Monday, December 16, 2013
Just when we thought his time in the spotlight was over, 'Caveman' Sebastien Chabal has hit the headlines for this knockout blow on number eight Marc Giraud during the ProD2 match between Lyon and Agen at the weekend. Giraud was carried off on a stretcher.
Now aged 36, the former French icon is still playing rugby, plying his trade with Lyon in France's second division. He built a reputation for not only looking like one of the scariest men in the sport, but playing like it too, famously breaking Ali Williams' jaw and knocking out Chris Masoe.
Not too long ago he announced that this would be his final season of rugby due to his body starting to feel the aches and pains that come with playing professionally for so long. He clearly hasn't lost any of the competitive spirit though, as was seen, and felt by Agen eighthman Giraud.
Giraud appeared to hold Chabal back - a common annoyance for loose forwards - but the reaction was probably a little disproportionate as the burly Frenchman swung what initially looked like a slap with a straight arm. The result made it seem more like a punch, as Giraud was knocked out cold.
He was carried off the field in a stretcher before coming around in the changeroom, then was taken off to hospital after there were fears that he had broken his jaw. They later found that it was fine, although he did injure his ankle when he fell, unconcious.
Chabal was promptly shown a yellow card after the touch judges alerted the referee, so he left the field for ten minutes, but protested his innocence on the way off. He will no doubt face a disciplinary hearing in a fortnight, and could be out of rugby for quite some time with a lengthy suspension.
Agen showed the incident to the referee post match, and he admitted that it should have been a red card. "I am furious with the referee who did not show a red card," said Agen's Alain Tingaud.
Giraud later tweeted: "It's not too bad, thanks for the support. I'll sleep well."
Lenghty ban for Seabass? Also, do you think that those that hold other players back like this should be penalised, or is it one of those things that is too difficult to monitor? Suggestions welcome!
credit: rugbyrama and gorpitsenjunior
Posted at 10:17 am | 78 comments
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Based in Glasgow, School of Hard Knocks 2013 took place not too long ago and those of you that were able to watch it at the time will attest to the fact that it was another outstanding season. If you haven't seen it, today we've got the first of four episodes.
If you don't know anything about the show, the main premise is to use rugby as a vehicle for helping to provide opportunities and improvement in the lives of a group of troubled youths.
There have been a number of seasons already, most of which we've featured before, and this was yet another unmissable series.
Mentored by the inspirational Scott Quinnell, Will Greenwood and Chris Chudleigh, this year's series in Glasgow took a group of individuals who had all been through some awful experiences.
While rugby is the main driving force behind the project, the end goal is to improve the lives of those that take part. School of Hard Knocks is now an established charity and they do great work around the UK, with the Sky Sports TV Show that we've come to love simply a small part of their work.
When put in this format, it does make for great viewing so if you have the time, get comfy and get ready to watch Quinnell and co unleash the dragons.
All credit to Sky Sports
Posted at 3:38 pm | 7 comments
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
This year we launched the All Blacks Channel, featuring and archiving latest updates and news from the World Champions, in association with AIG. To acknowledge their great year, we have two copies of The Real McCaw: The Autobiography to give away.
It's been a huge year for Richie McCaw and the All Blacks, after having won each of their 14 matches in 2013. McCaw was at the forefront, and despite a working with a body that has suffered just about every injury possible, the great man showed exactly why he is held in such high regard.
In his brutally honest autobiography McCaw discusses the family life that defined his character, learning to play the game on the farm and being inspired to fly gliders his his war-hero grandfather.
The 124 capped All Black has set the standard for all professional players. A natural leader of men both on and off the pitch, his autobiography gives great insight into what it's like on the front line.
"Better on one leg during the Rugby World Cup than most players on two" - Pack Ackford
The Real McCaw: The Autobiography by Richie McCaw is available now
WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE REAL MCCAW
We have a few ways you can enter:
1 - Follow @Rugbydump and tweet: "I've just entered to win Richie McCaw's autobiography! http://onrugbydu.mp/RealMcCaw @rugbydump"
2 - LIKE our Facebook post
3 - Leave a comment below discussing what makes McCaw one of the best
Entries close Thursday 26 December 2013. Only one entry per person per method. Good luck!
Posted at 12:24 pm | 120 comments
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Connacht produced the upset of the weekend, and one of the biggest in Heineken Cup history, as they beat Toulouse 16-14 in France on Sunday. Four time champions Toulouse insist that they did not underestimate the Irish province.
Toulouse scored two tries to one but 11 points from the boot of flyhalf Dan Parks edged the visitors in front. The former Scotland number ten kicked two penalties, a conversion and a drop goal.
