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, December 28, 2008

Bristol hold their nerve against Worcester

As part of our way of catching up on the past few weeks rugby, we bring you the highlights of this tight encounter between Worcester Warriors and Bristol from a few weeks back.

It was a Guinness Premiership weekend that produced a few nailbiters that went right down to the wire with this match in particular being decided by a late Ed Barnes penalty kick.

The match ended with a 20-20 draw, denying the Warriors a victory they should have secured given their superior possession and field position.

A quick lineout caught Worcester by surprise, allowing David Lemi to jink towards the 22-metre line, where he was stopped by a high tackle.

However, Mike Ruddock, the Worcester director of rugby, said that some of his players felt the decision was a little harsh.

“But we must respect it as we had a quality referee and we should never have allowed them that quick lineout,” he said. “I felt we were the better side, although it was a really good battle and we knew Bristol would be scrapping for their lives.”

We’ll do what we can to recap other matches that have taken place over the past few weeks, so please be patient, and send through your requests or contributions where possible.

Time: 1:35


Harlequins beat Stade Francais with a most dramatic finale

A few weeks back we watched in amazement as Harlequins produced a most impressive 29 phases before flyhalf Nick Evans slotted a winning dropgoal to secure back to back wins over Stade Francais.

The weather was awful, resulting in a pitch inspection an hour and a half before kickoff. The rain continued throughout the match, resulting in old fashioned rugby being played, with plenty of kicking the referees whistle dominating much of the proceedings.

It was a nervy final ten minutes as the sides were two points apart with the result of the match having an impact on qualification for the knock-out stages.

Stade Francais sliced a kick which setup a lineout for Quins which led to them securing possession, and hanging onto it for a miraculous 29 phases before Evans struck the deciding drop goal.

It was a moment of brilliance from not only Evans, but it the whole team as it seemed virtually everyone touched the ball. The wingers made runs, and the forwards worked hard.

Evans set himself twice for the shot at goal, but the kiwi, and the rest of the side, had the patience to keep going. When the time was right, the kick went over, and it was sweet victory for Harlequins, who had now beaten Stade twice in two weeks.

Time: 06:03


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Campo - A David Campese Tribute

One of rugby's greatest characters, both on and off the pitch. With 64 tries in 101 Tests for Australia, David 'Campo' Campese is a true legend of the game.

He played to entertain and to enjoy himself. Since his two try debut against the All Blacks in 1982, Campese has represented his country at fullback and on the wing, winning everything from Bledisloe Cups to Grand Slam tours to the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

His willingness to take chances and make mistakes resulted in more than a handful of memorable moments, particularly for the Barbarians in 1984 and in the 1991 World Cup Semi Final against New Zealand.

Having eventually moved on from playing rugby, Campo took to coaching (The Sharks in Durban, South Africa) as well as running his own sports store in a Sydney suburb.

It isn't often the rugby world witnesses a player as expressive as Campese and to acknowledge this, Rugbydump salutes him with this tribute. Thanks for the memories.

Time: 04:14
Song: Wonderwall by Oasis


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't Stop Believeing - the Brian O'Driscoll collection

Brian O'Driscoll has always aimed high. The Leinster, Ireland, and British & Irish Lions legend has for many years been regarded as one of the finest centers the game has seen. While today he may not be quite the player he was a few years back, he still poses a threat and has done some fantastic things on the rugby field over the years.

His immediate goal will be staying fit and maintaining the type of good form required to make the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in roughly 6 months time. There's already plenty of talk about whether he will make the squad, and if he'll still pose the same kind of threat he used to.

Besides the tour in June, O'Driscoll has also set his sights on making it to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He will only be 32 then, and it will be a remarkable achievement of four World Cups for the star center.

Speaking at the World Cup draw in London earlier this month, the man known as BOD spoke frankly about his aspirations.

"You’re sitting there and you’re getting nervous (about the draw) and then you’re thinking ‘I hope I’ll have a reason to get nervous’, in that I hope I’m involved in it," said O’Driscoll, who made his World Cup debut as a 20-year-old in 1999.

