Rugby is loved by many for various reasons, but one of the pillars of the sport is tackling.
Few things get the adrenaline pumping like watching someone land an explosive hit onto an opponent.
Nothing signified this better than England’s victory over New Zealand, which secured them a place in the World Cup final on Saturday.
Tough tackling and spirited defence were the catalysts for an inspiring performance against the back-to-back champions.
Sam Underhill, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola are amongst those credited with the biggest hits on the day.
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However, it isn’t just the impact that is impressive - the quality of the tackles is also phenomenal.
England’s tallest and heaviest players gave a lesson on getting low into the tackles and no single moment epitomised the game more than Underhill on Jordie Barrett, which was the turning point. An immense collision that caused the All Black back to knock-on, something Underhill repeatedly did throughout the game.
Interestingly, the 2003 winners actually lost most of the statistical battles. They made 147 tackles to the Kiwi’s 164 and beat fewer defenders with less clean breaks. Although, one key stat is in the penalties department, where they received five less, which ultimately won the game.
A compilation video was created on Facebook of the biggest tackles throughout the game, and despite only being out six hours, has already amassed 13,000 views. The video itself is short, but is enough to get anyone out of their seat.
It is now confirmed that South Africa will be England’s opponents in Saturday’s final. Fans will be hoping that another outstanding defensive display will be enough to see them become two-time champions and get revenge on the Springboks for 2007.
South Africa beat fellow Home Nation Wales 19-16 in a game that could have gone either way. It is hard to speculate which team would have been preferable for Eddie Jones' men, or if they even cared.News Now - Sport News