From Manu Tuilagi's barnstorming return to a family haka and violence in the Top 14 – we wrap up what’s been happening on Twitter this weekend
Manu Tuilagi storming back into form
It had been a tough week for Leicester Tigers after they were demolished by Exeter Chiefs in Round One of the Gallagher Premiership, and then parted ways with boss Matt O’Connor. Interim coach Geordan Murphy demanded more from his players… and he got it at the weekend as the Tigers fans were treated to a high-scoring, action-packed 49-33 win over Newcastle Falcons.
Defences were not on top, as they say. But it was a stirring bounce back for the famous club. And perhaps as pleasing as the win will be the re-emergence of one powerful man.
After years of injury struggle, some may have been beginning to forget just how much punch the England centre can pack. But as he ran the in-line here and took a short ball, we caught a glimpse of the Tuilagi of old. And then he opened up.
It was a moment that just clicked for Tigers.
After the game, fly-half George Ford said: “We’ve probably been paying (Manu) a bit of a disservice the way we’ve been playing him; telling him to run into brick walls all the time.” As you can see, when he is given the right pass in the right place, he detonates defences.
Of course, one player showed us last week that good passes can lead to tries before defenders even know what’s going on. You remember Gloucester ten Danny Cipriani’s wonder pass last week, right? Well he was at it again, this time in the West Country derby with Bath.
The game ended in an enthralling 31-all draw. There are always tantalising moments when these famous rivals meet and there were a few nice sub-plots this time too – former Bath stalwart Matt Banahan scoring against his old club stands out – but this pass was worth highlighting (again and again). Cipriani has started very well at Gloucester.
Related: Watch Marcus Smith make two try-saving tackles
Of course not all of the rugby at the weekend was a spectacle of hard but fair contest. This moment of brutality from Mathieu Bastareaud has drawn the ire of rugby fans all over.
You don’t get more clear cut than this.
However, there was a red card dished out at the weekend which has plenty of fans and pundits arguing the toss. Early in the second half of Bristol’s match against reigning Premiership champions Saracens, legendary back-rower George Smith received a straight red card for a high shot on Jackson Wray.
Some have come out to say the red was harsh.
If you saw the incident and agree with Tom Shanklin, or see things slightly differently let us know. Either Tweet us, or why not send us an email at email@example.com?
You could also let us know what you think about this.
This is footage of Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi’s family performing a personal haka for the half-back following his debut for the all Blacks at the weekend. What a moment for the young man.
And finally, we have a (really) quick one here.
As someone spotted on social media, Scarlets hooker Ken Owens couldn’t get away quick enough when filming this short celebration promo for their Twitter page! Brilliant.
So that’s Round Two. Bring on next week’s action!
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