Monday, June 15, 2015
Sean Maloney from Fox Sports Australia is back with another edition of The Wraparound for us, featuring all the weird and wonderful things that make the sport we all love so special. Here is a look at what went down in the last week or so.
Kicking us off this week is Georgia Page, the internet sensation who heroically played on with a broken nose. Not only that but the nose didn't stop her from carrying on making some crunching challenges. She is one tough cookie thats for sure.
Talking about tough cookies and broken noses, a flashback to 2013 with Australian sevens player Sharni Williams, who catches a knee to the face breaks her nose also. Did that stop her? Not a chance, as she goes on to score the match winning try.
Following on from this, not involving any broken bones this time, is Blade Thompson of the Hurricanes. Blade might want to work on his hand-eye coordination skills as he completley misses his teammates high five to inadvertently slap himself in the face. Blade has made it his own and used the slap as celebration after his try against the Highlanders!
Sticking with New Zealand we move on the one of the best tries you will see this year, courtesy of the Baby Blacks. The try will certainly go down as one of the best in the U20 World Cup, the perfect combination of pace, power and teamwork.
Staying in Italy, we move onto the Samoan team and one heck of a great finish from them. A leap followed by a twist and turn, something probably more suited to gymnastics, finishes off a great try for them.
Before the boys say "Hasta La Vista" (say it in your best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) the final clip of the week features Chloe Dalton and Cory Jane both showing off their Schwarzenegger impressions, both not too bad but with room for improvement.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Chiefs centre Sonny Bill Williams made his return to Super Rugby this weekend following a month off with a nagging back injury. He got right back into the swing of things, and made this massive crunching tackle on All Blacks teammate Conrad Smith in the first half.
Following a solid shot from Liam Messam, Williams outdid him with a huge tackle on veteran Hurricanes midfielder Conrad Smith. The tough-as-nails All Black legend took the hit well, but asked referee Chris Pollock if it was worth looking at. Pollock said he was comfortable with it.
Williams has since been issued a warning by the citing commissioner however, for contravening Law 10.4 (e) for Dangerous tacking, which states the following:
10.4 (e) Dangerous tackling, A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponents neck or head is dangerous play.
A Citing Commissioner Warning may be issued by the SANZAR Citing Commissioner for foul play incidents that are very close to, but do not meet the red card threshold for citings.
Upon further review of the match footage the Citing Commissioner deemed a Citing Commissioner Warning was appropriate.
Do you think it was high and could have actually been penalised? Whatever the case, it was a massive hit, and Smith did very well to bounce back up from it.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Anyone who has played, watched and even refereed a rugby match will tell you that its more than just the game that keeps bringing people back. It's the community spirit and camaraderie both on and off the field that means rugby is more than just a sport.
This short documentary by Aviva weaves together five different rugby stories that truly demonstate the power of rugby at both professional and grassroots level.
The video stars Bath Rugby duo George and Mike Ford, Wasps and England legend Lawrence Dallaglio, GB Wheelchair Rugby captain Steve Brown and charity sevens team The Flair Bears and the Muddles, a family of Northampton Saints super fans.
The Fords, Dallagio and Brown all provide an in-depth look at the position rugby plays in their lives. With Dallagio and Brown the documentary shows how rugby has provided a means for both of them to get their lives back on track and in one particular case, rebuild it entirely.
The Flair Bears share the inspirational story of how one man's fight against a brain tumour led to the creation of a charity sevens team, famed for its flairy playing style.
Finally the documentary ends with Northampton Saints super-fans The Muddles, a family that live, eat and breathe the sport they love.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
South Africa powered their way into the semi-finals of the Under 20s World Championship with a bonus point victory over Australia in Calvisano. They will face England in the semi finals, while New Zealand will take on France.
Leading the charge for the 2014 runners up was fly-half Brandon Thomson, whose two penalties, four conversions and try capped off a hugely impressive 46-13 win. They face England in the last four as they seek revenge for an agonising 21-20 defeat 12 months ago.
