Tuesday, October 14, 2014
If you weren't able to catch any of the Sevens from the Gold Coast this past weekend, above is a round up of what happened on the final day, including the dramatic final between Fiji and Samoa. On the next page of this post you can view day one highlights, with some funny clips thrown in.
The IRB have pledged to bring fans more video clips from the HSBC World Sevens Series over the course of the season, so we'll share and archive the best of them on here when possible.
Monday, October 13, 2014
A quick look at an awful tackle from the Australian Schools flyhalf Jordan Jackson-Hope against the New Zealand Barbarians two weeks ago. Jackson-Hope was shown a straight red card after he left the referee little choice but to send him from the field for this spear or tip-tackle.
The Australian side were made to pay for their one-man disadvantage, going down 39-21.
"Losing our flyhalf so early in the match was not ideal for our game plan, so we had to adjust to that," said coach Steve Philpotts. "We were a bit shell-shocked in those first 10 minutes but we remained patient and put ourselves in good positions to capitalise on the Barbarians' errors.
"I am very proud of the way we tried to play for the full 70 minutes, considering we were a man down for most of the match," he added when reflecting on the match.
Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower was shown a straight red card for punching in the opening minutes of the Super League Grand Final. The Welshman hit Lance Hohaia on the floor despite the first punch appearing to have knocked the 31-year-old Kiwi out.
Flower has since apologised to everyone involved, including Hohaia and the sport of Rugby League.
"I am so sorry for what happened last night," Flower said in his statement.
"There is no defence for my actions. It is something that happened in the heat of the moment. I instantly regretted it and am devastated that I allowed myself to punch someone like this.
"At Wigan we may aim to dominate teams, but we don't aim to hurt people. I firstly offer my apologies to Lance. I hope he is OK. I'd also like to say sorry to my team-mates, our fans and the Wigan club. I accept I'll have to live with this for the rest of my career.
"Finally, I'm sorry to the sport of rugby league. It was a big night and I know I've taken attention away from a special event."
Hohaia has said that he doesn't hold a grudge, and doesn't remember the incident.
"Sometimes these things happen in a game, in the heat of the moment people do things they regret," Hohaia told the BBC. "I've done some silly things myself, so I don't hold any regrets against Ben - he's probably disappointed with himself.
"I don't remember the incident - people have been telling me what happened. I don't think the nose is broken, but I'll have a scan on it in the week. I wanted to go back on but the doctor wouldn't let me and obviously my health goes before anything else."
St Helens won the Old Trafford clash 14-6.
This was covered via Leaguedump, where we bring you Rugby League coverage daily. Follow on Facebook for more on this story and everything else in the world of Rugby League.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Ben Tameifuna made his return to ITM Cup rugby after serving the suspension for pushing referee Glen Jackson last month. The massive tighthead showed what Waikato had been missing with a strong performance, including this huge fend and a big tackle.
It was the final round of the regular season in New Zealand's domestic competition, as Waikato hosted Bay of Plenty and picked up a 29-12 victory to end their season on a positive note.
Tameifuna was last seen in action when he pushed referee Jackson in Waikato's round 3 match against North Harbour in early September. That resulted in a five week suspension and his side missing out on his considerable presence towards the latter stages of the comp.
On Thursday he gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, with some excellent turnovers, a big tackle in the first half and this powerful fend on huge prop Solomona Sakalia.
The two giants have played together before, so Sakalia, who weighs around 120kg's himself, should have known better than to go so high. His error cost him dearly, as Big Ben shrugged him off without too much concern, dealing with the 1.90 metre man as if he were a pesky scrumhalf.
The tackle was made eventually, albeit with the feet and some kind of clumsy trip. Right at the beginning of the match he got the better of another forward, and even though he has built a bit of a reputation for overstepping the mark at times, he wasn't penalised. Great impact all round.
View the solid hit that Tameifuna made in the first half here
Saturday, October 11, 2014
UPDATE: The match was shown here LIVE but you can now watch the full replay above
Today Uruguay and Russia meet in Montevideo for the crucial second leg decider to see who will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015, to join England, Wales, Fiji and Australia in Pool A. The match will be streamed live around the world, with fans able to view the uninterrupted coverage right here.
Russia edged the first leg 22-21 two weeks ago in Siberia, so it's all to play for today for both sides. After three years, 203 matches involving 83 teams and around 3,000 players, it’s down to 80 more minutes of rugby for that final position at England 2015.
If the two teams finish level on aggregate, the match will go into extra time to decide the winner.
"The first leg of this final play-off in Russia last month was so close with Russia's flair and speed eventually proving enough to overcome Uruguay’s power and precision," said Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"But there is only one point in it so both teams will fully believe they can do it."
The IRB coverage starts at 19.00 BST (18:00 GMT, 16:00 local). Please note this stream not viewable in Uruguay (where it is televised), but available everywhere else.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
There's always a bit of guilt involved in highlighting a player's misfortune on the rugby field, especially if it's a junior, but this clip has to be seen to believed as it could be the most wayward lineout ever seen. It comes from the Fiji Schools vs New Zealand Barbarians match recently.
As a hooker you want to make sure you hit your jumpers early in the match, but he got this horribly wrong, heading closer to the flyhalf than the man at the front of the lineout. As you can see by the formation and movement of the second jumper, they got the call wrong too.
Sonny Bill Williams made his return to rugby union today, playing for Counties Manukau against Auckland in the ITM Cup. His return has been swift, wasting no time shifting from the NRL back into New Zealand's domestic competition. The Crowd Goes Wild met up with him a few days back.
Williams looks set for a slot on the All Blacks end of year tour, providing he has a smooth transition back into code. If his past performances are anything to go by, that won't be a problem. He recently tweeted how happy he is to be back in New Zealand, and back playing rugby.
Family, friends and the 15 man game. Love being back home in nz ??— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) October 2, 2014
He came off the bench in the second half with Counties 27-11 up against Auckland. The final score in Pukekohe was a record 41-18 win for Counties Manukau.