Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Mourad Boudjellal on building Toulon


Massive try saving hit by Israel No.8


Schalk Brits runs into Wayne Barness


Tony Buckley's big handoff on Simon Shaw


Random great tries from 2008


Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Buck Shelford tribute

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Top 5 Rugby Magicians of All Time

Rugby HQ in Australia have put together their Top 5 list of the best ever magicians on the rugby field. While it's obviously subjective, it's a solid list and it would be tough to disagree with their top three selections, and number one in particular.

Starting at number five, Joe Rokocoko was a lethal finisher for the Blues and All Blacks. His dazzling feet and ability to beat defenders when in space made him a top try scorer. He could create tries out of half chances, as can be seen here. Sorry, Brent Russell.

Welsh legend Gareth Edwards is probably best known these days for that try he scored for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973, but for years he terrorised defences and to many up north in particular, is the best scrumhalf to ever play the game.

Having met the great David Campese recently, it's great to see him at three on this list. Campo could pull off the impossible, and is of course the man that made the goose-step so famous. His jinking runs and ball skills were unmatched in his generation.

"I always wanted to do something different. I could have stood on the wing and did nothing, or go out there and try and express yourself, and that's what I decided to do," he once said.

The only guy on the list still playing Test rugby, Quade Cooper is a natural fit when it comes to thinking of players that can do the seemingly impossible on the rugby field. Some of his best bits aren't shown in this clip, but you can see a few in the Related Posts below this article.

In the end, there can be only one and that man is without a doubt King Carlos Spencer. The only player who has come close since is Cooper, but for those of us who watched Spencer in his heyday, he will always be remembered as the most audacious, enthralling entertainer.

As with Cooper, have a browse of our Related Posts to see some of Spencer's best moments, which obviously weren't able to be featured in this compilation but are posted in our archive.

Other notable mentions, and players who could have squeezed into the top five somewhere, would be Brian O'Driscoll, Shane Williams, Christian Cullen and Waisale Serevi. O'Driscoll has already been featured in his own Top 5 video though, and Serevi was a Sevens star.

How different would your 'Top 5 Magicians' be, or are you happy with the choices? 

Posted at 8:38 am | 24 comments

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Shortball from Rugby HQ - Round 9

It's not called Plays of the Week anymore but ahead of Round 10 of Super Rugby, Sean Maloney brings us all the best, biggest, worst and funniest from last weekend's Super Rugby action.

Posted at 4:33 pm | 3 comments

Courtney Lawes smashes Owen Farrell with trademark hit

Courtney Lawes made another of his trademark crash tackles at the weekend, this time on England team mate, Owen Farrell. The Saracens flyhalf didn't return from the tunnel at halftime but has since been cleared as not having a foot injury, and will resume training this week.

Lawes flew out the line and smashed Farrell just as he passed the ball, resulting in a tough landing on the artificial pitch of Allianz Park for the smaller, but tough as nails flyhalf.

This is from the same match as the Marcelo Bosch big penalty kick (and Kelly Brown try), and it was Brown himself that was on the wrong end of another big tackle, that time by Samu Manoa. You can view that on page two, and see more big Lawes (and Manoa!) hits in the Related Posts below. 

Page: 12View All

Posted at 2:10 pm | 32 comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mathieu Bastareaud makes big rib tickling tackle on Matuisela Talebula

Toulon's Mathieu Bastareaud, often affectionately referred to as the Tank, is the type of player you generally want to avoid when he has ball in hand. His ability to get over the gain line is what makes him so valuable a player. His tackling isn't half bad either.

Bordeaux wing Matuisela Talebula experienced the full (considerable) weight of the man this past weekend when Toulon beat Bordeaux 22-20 in a tight Top 14 clash. Talebula received an awful, floated pass from centre Julien Rey, and got man and ball at the exact same time.

Unfortunately for him that man was Bastareaud, who took full advantage of the hospital pass to make this big rib tickling tackle, earning Toulon a turnover as a result. Fair play to Talebula for keeping his eyes on the ball and taking the hit though.

Freddie Michalak, who made an interesting pass here, actually scored 14 of his team's points on the day though, with Bryan Habana scoring a try as Toulon came back from trailing 20-9 at one stage.

"To win the match after a catastrophic first half where we weren't in the match, I have to congratulate the players for their comeback," said acting head coach Pierre Mignoni. 

Toulon are third on the Top 14 table, equal with Clermont one point behind Montpellier. They face Perpignan in Barcelona this weekend, while Bordeaux, in 7th place, are away at Stade Francais.

Posted at 1:43 pm | 15 comments

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marcelo Bosch takes over from Owen Farrell to land huge penalty kick

Marcelo Bosch played his part as Saracens extended their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership table by beating Northampton Saints 28-24 on Sunday. Bosch scored one of three tries, but this massive penalty from about 58m out impressed the most.

It's not the biggest ever seen - Francois Steyn of the Sharks did the same thing twice at the weekend - but the casual strike from Bosch and the way it sailed through was something to behold.

