Tuesday, August 12, 2014
There were two really unfortunate, yet highly amusing incidents at the Limerick World Club 7's at Thomond Park on the weekend. Both videos feature players about to score runaway tries, but result in red faced errors instead.
Fiji's Daveta ended up winning the inaugural event, beating Munster and Auckland on their way to a 36-12 victory over the Vancouver Bears in the final.
This event was a bit of a warmup for the main tournament at Twickenham, this coming weekend.
Participation is by invitation only and some of the sides included are: Munster (Ireland), Saracens (England), New York (USA), San Francisco (USA), Auckland (New Zealand), Vodacom Blue Bulls (South Africa), DHL Western Province (South Africa), Moscow Saracens (Russia), Daveta (Fiji), Stade Francais (France) and the Vancouver Bears (Canada).
In the main clip below we see amateur footage of a Fijian absoutely skinning a Munster player, but as he gets close to the tryline he decides to stroll in, only to be caught from behind..
The second video, seen here on page two, features a Waratahs flyer, quite possibly Taqele Naiyaravoro, as he strides away for what should be an excellent break out try. He too fails to score, instead dropping the ball as he casually attempts to dot it down.
Credit to Paudie McCarthy and Paul Collins for the videos
Posted at 7:47 pm | 1 comments
Monday, August 11, 2014
Griquas centre Jonathan Francke has been cited for his dangerous tackle during the 31-24 loss to the Sharks on the opening weekend of the Currie Cup. Franke was eventually red carded, in what was an awkward few minutes for referee Craig Joubert.
The Sharks got their campaign off to a solid start despite a courageous effort from the home side in Kimberly, who had to play 73 minutes with just 14 men.
SP Marais counter-attacked before Francke, in combination with fullback Nico Scheepers, lifted and twisted Marais into the turf in what resulted in an ugly spear, or tip-tackle.
Refere Joubert was left with little choice, although it did take a while before he found the correct player, with wing Rocco Jansen being given his marching orders before sanity prevailed and Francke came forward. To their credit, Griquas hung in and scored late in the game.
"We had a huge setback with Jonathan being red-carded," said coach Hawies Fourie.
"It put us on the back foot, especially in the first half. We had a talk at half-time and I told the players just to remain calm and we will get back in the game."
The Griquas outside centre has since been cited under law 10 .4 (j) for lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and /or upper body come into contact with the ground.
In all happened very quickly and Francke won't be too pleased with Scheepers' role in tipping Marais. It's difficult to gauge just how much force was exerted by each player, but because of his position and the way he appeared to lift Marais' leg, Francke played no further part.
Posted at 4:56 pm | 14 comments
Sunday, August 10, 2014
The final day of pool play at the Women's Rugby World Cup decided the four sides that will go through to the semi-finals in Paris on Wednesday, August 13th. Ireland will play in their first ever semi-final, against England, while hosts France take on Canada.
The French side beat Australia 17-3 to finish top of Pool C, while Ireland beat Kazakhstan to top Pool B. That, combined with England and Canada's 13-13 draw, meant that for the first time in the tournament's history, New Zealand will not take place in the semi-finals.
"It's hugely gutting and we're all down about it. But at the end of the day, we had our fate in our hands in the game against Ireland and we didn't nail that and we didn't play well enough that day," said Black Ferns coach Brian Evans.
"We knew the result of the Canada v England game so it was pretty hard. We didn't tell the players unless they asked, so some of them knew and full credit to them because they performed really, really well even knowing that we were out. But the rest of the team we left it 'til afterwards."
England qualified as top of Pool A, with Canada as the best runners up.
"Ireland are a side we know extremely well from playing them in the Six Nations so this is a clash we are really excited about. They play a fast, expansive game and we have now got three days to prepare for this semi-final," said England coach Gary Street.
"With hosts France and Canada into the other semi-finals, I think this is a really exciting line-up for the knock out stages of the Rugby World Cup."
View the highlights from all the other matches on page two of this post
Posted at 2:37 pm | 7 comments
Thursday, August 07, 2014
The Top 5 team at Rugby HQ are at it again, this time tracking down five of the Worst Ever Celebrations on a rugby field, no doubt prompted by the Waratahs' recent inability to produce an F1 podium moment when celebrating their Super Rugby victory in Sydney.
There's also a look at a player injuring himself when celebrating a try that didn't count, an awkward handshake on the big stage, and an interesting dance after a wonderful try (and injured hamstring). More of these moments and others are featured in the Related Posts below.
Can you think of any others that could have made the list?
Posted at 6:11 pm | 19 comments
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Ireland's women caused a huge upset when they did what their male counterparts have never done, beating New Zealand 17-14 in a dramatic Test in Paris. The Black Ferns lost for the first time in the Women's Rugby World Cup since 1991.
Alison Miller and Heather O'Brien scored tries for Ireland, on day two of the tournament that produced more top quality rugby. England, Canada, USA, Australia and France also picked up wins.
The final round of pool play takes place on this coming Saturday, 9 August, where the semi-finalists will be decided based on those last few results.
You can view official highlights from all the matches right here on page two of this post
Posted at 3:41 pm | 8 comments
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
The way the Waratahs ended 2014 Super Rugby was indicative of the quality and drama that has been seen in this year's high quality competition. It produced some outstanding, memorable rugby, as seen by some of the moments relived here.
This year was the best ever for Australian rugby, as the country's five Super Rugby teams collectively won more matches this year than they ever have in the tournament. They achieved 40 wins this year, compared to 37 in 2013 and 32 in 2012.
The 33-32 victory was the Waratahs' first over the Crusaders since ten years ago, in 2004.
"The NSW Waratahs have raised the bar for the Australian conference and their success is a true testament to the quality of Rugby they have produced this season," said ARU CEO Bill Pulver.
"They have created a piece of history by finishing the regular season in first-place and winning the club's first ever Super Rugby title against a strong Crusaders outfit."
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said that he wants to maintain the same work ethic next year.
"We want to play our way, lay this identity down and let our supporters enjoy that. We want to lay the foundation. I'm looking for honesty; honesty every week, year upon year."
Below is the excellent closing montage that Fox Sports played after the final, featuring some of the best moments from this year's tournament, as well as the highs of the final. Enjoy.
Posted at 4:27 pm | 2 comments
There were two suspensions that followed the opening day's play at the Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Mandisa Williams of South Africa was banned for punching, while Samoa's Soteria Pulumu received a 5 week ban for a tackle. Here is a look at the latter.
Samoan fullback Soteria Pulumu appeared before independent Judicial Officer Jeremy Summers in Paris on Saturday, after having received a red card for an act of Foul Play contrary to Law 10.4(j), namely lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground.
She admitted to the foul play. Having heard all the evidence, the Summers determined the player's actions were reckless and warranted a mid-range sanction, which has an entry point of 8 weeks.
The sanction was aggravated by one week to take into account the need for a deterrent for so-called "tip tackles". The Judicial Officer took into account various mitigating factors including the player's remorse, conduct at the hearing, early admission and her clean disciplinary record.
The sanction was reduced by four weeks to a final sanction of 5 weeks.
In the context of the tournament, Pulumu will miss the remaining matches at the tournament and is further suspended from 18 August to midnight on 24 August 2014. She has the right to appeal, but after seeing the footage (below), there is probably not much of a case to be made.
Posted at 9:39 am | 15 comments