Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The scrum has been under focus this year as the changes in engagement have meant a different approach, with both advantages and benefits for certain teams. The hookers now have to hook, which is a new concept for some of them.
Lawrence Dallaglio and Martin Bayfield investigate on BT Sport's Rugby Tonight show with the help of former Wales and current Exeter Chiefs prop, Craig Mitchell, and hooker Luke-Cowan Dickie.
Through the help of the in studio guests and some video clips, this demonstration should give you a better idea of how things are working inside the coalface under the new scrum interpretations.
Why is it going right for some and wrong for others? This should explain some of it.
Posted at 11:52 am | 4 comments
Monday, October 21, 2013
Western Province will host the Currie Cup final after they beat the Golden Lions 33-16 at Newlands on Saturday. The win was sparked in part by brilliant fullback Gio Aplon, who has put his hand up for selection ahead of the end of year Springboks European tour.
Aplon, who last played Test rugby against England last year, has been out of favour with coach Heyneke Meyer, who appeared to prefer bigger backs. The inclusion of the dynamic Willie Le Roux this year however leads one to believe that the door may not be shut on the 31-year-old.
"I think there is a spot for Gio in the Springbok squad, especially now that Heyneke Meyer has shown with his decision to pick Willie le Roux that he seeks a player with X-factor at the back," said former Springbok centre and now Western Province coach, Robbie Fleck.
Western Province reached their second consecutive final thanks in large part to Man of the Match Aplon, who glided through gaps and fended defenders with ease, despite his diminutive stature.
His try, when the game was finely poised at 10-9, helped the home side pull away and thanks to some fine kicking and a try from flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, WP will meet the Sharks in the final.
Aplon nearly scored earlier in the game as he combined with 19-year-old clone Cheslin Kolbe down the left wing, but the final pass was unfortunately called forward by the TMO.
The 17-times-capped Bok was a constant attacking threat, prompting former national coach Nick Mallett and former flyhalf Naas Botha to question why he isn't part of the current Test setup.
"Gio is a fantastic player who has great feet and constantly breaks the line," said Mallett, with Botha saying "I cannot understand why Gio is not in the national squad - he is such a consistently good performer at Super Rugby and Currie Cup levels."
The end of year squad will be announced two days after the Currie Cup final.
Below is a quick wrap-up of some of Aplon's great play, including that excellent try just before halftime. At the beginning of the video you can also look out for a big tackle by lock Eben Etzebeth.
Posted at 4:33 pm | 10 comments
Sunday, October 20, 2013
New Zealand sealed a 3-0 Bledisloe Cup whitewash as they beat Australia 41-33 in Dunedin, maintaining their unbeaten run this year. A much improved Wallabies side showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with though, scoring three tries of their own.
The All Blacks had already wrapped up the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, retaining the latter for an incredible 11th straight season. This win equalled their world record for home victories, with their 30th in succession, matching the record previously reached between 2003-2008.
The All Blacks scored four tries to three, satisfying coach Steve Hansen on attack despite the Wallabies looking dangerous and at one stage perhaps scoring a little too easily for his liking.
"It wasn't perfect but we really didn't expect it to be from where we've been and what we've done in the last three weeks," said the head coach. "Maybe we let a couple of soft ones in but at the end of the day it's a lot better than last year," he added, referring to the 18-18 draw last season.
"It's been a big couple of weeks. We've gone around the world and played two big opposition teams, and you can't underestimate how hard the game in South Africa was. To come here and show a bit of mental fortitude again, and play pretty well against a team that played pretty well as well."
Wallaby captain James Horwill was obviously unhappy with the loss, but pleased with the effort.
"We are bitterly disappointed. We came here to win. We never like to lose but we're proud of the effort the guys put in. We were always trying to win the game no matter what the scoreboard was and we went down swinging," he said.
The Wallabies have won just three out of ten matches this year, with two wins over Argentina and the one against the Lions during the home series in June.
Both sides have a busy few weeks ahead, with New Zealand taking on Japan first, then France, England and Ireland. Australia will take on each one of the home nations in consecutive weeks, as well as Italy. Their first match is against England in a fortnight.
Posted at 10:17 am | 7 comments
Saturday, October 19, 2013
There were some outstanding tries scored in round one of the Heineken Cup, so as we're into week two with another jam-packed Saturday and Sunday of European Rugby, here is a look back at some of the best of from last weekend.
