Sam Warburton's possession Masterclass


Francois Hougaard's IRPA Try of the Year


Barbarians run riot vs Leicester Tigers


Nigel Owens makes not straight comment


Great sportsmanship from young 7's man


Brad Barritt happy to put body on line


Lee Jones makes huge trysaving tackle


Nick Evans and BOD phase play pitch demo


Willem Alberts dancing alone in the gym

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yoann Huget gets official warning for faking injury against Bath

With Oscar season just around the corner, Yoann Huget has made his best effort to scoop the coveted statuette with a best actor in a leading role performance that simply cannot be beaten. Sense has since prevailed, as he received an official warning.

Toulouse wing Huget's big role took place in their heavy defeat at the hands of Bath on Sunday.

The French winger took a tumble after making the slightest contact with what looked like his shoulder. He rolled around on the floor as if he'd been hit by a sniper, which the BT Sport commentators, Ben Kay in particular.

"That is pathetic. Personally I think that the powers that be, the disciplinary committee, should look at that and they should act on it because we do not want to see players taking dives. Just a little push in the chest and he grabs his face.. That is pathetic," said Kay.

European Professional Club Rugby agreed with the general media and fan sentiment. They issued a formal warning to Huget this week. EPCR said that the warning followed an "act contrary to good sportsmanship in that he (Huget) deliberately feigned an injury in contravention of Law 10.4(m)."

Players who accumulate three citing warnings or three yellow card offfences for foul play - or a combination of both - during the Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup competitions will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing.

Last year we saw the likes of Bryan Habana, Richard Hibbard and a few others feigning injury or appealing for foul play, when clearly it wasn't the case. This official warning sets a good precedent, and will hopefully remind all rugby players that acting should be saved for the movies.

View more acts of simulation, or faking injury, in the Related Posts below this

Posted at 8:33 am | 11 comments

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sky Sports' Top Five Tries of the Week - 19 Jan 2015

Sky Sports have put together a list of their Top Five tries for the past weekend. Efforts include those by Bath and Toulon, as seen here in the last few days, plus a few others featuring Steffon Armitage, Chris Ashton and Tadgh Furlong. Which is your favourite?

See more excellent scores in our archive of Great Tries

Posted at 10:10 am | 2 comments

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mamuka Gorgodze finishes off outstanding Toulon team try in Ulster thrashing

Steffon Armitage scored a hat-trick as Toulon stormed into the European Champions Cup quarter finals with a 60-22 victory over Ulster at the weekend. This great team try, finished off by Mamuka Gorgodze, was one of the best of the round. 

The reigning European champions are the first side to reach the quarter finals following the eight try rout. The bonus point win came about through scores for Argentina's Nicolas Sanchez, South Africa's Bryan Habana, France's Mathieu Bastareaud, Italy's Martin Castrogiovanni, Englishman Armitage's treble and this classic try by Georgian, Gorgodze.

Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicked 20 points for Toulon, on a day when the losing side actually grabbed a four-try bonus point, as Ulster scored well taken tries via Paddy Jackson, Mike McComish, Jared Payne and Lewis Stevenson.

Toulon now has a five point Pool 3 lead over Leicester, who themselves picked up a bonus point win as they beat Scarlets 40-23. The Tigers will need to win away at Ulster in the next round of play if they are to join Toulon in the last eight. 

The tryfest featured an impressive hat-trick for flanker Armitage, whose heroics made no impact on England coach Stuart Lancaster, who left him out of the England training squad for the Six Nations.

The stunning try below, featuring some superb hands in the build up, was voted as Try of the Week in the official EPC Poll of the top tries from round five. You can view that here.

Posted at 12:33 pm | 24 comments

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jonathan Joseph brilliance sets up Francois Louw try for great Bath try

Bath secured a bonus point victory over Toulouse this weekend with this great try set up by Jonathan Joseph. As Bath keep European Champion Cup hopes alive, their centre pairing of Kyle Eastmond and Joseph eagerly await Stuart Lancaster's England Six Nation's squad announcement on Wednesday.

The match started off with plenty of action, as a George Ford penalty then Matt Banahan try within seven minutes gabe Bath an early lead.

Toulouse responded with a try of their own through second row Yoann Maestri, but couldn't keep Bath at bay, as they notched up another two tries – one, an interception by scrum-half Chris Cook, and the second by centre Joseph after a break by midfield partner Kyle Eastman.

Toulouse managed to squeeze in a try before half time making it 25-14 at the break.

