KSA Shark ©

Palu No.1 on Venter’s hit parade

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 22 May 2008 at 06:06
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Waratahs No.8 Wycliff Palu gave AJ Venter the hardest tackle of his life, says the Sharks backrower.

Rupert Guiness writes on RugbyHeaven Aus that after Waratahs No.8 Wycliff Palu executed a bone-crushing hit on AJ Venter, laying the Sharks back-rower flat in Sydney last month, the question most fans were left asking was: “How would that have felt?”

Yesterday, with that round-11 clash behind them and the Sharks back in the country to play the Waratahs in Saturday night’s semi-final at the Sydney Football Stadium, Venter was willing to provide the answer.

“I can just say this: the tackle Palu gave me was definitely the hardest tackle I have ever had in my life,” he said.

So hard, Venter even congratulated Palu after getting up. “Of course,” he said of his gesture. “That was a great tackle. So I said, ‘Well done’, and ran off. It was just physically hard. He lined me up and took me well.”

Coming from a player known for dishing out his own brand of punishment on the paddock, Venter’s praise says something about Palu’s hit in the 53rd minute of a game the Waratahs went on to win 25-10.

NSW were ahead 8-3 and inside the opposition half when Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche took a quick tap on their 22-metre line. He passed right to Venter, who had not strode 10 metres with the ball before Palu charged in on him.

The impact forced Venter’s head to reel back so violently it was amazing he didn’t suffer whiplash. It also caused the ball to pop from his grip and to the ground for the Waratahs to steal a turnover.

Five phases later and, with the Waratahs 10m from the Sharks line, Palu was again in full flight with the ball after a deft offload from hooker Adam Freier, and he barrelled over winger Odwa Ndungane to score near the posts.

After Kurtley Beale’s conversion, the Sharks were suddenly staring at a 15-3 scoreline which they could not turn around.

Venter, 34, would relish the chance to repay Palu with one of his own hits at the SFS on Saturday night. “We will se how that goes,” he said. “Hopefully, I will get an opportunity.

However Venter, who has already re-signed with the Sharks to play another season, sees the far bigger prize.

He is one of two Sharks to have played in the past three of their five previous finals series appearances, including two losses in finals – last year at home to the Bulls and in 2001 to the Brumbies.

It would be an understatement to say that winning a Super 14 title is something the former Springbok, who stood down from international rugby with 25 caps early last year, is desperate to achieve before retiring for good.

Losing last year’s final 19-20 in Durban – when Bulls winger Bryan Habana scored the matchwinning try in the 82nd minute – has only heightened that desperation. “I can tell that it was probably the worst experience of my life because of the way it happened,” Venter said.

And he knows a ticket to this year’s final will not be easily earned, especially against a side led by Phil Waugh, who will become only the fourth player to earn 100 caps for NSW when the team is named today.

Venter has fought many battles with Waugh, and has also toured with him with the Barbarians.

“Apart from being a great openside flanker, he is a good leader. That is possibly his best attribute,” Venter said. “When he is not there, I always feel like they lack a bit of leadership. When Phil is there, people follow him.”


  • Waratahs No.8 Wycliff Palu gave AJ Venter the hardest tackle of his life, says the Sharks backrower

    Well i am sure nobody needs to tell AJ what the best payback for such a tackle is.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.05.08 06:12:04 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • So AJ has already signed with us?

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.05.08 08:00:46 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • He lined me up and took me well.” 😯 😯 :mrgreen:

    G’Morning Sunshines!!!

    Do you really think AJ still has a (valuable)season in him??? Not IMO.. 🙁

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.05.08 08:10:27 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • @I’ce (TKMITFM) (Comment 3) : he just doesn’t look hard anymore. Erm

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.05.08 08:17:39 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Sharks Forever!) (Comment 4) :


  • Comment 5, posted at 22.05.08 08:21:10 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • @I’ce (TKMITFM) (Comment 3) :

    I think the proof will be in Saturday’s pudding…

    He’ll be up against a strong loose trio…we’ll definitely know if there’s anything left…

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.05.08 08:26:30 by blackshark N.R.N.S! Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark N.R.N.S! (Comment 6) :

    Mornin’ BS!

