Tuesday, October 01, 2013
A few weeks back in the Rabodirect Pro 12, on Friday the 13th strangely enough, Glasgow Warriors winger DTH van der Merwe experienced this horror collision with the post as he came close to scoring against Ulster at Ravenhill in Belfast.
Canadian international Van der Merwe was okay luckily and managed to play on, but tweeted after the game that his neck was still a bit sore after the 'postheadbutt'.
He also joked that it's another bizarre moment shared by Rugbydump (via Twitter), following on from a year ago when he tore his hamstring but still managed to set up a try against Zebre.
You can view official highlights from the match on page two of this post
Posted at 7:19 am | 8 comments
Monday, September 30, 2013
New Zealand are favourites to claim another Rugby Championship title after they beat Argentina 33-15 on Saturday, scoring a four try bonus point in the process. They travel to Ellis Park for what should be a mouthwatering finale this coming weekend.
Argentina produced a strong performance first half, but couldn't quite maintain their intensity and hold out against the silky skills and power of the experienced All Blacks.
It was close at the break with just two points separating the sides, but in the second half the visitors scored three unanswered tries, including the vital bonus point score by Ben Smith at the death.
Smith earlier scored the try of the match after Ma'a Nonu put him through the gap superbly before he stepped the cover with ease, adding to his already impressive try scoring record for the season.
The bonus point try ensured that the All Blacks will be sitting pretty come Saturday, knowing that even a loss could result in them claiming the championship title.
Coach Steve Hansen said that with the Springboks needing to score four tries to win, it could open up the game and leave them falling into the trap of playing too loose against a highly talented outfit.
"They are going to have to play some rugby. That will suit us as much as it will suit them," Hansen said post match, before paying tribute to the ever improving Argentina team.
"It was nothing more than we expected. They are a side that is getting better all the time. They're very, very good up front and they tried to play a bit of rugby today and played it quite well so we had to work for it, and the bonus point right at the end was exactly that, a bonus for us."
Posted at 2:23 pm | 16 comments
Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe has been suspended following the 28-8 victory over the Wallabies on Saturday. Van Der Merwe was yellow carded by referee Jerome Garces, but was later cited for the offence that was deemed worthy of a red card.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing found Van der Merwe guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, which also constituted a breach of Law 10.4 (a) Striking after he was cited following thet Rugby Championship match at Newlands.
The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held via video conference on Monday 30th September. Van der Merwe has been suspended for one week up to and including 5th October 2013.
In his finding, Nicholas Davidson QC ruled the following:
The player was initially sin-binned for a dangerous tackle but the citing alleged a deliberate striking.
After hearing from the player's counsel, the player and the South African Manager, the Judicial Officer concluded that this was a breach of Law 10.4 (e) as a dangerous tackle executed high and leading with the forearm and without any attempt to grasp the player in the initial contact.
It was also a strike under Law 10.4 (a) but not intentional as cited. Mr Mike Mika, a former professional player, assisted the Judicial Officer.
Van der Merwe has a good disciplinary record at international and Super Rugby level and has never before been suspended. Springbok manager Mr Schwartz spoke extremely well of him as a player and a personality in the game.
Although breach was denied, the Judicial Officer concluded that his record and conduct including a concerned approach to the Australian player warranted a discount to a one-week suspension only.
The Springboks have called up namesake Franco van der Merwe to the squad as cover.
"Losing any player, for whatever reasons, is never ideal but Franco knows our structures and plans very well, having been part of the squad since June last year," said coach Heyneke Meyer.
It was an awkward looking 'tackle' and while being spoken to by Garces, Van der Merwe claimed that he fell over. He was also quick to point out the difference between his and Michael Hooper's tip-tackle (that also resulted in a yellow card).
Posted at 10:14 am | 14 comments
The Springboks were disappointed to miss out on a much needed bonus point as they beat the Wallabies 28-8 in an eventful Rugby Championship Test on Saturday. They are now set up for a deciding encounter with the All Blacks, but have it all to do.
A record win over the Wallabies in Cape Town wasn't enough to satisfy skipper Jean De Villiers, who came off the field saying that he's never been so disappointed to beat them by twenty points.
Scoring three tries in total, two in the first half and one ten minutes out, the Springboks failed to pick up a crucial bonus point that would have put them in a good position going into next week's crunch championship decider with the All Blacks.
"If you had given us a 20-point win over Australia at the beginning of this year, we would have grabbed it," a frustrated De Villiers said post match. "To beat a very good Australian side by that margin is a great achievement, but having given ourselves 40 minutes to score two tries in the second half, there is some disappointment that we did not manage it."
