Monday, April 11, 2011
In one of the most brutal clashes of the weekend, Bulls lock Flip Van Der Merwe was smashed by Crusaders replacement prop Owen Franks, adding to the misery on the night for the visiting side.
The Crusaders, missing key men Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, managed to out muscle the defending Super Rugby champs as they came out 27-0 winners in Timaru on Saturday night.
The Bulls were outplayed in most departments, with the power of the Crusaders up front beating them at the breakdown, at lineout time, and one more than one occasion, in the collisions.
This hit on Bok lock Van Der Merwe turned out to be quite symbolic, as he came off worst in the hit and head-clash with Franks, leaving him battered and bruised, much like the visitors overall.
Franks said that having been on the bench for most of the game, he was frustrated and raring to go when finally getting on, which probably added to the venom of the tackle.
"You're pumped up, you want to make a difference and that's what it did hopefully.
"When you are sitting on the bench you can see where their runners are going and I saw him from a while away I picked it pretty well I suppose," he said, adding that he wasn't surprised to see Van Der Merwe left prone, bloodied, on the floor.
"Not really I went into it pretty hard and I didn't come off it perfect myself so it was good to see him down longer than me. I was just a bit dazed at the time but I stayed on my feet."
Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play