Winger inexplicably runs directly into Manu Tuilagi with 20 metre run up
By Rugby Onslaught

Winger inexplicably runs directly into Manu Tuilagi with 20 metre run up

To be fair to Leicester Tigers winger Harry Potter, he did not have much time to change his angle to avoid being tackled by Manu Tuilagi at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday other than deciding to run backwards. But when it is Tuilagi lining you up, running backwards is a perfectly acceptable option.

The winger might have actually thought he had a bit of space to run into after fielding a bomb from Sale Sharks’ George Ford in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final. But any space that he thought was there was very rapidly closed down by centre Tuilagi. Potter had only taken a couple of steps after catching the ball before all 110kg of the England international was smashing into him.

Tuilagi from a standing start is bad- Tuilagi with a 20 metre run up is nigh on lethal. Potter was smashed with a hit big enough to leave any spectator wincing and holding their ribs. That was only the start though as the 31-year-old began to drive the Tiger back and drag him to ground. Such was the ferocity of the hit that it left Potter isolated, and Tuilagi’s teammates were able to get over the ball and win the penalty.

It was a massive tackle, and one that summed up the match quite nicely- a combination of astute kicking from Ford and aggressive defence. Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson touched upon this after the match, saying: “They stuck to the task, and George Ford drove that – a little pocket of calm amid the chaos.

“You need to be physically up to the task, you need a heart, you have really got to want it. What more can you ask for?

“I am proud of how they stuck at it and just got better at the basics as the game went on.”

This was all on the way to a 21-13 win for Sale, as they booked a meeting with Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership final in two week’s time.

Take a look at the hit: