Sunday, November 09, 2014
Australia edged Wales 33-28 in another tight encounter between the two sides, but it was the tenth successive time the Wallabies came up trumps. The home side started well and the first half was even, but Australia held their nerve late in the game.
The result extended Wales' losing streak against the big southern hemisphere sides to twenty one, even though this wasn't the first time that the scores were close. It was the ninth successive time that the winning margin was in the single digits.
In the first half both sides scored three converted tries, taking them into the break at 21-21.
The second half was less eventful as Wales' picked up a converted penalty try, while Australia's Bernard Foley kicked three penalties and a well taken drop goal for a personal tally of 18 points.
Despite Wales losing 25 of their last 26 matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, coach Warren Gatland remained upbeat.
"We've scored four tries to three and I thought we went out there and played some really positive rugby," he said. "To be honest I'm pretty positive about the performance.
Wales play Fiji next, then New Zealand and South Africa. Australia travel to Paris to take on France, followed by Tests against England and Ireland in the following weeks.
"There's plenty to improve on, we're not claiming that we had a cracker," said new Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who joined the squad just days before flying to the UK.
"We've had just two weeks of getting our heads together and playing a new system, the guys getting into that, defensively as well, not just attack. What we're hoping is that on this trip we can build that while at the same time playing good enough rugby to grab a win here and there."
What were your thoughts on the game and the result? Let us know in the comments
Posted at 12:05 pm | 8 comments
Saturday, November 08, 2014
While there were a whole heap of big Test matches taking place today, the stand out result occurred in Dublin, as Ireland upset southern hemisphere giants South Africa. Elsewhere, New Zealand won after a tough fight with England, while Australia edged Wales for the tenth time in succession.
A quick look at the Test rugby weekend results:
Japan 18 - 20 Maori All Blacks
Canada 17 - 13 Namibia
England 21 - 24 New Zealand
Wales 28 - 33 Australia
Italy 24 - 13 Samoa
France 40 - 15 Fiji
Ireland 29 - 15 South Africa
Scotland 41 - 31 Argentina
Romania 17 - 27 United States of America
Georgia 9 - 23 Tonga
Highlights, clips and match reports from the big matches will follow in due course. Feel free to discuss the matches in the comments if you were able to watch them live.
Posted at 7:34 pm | 88 comments
Friday, November 07, 2014
If you missed this, here is a look at Welsh prop Adam Jones' drop goal attempt in the Guinness Pro 12 match against Munster recently. With scores tied and time running out, the Cardiff Blues front rower found himself in front of goal with a perfect opportunity, so gave it a shot.
In all fairness it wasn't a bad attempt, and the Blues did have the penalty advantage.
Munster went on to score a late try though, so won the game 28-24.
View more great drop goals in the Related Posts below, including Matt Dunning's famous effort
Posted at 7:27 pm | 7 comments
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Guinness have struck a chord with rugby fans by releasing a series of beautifully made, emotive adverts that could possibly be described more accurately as short films. They tell the tale of the attitude and achievements of Shane Williams, Jonny Wilkinson, Bill McLaren and the Munster team of 1978. Here's a look at all four adverts.
Ahead of the Autumn Internationals that kick off this weekend, the videos focus on heros from the four home nations. The campaign first aired on TV in the Uk and Ireland this week, and online the videos have already gone viral, racking up thousands of views.
Rather than focussing on physical attributes, these four films look to inner qualities like humility, dedication, self-belief, and irrepressible spirit. The campaign celebrates the triumph of these qualities, which have helped the ads’ heroes leave a lasting mark on the game.
"It was tough being told that I wasn’t going to make it, just because of my size, but I always believed in myself," said former Wales star Shane Williams, reflecting on his career. "Every setback made me more determined to succeed. Hopefully my story can inspire other rugby players - it’s proof you don’t need to be built like George North or Alex Cuthbert to make it on the wing!"
Which is the best ad? It's tough to say, but we've chosen to post the Williams video first, and then you can view the other three on the next page, with a bit more info about each, and some quotes from those involved too (scroll down if arriving from our social media pages, or click page 2).
