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The Biggest Hits in World Rugby This Week, Taranaki Get Physical

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2013

The Biggest Hits in World Rugby This Week, Taranaki Get Physical

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    Joseph Johnson/Getty Images

    While quality isn't always assured, the one thing you can bet on when you put 30 testosterone-fuelled men on a pitch together is physicality, and then some.

    When the going gets tough, the tough hit back. That's how it goes, right?

    In any case, continue to see some of the big hit highlights from around the globe over the past week; two of which come from Taranaki's 21-3 ITM Cup victory over Bay of Plenty.

    As always, if you think we've missed a trick or disagree with any selections, let us know in the forum below.

5. Liberty Stadium Brawl

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    While fighting is by no means condoned in rugby circles, it is just one of those by-products that comes with the territory of a sport largely focused around high-impact collisions.

    This weekend, a scrap or six broke out after Justin Tipuric delivered a tip tackle on Edinburgh's Sean Kennedy. Alun-Wyn Jones and co. stormed to the defence of their Ospreys teammate as the age-old Welsh/Scottish fracas was temporarily revived.

    Despite the Welsh outfits' best intentions to distract the referee, Tipuric did indeed receive a yellow card for his attempted tackle.

4. Sam Lewis Uses His Head

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    Yes, another cliched joke about a player physically using their head to doing something that requires a bit more tact and planning.

    Again coming from the clash between Edinburgh and Ospreys, Sam Lewis ducked low and off target in his attempt to stop Grant Gilchrist, instead taking the lock's sizeable knee to the side of the head.

    It swiftly became clear that Lewis was knocked unconscious by the blow and needed some coaxing before recovering enough to play on.

3. Kurt Baker Fronts Up

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    It's not often that the bigger members of the pack necessarily grab the more glamorous headlines, so Blade Thomson will understandably be claiming an assist for this try.

    The 6'6" lock delivered a monstrous hit on a member of the Bay of Plenty opposition this weekend, dispossessing his victim in the act and allowing Kurt Baker to eventually run in and score.

    The tackle is more or less summed up in the commentator's savvy assessment of the situation, exclaiming "good shot!"

2. Eoin Griffin Exorcises His Irish Demons

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    During the all-Irish encounter between Connacht and Ulster this weekend, Eoin Griffin was unable to make the desired impact, as the Galway hosts ran out an 18-7 defeat to their local rivals.

    However, the centre can hold his head high as at least having left his impact on the opposition, predicting play with expert timing to give Mike Allen something to remember the next morning.

    The slightest slip of balance and the 23-year-old would have been closing in on tip-tackle status. As it was, the hit was sweetly struck and well within regulations.

1. Isaia Tuifua Sums Up Taranaki's Success

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    Taranaki haven't been all that impressive in this season's ITM Cup after winning just one of their opening five matches, so it's vital that they savour the victories when they do come.

    This weekend's 21-3 triumph over Bay of Plenty will certainly be one to remember for Isaia Tuifua after the Samoan was on hand to greet a member of the opposition with one of the most sudden stops he's ever likely to be on the receiving end of.

    On Tuifua's Taranaki profile, it says that the centre plays as a utility back and usually eats eggs for breakfast on game day, when it should really read the other way round.

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