It was Thomson's genius that gave the 'Baby Boks' a crucial bonus point, which relegated Australia to a 5th/6th playoff semi final against Scotland, who earlier beat Argentina 29-6.
The try was set up by a superb break from winger Khanyo Ngcukana. The ball then reached Thomson who switched back against the oncoming defence. The fly-half showed great pace after to streak clear to score.
Elsewhere, New Zealand withstodd a stern Irish challenge in the opening half hour to secure a comfortable 25-3 victory in Viadana, while Wales brushed aside competition returnees Japan 66-3.
Already impressive in their opening round victory over Wales, France toppled two time defending champions England with a clinical display, winning 30-18. A Damien Penaud double ensured a semi final place against New Zealand while England scored just enough points to allow them to sneak into the last four, at the expense of Australia.
Ranked 11th out of 12th, hosts Italy had but pride to play for in their final pool match against Samoa. They fought back from 20-12 at the break to lead 24-23 heading into the final 10 minutes, before a bizarre, loose pass from an Italian ruck gave Samoa the simplest of tries and ultimately cost the Azzurini a deserved win.
The top four teams on the overall standings are:
1. South Africa 15 points (93 point difference)
2. New Zealand 14 (83)
3. France 13 (61)
4. England 10 (-5)
The semi-final draw for 15 June at Calvisano are as follow:
18h30 New Zealand vs France
20h30 South Africa vs England
Match Highlights on page two, with Brandon Thomson's great try below
Former Wallabies winger Wendell Sailor has broken the arm of fellow former NRL player, Ben Ross, on live TV during the rugby league show, The Footy Show. It took place as part of the Iron Arm Challenge, an arm wrestling challenge that was set up for charity.
Beau Ryan, funny man and former player himself, was on hand to call the event, but was clearly shocked at what happened, as Ross appeared to have his elbow dislocated, or possibly ripped the bicep off the bone. It only just happened, so details are scarce at this stage.
Now 40-years-old, Sailor switched from Rugby League to Union and went on to play 37 Tests for the Wallabies before making his return to the NRL in 2007.
Channel Nine's Ben Fordham wrote in a tweet that Ross's injury "looks like a busted bicep".
"Ben Ross is going to be OK, thankfully," he said. "Just a freak accident nobody could have predicted. Hope he's better ASAP."
Ross was taken to hospital immediately, and the Nine Network cut to an ad break.
It's safe to say that Sailor was the winner. We wish Ross all the best with his recovery.
Since it happened, Sailor has spoken about what went through his mind at the time.
"After he got the start on me, I've pushed back. And as I've pushed I saw him use his bodyweight a little bit, which you do anyway, to try and stop me coming back to that point," Sailor explained.
"At that stage, that sound, the look on his face, what just happened. It was just gut-wrenching. I thought he might have pulled a biceps muscle. But just to see his arm hanging there, I felt so helpless. I didn’t know whether to pick him up or what to do. There's so many emotions running through your head.
"I'll never arm wrestle again now. Not even for fun, not even with mates. I used to like to do it for fun but I'll never arm wrestle again after seeing what just transpired there."
Warning: graphic content and language
The latest edition of Plays of the Month features some unbelievable tries from Super Rugby, as well as some of the best comic book super heros that Sean Maloney and the Rugby HQ guys could come up with. Here are the best bits from May, with this latest Plays of the Month.
View more Plays of the Week and Month here
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
A special Jerry Collins Smashed em Bro tribute to the great man #smashedembroPosted by The Crowd Goes Wild on Monday, June 8, 2015
There's no doubting the fact that Jerry Collins was one of the hardest hitting rugby players of the professional, or perhaps any, era. Often on the borderline of legal, and sometimes stepping over that line, Collins was the All Blacks and Hurricanes 'enforcer' for years.
He famously knocked out Colin Charvis of Wales in 2003, and damaged a few others too. The man was uncompromising, and fans loved him for it.
Here is a quick edition of the Crowd Goes Wild's Smashed Em Bro, featuring all Jerry. RIP