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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

All Blacks on fire as they beat the Wallabies in Melbourne

The All Blacks continued their fine form in this year’s Tri Nations as they won the first of their Bledisloe Cup encounters with Australia 49-28 in Melbourne. They now lead the tournament by an imposing 11 points.

Drew Mitchell had an eventful night on the wing for Australia as he started well with a nice try after charging down a Dan Carter clearing kick. Carter hit back instantly with a charge down try of his own, aided by Ma’a Nonu.

New Zealand went on to lead 32-14 at the halftime break after both sides had players yellow carded for shoulder charges. Mitchell was one of those players. He infringed in the second half after the side were warned about slowing the ball down. He did so, and was shown a second yellow card, resulting in a rare red card for such an offence.

Referee Craig Joubert called Mitchell across, along with frustrated captain Rocky Elsom, telling Elsom "It's not my responsibility what this decision has on the game," before red carding the Wallaby winger.

The game was already seemingly out of reach for the Wallabies who then had to face the battle of playing the next 37 minutes against a rampant All Black side while having just 14 men on the park.

The visitors had scored four tries in the first half, through Carter, Mils Muliaina, Richie McCaw, and Cory Jane. Each one of those players showed their class on the night once again. Muliaina scored again in the second half after some fantastic play by Brad Thorn and Corey Jane, as did Joe Rokocoko and Corey Flynn.

"To score seven tries against Australia in Australia is a great performance," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said."I thought there was some scintillating rugby and the game has improved immensely this year as a spectacle and we're pleased to be part of that."

It was their 12th consecutive Test win and their eighth in a row over the Wallabies. Both sides meet again next weekend in Christchurch.

Note: Feel free to comment on the game here, or discuss on the forum.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Funnies - Nathan Sharpe loses a tooth

Earlier in the week you saw a clip of a player getting his nose smashed by a stray boot while making a tackle. This clip today shows how the same thing happened to Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe last weekend, except he actually lost his tooth.

While I’ve named it a Friday Funny, it may be a bit strange to laugh at such an occurrence but there’s a bit of humour there in that his tooth was knocked out during the game and had to be searched for by six members of the Suncorp Stadium ground staff after full time.

It happened when Bok center Jaque Fourie made a break and Sharpe - who will equal the record of John Eales this weekend for most caps earned by a Wallabies lock – lunged at his feet to make the tackle.

Unfortunately he copped the boot in the face, ripping, or knocking one of his molars out in the process and onto the turf, as can be seen in the slow mo on this video. The ground staff incredibly managed to find the tooth, returning it to Sharpe in the changeroom.

Instead of celebrating the great win with his mates, he was whisked off to a dentist to have it put back in. The procedure seems to have been a success, and he’ll be turning out for his country again tomorrow, this time against the All Blacks.

Have a good weekend and make sure you catch all the Tri Nations, Currie Cup, and ITM Cup action. If you spot anything you think should be posted on here, be sure to get in touch via the contact page or in the requests section. Cheers.

Time: 0:37


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pack Down with Bhubesi Pride on Rugbydump

A few months ago I introduced you to Bhubesi Pride and the charitable African rugby coaching expedition that will take place next year. Team members have since been chosen, but they still need one more female member. I’m also pleased to announce that we’ll be producing a video documentary, called Pack Down, that will be exclusive to Rugbydump and feature unique updates from the trip.

If you aren’t familiar with Bhubesi Pride and the TransAfrique 2011 trip, a group of seven volunteers, along with project co-ordinator Richard Bennett, will be heading down from England to Cape Town via Land Rover, stopping off at 15 schools in 10 African countries.

The aim is to provide change and upliftment to underprivileged communities, with rugby as the vehicle. They will not only coach the sport, but also empower local coaches and provide support for health and social education. Links schools in the UK will also be set up to provide further support, making sure that the legacy of the 6 month journey lives on.

Rugbydump is pleased to get behind the expedition by working with Bhubesi Pride to bring monthly video updates to the rugby community via the Pack Down series, which is an exclusive initiative between us. Short updates will also be shown on Sky Sports and the IRB's Total Rugby.

Incidentally, I'm proud to say that a few of the team members were chosen from applications that came through Rugbydump.

The video below is the first major update and gives a brief summary of the expedition, shows the candidates at the assessment day, and also features a snippet of legend JPR Williams at the Millennium Stadium, who has also lent his weight to the project.