"If in three years’ time if I still have the wherewithal to play at this level, form included, then it would be fantastic to play in a fourth World Cup but it’s a long way away."

This compilation of O'Driscoll in action is a great showcase of some of the finer moments througout his career. Whether you're a fan currently or not, there's no doubt that in the past, at the top of his game, he was the best center in world rugby.

Time: 3:59


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Colin Charvis chip sinks the Ospreys late in the game

Newport Gwent Dragons flank Colin Charvis described his match-winning chip-kick - in the 30-24 Magners League Round Seven match against Ospreys at Rodney Parade on Friday - as a "moment of madness".

The late Colin Charvis-inspired try sealed the issue, as the Dragons ended a run of six defeats in all competitions with a bonus point win over the Ospreys.

Given the driving rain and swirling wind, this was a very entertaining derby encounter in the circumstances.

The returning Gavin Henson scored two tries, but it was the moment of magic from wily veteran Charvis six minutes from time which helped decide the outcome, as his pinpoint kick to the left set up fullback Jason Tovey for a dramatic try.

Shaun Connor, himself a former Osprey, added the conversion and although the visitors hit back almost immediately with a penalty from their teenage No.10 Dan Biggar, the Dragons held firm for their first league win since September.

"More than anything it (the chip-kick) was probably a moment of madness," Charvis said, adding: "My left boot has caused quite a few problems for teams in the past.

"I just saw that Tovey was unmarked and free, I just thought kick it and it went into his hands.

Phil Turner, the Dragons coach, was equally delighted.

"We haven't been a four-try side, and it was one of those nights where we had a little bit of luck," he said.

"I'm very delighted for the players, because we were pretty despondent with the close defeats we've had and a four-tries-to-one win against the Ospreys is good."

Time: 09:28


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jamie Cudmore suspended after fight with Paul O'Connell

Last weekend Clermont and Munster locks Jamie Cudmore and Paul O’Connell were involved in an altercation that resulted them seeing red and yellow respectively.

Canadian Cudmore has since been hit with a five-week ban for punching after he was given his marching orders for striking O’Connell in the 18th minute of the 23-18 loss to Munster.

Cudmore appeared before an independent disciplinary committee in London on Thursday and the panel agreed the offence was of the mid-range in the level of seriousness for striking.

Having taken into account any mitigating and aggravating factors the committee suspended Cudmore for five weeks, from the date of the match up to and including Sunday January 18, 2009.

The ban means Cudmore will miss the Heineken Cup clash against fellow French side Montauban in the New Year. He has the right to appeal the ban.

Time: 3:16


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ospreys run riot against Treviso

Ospreys put in a commanding performance at home on the weekend as they demolished Treviso in a 10 try spectacle that saw winger Tommy Bowe picking up four tries and the Italian side being crushed 68-8 at the Liberty Stadium.

The Welsh hosts scored some excellent tries as they ran riot with Bowe crossing three times within a 25 minute period in the first half that also saw Nikki Walker scoring twice.

Lee Byrne, Shane Williams and Ed Shervington all scored tries after the interval before Bowe claimed his fourth try six minutes from time.

With a halftime score of 40-8, the game was well beyond Treviso, but they made a game of it after the interval and competed well until the final minutes, when the pressure once again proved too much.

It was an impressive performance from the injury ravaged Welsh side who ran in some classic tries, with flyhalf James Hook showing what a dangerous open field runner he can be.

This match was only broadcast on a Welsh tv channel, so the commentary is in Welsh, not English. The tries are great to watch though, in any language.

Time: 05:04


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bath and Glasgow produce a classic at the Rec

Glasgow travelled to the Recreation Ground on Sunday to take on Bath in the Heineken Cup, with very few having anticipated the type of match that was to be on display.

Scoring five tries away from home, Glasgow came oh so close to winning as a late interception went wrong, but if it had come off, would have resulted in a famous victory.

Lying second in the Magners League, Glasgow were actually missing their first choice halfbacks, but the youth stepped up and fared excellently against the experience of Bath.

The 35-31 win to Bath in the end though sets up a mouth watering return meeting between the two sides in Glasgow, with Bath coach Steve Meehan well aware of the dangers that the Scottish side posses, with his teams defence having to be spot on.

