One of the things that makes rugby so different to many other sports is the fact it welcomes players of all shapes and sizes. This often produces mis-matches with nimble wingers running rings around props and giant Number 8’s steam rollering scrum halves twice their size.
One of the truly great moments in rugby however occurs when these mis-matches are reversed. The site of a lock side-stepping a centre is truly something to behold. However one of the most magnificent sites in rugby is the David vs Goliath contest when a small player takes down an opponent who dwarfs them in size. With that in mind (and in no particular order) here are rugby’s top 10 David vs. Goliath moments as the little men fight back!
10. SHANE WILLIAMS vs Matt Banahan
Despite being a foot taller and weighing 35kg more than Welsh wing Williams, giant England winger Banahan fails to get through his smaller opponent when just 5 metres out from the try line.
9. JOOST VAN DER WESTHUIZEN vs Jonah Lomu
The Springboks scrum half tackles a rampaging Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. This came hot on the heels of the giant All Blacks wing demolishing England in the semi-final.
8. JONNY WILKINSON vs Kris Chesney
Despite not being the biggest of players, Jonny Wilkinson became notorious for his pound-for-pound tackling ability. This hit on Newcastle back-rower Kris Chesney was possible one of his best.
7. KOTARO MATSUSHIMA vs Andy Tuilagi
Despite only being 5’9″, Japan centre Kotaro Matsushima stands up to the challenge of 17 stone plus Samoan centre Andy Tuilagi who runs his way during the match.
6. HENRY SLADE vs Rene Ranger
Despite needing 9 stitches after the game, young English fly-half Henry Slade managed to stand up to the onslaught of former All Black Rene Ranger as he stood his ground on numerous occasions.
5. GONZALO CAMACHO vs Richie McCaw
Despite being only 5’8″ Argentinian winger Gonzalo Camacho manages not only to bring down the rampaging McCaw but actually drive him back in the tackle.
4. PETER STRINGER vs Jonah Lomu
Once again Lomu appears in our list as tiny Irish scrum-half Peter Stringer proves that what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in commitment against a the rampaging All Black.
3. BRIAN O’DRISCOLL vs Danie Rossouw
O’Driscoll may not have been the smallest of players but this huge hit on Springbok lock Rossouw is more than worth of a mention in any David vs Goliath list.
2. LEIGH HALFPENNY vs Sean O’Brien
The Welsh full back throws his full weight into a huge tackle to bring down the Tullow Tank Sean O’Brien during a 6 Nations match.
1. FEDERICO MARTIN ARAMBURU vs Jamie Roberts
The Argentine winger smashes the giant Welsh centre back in the tackle despite being several stone lights and almost half a foot shorter.
Which is your favourite of rugby’s David vs Goliath moments?