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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nick Abendanon's Tuilagi brothers nightmare at the Rec

Leicester Tigers gave Bath an almighty hiding in their Aviva Premiership meeting at the Rec on Saturday, scoring five tries to nil to come away 37-6 victors. There was one guy however who took the hammering more literally than others.

Fullback Abendanon, who was courageous throughout, took some of the biggest and most frequent hits you're likely to see this season. It actually became quite comical for the viewer, as whenever the fullback got the ball, there seemed to be a Pacific Islander sniffing him out.

First it was Manu Tuilagi who smashed him with one of the biggest, and possibly best, hits of the game. Not too much later older brother Alesana got in on the act, and from then on the England capped back was battered at regular intervals. As if dealing with the two Samoan brothers wasn't bad enough, Tongan Steve Mafi also pounded him late in the game.

Abendanon did show tremendous courage though, as no matter how often they dished it out, he kept getting up for more and put in a few good runs and one fantastic try saving tackle in particular. He eventually hobbled off the field with just over ten minutes left but when a fight kicked off, he miraculously turned up again, in the thick of it.

"I saw someone take a cheap shot at one of my team-mates and I dived on to the pitch to try and separate a few bodies. It was not the right thing to do, but I had taken a couple of good knocks to the head and maybe wasn’t sure of what I was doing," he explained, and said he has since apologised to the officials for his out of character behaviour.

It was a physically devastating, yet brave afternoon of rugby for Abendanon. While he was able to walk off the pitch after the huge knocks, he was no doubt feeling worse for wear the next day.

"Wonder why we play this game when I wake up feeling like this!" he said on twitter.

You can view highlights of the match, including a sensational try to Anthony Allen, on the Eplayer on the right of this post. Just look for the 'Eplayer highlights' text.

Time: 04:47



  • Fair play to Abendanon he got battered all afternoon and carried on after some fairly brutal hits.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 10:19 am  

  • anybody know if it is dangerous to spend a whole week in a ice bath thats where i think nick is now

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 10:22 am  

  • respect!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 10:22 am  

  • it wasn't a vendetta. he was just here and there at the bad moments. The 1st tackle of Alesana could have been easily yellow

    Abendanon must have lost few neurones ;) brave behaviour

    By Anonymous Colombes, at March 29, 2011 10:26 am  

  • 'kin ell!

    Abendanon was like the Terminator in this game, they just couldn't stop him getting up again!

    I bet he enjoyed that moment when he carved a path directly between the Tuilagis.

    By Anonymous Von, at March 29, 2011 10:32 am  

  • That was hilarious...

    By Blogger Alexander, at March 29, 2011 10:37 am  

  • But respect too Mr. Abendanon!!

    By Blogger Alexander, at March 29, 2011 10:38 am  

  • Much respect to Abendannon!! WOW!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 10:41 am  

  • One of my favourite vids on here for a while. I cant even imagine what he felt like the next day. "someone fetch that man a pair of slippers" Classic

    By Blogger Rich, at March 29, 2011 10:48 am  

  • Big respect for Abendanon, I previously thought he was a bit flaky; proved me wrong.

    By Anonymous Dave, at March 29, 2011 11:30 am  

  • Alessana is really borderline on most his hits: No wrapping, slightly high as well...

    Kudos to Abendanon for carrying on playing and still committing himself. I've seen fullback falling back on their kicking game after taking just one confidence shattering hit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 11:35 am  

  • looked the video without reading the text (how does ? :p). After the second hit i was like "yeah, pretty rough game, one big hit per bro...". But then he kept getting smashed over and over again lmao !
    massive respect for the poor abendanon, both for courage and superb try saver. "a pair of slippers" is the least he deserves !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 11:55 am  

  • It seems funny at first, but what guts on Abendanon's part... keeps coming back for more!

    He showed some nice touches and tackles too, at the end!

    If you'd call it a moral victory for the small blonde guy, would that ease some of the pain for him?

    By Anonymous Sander, at March 29, 2011 11:56 am  

  • Brilliant video, thanks RD.

    By Anonymous John F, at March 29, 2011 12:05 pm  

  • Brilliant, this had me laughing out loud..... one man's pain is another man's gain!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 12:11 pm  

  • a couple of seasons ago i remember watching henry tuilagi smash abendanon at welford road. he got a yellow for it but its more proof that the tuilagi brothers seem to have a vendetta against him! im not complaining of course, im a tigers fan and love to see a bath back getting smashed. dont suppose you could find a clip of that hit from henry RD? cheers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 12:27 pm  

  • Some good hits but most illegal. How come the Bath pack didn't sort him?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 12:38 pm  

  • I'd say this is the hit you're referring to (Tuilagi vs Abendanon at Welford Road)


    By Blogger RD, at March 29, 2011 12:45 pm  

  • You could be meaning this one of course, where Tuilagi smashed him without the ball (again?)
    Leicester vs Bath - Hcup quarter final 2009

    About 52 seconds in

    By Blogger RD, at March 29, 2011 12:55 pm  

  • Could almost put together an entire Try Savers & Rib Breakers just based on this!

