Saturday, September 28, 2013
This weekend the biggest clash of the Rugby Championship is arguably the game between the Springboks and the Wallabies in Cape Town. Over the years there have been some great moments taking place in South African rugby, so Sean Maloney and crew pay tribute to them with this extended Top 10 Out of Africa moments.
The guys at Rugby HQ in Australia have trawled their archives and come up with some classic clips, both humourous and great to watch for the quality of rugby.
Office Jannie, who you'll remember from their recent #BeatTheBoks campaign, makes a return to show Maloney and Nathan Sharpe all they need to know about braaing borewors and sosaties.
Then we get right into it, focussing on some of the most memorable moments in recent years.
Some of the clips on show include Robbie Fleck's howler against the Sharks in 2001, Bryan Habana's wonder try (scored from the restart after scoring another try) in 2005, lock Victor Matfield's chip and chase, and Stirling Mortlock's great winning kick from the touchline in 2000.
Below is part one but in the next segment, which is the actual Top 5, we have more great tries and funny moments, and one that British & Irish Lions fans might not want to watch. Fair to say it could be a bit of a dig from the good folk in Australia.
View part two of this enjoyable feature, the Top 5 Out of Africa Moments
Posted at 12:44 pm | 13 comments
Friday, September 27, 2013
Toulon back David Smith shows his versatility by playing hooker, lock, scrumhalf, flyhalf and wing in this creative Instagram video he posted alongside Ali Williams earlier today.
If Mourad Boudjellal was thinking of pulling out the cheque book to sign yet another player, he need look no further than Smith, who certainly doesn't lack, you guessed it, focus.
* If the video doesn't play, make sure that you try in a HTML5 compatible browser. If that doesn't work, try on your phone or with the Instagram app (follow d_smith_hurricane). If that doesn't work, we're all out of ideas. Have a good weekend anyway.
Posted at 6:07 pm | 4 comments
Last month we launched the new All Blacks channel, brought to you by AIG, with one of the new features being a regular chat with former Test player, Nick Evans. This week we caught up with Nick again for more insightful thoughts on the Rugby Championship.
Nick is not only one of the best in the game in his position, but he's great when it comes to an intelligent chat and sharing his thoughts and insight on the current state of all things rugby.
In this video the Harlequins flyhalf discusses a range of subjects, including why the Wallabies aren't performing and what they should do going forward, whether Argentina can be a force in the tournament and who their biggest loss was, and how, if at all, the All Blacks can be beaten.
"You've got to get them at set piece. I don't think their lineout is as good as it has been, or can be.. Their scrum is good but if you do put the pressure on their 8/9 combination you can get a lot of mileage out there," Evans says.
"The one thing you can't give the All Blacks is free ball. You've got to kick accurately, either contest or get the ball off the park. Unstructured attack for the All Blacks is like candy - they gobble it up."
Evans, who has obviously been based in the UK with his club for the last few years, also touches on the 2015 Rugby World Cup and which of the home nations he thinks will be in with a shout.
In closing he gives us a quick prediction ahead of this weekend's Rugby Championship games, where South Africa hosts Australia in Cape Town, and New Zealand take on Argentina in La Plata.
Posted at 10:22 am | 3 comments
Montpellier's impressive 43-3 win over Clermont last week propelled scrumhalf Jonathan Pelissie into the headlines after he scored two tries and notched up 31 points. This follows on from his great performance against Toulouse.
Pelissie has shown the kind of form and dynamism that is sure to excite not only his own club's fans, but those across the country. The 25-year-old former Grenoble player scored a fantastic try against Toulouse, then followed up in Round 7 with two against Clermont.
He was up against France scrumhalf Morgan Parra, who scored the first points of the game with a penalty in the second minute, but that was all Clermont could muster despite coming into the match with five straight victories.
Pelissie crossed the tryline twice, then kicked 21 points as his team ran in four tries in total and went top of the table, albeit temporarily. They will take great heart from the performance, which naturally stands them in good stead when they meet Stade Francais in Paris tonight.
"He is clever, goes fast, tackles well - he is capable of doing great things, great things for now. The hardest part is to come, but he has his head on his shoulders." said coach Fabien Galthié, who himself knows a thing or two about scrumhalf play having been capped 64 times for France.
