Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nick Abendanon's Tuilagi brothers nightmare at the Rec

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 wasnt 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. 

Time: 04:47

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:08 am | View Comments (47)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, See it to Believe it

Viewing 47 comments

Anonymous March 29, 2011 8:19 am

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 8:22 am

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 8:22 am


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Colombes March 29, 2011 8:26 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

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Von March 29, 2011 8:32 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.

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Alexander March 29, 2011 8:37 am

That was hilarious...

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Alexander March 29, 2011 8:38 am

But respect too Mr. Abendanon!!

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 8:41 am

Much respect to Abendannon!! WOW!

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Rich March 29, 2011 8:48 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

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Dave March 29, 2011 9:30 am

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 9:35 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.

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 9:55 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 !

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Sander March 29, 2011 9:56 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?

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John F March 29, 2011 10:05 am

Brilliant video, thanks RD.

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 10:11 am

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 10:27 am

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 10:38 am

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

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RD March 29, 2011 10:45 am

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


View Video

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RD March 29, 2011 10:55 am

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

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Gaz March 29, 2011 11:20 am

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

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islandstylin' March 29, 2011 12:21 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!!

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 12:26 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 :@)

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ENS Ltd March 29, 2011 12:46 pm

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

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jpm March 29, 2011 1:21 pm

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

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 1:40 pm

more like upendedon. am i right?

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 1:55 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).

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 2:09 pm

respect to Abendanon, what a champ!

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AngryTaff March 29, 2011 2:14 pm

Yep Abendanons got cajons 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.

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Stag March 29, 2011 2:25 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

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Sweetdick McGilicutt March 29, 2011 3:14 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!

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cheyanqui March 29, 2011 4:29 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?

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AngryTaff March 29, 2011 5:55 pm



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!

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Juggernauter March 29, 2011 7:01 pm

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

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Matthew March 29, 2011 7:14 pm

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

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Canadian content March 29, 2011 11:06 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.

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King March 29, 2011 11:26 pm


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J Beast March 30, 2011 1:07 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.

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Anonymous March 30, 2011 8:47 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.

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Nick March 30, 2011 9:36 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!

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Anonymous March 30, 2011 4:32 pm

This guy must be made of steel!!!

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(u-p)rick March 31, 2011 8:22 pm

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

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Anonymous March 31, 2011 8:25 pm

Is the fight worth getting up?

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Anonymous March 31, 2011 10:59 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.

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Anonymous April 01, 2011 6:29 am


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

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mat April 01, 2011 8:42 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

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Centre October 27, 2011 11:56 pm

What a vid! Watched it full screen so didn't watch time bar... every time it faded black it faded back in again! I'm thinking, surely not another one! He just had one of those unlucky games, but was so magnificently brave to just keep on getting up for more.

'Someone fetch that man his slippers' !!

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Muzi March 24, 2013 1:59 pm

Abendanon has lots heart man, one of the best vids I've seen on RD, thanks.

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