Handre Pollard discovers new and legal way to horrifically injure opponents
Booting players in the face is not allowed in rugby, and that is clearly something that has annoyed South Africa and Leicester Tigers fly-half Handre Pollard over the years.
So all credit has to go to the 29-year-old for finding an innovative way to boot someone in the face. That player was Gloucester’s Ollie Thorley, but crucially the boot was not Pollard’s, rather Thorley’s own teammate Ben Meehan.
The moment came in the second half at Kingsholm on Sunday, where Meehan chased down a kick into the back field that Pollard retrieved. With the Springbok having a standing start, Meehan looked to have his man marked, but Pollard pulled off a George North- Israel Folau moment, picking up the No9 on his shoulder and marching him backwards. This is where Thorley gets involved.
The Gloucester winger was the second player in support and copped a hefty boot in the face as a result. Thorley was left of the floor holding his face while Meehan got up straight away despite facing the indignation of being picked up and marched back as a tackler.
The scores were 0-0 at this point in the second half, although Leicester managed to pull off a bonus point win in the end.
Take a look at Pollard’s carry:
Thorley cops a nasty boot to the face too. pic.twitter.com/kDkQyaNZnF
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) March 12, 2023
Leicester interim coach Richard Wigglesworth said after the match: “We were then able to address a number of first-half issues to enable us to dominate the second half.
“I’m surprised no kicks at goal were taken from penalties but they backed their driving maul to score and we managed to keep that out.
“We just came to win the game but when the late opportunity came for a bonus point, we were able to take it and hopefully the three home games to come will be of benefit to us.”