One of the reasons for this update today is that Bhubesi Pride still needs one more female member. If you’re over the age of 23, female, a rugby enthusiast, and have the adventurous spirit and relevant qualifications, then apply today for what should be an incredible trip that will no doubt change lives forever. APPLY NOW

For further info: Bhubesi Pride website | Twitter | Facebook Page | RSS feeds


The History of Rugby - Parts 8 & 9

The 1971 British Lions tours of both New Zealand and South Africa are considered two of the greatest Lions successes in their history. Both are featured today as we continue the History of Rugby series. The 1973 classic between the Barbarians and All Blacks is also featured and some of the highlights are absolutely outstanding.

The Lions went to New Zealand in 1971 with a few legends in their midst. It was a hard fought series with the visitors winning the first then conceding the second, a match that produced a couple of fantastic tries. The third Test was won by the Lions before the fourth was drawn, resulting in a historical series win.

In 1973, a great year for rugby, the Five Nations championship was bizarrely tied five ways. We get to see footage of some awesome tries from each side, except France for some reason.

The second part of the series today, Part 9, focuses predominantly on the famous game between the Barbarians and the All Blacks. The game is remembered most for the Gareth Edwards try in the corner, but it also contained other moments of absolute brilliance.

There was a try that unfortunately went begging for John Dawes after a forward pass, but that in itself would have been a classic following some sensational work from England winger David Duckham in the build up. New Zealand wing Grant Batty scored two incredible tries himself, and then there was the outstanding JPR Williams try.

In 1974 the Lions travelled to South Africa for another historical series win that featured as much off field controversy as there was on it. Political tension and physicality on the field pretty much dominated proceedings. We get to see the build up to the first Test.

Have you entered one of the O2 Rugby Reunion tournaments yet? Put a touch rugby team together and you'll get a chance to win fantastic professional rugby kit for you and your mates. You'll also get an official ball, amongst other things. All the info is on the O2 Facebook page, so enter today and make your way to the venue that suits you best. There's photos up there and it looks like great fun!

Note: Catch up on all the previous parts of the series in the archived History of Rugby section.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fudge Mabeta gets a taste of Ashley Johnson's boot

A few days ago the featured Currie Cup match was the intense clash between the Bulls and the Cheetahs that was won with a dramatic late try. As with all classics, the game was action packed with many incidents. This was just one of those.

Ashley Johnson is a young eighthman from the Cheetahs whose hard running and high work rate earned him a place on tour with the Springboks last year. It was a disastrous tour but he was one of the few players that impressed. He picked up an injury but this year has already shown the same kind of form in the first few rounds of the Currie Cup.

Against the Bulls he carried the ball regularly, bashing it up and never afraid to take contact. He also played a significant role in the match winning try right at the end.

"I am not the fancy-rugby type. I enjoy playing a direct game, carrying the ball and bashing people out of the way. My role for the Cheetahs is to develop forward momentum and get us over the advantage line," he says of his game.

As you can see in this clip, he takes the ball from the restart, as he did all game, and as he sets off gets brought down by a brave tackle from young Blue Bulls lock Fudge Mabeta. Yes, Fudge, although the name on his birth certificate is Mthunzi.

As you can see, poor Mabeta gets a massive Johnson heel square in the nose. He went off, got it cleaned up, and returned to the field sporting a rather large and uncomfortable looking noseplug. Look out for Johnson this season though, and indeed in the future, as he seems a real prospect.

I'm sure many of you out there have taken a boot to the face in similar fashion before.

Time: 0:52


Midweek Madness - Why you shouldn't celebrate before scoring

I’m sure many of you remember the classic clip of Robbie Fleck being tackled from behind a few years back then coughing up the ball as he was crossing the tryline? Today’s I’ve got a similar clip for you, from an under 20 league game, where the young flyer’s celebrations are just a tad bit premature.

Yes it’s rugby league, the form of the game that some rugby fans aren’t too fond of. The way this try is butchered though could happen in either code.

It’s the U20 Vodaphone Junior Warriors against the U20 South Sydney side in Australia and as Souths chip ahead they knock on for gasman Glen ‘Fish’ Fisiiahi to collect and race away.

He sprints nearly 80m untouched before his celebration comes to an abrupt end as he is hit from behind, only to cough up the ball and learn the hard way that it’s probably a good idea to get it down before doing the hand gestures and salutes to the crowd.