Argentine Bosch took over from Farrell when the long distance kick opportunity arose. The England flyhalf didn't emerge after half time, instead ending up on crutches with a foot injury.

"Owen Farrell will resume training towards the end of this week," said a Saracens statement today.

"The Saracens and England fly-half sustained a foot injury during the match against Northampton Saints on Sunday, but scans have indicated no serious damage."

You can view the official highlights wrap on the next page, which includes Bosch's try and another look at the 58m kick. It also features a fantastic team effort that was eventually finished by flanker Kelly Brown, after hooker Schalk Brits handled the ball twice and carved up the midfield.

You can view more famous long range kicks in the Related Posts below

Page: 12View All

Posted at 11:21 am | 13 comments

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tavis Knoyle punches Leroy Houston in dramatic Gloucester vs Bath derby

Saturday's dramatic West Country derby between Gloucester and Bath is set to be investigated after ugly scenes followed a late penalty try, awarded by referee Tim Wigglesworth, who showed two red cards and five yellows as Bath won the game 18-17.

Bath won at Kingsholm in the Premiership for the first time in eight years, but it came late in the contest as Gloucester, who ended the match with just 11 players, pulled down a driving maul and gave the referee little choice but to award the penalty try below the posts.

What followed was threatening to happen all match, as Tavis Knoyle boiled over and lashed out at Leroy Houston, striking him in the face. Houston retaliated, as did Nick Abendanon and a few others, but order was restored swiftly and Wigglesworth red carded Knoyle for being the instigator.

"What happened at the end with Tavis Knoyle, there is no place for that in the game. He just assaulted one of our players and we had to defend ourselves," said Bath head coach Mike Ford.

Earlier Gloucester replacement Sila Puafisi was also red carded, that time for an awful looking high tackle on Abendanon. Those were the two red cards, but there were also five yellow cards in total, ranging from professional fouls to high tackles.

"The one person Wigglesworth hasn't yellow carded today is himself.. that's the mistake he's made," said commentator Austin Healey, reacting to some of the decisions that were viewed as harsh.

It was a scrappy affair and the rugby wasn't pretty, with things only really hotting up in the last ten minutes. Bath's penalty try came after a series of attempts at the line, one of which was halted courageously by Jonny May when he threw his body between the tryline and Anthony Perenise.

In the end George Ford's conversion gave Bath the lead, and while Gloucester had hoped to control the restart, the visitors were awarded a penalty on the half way line for Knoyle's indiscretion.

"Well the rugby's been absolutely rubbish but everything else has been fascinating," added Healey.

Gloucester became only the second team in Premiership history to get two red cards in one match. The first was Bath, although one of those (to Francois Louw) was later rescinded.

Referee Wigglesworth reportedly had a bottle thrown at him as he left the field, just one element of a tumultuous affair that will be investigated by the RFU, while both teams - frustrated by the consistency of the officials - will submit reports.

UPDATE: Tavis Knoyle and Sila Puafisi will appear before a RFU Disciplinary Panel on Wednesday, for striking and committing a dangerous tackle respectively. Nick Abendanon and Paul James have been given post-match Level One citings – the equivalent of a foul play yellow card – for striking Knoyle and a stamp on Shaun Knight respectively. No hearings will be held for these citings.

Below is the penalty try and fight, with official highlights (including all cards) on page two

Page: 12View All

Posted at 1:47 pm | 20 comments

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crowd favourite Nick Cummins bags a hat-trick as Force upset Waratahs

The Western Force have done it again, this time upsetting the Waratahs 28-16 in Perth to claim their fifth consecutive win. Winger Nick Cummins, aka the Honey Badger, scored a hat-trick as the in form 'Tahs came off second best in the Aussie derby. 

Before the match there were a few calls for Cummins to back up his off-field chat by scoring a few tries, and score tries he did, becoming only the third Force player to ever grab three in a match.

His first was a brilliant intercept and 90m sprint after an incredible passage of play saw the Waratahs work their way up field - with some big hits in the process - before Cummins snatched a long pass and sped off. His handshake with a fan in the front row was a nice touch.

The atmosphere in Perth, where there was a crowd of 14,281, was outstanding, and the players fed off that as both teams smashed into one another, with the Honey Badger picking up the scraps.

His second came from a sniping break by Alby Mathewson, before he collected a loose ball for his third, forcing his way over the line despite a good chase back by Cam Crawford.

The Waratahs scored through Kurtley Beale but the Force had this one wrapped up, jumping to second place on the Australian conference ahead of next weekend's meeting with the Rebels.

"Dane Haylett-Petty played 60 minutes of club football today and arrived an hour before the game, and then played 75 minutes of Super Rugby. Nathan Charles plays himself into a standstill and collapses on the sidelines," said Force coach Michael Foley.

"We had a lot of heroes out there and we have now gone past what we did last year, which is nice, and we have a really big challenge in six days against the Rebels. That's a significant challenge on the back of what was Test match intensity out there."

You can view two post match chats with Hat-trick Honey Badger on pages two and three of this post

Page: 123View All

Posted at 5:55 pm | 11 comments

 
Site Meter