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Why we made our best tackles countdown
Rugby tackles are one of the best parts of the game, especially for highlight videos. Our countdown of the best tackles of the 2015 rugby world cup include the biggest hits, the best ankle taps, the best covering tackles and more. We didn’t include the best try saving tackles, but we have a countdown of that too! NOTE: this isn’t a biggest rugby hits compilation. You’ll find a tonne of greta hits and collisions but there’s also the copy-book tackles that don’t make the highlight reels of most countdowns but are none the less excellent defensive efforts.
#1 Who is the tackler?
Some rugby players are known to make bigger and better tackles than others. Shocking as it may sound, there are a few players on any team who won’t make a single tackle in an entire game of rugby. In our ranking of the best tackle of the world cup, we gave additional credit to those tacklers who were punching above their weight. Fly halves make big hits close to the ruck and props making covering tackles out wide. Anytime you get a player reaching beyond their assumed skill set, they get credit from us in the rankings. Similarly, when a player covers up for someone else like Matt Giteau #4 you’ve got to hand it to them too. He had absolutely no right to move that fast laterally behind his center partner Tevita Kuridrani. The fact that he did, gets him a whole bunch of credit from us.
#2 Who is the ball carrier?
Following on from our “who’s the tackler” criteria is the “who’s the ball carrier” factor. Big strong ball runners with a head of steam are hard to stop at the best of times. When a dominant tackle is made on one of them, like Viktor Kolelishvili & Giorgi Tkhilaishvili #14 smashing Nili Latu, you’ve gotta give them some kudos. Every now and then you’ll also find a gentleman from the tight 5 covering a bunch of small fast guys. Take Ken Owens #23 for example. He gets across and covers up beautifully for his inside defenders. Yes, he was probably being lazy and staying away from the rough stuff, but he still makes the hit when it counted.
#3 Could another player have made the tackle?
Most of the best tackles on this countdown are man on man, 1 on 1 etc. This is how most rugby tackles happen in fact. In the modern game, many players who would have been in a position to be the tackle-assist decide instead to hold off and leave the tackler to their business. When determining the rankings of the world cup’s best tackles, we have given additional credit to players who couldn’t have gotten any help. That is, they were the only person who could have done what they did.
#4 Did the tackler actually get any help?
In instances where more than one player was involved in a tackle, we’ve decided to give that slightly less credit than the solo efforts. Why? Ah heck, just because.
#5 How big is the collision?
The biggest hits aren’t everything. But they do count. You’ll probably notice when watching our countdown that somehow the best tackles are all pretty huge hits. When we set out, we didn’t intend to make this one of the ranking factors. But there’s something about a huge collision that perhaps sub-consciously we started giving them credit.
#6 Could you use it in a tackling training video?
The last criteria we used to determine the rankings of our best tackles countdown was to ask, could you use this tackle in a training video? Most of the time, the tackles are a little unorthodox, but two excellent examples of copy-book hits are Michael Hooper #12 and Louis Picamoles #24.
What’s next after the best tackles compilation?
If none of these videos are displaying correctly, checkout our Facebook page, which has all the same content. Next up is one of the forwards, the best scrums and the best lineouts of the rugby world cup. That’ll be a ripper!