Anthony Watson takes life into his own hands breaking up Manu Tuilagi fight
When Leicester Tigers centre Dan Kelly looked up to see Manu Tuilagi standing over him after being dragged out of a brawl in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final, his life must have been flashing before his eyes.
Fortunately for the 21-year-old, he was saved by teammate Anthony Watson, who dragged Tuilagi away from the scuffle. Then it was suddenly Watson who had his life flashing before his eyes.
The 110kg Sale Sharks centre was loading up to push the winger away until he suddenly noticed that it was his long time England teammate that was pulling him away. The mood immediately changed from violence to humour as the pair began laughing. In fact, Watson actually had a smile on his face the whole time, which was certainly brave. Then again, Tuilagi is experienced and wise enough now to know not to throw any punches in a Premiership semi-final. He learnt that lesson twelve years ago as a 20-year-old when he unleashed hell’s fury upon the head of Chris Ashton and subsequently missed the final a week later.
Commentator Ugo Monye picked up on this altercation between the pair during the match:
Forwards vs Backs in a fight. pic.twitter.com/2z2q478iHK
— Jim Hamilton (@jimhamilton4) May 14, 2023
Unlike twelve years ago, Tuilagi will now be able to face Saracens in the final in two week’s time following the Sharks’ 21-13 win over the reigning champions at the AJ Bell Stadium. Meanwhile, Saracens breezed past Northampton Saints 38-15 the day before at the StoneX Stadium, setting up a clash between the two best sides this year at Twickenham.
The two encounters between Sale and Saracens this season have served up very similar score lines, with Saracens winning 33-22 in London and Sale winning 35-24 in Manchester. With only five points separating the two sides in the league table at the end of the regular season, it should make for a captivating finale to the season.