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Top Ten Tries of 2011 from Canal+

Ahhh, "La Peña Baiona", this song just makes anyone vibrate, adversary or not.
McAlister had barely landed in France when he was sent onto the field in Bayonne (on Toulouse's first match of the season).

Before that, as a sub, you could see him stare blank-eyed at the public, probably wondering where the hell he had landed.
When interviewed after the match, he said the atmosphere was insane.

Another rendition here (listen at 0:40 onwards):

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Classic Encounters - Montpellier vs Racing Metro on New Year's Eve

You have to appreciate how Bobo converts his own try with a drop from the 5m line.

The match was a real cracker throughout, Racing and Montpellier are two attacking sides in the Top14 ... Racing Metro is ranked last in its Heineken Cup pool, but has the highest number of points scored in their pool (and worst defence, thus their ranking).

Also noted: at some point Jacques Cronje from Racing gets into a brawl with Fulgence Ouedraogo. When the referee calls them up, they keep on arguing in front of the referee. Cronje is saying that Ouedraogo just eye-gouged him. And Ouedraogo is mad with anger, saying "no f--- way, I never do stuff like that!". It gets to the point where the referee tells Ouedraogo that he better calm down, being captain and all ...

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Exclusive interview with Richie McCaw, featuring Don't Drop The Egg

A bit of a serious interview (but then again no one said it shouldn't be). McCaw is a player I particularly dislike, but is most certainly a good guy off the field (like Lawrence Dallaglio). In France, we got to see a little documentary about him before the pool game between NZ and France, and they presented him as this zen glider pilot whose grandfather flew planes in WWII. Just the right thing to say to make him a lovable person for the French public :)

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Will Skinner red carded from the bench as Harlequins beat Toulouse

I was at the stadium on that day. Whenever a penalty would be kicked, the TV screens would show this new sign saying "please respect the penalty kickers of both teams". I for one can't stand that whole whistling/jeering at kickers attitude.
But I can tell you that once the Quins' medic touched the ball, the crowd booed like never before, and went on to boo all subsequent penalty kicks.
I didn't see it was the medic, my friends and the people around us thought it was the Quins coach. You know how it goes when you're in the stadium. You're a bit drunk, you spend a lot of time chatting, and the TV screens aren't always in front of you.
But I clearly saw it was a Quins player the second time around. People around me, some of whom were veterans (50ish, 60 years old), were a bit scandalized by then.

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Francesco Minto red carded for head-butt on Yann Lesgourgues

On second thought, it's a move against a player outside the ruck and without the ball, so it's at least a penalty.

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Francesco Minto red carded for head-butt on Yann Lesgourgues

Again, I don't want to appear soft, lenient on player safety, or to always be criticizing these decisions, but in my opinion that is most certainly not a red. I'm not even sure it's a penalty (I've seen many worse actions in rucks never being called). Besides the guy is wearing a helmet, how dangerous can it be for the scrum-half to be hit in the torso by a padded bit of soft tissue?

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Morgan Parra vs George Chuter, and Manu Tuilagi simultaneous yellow

I won't go on about it for long, so let's just say that in my opinion it's: Tuilagi=yellow and Chuter=penalty.

6 Years, 1 Day ago

Biarritz score a sensational team try against Montpellier

I wonder if the people who set up that try were thinking, near the end, that it would eventually go all the way.
I was watching this match live at home and although I did not support any particular team, I was shouting "yeah! go go!" at the TV as the action started building up, so at the end when Ngwenya dove I literally screamed.
As I said earlier in another thread, the Montpellier coach Béchu was himself impressed because at half-time when asked by the TV channel's journalist what his thoughts for his team were at halftime, he said something along the lines of "well there is that Biarritz try which we can't complain much about because it was really superb".

6 Years, 1 Week ago

Highlights of the Wallabies win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium

Although O'Connor and Genia (and others) make the current Wallaby team a formidable force, I wonder if we're ever going to be able to evaluate Wales as a full 15-man team (they always seem to be a man short ...).

6 Years, 1 Week ago

Best Tries of the Top 14 - Top Ten so far

The try that Ngwenya scored for Biarritz against Montpellier last week was INCREDIBLE and could have been added here. A full 80m try with many offloads and even an over-the-defender flip of the ball. It was so good that at half-time, the Montpellier coach Béchu said something along the lines of "it's difficult to feel bad about letting them score that try, because it was absolutely superb".

It seems that in this compilation by French pay-per-view channel Rugby+, tries with a lengthy buildup are privileged as "top ten material", as opposed to tries with incredible technical skills or dazzling actions, which I would more often pick as top ten material.

sidenote: Since Jauzion and Traille are old, and Mermoz is not always convincing, I can venture right here that centres Yann David (Toulouse), Henry Chavency (Racing Metro) and Wesley Fofana (Clermont) will surely be called up for France in the very near future.

6 Years, 1 Week ago