Tuesday, August 20, 2013
As seen in the match highlights on Sunday, Matt Toomua's Wallaby debut will be remembered as a 47-29 loss to the All Blacks, and for a rather comical moment midway through the first half that resulted in him face down in the turf.
Ironically it's the Australian's that love the good old Falcon - when a ball hits a player on the head - but it was one of their own on the receiving end after New Zealand scrumhalf Aaron Smith failed to get any height on a clearing kick.
In fact if Toomua had gone for a proper charge down, rather than turn his back on it, a try might have been the result. It summed things up on a night when nothing went right for the hosts.
Quade Cooper, who Toomua was picked ahead of, found it quite amusing from the bench, although in fairness neither player impressed on what was a rough night in Sydney.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had a dig at Wallaby counterpart Ewen McKenzie after the game, hinting that he himself probably isn't sure where to turn ahead of Saturday's Wellington game.
"I felt both of them went OK. Both of them are good players," Hansen said of Toomua and Cooper, the latter having been booed by New Zealand fans for the last few years.
"I don't pick the Australian teams. I think they are both good players, but I am just happy I have got Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden... and Beauden Barrett for that matter.
"All five of those people are all very good rugby players, and four of them are New Zealanders."
You can view more classic falcons in the Related Posts below the video
Posted at 6:11 pm | 10 comments
Canada took a huge step towards Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification on Saturday as they beat the USA 27-9 in Charleston, South Carolina. Canada has moved up one place in the IRB Rankings as a result. The two sides meet again this coming weekend.
Phil Mack scored after just 25 seconds to give the visitors a great start, before DTH van der Merwe and Harry Jones added to the scoreline with tries of their own. James Pritchard kicked 12 points.
"Certainly we've got a lot of work to do before next Saturday, but I'm really happy with the way we stuck through it." said head coach Kieran Crowley.
Canada will take an 18 point advantage into the second leg of the qualifying series, which takes place in Toronto this coming weekend. The winner will join France, Ireland and Italy in Group D of the 2015 tournament in England.
The runner-up will have to face Uruguay for a back-door qualifier to decide Americas number two seed, and the winner of that will go into Group B with South Africa, Scotland and Samoa.
Below are updated HD highlights from universal sports
Posted at 12:46 pm | 8 comments
Monday, August 19, 2013
Northampton Saints beat Bedford Blues 45-21 in a pre-season friendly on Friday night, but one of the moments of the match was when replacement lock Courtney Lawes made a massive, trademark hit on debutant Mike Le Bourgeois.
It was a baptism of fire for the summer signing from Jersey, as athletic England lock Lawes lined him up and asbsolutely smashed him. One could be mistaken for thinking Lawes was offside, but if you watch carefully he came from way back and covered the turf in no time at all.
Le Bourgeois endeared himself to the crowd by playing on, and managing to hide the relief at having survived the tackle from a player who has become known as a bit of a hitman.
"I’m just happy to have got up from it! It was just one of those where I didn't see him coming, but thankfully I was able to take it," Le Bourgeois told Bedfordshire News Sport.
It's a quick clip from Saints Rugby TV and the quality isn't great as the match wasn't broadcasted on TV, but it's a great example of incredible linespeed by the big guy, and a perfectly executed tackle.
View more of Courtney's big hits in the Related Posts below
Posted at 4:37 pm | 39 comments
The Springboks started their Rugby Championship campaign with a nine try demolition of Argentina, winning 73-13 in Soweto. They now look ahead to the rematch, where Argentina will be hoping to bounce back in front of their home crowd in Mendoza.
It took a while to get going but after a comfortable 26-6 lead at the break, South Africa hit their straps and powered to an easy win, scoring seven tries in the second half.
Flyhalf Morne Steyn scored 28 points and kicked 12 from 13 attempts at goal, while tries were scored by JJ Engelbrecht, Jean De Villiers, Bryan Habana, Fourie Du Preez, Adriaan Strauss, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen and Bismarck Du Plessis.
There was also a penalty try and two yellow cards, one for a tip-tackle on Engelbrecht.
Captain De Villiers said that there are still elements that need to be worked on, while Argentina's Felipe Contepomi, who scored a consolation try for his team, said that they will not make excuses.
"We are very grateful that we are in this tournament. For us every game is a learning curve. Today is very tough to swallow and I hope we come stronger for next week.
