Friday, January 24, 2014
Not since George Robson slipped when leaving the change room a few years ago have we seen such an ominous start to an evening's rugby. In Robson's case he slipped, but for Bordeaux's Australian lock Cameron Treloar it was a case of forgetting that he is actually 6ft7, and not ducking.
He probably should have considered just turning around after those first few steps as Bath won the game 54-13, scoring eight tries to maintain their 100% record in pool two of the Amlin Challenge Cup. They head through to the quarter finals with 28 points from their six matches.
This is just a quick clip that was requested by someone who found it hilarious when seeing it live on TV last Thursday. No disrespect intended to big Cam, of course. Remember that if you see something this weekend that you think should be shared on RD, get in touch and we'll take a look.
Posted at 8:23 pm | 7 comments
Fascinating insight from Toulon chairman, and the man credited with turning the club around, Mourad Boudjellal. He talks candidly about his previous involvement in rugby, his success in business and how Toulon now pay for the big stars without his help.
On a related note Leigh Halfpenny, who will be joining the club next season, has said that he still hopes to play for Wales despite being based in France. He said that Toulon being supportive of his international duties was one of the main deciding factors behind the move.
"Having taken time to consider every option in detail, I believe the decision to move to Toulon is the best decision for me and my continued development as a rugby player and as a person."
"I'm very excited about joining Toulon. They are an outstanding club, very ambitious, full of world class players and are the current European Champions so I'm very proud to have been given the opportunity to be part of that," said Halfpenny.
He'll join the likes of Bryan Habana, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Mathieu Bastareaud and Jonny Wilkinson, all of whom are there due to Toulon's recent success under enigmatic Boudjellal.
Extra: View a slightly longer version of the interview (UK only) on the BT Sport website
Posted at 2:00 pm | 26 comments
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Referee Nigel Owens, who we all remember for his 'This is not soccer' comment, delivered another round balled reference this past weekend as he officiated the Leicester Tigers vs Ulster Heineken Cup match. Ulster won 22-19 away from home.
Owens, who has garnered much praise in the last 12 months for two stand-out performances in particular, took exception to the way that Anthony Allen was complaining about his decision.
'The Football stadium is 500 yards that way' was his response, followed by some rumblings that couldn't be heard on TV but no doubt had something to do with the manner in which football players speak to the referees, and how that won't be tolerated in rugby. Ouch.
What's the strangest or harshest thing a referee has ever said to you on a rugby field?
Posted at 12:39 pm | 71 comments
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A year ago Sky Sports came up with an excellently made Super Rugby 2013 promo that featured Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh, Dewi Morris and as the driver, Thinus Delport. It's that time of year again, so with Super Rugby kicking off in a few weeks, here is the sequel.
Does this year's ad hit the mark as well as last years? You decide. Either way, Super Rugby starts on February 15th so get ready for some fast paced, hard hitting entertainment from down south.
Click page two to view the 2013 promo
Posted at 12:57 pm | 3 comments
Monday, January 20, 2014
New Zealand born Connacht prop Rodney Ah You made one of the tackles on the weekend despite his side being thumped 64-6 by Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday. Kiwi Ah You was recently named in Ireland's extended Six Nations squad.
Saracens were completely dominant against Connacht and as if to rub salt into the wounds, they even scored a try after this cracking tackle was made. It's worth seeing though, and former boxer Ah You's story is an interesting one.
Ah You made the move to Ireland after not quite cracking the Crusaders or Super Rugby setup back home, despite having played for New Zealand at both u19 and u20 level.
After arriving in Ireland things weren't entirely plain sailing, but they're now starting to take shape and after 62 Connacht appearances - with 52 coming off the bench - he has now extended his deal and could possibly play for his newly adopted country very soon.
"My initial reaction was pure shock," he told the Irish Times after hearing about his selection.
"You know: it can't be true. It can't be true. But yeah, it has slowly been sinking in.."
In December he signed a contract extension that means he'll be with Connacht until 2016. It's a long way from Christchurch but for Rodney, wife Bella and their children, it's now very much home.
In October he qualified to play for Ireland through residency, and this could be the year that sees him wearing the colours of the country he beat with the Baby Blacks at junior level in 2007.
"We made the big decision to move here from New Zealand over three years ago and we've never looked back. Galway is our home. It’s where our two boys were born and we love it here," he said.
While it might be some time before he's a regular fixture in the Ireland squad, with hard hitting tackles like this he's sure to get the attention of the Ireland coach, fellow Kiwi Joe Schmidt.
Posted at 7:37 pm | 43 comments
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Ospreys and Wales lock Ian Evans faces an anxious wait to see what his Six Nations availability will be like after he was cited for a red card for stamping in Friday's Heineken Cup clash against Leinster in Dublin. Leinster won the game 36-3.
Evans has been a key player for Wales in recent times but will likely miss out on at least the first two of their Championship matches after Romain Poite red carded him for stamping on the face of Leinster lock Mike McCarthy, who left the field with blood pouring from his head.
Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees admitted it might have been reckless, but said that even after multiple TV replays, Evans alleged stamping wasn't clear and obvious.
"It was a big moment, but I'm not sure about it to be honest, like a lot of observers, I think. Perhaps it was a bit reckless, but there were a lot of replays needed to make a decision, which suggests it wasn't that clear and obvious.
"It took five or six times in slow-mo to isolate the incident. I don't know if that's clear and obvious from a red card point of view, and it changes the game.
"You have to be absolutely certain with a red card, and that there were so many replays and there are still so many differing opinions on it suggests that the clips may not have been totally conclusive," he added.
It looked as though a number of players could have been guilty of stamping, but as the one angle shows, Evans' boot seemed to do the most damage. View a short post match studio analysis.
Posted at 3:19 pm | 43 comments
Thursday, January 16, 2014
While condoning fighting on the rugby field is naturally frowned upon, most fans would admit that they enjoy seeing a good scrap occasionally. With that in mind, there are few places that do it better than France, especially in seasons gone by. Here is a compilation of some of the best ever.
Canal Plus have put together this video that features some of the biggest punches, fights and dirty bits of play in French rugby over the last decade or so. It was created for the show 'The Rugby Session' (Le Séance Rugby) on Canal+ Sport, and is somewhat of a masterpiece.
The Top 14 doesn't have the reputation of being one of the toughest leagues to play in for nothing, and that's all on show here. And yes, Irishman Trevor Brennan seems to be in there a helluva lot.
View more classic French punchups and brawls in the Related Posts below
Posted at 6:12 pm | 66 comments