    By Anonymous Gaz, at March 29, 2011 1:20 pm  

  • I still think, of all the brothers, Alesaga hits aren't up to the Tuilagi standard!! He's the second biggest yet IMO Anitele'a and Manu hit harder than he does.. pound for pound!!

    By Anonymous islandstylin', at March 29, 2011 2:21 pm  

  • Was anyone watching Butch James 'tackelling' sooner he leaves the better. Nick knew what was comming he's faced up to Tuilagi's before i think? Great to see though - made me smile :@)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 2:26 pm  

  • HAHA thanks for this and massive credit to him for continuing to get up. Not surprised he was sore in the morning.

    By Anonymous ENS Ltd, at March 29, 2011 2:46 pm  

  • Wow..to be fair he got some horiffic hospital passes in this clip. The one at 2.56 is especially awful....

    By Anonymous jpm, at March 29, 2011 3:21 pm  

  • more like upendedon. am i right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 3:40 pm  

  • And that's why Abdendanon is my favourite player. What he lacks in stature he more than makes up for it in courage, and not a little skill too (vis a vis that great cover tackle and the nice ball carry past Manu Tuilagi).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 3:55 pm  

  • respect to Abendanon, what a champ!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 29, 2011 4:09 pm  

  • Yep Abendanons got cajonés alright.

    Dont know what was up with Butch James this game he had a major chip on his shoulder. Every scuffle involved or stemmed from him.

    By Anonymous AngryTaff, at March 29, 2011 4:14 pm  

  • hits like tht can knock a players confidence for the rest of the game n he just got up n took another one...n then another, well done Abendanon.

    if i got hit by any of the tuilagi brothers id still be on the floor...probably crying...and asking for my mum lol

    By Anonymous Stag, at March 29, 2011 4:25 pm  

  • You guys have it wrong. Abendanon borrowed 10 quid from Alessana for some fish and chips 6 months ago and he never paid him back. The brothers had a contract on him!

    By Anonymous Sweetdick McGilicutty, at March 29, 2011 5:14 pm  

  • speaking of Butch James...

    that man is a menace. When will the citing commissioners, the referees, or opposition take the law into their own hands and fix his dangerous "tackling" technique?

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at March 29, 2011 6:29 pm  

  • @Cheyanqui


    He went for the forearm numerous times throughout this match.

    Most notably with Jordan Crane after the tackle was complete and he happened to roll off in between a couple of leicester forwards, If only the ref wasnt there!

    By Anonymous AngryTaff, at March 29, 2011 7:55 pm  

  • Tough lad indeed...
    Give that man a pair of slippers!

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at March 29, 2011 9:01 pm  

  • There was a decent hit from Lawes on Van Gisbergen in Saints - Wasps this weekend too.

    By Blogger Matthew, at March 29, 2011 9:14 pm  

  • To be honest how was he not concussed? His coach really could have considered subbing him after the 3rd big one, pretty obvious it wasn't his day by then. Big props to abendannon though true character.

    As well, barnes truly is an idiot sometimes. It does not take great skill to make a big hit and wrap, it takes the proper technique. When it doesnt happen it's illegal, plain and simple.

    By Anonymous Canadian content, at March 30, 2011 1:06 am  

  • Respect

    By Anonymous King, at March 30, 2011 1:26 am  

  • Abendanon is pretty hard alright, but Alesana makes him look like a child at 2:20(Twice his size).

    I think after this tough game Abendanon should improve quite a bit.

    By Anonymous J Beast, at March 30, 2011 3:07 am  

  • Young players (but not their mums!) should watch this example of the personal courage that makes rugby such a great game.

    Abendanon is courageous. James is a coward.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 30, 2011 10:47 am  

  • James always seems to have a chip on his shoulder, I don't think I've seen him play a game where he's not gone for a few cheap shots!

    By Anonymous Nick, at March 30, 2011 11:36 am  

  • This guy must be made of steel!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 30, 2011 6:32 pm  

  • Massive respect to that poor poor man, can't imagine what it's like to lose your anal virginity to a Samoan knee....

    By Anonymous (u-p)rick, at March 31, 2011 10:22 pm  

  • Is the fight worth getting up?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 31, 2011 10:25 pm  

  • this has shown me why he should be in the england squad. who nees to be big when your a tough little bas**rd with pace and skill.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 01, 2011 12:59 am  

  • (Applause)

    Massive respect to the man who gets back up quickly and repeatedly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 01, 2011 8:29 am  

  • yeah major respect to the man, for a couple of them he was bravely tidying up from some very poor passing in attack, with the defence charging up on him, his team mates owe him. still made some good runs and tackles after.
    the second tackle in the vid could easily have been yellow, absolutely no attempt to tackle

    By Anonymous mat, at April 01, 2011 10:42 am  

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