Ex Bok who was dropped for defence puts in savage tackle
By Rugby Onslaught

Ex Bok who was dropped for defence puts in savage tackle

It is hard to believe that La Rochelle centre Raymond Rhule was dropped for the Springboks for his defence when seeing the tackle he put in against Lyon on Saturday.

The 29-year-old won the last of his seven Springboks caps in 2017, but was a player that always had a question mark hanging over him with regards to his defence. Fast forward five years and he is putting highlights reel-worthy tackles in the Top 14, probably the most physical league in the world. What is even more impressive is that he did it at outside centre – rather than his traditional role as a wing – which is arguably the hardest position defensively on a rugby pitch.

Of course, there is far more to being a good defender than simply putting in big hits when players run at you, but putting in big hits when players run at you is still very important. That’s what Rhule did against Lyon on Saturday at the Stade Gerland, picking out Lyon fly-half Leo Berdeu and smashing him backwards, forcing him to lose possession of the ball in the process. Then again, given the power he possesses with ball in hand, it is understandable that he can put in massive tackles as well.

This was on the way to La Rochelle recording a 23-21 away win in what was known as the Super Cup match. This is because it pitted the reigning Heineken Champions Cup winners, La Rochelle, up against the reigning Challenge Cup winners, Lyon. The win also leaves Ronan O’Gara as one of two teams that are undefeated in the Top 14 after only two rounds, alongside Toulouse in first, after they beat Top 14 champions Montpellier the week before. They will seek to continue this unbeaten run this Sunday when they travel to take on ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Take a look at the tackle by Rhule (shared by Saffas Abroad Rugby on Twitter):