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'Astonished': Sam Warburton disapproves of Marika Koroibete's big tackle

By Sam Smith
Makazole Mapimpi of the Springboks is stopped by Marika Koroibete of the Wallabies as he dives for the try line during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Adelaide Oval on August 27, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is not a fan of the flying try-saving tackle by Marika Koroibete on Makazole Mapimpi.


The Wallabies wing miraculously tracked from the other side of the field to deliver a crunching tackle which dislodged the ball as the Springbok wing tried to score.

The 79-test openside flanker, who retired from the game at 29-years-old over injury concerns, took issue with Koroibete’s technique which could have led to self-harm.

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He took to Twitter to voice his concerns over the positioning of Koroibete’s head which was “on the wrong side.”

“This happens almost every game. Astonished this still hasn’t been coached out of players,” he wrote.

“Plenty of time to assess the tackle. Protect the head?”

Warburton thought the tackle should have been penalised but he didn’t specify exactly why, only to say that ‘we need to tackle correctly’.

“Then we need to tackle correctly. Great player and commitment, but should be a pen.”


Debate raged on in the replies to Warburton’s view with a split view over whether there was enough of a wrap by Koroibete.

Explaining his tackle, the Fijian-born winger said he was just running in cover defence and ‘hoped for the best’.

“The tackle had to be made – we got a man in the bin and I have to cover his side and make that cover (tackle),” he said.

“I was just running and I knew he wasn’t going to step he was going to go for the corner so I put my head there and hoped for the best.”


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1 Comment
GrahamVF 654 days ago

He was very lucky he didn’t make the slightest contact with Mapimpi’s head otherwise it would have been penalty try and probably a red card. High degree of danger.

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