Thursday, March 07, 2013
The Reds beat the Hurricanes 18-12 last weekend but a fluffed Liam Gill clearance kick could have changed the outcome of the game with time almost up. With that still fresh on the mind, here is a look at RugbyHQ's Top 5 clearance kick bloopers.
Young Gill looked to relieve the pressure as he gathered the ball after the Hurricanes had overthrown at the lineout. A massive, heroic touchfinder was clearly on his mind, but instead he shanked it, gifting the visitors another crack at the line.
"It was a real blunder. I thought I'd cost the boys the game and wasted all our hard work,'' said relieved flanker Gill, who will no doubt feature for the Wallabies later this year.
"I don't even kick left-footed. Greg Holmes and Jake Schatz were into me in the dressingrooms about the karate kicking. No problems there. I've retired the left foot.''
The sliced kick went to the dangerous Julian Savea, who brushed off a few defenders (including Gill) before offloading to Conrad Smith, who was finally brought down by the Reds cover. A few phases later Gill redeemed himself with a solid tackle that forced a turnover.
Sean Maloney has put together a look at five must see, classic clearance kicks gone wrong. We've also included some others in the Related Posts below for your perusal.
Thanks again to the good folk over at Fox Sports. Catch RugbyHQ on Fox Sports 2 @ 8.30pm AEDT.
Posted at 5:02 pm | 16 comments
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Gloucester fullback Rob Cook has been causing quite a stir in the Aviva Premiership with his unorthodox goal kicking style, that despite an impressive success rate, is usually greeted with abuse and laughter. Here's a look at him in action.
Cook, who joined Gloucester from Cornish Pirates last summer, has been the center of attention of late as regular goal kicker Freddie Burns has been out injured. It hasn't taken long for home and opposition fans to take notice of a kicking stance that involves varying degrees of awkwardness.
A while back Jonny Wilkinson set the trend, and proved the concept, that players should be consistent and completely still before they get into their kicking stride. Cook clearly followed suit, but took it to another level, as he explained recently.
"I've looked through the years at my technique, and it just gets worse and worse – I'll probably be sat down soon!" Cook said.
"A lot of people ask me about it: if I start kicking badly I might have to change it, but at the moment it's working alright. It is a big part of my game, if I'm kicking well then I feel as though I will be playing well too. I enjoy it and I'll just keep working hard at it," he added.
Team mate Jonny May finds it as amusing as anyone else, but says that he enjoys Cook's success.
"His stance is stupid, isn't it? The first thing he does before he kicks is stand up normally anyway. I always ask him why he doesn’t just stand there, but he hit everything over today [vs Northampton recently], so it's whatever works for him.
"Since he’s joined us I’ve been waiting to see what the reaction of the fans would be.
"It was brilliant when he took those place kicks and they were laughing at him, but he just kept slotting them over. I was laughing to myself at him shutting them up," May added.
Below is a quick mash up of some of his more amusing kicks so far this season
Posted at 7:27 pm | 23 comments
O2 Inside Line returns this week as the Six Nations is back after a break, with England hoping to continue their determined march towards a Grand Slam. Having won three in a row, spirits are high ahead of the Italy clash.
Italy however will be buoyed by the news that talismanic leader Sergio Parisse was succesful in his appeal against a lengthy ban that would have seen him sit out the rest of the tournament.
Parisse was red carded in a French Top 14 match recently after he allegedly insulted the referee. Earlier today his ban was reduced to just 20 days, meaning it comes to an end on Friday.
"We're satisfied to discover that Sergio Parisse's suspension has been reduced to 20 days and therefore he will be available for the next two Six Nations matches," said manager Luigi Troiani.
"Sergio is an important element in this group and we cannot be anything but delighted that he will be available to the coach Brunel, for the matches against England and Ireland."
England's Dan Cole expects Italy to be strong up front come Sunday.
"Potentially we're very good but potential means nothing if we're not doing things as well as we can," prop Cole said. "Italy pride themselves on their set-piece and they'll come to Twickenham wanting to hurt us there. We've got to be ready for that and better than them."