"We need to keep growing. We know we are playing against the three best teams in the world. So for us it's a great, great challenge and I hope that next week we are better than today," he said.
Despite Argentina not having won a match in the tournament in seven attempts, De Villiers says that they will be a different side in front of their fans next weekend.
"They'll be hurting going back home, losing by such a margin. We have to enjoy this win because it doesn't come around very often. We have to start all over again because the beauty of this game is that seven days can be a very long time."
Fourie Du Preez, who made his return on Saturday, is unavailable for the away legs of the tournament so coach Heyneke Meyer has brought in Piet Van Zyl, while tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse comes in for Trevor Nyakane, who was dropped for repeated breaches of team protocol.
Marcell Coetzee and Jano Vermaak also join the squad, while Chilliboy Ralepelle has been ruled out of the tour after having injured his back in a gym session on Saturday morning.
Can Argentina can bounce back from this, or are the Springboks looking too strong at the moment?
Posted at 7:57 am | 25 comments
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Ben Smith scored a hat-trick as the All Blacks gave new Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie plenty to think about with a convincing 47-29 win in the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney. Six tries to two proved the difference in what was a crushing victory.
The All Blacks started well with a try to Ben Smith in the corner, and despite Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia scoring a sensational 75m effort from a lineout turnover, the visitors were never troubled.
While things were fairly evenly poised at 25-19 at the break, the second half was all about the All Blacks as they cruised to their 100th Test win over the Wallabies, who themselves improved the overall scoreline with a late consolation try to James O'Connor.
Aaron Cruden came in for injured Dan Carter and scored 20 points overall, while captain Richie McCaw looked as potent as ever, giving away a few penalties but being his usual menacing self.
"I am obviously very happy with the performance. It's not every day that you can come here and get 40-odd points. I thought both teams played good rugby," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
"For Richie McCaw to get through 70 minutes after having his break and everyone doubting him just shows the character of the bloke once again, while Aaron Cruden showed that he's a true international player of world-class ability and he led the team very well."
It doesn't get any easier for the Wallabies, as next week the return match is in Wellington.
Enjoy the highlights and please let us know your thoughts on the match as a comment below.
Posted at 7:59 am | 32 comments
Friday, August 16, 2013
The Rugby Championship kicks off in a few hours time so here is a quick re-cap of last year's tournament, put together by the IRB's Total Rugby show. It was the first year of the expanded Tri Nations, as Argentina joined the top three sides in the world.
While New Zealand won comfortably in the end, newcomers Los Pumas put up a decent fight and showed that with time, they have the potential to pick up a few big scalps in the tournament.
This year the All Blacks will be favourites yet again as they come off a convincing 3-0 series win over France, while the Wallabies were downed by the Lions in a tight series, and South Africa beat off the challenges of Italy, Scotland and Samoa to win their Quad Series on home soil.
On Saturday the Wallabies host the All Blacks, followed later by the Springboks vs Argentina.
Posted at 8:36 pm | 1 comments
Rugby Kicks 2 came out recently, the free iOS game from Distinctive Developments, the same people that brought us the highly succesful Rugby Nations 13. Rugbydump is featured in the game, so here is a little more info on it.
Now available globally, Rugby Kicks 2 is a new free game released in the Rugby Nations series, giving you a nice opportunity to get kicking with some addictive rugby fun.
SUPERCHARGED TOURNAMENT-THEMED GAME MODES
Pacific Cup, 6 Nations, Americas Cup and 4 Nations are all hosting their own modes with plenty of target smashing, touchline kicking, blimp spotting and more thrown into the mix.
GROUNDBREAKING PHOENIX™ POWERED GRAPHICS
Powered by the incredibly fluid Phoenix™ engine, the graphical quality sets a new standard for what is possible in rugby on iOS. Motion-captured animations, carefully handcrafted stadiums and highly detailed players bring a whole new level of immersion into your kicks.
RUGBY PRO APPROVED MECHANICS
Fully redesigned swipe 'n' play mechanic for improved accuracy and flow approved by our panel of rugby pros.
EXCLUSIVE COUNTRY CUSTOMIZATION AND MATCH DAY SPECIALS
Splash your tournament winnings on exclusive country packages, which include kits, balls, flags and special stadiums to bring out your best in front of the home crowd. Boost your gameplay with upgrades and rugby specials from media crews to golden balls.
You can download the game for free on iOS on Itunes http://bitly.com/rugbykicks2
Posted at 1:04 pm | 2 comments