The rugby masses turned their attention firmly toward the Southern Hemisphere this past week as the 2014 editions of the Rugby Championship and the ITM Cup both got underway.
The off-season north of the equator means the Women's Rugby World Cup has been the main attraction in Europe of late, but the quality of the collisions surrounding the Tasman were simply on another level.
New Zealand's 12-12 draw against Australia on Saturday featured a somewhat comical mix of accidental knocks, and referee Jaco Peyper even managed to get in on the action.
Slippery conditions also saw two Wallabies teammates bloody each other while reaching for the same ball, and All Blacks winger Cory Jane copped some damage at Australian hands.
Down in Pretoria, similarly wet weather produced a number of heavy hits in South Africa's win over Argentina. Most notably, Cornal Hendricks put his body on the line for the Rugby Championship's only try of the weekend.
In New Zealand's premier regional competition, the ITM Cup boomed back onto the stage with a plethora of world-class fends, barges and other means of direct rugby, and Southland back Willis Halaholo reigned supreme.
His stiff-arm against North Harbour was the best we saw this weekend, but Waikato also landed a number of highlight hits on Wellington en route to a 37-25 win, along with much, much more.
Make your suggestions in the forum below if there are any big-time tackles or crushing blows you feel have been missed as we run through yet another round of rapturous rugby.
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