Sunday, November 02, 2014
A record crowd were on hand to watch a thrilling display of running rugby from the World Champion All Blacks, as they defeated the USA Eagles 74-6 in Chicago. As expected, it was one-way traffic, but great exposure for rugby in the the United States.
There was plenty of hype and fanfare before of the match, which was ultimately a marketing exercise and a gentle warm-up for New Zealand ahead of their tour of the UK.
While the Eagles looked good with ball in hand early on, once the All Blacks asserted their dominance up front, the missed tackles and lack of organisation showed, as the visitors ran riot. Twelve tries were scored in total as fans watched on in both horror and delight at what unfolded.
The NBC commentary team were amusing, and full of praise for the 'dreamteam', who despite what they said about there being no such thing as an All Blacks second team, fielded an experimental starting fifteen that was a mixture of youth and experience.
Sonny Bill Williams made his Test rugby return and scored two tries, while Dan Carter came off the bench in the second half. He threw a forward pass with his first touch, but then got into the swing of things and had a good thirty minutes, helping his side to a comfortable, one-sided victory.
''When the boys were dominating up front like they were, it was awesome to just run off the back of that,'' said Williams, who limped off with a hip injury but should recover for the rest of the tour.
''I've come back a bit raw but I'm just trying to improve each week.''
Ultimately the game was a success despite the result. Over 61 500 fans packed Soldier Field, in what was a capacity crowd and the largest ever attendance for rugby in the USA. Those fans would have been disappointed to see their side rolled over so easily, but they knew what they were in for, and it will have been a great experience to watch the AB's in such dominant mood.
You can watch a full match replay (certain territories) via the same live feed link. Details here
What are your thoughts on the occasion, the USA side and the All Blacks combinations? Let us know in the comments below
Posted at 2:38 pm | 30 comments
The Wallabies got their tour off to a solid start with a hard fought 40-36 victory over a Barbarians side that refused to give up, and played some attractive rugby. The entire match was played in the spirit of the club, and was one of the best in recent memory.
Former Wallaby Nick Cummins, now playing his rugby in Japan, got a chance to prove his worth to new Australian coach Michael Cheika, albeit while playing for the opposition Barbarians.
Cummins, or The Honey Badger these days, crossed for a try late in the game but also contributed where possible, also setting up one of the tries of the game for Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff.
The match featured 11 tries, as the Twickenham crowd of 54 000 were treated to a thrilling match that was easily one of the most enjoyable seen this year, and indeed in the recent history of Barbarians fixtures.
The Wallabies had the match tied up but a late fight back from the BaaBaas gave them hope, and left the crowd feeling that despite the loss for the famous club, rugby was the winner as everyone was thoroughly entertained and they didn't roll over, as has been the case in the past.
"I know Australia have gone through hard times and it's good way for them to start their tour," said Barbarians coach John Kirwan of the opposition.
New Australian coach Cheika was pleased, but felt there are some areas they can work on.
"I thought there were some really good patches and at other times guys looked a bit uncertain," Cheika said. "We need to practice and play together more at that level.
"Our defence was probably the part of the game we want to improve the most. We just need a little bit more clarity around things but that will come."
It was one of those matches that is difficult to describe, and even harder to sum up in highlights. We'll archive the full game soon though (if possible). It was a classic so well worth watching.
Who impressed you the most from either side, and are the Wallabies looking good for the rest of their tour? Let us know your thoughts on the match in the comments
Posted at 11:24 am | 11 comments
Friday, October 31, 2014
Sam Burgess has arrived in Bath, ready to get stuck into training and rugby union. His move is the most talked about code swap since Sonny Bill Williams, and could possibly prove to be as effective. He was injured in the NRL Grand Final, but hopes to play again before the end of the year.
Nick from Rugby Media caught up with the much hyped about league legend to hear how he is feeling ahead of what should be a challenging few months, as he gets to grips with rugby union.
Do you think his transition into the sport will be smooth sailing, or he'll take some time to find his feet and cement a position? Will he play for England eventually?
Posted at 9:47 am | 15 comments
We're fast approaching that crazy time of year when we suddenly realise that we've done it again - we've slipped up and have to rush out to buy last minute Christmas gifts. From now until that time, we're going to be running some great promos so that you can can organised early, and save big.
The first of those kicks off today. Visit our official RD store and when you spend over £50, you'll get FREE UK shipping. If you spend over £100, you'll get 10% off everything, plus FREE shipping.
In the past few months we've had plenty of great feedback from users who have bought our T-Shirts, Hoodies, Mugs and more, so have a look and see if there's something you fancy. They make great gifts, and while you're at it, don't be shy to bump up that total and treat yourself.
*At £50+ UK shipping is free, £2.99 will be deducted from express or overseas shipping costs. 10% off products offer ends 05.11.14
Posted at 9:00 am | 0 comments
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Toulon second rower Romain Taofifenua has been suspended for three weeks following an Independant Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin today. He was cited for making contact with the head of Ulster centre Stuart Olding in the Round 2 Champions Cup match.
The France capped lock could be seen competing for the ball at a ruck, and by swinging his foot forward in what appeared to be an attempt to kick it loose, he kicked Olding in the head, resulting in the centre needing medical attention.
Taofifenua was cited by match Citing Commissioner Peter Larter of England for contravening Law 10.4 (c), Kicking an opponent. A player must not kick an opponent.
The IRB Sanctions for Foul Play state that this offence carries the following entry points - Low End: 4 weeks; Mid-Range: 8 weeks; Top End: 12+ to 52 weeks.
Independant Judicial Officer, Christopher Quinlan, heard evidence from the offender, his club's legal representative and from the tournament Disciplinary Officer. He determined that the offence was reckless and warranted a red card.
He did say however that it was at the low end of the table (4 weeks), and reduced the suspension by one week due to Taofifenua's good conduct during the hearing. He is free to play again on Monday 17 November 2014, but has the right to appeal the decision.
Do you think 3 weeks is a bit harsh, or a fair punishment for such reckless play?
Posted at 5:21 pm | 38 comments
Sonny Bill Williams makes a return to the All Blacks this weekend, after having played rugby league in Australia for the last two years. His return comes a year out from the Rugby World Cup, giving him plenty of time to fit back in and make his case for regular selection.
This latest adidas Leave Your Mark video stars the code hopping back as he goes through his paces in the gym. It's inspirational stuff, and perhaps explains how he manages to call the shots in his career. Watching this, it's as if he never left.
"It's not so much about the game, it's about the prep. Running out there is the end product."
View the All Blacks team to take on the USA Eagles, and find out how to watch the Live Stream
Posted at 9:12 am | 15 comments
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Round two of the European Rugby Champions Cup produced some outstanding tries and excellent individual performances. George North in particular scored four tries for Northampton Saints, while other great tries were scored by Toulon, Clermont and Harlequins. This is our selection of the best.
Which is your favourite try from the round?
View more excellent five pointers in our Great Tries section
Posted at 9:48 am | 9 comments