Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blending Size and Speed, Jonah Lomu Set New Template in Rugby

The New Zealand All Black Jonah Lomu, with ball, holding off a Fiji defender during a Commonwealth Games match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing about 260 pounds, Lomu was tough to stop as a runner. Credit Darren Mcnamara/European Pressphoto Agency

HONG KONG — When Jonah Lomu had his international breakthrough as a 20-year-old at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, it soon became evident that he would put an indelible stamp on the game.
   At the time Lomu was relatively unknown, having played only two international test matches a year earlier. But by the end of the tournament his name was everyone’s lips, as he scored seven tries in five matches, nearly all of them brilliant displays of his combination of speed and raw power.
Lomu died Wednesday in Auckland, New Zealand, at 40 of nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease he had battled since he first turned pro.
   Rugby fans around the world still talk about the four tries he scored in the 1995 World Cup semifinal against England, in particular the first one, about 70 seconds into the match, when he ran around and through most of the England defense and literally ran over the England fullback Mike Catt...

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