Tuesday, September 03, 2013
British & Irish Lions stars Jonny Sexton, Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts are all at Racing Metro in France this season. So far Sexton has played pretty well, as can be seen with the confident break in this clip, but on this occasion Roberts failed to finish off what could have been a great try.
After fracturing the defence, all Racing needed to do was get it wide and a try was sure to be on, but Roberts' poor pass killed the move. As you can see, he was pretty disgusted with himself.
It mattered little though as they bounced back from last weekend's loss to Toulon by beating Oyonnax 22-9. Sexton scored 17 points and Virgile Lacombe scored a late try to seal victory.
You can also view a (French language) match report and wrap up on page two of this post
Posted at 5:19 pm | 11 comments
When you think of Villain, you no doubt have someone in particular in mind based on where you are from and who you support, as well as what you've seen in your time as a rugby fan. The guys at Rugby HQ in Australia have picked theirs, so here you go.
Over the years we've seen our fair share of filthy play on the rugby field. A lot of it has been documented here on RD, providing hours of shock factor and for some, entertainment.
Now Sean Maloney and crew have put together their Top 5, all from the Southern Hemisphere, and featuring no less than three South Africans. They've given top spot to a vilified front rower from arch rivals New Zealand, but that's to be expected.
The man in question, Richard Loe, has actually spoken out this week on the recent biting incident that occurred between Argentina and South Africa, saying that Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth deserved to be bitten by Leonardo Senatore.
Senatore was found guilty and banned for nine weeks, however Loe felt that he was provoked and despite flanker Pablo Matera also being cited for an eye-gouge (and later cleared due to a lack of evidence), Loe says that he does not expect more dirty play from Argentina.
"In the case of Senatore, I thought that Eben Etzebeth kind of got what he deserved for slamming his forearm into the Puma No 8's face. The incident was not in my view a case of the player deliberately setting out to bite – it wasn't like the time Johan le Roux bit Sean Fitzpatrick's ear – so I wouldn't read too much into it," Loe said.
In the video below we get to see some awful incidents, most of which we have featured at some stage over the years. You can view those, and the Senatore incident, in the Related Posts below.
Who would you name as the all time Top 5 Rugby Villains?
Posted at 8:09 am | 22 comments
Monday, September 02, 2013
If you hadn't heard yet, the legendary Rupeni Caucau is back playing where it all started for him, at Northland in New Zealand provincial rugby. He has had two outings for the Taniwha, and showed glimpses of his brilliance on both occasions.
Back in New Zealand after a fairly low key stint at Toulouse in France, Caucau is looking and feeling in better shape that he has for a while. He's reportedly weighing in at just 108kg, and still has elements of that explosive acceleration that made him one of the most lethal finishers in the game.
He missed the opening round of the ITM Cup but in week two he played on the wing against Southland, and as you can see at the beginning of this video, he almost set up two tries, had it not been for some good defence and an unfortunate forward pass.
Against North Harbour this past weekend he combined with the brilliant Rene Ranger, who yet again showed what an incredible player he is all over the park. Ranger made the turnover, then set off after a quick tap and gave 33-year-old Caucau an easy stroll in from 60m out.
His second important touch was part of a lovely Northland try that was finished by their speedy fullback Whiria Meltzer. A neat little offload in the tackle followed, and late in the first half he scored his second try with some trademark power, balance and acceleration.
Northland and North Harbour drew 33-33 after a tense finish that included a sending off and a sin-binning. We'll follow Rupeni's progress and keep you updated throughout the season.
The Crowd Goes Wild spoke to him a few weeks back, touching on how good he feels physically, as well as featuring some classic clips of him in action. You can view that on page two
Posted at 9:26 am | 14 comments
Friday, August 30, 2013
This excellent video was made by Sky Sport New Zealand and shown a few times on TV, over there and in the UK, ahead of the recent Bledisloe Cup matches. It features the great man Jonah Lomu speaking about his memories of Bledisloe Cup rugby.
The video is so much more than that though. In just a few minutes it takes us right back to where it all began for the big guy, his journey through international rugby, and him being struck down with a terrible condition that threatened to cripple his career.
In true Lomu style he soldiered on and continued to terrorise defences all over the planet.
