When rugby finally allowed non-injury subsitutions (after some flagrant breaches of the existing law by South African in particular), a new phrase entered the rugby vocabulary; impact player. And after the Melbourne Rebels' Saturday evening's clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington, we reckon that Mark Gerrad and Lachlan Mitchell will have a new perspective on that phrase.
Motu Matu'u was subbed on late in the match for the 'Canes' fast-improving hooker Dane Coles. And although his side scored nine impressive tries in their best performance of the season, the match will be remembered for two thundering, legal tackles by Matu'u; check this out:
And here's where it gets even more impressive. Check out around the two minute mark of the video; after the hit, Matu'u goes back to the unconscious Mitchell, and places him in the recovery position as the Rebels' trainer runs on to attend his player; an act he credits to his mother.
Rugby may be a tough, uncompromising game, but Motu'u showed that the age of sportsmanship is not dead; that's REALLY making an impact.