    Well….Saturday wont really proof if he has a whole season left… 😉

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.05.08 08:29:16 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • Did you guys here that Kanko is going to play for London Irish next year???/ 😕 😕

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.05.08 08:32:41 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • here = hear.. 😳

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.05.08 08:33:13 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • And apparently AJ is not going to sign…wants to play his last year in the Cape…

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.05.08 08:36:23 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • AJ does not have another Shark’s season in him… I’m more than happy for him to move on…

    As for the Palu hit… you’d have thought he’d have learnt to hit the tackle zone on offence and defence much lower… bad habit he has suddenly picked up in his old age… but he was doing the same against the Chiefs…

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.05.08 08:42:26 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 11) :

    Geez Brycie, Mate…for once we agree on sumthing! 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.05.08 08:44:21 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • @I’ce (TKMITFM) (Comment 8) : what? Are you just trying to wake me up this morn?

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.05.08 08:45:56 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 13) :

    Molly…thats what I’ve heard…hope its not true, unless my source is way out with dates and still thinks its April… 😐 But I hope my source is wrong…THAT will be a tragedy!! 🙁

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.05.08 08:48:24 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • @I’ce (TKMITFM) (Comment 12) :

    Whatcha mean, I rarely disagree with fellow SW’ers… 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.05.08 08:50:02 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Hope you’re source is wrong too…

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.05.08 08:50:23 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Kanko? The Sharks would be dumb if they let that happen…

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.05.08 08:50:36 by blackshark N.R.N.S! Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • AJ going is ok, cause he’s old, but youngsters for the future we need to keep here.
    They better do everything in their power to keep him.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.05.08 08:53:05 by molly Reply
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  • @I’ce (TKMITFM) (Comment 14) :

    Ryan I apologise for any negative comments I made on you (you should have taken them as constructive criticism)…. please stay , its cold and wet up there ask Rob

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.05.08 08:53:29 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • Heard it will be announced later today…so if it doesnt…then someone is just trying to give us…*^%^&,…

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.05.08 08:55:00 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 19) :

    Geez DP – suppose i need to apologise too for the constructive crit I gave him… 😉

    But then – look how he has improved…maybe you and me did a good job with that crit!! 😎

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.05.08 08:56:49 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • Kanko leaving…hell no. Hope it is some @#$% story

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.05.08 08:57:47 by Debs Reply

  • @Debs (Comment 22) :

    So do I, Twin, so do I… 😥

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.05.08 08:59:04 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
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  • If the likes of Kanko and Carter sign for European clubs in the prime of their careers, then rugby is going the same way as soccer and South Hemisphere rugby, particularly S14 and provincial, as we know it could be radically altered.

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.05.08 09:03:07 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • Man or maybe you trying a late April joke with us. Asfar as I know Kanko is happy at the sharks

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.05.08 09:06:32 by Debs Reply

  • I’d be so chuffed if Kanko decided to play for London Irish as long as it doesn’t mess with his Bok chances! They’re my local UK team.

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.05.08 09:23:55 by Superwors Reply

  • @Superwors (Comment 26) :

    That’s a very people unfriendly thing to say on a Shark supporter’s website…. 😉

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.05.08 09:27:26 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 27) : I thought that might get a reaction!

    Nah, I am a Sharks supporter till the end, but if he’s going to choose a UK club then it better be London Irish!

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.05.08 09:29:31 by Superwors Reply

  • lol, it was a helluva tackle, that tongan convict is 120kgs of pure rockhard muscle…not sure we have anything like it in SA, nevertheless AJ is a tough bugger and i expect will pick himself up and come at them, needs to have another game like against the chiefs.

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.05.08 10:11:34 by cab Reply

  • I’d be surprised if Kanko isn’t tied up until at least the end of next year

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.05.08 10:14:32 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • also think its his last season, might not have been knocked back like that 5 years ago either.

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.05.08 10:14:32 by cab Reply

  • Morning all,
    Ag no, there goes my day. As if I’m not worried enough about Saturday, no I need to worry about Ryan as well.

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.05.08 10:17:29 by Nita Reply

  • @cab (Comment 31) : Ackies still looks rock hard, despite his age. I guess in real terms he has had 4 years off inbetween, though

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.05.08 10:35:43 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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