Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Springbok Rugby have put together the nominees for the Supersport Try of the Year Award for 2013. The list features some fantastic tries scored at Test, Super Rugby and Currie Cup level. The winner will be announced at a function on 12 February.
There are some brilliant tries featured in the video, which unfortunately starts quite abruptly for some reason and doesn't mention the try-scorers, but it's pretty easy to see who is who.
The first four are counter-attacking tries by the Springboks, scored by Zane Kirchner against Australia, Bryan Habana vs the All Blacks, Jean De Villiers against Wales and JP Pietersen against Scotland after a great bit of play by the outstanding Willie Le Roux.
Super Rugby kicks off on Feb 15th so join and make your picks in our Superbru pool!
The next four are from Super Rugby, featuring Jano Vermaak, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie and Riaan Smit. In the Currie Cup Rocco Jansen and Gio Aplon were both superb with great solo efforts.
The other big award to be decided soon is the SA Rugby Player of the Year, with Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen in the running. Young Player of the Year, Team of the Year, and Coach of the Year will also be announced. All awards»
UPDATE 12-01-2014 : Jean De Villiers' try against Wales was named Best Try
Which try would you say should be named as the best?
Posted at 3:00 pm | 14 comments
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Ireland scored three tries as they started their 2014 Six Nations campaign with a comfortable 28-6 win over Scotland in Dublin earlier today. While Scotland showed flashes of class at times, they never really tested the Irish.
While things were fairly even in the first half, with Ireland leading just 6-3 a few minutes before the break, a try by Andrew Trimble on the stroke of half time gave them an 11-3 cushion.
Man of the Match Jamie Heaslip came close to scoring earlier in the half after a brilliant Jonny Sexton break, but was out by inches in the corner. He crossed in the second though, and Ireland were on course to right the wrongs of last season.
Rob Kearney added a third try ten minutes from time, on the occasion of his 50th Testm while brother Dave came close minutes from the final whistle after a Paddy Jackson chip.
Scotland will need to lift themselves again when they host England in a week, while Ireland will look to upset Six Nations champions Wales, also at home in Dublin.
Full highlights will be slotted in here as soon as they're available. For now, here are quick highlights, and you can view the Sexton break and Heaslip chance on page two of this post
Posted at 5:00 pm | 21 comments
Saturday, February 01, 2014
France started and finished well as they snatched a dramatic 26-24 victory against England after trailing with just minutes remaining in Paris. Young Gael Fickou came on to replace battering ram Mathieu Bastareaud and scored the decisive try at the death.
England appeared to have a famous away victory in the bag before things slipped with minutes to go, and a defensive lapse, combined with French flair, saw them leave Paris with little more than pride in a strong performance.
France got off to the perfect start when Yoann Huget touched down after just 30 seconds. He scored again on 17 minutes, before a Mike Brown try game England something to fight for, then a brilliant bit of play by Billy Vunipola set up their second try.
Trailing with just three minutes left, France put together a superb passage of play that eventually led to replacement hooker Dimitri Szarzewski setting up replacement centre Fickou. Scores were tied, and the easiest of conversions gave France the lead, and with time almost up, the win.
England coach Stuart Lancaster praised the character of his players though. "I thought the boys showed incredible character, resilience and a lot of skill to put ourselves in a position to win it.
"It was a great performance in lots of ways. We're very proud. Once we get over the initial disappointment we'll take a huge amount of positives from the game."
French coach Philippe Saint Andre said that it was anything but a complete French performance.
"We were the first and the last to shoot but we suffered physically in the second half, we missed a lot of tackles. There's a lot of work to do still but what we'll have to remember is the victory, the smiles on the players' face after the game. It's a great sign for the season 2014," he said.
Full extended highlights have now been added below. Thoughts on the thriller?
Posted at 8:07 pm | 52 comments
Defending Six Nations champions Wales weren't as convincing as they would have liked to be but managed to hold off a determined Italy side in Cardiff, winning 23-15 after leading 17-3 at halftime thanks to tries by Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams.
