Magnificent Gray smashes tackling record in Leinster win

Kumail Jaffer
15 April 2019

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Jonny Gray was already a defensive stalwart in the eyes of many – but his truly remarkable tackling feat in this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 fixture shattered records.

The Scottish lock made a mammoth 43 tackles for his Glasgow Warriors side against reigning champions Leinster, beating out Josh van der Flier’s sublime solo effort for the opposition when they faced Connacht Rugby last year.

As well as leading the defensive charge as his side ran out 39-24 winners at the RDS, Gray now comfortably sits atop the Guinness PRO14 tackle record – nine tackles ahead of the previous holder.

And just to add to his already astounding accomplishment – Gray’s tenacity meant he didn’t miss a single tackle.

Recording over a tackle every two minutes, the Scottish international proved an absolute nightmare for the Irish outfit as he consistently broke up Leinster attacks and stemmed the home side’s momentum.

After the incredible achievement, a delighted Gray said: “We knew how hard it was going to be – it was a big squad effort throughout and the team spirit was massive today.

“They’ve probably got the best attack in the league and they hold onto the ball.

“We’re still hurt from the Saracens game a few weeks ago and we know we can’t go back to that – we have to be at our best when we play top sides like this.”

It looks like Gray inspired his Glasgow Warriors teammates as well – Dave Rennie’s troops dug in to complete 302 tackles, with seven players making over 26 in a wonderful forward effort.

van der Flier’s record was brilliant at the time – and it was always going to take someone like Gray to surpass it.

The 25-year-old became the first player to make 100 tackles in a Six Nations campaign when he pulled off the feat in 2018 – but little did he know that it would all be building up to this weekend’s clash.

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