Souths scored shortly after that, adding insult to injury, but luckily for the Fish, a late kick at goal won the game for his side, 19-18.

Take a look at the related posts for a few similar fluffs, including the Fleck incident that's mentioned earlier.

Has anything like that ever happened to you?

Time: 01:05


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Schalk Burger alleged eye gouge on David Pocock

Saturday’s Tri Nations game between the Wallabies and the Springboks resulted in two players being suspended for dangerous tackles, but many felt that another should have been cited after a scuffle between Schalk Burger and David Pocock.

Pocock was all over the park all night, showing that he’s fast becoming a serious force to be reckoned with when it comes to the break down. He dominated the Springboks on numerous occasions, stealing ball and making a nuisance of himself when possible.

In this clip Pocock can be seen slowing the ball down, being told to leave it as Burger goes in to get it, and then driving through as the two players get themselves in a tangle.

Pocock gets the better of the Springbok as he drives him to the ground with an elbow to the throat, to which Burger retaliates with what looks like a rake across the eye area.

There have been widespread claims that this is a blatant eye gouge and many are incensed that there hasn’t been further repercussions. Referee George Clancy and his officials ignored the scrap, and there have since been no citings.

Burger was infamously found guilty of 'making contact with the eye area' in the second test against the British & Irish Lions last year. He received an eight week ban.

You’d think that if there was indeed any form of contact with the eyes here, Pocock, and indeed the Australian management, would have made more of a fuss about it and a citing would have been the next obvious step.

What do you think – shocked there was no citing, or as Phil Kearns says, there’s nothing in it?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Blue Bulls and Cheetahs produce a thriller at Loftus

While the Tri Nations takes center stage, the Currie Cup has been heating up in South Africa with some top quality action taking place around the country. The Blue Bulls hosted the Cheetahs this weekend in what turned out to be a thriller. Skip to the video now to avoid the spoiler.

It was a typically brutish game where both sides bashed each other for virtually the full eighty minutes. The Currie Cup finalists of last year showed that there was no love lost as the Cheetahs, led by Springbok stalwart Juan Smith, took it to the Bulls at Loftus.

In the end it came down to a dramatic finish as the Cheetahs snuck over with time up after an intense siege on the Bulls tryline. The try was scored by replacement hooker Skipper Badenhorst, and then it was up to youngster Sias Ebersohn, the twin brother of Sevens star Robert, who stepped up and slotted the deciding kick unfazed.

The 25-23 victory was due in part to the Cheetahs staying in the game with some cool kicking from starting flyhalf Louis Strydom after the Bulls showed indiscipline and were penalized on numerous occasions.

Eightman Ashley Johnson, Springbok tourist at the end of last year, showed what an asset he is to any side as he ran his socks off all day. Take note of the big hit on him by massive Bulls prop Dean Greyling, the same guy who snuck a punch in on the Cheetahs front rower Coenie Oosthuizen.

It was a great game of rugby and there was plenty of good play that couldn’t be included in these highlights. The final try came after many phases of play, so those are shown in real time here. Enjoy.

Time: 07:54


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jaque Fourie and Quade Cooper both suspended for dangerous tackles

Jaque Fourie and Quade Cooper have both been suspended following dangerous tackles they made during the Wallabies’ successful start to the Tri Nations campaign in Brisbane yesterday.

It was a repeat of the previous two matches for the Springboks as they once again had a player sent from the field within the first few minutes of a Test match. This time it was center Fourie for his lifting tackle on Richard Brown.

Upon recommendation from the touch judge, referee George Clancy yellow carded him. In staying consistent, Clancy carded Wallaby flyhalf Cooper for a similar offence in the second half.

While both spent their ten minutes in the bin, that apparently wasn’t enough as they were both cited, and have subsequently been suspended. Cooper received two weeks for his tackle, while Fourie was given four for his.

Both tackles weren't malicious and yellow cards seemed sufficient. Last week Jean De Villiers was handed a two week suspension for a tackle that was similar in nature to both of these. He wasn’t yellow carded during the match though.

The disparity in the sentencing is most likely to be because of the upcoming fixtures. So to look at it differently, Cooper got a two match ban, while Fourie got a three match ban.

Both players were found guilty of breaching Law 10.4 (j), but the tackles were considered at the lower end of severity. An entry point for a low grade lifting tackle is three matches.

Cooper’s clean record played in his favour, while Fourie was suspended last year for a similar offence on Ma’a Nonu, for which he was suspended.

