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Ten of the biggest bone-rattling tackles in the history of (televised) sport

| 14.03.2013

Passion in sport can be construed in many different ways – and not only amongst the fans. Participants in this great world of sport have never failed to give us moments to remember.

Having said that, they’ve also given us many moments to cringe at and sadistically want to watch over and over again.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good old metaphorical fight to the death in any game of football, rugby or American football, but there are some challenges that are felt by the great, great grandparents of the poor folks on the receiving end.

We’re not sure if Alvaro Arbeloa’s family felt the karate kick from Nani’s right boot last week, but it got us talking about some of the most, shall we say, hazardous tackles of sporting history.

So, here is a series of the hardest hits of all time that bring a whole new meaning to competitiveness. Feel free to add your own to the list on Facebook and Twitter, sports fans.

Zack Dumas vs Stacy Danley

What does it take to stop a 216lb American Football player in his tracks? Zack Dumas, that’s what.

Jonah Lomu vs Calvin Middleton

It’s worth saying that most of Jonah Lomu’s tackles were pretty meaty, but these three – and particularly the one on Middleton – are astonishing. The impact of the tackle was even picked up by the microphones on the side-lines.

Darcey Tucker vs Sami Kapenen

The NHL is notoriously brutal, but this hit was so hard that it knocked Philadelphia Flyers man Kappenen into the middle of the century.

Brian “The Chiropractor” Lima vs Derick Hougaard

As the description in the YouTube video suggests, this is widely regarded as one of the biggest tackles in the history of rugby.

Stirling Mortlock vs David Pocock

In true Barbarian style, Mortlock smashes Aussie Pocock to the ground, making the whole crowd cower away in pain.

Tatafu Polota-Nau vs Shane Williams

Australian Polota-Nau drew boos from the crowd at the bronze medal match of the Rugby World Cup in 2011 for this tackle, but it was deemed to be within the laws of the game by the referee.

Niklas Kronwall vs Jakub Voracek

Swede Kronwall is notorious for his big hitting style of play and it’s fair to say that hockey players get away with challenges that would give football referees heart attacks here in the UK. Hold your breath for this absolute anvil of a hit on Voracek’s head:

Simone Favaro vs Tom Isaacs

You know how big a tackle is when it leaves both players grimacing. Aironi flanker Favaro absolutely ploughed through Isaacs – so much so that the Welshman tweeted saying that he had #lungslikecrisppackets after the game.

Sheldon Brown vs Reggie Bush

The ball was sent flying and New Orleans Saints tailback Reggie Bush was left crawling on his hands and knees after this huge smash.

Ray Lewis vs Dustin Keller

And tenth but by no means the weakest tackle of all, Ray Lewis takes Dustin Keller clean out. It was legal, but so hard that it should’ve been illegal.


Olly Barkley vs a random pitch invader

This was technically during an unscheduled break in competitive play at a game between Sale Sharks and Bath in 2012, but Bath-man Barkley eliminated the problem by taking out the pitch invader with a well-timed tackle to the waist.

It might not be an absolutely bone-rattling tackle to the standard rugby league player, but to a free and easy fan who probably isn’t used to such impacts, we bet it hurt:



Scott Mason