Discipline was a bit of a problem as a yellow card to Flip van der Merwe, who was has since been suspended, didn't help matters. Duane Vermeulen was also yellow carded for a deliberate slapdown, while the Wallabies lost two players of thei own, with Michael Hooper sinbinned for a dangerous tackle, and Sitaleki Timani carded for leading with the shoulder.
The home side will be pleased with some of the rugby they produced, specifically the play of Fourie Du Preez and the try scored by Zane Kirchner, but will be unhappy with the loss of momentum in the second half, and the try they let in, scored by debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia.
"I want to see a lot of improvement against the All Blacks. We want to be the best team in the world and win the World Cup and to do that we must improve game-by-game," said coach Heyneke Meyer, who seemed content with looking at the bigger picture.
New Zealand scored a bonus point victory over Argentina, so are five points clear going into the final match. To win the Rugby Championship next weekend at Ellis Park, the Springboks will need to beat the All Blacks by seven or more, and score four tries in the process.
Below are extended match highlights, including some huge tackles, great rugby and one quality sidestep in particular. There were a few talking points, good and bad, so let us know your thoughts.
Posted at 6:55 am | 42 comments
Saturday, September 28, 2013
This weekend the biggest clash of the Rugby Championship is arguably the game between the Springboks and the Wallabies in Cape Town. Over the years there have been some great moments taking place in South African rugby, so Sean Maloney and crew pay tribute to them with this extended Top 10 Out of Africa moments.
The guys at Rugby HQ in Australia have trawled their archives and come up with some classic clips, both humourous and great to watch for the quality of rugby.
Office Jannie, who you'll remember from their recent #BeatTheBoks campaign, makes a return to show Maloney and Nathan Sharpe all they need to know about braaing borewors and sosaties.
Then we get right into it, focussing on some of the most memorable moments in recent years.
Some of the clips on show include Robbie Fleck's howler against the Sharks in 2001, Bryan Habana's wonder try (scored from the restart after scoring another try) in 2005, lock Victor Matfield's chip and chase, and Stirling Mortlock's great winning kick from the touchline in 2000.
Below is part one but in the next segment, which is the actual Top 5, we have more great tries and funny moments, and one that British & Irish Lions fans might not want to watch. Fair to say it could be a bit of a dig from the good folk in Australia.
View part two of this enjoyable feature, the Top 5 Out of Africa Moments
Posted at 12:44 pm | 13 comments
Friday, September 27, 2013
Toulon back David Smith shows his versatility by playing hooker, lock, scrumhalf, flyhalf and wing in this creative Instagram video he posted alongside Ali Williams earlier today.
If Mourad Boudjellal was thinking of pulling out the cheque book to sign yet another player, he need look no further than Smith, who certainly doesn't lack, you guessed it, focus.
* If the video doesn't play, make sure that you try in a HTML5 compatible browser. If that doesn't work, try on your phone or with the Instagram app (follow d_smith_hurricane). If that doesn't work, we're all out of ideas. Have a good weekend anyway.
Posted at 6:07 pm | 4 comments
Last month we launched the new All Blacks channel, brought to you by AIG, with one of the new features being a regular chat with former Test player, Nick Evans. This week we caught up with Nick again for more insightful thoughts on the Rugby Championship.
Nick is not only one of the best in the game in his position, but he's great when it comes to an intelligent chat and sharing his thoughts and insight on the current state of all things rugby.
In this video the Harlequins flyhalf discusses a range of subjects, including why the Wallabies aren't performing and what they should do going forward, whether Argentina can be a force in the tournament and who their biggest loss was, and how, if at all, the All Blacks can be beaten.
"You've got to get them at set piece. I don't think their lineout is as good as it has been, or can be.. Their scrum is good but if you do put the pressure on their 8/9 combination you can get a lot of mileage out there," Evans says.
"The one thing you can't give the All Blacks is free ball. You've got to kick accurately, either contest or get the ball off the park. Unstructured attack for the All Blacks is like candy - they gobble it up."
Evans, who has obviously been based in the UK with his club for the last few years, also touches on the 2015 Rugby World Cup and which of the home nations he thinks will be in with a shout.
In closing he gives us a quick prediction ahead of this weekend's Rugby Championship games, where South Africa hosts Australia in Cape Town, and New Zealand take on Argentina in La Plata.
Posted at 10:22 am | 3 comments