Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Last week it was announced that the All Blacks will play Samoa in Samoa for the first time ever. To mark the occasion, here is a quick video of a great moment between the two sides in 1999, featuring the Umaga brothers as they went head to head.
A week ago it was confirmed that the long overdue, historic meeting between New Zealand and Samoa will take place in Apia in July 2015. The match will serve as preparation for both sides for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but more significantly it will be their first ever meeting on Samoan soil.
It's been a long time coming, with many of the strongest current and past New Zealand stars coming from Samoan heritage. The gesture will go a long way with the extremely talented nation.
"Many players in our team have strong ties to Samoa so this Test will be a great occasion for all of us. It will only enhance the links between our two countries," said All Black coach Steve Hansen.
"There is also a lot of respect for Manu Samoa and playing them at home will make this a great challenge - one we will all look forward to."
The match will take place on 8 July 2015, with broadcast details to be confirmed nearer the time.
In June of 1999 the two sides met at North Harbour Stadium in New Zealand and there was a great moment in the very first minute of the match, as Samoa's Mike Umaga failed to find touch, but instead found his younger brother, Tana.
The hard running winger zeroed in on him, showing that there's no room for sentiment on the rugby field. Mike is seven years his senior, so maybe Tana had a bit to prove. Umaga senior tackled him well, but it was a decent bit of contact, perhaps with neither player getting the upper hand.
Posted at 4:01 pm | 10 comments
We don't often feature non-professional rugby on the homepage, but when we do, it's usually quite special. This dummy from Mike Baska of Arkansas State University is off the charts in terms of audaciousness, and of course, execution.
The footage has gone viral in a big way, with the original youtube video (below) as well as other rips of it being shared on social media this week, racking up thousands of views.
Scrumhalf Baska, playing against the University of Arkansas, dummied Joshua Nearman who switched inside nicely, then found him again before getting taken out by the covering defence.
What was as impressive as the little show of the ball then loop-de-loop dummy was that Baska kept his head to find Nearman with the inside ball, so the try was scored.
As we've been saying for years, get your matches filmed, upload the clips and get sharing with us. Moments like this aren't seen all too often so to have it captured on camera, priceless.
Credit to ASU Ruggers for uploading
Posted at 10:05 am | 6 comments
Monday, September 15, 2014
The All Blacks proved too composed yet again as they maintained their impeccable home record with a hard-fought 14-10 victory over the Springboks in Wellington. It was a low scoring, tough Test match but still managed to provide two outstanding tries.
It was another epic battle between the two sides, with the visitors coming close in the dying minutes after surge after surge at the line, but the home side's composure and incredible defence managed to hold them out and eventually get the ball into touch with time up.
Earlier in the match the Springboks had scored first through a lovely backline move off a lineout, with winger Cornal Hendricks flying through a gap that young Handre Pollard drew open.
South Africa went into the half with the lead but later it was the turn of that superhuman number eight, Kieran Read, to produce another unbelievable offload, putting skipper McCaw in at the corner.
With the win, New Zealand have extended their lead at the top of the IRB World Rankings. A fifteen point or more win for the visitors would have taken them to number one, but as it is, the World Champions have a commanding five point lead, with Australia in third place.
It wasn't to be a fairytale 100th Test match for Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, but some consolation may be the way that McCaw and the New Zealand Rugby Union honoured him post match with an official capping process and sincere words from the All Black captain.
It was a lovely moment and one that only serves to strengthen the bond that these two old foes have, and serves to solidify the age old rugby mantra of respect, both on and off the field.
On the injury front, Ruan Pienaar will play no further part in the tournament after damaging his medial cruciate ligament, and for the All Blacks, Ma'a Nonu left the field with what has turned out to be a broken arm. He'll be out for the rest of the season.
Posted at 4:13 pm | 16 comments
Reminiscent of the famous George Gregan try saving tackle on Jeff Wilson in 1994, Mike Brown tracked back with this excellent effort against Saracens on Friday. Duncan Taylor stepped Danny Care and looked certain to score before Brown's spirited intervention.
It was one of the few highlights of their night, as Saracens thumped Quins 39-0, scoring three tries while Charlie Hodgson, Alex Goode and Owen Farrell kicked the rest of their points.
This tackle though, despite being part of a losing cause, is definitely worth sharing.
Posted at 7:46 am | 6 comments
Friday, September 12, 2014
The preview image to this video might be a little misleading, and as much as we'd like to see a Top 5 Chabal Moments clip (take note, Sean), this Rugby HQ Top 5 features top quality tries and great play from Los Pumas, Argentina over the years.
They take it way back to show Hugo Porta slotting drop kicks off both feet, feature the famous try scored in the 2007 Rugby World Cup against France, and we get to relive Martin Landajo's sensational score in 2012. Señor Maloney even weighs in with a bit of Spanish.
The Wallabies host Argentina on the Gold Coast tomorrow, with the visitors looking to spring an upset after some physically imposing performances so far in this year's Rugby Championship.
Posted at 6:27 pm | 7 comments
Few players have had the kind of impact that Julian Savea has since scoring a hat-trick on debut for the All Blacks two years ago against Ireland. For his size and power, the Jonah Lomu comparisons are always there, and for the try-scoring, it's Joe Rokocoko that comes up.
With an unbelievable 26 tries in 25 Tests, and a match against the second best team in the world tomorrow, Savea talks Sky Sport NZ through what drives him, the legends and his recent tries.
See more of Savea in action, including at under 20 level, in the Related Posts below
Posted at 8:27 am | 5 comments
Thursday, September 11, 2014
This is an amusing try from Leicester Tigers in last weekend's Aviva Premiership opening round victory over Newcastle Falcons. Replacement number eight Robert Barbieri came on and with the result all but sealed, he felt that this was the best way to control the ball for a pushover try.
As you can see, as David Mele dived on it to score the try, he made a pretty good point.
We saw Denis Leamy do this for Munster a few years back actually, in 2007, with great success.
The Tigers won the game 36-17, scoring four tries in total, including a hat-trick to Niki Goneva.
Posted at 6:09 pm | 14 comments