In this week's O2 Inside Line, Cole and Billy Twelvetrees analyse the Italian threat, there's some good banter between Mike Brown and David Strettle, and we learn more about 'Mr England'.
Posted at 6:27 pm | 2 comments
Ulster slipped to second place on the RaboDirect PRO12 table as Treviso pulled back a 14-point deficit and scored a late equalising try. Earlier in the game centre Darren Cave had to leave the field after making two big tackles in succession.
Earlier in the game the home side lost Darren Cave to injury after he made a big crash tackle on opposite number Luca Morisi. Cave played on despite the knock, but Morisi had to be replaced.
About a minute later the Ireland capped centre, a possible successor to Brian O'Driscoll, made a second big tackle as Treviso broke out on attack.
Cave played on for another ten minutes but then had to leave the field. It has since been confirmed that he was ineligible for Ireland selection this coming weekend because of concussion.
The two tackles aren't the biggest we've ever seen, but Cave's doggedness and the fact that he stayed on makes them worth a look, especially after the amount of requests we received.
Irish fans: Do you think Cave will be a long term option for Ireland?
Posted at 4:16 pm | 19 comments
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Last week Biarritz scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili was cited for repeatedly stamping late in the Top 14 game against Racing Metro, last Saturday. Due to the delay in the disciplinary procedures in France, Yachvili is actually free to play until his hearing.
Yachvili was sin-binned for his multiple stamps on Henry Chavancy's legs as the Racing Metro player found himself trapped in the bottom of a ruck, apparently preventing the ball from emerging.
The incident occured as Biarritz were hot on attack, attempting to narrow the gap in the Parc des Sports Aguilera fixture, which ended with Racing winning 23-11.
Yachvilli, a veteran of 61 Tests, was cited but he will only face his hearing come March 13, which means he is free to play until then. As a result, he played in Friday night's Basque derby against Bayonne, where he kicked two penalties as the sides drew 6-6.
Ireland prop Cian Healy was banned recently for a similar incident, although he appealed and on a technicality, had the suspension reduced by a week.
His hearing was five days after the incident, whereas Yachvili will only appear before the discplinary committee almost three weeks after trampling on Chavancy.
There's plenty of time to discuss this one before we find out what kind of suspension he receives.
What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments below
Posted at 8:55 am | 42 comments
Monday, March 04, 2013
As mentioned on Friday, the Rugby Club in Australia has changed formats slightly, has some new features, and is now called RugbyHQ. Here is a look at what is likely to be a popular regular segment, the Top 5's, starting off with some classic swan dives.
When you think of memorable swan dives over the years, you'll probably picture something different depending on where in the world you come from, and who you support.
England fans may think of Chris Ashton and the Ash Splash, while South Africans might remember Griquas winger Jearus Nicholas, who broke his collarbone performing one of his signature dives.
Rugbydump regular Sean Maloney, whose dulcit tones could be heard commentating the Reds game over the weekend, has put together RugbyHQ's pick of the Top 5 Swan Dives in recent times.
Starting off with what would probably be more of a flop than a dive, it's big James Horwill against France in 2008. That game was remembered for, amongst other things, the huge fight that resulted in his new party trick - being able to touch his eye with his tongue.
At number two it's Bryan Habana's dramatic last minute try against the Sharks in the Super 14 final of 2007, and at number one it's the moment we featured here on RD when it happened, as USA Eagles captain Todd Clever quite literally flew over for a try at the George Sevens.
Each one of these moments can be viewed again, with longer clips, in the Related Posts listed below
Posted at 1:03 pm | 33 comments
Friday, March 01, 2013
As we head into another weekend of rugby, here is a chance to catch up on the best tries scored in France of late, with three Top 10 compilations from Canal Plus.
That's 30 tries in total, all varying in degrees of wow factor, but all enjoyable to watch if you need a bit of a try fest to kick start the weekend.
If you fancy a challenge, work out your best three tries of the 30, and let us know below.
Round 18 is shown first as it's the most recent, then 17, and 16 will follow automatically. If not, use the menu on the video player to work your way around.
Posted at 3:32 pm | 8 comments