Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Sunday, August 31, 2008

South Africa restore pride against the woeful Wallabies

The Springboks came out firing at fortress Ellis Park on Saturday as they played the type of rugby that was expected of them, running in eight tries against the uninspired Wallaby team. Winger Jongi Nokwe made history by becoming the first player to socre four tries in a Tri Nations match on the way to the 53-8 thumping.

While the match itself was a dead rubber, pride was at stake as South Africa desperately needed a win to regain the faith of the nation. Producing a record winning margin against Australia went a long way towards that.

With the Tri Nations decider set for Brisbane against the All Blacks in a fortnights time, the visitors were dire, looking anything but the same side who beat South Africa so easily just one week ago.

The finishing from South Africa was top class this week though, with Nokwe easily completing the opportunities handed to him. The injury after his fourth try was unfortunate, but his performance justified the faith shown in him when Jake White plucked him out of obscurity three years back.

Nokwe's quartet were complemented by four more from lock Andries Bekker, centre Adrian Jacobs, replacement flyhalf Ruan Pienaar and Odwa Ndungane.

A flurry of Australian replacements came on in the hope of making the score line respectable, and George Smith, now the highest capped flanker of all time, contributed to setting up the attack that saw wing replacement Drew Mitchell go over in the corner.

It was too little too late though, as the South African home crowd finally had something to cheer about after a disappointing few weeks.

"We are not yet where we want to be but that's what we expect from the team," said South African coach Peter de Villiers, who has been heavily criticised after a three-game losing streak that has ensured they will finish last in the Tri-Nations.

Australia coach Robbie Deans defended De Villiers, saying: "The reality of this industry is that someone has to be the bottom side in the Tri-Nations but that doesn't mean they're a bad side.

"It was a great win, a good performance by the Springboks," Deans told the press conference. "They got in the game and built some momentum, while we dropped off."

Australia return home, with the All Blacks only needing to draw in Brisbane to win the 2008 Tri Nations. They (NZ) face Samoa midweek though, a game which promises plenty of action so we’ll do our best to cover it here on RD.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 10:28


Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Funnies - League ref takes a tumble, twice.

Growing up, most of us are used to having referees as these old, grey haired guys who puff and pant all around the park. It's rapidly changing though, as more and more young refs are coming in and making it to the highest level of rugby out there.

As rugby speeds up, so do the refs, as they need to be fit, agile, and by the looks of this clip - able to take a knock or two!

We've had a few ref clips here on RD, most of which show the ref tripping like an idiot or getting sandwiched and injured for getting too close to the action.

League referee Gavin Badger looks to be in the new breed of ref though. Young, in shape, and pretty supple by the look of it, Badger took two big knocks recently, but managed to roll back onto his feet with no problem at all.

It's a pretty rare sight, but just goes to show that you can 'accidentally' knock into some refs as hard as you like, but there's a few out there that are better equipped to deal with it than you'd think.

Have a good weekend all.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jano Vermaak spears Fabian Juries - Yellow or Red?

The Cheetahs went to the top of the table in the Currie Cup this weekend, as they overcame the Lions away from home, winning 38-28 last Friday night in Johannesburg.

Young up-and-coming Lions scrum half Jano Vermaak spent ten mins of the game in the bin though, after this bad spear tackle on Sevens star Fabian Juries was adjudged to be a yellow card.

Juries, who is one of the top players on the IRB World Series Sevens circuit, is seeing more and more game time in the fifteens code. So far he hasn't had enough space to light up the Currie Cup, but given an inch, he'll take it and is one to watch for the rest of the season.

Feisty Vermaak however, was lucky to get away with only a yellow, as the discussion between the ref and assistant ref (the artist formerly known as touch judge) sounded like it was heading in the direction of red.

The Cheetahs scored a valuable ten points with Vermaak off, and would have had a significant advantage in the second half had the call given him a more permanent seat on the sidelines.

Should these type of tackles be straight reds, or is yellow sufficient?

Time: 02:40


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sonny Bill Williams scores on Top 14 debut

Coming off the bench, controversial Toulon signing Sonny Bill Williams scored on his debut in the Top 14 as Tana Umaga's newcomers recovered from a half-time deficit to beat Clermont 22-16 last night.

Williams hadn't been on for more than a few minutes, so his first touch of the ball in the French championship was a good one. It was the first of three tries on the night for Toulon, as the home side went on to record a famous win, after not being in the top flight for two years.

They couldn't have asked for a better start to their 2008/2009 campaign, and with coach Umaga, All Black veteran Jerry Collins, young gun league superstar Sonny Bill Williams, and a whole host of home-grown and foreign talent, they'll be looking to integrate experience with youth as they march on towards what they're hoping will be a successful season.

Their nightmare first half last night changed with Williams' try, as he got the ball rolling towards an impressive victory. The try itself was fairly soft, but Williams showed good pace to get away, with it being a a pretty big moment for Toulon, Sonny Bill, and of course those in the NRL, who were no doubt watching on with interest.

The off-field issues with Williams have now been settled, with him supposedly having paid out a fixed amount as part of the settlement. He is also not allowed to play for another NRL club until the end of the 2012 season, when his contract was originally meant to end.

