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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

South Africa meet Saracens for prematch drinks

Professional rugby can unfortunately come with the sacrifice of losing all that is great about the game. The off the field fun is disappearing as players are in peak physical condition, and also have to be on their best behaviour at all times.

Saracens host South Africa tonight in a friendly tour match at Wembley. A few night ago the teams got acquainted with one another and had a good old fashioned night in at the pub.

For some it was a matter of catching up with old friends, especially with the South African element that currently exists at Saracens. For others, it was a chance to meet new friends and get closer to the guys they'll be up against come kick-off at Wembley.

"Both squads got together for a meal on Sunday night and it was fantastic for the players and coaches to just sit down and have a chat and also see a few friendships renewed," said Saracens head coach Brendan Venter.

"But come kick-off both teams will want to win what promises to be a fiercely contested game and a historic occasion at one of the best sporting venues in the world."

This type of meet-and-greet probably doesn't happen very often these days, what with the hectic schedules of the players, and of course the fierce competitiveness that exists.

It's great to see though, and perhaps initiatives like this will go a long way towards bringing back more of the traditional rugby clubhouse gatherings at grounds. Not long ago, players and fans would mingle and have a drink and a chat after a match. It's sorely missed by older rugby fans, who no doubt have many tales to tell of nights spent drinking with famous players.

Festivities aside though, tonight will be a chance for the South African Dirt Trackers to redeem themselves after their poor performance against Leicester last week. It's pretty much the same team that will run out against Saracens, minus the front row from that night, who've all flown him injured.

Possibly expansive, most definitely physical, this should be an intriguing battle once again.

:: Spoiler Alert ::
Saracens have beaten South Africa 24-23 thanks to a Derick Hougaard dropgoal late in the game.

Time: 01:44
Note: Thanks to Skysports for the clip

Saracens Team: Michael Horak, Noah Cato, Kameli Ratuvou, Brad Barritt, Michael Tagicakibau, Derick Hougaard, Neil de Kock, Rhys Gill, Ethienne Reynecke, Richard Skuse, Mouritz Botha, Hugh Vyvyan, Wikus van Heerden (c), Justin Melck, Ernst Joubert. Replacements: Schalk Brits, Carlos Nieto, George Kruis, Andy Saull, Kevin Barrett, Alex Goode, Rodd Penney

South African Team:
Earl Rose, Odwa Ndungane, Juan de Jongh, Wynand Olivier, Jongi Nokwe, Ruan Pienaar, Heini Adams, Wian du Preez, Adriaan Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Danie Rossouw, Andries Bekker, Jean Deysel, Dewald Potgieter, Ashley Johnson. Replacements: Bandise Maku, Heinke van der Merwe, Alistair Hargreaves, Davon Raubenheimer, Francois Hougaard, Meyer Bosman, Riaan Viljoen



  • First - yay! A nice tradition to preserve the gentlemanly aspects of the game. Battle on the field, smiles over drinks afterwards. That's sportsmanship.

    By Anonymous Phil, at November 17, 2009 5:31 pm  

  • Drinks on me in the Gravity bar after the Ireland game :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 5:38 pm  

  • cool

    By Blogger Napoleon Dynamite, at November 17, 2009 5:52 pm  

  • Good to see stuff like this,true sportsmanship,hopefully we will get to see some of the boks players in dublin for a few scoops after the ireland game

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 5:52 pm  

  • That's awesome. This is the kind of stuff that's going to restore rugby's image after scandals like at Harlequins or all the eye-gouging that's been taking place. The 3rd half is the best part of playing rugby if you ask me!

    By Blogger Chris, at November 17, 2009 6:05 pm  

  • Does anyone know why/who stopped these kind of functions? Its good to see the players hanging out and socializing, thats what i love about the game you can smash each other till you see the white meat showing, then after have a beer > total respect!

    Would'nt say that bout the prima donnas in that other "game" with the round ball.

    By Anonymous semperfimamba, at November 17, 2009 6:29 pm  

  • This was held at Old Albanians Rugby club in St.Albans! Great club. Home of saracens training ground and Gym.

    By Anonymous BB, at November 17, 2009 6:40 pm  

  • Brilliant, need to keep more of this in rugby at every level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 6:43 pm  

  • is ruan pieenar not good enough to even make the wekend tests 22 anymore?

    By Anonymous thats what she, at November 17, 2009 6:48 pm  

  • Bravo to Schalk Burger for pulling of the sweater vest/polo shirt combo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 7:03 pm  

  • If the SA like those kind of events, why did they refuse to go to the banquet in Toulouse after the France-SA game ?
    They said it was to "focus on recovery"...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 7:55 pm  

  • Anonymous, I take it because this happened before a match, and not after. Sure, in club-level rugby, we all get good and drunk after a match (though sometimes before if it's the right occasion), but I imagine these guys do go straight to the physio and start the healing after a big match like the one against France.

    ...that or they just didn't want to hang out with the French side?

    It would've been awesome to see the forwards in a boat race, though.

    By Anonymous Arapaho, at November 17, 2009 8:16 pm  

  • This type of thing has become a victim of professionalism.

    Look at professional sports in the US as an example.

    In sports like hockey or basketball or baseball, where there are multiple fixtures in a week, the teams generally get right on a plane. a 1am departure after a 10pm end of game.

    Rugby is starting to suffer from the same. Too many competitions during the year, with even overlapping competitions (two matches in three days). Couple that with the fact rugby is a collision sport, and players need recovery time over social time.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at November 17, 2009 8:24 pm  

  • Its quite funny seeing this....and then reading the comments....I think this is the kind of video that was needed on RD. As of recently there has been too much agro going on....

