Friday, April 11, 2014
On Monday night South Africa's Varsity Cup Final produced one of the most thrilling late comebacks ever seen as UCT Ikeys (University of Cape Town) scored three tries in five minutes to beat Pukke (North-West University ) 39-33 after trailing 33-15.
Potchefstroom played host to a historic Varsity Cup Final as the home fans witnessed an incredible comeback from visiting UCT, who scored a dramatic late try after a missed dropgoal.
Varsity Cup has traditionally been used to experiment with the laws of the game, and as you'll note in the footage, there are a few unique elements on show. For example, there are two referees. The points scoring is also slightly different - 3 points for a conversion, 2 points for a penalty/drop goal.
The latter is there to encourage running rugby, with a converted try being worth 8 rather than 7.
The pink shorts that you may notice are there to indicate the best player from the previous match. The colour is part of Varsity Cup's drive to raise awareness for domestic abuse.
Pukke looked comfortable with five minutes left but Ikeys fought back, leading to a home mistake with time up, and a snatched try by Nathan Nel after some excellent play up the left wing.
"We are a family and we knew that we would have to dig deep to get the victory," said skipper Liam Slatem. The character of this team is indescribable and that was evident last night. It is a very special team and I've said it since we began this road."
Supersport's coverage takes us through the final seven minutes in full, with commentators Owen Nkumane and Warren Brosnihan calling the final moments as the stunned home crowd watched on.
You can also watch a shorter highlights package with all other tries on page two of this post.
On a side note, there was an unfortunate incident post match, where some players from the two sides got in a fight in a fast food restaurant, and a female fan joined in and was hit in the face. You can view the CCTV footage and read more details about the story by jumping to page three.
Posted at 7:00 am | 26 comments
Thursday, April 10, 2014
We're well into April but last week the Fox Sports guys released their Plays of the Month for March, which features top tries, bloopers, biggest hits and a whole more.
So here you go - March Madness from Rugby HQ in Australia, mainly focussed on Super Rugby but also featuring a few must-see clips from the Sevens world series. Enjoy.
Posted at 8:47 am | 2 comments
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Today Jared Payne was suspended for two weeks for the dangerous challenge he was red carded for against Saracens. Payne was sent off by referee Jerome Garces after just four minutes of the Heineken Cup Quarter Final.
Ulster stayed in the match despite being down to 14 men, and came within points of victory but will no doubt feel aggrieved to have been in that situation in the first place.
Referee Garces has come under harsh criticism for his decision to send off Payne, who along with captain Johann Muller, pleaded that he had his eyes on the ball in an attempt to compete for it.
Payne will faced a disciplinary hearing today, charged with the contravention of Law 10.4(g) and Law 10.4(i). The former is for Dangerous charging or knocking down an opponent with the ball, and the latter for Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an opponent jumping for the ball in open play.
Opinions have been mixed as to whether it was the correct decision to show red or not. Some say it should be treated like a tip tackle and that he was reckless, while others feel that his eyes were on the ball and Goode simply came off second best in what could be viewed as an unfortunate collision.
Players are however responsible for the well-being of the opposition both when tackling and when contesting a high ball. By not getting off the ground, Payne put Goode (as well as himself) in a dangerous situation, and this is clearly the way Garces viewed it.
You can view highlights from this match, as well as other quarter final highlights, here.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect the outcome of the disciplinary hearing in Dublin, where Payne was earlier suspended for two weeks.
Judicial Officer Simon Thomas (Wales) determined that Payne had committed a reckless act and concluded that the offence was at the low end of the IRB sanctions for offences of this nature and selected three weeks as the appropriate entry point.
As there were no aggravating factors, and taking into account the player's clean disciplinary record and his exemplary conduct at the hearing, the Judicial Officer reduced the sanction by the maximum of one (1) week and imposed a suspension of two (2) weeks.
He commented that the case had been a particularly challenging one and conveyed his thanks to the Ulster Rugby representatives for the quality of their defence during the hearing.
Posted at 8:14 am | 113 comments
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
The Heineken Cup Semi Finals are decided following a thrilling weekend of Quarter Finals. Today we catch up and archive the highlights from all the matches, all in one place for easy viewing. Other random clips from the matches will be posted separately.