We featured the Dion Berryman magic act earlier in the week, and Toulon's great try against Glasgow Warriors, but there were many others that are well worth watching.
We'll get more tries up from the latest round early next week, but if you spotted anything else that you think should be featured, please get in touch by placing an official request or dropping us a quick tweet or email. Which was your favourite try from Round 1?
Posted at 9:19 am | 9 comments
Friday, October 18, 2013
For the first time ever a Test between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is being streamed live online for free to fans around the globe. Those outside of the official broadcast territories will be able to log on at kickoff to watch live, or on demand post match.
More than 45 countries around the world can log on to the All Blacks Youtube channel, or here on Rugbydump, to watch the final Test in the Bledisloe Cup series live. Kickoff is at 7.35pm NZT.
It's the first time such a high profile rugby match has been streamed live this way, and will reach countries such as the USA, Russia and Italy. A full list can be viewed below.
If it is not available in your country, it's probably because there are TV agreements in place to broadcast it - this is purely for fans in those countries where there are not.
"In terms of world rugby, it doesn't get much bigger than the All Blacks against our traditional rival, Australia. Providing fans from Manhattan to Moscow with an opportunity to watch the final Bledisloe Cup Test of the year supports our goal to showcase the All Blacks in new markets throughout the world and build our global fan base," said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.
As well as the live stream, Saturday's match will also be available to be viewed as Video on Demand following the live broadcast. It is available in the following countries:
USA, Albania, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Venezuela
Hit play below to see the countdown, and check back when it's time for kickoff. Use the fullscreen button, and enjoy.
Update: The full match replay is now available, with the same conditions as for the Live stream
Posted at 6:45 pm | 15 comments
It's tradition that after every British & Irish Lions tour a DVD comes out featuring the best of the behind the scenes footage. It's hugely popular every time, and the latest from the 2013 tour, Lions Raw, is released in ten days time. This is a short clip from it.
The documentary comes out soon, with over 2 hours of unseen footage that is sure to be the perfect keepsake for Lions fans. The victorious 1997 tour video is a thing of legend, showing how the team bonded and trained to achieve a famous win, and this years will be no different.
Unrestricted access, covering all ten fixtures with pre-match build up and colourful halftime speeches, the crew worked tirelessly, with the cooperation of team and management, to put together what is being touted as yet another fascinating documentary.
In the short clip above, veteran Brian O'Driscoll is seen at training, nonchalantly controlling a Jonny Sexton chip over the top with his boot, then knee, then casually flicking a no-look reverse pass to Leigh Halfpenny. As you do.
In the clip he speaks about how important it is that every player in the squad plays his role, even if they're not in the matchday 23. It's unclear if this was at the beginning of the tour, or after he was dropped by coach Warren Gatland for the final Test, but the message stands either way.
We'll be giving away a few copies of the DVD, so keep an eye out for that competition in the upcoming weeks, and feel free to let us know where you think O'Driscoll - despite not being selected for the final Test - ranks amongst the all time Lions legends. Top 5?
Posted at 2:36 pm | 36 comments
Throughout the year we've archived Rugby HQ's highly popular Plays of the Week features, and as the show is about to take a break over in Australia, they've now come up with their Plays of the Year, featuring the very best in tries, tackles, funnies and more.
From an Australian point of view, hosting the British & Irish Lions series was the biggest event of the year, but things didn't go to plan for the home side as the men from up north pulled off the upset.
Since then, the Wallabies have been in disarray. They ended the Rugby Championship on a high with a big win over Argentina, but their performance against the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup Test tomorrow will determine where they are and where they'll want to be come the end of the year.
They did score some great tries this year though, as featured in this video, but the winner of Try of the Year - according to Rugby HQ - went to Beauden Barrett and the All Blacks.
Biggest tackle of the year was quite easy to pick. It was also the most controversial tackle of the year, which could have been a category on it's own as refereeing came under the spotlight following more than a handful of questionable decisions this year.
The Lions got the nod for Moment of the Year, but after a classic Test match in Johannesburg, and with the End of Year tours still to come, the moment of this year could still be up for debate.
All in all, it's just a bit of fun and another chance for us to enjoy some great moments in 2013.
Thanks and credit as always to Fox Sports Australia and Sean Maloney, both of whom have done a great job bringing us these, and the Top 5, clips in 2013. Long may it continue.
Posted at 10:24 am | 12 comments