Saturday, June 14, 2014
Fiji got their 2014 Pacific Nations Cup defence under way with a convincing 45-17 win over Tonga at Churchill Park in Lautoka earlier today. The defending champions scored six tries and played some excellent rugby, with the backs in particular running riot.
Glasgow Warriors star Nikola Matawalu steered the ship and put the backs in space, allowing the likes of Nemani Nadolo, Watisoni Votu and veteran Sireli Bobo to do what they do best.
Winger Bobo, now 38 years of age believe it or not, scored twice including what was one of the tries of the match. Centre Nadolo, who was given the kicking duties, scored a try of his own and kicked 15 points, while Votu also picked up a brace. Captain Akapusi Qera crossed late in the game too.
With a 24-3 lead at the break Fiji always looked in control of things, and Tonga were only able to cross the whitewash with twenty minutes to go, following a yellow card for wing Votu.
"The Fijians are always dangerous from broken play and you can see today they punished us," said Tongan captain Nili Latu. "We just had no answer. We were here to win and to fight to the end and played well in the second half.
"Last week the Samoans were not as quick and there’s no system on defence that can stop them from broken play. That’s the danger from the Fiji team."
Fiji are joint first round winners after Japan's 34-25 win over Canada last weekend. Samoa, who drew 18-18 with Tonga, beat Italy 15-0 today after five Tusi Pisi penalties proved the difference in the Italian's tour match in Apia. The United States are hosting Japan later today.
Posted at 2:00 pm | 5 comments
Friday, June 13, 2014
It's a great time to be a rugby fan with an absolute overload of quality matches taking place in both recent and upcoming weeks. Attending live is great fun, but the big occasion can get the better of those in the stands. Here's a look at five such moments.
Two of the five clips here are positive in nature, featuring the great craic from the Ireland fans at the Rugby World Cup, and then a Bulls fan that is literally hard to miss. The other three moments of madness, two in particular, will hopefully never be repeated.
Those two were actually featured on RD many years back, so for more details, you can view those in the Related Posts below. There are also a few streaker and fan related moments in there that you may not have seen before, but will probably enjoy.
In fact we've rammed a whole lot in there (below the video), so once you've watched this highly amusing selection from down under, have a browse to see what you'll find.
Some of the crazier moments feature dad's fighting for their sons, a fan drinking a little too much so having to get rid of it the best way possible, and a man invading the pitch to chat to the referee.
Thanks again to Fox Sports and Rugby HQ for the entertaining compilation. You can view more excellent Top 5 videos in our archive for it, aptly named, Top 5 Compilations
Posted at 4:10 pm | 1 comments
Premiership Rugby have put together their selection of the five biggest tackles that took place in the latest 2013/2014 Aviva Premiership Season. We featured a few of them, but here's another look as you may have missed one or two.
While England look ahead to tomorrow's second Test with the All Blacks, the Premiership final took place a few weeks ago in what was the culmination of a very good domestic season.
There were plenty of excellent tries, some highly competitive rugby or of course with any tournament or league that features the likes of Courtney Lawes and Jacques Burger, many big hits.
The latter actually got a taste of his own medicine against Harlquins though, as young prop Kyle Sinkler took it to him with a crunching tackle that rocked the Namibian, albeit temporarily.
Elsewhere, Joe Marler showed the world how to smash big Welsh winger George North, and Lawes demolished Charlie Hodgson. Then there was George Pisi knocking Shane Geraghty into a really bad place, with the London Irish back clearly feeling ill for about ten minutes after the hit.
You can see all of those and more in the compilation clip below, and we've linked to the posts that feature these tackles, and a few others, in the Related Posts below this video. Enjoy.
Posted at 9:25 am | 4 comments
Thursday, June 12, 2014
The semi-finals of the 2014 Junior World Championship take place this Sunday, with England taking on Ireland, and New Zealand hosting South Africa. Here's a quick look at some of the best tries that were scored in round three of the tournament, currently taking place in and around Auckland.
Posted at 11:40 am | 3 comments
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Wales got their South African tour off to a good start with a 34-12 victory over Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday evening. Josh Turnbull, Cory Allen, James Hook, Alex Cuthbert and Gareth Davies scored the tries, while James Hook added a penalty and three conversions.
The Springboks host Wales in Durban on Saturday for the first match of the two-Test series.
Posted at 6:47 pm | 6 comments
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The Midyear Tours are currently on the go but the Pacific Nations Cup is also under way, and featured a dramatic 18-18 draw between Samoa and Tonga in the opening game on Saturday. In the first half there was this huge hit, by a fullback on a prop.
Tonga scored through Otulea Katoa before Josh Afu helped them to a 12-5 lead at halftime, with Samoa's first half try coming through Fautua Otto. Northampton Saints star Kahn Fotuali'i came on after the restart, and while there were errors on both sides, things opened up late in the game.
Flyer David Lemi scored a try for Samoa on 65 minutes, which Tusi Pisi converted for a 15-12 lead. Tonga held their nerve though and Fetu'u Vainikolo beat a few defenders before Samoa killed the ball and replacement prop Census Johnston was yellow carded.
The kick was slotted and the scores were tied at 15-15 before another Pisi penalty looked like they were on track for a hard-fought 18-15 victory.
On fulltime a lineout infrigement left Wayne Barnes with no choice but to award a penalty, which replacement Fangatapu Apikotoa stepped up and slotted for a well-deserved 18-18 draw. Samoa attacked the line but Tonga held out, and looked the happier of the two sides at the final whistle.
We've got highlights of the match on page two of this post, but the featured clip here is of a massive hit by fullback Tevita (David) Halaifonua on big prop Sakaria Taulafo. The tackle was penalised by referee Barnes, and some might say Halaifonua was lucky to only get a talking to.
Posted at 11:30 am | 17 comments
The Springboks put in a strong first outing of the year to beat a star-studded World XV 47-13 at Newlands on Saturday. The home side scored six tries and linked well, despite a number of players having just returned from crunch matches in Europe.
South Africa built on their first half stability and piled on the points in the second half, after having only led 18-13 at the break. Their Toulon stars combined nicely, and with a few Top 14 and Heineken Cup champions in the World XV too, it provided for a niggly Test match type atmosphere.
Captain Victor Matfield, returning to the side after post 2011 Rugby World Cup retirement, said that his troops improved nicely as the game progressed.
"In the beginning we did not execute well, but once we managed to get into their half, we played well. It was a very good World XV, which gave us a lot of problems in the beginning," he said.
The match against the World XV, that featured the likes of Rene Ranger, Steffon Armitage, Hosea Gear, James O'Connor, Mamuka Gorgodze and Rory Kockott, did not contribute to Test caps.
There were no immediate injury concerns which was a plus for coach Heyneke Meyer, but squad players Juan De Jongh and Marnitz Boshoff have since been ruled out of possible selection for the Wales Test, with illness and injury respectively.
"This match was important to us, because we have to play together as a team to become better. I believe we are a very dangerous team when we play with quick ball and that was something that I was unhappy about at the break.
"I had some harsh words for the players about the penalties conceded in the first half. In the second half we applied ourselves better at the breakdown and we scored some very good tries. To score six, seven tries against a side with the quality of this World XV is very pleasing," said Meyer.
"Wales will be well prepared. They are a quality side with big backs which will give them go forward ball. They also played together in the Six Nations, while we are just starting out," he added.
World XV captain Matt Giteau, perhaps not so fresh from Top 14 victory celebrations, said "Our attitude was there but perhaps not the legs after a long season."
Posted at 8:17 am | 12 comments