Lions tighthead Asenathi Ntlabakanye smokes James Venter

Cell C Sharks flanker James Venter is unlikely to forget the time he was on the receiving end of a tackle from 153kg prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye. The Lions may have been on the receiving end of a 29-7 loss at home to their United Rugby Championship rivals, but this… This was wince-inducing stuff.

Check out the hit here…

Did anyone order a 158kg smash burger? from rugbyunion

It’s involuntary, but Lions No 8 Emmanuel Tshituka throws his hands in the air to celebrate the hit. The prop (who is called 158kg in the above vide, but is listed by the official URC site as 153kg) catches the flanker clean, hitting him in the midrift and hammering him back.

Who is Lions prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye?

The 23-year-old former back-rower first showed up for the Lions in the URC’s Rainbow Cup, and has represented the South Africa U20s.

Having enjoyed a run in the Lions team of late, Ntlabakanye told South Africa’s Independent: “This has probably been my best patch of rugby in my career. I’ve got the backing of all the coaches and that has given me a lot of confidence, especially from the forward coaches. They are the ones that really put up their hands and said, ‘listen, let’s back this guy’.

“The guys around me as well – you need them to stand up and believe to get the best out of you and make you believe. Tighthead is a very important position within the team, and I am starting to believe that I can be that guy for the team.

“I am really enjoying my rugby at the moment. Obviously, it is not nice that we are not winning but I am sure that will come.”

The Lions currently sit 14th in the URC table, above Dragons and Zebre Parma. They’ll need more than the odd tackle from 153kg prop or locks to climb up the table.

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