Big men must go low when tackling: Arnold

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Giant Brumbies lock Rory Arnold says big men in rugby have to use flawless defensive technique against smaller backs given the current crackdown on high  tackles.

Arnold returned to action for the Brumbies last weekend against the Hurricanes after serving a three-week suspension for a high shot on Lions no.10 Elton Jantjes, and remaining unused during the second and third Wallabies  Tests against Ireland.

The 208cm forward was superb in the Brumbies' first win over a Kiwi team in three seasons, scoring a try and crunching Hurricanes players with spot-on defence.

Arnold said he'd enjoyed his return to the field, and had learned a good lesson from his brush with the law.

"I got a tackle a bit high and I will put my hand up and own that," Arnold said.

"I have to be better there. What's the old saying "Do the crime, do the time". I just had to wait for the opportunity to play some rugby again and I am glad to be back. "You just have to be aware when you are tackling small outside backs, you really have to focus on dropping that body height.

"Especially if they're falling into the tackle as well. It makes it look even worse. If they slow-mo it and go to the TMO, you're probably going to get the rough call there.

"It's something they're very serious about in the game, player safety and high tackles, so the big men in the game will have to get their tackle technique down pat." 

Time with the Wallabies has made Folau Fainga'a a more composed and seemingly dynamic player as he braces for a final push towards the Super Rugby play-offs with the Brumbies.

Meanwhile, rookie hooker Fainga'a said positivity has enveloped the Brumbies, as well as his own game, after he turned in a storming display in the 24-12 upset of the Hurricanes in Canberra.

The result that has them eyeing another big Kiwi scalp. Victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday would be the fourth on the trot for the 10th-placed Brumbies whose slim play-off hopes could end this weekend even if they're victorious.Folau Faingaa starred in his first post June rugby. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFaingaa, 23, was a constant handful, running for 63 metres. That figure was bettered by only two other players on the field, both wingers.

It was his first Super Rugby appearance since being sent off against the Bulls in Pretoria five weeks earlier.

Fainga'a's minimal-force headbutt resulted in a ban of just one week, clearing the way for his selection in the Wallabies squad for the Test series against Ireland.

Not required for any of the three Tests, he said he still learned plenty from the Australian coaching staff and teammates.

"I'd say I've got more confidence now. I've come back and taken on board what I learned," he said.

"Just being composed about myself. Just being myself on the field and not having to push extra things."

When asked if he was referring to the headbutt, Fainga'a was sheepish.

"I've just got to control my emotions.

"I've learned my lesson from then and it's time to move on."

He said the Brumbies plan to take last week's nothing-to-lose approach into the Chiefs clash.

Accused at times of being a pragmatic, unadventurous side, they shaded the Hurricanes in nearly every statistical attacking department.

"All of last week was about playing with no fear. I don't know if you saw it but the boys just backed themselves."