Monday, August 24, 2015
Narbonne players and fans have paid tribute to the late Jerry Collins in their opening game of the season in the PRO D2, the French second division. Collins was contracted to the club when he tragically died in a car crash two months ago.
There have been a number of tributes since the tragic event took place, in which Collins' partner Alana Madill also died, but this was the first real chance for the Narbonne team and fans to pay their respects publicly.
The Narbonne team and supporters club came together to create the giant jersey and a video tribute, as well as a minutes silence, then a stirring prematch Haka.
"Jerry and Alana meant a lot to the team and the boys wanted to pay their respects," said former Wallabies loose forward, Rocky Elsom.
"Doing a haka for the first time, live on television and in front of a packed house for a mate that has passed away is not an easy thing to do. I'd also like to thank the supporters club (of Narbonne) for their support of the Collins and Madill families over the past months.
"You (the supporter's club) have represented Narbonne well and done all you could to assist in what has been a very a difficult period."
Collins wasn't at the club very long but he clearly made an impact. The banner made by fans reads "Collins Forever", and although you can't see it below, the Haka was actually faced by Aix en Provence, as can be seen in a second video on page two of this post.
The 7m wide by 6m supporters banner was reportedly put together by as many as 50 people, who spent a whole month making it in Collins' honour.
Meanwhile daughter Ayla, who survived the crash thanks to Collins shielding her on impact, is in Canada with her maternal grandparents. She continues to develop and grow despite the awful nature of her injuries. Doctors say they are unsure about possible long term complications. Collins' parents recently flew over to spend time with her.
You can still donate to the Jerry Collins Memorial Fund that was set up after the accident and has already raised over $50 000 to support little Ayla.
Allianz are offering some great prizes for those that get involed in the Pass Around The World concept, something that the likes of Owen Farrell, Chris Wyles, Hayden Smith and the rest of the Saracens team have already taken part in. Enter today to stand a chance of winning.
With the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Paul McGinley and the FC Bayern Munich Team also uploading their passes, you have a high chance of having your pass lined up alongside a famous name in sport.
Plus there are some great prizes up for grabs, from £150 Ticketmaster vouchers to spend on any event, anywhere in the world, to exclusive Saracen experiences and signed memorabilia.
There have been Keepie Uppie passes, balls spinning, passes in gardens, passes in boats, passes on trampolines and even back flips! If you're looking for some inspiration on what to do in your pass you can watch the videos at www.passaroundtheworld.com.
To get involved:
- Film Your Pass: The ball must come in from the left and out through the right. The time in between is your chance to impress the world with your pass.
- Upload: Make sure your video is no more than 10 seconds long and is under 30MBs. Upload it at www.passaroundtheworld.com and share it with your friends!
- WIN: all entries will be submitted into a prize draw (terms and conditions apply, please visit www.passaroundtheworld.com for more information.)
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Yoann Huget scored a brilliant try as France battered England, then shut up shop as the visitors came back into contention late in the game. Key substitutions gave England heart and direction, as they pulled the score back to 25-20, but it was too little too late.
England looked good at home last weekend but in Paris they were blown off the park by a more determined, and seemingly capable, French outfit that got the better up front, took their chances, and were marshalled by the old head of Frederic Michalak.
While England did launch a comeback late in the match, and at the final whistle had a chance of snatching an unlikely win, France were clearly the superior side on the day.
"We gave away penalties and our discipline was shocking," said skipper Chris Robshaw. "Whether it was rust, or nerves, it wasn't good enough. Credit to France, they put us under pressure and made us make mistakes.
"We can't give teams like France and other quality sides head starts like we did. We'll look long and hard at ourselves, because we let ourselves down in the first half. We played well in phases but you can't wait for 40 minutes to do that."
Not a whole lot should be read into those final ten minutes, and France will be pleased with their performance in front of their home crowd, following last week's loss.
England coach Stuart Lancaster has some tough decisions to make soon after replacements, such Danny Cipriani, came off the bench and showed up those that started.
"The bench made a difference. It upped the energy levels and we scored some good tries. I won't gloss over what went on before that, because it was too little too late," he said.
"There are a few players who have given me food for thought, those guys who came on and gave us the energy we needed and made a difference. I need to have a sleep on this game and think about my final squad. We're two weeks away from playing Ireland and four weeks away from Fiji in the World Cup and we'll expect a reaction next time."
Saturday, August 22, 2015
In our latest Players to Watch post leading up to the World Cup, Rugbydump looks at the dangerous, lightning-fast speedster of the England team, Anthony Watson.
Bath flyer Watson first became known to those in the world of rugby when a highlight reel of him playing for England youth and St George's College popped up four years ago.
He was picked up by London Irish and his performances for them and also for England U20s saw him move to Bath in 2013, where he has since flourished.
His deft footwork and vision in attack have seen him make 10 appearances for England to date, scoring four tries, including two pieces of clinical brilliance against France last week.
Watson, 21, is adept at playing on the wing or at fullback and it is not just his superior attacking flair that has seen him jump to the top of Stuart Lancaster's wing queue. He is brilliant under the high ball, has an exceptional ability to read an attack, and uses his wiry strength in every aspect of his game.
England have a lot of work ahead of them if they are to get themselves out of Rugby World Cup's Pool A, or the Group of Death as the media are affectionately calling it, but with Watson and a home crowd behind them, anything is possible.
Watson won't be playing for England against France in Paris tonight, but below is a nice tribute video that shows a bit of what he's capable of with ball in hand. One to look out for at the RWC.
Friday, August 21, 2015
George Gregan is widely regarded as one of the best nines to ever play the game of rugby and in this informative clip for SKY SPORT NZ he gives some valuable pointers to anyone wanting to improve their game.
There's an amusing part at the start of the show that shows Justin Marshall skip past Gregan in what can only be described as shockingly bad positioning and defending, before other clips from the 1999 World Cup, and Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara showing how to attack.
Gregan held the Test appearances record with 139 before Brian O'Driscoll overtook him last year. He is now in third place overall, with Richie McCaw having recently become the most capped player of all time, currently sitting on 142 Tests for New Zealand.
Marshall himself, a mainstay of the All Blacks for a solid ten years, was capped 81 times.
Remember, as Gregan says, are you playing for your team or the opposition?
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Here is an interesting clip from Superport's coverage of the Currie Cup in South Africa, and the game between the Cheetahs and Western Province. Rayno Benjamin attempted to kick/trip a player, but got spotted and was cautioned, which apparently means a yellow card.
Most of us probably would have thought that the TMO in this case was referring to a warning, but the referee had little doubt and sent Benjamin to the sinbin straight away.
He then absolutely bombed a try with the tryline in touching distance, and complained about it. It was certainly a rough afternoon out for the Springbok Sevens flyer, as explained by Supersport commentator and analyst, Kaunda Ntunja.
Above is a compilation of some of the biggest and baddest amateur rugby clips floating around online. They've been ripped from Youtube etc, and we realise that - for some reason - the video also includes a few professional clips from Rugby League and women's rugby.
It's still worth watching for some of the other massive tackles and collisions though. Junior, Senior, High School, College, School, University and Club rugby is all shown.