Raffi Quirke wrestles player almost 20kg heavier in epic try saving tackle
By Rugby Onslaught

Raffi Quirke wrestles player almost 20kg heavier in epic try saving tackle

England and Sale Sharks scrum-half Raffi Quirke made his first appearance of the season last Saturday after a hamstring injury, which leaves him just enough time to try and work his way into Eddie Jones’ England squad for the autumn internationals.

As far as comebacks go, it could not have gone better for the 21-year-old against reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. With his side trailing 16-12 at half time, he came on after the break to inspire a 26-16 comeback win and maintain Sale’s unbeaten start to the Gallagher Premiership season. He even scored what proved to be the defining try for his side.

Pundit Ugo Monye raved about his performance after on BT Sport, saying: “His impact was the catalyst for what Sale Sharks needed. He had an unbelievable impact on the game. If you watch what Raffi Quirke’s game is all about in attack, it’s his ability to scan, spot opportunity and create, but in order to do that you’ve got to give the guy front foot ball. You look at the space, Raffi’s already seen it, a really good carry, the ruck speed’s really, really quick, 1.8 seconds, which allows him to break up that fractured defence.

“With regards to the try saving tackle, it’s brilliant, the speed to get back there – on another day we might have seen another decision. But to round off his return back into the Gallagher Premiership with a try.

“With all the quality we have at scrum-half, he’s back on the map.”

The try saving tackle was perhaps the most impressive thing about his performance, as he held Leicester centre Matt Scott up over the line just a few minutes after scoring his own try. Having a weight advantage of almost 20 kgs, it looked as though the Tiger was going to be able to bundle his way over the line, but the way that Quirke was able to stop him getting the ball down shows what an elite defender he is.

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