Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Jamie Roberts was named Man of the Match in Racing Metro's 32-8 victory over Northampton Saints at the weekend. Roberts carried well and showed superb handling skills, particularly on this occasion when he got down low to pick up a low pass.
Racing Metro's deep pockets have meant that they can call on players of the calibre of Roberts to play their part in Europe, as they strive to challenge the likes of Toulon at the top.
"We have a big squad with a lot of depth and we want to make an impact in the league and in Europe. We have a home draw and no one will be looking forward to coming to Paris," said Roberts.
He hasn't had a whole lot of game time but certainly took his chance on this occasion.
"It was only the third game I have played since the November internationals. The squad is so big that you sometimes find you do not play for a couple of weeks. It is frustrating but when you have the opportunity in a big match you have to deliver and I am glad I did."
Wales fans will be pleased to see the form he's in, just ahead of their crunch Six Nations opener with England. Roberts was up against Luther Burrell, who he might see next in England colours.
"Luther plays in a similar mould to me. He is very physical and very direct and he is a dangerous player. England have an embarrassment of riches in the midfield with Luther, Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees, Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph. It will be a huge match-up whoever they pick.
"The game against England promises to be an epic battle: it is World Cup year and they are in our pool. It was a special day when we played them two years ago and the ingredients are there next month to better that. It is a game that as a player you want to be part of and it will be good to go into camp on Monday."
Below is a look at his outstanding pick up, and on page two you can view a quick highlights reel featuring all his best moments from the match.
Posted at 6:27 am | 8 comments
Monday, January 26, 2015
We've teamed up with the good people at Akuma to bring you an awesome, first ever official Rugbydump supporters jersey. We're only giving away 3 of them, so if you'd like to get thrown into the hat and take part in the draw, enter below. You can also enter via twitter and facebook.
Winners will be drawn at random. Entries close midnight 11 February 2015
Posted at 11:12 am | 2 comments
Friday, January 23, 2015
With Oscar season just around the corner, Yoann Huget has made his best effort to scoop the coveted statuette with a best actor in a leading role performance that simply cannot be beaten. Sense has since prevailed, as he received an official warning.
Toulouse wing Huget's big role took place in their heavy defeat at the hands of Bath on Sunday.
The French winger took a tumble after making the slightest contact with what looked like his shoulder. He rolled around on the floor as if he'd been hit by a sniper, which the BT Sport commentators took exception to, Ben Kay in particular.
"That is pathetic. Personally I think that the powers that be, the disciplinary committee, should look at that and they should act on it because we do not want to see players taking dives. Just a little push in the chest and he grabs his face.. That is pathetic," said Kay.
European Professional Club Rugby agreed with the general media and fan sentiment. They issued a formal warning to Huget this week. EPCR said that the warning followed an "act contrary to good sportsmanship in that he (Huget) deliberately feigned an injury in contravention of Law 10.4(m)."
Players who accumulate three citing warnings or three yellow card offfences for foul play - or a combination of both - during the Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup competitions will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing.
Last year we saw the likes of Bryan Habana, Richard Hibbard and a few others feigning injury or appealing for foul play, when clearly it wasn't the case. This official warning sets a good precedent, and will hopefully remind all rugby players that acting should be saved for the movies.
View more acts of simulation, or faking injury, in the Related Posts below this
Posted at 8:33 am | 45 comments
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Sky Sports have put together a list of their Top Five tries for the past weekend. Efforts include those by Bath and Toulon, as seen here in the last few days, plus a few others featuring Steffon Armitage, Chris Ashton and Tadgh Furlong. Which is your favourite?
See more excellent scores in our archive of Great Tries
Posted at 10:10 am | 3 comments
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Steffon Armitage scored a hat-trick as Toulon stormed into the European Champions Cup quarter finals with a 60-22 victory over Ulster at the weekend. This great team try, finished off by Mamuka Gorgodze, was one of the best of the round.
The reigning European champions are the first side to reach the quarter finals following the eight try rout. The bonus point win came about through scores for Argentina's Nicolas Sanchez, South Africa's Bryan Habana, France's Mathieu Bastareaud, Italy's Martin Castrogiovanni, Englishman Armitage's treble and this classic try by Georgian, Gorgodze.
Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicked 20 points for Toulon, on a day when the losing side actually grabbed a four-try bonus point, as Ulster scored well taken tries via Paddy Jackson, Mike McComish, Jared Payne and Lewis Stevenson.
Toulon now has a five point Pool 3 lead over Leicester, who themselves picked up a bonus point win as they beat Scarlets 40-23. The Tigers will need to win away at Ulster in the next round of play if they are to join Toulon in the last eight.
The tryfest featured an impressive hat-trick for flanker Armitage, whose heroics made no impact on England coach Stuart Lancaster, who left him out of the England training squad for the Six Nations.
The stunning try below, featuring some superb hands in the build up, was voted as Try of the Week in the official EPC Poll of the top tries from round five. You can view that here.
Posted at 12:33 pm | 24 comments
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Bath secured a bonus point victory over Toulouse this weekend with this great try set up by Jonathan Joseph. As Bath keep European Champion Cup hopes alive, their centre pairing of Kyle Eastmond and Joseph eagerly await Stuart Lancaster's England Six Nation's squad announcement on Wednesday.
The match started off with plenty of action, as a George Ford penalty then Matt Banahan try within seven minutes gabe Bath an early lead.
Toulouse responded with a try of their own through second row Yoann Maestri, but couldn't keep Bath at bay, as they notched up another two tries – one, an interception by scrum-half Chris Cook, and the second by centre Joseph after a break by midfield partner Kyle Eastman.
Toulouse managed to squeeze in a try before half time making it 25-14 at the break.
A Toby Flood penalty early in the second half put the home team within seven points. That's as close as they would come. Bath's defence proved too good in the second half and when Joseph regained this grubber then set up Francois Louw for the try, it was game set and match.
Bath Head Coach Mike Ford called it a "world class" effort from Joseph and also highlighted a crucial try saving tackle from George Ford in the second half.
With Bath's backline in such fine form, it begs the question: can the trio of Ford, Joseph and Eastmond replicate their form in the Six Nations for England?
More importantly, does Stuart Lancaster think so? We will find out on Wednesday.
Bath inch up to second place in Pool Four of the European Champion's Cup and face Glasgow this coming weekend (who they lost to in their first encounter) while Toulouse, at the top of the table, face bottom placed Montpellier. Pool Four is in for a tense final weekend.
Posted at 12:23 pm | 29 comments
Monday, January 19, 2015
The IRB, now known as World Rugby, have put together a video featuring some of the top tryscorers of 2014. It's been named the Top 5 International Try Scorers of 2014, but there are actually a bonus two in there, including those from other tiers of Test rugby.
Lethal All Black winger Julian Savea topped the try-scoring charts with 11 tries, while the likes of Israel Folau and Manuel Montero also weighed in with some great scores for their countries.
Israel Folau - 7 tries in 14 matches | Manuel Montero - 7 tries in 11 matches | Nemani Nadolo - 7 tries in 7 matches | Akihito Yamada - 8 tries in 8 matches | Yoshikazu Fujita - 10 tries in 6 matches | Sebastian Mejia - 10 tries in 3 matches | Julian Savea - 11 tries in 13 matches
Posted at 12:32 pm | 7 comments