Saturday, February 15, 2014
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
Sunday, February 09, 2014
France scored three second half tries to ease past Italy with a comfortable 30-10 victory in Paris. Louis Picamoles, Wesley Fofana and Hugo Bonneval all scored within ten minutes as France showed a clinical side that they lacked in the first half.
Jean-Marc Doussain kicked France to a 9-3 lead at halftime as both sides looked fairly well matched, but in the second half France arrived, blitzing Italy with three tries in ten minutes.
Picamoles scored from a maul three minutes into the half, before Fofana sprinted down the wing for the second, then helped to set up Bonneval, who scored on debut. All three tries were converted.
Italy scored a late try through Tommaso Iannone, but the match ended on a fairly dull and sour note as two players were red carded for head butting as a scrum broke up.
Rabah Slimani and Michele Rizzo were both sent off by referee Jaco Peyper, who referred to both the TMO and touchjudge Craig Joubert for advice. Sebastien Vahaamahina was yellow carded for kicking the ball away shortly before that.
Official extended match highlights (8 minutes long) are now updated below
With players like Picamoles and Fofana making big impacts, do you think France are now serious contenders for the Championship, or is it still too early to say?
View the red cards incident (page two)
Posted at 4:56 pm | 20 comments
England ran out 20-0 winners in a one-sided Calcutta Cup match at a boggy Murrayfield on Saturday. Both Luther Burrell and Mike Brown scored tries again, converted by Owen Farrell. Conditions underfoot were awful, hampering the efforts of both teams at times.
Try scorer Brown, who had another good game at fullback, paid tribute to his team mates.
"The forwards put an outstanding shift in. Faz (Owen Farrell) at 10 and DC (Danny Care) at nine just pulling the strings, it was overall outstanding," he said.
Captain Chris Robshaw however said that his team needs to be more clinical.
"We weren't too happy with our attack, I felt we left some points out there," Robshaw told BBC Sport. "We got away with it today, we might not get away with it next time."
Scotland struggled with their lineout, losing 5 in total, and conceded 14 turnovers.
"You're not going to win with a lineout that doesn’t work," said Chris Cusiter post match.
"We just couldn't get anything going. We seemed to be committing too many to rucks, not getting any fast ball, and we started missing tackles at the end. We just could never put them under pressure. It's hugely disappointing."
Scotland were kept scoreless in the Calcutta Cup fixture for the first time since 1978. They haven't scored a try in their last four Tests and travel to Italy next, where they haven't won in eight years.
Extended official highlights are now updated below
Posted at 10:47 am | 51 comments