Sunday, August 30, 2015
Scotland cruised to a commanding 48-7 victory over Italy at BT Murrayfield, scoring seven tries in front of a nearly 44,000 strong crowd. Vern Cotter rung 14 changes to the starting squad that beat Italy 16-12 in Turin last week for the clash in Edinburgh.
These changes seemed to work early on but it was the sole survivor from Italy, Sean Lamont, who scored the opening try.
A pin-point accurate kick from out-half Finn Russell put the winger in at the corner.
Italy replied with a try of their own through Exeter centre Michel Campagnaro. A chip into space from Tommaso Allan was poorly fielded in the in-goal area by Scotland, leaving Camapgnaro free to touch down.
With Italian flanker Francesco Minto sinbinned after repeated infringements, the home side exploited their numerical advantage and scored their second try through John Barclay.
Scotland extended their advantage early in the second half with a Tim Visser try. The Dutch-born winger scored the first of his brace after a sumptuous floating pass from Russell.
Italy continued to struggle at scrum-time and when they did secure much sought after ball, they were largely unable to do anything with it. Testament to that was Quintin Geldenhuys loose pass finding the hands of Lamont who intercepted to race in for his second.
Scotland finished off the match in style with two more tries in the closing seven minutes. Visser bagged his second after an interception while Mark Bennett completed his return from injury with a final minute score.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
The Barbarians got the better of Samoa in a closely fought contest at the Olympic Stadium in London earlier today. Kane Thompson needed to be cooled off, so the sprinklers came on mid match, as fans weren't impressed with the venue that will host five RWC matches.
The BaaBaas won 27-24, scoring five tries with Adam Thomson and Ben Tapuai getting braces and Liam Gill also crossing. Samoa scored through Anthony Perenise, Ken Pisi and Jack Lam.
Kane Thompson was sent off for fighting with Saia Fainga'a, who was yellow carded.
Official extended highlights above (no commentary), with more coverage and reaction soon
Friday, August 28, 2015
This week some videos surfaced featuring clips from a ten year old Indian movie that had a rugby back story. Above is one such video, and it's fascinating to say the least. With kicks to the face, extreme rucking and WWE style bodyslams, Bollywood rugby is a must watch.
The film is called Sye and was made in 2004. It's actually not from Bollywood, but from Tollywood, which means it's made in the Telugu language which is favoured in certain regions of India. Whatever the case, it's dramatic, violent, amusing and frightening all at once.
Some of the handling is actually pretty good, but the exaggerated aggression is hilarious.
There's more! Watch other clips from it, including a Haka, on page two (or below)
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Stade Français kicked off their Top 14 title defence last weekend with an impressive, if hard-fought 34-18 victory over newly promoted Pau. The match caught the interest of media and fans as it was the Top 14 champions against the Pro D2 champions.
In a match billed as a 'champions v champions' clash, Pro D2 champions Pau took the game to the Parisiens at the Stade Jean Bouin, scoring two tries and keeping within striking distance until the closing stages.
Their cause was dealt several self-inflicted blows however as the Palois saw four yellow cards throughout the match.
Stade demonstrated their clinical characteristics and scored at their first chance, just six minutes into the match. They added three more in the second half but they were never given time to fully relax against a stubborn Pau side.
Antoin Burban scored the pick of the tries from the home side, finishing off a passage of quick ball and a superbly weighted pass from back-row partner Raphaël Lakafia to extend the lead early in the second period.
The boot of fly-half Jules Plisson ultimately gave Stade the win as the 24 year-old kicked 14 points, slotting four penalties and a conversion.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
It is something that every rugby player has thought about at some point, but in this past weekend's ITM Cup game between Northland and Southland it finally happened, as a rugby ball exploded mid-game.
You can hear an audible pop and see the ball deflate when Southland flanker Tim Boys charged down a clearance kick from Northland player Dan Hawkins.
"I got all of it," Hawkins said of his clearance kick. "It just came off the old size-10 Nike quite nicely, I guess it's testament to the power of my right boot.
"A few of the boys were ducking for cover. It was like being in the trenches. When it hit Tim Boys' hands it made a noise like a shotgun going off."
Southland ended up winning 27-18 but what of the ball? Well, it has ended up being sent to Adidas' headquarters in Germany for analysis.
"You need a bit of luck every now and then, don't you? It stung a bit though. I looked down and seen the seams had burst and just picked it up," try scorer Boys said.
It would have gone over the dead ball line otherwise. When you watch the video you can hear a loud bang when I charge it down."
It's the same game in which Matt Talaese was red carded in the final minutes, resulting in a suspension and a chance for Southland to rob Northland of a losing bonus point, which they did. Talaese was giving a three week ban. You can view that here.
See more random rugby oddities in the Related Posts below
The guys are Fox Sports have provided us with another great bit of insight into what gets said on the rugby field during a professional match, as they mic'd up Brisbane City's Karmichael Hunt in the NRC. A few months back they did the same with Christian Lealiifano.
Hunt has had his troubles, and he missed out a Wallabies Rugby World Cup spot, but it's good to see him out there doing what he does best. He crossed for a nice try after a great run from fullback Junior Laloifi, and could be heard offering his teammates some encouraging words.
There is also a great little exchange post match between the cross code convert and a young fan, who asks him which of the three codes of footy he likes best, League, Union or AFL. Having played all three professionally, Hunt's answer was spot on.
Brisbane City won the game 29-16, beating Perth Spirit in the NRC opener.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Northland prop Matt Talaese has been suspended for three weeks following a dangerous charge that took place on full time in the ITM Cup second round match against Southland this past weekend. Talaese pleaded guilty to the offence.
With time up and Northland trailing 18-24, looking for a converted try to get in front, Southland flanker Tim Boys got his hands on the ball in an attempt to win the turnover. His position was such that he couldn't be cleared out the first time, so Talaese came charging in.
Unfortunately for both players, the 130kg prop made contact with Boys' face, leaving the referee little option but to red card the massive prop.
A disciplinary hearing followed and Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC accepted a guilty plea from Talaese, after he acknowledged that his actions were in breach of the law. Mr Hampton took the player's remorse, admission of responsibility and clean disciplinary record into account when considering the sanction.
He has been suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks.
To make matters worse, the resultant penalty gave Southland's Lima Sopoaga a kick at goal, which ruled out Northland's chance of a losing bonus point. Southland won 27-18.