What do you think of the rulings?

Time: 02:18


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Wallabies bash the Boks in Brisbane

The Wallabies made South Africa pay for their indiscipline as they took the points on offer, disposing of the visitors 30-13 in their Tri Nations match in Brisbane. They scored two tries a piece, but ultimately a lack of discipline cost the Springboks, while the Wallabies looked more industrious with ball in hand.

The Springboks were their own enemy once again as they managed to have a player yellow carded within the opening minutes for the third match running. Jaque Fourie was yellow carded for a lifting tackle within two minutes, while Quade Cooper saw yellow for a similar offence later in the match.

The Wallabies kept ball in hand brilliantly and worked up the phases while the Springboks, despite at times looking sharper with Ruan Pienaar at number nine, failed to create opportunities and were punished by the boot of Matt Giteau.

Drew Mitchell juggled the ball well to score a try before the half time break, while Will Genia sniped over from the base of the ruck late in the game.

A second yellow card for the Springboks, this time to BJ Botha, had captain John Smit incensed as it appeared to be the first offence of that kind, with no previous warnings.

Fourie crossed for a determined try in the second half, as did Gurthro Steenkamp from a powerful maul, but the Wallabies played the better rugby on the night and were deserving winners as they got their Tri Nations campaign off to a great start.

The Springboks return home now with nothing but dented pride, while the All Blacks lead the table with 10 points and will face the Wallabies in Melbourne next weekend.

Time: 10:59
Note: Better highlights will be posted soon


Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Funnies - Ronan O'Gara stars in 'Knocked Down'

A while back someone suggested that we make a compilation video featuring flyhalf Ronan O’Gara’s defensive fluffs over the years. It’s possibly a bit random for this time of the season, but a RD user sent this amusing video in so I figured I’d post it for a laugh ahead of the weekend.

Despite being one of the best number tens in world rugby for many years, the Munster man has at times been somewhat of a liability in his defensive channel. Players and coaches know they can target him and the majority of the time, get over the gain line or at least provide an offload.

Ironically it’s perhaps somewhat of a testament to the courage of the man that he has, as the song says, got up again after all the big knocks, including the unfortunate role he played in the Lions series last year.

Whether it’s Pierre Spies or Jamie Heaslip, Jaque Fourie or even Shane Williams, they’ve all had a go at him, knocked him down, and he’s got back up. He was in fact recently named as the best European player of the last 15 years.

So while this clip is definitely having a go at his poor tackling and shows the big knocks he’s taken, there’s the underlying message that to be the best you’ve got to take the knocks, get back up, and do it all over again.

The song is going to be in your head for the next few hours. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rugby Club Plays of the Week - Three strikes

It's all about the All Blacks once again as it's time to catch up with the always entertaining Plays of the Week from The Rugby Club on Fox Sports in Australia.

This week the focus is on the biggest thing in world rugby at the moment, the Tri Nations, as the All Blacks lifted their game to beat the Springboks for the second time running, showing why they are deserving of the number one ranking in world rugby presently.

The game wasn't without controversy though, as we've seen on previous posts, with a few dodgy tackles taking place and one or two interesting referee calls. In this clip though, we get to see how Richie McCaw managed to get himself warned three times, and still stay on the pitch.

On a positive note, Israel Dagg's sensational try is well worth watching again. He beat a whole host of would be defenders with his step, balance, and acceleration. He's definitely one we'll be seeing a lot more of in the future.

Not the funniest Plays of the Week we've seen, but still worth sharing. Enjoy.

Time: 01:52


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rene Ranger big hit on Zane Kirchner, & Kirchner hit on Cory Jane

The Tri Nations continues to fascinate as this past weekend we saw another match end in a great win for the dominant All Blacks. There were many talking points which once again put the spotlight on the officials. Here are two clips that you might like to watch, and discuss, again.

In the first clip, as shown during the highlights package on Saturday, you can see the big hit by debutant Rene Ranger on Springbok Zane Kirchner that rocked him back while he was tackled low by Conrad Smith.

One of the reasons for posting the hit again is that on this one you can hear it from the New Zealand commentators perspective, who seem to have mixed opinions on the legality of it, but then seem to agree in the end that it was perfectly legal. On the South African feed, Bob Skinstand was outraged. Perhaps it just depends on which side of the fence you're sitting?

