Tuesday, April 08, 2014
The Heineken Cup Semi Finals are decided following a thrilling weekend of Quarter Finals. Today we catch up and archive the highlights from all the matches, all in one place for easy viewing. Other random clips from the matches will be posted separately.
Below are the relevant links, but you can also view everything on one page by clicking View All
|Munster vs Toulouse - View highlights|
|Munster scored six tries to beat Toulouse 47-23 at Thomond Park on Saturday. They channelled the energy of the home crowd as they scored through Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo and Paul O'Connell.
Man of the Match was outstanding flanker CJ Stander.
|Clermont vs Leicester Tigers - View Highlights|
|Clermont maintained their fantastic home record as they beat Leicester Tigers 22-16 after shooting off to a 16-0 lead in the first half. The Tigers fought back with a try to Jordan Crane, but Morgan Parra held them off with the boot.
Clermont are now unbeaten 75 times at Stade Marcel Michelin.
|Ulster vs Saracens - View Highlights|
|Saracens beat 14-man Ulster 17-15 in a tense battle at Ravenhill in Belfast. Jared Payne was sent off in the fourth minute but Ulster refused to give up and actually led at half time, but two Chris Ashton tries proved too much.
Courageous stuff from Ulster but it was an uphill battle all day long.
|Toulon vs Leinster - View Highlights|
|Defending champions Toulon won this titanic battle 29-14 at Stade Felix Mayol as they put an end to Brian O'Driscoll's European season. It was ultimately a comfortable victory, with second half tries to Xavier Chiocci and Drew Mitchell.
Jordi Murphy scored late in the game but Toulon held on.
At this stage in the tournament Ian Keatley of Munster and Jonny Wilkinson of Toulon are joint top points scorers, each with 79 points. Chris Ashton leads the top tries, with a total of 9, followed by Clermont's Napolioni Nalaga on 5.
After the weekend's play, Saracens will host Clermont at Twickenham while Munster will take on champions Toulon in Marseille in the Heineken Cup semi finals on the weekend of 26-27 April.
Posted at 11:03 am | 34 comments
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Super Rugby is known for it's expansive rugby, fast paced game and of course, the big hits. Over the years there have been a number of players that have stood out for their ability, and penchant for the big tackle. Here are the Top 5, as compiled by Sean Maloney and the Fox Sports team.
View these and more in the Related Posts below, and in our Big Hits & Dirty Play section
Posted at 9:55 am | 13 comments
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Along with Nick Cummins, Joe Marler is probably the most amusing rugby player (that the public have access to) on the planet these days. He's a fascinating character, loves the banter, and clearly isn't afraid to take the mickey out of the referee during the match.
If you've watched any of the O2 Inside Line episodes of behind the scenes England camp clips you'll more than likely agree that Marler needs to get in front of the camera more. As with James Haskell and the Honey Badger, something funny always seems to happen.
Professional sport needs these characters and thanks to social media and the increased presence of official team video uploads, we're now exposed to the complex minds of these great athletes.
In this case Marler gave referee Andrew Small a bit of stick for wearing white boots, and rightly so.
Great work from our man Nick Heath on the commentry too.
Posted at 9:45 am | 15 comments
Monday, March 31, 2014
Poor Kosuke Hashino. It was meant to be a great occasion topped off by a wonderful finish, but instead the Japanese flyer showed us what can go wrong when attempting a swallow dive. He's not the first, nor the last who will succumb to a bit of showboating.
Japan became the first Asian nation to qualify as a core team in the HSBC Sevens World Series after they beat Italy 26-5 in Hong Kong on Sunday. The qualifiers featured 12 teams all vying for a spot on the prestigious world series, which takes place over nine rounds each year.
As with Carlin Isles' debut in fifteens, this was to be a memorable occasion for a number of reasons, as Kosuke Hashino's blooper left shocked viewers gob smacked.
With an opportunity for a runaway try, Hashino looked to seal the victory in style with a big swallow dive, similar to the kind of showboating/celebrating/showmanship (your choice) often seen by England wing Chris Ashton, but got it horribly wrong.
