Tuesday, February 10, 2015
If you've ever thought about how many tries could actually be scored in a if one team steps aside and allows the others to do their thing, wonder no more. Royal Kituro in Belgium's top club rugby league has won a match 356-3. Yes, you read that correctly.
As the BBC reported yesterday, the referee for this match failed to turn up on time, so a lot of the visiting players from Soignies left, including their coach, assuming the match would be cancelled.
The referee did turn up, an hour later, so the match went ahead as the players that stayed there were obligated to play so that they could get 1 league point for a loss, rather than 0 for forfeiting.
The circumstances, which included Sognies playing with just one substitute, didn't stop Royal Kituro digging the knife in, as they proceeded to run in 56 tries and 38 conversions.
With the tries practically uncontested and scored under the posts, we tend to wonder what happened with those other 18 conversions.
Soignies did get one drop goal, but the match was considered a bit of a non-event by them, as they literally stepped aside for many of the tries, as can be seen below.
The club president described the match as catastrophic, but despite the humiliating loss, they do still sit above Kituro on the league standings, in third place by just one point. Their points difference however now sits at minus 264.
What is the biggest loss you've even been on the wrong side of, or inflicted? Let us know below
credit: kipiktv and the BBC
Sunday, February 08, 2015
French flyhalf Camille Lopez kicked five penalties as Scotland left Paris with little to show for their hearty performance, that included the only try of the match. France's 15-8 victory left the Scots frustrated and ruing missed opportunities.
Scotland socred an excellent try through Dougie Fife and could have had one more late in the game had Tim Visser's intercept chance come off. As it was, France, who were wearing red for only the third time in history, got the win through the boot of Lopez, but left their coach less than satisfied.
"We won," said Philippe Saint Andre. "However, we weren't clinical enough especially when we had a one man advantage and didn't score enough points when we had the chance.
"There was not enough variety in our game. Scotland played with a lot of spirit. For the game with Ireland (next Saturday) we need to show a lot of improvement."
Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw said that his side were frustrated to leave the Stade De France without a win, after he had said earlier in the week spoken about how confident they were.
"We're extremely frustrated, we felt we played a lot of really, really good rugby but we just let them off the hook at times," said Laidlaw, who kicked his team's only penalty.
"We were probably on the wrong side of the penalty count as well. We're frustrated with that because it's a tough enough place to come when things are going well, we don't need the penalty count going against us as well."
Extended highlights updated below, and you can explore more in the Video Hub
Six Nations 2014 champions Ireland got their defence off to a stuttery start in Rome, winning comfortably 26-3 but failing to fire for most of the match. Two tries in three minutes, against 14 men, proved enough to hold off the spirited Italians.
The visiting Irish side, who beat the likes of South Africa in November, took over an hour to score a try in Rome, despite dominating with 63% territory and possession. Italy's defensive effort was superb, and it took a yellow card to break things down after the hour mark.
"We showed great quality in the defensive phase," said Italy's coach Jacques Brunel.
"But.. it's impossible to win with so little possession. Certainly, the main issue today was the lineout. Our scrum is at or even better than Ireland's level."
Conor Murray and Tommy O'Donnell scored a try apiece while Ian Keatley kicked 14 points.
The victory for Ireland was their eighth successive Test win for the first time since 2009, but they will need to work on their error count when hosting France next weekend.
"It was a slog, but I don't know if it was that frustrating. Any time you come to Rome that's exactly what you're expecting - a slog," said fullback Rob Kearney. "We knew that if we just kept chipping away and trying to build some phases that eventually we would break them down."
View official extended highlights below, and more in the Video Hub
Saturday, February 07, 2015
England trailed 16-8 at the break but came back to beat Wales 21-16 in a fascinating Six Nations opener at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night. The visitors had a few opportunities to score more points late in the game, but couldn't convert.
Wales got first blood thanks to a neat bit of play by number eight Toby Faletau, despite his pack retreating at the hands of the England power up front. A perfectly timed pass sent Rhys Webb in for a lovely try, and things were looking good for the hosts.
England bounced back with a well taken try by Anthony Watson, and early in the second half Jonathan Joseph evaded three tacklers to trot over the tryline, before George Ford gave them the lead on the hour mark.
England had their chances, perhaps most notably with James Haskell, who was powerful throughout, but on that occasion stormed into the upright. Welsh winger Alex Cuthbert was yellow carded for his effort in preventing the try, before England were denied another try for crossing.
Flyhalf Ford sealed victory with a late penalty, and was named Man of the Match for his performance, which included a conversion and three penalties. He said post match that he wasjust doing it for his teammates. "I just wanted to knock it over for the lads," said Ford.
Try scorer Joseph said that they have great self belief following the commanding performance.
"It's incredible. No greater feeling to come here to Wales and win, probably one of our greatest rivals," he told the BBC. "But the boys dug deep and got the win we deserved. There's a lot of confidence in the side and we've got the belief we can attack and penetrate."
View an official highlights report below. More clips from the match are on page two, including a post match interview with Geord Ford and a look at some fans' reactions. You can also explore our new VideoHub for more on the Six Nations
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Our beloved big tackles series was quietly and unofficially retired after the last world cup. With so many compilations out there, we didn't think it was necessary. Well, we've changed our minds. Try Savers and Rib Breakers is back and here to stay.
