Monday, February 17, 2014
Debutant Marnitz Boshoff kicked six from six penalties as well as a dramatic last minute drop goal to help the Lions to a 21-20 upset victory over the Cheetahs in Super Rugby's opening game in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Springbok Willie Le Roux had a shaky start to the match but showed his class by setting up the opening try of the game for Cheetahs flyer Raymond Rhule. The home side led at halftime before scoring again in the second half through Sevens star Cornal Hendricks, on debut.
The game was scrappy at times as both sides showed attacking intent, resulting in some enjoyable play but plenty of errors. The Cheetahs dominated play, with the Lions fielding a whole host of newcomers to Super Rugby, after themselves being out of the tourmanent for a season.
They took every opportunity presented to them, making the most of Cheetahs ill-discipline.
Home team flyhalf Johan Goosen went off injured, after missing the whole of last season, and replacement Elgar Watts missed a sitter in front of goal that will give him nightmares.
The Lions pushed hard in the last few minutes and after seven phases of play, Boshoff cooley slotted the winning kick, taking his personal tally to 21 points on a dream Super Rugby debut.
Posted at 8:09 am | 2 comments
Saturday, February 15, 2014
This massive hit by flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu is from last weekend's match between Wasps and Harlequins, and features Italian back Andrea Masi on the receiving end of a big Samoan shoulder.
While some might question the legality of it, stills show that former rugby league player Fa'asavalu made an attempt to wrap, but his huge arm simply smashed Masi before he could.
Whether that's a correct assesment or not, the impact was absolutely brutal.
Posted at 5:03 pm | 17 comments
The Cheetahs host the Lions shortly in what is the start of the much anticipated 2014 Super Rugby season. The match takes place in Bloemfontein and sees the Lions return to Super Rugby after having lost their place to the Kings for a year.
The Johannesburg based side is back though after having won a promotion/relegation series against the Kings, who finished bottom of the South African conference. This is who they're up against today, a side with many top quality players who play an exciting brand of rugby.
This is Fox Sports' beginners guide. We'll feature more of these over the next week
Posted at 2:05 pm | 0 comments
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wales centre Scott Williams will undergo surgery today on the injured shoulder that saw him leave the field during his team's 26-3 loss to Ireland on Saturday. Williams injured himself making a huge hit on Brian O'Driscoll, but came off second best.
You've probably seen it already, either watching live or when seeing the match highlights, but here it is again for archiving, and perhaps a bit of discussion about the tackle itself.
Williams timed and read things excellently, but it did appear as though he might have tucked his right arm in, which sometimes indicates there was more shoulder than an attempt to wrap. It was touch and go though, and if it indeed wasn't one hundred percent legal, he received his punishment.
While O'Driscoll took a few moments to recover, Williams left the field a few minutes later, and yesterday it was confirmed that he will miss the rest of the Six Nations. He might be out for even longer than that, according to Scarlets' Simon Easterby.
"He took a major blow to his A/C joint and is under review at the moment," he said. "He is clearly not going to be playing for a number of weeks and won't take any more part in the Six Nations."
Warren Gatland says that Jonathan Davies is still a bit sore after a pectoral injury suffered against South Africa in November. They're still unsure if he'll be able to play against France.
O'Driscoll is currently one cap behind the most capped Test rugby player of all time, George Gregan, who was capped 139 times by the Wallabies. O'Driscoll has only been capped 130 times by Ireland, but has played for the British & Irish Lions 8 times.
Posted at 11:27 am | 41 comments
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The much anticipated start of Super Rugby 2014 is this weekend, so to give you a taste of the kind of rugby we'll be treated to, here is a compilation of some of the best tries scored in last year's tournament. It's not a short video, but it's well worth watching.
This weekend the tournament starts, albeit in a low key manner as there are only two matches, between the Cheetahs and Lions, and the Sharks and the Bulls. In round two there is a full serving of games though, with seven matches across South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Last year was another amazing season for Super Rugby, and the video below features no less than 44 absolutely top quality tries. They bring back great memories, and it's quite hard to believe that they all took place in just one season.
Standouts in the bunch are Julian Savea's charge on Israel Dag (as well as his incredible pickup try), Telusa Veainu's full-field sprint, Tamati Ellison's pass for Ben Smith, Gio Aplon's brilliant stepping, Dagg's incredible solo effort vs the Chiefs, Rene Ranger smashing through Zane Kirchner, Colin Slade scoring that unbelievable Highlanders team try, and Tim Nanai Williams' goosestep.
Another notable mention would be Pat Lambie's try, which was featured in the recent post we made with the nominations for the South African Try of the Year Award. That will be announced tonight.
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Enjoy the video and we'd love to hear your feedback. Best try, top five, etc.
Credit to TheJml217 for a great video
Posted at 5:00 pm | 14 comments
Monday, February 10, 2014
While New Zealand won the Wellington Sevens, there were some great tries scored by a number of teams, particularly Australia who produced two of the best individual efforts seen in recent times.
View Seven of the Best tries here, as picked by the IRB, featuring Carlin Isles, Sherwin Stowers, Samisoni Viriviri, Allan Fa'alava'au, Nanyak Dala, Shannon Walker and Bryce Heem.
Posted at 8:09 pm | 3 comments
New Zealand picked up their first win over South Africa in the HSBC Sevens World Series since 2012 when they put on a clinical display in front of their home crowd in Wellington on Saturday. The 21-0 victory sees them move back to the top of the table.
South Africa were denied a third successive tournament win as they were outplayed and outmuscled by the All Blacks Sevens team in wet conditions at the Westpac Stadium.
Sherwin Stowers and Tim Mikkelson scored the tries and kept the Blitzbokke scoreless as New Zealand conceded just 12 points all tournament, coming in their opening loss to Fiji.
"The loss to Fiji woke us up a little bit, to the extent that we got our defence right," said coach Gordon Tietjens. "Defence wins tournaments. What really capped it off was the final tackle of the final - it was a great, great tackle."
"We had the game won but the drive for no one to cross our line was still there," he added.
Fiji themselves claimed third place after a 14-7 win against England, while Australia took the Plate, Kenya lifted the Bowl and the USA claimed a second successive Shield.
New Zealand are now two points clear of South Africa on 99 points, while Fiji are in third spot overall with 73. The next round is in Tokyo on 22-23 March.
View the all the knockout stages of the tournament, including the final, below
Posted at 10:57 am | 0 comments