Monday, May 06, 2013
Jonny Wilkinson was on the receiving end of one of the biggest knocks of his career as Toulon beat Agen 43-21 at the Stade Felix Mayol on Saturday. Wilkinson, who wasn't included in the initial Lions squad, didn't suffer any long term effects from the collision.
Winger Alexis Palisson scored a hat-trick of tries while former Springbok Danie Rossouw scored a brace as the home side secured a comfortable victory on the last weekend of Top 14 pool play.
Early in the second half Wilkinson went in for a trademark tackle but ended up picking on the wrong man, as massive Opeti Fonua came charging towards him, sending him flying at a rate of knots.
The former England star left the field for a concussion check, but returned shortly afterwards. He didn't last long though and left a few minutes later again to stick an icepack on the shoulder. The Toulon camp have since confirmed that he should be okay to play again soon.
It was great to see how quickly Agen centre Nafi Tuitavake was to get across to Wilkinson to see that he was okay, as well as one of the other players sticking their hands up recognising the possiblity of a serious injury.
As you can see in the [updated] clip, Fonua also bumped off David Smith and big Danie Rossouw.
Ross Skeate confirmed earlier that Fonua is weighing in at around 146kg's at the moment.
Both Toulon and table toppers Clermont have Semi Final spots lined up, where they will face the winners of Toulouse vs Racing Metro, and Castres vs Montpellier respectively. The playoff games take place this coming weekend, while the semis will be on the 24th and 25th May.
Posted at 6:46 pm | 68 comments
The South African Sevens team won their second consecutive tournament in the Sevens World Series on Sunday, beating New Zealand 28-21 in the Glasgow Sevens final. They are now in second place overall with one leg left to play, in London next weekend.
New Zealand have clinched the series but the race for second place is still on, as South Africa will aim to fight off a challenge from Fiji, who can still take second should they win the Cup final in London, and South Africa fail to make the quarter finals.
Victory for South Africa in Glasgow follows their win in Tokyo, and earlier win in Las Vegas. They are the only team to have no won three tournaments, beating New Zealand in the finals each time.
"They were the most consistent team this year and that is why they are the overall champions, so it is well deserved to them," said coach Paul Treu of the Kiwis, before praising his young players.
"We arrived here without two of our playmakers (Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika), but this just made the remaining players in the squad much more determined. We had to nurse a couple of players through this tournament, so it is very rewarding to see their hard work paying off," he said.
Earlier in the day they beat the United States 22-5 in the Quarter Finals, and England 24-17 in the semis. England finished third after beating Wales in the playoff, while USA lifted the plate, Australia beat Kenya to claim the Bowl, and France beat Russia to take the Shield.
EXTRA: View Seven of the Best Tries
Posted at 5:36 pm | 4 comments
The Highlanders scored one of the tries of the season as they picked up their long overdue first win of the 2013 Super Rugby campaign. They beat the Sharks 25-22 on Saturday in a match that produced a thrilling second half of rugby.
Dunedin breathed a sigh of relief after eighty-odd minutes that resulted in the Highlanders' first victory in 12 games, the longest losing streak by any New Zealand franchise.
It was a special occasion for Brad Thorn, who was playing his 100th game of Super Rugby, after playing 92 for the Crusaders before making the move back from Dublin to join the Highlanders.
He ended the game off the field after having been yellow carded under relentless pressure from the Sharks, but it was all smiles at the final whistle, well into added time, as Hosea Gear smashed Keegan Daniel five meters out as the visitors came with wave after wave of attack.
"I've got to say, I haven't been that excited for just a round-robin game in my whole career. It was a massive moment," delighted 37-year-old Thorn said post match.
Each side scored three tries, all of high quality, but Colin Slade landed an extra penalty, proving the difference. It was Slade who crossed earlier in the game for a sensational try, following a great break from Ben Smith and some superb support play by prop Chris King.
The Sharks scored a great try themselves, from the restart, including multiple phases of play and about five minutes of possession, but this one from Slade was without a doubt the try of the match.
View the Sharks try that was scored by Meyer Bosman here
Posted at 9:19 am | 18 comments
Sunday, May 05, 2013
The Cup Quarter Finals of the Glasgow Sevens are taking place at the moment, but here's a look at who got there and how, including some big upsets on day one of the tournament.
We'll have more from the tournament after all the finals that take place later today
Posted at 11:16 am | 2 comments
Friday, May 03, 2013
It's been an eventful week for Lions fans as the tour party and captain for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia this June and July was announced. Following on from that, the latest edition of HSBC’s Lions Monthly is now available.
This latest edition features a summary of the news and views in the build-up to the tour, including behind the scenes footage of the official squad announcement press conference. We also hear from Lions veteran Brian O'Driscoll following his inclusion in the squad, for a fourth consecutive tour.
On this year's tour we'll hear from players behind the scenes, as well as get updates regularly, bringing fans who aren't able to go, closer to the action.
For those who are planning to visit Australia, or haven't quite decided yet, we hear from former Lions legends Gavin Hastings and Jason Robinson, as well as dual code Welsh rugby legend Jonathan Davies, on where the best spots to visit are.
This month's episode features:
- Behind the scenes of the recent squad announcement press conference filmed live from Syon House outside London on Tuesday
- Former captain Brian O'Driscoll gives his views on the squad and tells us how he’s realised he’s now the oldest in the squad for his fourth tour
- Jason Robinson, Gavin Hastings, Jonathan Davies and Brian O’Driscoll take us through what it’s like out in Australia and things to do when not watching the rugby
Posted at 5:40 pm | 2 comments
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Earlier this week we featured a great try saving tackle from Tim Nanai-Williams, but he wasn't the only one putting in a massive effort at the weekend. Zee Ngwenya, the USA Eagles and Biarritz flyer, made two great tackles during defeat to Leinster at the RDS.
The Irish powerhouses reached the Amlin Challenge Cup final with a convincing 44-16 victory, booking themselves a meeting with Stade Francais in the final in Dublin on May 17th.
Zee Ngwenya, the speedster who first came to prominence at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, made two great try-saving tackles during the match, first on Sexton as he chased back and got under the ball to prevent a try, and then on Ian Madigan.
Madigan intecepted and ran the eighty odd metres before being brought down just five out.
As with Nanai-Williams, Ngwenya was penalised however, and received a yellow card that swung things truly in Leinster's favour. They went on to score five tries in total.
It was a game that produced few chances for the Zimbabwean born winger, but it was good to see such a great effort from a player that is not only lightning fast, but clearly always committed too.
Highlights: You can view longer highlights from the match on page two here
Posted at 7:47 pm | 9 comments
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
For years we've been posting the very best in prop tries, and occasionally those scored by hookers, but today we're sharing this quality Top 5 front rowers tries compilation, courtesy of the good folk at Rugby HQ in Australia.
Kicking off the Top 5 countdown is a great effort from former Cheetahs prop, WP Nel. He scored a memorable try against the Brumbies a few years ago, with the dive for the line making it all the more amusing. He has since scored a great try for Edinburgh too.
Welshman Gethin Jenkins, recently included in the British and Irish Lions squad, scored a wonderful try at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, beating a few Namibians before crashing over.
The order of the top three tries is certainly up for debate, as numbers two and three on the list could easily have been number one. The top spot is sensational in it's own right though.
Host Sean Maloney also organised a great chat with the winners of the top spot, a try that was scored way back in 1997 by the duo that now form the Cheetahs coaching team.
EXTRA: View the other five that didn't quite make the Top 5 best 'Fatman' tries here
Posted at 12:00 pm | 33 comments