Well try our best to bring you other Top 14 action as the season gets into full swing. If the first night is anything to go by, we're in for a cracking few months.

Time: 02:03


Munster too good for the USA in their preseason friendly

Heineken Cup champions Munster comfortably defeated a determined USA Eagles side 46-22 in a pre-season friendly played in East Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday.

The USA scored first through a nice try from Justin Boyd in the corner, but Munster came back hard, scoring 17 points before the USA got a late try from Louis Stanfill, keeping them in the game with the halftime score at 20-15.

The friendly was competitive througout, with Munster missing a few big name players such as Ronan O'Gara, Doug Howlett, Peter Stringer, and Paul O'Connel. The rest of the squad were strong enough though, and in the second half they extended their lead with a few nice tries, including two pushover tries, dispelling the myth that the art of the rolling maul is dead under the ELV's.

A yellow card for the US didn't help their cause, and Munster cruised to victory with tries by Ireland internationals Frank Sheahan and Barry Murphy, both replacements, scoring a try a piece. Eagles flyhalf Nese Malifa finished with 12 points and had a good game all round, before being taken off with a shoulder injury.

Munster take on London Irish this friday night ahead of their Magners League meeting at Murrayfield against Edinburgh in two weeks time.

Time: 05:45


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Awesome 60m try by Karl Lowe in the Air NZ Cup

As the Air New Zealand Cup 2008 continues to produce exciting, competitive rugby week in a week out, we take a look back at a great try from round three when Hawke's Bay hosted Southland in Napier.

The tight encounter ended 20-16 to the visitors Southland after a nail biting finish which saw them soak up the clock to secure the win.

The moment of the match though was surely the fantastic effort from flanker Karl Lowe, who after receiving a well timed short ball from New Zealand u19 star Zac Guildford, took off, beating no less than four defenders before getting the ball down for a superb individual try.

Fast, strong, and a well balanced runner, Lowe caught the eye with this effort, showing what he can do with little space to work in.

One or two of the tackles were indeed questionable, but you can only do so much when a guy shoves a big paw in your face. We like to commend great tries, rather than criticise bad defence.

This 60m classic, from a forward nonetheless, deserves to be noted as one of the tries of the season so far.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 02:28


Monday, August 25, 2008

CJ van der Linde headbutt on Sam Cordingly

Springbok tighthead prop CJ van der Linde has been cited for a head butt following Australia's 27-15 victory over South Africa in Durban on Saturday. The result of the hearing is due to be announced later today.

Flying into a ruck head first, Wallaby scrumhalf Sam Cordingly received a bullet-like head square in the face, and was probably lucky to have not been badly injured.

Watching it again, it's difficult to comprehend exactly what Van der Linde's intentions were, as his shoulder, arms, and the rest of his body were nowhere near making contact with his target. Clearing out a player aggressively is one thing, leading with your head is another. He should know better.

Van der Linde was lucky to escape being sent off so early in the match, as the incident happened right in front of referee Lyndon Bray, who was probably too shocked to fully comprehend what he just saw. Bray did give a penalty though, which resulted in an easy three points for the visitors.

Utter stupidity I'm afraid, and Van der Linde now faces a disciplinary hearing and is sure to be on the sidelines for a good few weeks, ruling out the rest of his Tri Nations, compounding the Springbok's misery after their poor showing on the weekend.

Australian loose forward, and Man of the Match, Rocky Elsom was also cited after being penalised four minutes into the second half when he pulled Springbok captain Victor Matfield down in a line-out.

It looked fairly innocuous, but Matfield came down awkwardly and in a bizarre repeat of the John Smit/Brad Thorn incident, has twinged his groin, possibly ruling him out of next weekend's Ellis Park clash.

We'll await the disciplinary hearing rulings, and if Elsom does actually get suspended, which I doubt will happen, then we'll get the video up for you to see anyway.

As for CJ, expect nothing less than a two week suspension for his moment of madness.


Van der Linde
has received a one month suspension. He denied targeting the head of Cordingly., but did acknowledge that it was an illegal and dangerous attempt to clear out.

Rocky Elsom has been handed a one week ban for his illegal tackling of Matfield in the lineout. After a video review, the offence was viewed as dangerous, resulting in the suspension.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 02:20


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wallabies breeze past the Springboks in Durban

Australian skipper Stirling Mortlock led his side to a comfortable three tries to two victory over the hapless Springboks in Durban on Saturday, winning 27-15 in match that the visitors controlled for the majority of the eighty minutes.

Australia were composed throughout, soaking up the physicality in a match that was anything but pretty. They now go to the top of the Tri Nations table after their well deserved win that included tries from Robinson, Tuqiri, and Mortlock.

The world champion South Africans are now out of Tri Nations contention after their second poor performance in succession.

The Wallaby victory was the first in South Africa since 2000, and only their second since 1992, so the achievement deserves the due praise, despite the Springboks looking confused, panicked, and generally all over the place, sparking questions about the coaching tactics and gameplan.

The 48 000 disgruntled Durban faithful booing their team off the park says it all.