“Defence is a reflection of motivation and attitude,” Meehan said. “We need to do some work on that. To get a result there, our attitude will have to be spot on. The game goes to the final bell, sometimes beyond that.”

"At 35-19 ahead, we had the game under control, but it goes until the final bell, which is a question for the players individually and collectively. Holes opened up in our defence because guys were lazy.

"If we are going to go through, then we need to win in Glasgow next weekend. We need to continue nipping at Toulouse's heels."

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen promised no let-up next Sunday. “Perhaps in the past Scottish teams have just been happy to compete, but these boys are a team of winners,” he said.

"We are very frustrated. The guys had a lot of belief coming down here. They are an exceptional bunch of players, and they want to win.

"It would have been fantastic to get a result here, but ultimately we need to tighten our defence and we've got to learn when to play - and when not to play.”

Time: 10:22
: The audio on this clip is slightly out of sync. We'll update it with a better version soon.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Leicester beat Perpignan at Welford Road

The Leicester Tigers achieved a bonus-point win over Perpignan on the weekend at Welford Road in the Heineken Cup. Toby Flood scored 23 points and the first of four tries for Leicester as they maintained their unbeaten record.

Aaron Mauger profited from a scything run from Dan Hipkiss but Perpignan kept themselves in touch with a breakaway try from centre Maxime Mermoz and an opportunist effort from flanker Ovidiu Tonita.

The Tigers scrum had been in destructive mood all night and Perpignan’s resistance was broken when Leicester drove them 10 yards back over their own line for Jordan Crane to touch down.

Matt Smith sealed the bonus point with a jinking break down the touchline and, although the Catalans engineered a late penalty try, Leicester’s scrum had done the damage.

“That pack was phenomenal. They have so much talent and so much want and desire to be successful,” said Flood.

“Julian has done everything you possibly can do as a player and yet there he is at the forefront of our pack and pushing them over from 10 metres.

“Playing behind that pack, and the atmosphere and drive it gives the team, is unbelievable.

“And then you have Lewis Moody who just runs around like it is his last game and without a care in the world. You would never believe he has kids and a family!”

“It is fantastic to be back,” he said. “The one pleasure of playing for England is that you are representing your country, but when you come back to the club you step out of the limelight and you can get back to what you were doing before you went off with England. You almost slot straight back in.

“You have to have confidence if you play 10 or 12 because you need to control the game. My confidence was never really affected by what happened last week.”

Flood finished second best to Dan Carter at Twickenham and is set to lock horns with the All Blacks fly-half in next weekend’s return tie against Perpignan in France.

Carter, who has signed until the end of the season on a deal reported to be worth £30,000 a game, was absent after spending most of the week on promotional duties in Italy.

Flood added: “He is a world-class player – but you can’t play the player, you have to play the team. You can’t let it affect you. One player will make a big difference but you can still find holes in them.”

Time: 07:43


Monday, December 08, 2008

Brock James and Clermont beat Munster 25-19

Munster slipped to their first defeat in Europe since lifting the Heineken Cup but a bonus point in Clermont-Auvergne kept their qualification hopes alive.

Brock James scored all of Clermont's points, including six penalties and a second-half try, to keep his team in the tournament with a repeat of last season's victory over the European champions.

But Ronan O'Gara's 73rd-minute penalty ensured Munster left France with a potentially crucial losing bonus point that keeps them in touch with leaders Sale Sharks with two of their next three pool games at home.

Marcus Horan got the visitors off to a nice lead in the 25th minute with a well taken try after O’Gara and James had traded two penalties each early on.

James kept Clermont in the game though with some pinpoint kicking after Munster gave away a series of penalties.

The home side stepped up a gear and it was James himself who beat two tackles to score a crucial try.

A moment of ill-discipline handed Munster the chance at a bonus point, as Pierre Mignoni conceded a penalty, which was followed by them being marched back another 10 years after comments made by the players.

O’Gara obliged, and the match finished 25-19 to the home side.

These highlights include not only the tries, but a few big hits too. Enjoy.

Time: 04:18


Friday, December 05, 2008

Richard Cockerill stands up to the Haka in 1997

England hooker Richard Cokerill standing up to the Haka in 1997 will go down as one of the most controversial, and forever spoken about incidents in rugby history.

His in your face confrontation with opposite number Norm Hewitt caused a huge stir as they went eyeball to eyeball during the traditional challenge at the Old Trafford test.

The feud between the two players began then, resulting in it reaching the next level a year later when they were involved in a late-night scrap in Dunedin, leaving Cockerill with a black eye.

While many believe that the England hooker’s actions prematch overstepped the boundaries of sportsmanship, the man himself disagrees.

"I believe that I did the right thing that day," he said. "They were throwing down a challenge and I showed them I was ready to accept it. I'm sure they would rather we did that than walk away."

Much requested here on RD, have a look at this clip and let us know what you think. It’s yet another fascinating moment in the history of the Haka, and how teams and players approach it.

Time: 01:40


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Star studded Barbarians beaten by the Wallabies

Last night Wembley saw a ferocious encounter between a star studded Barbarians outfit and the touring Wallabies. The game was packed with bruising hits, as both sides treated this more like a test match than an end of season rugby exhibition.

Jerry Collins and Schalk Burger of the Baa Baa’s were particularly committed to the cause as they threw their bodies around the field with very little self regard.

Despite the intimidating number of big names they were up against, Australia got off to a early lead of 13-0, thanks to taking some kicks at goal, even with the crowd booing them.

As much as the Barbarians threw at them though, the Wallabies soaked up, eventually forcing the scratch side to kick for poles themselves.

At 13-6 at halftime, the game was looking like it could go either way, and after the Barbarians were twice denied tries by the video referee, it took a try set up by Shane Williams and scored by Jerry Collins to bring the scores closer.

Young flyhalf Francois Steyn had a match he’d rather forget, missing wayward drop goals and vital kicks for goal as his side had a real chance of taking the lead.

In the end it was the Wallabies though who soaked up all the Baa Baa’s pressure with some incredible defence, eventually turning over a ball and scoring through replacement winger Lachie Turner two minutes from fulltime.

Their first try came from an excellent piece of skill from Ryan Cross, setting up the run in for Lote Tuqiri.

An entertaining game all in all, errors cost the Barbarians the win, but it was sweet success for a Wallaby side that featured a few second stringers who got a deserved chance to shine after a long tour.

Time: 03:56


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rocky Elsom enjoying life at Leinster - try vs Dragons

With so many southern hemisphere stars plying their trade in France, the UK and Ireland, we like to keep track of who’s doing what, and how life is going for them over at their respective clubs.

Rocky Elsom is a player we’ve highlighted here on RD before, as he’s having a good time over at Leinster in Ireland. The last time he was shown, it was for his part in a scuffle, but this time it’s because he’s on the end of a nice try scored against the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend.

The home side got their Magners League title defence back on track with a 29-13 after Elsom’s late try which came about after a great run from Girvan Dempsey. The great hands at the end were from David Holwell, sending Elsom over in the corner.

Former Wallaby international Elsom has relished the challenge at Leinster, as well as enjoying the new experience.

"On the field it's been a bit of a mixed bag with the Heineken Cup going very well but the Magners League matches haven't been going the way we would like", the 25-year-old admits.

"Away from the field, the move has been great. The people are very welcoming and I'm enjoying life in Dublin. The supporters are very different to what I am used to. Sydney fans are very reserved compared to the Dublin crowd, and they rarely single out players like they do here. It's something that I didn't expect here but it definitely adds to the experience.

"I knew a lot of the staff before I came here. Michael Cheika was obviously very successful at Randwick, which is my club in Australia, before joining Leinster, and Alan Gaffney was a coach at the Wallabies in 2005. And I played against Jono Gibbes for six years, so that part of it was pretty predictable."

Referring to his absence from the current Test team, Elsom has a positive outlook.

"It is good to have breaks from games from time to time. It helps to refresh your body and can lift your enthusiasm for playing. I can't say that anyone in the squad is out of shape or more out of shape than they were when I got here. And that is probably due to the fact that when there aren't any games there is very little stopping you from training.

"The team is very good and that helps -- no one likes playing in a dud side, regardless of how much you're being paid.

"But with good sides comes the responsibility or expectation to perform and bring success, which is certainly what I'd like to help do for the province. Leinster was an easy choice because I knew what I was getting, as far as the coaching staff goes.

"It is always a lottery, no matter how much you have heard about a coach or staff you never really know unless you've experienced it. Also, I like Dublin. I have been here a few times before this year -- and always had a good time -- so that helps."

Time: 01:46


Monday, December 01, 2008

The Stirling Mortlock and Jamie Roberts headclash

The Wallabies slumped to a 21-18 loss to Wales on Saturday after failing to overcome the second-minute departure of talismanic captain Stirling Mortlock two minutes into the game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The huge clash of heads between Mortlock and big Jamie Roberts just a few minutes into the game saw the Wallaby captain having to leave the field looking rather worse for wear.

Roberts miraculously stayed on for another 15 minutes before going off, but it has since been revealed that he has a skull fracture.

Welsh team doctor John Williams was shocked by the injury, later stating that Roberts, a medical student himself, would be out of action until the middle of January, three weeks before Wales begin their defence of the Six Nations championship.

"I've never seen anything like this and I was talking to some of my colleagues and they have never seen anything like this," said Williams.

"It was a collision of heads at a certain angle with a certain momentum causing a crack.

"Second week of January he could be back in contact which is three weeks before the Six Nations. We will just watch over the next two or three weeks while this heals."

Williams added: "He was admitted last night with a fracture to his skull. He is comfortable, pain-free. He will be out of training for six weeks to give it a chance to heal and then back in the New Year.

"It is a fracture extending back from above the nose along the roof of the eye towards the central structures in the base of the skull.

"It is a clean fracture which should heal very easily. It's an undisplaced fracture so it means that it is a crack which hasn't moved so it hasn't caused any internal damage to the brain.

"After the contact Stirling Mortlock looked like he had come off worse. Jamie was conscious throughout and there were no signs of anything, no suggestion of a fracture or any problem with his nose or eyes. The contact was with his forehead.

"And then the headache gradually came on as he was playing about five minutes after and we pulled him off as the headache got worse.

"He is a pretty tough guy. He texted the team (from the hospital) and the team thanked him for taking Stirling Mortlock out of the game!"

Time: 01:53


Wales victorious over the Wallabies

Wales ended a three-year drought against the top three southern hemisphere sides by knocking off Australia 21-18 in a thriller at the Millennium Stadium. It was the only victory by a northern hemisphere team over a Tri-Nations side this year, adding to the significance of the win.

The hosts scored two fine tries, the best of which was this classic scored by recently crowned IRB World Player of the Year, Shane Williams.

The try oozed class as Williams started and finished it, within five minutes of kickoff. He then played a large part in the Lee Byrne try, beating three defenders before offloading.

The Wallabies themselves scored twice, with the difference between the two sides being a penalty from Stephen Jones, who kicked 11 points in total.

Matt Giteau kicked eight points himself, with a penalty, drop goal, and a conversion. Mark Chisholm and Digby Ioane scored the Wallabies' two tries.

Ioane’s try came with two minutes left, making for a frantic finish, but it was Wales who survived the Aussie fightback to claim only their third success over one of the southern hemisphere's "big three" since rugby turned professional in 1995.

Wales coach Warren Gatland was satisfied, but not ecstatic, after the final whistle.

“Someone had to carry the flag for the northern hemisphere, didn’t they?” said Gatland.

“I think the result was the most important thing because there are still aspects of our performance we can improve on.

“We needed to get the win and I am pretty proud of the performance. I think the best team won and we deserved to win.

“I think we have shown glimpses of what we are capable of. We have put some pride back in the jersey against some of the best teams in the world. That is the first goal we have achieved and the victory against Australia was good. We just have to keep improving.”

Time: 09:44
Note: Updated with full highlights. catch them quick, cos they may disapear.


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