It was one of the major-talking points of a rather one-sided Test match on Saturday – Ma’a Nonu’s “spear tackle” on Gordon D’Arcy in the second half of New Zealand’s 45-7 win. Click here for photos.
It was one of the major-talking points of a rather one-sided Test match on Saturday – Ma’a Nonu’s “spear tackle” on Gordon D’Arcy in the second half of New Zealand’s 45-7 win. Pictured above: D’Arcy is dumped by the Wellington centre.
Whether the intent was there or not, Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu did it to Brian O’Driscoll in June, ending the Ireland captain’s Lions tour with a now infamous “spear tackle” barely a minute into the first Test in Christchurch.
Now, Umaga’s Wellington centre colleague Nonu finds himself at the centre of attention for a similar and wholly unnecessary action.
While D’Arcy’s Leinster team mate Shane Horgan was clearly angered by Nonu’s 52nd-minute tackle, which left D’Arcy needing treatment, South African referee Jonathan Kaplan gave the All Black number 13 just a caution.
At the post-match press conference, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said: “That sort of tackle is not something you want to see in the game, let’s not fool around. Gordon was turned upside down and it’s not safe to do that to anybody.
“The authorities can make up their own mind on it, I’m not going to get anybody cited. Whether there’s a case to answer on it I don’t know. Everybody saw what happened and it’s not a pretty sight.
“It’s not a good aspect to the game. We should be able to stamp it out, there’s no reason why it should happen. But otherwise it was a good honest game of rugby and the best team won.”
New Zealand coach Graham Henry admitted, referring to the Nonu tackle: “We don’t want these sorts of things happening in the game.”
**Photos by Tom Honan and Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**