The late effort by South Africa, with Adi Jacobs sneaking two quick fire tries, never really threatened Australia who were all but out of sight and never looked in danger of seeing their 12 point cushion diminished in the closing minutes.

The brutal physical nature of a Tri Nations clash has meant that Australia now face a few serious injury worries, with Berrick Barnes and Dan Vickerman being the latest casualties for Robbie Deans to deal with.

Man of the Match Rocky Elsom on the other hand, has been cited for dangerous play after pulling down Victor Matfield in the lineout.

South African front rower CJ van der Linde is also likely to miss next weeks match, as his ridiculous head butt ruck-clearing technique will no doubt land him in hot water.

All attention now turns to Johannesburg, where the Wallabies haven’t won since 1963 at fortress Ellis Park. In reality the result will have absolutely no bearing on the tournament, but it will be a good occasion for the visitors to get another win, and a chance for the home side to save face after a highly disappointing few weeks.

The Australian success in Durban means that the deciding match has been set up for September the 13th, when the Wallabies host the All Blacks in Brisbane.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 10:08


Friday, August 22, 2008

The international flavour of the Top 14 2008/2009

A little over seven weeks since Toulouse were victorious against Clermont in the final, it's time for the Top 14 to take centre stage yet again, as France’s top domestic rugby competition kicks off this Tuesday. With the world sitting up and taking notice after a few surprise signings, this Top 14 season will have some of the biggest names in rugby on display and it is their progress that will capture the attention of fans the world over.

We take a look at a few of the big name players who will be plying their trade in France this year. From Marshall to Masoe, Goode to Gasnier, the Top 14 is starting to look akin to soccer's English Premier League, with most of the top teams splattered with international talent and star quality.

Possibly the biggest talk has been centred around newly promoted big spenders Toulon, who secured the services of Jerry Collins not too long ago, and then more recently can boast rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams on their teamsheet. Those two players alone will create a huge deal of hype and have all eyes on Toulon this season.

Daniel Carter surprised all when he chose Perpignan over Tana Umaga coached Toulon, but has been forthright about his reasons for spending his sabbatical with the catalan side, citing playing in the Heineken Cup as his main motivation. Chris Cusiter of Scotland, and Henry Tuilagi of Samoa will be there by his side as he makes the transition into European rugby.

In terms of the title, Toulouse will be favourites once again, and with Frederic Michalak returning from South Africa, as well as David Skrela moving over from Stade Francais, perhaps their biggest challenge will be finding their starting fifteen in a side that has talent in abundance.

Last season’s finalists Clermont, with all the running power of Rougerie and Nalaga on the wings, will be looking to have another strong season, and will be as determined as ever to get over that final hurdle this time around.

Argentinean class will be on display at Stade Francais, as Hernandez, Corleto, and now Leguizamon, will be aiming to get the team from Paris up to the top once again. Throw in league star Mark Gasnier, and the side now coached by Australian Ewen McKenzie will be one to watch yet again.

A few other notable mentions are Chris Masoe who has gone to Castres, Justin Marshall who left Ospreys to play at Montpelier, former Leicester pivot Andy Goode who will be at Brive, and Wallaby Rodney Blake who will be scrumming down with Bayonne. There's a smattering of South Africans spread right the way across France, but since John Smit has left Clermont and Victor Matfield has left Toulon, there aren't any household names that come to mind.

There are of course other top players who we may have missed mentioning, particularly the locals, but this video is simply to give you an idea of what's coming up in the Top 14, and why we’ll be doing what we can to bring you coverage of all the stars in action throughout the season, starting this Tuesday.

Time: 03:38
Follow the Flow by Epik High


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Matthew Burke's famous 80m try from 1996

Wallaby legend Matt Burke will be returning to the NSW Waratahs, this time in the role of kicking coach for the 2009 season. Hearing the news of Burke’s involvement in Australian rugby again made us think back to some of his great career highlights, and there were few better than this superb try he scored back in 1996.

There is little doubt that Burke is one of the most successful and respected international fullbacks of recent times, notching up the second highest all time points tally for an Australian Test player.

For the Waratahs he is the highest ever points scorer and the second highest capped player, with his illustrious Sydney career spanning from 1992 to 2004.

After an unfortunate fall out with their coaching staff in 2004 though, he left for the UK and had three enjoyable seasons with the Newcastle Falcons. Burke announced his retirement in May of this year after failing to properly recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee after an injury he picked up in October.

So he’s now returned to his beloved Waratahs, and will be the specialist kicking coach in the hope of contributing once again to the team he served so well for twelve years.

"It's good to be asked to be involved and hopefully I can add to some of the kicking skills and the back three work," said Burke.

Waratahs Head Coach Chris Hickey said the acquisition of Burke addresses a key element to the game.

“Kicking whether it be for points, territory or tactical reasons needs to be practiced and I can’t think of many better in the field than Matt Burke,” said Hickey.

“Matt will bring a great deal to the Waratahs both on and off the field.”

So while the future looks rosy for Burke once again, we'll take a look back at one of the Wallaby’s greatest ever Bledisloe Cup tries.

At Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in July of ’96, Burke went from a standing start to beat two tackles before accelerating away to beat Lomu, dummy Cullen, and put the foot down to score an unforgettable Tri Nations try.

