Rugby League has been around for a century, and nearly 9000 men have played the game during that time. There is only one player however who can boast one feat in particular, and that man is Nathan Hindmarsh.
Eels captain and second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh is set to become the first player in the code’s history to reach an astonishing 10,000 tackles, which shows just how physically fit, and how much endurance Hindmarsh has.
After making 54 tackles last week against the Panthers, Hindmarsh stands at 9984 tackles for his career, and needs just 16 tackles against the South Sydney Rabbitohs to break the 10,000 mark.
What makes it even more amazing, is that when you average out the G-force of his tackles, it is the equivalent of being shot by 3 bullets with a handgun.
Such an amazing feat however was brushed aside by Hindmarsh, as he says, he is simply doing it for the team.
“I had no idea … no idea whatsoever,” he said.
“I didn’t even know they kept these sorts of records for so long. But to me it doesn’t mean anything – it’s not about the milestones, it’s just part of my job for the footy team. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever hurt anyone.
“The boys are going to give me crap and say that of the 10,000 tackles I’ve made, 9000 have been flops.”
In what is a true testament to Hindmarsh’s physical qualities, Associate Professor of Sports and Exercise Science at UTS, Dr Aaron Coutte was flabbergasted at Hindmarsh’s anaerobic ability when he was tested a few years ago.
It was a 30-minute treadmill test that confirmed this, when Hindmarsh continued to charge through and push pain barriers, going past the point where athletes themselves hit high levels of fatigue.
Having worked with some of the games best players from both the English Premier League and the AFL, Dr Coutte siad he has never seen someone with as much endurance as Hindmarsh.
Nor has he seen a player with that much endurance since the tests have been conducted.
“There’s something genetic that makes Hindy able to produce a lot of lactate, but also transfer it from his muscles to his blood,” Dr Coutte said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Hindmarsh still has that test at UTS etched in his mind, but for him, tackling is about attitude, rather than academics.
“I just go out there and do what I can for as long as I can,” he said.