Later in the match, Kirchner got his own back as Cory Jane cut inside and got smashed with a forearm square on the chin. The tackle wasn't spotted by any of the officials, and Kirchner wasn't cited. Jane did lower himself slightly, so maybe that's why Kirchner got away with it, but there seems to be a few things being missed out there, as well as strangely dealt with at times.

Feel free to share you opinion, but this post is mainly just to show the incidents as some had requested seeing them again. I'm myself am still undecided about the Ranger hit, so might need some convincing either way. Are there any other incidents that you'd like to see again?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The History of Rugby - Parts 6 & 7

It's time to continue the History of Rugby series with another two parts that should both fascinate and enlighten the avid rugby fan. While the popularity of the last posting seemed to drop slightly, I hope that as we get to more recent and familiar times, things should pick up again and everyone can find some enjoyment in the clips.

In these two parts there's a few classic tries. The first comes in 1963 when British & Irish Lions back Richard Sharpe scored an incredible solo try for England when playing against Scotland.

In 1965 New Zealand rugby took a stance against Apartheid when they cancelled their tour of South Africa after making a policy to select Maori players. In 1966, they hosted the touring British Lions with a clean sweep of four from four. The All Blacks then toured Britain in 1967, remaining undefeated.

The 1960/1970 tour of South Africa to the UK was one met with staunch opposition as the political situation led to demonstrators making themselves heard throughout the tour.

Anti-Apartheid activists were out in force when they played both Oxford and Scotland, and perhaps their was some consolation for them as the Springboks lost both games, and then lost to England too.

The last game of the tour was the most entertaining in terms of a spectacle as they played and beat the Barbarians with some fantastic tries being scored by both teams.

The seventies was an incredible era for Welsh rugby as we see them winning their first Grand Slam in nineteen years in 1971. Barry John, Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, and a whole host of other stars later became Lions legends, which we'll see in the next few parts of the series.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sharks sink their teeth into the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup

The Sharks hit back powerfully following their loss to the Griquas last weekend as they beat the Bulls comprehensively in a great Currie Cup match in Durban on Saturday. The 34-28 bonus point win saw the home side score five tries, while the Bulls crossed for three of their own in what was a fast paced game throughout.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said afterwards that the game was 'A very good advertisement for Currie Cup rugby, an excellent game of rugby.'

While both sides had Test players missing, there was still an array of talent on show as youth and experience combined on both sides to produce an enjoyable game. Lwazi Mvovo and Keegan Daniel were stars for the Sharks, with eighthman Daniel scoring two tries, including a chip and chase effort down the wing. Springbok JP Pietersen also played well after coming back from a lengthy injury layoff.

Youngster Patrick Lambie, who was featured in the Five young stars to look out for in the future of world rugby video a few days ago, was moved to centre for the match and despite his inexperience, excelled, playing a part in a few of the tries.

"I admit I was a bit nervous – I did throw him in at the deep end - but he he did very well. He has all the qualities needed when playing in the thick of the action: vision and a long passing game. He has good balance and he showed that in shrugging off tackles and setting up a try for Keegan Daniel. His tackling is also accurate and his kicking adds another dimension. But I don’t want to blow smoke, these are early days and this is just the start for him," said Plumtree.

Sharks hooker Craig Burden also had a storming match, with numerous big carries and a great try, while Lock Ross Skeate, who wrote for RD last week, made his Sharks debut late in the game. He’ll hopefully see more game time soon, but said he was thrilled with the result.

Coach of the Blue Bulls, Frans Ludeke, said that despite the loss, it was a good contest. "It was a very good game of rugby with both teams playing positive rugby. They were dangerous in broken play even though we defended well. Their new combinations in the backline worked well and they certainly deserved to win."

More Currie Cup action will be featured soon.

Time: 04:12


Matt Banahan's tip tackle on Berrick Barnes

A month ago England wing Matt Banahan was suspended for a tip tackle he made when playing against the Australian Barbarians down under. In the wake of the Jean De Villiers suspension this past weekend, take a look at this and compare the two.

It took a while to track down a clip from the un-televised game and by the time I'd sorted it out, the dust had settled slightly. There was a request for it earlier today though so what better time to post the clip than when there's been a fairly heated debate about the De Villiers spear on Rene Ranger that many felt was a little soft.

In the case of Banahan, he was the third England player to be cited on that tour, with lock Dave Atwood having two charges of stamping being dropped on technicalities. Mark Cueto was then also cited for a hit against Australia - that you can see at the start of this clip - but that was also thrown out.