The great moment will be etched in the memory banks and be forever synonymous with the Australian and Waratah legend that is Matthew Burke.

Time: 00:40
Final Score: 32-25 to New Zealand


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fantastic try saving chase & tackle by Tim Bateman

Canterbury center Tim Bateman produced a pretty special moment against Auckland this weekend in the Air New Zealand Cup, as we saw him chase down Jamie Helleur after an intercept looked destined to result in 7 points.

While still a relatively new face to fans around the world, since making his senior debut in 2006, young Tim Bateman has continued to impress whenever he's worn the famous red and black jersey.

His pedigree speaks for itself, as he hails from the esteemed Christchurch Boys High School, following in the footsteps of the likes of Andrew Mehrtens, Aaron Mauger, Daniel Carter, Scott Hamilton and Stephen Brett. His two years playing for the u19's has also held him in good stead.

While Bateman isn't the biggest center in world rugby, he seemingly makes up for the lack of size with his darting runs and grim determination on defense, as we saw in Christchurch on Saturday.

This 75-metre chase to haul down opposition fullback Helleur centimetres from the line was highly impressive, and as the commentators reiterated, will go a long way to earning Bateman the respect and recognition he'll need to keep rising in New Zealand rugby.

With the home side only 5-0 up at that stage, a converted try could have easily shifted the momentum in Auckland's favour. Batemans chase had a great effect on the whole side morale wise, with their overall effort being lifted for the rest of the match, as front rower Wyatt Crockett testified to.

"When they did make half-breaks, we scrambled quite well and that effort from Timmy ... I was probably about 90 metres away, hoping he was going to get him. You look up and you see that and it was just a magnificent effort and it lifts everyone. It was massive, psychologically."

Auckland didn't come close to crossing again in the match, with the the home side Canterbury coming out convincing victors 34-3 in the end.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 02:11


Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Madness - Kiwi butchers the Aussie anthem

Thomas Stowers. Anyone remember that name? I didn't think so, and despite admittedly knowing nothing about the guy, I'm willing to bet that this performance of his at a 2001 Bledisloe Cup match didn't do his career any favours.

Australia won the match against New Zealand 23-15 at Carisbrook, despite Stowers stuttering through the anthem and basically making a mockery of the honour and opportunity handed to him.

With the Tri Nations in full swing in 2008 and a possible decider between the two sides on the cards, we thought this would provide a bit of a chuckle. His 'performance' is so bad that it's laughable, and I bet quite annoying if you're an Australian.

So while on the subject, why do the anthem singers at the beginning of a match always look so out of place, looking like they've been chosen by having their names pulled from a hat?

This past weekend we watched as the South African Bala Brothers performed a really good rendition of God Defend New Zealand, including the Maori version, but then we saw three Afrikaans guys singing the South African anthem.

Where is the logic. Why not just have one group or individual sing both? If you're good enough to sing another countries anthem, surely you're good enough to sing your own? It may just be a pet hate of mine, but I find it's often a shambles before kickoff.

Katherine Jenkins on the other hand, is a great example of Wales getting it right. She's pleasing on the eye, and certainly knows how to sing, unlike a certain Mr Stowers, who's minute of shame has been dug up again for all to see.

Time: 01:08


Sunday, August 17, 2008

All Blacks too strong for Springboks in Cape Town

The All Blacks kept South Africa scoreless for only the fourth time in 75 meetings by beating them 19-0 in Cape Town’s Tri Nations test on Saturday. They were led brilliantly by powerhouse flanker Richie McCaw, who stood out as a true leader and one of the players of the match with his overall performance.

New Zealand weathered the Springbok’s strong start, and nullified the home ground advantage by soaking up the pressure and keeping themselves ahead after an early try by Conrad Smith. McCaw’s deft kick ahead was yet another mark of the man’s class, as Smith dived over and somehow managed to dot down.

Flyhalf Dan Carter miraculously missed five of seven attempted kicks at goal, possibly never seen before by Carter at this level. It didn’t matter though, as the men in green failed to take advantage of that and use their chances to put points on the board.

The All Blacks defence was heroic, once again led by McCaw, who was seen putting in numerous hard tackles and winning turnover ball on the ground, showing precisely how slow the Springboks were at the breakdown.

The game sat at 5-0 for the whole of the first half, as Carter continued to let South Africa off the hook by skewing kicks in a rare display of poor goal kicking. The rest of his play was up to normal standard though, with his moment of brilliance with 14 minutes left in the match putting the visitors well ahead.

The grounding of the ball from Carter, after the neat little jink, showed what a superb player he can be with ball in hand.

With five minutes left, Francois Steyn and Jean De Villiers combined to hand All Black hooker Kevin Mealamu an absolute gift, as the pressure to create something out of nothing resulted in them tossing Mealamu the ball, for one of the easier tries he’ll score in his career.

Percy Montgomery’s 100th Test match for his country was meant to be an occasion to celebrate for the home side, but looking leaderless and frustrated, the errors and subsequent failure to get on the board cost them.

The All Black’s composure and determined defence on the other hand, was probably the difference between the two sides in the end. That, and king Richie, who has once again shown what an incredibly classy player and captain he truly is.

The All Black now sit at the top of the table with 14 points, while the Springboks remain in last place with five.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 10:06
Note: Is ten minutes too long for highlights? Spot on, or bandwidth killer? Let us know please.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Classic Encounters - Springboks vs All Blacks 2005

As a preview ahead of the South Africa vs New Zealand Tri Nations meeting this weekend, we’re bringing you footage of this classic match from 2005 when both sides met at Carisbrook, in what proved to be a vitally important win for the home team.

A late try from hooker Kevin Mealamu sealed the victory 31-27 in a thrilling match in which the lead changed hands six times.

The match kicked off with the famous Kapa O Pango Haka being performed for the first time ever, adding to the big occasion.

Flying winger supreme Joe Rokocoko scored twice for the All Blacks on the night, while Ricky Januarie showed that Dunedin must surely be one of his best places to play, as he scored a quick thinking charge down just before half time.

With five minutes left in the match the New Zealand forwards drove to the line from a lineout, before Auckland’s Mealamu split from the maul and plunged over for the line.

Luke McAlister converted to give the All Blacks the decisive advantage, and the game ended with the men from New Zealand sneaking it by four.

All Blacks skipper Umaga admitted his side had been slightly fortunate to win.

"We were lucky to hold them out and get what we got, but we're happy with it," Umaga said.

"To the Springboks' credit, they never gave up, as you saw on the scoreboard and in the way they played.’

A South African win or draw would have given the Springboks the crown, but it wasn’t to be, and New Zealand went on to beat Australia in Auckland the next week and lift the Tri Nations trophy once again.

Time: 08:13


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

David Smith sandwiched against Taranaki

Auckland successfully defended the Ranfurley Shield on Sunday by defeating challengers Taranaki 22-6 at Eden Park, claiming the points in the Air New Zealand Cup at the same time.

One of the more spectacular tackles in the match came when flying winger David Smith broke back on the inside, cutting the line beautifully, but was then chopped down hard by two Taranaki defenders.

Smith took quite a knock, but after a few minutes he was back to his normal self again, shrugging off what looked like a stinger on the the shoulder.

Taranaki Hooker Laurence Corlett wasn't as fortunate though, as he left the field shortly after this with a thigh injury. The injury came from the collision, as we saw Corlett stay down on the turf for some time directly after playing his part in the sandwich. It looked like the knee of Smith went right into Corlett's thigh.

A week earlier he took a blow to the head, which meant he last only 25 minutes.

"Two weeks in a row coming off, it's pretty disappointing," Corlett said afterwards. "And to come off in a shield match is really gutting."

We'll try bring you all the best bits from the Air New Zealand Cup over the next few weeks. The tournament is just getting started, but already there's been some great matches with a few upsets that have made it all the more interesting.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.


Midweek Madness - Crocker knocked out by the ball

With our regular Midweek Madness slot here on RD, we do our best to feature the most unique or bizarre moments from the world of rugby. Scouring the globe for interesting clips often includes searching through the world of Rugby League, which always seems to produce an interesting clip or two.

In the recent State of Origin series, Game Three, in which Queensland secured the title, saw burly Melbourne Storm second rower Michael Crocker knocked out from a hit to the head, ending his night temporarily after 51 minutes.

Crocker, who will next year be leaving for England to play for Hull FC, took the blow to the head as he seemingly attempted to charge down a kick. You should always get your arms up in front of you though, and in fact, Crocker didn't really attempt to charge it down at all. He just kinda ran into it.

The impact from the Mitchell Pierce kick on Crocker's melon was such that it knocked him out cold for a minute or two.

Crocker left the field, and this 'Falcon' will go down in Origin history as one of the more memorable ever seen.

The moral of the story? Don't turn your back on a kick.

Time: 02:01


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let's get Rugby in the Olympics

With the eyes of the world currently on Beijing, it makes one wonder just what kind of exposure and growth could be achieved if Rugby were on display. Having the top players of your country having a crack at Gold would be fantastic. The IRB are calling out to all players and supporters to spread the message that Rugby needs to be re-included in the Olympic movement, with Sevens being perfectly suited to it.

While there has been an abundance of criticism for the IRB of late, namely around the ELV discussions, this Olympic drive is sure to get the support of every rugby fan, with the mutual love of the game being the driving factor behind us contributing to getting Rugby on a greater world stage.

Sevens is the fastest growing form of the game, with 32 National Teams taking place in the IRB Sevens World Series this year, 2008. All you have to do is watch one leg of the World Series and you will be amazed at the teams that are on display, and the quality they provide. It's the game for all, and is the ultimate stepping stone towards accelerated growth and popularity of truly global proportions.

Since 1924, when the USA won the Gold Medal, we haven't seen Rugby in the Olympics. Now is the time to change all that, as the IOC are committed to having 28 sports in the 2016 Olympics. Rugby is on a shortlist that includes softball, karate, golf and roller sports. Rugby's merits for inclusion in terms of its Olympic history and its reach as a global sport are obvious.

Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle for Fifteens. Olympic inclusion would mean that Sevens ultimate stage would be the Olympic Games.

The IOC will vote on which sports to include in the Olympic Games in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2009. To assist in the IRB’s ambition of getting Sevens back in the Olympics by 2016, you can go to http://www.2009congress.olympic.org and Register there to give your feedback. For more information about the drive, and if you have trouble registering on the IOC site, the IRB has provided instructions here.

This emotive video gets the message across perfectly, showing us that Rugby is indeed deserving of a spot on the Olympic roster. Please leave a comment to let us know your thoughts. Let's make a difference. Lets get Rugby in the Olympics.

Time: 02:42
Note: You can read more here


Monday, August 11, 2008

Jaque Fourie broken cheekbone on Springbok return

Springbok center Jaque Fourie, who's last Test for his country was the World Cup Final, made his comeback on Saturday against Argentina in Johannesburg. After an injury lay off of months, his successful recovery meant that he could join the team and take part in the Tri Nations.

Fate had other ideas though, as within five minutes of making his entrance into the game, his attempted tackle on Argentinian right wing Piossek ended in disaster for the big center, as the collision meant his first significant involvement was also his last.

The clash of heads fractured Fourie's right cheekbone, which means he will require surgery this week. He will then be out of action for 6 weeks, ruling him out of the remainder of the Tri Nations.

A place in the squad has again opened up for young Francois Steyn, with the toll of the friendly between Argentina and South Africa also claiming the scalp of enforcer Bakkies Botha, who's knee injury means we won't see him in action again this tournament either.

The clip also shows a big hit from Butch James on Felipe Contepomi, and a superb try saver by Luke Watson after Piossek bounced off Fourie.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 01:35


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sonny Bill Williams debut for Toulon defies court order

We recently reported on the sensational move of NRL star Sonny Bill Williams to Toulon in France. A whole lot has happened off the field, culminating in a NSW Court order from the NRL to stop him from playing. Despite that, Williams made his debut for the newly promoted Top 14 team yesterday, playing well, but earning a yellow card in the process.

Williams displayed the star factor that’s been associated with his career since he was a teenager. Thousands turned out to watch him strut his stuff in the pre-season friendly against Carqueiranne-Hyeres.

It was a mixed day for the New Zealander, as his team won easily 50-5, but he himself received a yellow card for a shoulder charge that is most definitely not part of the Union code.
His victim afterwards described the hit as it being ‘like an electrocution’.

Williams will adjust to the laws quickly though, and with the glimpses of brilliance he showed while playing on the wing - one handed offloads and basketball like skills - he is sure to be a superstar in France.

Off the field though he faces his biggest challenge, as walking out on his contract with the Bulldogs two weeks ago has put him in the spotlight, with the NRL lawyers and top dogs out to make things right, which could actually mean he'll face jail time if he continues to play in defiance of the NSW Supreme Court injunction.

NRL boss David Gallop said they have "no choice" but to continue the legal pursuit of the Bulldog, warning that if he plays again, when Toulon meet Toulouse for a friendly on Friday night, they will be forced to take things further.

Williams is not only flirting with a jail term for contempt of court, but he risks losing his Australian assets, including his $1.3 million Caringbah home.

"It's one thing not to comply with an obligation you have in a contract, it's another thing altogether to defy an order of the court," NRL lawyer Tony O'Reilly stated.

To avoid being personally served with the injunction before kick-off, Williams travelled to the game by car, rather than the team bus. He also didn’t warm up with the team, but received a huge ovation from the crowd, despite it being an away match.

Speaking to a Sydney newspaper he said he's prepared to go to jail for what he believes in.

"What I've done, it's shown it's just not about me, it's about the boys getting a fair go, you know what I mean?" he said. "It's about them having the balls to stand up for themselves, and get what they should be getting.

"I just want to see the game and the players looked after the way they should be because the crowds don't turn up to watch David Gallop play... they turn up to watch the players play.

"Hopefully some good can come out of what I've done and it wakes everybody up and they realise that something needs to be done."

Time: 01:57


Springboks thrash Argentina in Johannesburg

The Springboks thumped Argentina by a record scoreline of 63-9 at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday afternoon. The home team ran in nine tries against a below par Pumas outfit, but will need to cut out the errors when they meet New Zealand next weekend.

Peter de Villiers' men started slowly in the face of some passionate and physical play by the visitors. The Boks falling 9-0 behind after 24 minutes with Felipe Contepomi kicking three penalties as the Springboks struggled to get to grips with the direct Puma approach.

The Springboks were guilty of over-elaboration inside this first half with lateral running and 50-50 passes being punished by some crunching defence and superior physicality at ruck time by the Pumas.

The game changed on the half-hour mark when a overcooked pass from Ricky Januarie fell kindly to Jean de Villiers who cut through the Pumas backline before feeding Adi Jacobs for the first try of the game.

Minutes later Jongi Nokwe crossed for a try on his debut with some quick feet and intelligent running helping the winger ghost through to score.

From nowhere the Springboks took a 14-9 lead into the break.

The Springboks started the second half as they'd finished the first as the slick passes and attacking play finally started to pay dividends. Luke Watson and JP Pietersen combined deep inside the Springbok half following a Mtawarira turnover and the winger chipped ahead for a rampaging Pierre Spies who gathered well before crashing over the line.

From there on in it was all South Africa with JP Pietersen and Fourie du Preez rounding off attacking moves with some slick finishing.

The rout continued during the last 20 minutes with Joe van Niekerk grabbing a brace in his 50th Test after coming off the bench. Bismarck du Plessis got himself in on the action before JP Pietersen grabbed his second to push the scoreline out to 63-9.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 09:34
Article: Thanks to the guys at SARugby.com


Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Funnies - Justin Marshall does a Hollywood

It hasn't been the funniest of weeks for Rugbydump, or even in the world of rugby, so we'll go back in time a little bit and revisit an amusing incident from earlier in the season, featuring that man Justin Marshall yet again.

It was January of this year when the Ospreys and Gloucester met at Liberty Stadium in a Heineken Cup played in atrocious conditions. The crowd weren't phased though, and it was cheered on by an 18 000 strong contingent.

Former All Black scrum half Marshall was everywhere on the night, putting in a well deserved Man of the Match performance as he marshalled (I couldn't resist) his troops to a 32-15 win.

His brilliant counter attack run down the right wing set up Nikki Walker, who was stopped well by the covering defence. As Marshall went in to grab the ball, Gloucester flank Peter Buxton came in at the side and hit Marshall just as he was trying to gather the ball.

The subsequent flamboyant Oscar-worthy dive resulted in Buxton being sent to the bin, looking rather angry and feeling hard done by. I don't blame him.

It's funny to watch it now, but this kind of milking of a yellow card is poor. The dive, the hands waving in the air, it's all a bit cynical really.

The good thing about a guy like Justin Marshall though, is that he knows it was outrageous, and he's willing to have a laugh at himself about it, as you can see during this short snippet from a European rugby chat show.

Incidentally, Marshall has recently left the Ospreys, and will be playing for Montpelier in the French Top 14 this season. The league kicks off later this month, with big name players from all corners of the rugby globe being involved, making it one of the most exciting upcoming French seasons for many a year.

On the move, Marshall said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Ospreys and in many ways I will be sorry to leave, however, I believe the time is right to move on.

“I’m now looking forward to my move to Montpellier and the very different challenges that playing rugby in France will offer.

We'll keep an eye on Justin and his antics, and if any other award winning performances are to be put in, we'll be sure to feature them for you, right here on Rugbydump.

Time: 01:16


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ryan Lamb's brilliant try vs Saracens in the Guinness Premiership

With the Guinness Premiership season kicking off exactly a month from now, we look back to one of the tries of the season, scored by a young man who will surely be vying for international honours come selection time later in the year.

Log leaders Gloucester were on fine form in the Premiership in April as they romped home to a 39-15 victory over Saracens. The six try win came in part from a stunning performance from flyhalf Ryan Lamb, who scored two tries, kicked smartly and controlled midfield with the authority of a seasoned veteran.

The flyhalf, who bagged 19 points on the day, including two tries in three minutes, was expected by many to be receiving an international call up after numerous quality showings such as this. It wasn’t to be though, and he’ll have to do it all again this season in the hope of beating out the likes of Wilkinson, Cipriani, and Geraghty.

Early in the second half of this entertaining match at Kingsholm, the Gloucester onslaught began as a clearing kick from Neil De Kock stayed in field, only to be popped up to Lamb who burst through the narrowest of gaps on the way to scoring a stunning solo try. He sidestepped past two defenders, with his dismissive jink past Richard Haughton bringing back memories of the great steppers of the Seventies.

The try was converted by Lamb himself, who then only a few minutes later intercepted a De Kock pass to run in unopposed for a long range saunter that added another seven points to his tally.

The double blow meant no way back for Saracens, and Gloucester went on to top the table at the end of the season, despite not making it into the final where we saw Wasps lift the trophy.

The performance by Lamb and this try in particular, will be one to cherish for Gloucester and rugby fans alike, as the audacity and quality of that final step can only make you sit back and applaud, no matter which side of the fence you’re sitting on.

Time: 02:03


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Martin Johnson sidestep try for Leicester in 2002

While the ELV debate from yesterday's posting rages on, it's probably a good time to show something completely different, this time in the form of a great try from the past.

While many people wouldn't normally associate former England captain Martin Johnson with his running ability, this try is refreshingly good for a man who is over two meters tall and weighed close to 120kg's back then.

The try comes from the Zurich Premiership, as it was known at the time, and is against Harlequins in what we think can only be the 2001/2002 season. It was a highly successful period in Leicester rugby history, with the club winning both the Zurich Premiership and the Heineken Cup in 2002. Leicester's longest ever serving captain then led England to victory with the Grand Slam the following year, followed by the World Cup win in Australia.

He was a hard man who's style of play was uncompromising, but he was highly respected and his leadership was such that many name him as one of the greatest captains of all. He is currently at the helm of English rugby, and hoping to turn their fortunes around and achieve greatness once again, this time in the coaching role.

After all the plaudits, I think it's safe to say that what we see in this short clip certainly wasn't what people would have expected him to be capable of. I'm not sure if such a big man can actually sidestep, or more specifically, if this can be classified as one. It was probably more of a change of direction. But it was a helluva good finish whatever it was, because it resulted in five points for Leicester and bragging rights for the big man.

If the backs won't do it, get in there and show them how it's done.


Monday, August 04, 2008

IRB Guide to Experimental Law Variations

The International Rugby Board's Experimental Law Variations (ELV's) are now in full effect, having got underway globally on August the 1st. The worldwide, 12 month trial will encompass all levels of the game, incorporating 13 experimental laws that were approved by the IRB Council at their recent meeting in Dublin.

The ELV’s have been trialled in the Super 14, and are currently on display in the Tri Nations. They have been well received by players and fans alike so far, and the next phase of progression will be to see if they will be positively received in Europe.

While the ELV's are designed to simplify the game, they've been widely criticised by many, particularly those in the Northern Hemisphere who feel that the new laws are purely in the interest of teams like Australia, who will benefit from the style of play the laws encourage.

Rod Macqueen, member of the IRB’s Laws Project Group working on the ELV’s dismisses those claims, stating that the laws are merely to return the game to what it once was.

“The people that are saying the ELV’s are designed to make the game faster etc, that was never the case, that has never been part of the criteria. The criteria has always been to make sure that we kept it a game for all shapes and sizes, but try and make it simpler and in a lot of ways bring it back to the game we used to have when there was actually more space on the field and more breaks to be able to come about.

“In fact the game that we have got today, that we saw in the World Cup, under the current laws is quite different to what the game was like 20 years ago. In fact dramatically different.”

The IRB will meet again early next year to decide whether the proposed laws should be adopted for good or not. Their goal is to get a single set of laws agreed upon as soon as possible.

Results so far have been positive. In this year’s Super 14 there were more tries, fewer lineouts, fewer penalties kicked, and the ball was in play longer. There were roughly the same number of scrums, more mauls and many more free kicks.

A recent survey has also shown that 83 percent of players playing under the new laws found them to be a positive for rugby, with almost 90 percent of the 260 respondents stating the laws were easy to understand and result in more continuity.

But, for the critics, ‘Why fix something that isn’t broken?’ has become the cliché of choice recently, with fans and former players questioning the move to turn the game into more of a Rugby League type contest.

The reality is such that like it or not, it’s going to happen, and we have to adjust to it for now whether it becomes permanent or not.

The IRB are by no means out to ruin rugby. They are however experimenting with a few changes that may well improve certain aspects of the game for all involved.

Former England flanker Neil Back is one who is optimistic, keeping an open mind about the laws that many have pessimistically dismissed.

"The ELVs are here to stay, for this season at least. I approach them as with anything else new in life and in rugby: you have got to be positive. I don't entirely agree with the rule changes, as I've said before, but it is important that we embrace them and deal with them."

This 17 minute video released by the IRB hopes to give you a better understanding of the ELV's, with footage used to further explain how they look in action.

If you'd like to read further, or have the laws as reference, you can download them here. (right click - save target/link as)

Time: 17:20


Saturday, August 02, 2008

All Blacks crush the Wallabies in Auckland

New Zealand snapped a two-game losing streak by thrashing Australia 39-10 in their Tri-Nations, Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park on Saturday.

New Zealand dominated the match and kept their hopes of defending their Tri-Nations title alive after winning their 19th game in a row at their Auckland stronghold.

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter had an outstanding night with the boot, kicking five penalties and two conversions for a tally of 19 points.

With injured captain Richie McCaw making his return, the All Blacks played with far more determination than in their 34-19 loss to Australia last week.

Loosehead prop Tony Woodcock scored a brace of tries within four minutes midway through the first half, doubling the previous amount he had scored in 41 tests, after twice crashing over from close range.

The second was a slick planned move after a lineout on Australia's five metre line. The ball went to Ali Williams at the back of the lineout who immediately knocked it down for Woodcock to force his way over.

New Zealand had shot out to an 18-3 lead before Australia responded with a classy try to fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper, who was on the end of a slick backline move after a rare period of Australian pressure.

After leading 21-10 at halftime the All Blacks struck early in the second half, with inside centre Ma'a Nonu crashing over after New Zealand had forced a turnover inside Australia's 22.

Nonu scored again in injury time to give New Zealand a vital four-try bonus point in the battle for the Tri-nations crown. They now lead the table from Australia then South Africa.

PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.

Time: 09:52
Article: Reuters


Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Funnies - How far offside can you go

Stadium Australia in 1999 hosted the match between arch rivals Australia and New Zealand, played out in front of over 107 000 people. It was the final test for both sides before the World Cup, and proved to be a great run out for the team that went on to lift the trophy in Wales a few months later.

One of the more comical moments in the match came when Wallaby captain and flanker David Wilson found himself horribly offside after a couple of kicks were exchanged by both sides.

Wilson felt he was onside when the ball was tossed to Justin Marshall, so he proceeded with the tackle, only to be penalised by ref Jim Fleming.

The match ended 28-7 to the Wallabies, with Wilson going on to lift the Bledisloe Cup.


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