While Ashton is yet to mess up (unlike Juan Leguizamon a few years back), Hashino lept into the air spectacularly, but left the ball behind. Luckily the win was already a sure thing so he didn't cost his side anything but a few blushes.
EXTRA: You can view more absolute howlers in the Related Posts below the video
Posted at 3:16 pm | 10 comments
USA flyer Carlin Isles played his first full game of fifteen a side rugby at the weekend, turning out for Ayr against Hawick in a Scottish club game. The good news is he fared well and skinned multiple players. The bad news is he dropped the ball before scoring.
If you hadn't heard yet, Isles signed for Glasgow Warriors recently after having had a practice contract with the NFL's Detroit Lions a few months back. He has since committed to rugby though, leaving the Sevens game behind for now and taking up a career in the RaboDirect Pro12.
"Everything has happened so quickly for me over the last couple of years and I'm just happy to be playing rugby and getting the opportunity to play at the highest level," he said.
Isles played his first full game for Ayr this past weekend. He was up against Nikki Walker, who is 6'5 and has Test caps to his name. Isles tracked him down on one occasion, then when finally getting the ball in a bit of space he beat a whole host of players for what looked to be a great first try.
It certainly was memorable, but perhaps for the wrong reasons as he made the extra effort to get the ball under the posts, but failed to ground it properly after having done all the hard work. No try.
Gregor Townsend was impressed nevertheless, with Isles drawing comparisons to Thom Evans.
"Like Thom, he is very quick, but also very brave, and he certainly didn't shy away from the physical stuff and wants to get involved," said the Glasgow Warriors coach.
Isles felt he had grounded the ball and there was some debate as to whether he dropped it backwards or not, but the referee's interpretation was that the try wasn't scored, so Isles' big moment was blundered.
View a candid interview with him on page two of this post, where he talks about his move to Glasgow, the non-try itself and how he had to change his 'spikes' to be able to move properly.
Thanks and credit to bordersrugby.net
Posted at 10:33 am | 60 comments
Sunday, March 30, 2014
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes lifted the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Cup after his team scored four tries to beat England 26-7 in the Cup final earlier today. The win boosts them to top of the Sevens World Series table, with two rounds remaining.
The All Blacks Sevens team beat Wales and Australia to advance to the final, where they led 12-7 at halftime before scoring two tries in the second half to seal the win.
England beat South Africa and Fiji in the knockout stages, couldn't contend with the dominant Kiwis.
"It is a great feeling. My captain leads so well from the front, he was simply amazing," said jubilant coach Gordon Tietjen post match. "And also the other players linked in with him, we played a good final. This will certainly help in going towards winning that title."
Fiji won the third place playoff by beating Australia 21-12, while South Africa beat Wales in the Plate Final. They are currently the biggest challenge to New Zealand overall, trailing by just seven points, with Fiji in third place. England are in fourth place and Australia in fifth with two legs remaining.
"I was just really pleased with the effort from our guys," said England coach Simon Amor.
"We had seven new guys here and to play the big three today was a tough ask. New Zealand are obviously such a good side so maybe the final was just one game too far for us. But overall I am really happy for the guys."
Posted at 2:59 pm | 2 comments
Friday, March 28, 2014
Round 7 of Super Rugby kicked off with a classic match in Christchurch, as the Crusaders hosted the Hurricanes. To avoid the spoiler we've kept the result out of the title, but if you keep reading you will find out exactly what happened, so cast your eyes up top for now to watch the video highlights.
It was one of the best games of the season so far, with some incredible tries being scored by both sides. The finish to the game was fitting of the standard of attacking play that we've come to expect from these two teams over the years.
Come the final whistle, the visitors won 29-26, scoring four tries to three and picking up just their second win of the season so far.
Alapati Leiua's dazzling try settled the match. He beat a number of defenders with a deft outside swerve, some well timed stepping and great strength. The 'Canes then hold on for a famous win.
Posted at 11:30 am | 11 comments