While as it's obvious at the end of the video that it's meant as a promotion for the Bledisloe Cup, which the All Blacks have already wrapped up, this is a must see clip as it charts the progress and thoughts of one of the most significant rugby players to have ever played the game.
It's also really inspiring and will no doubt get you wanting to throw the jersey and boots on and get out there. So sit back and enjoy this quick look at the man that changed the game forever.
View more classic clips of Jonah in action in the Related Posts below
Posted at 3:48 pm | 6 comments
Tributes have poured in for the late Cliff Morgan, the former Wales and Lions star and commentator so famous for his wonderful words on the great Barbarians try in 1973. Morgan passed away yesterday at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness.
Morgan, considered one of Wales' best ever flyhalfs, was capped 29 times for his country, captained the British Lions in 1955 and went on to have a highly successful career in broadcasting. He is of course best remembered for that iconic piece of commentary on the Gareth Edwards try.
He was actually a late replacement for Bill McClaren on the day, who had fallen ill and couldn't take up his usual post as lead commentator. Morgan slotted in and made a wonderful try all the more memorable for the poetic way in which he called it.
"He was an icon of the game, a great player and a great man of the media," said JPR Williams.
"It is interesting really, because people always remember the commentary of that try the Baa-Baas scored against New Zealand in 1973. What many don't know is that Cliff was actually a late replacement for Bill McClaren who was ill on the day.
"Cliff was a brilliant player, albeit a little before my time, and he was an even more brilliant commentator. He was also excellent value at the after match functions where he could play the piano. You would sing a song, any song, and he would accompany you. He was just a brilliant all-rounder and will be sadly missed."
Jack Kyle, who Morgan played against in his first ever Test, later described him as "the best fly-half there can ever have been, thrusting, darting, always unexpected".
"He was an exceptional player and one of the truly outstanding outside-halves Wales has produced over the years," said former Wales centre Nigel Davies.
"But, more than that, he was an exceptional person, the voice of rugby for someone of my generation. He was remarkable yet humble."
Below is a quick report on Morgan's life in rugby and broadcasting. May he rest in peace.
Credit to Channel 4 news
Posted at 7:24 am | 3 comments
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Last week we looked at Matt Toomua getting hit in the head by the ball on debut against the All Blacks, which provided a few laughs at the time, and no doubt will for a while. Today we've got a best of the best in Falcons, courtesy of the guys at Rugby HQ.
Over the years we've featured many from all over the world, and some of those are included in this Top 5 video, but there's a few that you may not have seen yet so it's worth checking out.
If you still don't know, the term Falcon is used in Australia when the ball hits a player on the head. It derives from Rugby League and a former player named Mario Fenech. The story goes that his nickname was the Maltese Falcon (he was of Maltese decent), and he was once famously hit on the head by the ball.
That clip was played on the The Footy Show to introduce him, and they then had an award for players being hit on the head, called the Golden Falcon Award. That was eventually shortened to just Falcon, bringing us to where we are today.
Last week it was Toomua, and before that we've had Wayne Barnes, Rynhardt Elstadt, Jamie McaKintosh, Andrea Lo Cicero (funny one), Kurtley Beale and of course Cory Jane, smashed by Beale. You can view all of those in the Related Posts below the video.
As for this Top 5, brilliant stuff as always from Sean Maloney and team, including two you may not have seen before, and a number one that will no doubt reign supreme for some time to come.
Posted at 3:26 pm | 4 comments
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The Top 14 is back underway with the new season having kicked off last weekend. As we've become accustomed to, each week TV station Canal Plus puts together their selection of the best tries scored in that round. So here's a look at the latest.
The top ten compilations only gets released on the weekend of the next round, so this is the most recent availible, featuring the best tries from the opening round of play (round 2 has just passed).
It's ten minutes worth of great rugby, some tries better than others, but look out for some things in particular, namely a great step from former Toulon centre Gabi Lovobalavu, Hosea Gear's first ever try for Toulouse, and some incredible pace from Metuisela Telebula for Bordeaux.
Also, Camille Lopez was involved in a winning try for Perpignan, and former All Black flyer Joe Rokocoko got on the end of a pretty special try for Bayonne.
We'll have more Top 14 action soon, and remember you can get your requests in for moments from the Top 14, Currie Cup, ITM Cup and anything else you've seen that you think should be featured.
Posted at 6:35 pm | 13 comments