Banahan was third in line, and perhaps in some ways paid the price for the other two getting off scot free. His tackle on Berrick Barnes led to him being suspended for two weeks by New Zealand Judicial Officer Peter Hobbs.

By all means, it was a big hit and Barnes' legs were lifted above the horizontal. At no point in time was his head driven or dropped towards the ground though, so on initial viewing the ruling seemed very harsh. It certainly wasn't a spear, but perhaps was a 'tip tackle', as they like to call it these days.

If we're after consistency, and this type of tackle is indeed illegal, then when you compare the two incidents, the two weeks that De Villiers got suddenly doesn't look so bad.

This clip has also been posted because regardless of comparisons, some of you wanted to see it a while back and possibly never did.

I'd like to hear your take on it. Was this ruling on Banahan extremely harsh, or is the IRB on the right track when trying to stop tacklers from lifting players' legs in the tackle?

Time: 0:26


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jean De Villiers suspended for spear tackle on Rene Ranger

Springbok Jean De Villiers has been suspended for two weeks following a spear tackle on All Blacks debutant Rene Ranger. De Villiers was cited following the 31-17 loss the Tri Nations second test in Wellington.

While a lot of the debate after the match was about the Rossouw incident, the Ranger tackle on Kirchner, and Richie McCaw being uncardable, this citing perhaps surprised some as it seemed fairly innocuous at the time.

In recent years however, we’ve seen that this type of tip tackle is being stamped out of the game, with players have been shown yellow, and even red carded, for similar offences.

De Villiers appeared before judicial officer Dennis Wheelahan who found the South African back, who was playing out of position at wing, to be guilty after considering submissions from himself, his representatives, and taking into account video evidence.

He is now suspended until 1 August and will miss the upcoming Test against the Wallabies in Brisbane. With the form he’s been in on the wing, and after having left the field with an injury in the second half, it seems as though he might not have played anyway.

One gets the impression that if it were spotted, and dealt with, by the officials during the match, the citing wouldn't have been necessary. In this case, two weeks probably equals a yellow card.

Do you think the suspension is harsh, or is it simply along the lines of recent judgements on dangerous tip tackles, therefore making it consistent and fair?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

All Blacks make it two out of two as they outclass the Springboks

The All Blacks were too good for the Springboks in New Zealand for the second time running as they came out comfortable 31-17 winners in Wellington earlier today. They scored four tries to two, continuing their great start to the Tri Nations.

The Springboks were once again down to 14 men early on as Danie Rossouw, playing in his 50th Test match, was yellow carded by referee Alain Rolland for his part in a scuffle with Richie McCaw. His side suffered while he was away, conceding two tries but not much more as Dan Carter had a poor night with the boot.

Rossouw came back on to score for the visitors, keeping them in touch at 13-7. Rene Ranger then dived over in the corner on debut, followed by Israel Dagg’s great individual effort that brought up the bonus point for the second week in a row.

Schalk Burger scored later on for the Boks as they played better in the second half but struggled to crack the line. The All Blacks were better in pretty much all departments and the Tri Nations holders will need to look at selection, players out of position, and not losing the ball at the breakdown if they hope to stay in this years tournament.

"It's good to put one performance out there but to back it up tonight, the Boks certainly came to play, it was pretty physical but we stuck to what we wanted to do and to come away with a win we're pretty happy," said McCaw afterwards.

Springbok captain John Smit said it would be again difficult to analyse the game after they were once affected by a sending off early in the match.

"We are looking forward to our first 80 minutes in the Tri Nations where we can judge ourselves on a 15-man effort. You can't afford to lose a man that early and give a team like the All Blacks a good start," he said.

The All Blacks now have a break, while the Springboks head to Brisbane to face the Wallabies.

Are the Springbok seniors getting on a bit, or is it simply selection issues and a lack of fire? For the All Blacks, do you think they'll continue in this form and go on to win the tournament, and who has impressed you most at this stage?

Time: 05:05
Note: Longer highlights will be posted if possible. Specific requests should be posted forum here


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rugby Club Plays of the Week - Using your head, with Bakkies

They say in rugby there’s a position for everyone. In general you need to be strong, agile, and be mobile. There’s another part of it though, and that is the element many say is the most important – the top three inches. That’s right; you need to use your head.