Kieran Marmion's second half score, which required much deliberation by the television match official, gave Connacht a 16-7 lead before Toulouse, who had earlier scored through Jean-Pascal Barraque, then came back with a pushover try of their own, to Thierry Dusautoir.
It was a grand weekend for Irish rugby, one that included big wins for Leinster, Munster and Ulster.
Toulouse coach Guy Noves said that they expected to win against a team bottom of the Pro12.
"We thought we would win. Although that's not to say that we looked down on our opponents.
"The start of the match made us hopeful of scoring tries and progressing. But we missed more and more chances, time passed, and we definitely began to lose our heads.. we didn't play the rugby that was required against this Connacht team.
"Strategically we weren't able to adapt to their very quick repositioning in defence. And then we coughed up a huge amount of possession. There wasn't enough alternation in our game."
Despite the win Toulouse are still top of the pool on ten points, level with Saracens but Connacht are one point behind with the return fixture in Galway to come this weekend.
"Now we have to manage the trip to Ireland. But at least we've been warned and we know that it will be extremely difficult," said Noves ahead of what should be a fascinating clash.
Posted at 8:59 pm | 13 comments
South Africa paid tribute to the passing of Nelson Mandela in the best way possible, beating old rivals New Zealand 17-14 in the Final of the SA Sevens. It was their first ever series win on home soil, at the aptly named Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
New Zealand shot off to a 14-0 lead as it looked like the emotion of the weekend appeared to get the better of the hosts, but an inspired comeback and brace by Branco du Preez changed that.
The All Blacks Sevens team were aiming for their fifth consecutive title in South Africa, but after a few days that saw the passing of the great Madiba, as well as former boxing world champion Baby Jake Matlala, the victory for the hosts came at a poignant time.
"It was a very emotional weekend for all South Africans," said South Africa Sevens coach Neil Powell. "We realised that we needed to do it for his memory and for ourselves. We could only do it by playing as a team and playing for each other. It is an unbelievable feeling."
Samoa beat Argentina to take third place, while Fiji beat France in the Plate Final, England won the Bowl Final and Scotland claimed the Shield.
New Zealand are still top of the overall series standing with 58 points, but South Africa are now just two behind them, with Fiji in third place on 48 points and England in fourth on 40 points.
The series now moves to the USA for the Las Vegas Sevens in late January.
Credit: Thanks to the IRB for the coverage
Posted at 10:45 am | 1 comments
Monday, December 09, 2013
There were some excellent tries scored at the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth this past weekend, so here is a look at seven of the best, starting with a scorcher from Carlin Isles. Isles' effort, against finalists New Zealand, is arguably one of his best since taking up Sevens last year.
He wasn't the only speedster setting the Nelson Mandela Bay Staidum alight though, as Shannon Walker and Dan Norton were also impressive, and then some of the other tries showed great ingenuity, as well as quick feet, to get over. Fiji's passing and support play was sensational too.
South Africa won the final against New Zealand - View the highlights here
Which try was your favourite?
Posted at 2:48 pm | 10 comments
Brian O'Driscoll was at his mesmeric best as Leinster crushed Northampton Saints 40-7 at Franklin's Gardens in round 3 of the Heineken Cup. Leinster scored six tries, including this one that featured an audacious through the legs flick from O'Driscoll.
The veteran centre rolled back the years as he set up a few tries and scored one himself. He was awarded Man of the Match, but praised his side, and specifically hat-trick hero Luke Fitzgerald.
"I've got the man-of-the-match but I find that amusing when I saw performances like Luke Fitzgerald's today," said O'Driscoll post match. "I thought he was outstanding. Besides the tries, I thought his energy was fantastic. There were lots of those sort of performances."
Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinger said his team's showing was embarrassing.
"We were embarrassed out there and came second best. We made a terrible start and that didn't improve. Sometimes you make bad starts and have a bad 5-10 minutes, but you at least expect to come back fighting. But we were completely outclassed.
"I feel embarrassed because we've let the fans down. We have some great fans here. They love their European rugby. It's a great competition for us but we've messed up. We were bad."
O'Driscoll meanwhile said he enjoyed his time out there, even if he was subbed before full time.
"I had fun today. I have yet to finish 80 minutes this season - they're looking after the old guy! But I'm enjoying it and it's only my second game in blue this year.
"I love playing for this team. We've managed to build a relatively good history in recent years and now it's about trying to build on that again," he added.
The two sides will meet for the round 4 return fixture in Dublin this coming weekend.
Posted at 8:30 am | 16 comments