Let me start off by saying this: I know as much about rugby as I do about the British political system. It’s all a bunch of outlandish sounding words and dudes doing incredibly entertaining stuff (see: that time the British Deputy Prime Minister punched a protester in the face for throwing an egg). I thoroughly enjoy watching rugby, and have a very rudimentary understanding of what’s going on. When the USA Rugby Team got their arses walloped a few weeks (months?) ago on a Sunday afternoon and it was picked up by network TV, I tuned in as part of my patriotic duties to blindly cheer on my country even when I had no clue what was happening. All that said, I cannot for the life of me understand how there’s a sports where takedowns/tackles like the one at the :08 or :09-second mark are legal.
That guy clearly could’ve broken the other dude’s spine, and it was obviously waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of line given the circumstances. This match was between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers, a NRL Telstra Premiership match pitting the first place Broncos against the last place Panthers (in the same division), so presumably tensions were high. So high that this dude tried flip a man onto his head and crack his neck. There’s really no other explanation for what he did outside of malice….unless of course rugby’s finally figured out its place in the world: the happy medium between the NFL and the WWE. Rugby player lack the raw strength of NFL players, but have the bulk of typical WWE wrestlers. The sport is inherently entertaining, but could use a bit of sprucing up in order to keep pace with other sports around the world, and the answer is to make it into the NFL/WWE hybrid the world so desperately needs.
Let’s watch that takedown one more time, in GIF, and tell me that’s not something you’d tune in to watch if it was slightly more regulated: