Thursday, December 18, 2014
Dan Carter's career with the All Blacks will come to an end post Rugby World Cup 2015 as he has signed a three-year deal with Racing Metro in France, reportedly worth in excess of £1million per year. It will be his second stint in France, after time with Perpignan in 2008.
He's arguably the greatest flyhalf of the modern generation and despite having a career that has included some awfl leg injuries, Dan Carters stock is still incredibly high, making him a highly sought after prospect for clubs abroad, as this deal shows.
Carter played for Perpignan in 2008 but an injury then curtailed what was meant to be a new challenge and experience for world rugby's leading points scorer. He only played five matches for the Catalan club, including just one game in the Heineken Cup, a 26-20 victory over Leicester Tigers.
This new opportunity with Racing Metro will mean that he gets another shot at life in France, and the Paris based club get a top number ten.
"It's going to be an awesome adventure for me and my family," said the 32-year-old on Thursday.
"Having visited France many times, including my time with Perpignan, I know what the French culture and their rugby culture is like and it's something I really love.
"Having said that, it's the immediate future that is exciting me at the moment. 2015 is going to be a big year and I'm looking forward to getting into it, firstly with the Crusaders and then hopefully with the All Blacks.
"My body is feeling really good, I'm training really hard and getting some good conditioning in so I can hit the ground running next year. I'm looking forward to getting out and playing some good footy."
Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder, who has known Carter for many years, said:
"Dan Carter has given so much to rugby in this region. He is one of the most famous rugby players in the world, but he is still a local lad who has never forgotten his roots. 'DC' is the ultimate team player and his contribution is as significant off the field as it is on the field.
"The Crusaders will be very sad to see a player of DC's calibre go, but we are thankful for all that he has given us over the last 11 years and we are looking forward to a final season with him in 2015.
"I know that this will be a special season for Dan and we'll certainly be hoping to help him leave on a high note," the former Crusaders skipper added.
Posted at 9:18 pm | 1 comments
The guys at BT Sport's Rugby Tonight are doing an excellent job of creating quality content for everyone from the armchair enthusiast, to youngsters that are still learning the game. Last week on the show their Masterclass demo featured a few backs that know a thing or two about rugby.
In this pitch demo Harlequins flyhalf Nick Evans joins Brian O'Driscoll and Matt Dawson to go through some number ten flyhalf play based around dummy runners. As they explain though, the dummy runners are actually options that can all be used at the last second.
It's another great feature from Rugby Tonight. If you find this type of thing helpful or even just enjoyable, please let us know your thoughts below, and share it with your friends.
Posted at 9:54 am | 2 comments
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
There were some brilliant team and individual tries scored at the SA Sevens this past weekend. Here is a recap of Seven of the Best, as chosen by World Rugby (formerly the IRB). It includes efforts from Portugal, England, New Zealand, Australia and champions South Africa, with three tries.
Posted at 6:17 am | 1 comments
Monday, December 15, 2014
South Africa's sevens team won for the second week in succession, this time beating New Zealand 26-17 in a thrilling final, to successfully defend the Port Elizabeth Sevens title and take the lead in the overall HSBC Sevens World Series.
After three rounds it's the Blitzboks that have stormed into the lead after another high tempo, calculated series that saw them coming up trumbps against the old foe in the Cup final.
Fiji, who were leading the table before Port Elizabeth, finished sixth, so have been overtaken by South Africa as all sides race to be in the top four places so that they quality directly for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Philip Snyman, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith all scored in the final and continued their impressive form on home soil, with the win meaning the Blitzboks now have 59 points.
Coach Neil Powell was pleased with his side's ability to stay calm under pressure and to play to their strengths. "We had to dig deep. We had three very worthy opponents today and each asked very different questions. We had to come from behind in each match today, but this team has shown they have the determination and belief to succeed."
Australia, who were runners up in Dubai, beat Argentina 34-19 to take third place overall.
The USA were very impressive as they used their speed out wide and new found structure under coach Mike Friday to win the Plate Final, beating Fiji 21-14, while Portugal won the Shield by upsetting Samoa 19-14, and Canada beat Kenya 24-7 for the Bowl.
The top 5 standings after three rounds are:
1. South Africa 59 | 2. Fiji 51 | 3. New Zealand 47 | 4. Australia 46 | 5. Argentina 40
Posted at 6:26 pm | 1 comments
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Last week we shared this heartwarming story on our social media pages, only to then be blown away by the incredible response from the rugby loving public. The story has since gone viral, so today we're archiving it here for those of you who missed it.
The story was captured by a teacher at Ysgol Brynhyfred secondary school in North Wales.
It features a match winning try against Ysgol Y Berwyn, but what isn't clear at first is that fact that the boy who scored it, Ethan Morris, has Down Syndrome.
Scott Pollington Woods, manager of the Down Syndrome Association's DS Active programme, told ITV that he has never seen anything like it.
"It's fantastic to see players from both teams not only including him but allowing him to shine. People with Down's Syndrome, as a result of the condition, often find it difficult to participate in mainstream and even PAN disability sports," he said.
The story goes that players on both teams spoke to their teachers before the match in the hope of giving Ethan an opportunity to play the game he's always wanted to play. Kudos to them.
The support and love shown for this wonderful achievement exemplifies the values of rugby. If you'd like to have an emotional read through the reaction, including comments from his mother and others, you can do so on our Facebook page here.
Posted at 9:48 am | 25 comments
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Seabelo Senatla has done it again, this time lighting up his home tournament as South Africa marched on to the quarter finals of the Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth. This try against Kenya was one of many, but again it showed his blistering pace.
Last week's Dubai champions picked up comfortable wins against the USA, Kenya and Wales.
young gun Senatla streaked to six tries to maintain his presence at the top of the try-scoring charts, and help the Blitzboks to a Cup quarter final, where they will face England on day two.
Cup Quarter Finals:
Day One Results:
Pool A: South Africa 26 - USA 0; Wales 29 - Kenya 5; South Africa 38 - Kenya 7; USA 38 - Wales 12; USA 33 - Kenya 5; South Africa 36 - Wales 0.
Pool B: Argentina 31 - Zimbabwe 5; Australia 33 - Portugal 21; Argentina 14 - Portugal 7; Australia 50 - Zimbabwe 0; Portugal 19 - Zimbabwe 5; Argentina 31 - Australia 21.
Pool C: Canada 14 - Scotland 12; Fiji 45 - France 5; Scotland 19 - France 12; Fiji 26 - Canada 7; France 24 - Canada 21; Fiji 19 - Scotland 12.
Pool D: England 45 - Japan 0; New Zealand 24 - Samoa 7; England 22 - Samoa 7; New Zealand 29 - Japan 0; Japan 17 - Samoa 14; New Zealand 5 - England 0.
credit: World Rugby
Posted at 5:00 pm | 7 comments
There was an ugly incident at the South African 7's earlier, as an idiot took to the field during the South Africa vs USA game and tackled a player. The madness didn't end there as Perry Baker got up, took a second to think about it, then kicked the guy.
It wasn't clear to see exactly how the tackle took place and the ferocity of it, but Baker will surely find himself in a bit of trouble as you simply cannot lash out like that, especially once the situation was under control and the guy was laying on the floor.
The referee, probably as shocked as everyone else, told everyone to calm down and the incident was quickly swept under the rug. The cameras panned out and no replays were shown. It was all a bit bizarre, and certainly not a good advert for the tournament or indeed, the sport.
Fans on social media had varying reactions, as some backed Baker's response, while others were more outraged at the fact that security let it happen. Former referee Jonathan Kaplan tweeted:
In Baker's defence, we can't really judge his actions based on what we think we saw, as the initial unprovoked attack, which is what it was, happened slightly off camera. When the referee stopped play and went over to Baker, it did sound like he said something about being hit.
We'll no doubt find out more soon, but below you can just about see what happened, as Baker dished out some street justice before the culprit was ushered off the field, and security finally caught up with him.
Baker took to twitter himself after the match apologising for his actions.
If you were there and managed to catch the whole thing on camera, please let us know.
Posted at 11:10 am | 37 comments