Below are the relevant links, but you can also view everything on one page by clicking View All
|Munster vs Toulouse - View highlights|
|Munster scored six tries to beat Toulouse 47-23 at Thomond Park on Saturday. They channelled the energy of the home crowd as they scored through Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo and Paul O'Connell.
Man of the Match was outstanding flanker CJ Stander.
|Clermont vs Leicester Tigers - View Highlights|
|Clermont maintained their fantastic home record as they beat Leicester Tigers 22-16 after shooting off to a 16-0 lead in the first half. The Tigers fought back with a try to Jordan Crane, but Morgan Parra held them off with the boot.
Clermont are now unbeaten 75 times at Stade Marcel Michelin.
|Ulster vs Saracens - View Highlights|
|Saracens beat 14-man Ulster 17-15 in a tense battle at Ravenhill in Belfast. Jared Payne was sent off in the fourth minute but Ulster refused to give up and actually led at half time, but two Chris Ashton tries proved too much.
Courageous stuff from Ulster but it was an uphill battle all day long.
|Toulon vs Leinster - View Highlights|
|Defending champions Toulon won this titanic battle 29-14 at Stade Felix Mayol as they put an end to Brian O'Driscoll's European season. It was ultimately a comfortable victory, with second half tries to Xavier Chiocci and Drew Mitchell.
Jordi Murphy scored late in the game but Toulon held on.
At this stage in the tournament Ian Keatley of Munster and Jonny Wilkinson of Toulon are joint top points scorers, each with 79 points. Chris Ashton leads the top tries, with a total of 9, followed by Clermont's Napolioni Nalaga on 5.
After the weekend's play, Saracens will host Clermont at Twickenham while Munster will take on champions Toulon in Marseille in the Heineken Cup semi finals on the weekend of 26-27 April.
Posted at 11:03 am | 34 comments
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Super Rugby is known for it's expansive rugby, fast paced game and of course, the big hits. Over the years there have been a number of players that have stood out for their ability, and penchant for the big tackle. Here are the Top 5, as compiled by Sean Maloney and the Fox Sports team.
View these and more in the Related Posts below, and in our Big Hits & Dirty Play section
Posted at 9:55 am | 13 comments
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Along with Nick Cummins, Joe Marler is probably the most amusing rugby player (that the public have access to) on the planet these days. He's a fascinating character, loves the banter, and clearly isn't afraid to take the mickey out of the referee during the match.
If you've watched any of the O2 Inside Line episodes of behind the scenes England camp clips you'll more than likely agree that Marler needs to get in front of the camera more. As with James Haskell and the Honey Badger, something funny always seems to happen.
Professional sport needs these characters and thanks to social media and the increased presence of official team video uploads, we're now exposed to the complex minds of these great athletes.
In this case Marler gave referee Andrew Small a bit of stick for wearing white boots, and rightly so.
Great work from our man Nick Heath on the commentry too.
Posted at 9:45 am | 15 comments
Monday, March 31, 2014
Poor Kosuke Hashino. It was meant to be a great occasion topped off by a wonderful finish, but instead the Japanese flyer showed us what can go wrong when attempting a swallow dive. He's not the first, nor the last who will succumb to a bit of showboating.
Japan became the first Asian nation to qualify as a core team in the HSBC Sevens World Series after they beat Italy 26-5 in Hong Kong on Sunday. The qualifiers featured 12 teams all vying for a spot on the prestigious world series, which takes place over nine rounds each year.
As with Carlin Isles' debut in fifteens, this was to be a memorable occasion for a number of reasons, as Kosuke Hashino's blooper left shocked viewers gob smacked.
With an opportunity for a runaway try, Hashino looked to seal the victory in style with a big swallow dive, similar to the kind of showboating/celebrating/showmanship (your choice) often seen by England wing Chris Ashton, but got it horribly wrong.
While Ashton is yet to mess up (unlike Juan Leguizamon a few years back), Hashino lept into the air spectacularly, but left the ball behind. Luckily the win was already a sure thing so he didn't cost his side anything but a few blushes.
EXTRA: You can view more absolute howlers in the Related Posts below the video
Posted at 3:16 pm | 10 comments