    This video and the comments that come with it sum up what the game is about....everyone is agreeing that players are alike, some are better than others, but they are all the same. and everyone agreeing here is a breath of fresh air from the usual stuff thats thrown around!

    By Anonymous No.7, at November 17, 2009 8:39 pm  

  • Matfield looks like a James Bond villian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 10:33 pm  

  • Saracans just beat em ha ha

    By Anonymous Kenny, at November 17, 2009 10:47 pm  

  • 24-23 to Saracens.

    Good game, and what about that numpty hitting the cross bar at half time - genuine LOL

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at November 17, 2009 10:57 pm  

  • 24-23. OK guys what happened ? Another anthem problem I presume ?

    By Anonymous Dalma, at November 17, 2009 11:46 pm  

  • whilst i see your point, and remember i am not a bok fan, i cant help but say it was some previous bok players which actually won it for saracens, so be careful with comments...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:34 am  

  • its not too late. Things _can_ stay civil.

    What are the odds for a Woodenspoon tour by SA? Or will they come out like maniacs against Ireland and destroy them?

    By Anonymous mise, at November 18, 2009 3:02 am  

  • I used to see the brumbies and blues super 14 players drinking & hanging out after a game at a nightclub in auckland..

    Funny seeing them dressed up in tight shirts and jeans with the pointy dress shoes... lol

    By Anonymous Butty, at November 18, 2009 3:52 am  

  • It was rather interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 6:02 am  

  • FANTASTIC! Love it love everything about it.

    The professional teams should do that more often, its great for the games image.

    By Anonymous Reds, at November 18, 2009 6:29 am  

  • my brother hung out with a bunch of the lions and boks at bars in pretoria the night after their 2nd test, it does still happen.

    By Blogger sacricketer, at November 18, 2009 6:43 am  

  • Saracens is essentially a South African club, so glad they beat the racially selected garbage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 7:05 am  

  • Awesome. Needs to happen more often.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 8:33 am  

  • SA 2nd XV take on SA 3rd XV was more like it. The bloke who hit the crossbar at halftime was more or less the only English player on the pitch...

    By Anonymous Ted, at November 18, 2009 8:55 am  

  • Hi RD - Any chance of posting a video of the guy winning £250,000 in a kicking contest at half time?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 9:02 am  

  • You can see the footage here:


    It was really funny, we all went nuts in the stadium and the cheerleaders all came running out because the bloke had said he'd buy them all dinner if he won.

    By Anonymous Ted, at November 18, 2009 10:29 am  

  • The idea that Saracens are a side built on South African players is nonsense... young English players like Goode, Cato and Saull will all be puching for full honours soon... like most premiership sides they have a large number of foreign players... including Pacific Island backs and Italian front row. Brilliant to see them turn over the tourists... we should be proud that guys like Cato are making match saving tackles against South Africa and asking why they're not involved in the national set up, rather than jumping on an ill-infromed band wagon.

    On another note... great to see the teams get togther, but I only spotted a single beer in amongst all that. Not quite the social drinking of yore.

    By Anonymous Hackney Griffin, at November 18, 2009 12:52 pm  

  • and in all fairness, the Dirst Trackers didn't bitch about food poisoning after the defeat...

    By Blogger vinniechan, at November 18, 2009 1:50 pm  

  • The boks didn't want to hangout after the french match because they were told that the national anthem singer was the intertainer for the night!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 1:58 pm  

  • ^ entertainer!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:00 pm  

  • Brilliant stuff! THIS IS WHY I LOVE RUGBY!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:02 pm  

  • Love it! More like this please RD! This is what rugby is all about!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:05 pm  

  • They shouldn't be socializing. Did Mike Tyson hang out with his opponents the day before a fight? Rugby is a battlefield not some bs friends4life get2gether. BLAH, the world's getting soft.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:16 pm  

  • Rugby is a battlefield not some bs friends4life get2gether. BLAH, the world's getting soft.

    Yeah its a war man, get to the chopper!!!!!!

    You tool, get a life

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 2:34 pm  

  • Hey, what happened to my 'HAHAHA' comment? :(

    Yeh the guy a couple posts above is a tool....

    When you boil it down, rugby is just a game, if you look into the other team, they are just a bunch of guys with the same interest in the sport as you and if make a couple mates with the opposition then there is no problems...i am good mates with a guy who plays for a different team than me, when we're on the field the friendship isnt lost, its just put aside.

    You can still be a mate and the opposition.....

    well im guessing the guy above cant.....he probably doesn't have any mates...nor can play the game...

    By Anonymous Tom, at November 18, 2009 3:14 pm  

  • I don't think this old tradition has totally disappeared...
    Depends on a lot of things (coach staff, culture...), but from what I know I still saw this year some after-game drinking in the top 14 and surely the guys are not drinking liters of beer but they do socialize with one or two pints.

    By Blogger jay, at November 18, 2009 4:16 pm  

  • If liking my rugby hard makes me a tool then so be it. I bet you're one of those soft cocks who gets upset when Bakkies Botha clears the ruck too hard. "Easy up lad, it's just a game, don't hurt our soft prop!"

    I'm sure the game of netball will go well with your vanilla yogurt, girl.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 11:57 pm  

  • I bet i could drink faster than most of them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 19, 2009 1:17 am  

  • That's because you're a pig and they're real athletes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 19, 2009 3:13 am  

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