Young Italian back Michele Campagnaro had a fantastic game for the visitors, scoring two tries which resulted in his Man of the Match award despite being on the losing side.
Wales are after a third consecutive Six Nations title but will need to lift the standards again when they travel to Dublin to face Ireland next weekend.
"I thought we were positive in terms of our attacking play but Italy were dogged and competed pretty hard all game," Wales coach Warren Gatland said post match.
"Defensively I thought our structure was pretty good. Italy made it tough for us.
"I think in the past when we have come under pressure like that we might not have had the composure to finish it off but we did today. We're champions and every team is going to come at us and make it tough."
As Italy threatened to get back into the match, Leigh Halfpenny's boot kept the hosts out in front.
*Extended official highlights have now been added below
What were your thoughts on the match?
Posted at 4:31 pm | 14 comments
Friday, January 31, 2014
We've dragged things out a bit but today you can watch the final episode of the 2013 School of Hard Knocks, which follows a group of youngsters from Glasgow in their quest for self-improvement, a better understanding of the game of rugby, and employment.
It was another brilliant series, perhaps one of the best and another great example of how the values shared and lessons learned in rugby can be applied to everyday life.
"Rugby's a lot like life - you've got to keep going forward, going through it, standing your ground and fighting for things," said one of the newcomers to the sport in the intro.
In this, the finale, the boys come together after eight weeks of hard work and preparation for their final match. Perhaps more importantly, they also go to the jobs fair where they set out to impress and ultimately find new employment.
Scott Quinnell, Will Greenwood and coach Chris Chudleigh are at their inspirational best, providing us with another emotional episode, while Scotland lock Ali Kellock is never too far away.
If you enjoyed the series please share with your friends, and also let us know below. Once again, it's not only a great rugby show, but one of the better pieces of reality TV out there (view Related Posts for previous episodes). All credit to Sky Sports who produced and put together the show.
Posted at 2:11 pm | 4 comments
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Alex Payne and O2 Inside Line are back to look ahead to the start of the Six Nations with France vs England on Saturday. Both teams have now named their teams, which include uncapped players for both sides, including at flyhalf for France.*
England included youngsters George Ford, Jack Nowell, Luther Burrell and Anthony Watson in their squad, who according to coach Stuart Lancaster, have impressed at club level and in training.
"We are excited about the players we are taking to Paris and what a great place to open our RBS 6 Nations campaign against a French team who will be massively motivated, especially after the last two games between us," Lancaster said.
In this week's O2 Inside Line fans get an exclusive look into life in the England camp, with Dylan Hartley and Brad Barritt starting off with their Player Analysis and their views on the French team.
Some of the funniest things to happen on a rugby pitch are then discussed, we see some of the team training and then operations manager Tom Stokes runs through what his job entails.
*Updated: Both teams have now been named
Mike Brown, Jack Nowell, Luther Burrell, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola Replacements Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Lee Dickson, Brad Barritt, Alex Goode
Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard, Jules Plisson, Jean-Marc Doussain, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Alexandre Flanquart, Pascal Pape, Yannick Nyanga, Bernard Le Roux, Louis Picamoles
Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Yannick Forestier, Rabah Slimani, Yoann Maestri, Antoie Burban, Damien Chouly, Maxime Machenaud, Gael Fickou
What are you predictions for France vs England this weekend? (Sat, 18:00 Paris time)
Posted at 5:14 pm | 7 comments
Namibian flanker Jacques Burger is one of the Aviva Premiership's top tacklers. He was one of the more physical Saracens players against the Sharks at the weekend, where he made a few big hits. He's managed to combine his physical attributes with solid technique, as well as a fearless mindset.
In November he set a new record for tackles in a Premiership match, 36, breaking the previous milestone of 27 set by former England and Leicester Tigers flanker Lewis Moody.
In this amusing and informative masterclass video from Rugby Tonight he shows us how he does it.
Posted at 1:58 pm | 17 comments