Posted at 6:43 pm | 13 comments
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
While the dust was still settling the thrilling Barbarians vs Wallabies game, the famous black and white hoops were at it again last night, against Leicester Tigers. The match wasn't televised, but the Tigers have put this great package together.
There was plenty of frustration yesterday as realisation struck that this mouth-watering fixture, featuring some serious world rugby talent, wasn't going to be aired by any TV stations, making it almost impossible for those unable to attend to know exactly what went on.
Up stepped Leicester Tigers though, and despite them actually losing the entertaining match 59-26, they put together highlights from their own, solo-manned camera, used for internal analysis.
As you'll see why when watching, we're all extremely grateful as there were not only some excellent tries, but a few hilarious moments, including an outrageously comical conversion attempt (Francis Saili), and one of the most perplexing tap penalty moves you're likely to see.
It was a midweek fixture and could easily have been overlooked, but with players such as Nick Cummins, Tevita Li, Fumiaki Tanaka, Juan de Jongh and Mahonri Schwalger playing (to name a few), it was deeply frustrating to not be able to watch the entire match live on TV.
It also happened to be a farewell match for Sharks stalwart Jacques Botes, who as some of you will know, has been well above average his entire career, and perhaps could have got a Test cap if it weren't for the kind of competition that exists amongst lose forwards in South Africa.
He can be seen taking two attempts at goal in the video, the first hopeless, and the second to end the match after De Jongh, who was already on a hat-trick after having scored twice before, unselfishly tossed him the ball in the in goal area for a try of his own.
The game ended with the BaaBaas, who had 17 international players from eight different countries, having scored nine tries to the four of the Tigers. De Jongh scored twice while Thomas du Toit, Francis Saili, Heinrich Brussow, Tom English, Michael Rhodes, Tevita Li and Botes also scored.
Thanks again to Leicester Tigers for putting this together for the fans
Posted at 7:47 pm | 21 comments
The USA's 74-6 defeat to New Zealand was emphatic to say the least, and while early on in the match they appeared to match them physically, it was men against boys by the end. Never was it more apparent than when Augustine Pulu smashed the USA hooker.
A rare opportunity to attack down the wing gave the Eagles a bit of hope of scoring that elusive first ever try against the All Blacks, but replacement hooker Tom Coolican was forced to put the ball to boot, and demolished by Pulu in the process.
The Counties Manukau halfback was playing his first Test for the men in black, and made quite an impression with this particular shot, executing it perfectly as he knocking Coolican off the park.
Pulu was first brought into the All Blacks squad when Tawera Kerr-Barlow picked up a bad knee injury during their loss to South Africa in Johannesburg last month.
The 24-year-old was on the radar after a good season with the Chiefs, and some impressive outings for Counties in the ITM Cup. Coach Steve Hansen said he was an 'obvious selection'.
"The selectors have been watching Augustine for awhile, he is an exciting young player and we think the next obvious choice at halfback. We would like to congratulate him on his selection and we are looking forward to working with him," Hansen said last month.
While he's probably fourth choice if everyone is fit, he'll do well to continue taking the chances afforded to him, and at some stage will no doubt get a start against a top flight side. Even if he doesn't, this tackle will be a nice memory to hang on to for some time to come.
Posted at 4:29 pm | 11 comments
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
The latest Barbarians have reinvigorated the brand by playing the type of rugby that fans have come to expect from the famous club. Against Australia they were inventive and fearless, as can be seen with this audacious long lineout throw by Steven Luatua.
The All Black wasn't part of the squad over in Chicago, so he brought the USA to Twickenham, showing that he has a pretty decent quarterback throwing arm, even if it was a little skew.
"He's played a little bit of American Football at school, so he threw the ball like that at training and I said 'Ah, you better bring that out'," explained Barbarians coach John Kirwan.
It's his second outing for the BaaBaas, and after revealing that he's a big NFL fan in training, they thought they'd give this a shot. The Wallabies were quick to react and the ball was dropped, but kudos to the side for trying something new. With an accurate throw and a bit of luck, who knows.
Posted at 8:26 am | 25 comments