Pelissie has been a revelation this season, but it is still early days and he has said that he's staying focussed solely on the season with Montpellier. You can be sure that with the talent and raw acceleration he has, we'll see a lot more of him in the weeks to come.
Posted at 7:07 am | 4 comments
Thursday, September 26, 2013
This is a quick look at a crazy fight involving just about all of the players in the semifinals of the Polish League, which took place at the National Rugby Stadium in Gdynia.
The match was between Arka Gdynia (yellow), and one of the best Polish teams, Budowlani Lodz.
Some kind of altercation between the Budowni Lodz scrumhalf and the Arka Gdynia lock sparked the unsavoury scenes, but after the game they apparently all got together for a beer.
Posted at 7:49 am | 26 comments
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
London Irish flyer Marland Yarde has been in great form so far this season, with many touting him to be an England regular in the not too distant future. He's scored some good tries in the past few weeks, and one that has to be seen to be believed.
Yarde, who hails from the Caribbean, is a genuine Test rugby prospect and has his eyes set on the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He hopes to become the first St Lucia born player to represent England.
Having moved to the UK aged nine with his family, he recently spoke of how the 2003 World Cup Final in Australia inspired him to take up rugby, despite not knowing much about it.
"To be honest I didn't even know who Jonny Wilkinson was, or any of the players. It was just the sport, enjoying the whole atmosphere and how the sport was played. I found it was really exciting. That really sparked my vision to want to be part of this sport and play," Yarde said.
Having made his international debut against Argentina earlier this year, the 21-year-old hopes to add to the two tries he scored in their 51-26 second Test win. "Having just tasted international rugby I'm really hungry for more," he says. "I know the World Cup is going to be massive and being in the squad is definitely something I'd love to achieve.
"In no way do I feel like the finished article but Stuart Lancaster has made a point that age doesn't really matter. I want to do whatever I can for London Irish to put myself in the best position towards that World Cup."
If that means running in tries when suffering from injury, so be it. We saw exactly that a few weeks ago in the Aviva Premiership, as Yarde was down getting treatment for cramp but spotted an opportunity, so promptly hopped up and got into a great position in support.
It's not the first time we've seen this type of thing happen. Both Brian O'Driscoll and Kurtley Beale have done similar, which naturally brings up the question of legality, as while it's funny to see, it probably a little unfair, especially when the doctor or physio is already on the field.
Do you have any thoughts on whether a law should be in place to prevent this type of thing from happening, or is it just a freak occurence that shouldn't really be taken very seriously? Also, do you think Yarde should be an England regular by the time the Six Nations rolls around?
Posted at 12:03 pm | 43 comments
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Northampton Saints fans were left seething following a controversial ending to one of the most talked about matches of round 3 in the Aviva Premiership, as Gloucester snatched a 26-24 victory with a late penalty goal at Kingsholm.
Gloucester claimed their first win of the season despite looking dead and buried after George North sparked a brilliant Saints counter-attack that ended in a Jamie Elliot sprint for the line. The try of the season candidate seemed to be the match winner, but controversy followed.
A number of players appeared to be in front of the kicker at the restart, but it wasn't picked up and Saints knocked on. With the clock well into injury time, referee Martin Fox awarded a scrum penalty to the hosts, which Billy Twelvetrees duly slotted.
"It is a shame when games are decided by the referee in the last couple of minutes," said Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder. "We were disappointed when we had the change of referee at short notice, but sometimes that happens.
"What we have got to make sure of is that we control what we can control. The refs are out of our hands. My reading of the scrum at the end, particularly the second scrum, was that we had control of the ball, so the reset should have been our put-in. I don't want to say any more, really.
"I have taken my frustration out - I kicked whatever was at the side of the pitch. We came close, we will win some and we will lose some. Clearly, the penalty count didn't go in our favour."
Controversy aside, we saw a fantastic try by Saints as Elliot crossed, and a brilliant bit of play from James Simpson-Daniel to set up young Gloucester lock Elliot Stooke.
Posted at 5:46 pm | 15 comments