For Try Savers and Rib Breakers 13, we've hunted down the best clips in every competition from the Top 14 to the Rugby Championship, and from the Shute Shield to the Aviva Premiership. We even dusted off a few oldies (keep an eye out for a young Tana Umaga chasing down Caleb Ralph).
The usual suspects leave their mark; Tameifuna, Ferris, Chabal, Ranger, Manoa, Tuilagi. You will also notice a nod to a few legends of our game, with brilliant try-savers from Brian O'Driscoll, Shane Williams, and Chris Patterson as well.
We'd like to think that MOST of the tackles are 100% legal and technically sound, but this is TSRB after all, so we're focusing on huge, spine-tingling impacts as well as brilliant try saving efforts.
So sit back, relax, and as you prepare for what we hope is a thrilling Six Nations and Super Rugby season, enjoy some of the greatest tackles from all over the rugby world in the past few years. We've also thrown in a free mass-building training manual that you can download below the video.
Credit to all the relevant tv companies, and Rev Theory for the music. In Germany? View it here
Next week RugbyDump will be launching our position-specific training manuals for High Intensity Rugby Training. As part of the launch, we're giving away this free mass-building manual. Our mate Kevin Shattock will be back early next week with some more training goodies and the full position-specific workouts!
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The drama is building for the opening match of the Six Nations, which perhaps more significantly, is also the first match of top tier Test rugby in this, the year of the Rugby World Cup. England will be out to avenge their last visit to Cardiff, a loss back in 2013.
England's last trip to Millennium Stadium, in which Wales achieved a record win of 30-3, is central in the thinking and preparation of both teams, but is also totally irrelevant. "We learned a lot that night, about pressure," said coach Graham Rowntree earlier this week. "The guys that weren't there that night have learned a lot from the guys who were there."
Top Tip: England to beat Wales was 7/4 Now 8/1 - Enhanced odds on opener with Ladbrokes
The set-piece, breakdown, discipline and goal-kicking will be important as always but let's take a quick look at three factors unique to this crunch clash between the old foes.
Key Factor #1 – The Opening 20
With the exception of a Jonny May try against the All Blacks, England have been slow to start in their November internationals. Whether it’s by conceding a penalty and/or points (Samoa), or blowing a try scoring opportunity (Australia and South Africa) the momentum of the opening 20 minutes has not been with England in their last four matches.
Keep in mind that England are away from home and should they struggle to get off to a good start, Wales at home with Millennium Stadium behind them will prove an almighty challenge.
Key Factor #2 – Injuries
England’s injury list has ballooned in recent weeks with Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Morgan, Courtney Lawes, and others. Warren Gatland played down the importance of it stated, "You don’t allow that [to affect preparations]. They’ve got a huge amount of depth… and a lot of quality players to come in too".
Key Factor #3 – Welsh Experience in the Centres
Wales are fielding an experienced centre pairing of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies. With 107 caps between them (plus 6 combined Lions caps). In sharp contrast, England's Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph bring just 13 caps to the table.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau.Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Paul James, Aaron Jarvis, Luke Charteris, Justin Tipuric, Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland, Liam Williams.
England: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Luther Burrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Dave Attwood, George Kruis, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Kieran Brookes, Nick Easter, Tom Croft, Richard Wigglesworth, Danny Cipriani, Billy Twelvetrees.
KICK-OFF: Friday, 20.05 (local)
LAST THREE ENCOUNTERS: England 29 Wales 18, March 2014, Wales 30 England 3, March 2013, England 12 Wales 19, February 2012
Scotland coach Vern Cotter has named his squad for Saturday's Six Nations meeting with France. See the team below, and hear what captain Greig Laidlaw had to say about their chances of success, the French clash and his season with Gloucester.
Scotland's starting team features just two changes from that which defeated Tonga 37-12 in the final Autumn Test, and three Six Nations debutants in Finn Russell, Mark Bennet and Blair Cowan.
A blend of experience and youth will once again orchestrate the back division as captain Greig Laidlaw - who stands one away from scoring 300 points for his country - and number ten Russell start their fifth Test match together.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter, said: "Seeing the passion and desire among our players in the build up to the tournament has been special. The players really enjoy the atmosphere of these big occasions, and the pressure of having to perform for their country, in front of huge crowds.
"They're looking forward to getting out there. France will be tough. They played well in the autumn series but remain frustrated with past results in the RBS 6 Nations.
"They will be very difficult to contain so we'll have to stay tight as a unit, work hard for each other and try to apply some pressure. It'll be a very tough start to the championship, but we're looking forward to that challenge," Cotter added.
(kick-off 6pm local, 5pm GMT)
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour,13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Alasdair Strokosch, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Dougie Fife.
Injured and unavailable: Adam Ashe (neck), Chris Cusiter (knee), Chris Fusaro (ankle), Grant Gilchrist (arm), Tyrone Holmes (face), Ruaridh Jackson (knee), Sean Lamont (calf), Henry Pyrgos (knee), Matt Scott (shoulder), Tim Swinson (calf), Duncan Taylor (hamstring), Duncan Weir (arm).