Monday, September 15, 2014
The All Blacks proved too composed yet again as they maintained their impeccable home record with a hard-fought 14-10 victory over the Springboks in Wellington. It was a low scoring, tough Test match but still managed to provide two outstanding tries.
It was another epic battle between the two sides, with the visitors coming close in the dying minutes after surge after surge at the line, but the home side's composure and incredible defence managed to hold them out and eventually get the ball into touch with time up.
Earlier in the match the Springboks had scored first through a lovely backline move off a lineout, with winger Cornal Hendricks flying through a gap that young Handre Pollard drew open.
South Africa went into the half with the lead but later it was the turn of that superhuman number eight, Kieran Read, to produce another unbelievable offload, putting skipper McCaw in at the corner.
With the win, New Zealand have extended their lead at the top of the IRB World Rankings. A fifteen point or more win for the visitors would have taken them to number one, but as it is, the World Champions have a commanding five point lead, with Australia in third place.
It wasn't to be a fairytale 100th Test match for Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, but some consolation may be the way that McCaw and the New Zealand Rugby Union honoured him post match with an official capping process and sincere words from the All Black captain.
It was a lovely moment and one that only serves to strengthen the bond that these two old foes have, and serves to solidify the age old rugby mantra of respect, both on and off the field.
On the injury front, Ruan Pienaar will play no further part in the tournament after damaging his medial cruciate ligament, and for the All Blacks, Ma'a Nonu left the field with what has turned out to be a broken arm. He'll be out for the rest of the season.
Reminiscent of the famous George Gregan try saving tackle on Jeff Wilson in 1994, Mike Brown tracked back with this excellent effort against Saracens on Friday. Duncan Taylor stepped Danny Care and looked certain to score before Brown's spirited intervention.
It was one of the few highlights of their night, as Saracens thumped Quins 39-0, scoring three tries while Charlie Hodgson, Alex Goode and Owen Farrell kicked the rest of their points.
This tackle though, despite being part of a losing cause, is definitely worth sharing.
Friday, September 12, 2014
The preview image to this video might be a little misleading, and as much as we'd like to see a Top 5 Chabal Moments clip (take note, Sean), this Rugby HQ Top 5 features top quality tries and great play from Los Pumas, Argentina over the years.
They take it way back to show Hugo Porta slotting drop kicks off both feet, feature the famous try scored in the 2007 Rugby World Cup against France, and we get to relive Martin Landajo's sensational score in 2012. Señor Maloney even weighs in with a bit of Spanish.
The Wallabies host Argentina on the Gold Coast tomorrow, with the visitors looking to spring an upset after some physically imposing performances so far in this year's Rugby Championship.
Few players have had the kind of impact that Julian Savea has since scoring a hat-trick on debut for the All Blacks two years ago against Ireland. For his size and power, the Jonah Lomu comparisons are always there, and for the try-scoring, it's Joe Rokocoko that comes up.
With an unbelievable 26 tries in 25 Tests, and a match against the second best team in the world tomorrow, Savea talks Sky Sport NZ through what drives him, the legends and his recent tries.
See more of Savea in action, including at under 20 level, in the Related Posts below
Thursday, September 11, 2014
This is an amusing try from Leicester Tigers in last weekend's Aviva Premiership opening round victory over Newcastle Falcons. Replacement number eight Robert Barbieri came on and with the result all but sealed, he felt that this was the best way to control the ball for a pushover try.
As you can see, as David Mele dived on it to score the try, he made a pretty good point.
We saw Denis Leamy do this for Munster a few years back actually, in 2007, with great success.
The Tigers won the game 36-17, scoring four tries in total, including a hat-trick to Niki Goneva.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Benito Masilevu has extended his contract at Brive just days after scoring a stunning try that helped them beat Toulouse 26-19 in their Top 14 clash. He showed up young star Gael Fickou with some outrageous stepping before scoring the match winner.
The late try gave Brive a well deserved home victory over the giant club, after they had led 16-6 at halftime. Scores were tied late in the game but the former Fiji Sevens flyer came on as a replacement late in the match, and lit up the turf with virtually his first touch of the ball.
He got it from a standing start but produced two huge steps to get the better of France centre Fickou, who couldn't contain last season's second highest try scorer on the 7's World Series circuit. He actually scored 27 tries over the nine-leg tournament, so knows his way to the whitewash.
The 24-year-old joined Brive on a two year deal in June last year but this week signed a contract extension, meaning he'll be at the club for another two years on top of that, taking him to 2017.
He said he was very happy to continue the adventure, and would give everything on the field to be able to thank the entire sports staff, who trusted him. "Brive gave me the opportunity to evolve in the Top 14, the best league in the world," Masilevu said.
Vice President in charge of sport, Max Mamers said: "We are proud to welcome to our group for the next two seasons Benito Masilevu. The Fijian magician will worry opposing defenses with his speed and deadly pressure."
Fickou didn't have time to be worried, as before he could think about it, Masilevu was past him with his well balanced out then in then out again. Absolutely deadly one-on-one finishing.
Monday, September 08, 2014
The Aviva Premiership is up and running and that means Northampton Saints' bone-collector Samu Manoa is on the loose. He made this crunching hit on Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees in the 53-6 thumping at Franklin's Gardens at the weekend.
We've seen lesser tackles penalised recently, so even if he started low and slid up, with the way things are sometimes viewed these days, he was probably quite lucky to get away with this one.
View more huge hits in the Big Hits section and more Manoa tackles in the Related Posts