We knew it was going to be a different beast this week. They’ve got some quality players and I think both teams will take a lot out of this. Bring on next week, it’s going to be awesome.”
Centre David Havili bagged himself a brace of tries while Jordie Barrett, George Bridge and Will Jordan completed the scoring for the All Backs. Full match highlights are available below:
The All Blacks will host Fiji in a repeat fixture next weekend in Hamilton in a match which promises more brilliant tries and thunderous collisions.
Botia, 32, was sent off in the Champions Cup final earlier this year for a massive high shot and is regarded as one of the biggest hitters in world rugby.
Despite representing La Rochelle since 2014, Botia has amassed more than 20 caps for Fiji and is now one of the nation’s key players in midfield.
Prior to making his 15s debut for Fiji, he also represented his country at 12 World Sevens series tournaments and the following montage showcases the brutal nature of Botia’s game.