A Toby Flood penalty early in the second half put the home team within seven points. That's as close as they would come. Bath's defence proved too good in the second half and when Joseph regained this grubber then set up Francois Louw for the try, it was game set and match.

Bath Head Coach Mike Ford called it a "world class" effort from Joseph and also highlighted a crucial try saving tackle from George Ford in the second half.

With Bath's backline in such fine form, it begs the question: can the trio of Ford, Joseph and Eastmond replicate their form in the Six Nations for England?

More importantly, does Stuart Lancaster think so? We will find out on Wednesday.

Bath inch up to second place in Pool Four of the European Champion's Cup and face Glasgow this coming weekend (who they lost to in their first encounter) while Toulouse, at the top of the table, face bottom placed Montpellier. Pool Four is in for a tense final weekend.

Posted at 12:23 pm | 26 comments

Monday, January 19, 2015

A look at the Top International Try Scorers of 2014

The IRB, now known as World Rugby, have put together a video featuring some of the top tryscorers of 2014. It's been named the Top 5 International Try Scorers of 2014, but there are actually a bonus two in there, including those from other tiers of Test rugby.

Lethal All Black winger Julian Savea topped the try-scoring charts with 11 tries, while the likes of Israel Folau and Manuel Montero also weighed in with some great scores for their countries.

Israel Folau - 7 tries in 14 matches | Manuel Montero - 7 tries in 11 matches | Nemani Nadolo - 7 tries in 7 matches | Akihito Yamada - 8 tries in 8 matches | Yoshikazu Fujita - 10 tries in 6 matches | Sebastian Mejia - 10 tries in 3 matches | Julian Savea - 11 tries in 13 matches

Posted at 12:32 pm | 7 comments

Thursday, January 15, 2015

French rugby shows solidarity after Charlie Hedbo terror attacks in Paris

Following the tragic events that took place in Paris last week, the rugby fraternity came together to pay respect to those that lost their lives in the series of terror attacks. Here is a look at how right the way across the Top 14 weekend, moments of silence were observed.

Teams, management and fans all paid tribute to the victims, with the players wearing shirts that said Nous Sommes Tous Charlie, meaning We Are All Charlie. In a number of venues the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, was sung spontaneously as a mark of solidarity.

credit: canal plus/gorpitsen junior

Stade Français and Castres observe minute's silence after France's week of terror

Top 14 sides Stade Français and Castres paid tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo and other French terror murders this week in their Top 14 tie in Paris last night, observing a minute's silence before the match. Players from both sides also wore "Nous Sommes Tous Charlie" (We Are All Charlie) t-shirts as a mark of respect.

 

Following the silence fans sang out the French national anthem La Marseillaise at the Stade Jean-Bouin. A wonderful tribute.

 

Stade won the match 49-13, to go back to the summit of the #Top14.

- See more at: http://www.follow-rugby.com/videos/2972/category/Features/6/Stade-Franais-and-Castres-observe-minutes-silence-after-Frances-week-of-terror#sthash.m7gopMkR.dpuf

Posted at 7:47 pm | 6 comments

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sam Burgess big tackles on Ben Jacobs plus first try for Bath

Sam Burgess had a solid run out against Wasps this past weekend, scoring his first ever league try as well as making these two big tackles. He's fast becoming a fan favourite and with play like this, you can understand why. Bath won the game 39-26.

Burgess was named Man of the Match after his best Bath outing yet, but that may have been a bit misleading. He did show flashes of power and brilliance but there were moments that show he is still aferall, new to the fifteen mad code.

The double smashing of Ben Jacobs was impressive and he carried the ball well. He also scored his first senior try, which he was pleased to have achieved.

"It was good. I am kind of glad to get the monkey off the back," Burgess said post match.

"I was happy to get over for the try. George (Ford) found me with a great pass, and I managed to slide over. I am improving week to week, and enjoying a bit more time on the field. Overall, I am happy with the way things are going, and there are things to work on, as always.

"I am used to the pressure. I came from quite a high pressure environment in Australia, and I am learning the game week by week, but pressure is fine. I kind of knew that would be the case."

Bath head coach Mike Ford acknowledged that Burgess still has a lot to learn.

"Sam played his best game but he is still a long way from where Sam Burgess needs to be.

"He is definitely on the right track. He didn't do everything right. Straight away afterwards he came up to me and he said how he needs to get better defensively."

Still very fresh in the game of Union, Burgess is clearly a work in progress but he's getting a decent run at inside centre and with enough game time, you can be sure that the impact he makes each match will continue to become more and more significant.

You can view the try he scored, as well as the match highlights, on page two

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Posted at 8:42 am | 56 comments

 
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