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South African fans are still not happy with Marika Koroibete after latest hit

By Sam Smith
(Source/Sky Sport NZ)

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Marika Koroibete continued his run of dishing out punishing tackles with a beaut on his opposite number Caleb Clarke in the first Bledisloe Cup test in Melbourne.

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Chasing a kick into the All Blacks backfield early in the first half, Clarke had to jump in the air to catch a high bounce which left him slightly vulnerable to a charging Koroibete.

The Wallabies wing timed his contact perfectly and smashed Clarke over backward just after the All Black landed back on the Marvel Stadium turf. Pinned near his own try line, Australia almost turned the ball over with a counter-ruck.

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Listed at 107kg, Clarke is no slight figure to move highlighting the force that Koroibete can bring at speed.

Clarke became the second winger to feature in a Koroibete highlight tackle in this Rugby Championship after Springbok Makazole Mapimpi was stopped in a heavy collision near the goal line in Adelaide.

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South African fans were less than impressed with the Wallabies left wing, feeling aggrieved that the flying Fijian failed to wrap his arms in the contact in this week’s tackle.

Replays of Koroibete’s tackle did show an attempt to wrap both arms around Clarke but the All Black bounced off Koroibete in the process.

There seemed to be no issues with the Clarke tackle from Kiwi fans or journos, with New Zealand Herald writer Chris Reive describing the hit as ‘beautiful’.

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The Koroibete tackle that was raised by New Zealander fans in the social media court of opinion was an aerial challenge on Will Jordan that went unpunished late in the game.

The All Blacks right wing fielded a kick in the air before having his legs taken out by a reckless Koroibete challenge. Referee Mathieu Raynal let play go on and the tackle was not reviewed at the time.

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