There was one guy who clearly didn’t use his head last weekend. Or did he? It depends what you’re referring to of course, so the guys at Fox Sports have put together this edition of Plays of the Week that shows us all about using your head.

The Springboks lost to the All Blacks in Auckland last week in a match that saw the Tri Nations champs being totally outmuscled, outplayed, and of course, outthought.

As we know, Bakkies Botha used his head early on as he nutted Jimmy Cowan off the ball. He’s picked up the nine week suspension for his sins, leaving opposite number Brad Thorn feeling a little lonely.

"I'll miss Bakkies," Thorn said. "It's funny to see yourself running around in a green jersey. It's like looking in the mirror all the time," added the man who looks, plays, and thinks like Bakkies.

On the vuvuzela front, many of you will be pleased to see that it’s been banned at most rugby grounds around the world, including Soccer City for the test between the Boks and All Blacks in August. That’s using your head, SARU.

Lookers, Burgers, headbutts, and PIPIP, this edition has it all. Enjoy the weekend.

Time: 01:51


The Ross Skeate Diary - A Rugby decision

Since we last caught up with Ross, he's gone South, leaving Toulon to take up the challenge with the Sharks in Durban, back in South Africa where it all began. Still young enough to have a Test career, Ross gave us his thoughts on the big move.

How advantageous is the concept of moving through various countries while being employed to play the game one loves? Arriving into a new team set-up surrounded by immediate friends, bound by the mutual understanding of being engaged in the same pursuit of rugby glory, while at the same time discovering new adventures and people around every corner?

Yeah, as opening gambits go I didn’t think it was that great either.

Sure moving from country to country may provide a few difficulties for anyone, and a very special set of trials and challenges for any rugby player, but like my very wise mom says; "Change is always a good thing." She’s bloody right of course!

I cannot tell you or even begin to explain the weight and value of the education that rugby has already gifted me. Many times I have marvelled at how similar the lessons learnt through rugby imitate the life lessons we learn through… um, life. This trip to and from the land of Baguettes and Frog Legs has opened my eyes even further to a new experience that in truth I never knew I could have previously enjoyed. That old nut about 'comfort zones and all that.'

Going to Frenchland I knew that the challenge was going to be a humbling and awesome one but as to what depths I can only see through the clear goggles of hindsight. No, not it’s closely related cousin the 'Beer Goggle', which results in a completely different experience altogether.

Deciding to return to South Africa wasn’t an easy decision, and although I knew that I was returning a more complete, capable rugby player with my best years still ahead of me, I knew the challenges involved and what choosing this next path in my career meant.

It is a decision though unquestionably that I am so very happy to have made. Of course just how happy only time and circumstance shall tell, but I've got a very good feeling about this one! Especially as moving to Durban has granted me the time and opportunity to play within a supremely professional set-up that will only continue my education as a rugby player and my development in the same vein.

I was asked a few times why did I not want to return to Cape Town and of course the idea did appeal, but I know enough now to know that Durban is definitely the best place for my playing career at this point which is of paramount importance to me now.

I still have so many good memories at Western Province and I shall always treasure them, much like the friendships and memories that I shall always carry with me from Toulon. But I need to be here, now.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to get rolling although all these youngsters are seriously gonna keep me on my toes. After all 27 years old is positively middle-aged in the Southern Hemisphere. I think I need to buy a red Ferrari to help with my mid-life crisis!

So onwards and upwards then as I dash headlong into this year's Currie Cup competition, one that I have come to know and love so well. But this time I'll be running out as a Sharkie!

All the best, and keep in touch with me and with RugbyDump.


Follow Ross Skeate's progress as he starts his new career with the Sharks, traveling the country and finding his feet in beautiful Durban. Ross will post photos, blog posts, match reports, and more on his site, so make sure you visit RossSkeate.com regularly and follow him on Twitter @RossSkeate.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Five young stars to look out for in the future of world rugby

Last month Argentina hosted the Junior World Championships, a fascinating tournament that was eventually won by favourites New Zealand. While some sides didn’t fair as well as they’d hoped, a few stars caught the eye. Total Rugby has profiled five of them.

Starting with the host side, young flyhalf Ignacio Rodriguez Muedra may not have a name that rolls easily off the tongue, but in time you’ll find Muedra will more than likely become a prominent figure for Argentina with his flair eye for the gap.

Liam Gill makes the list for Australia. The 18 year old has already gained valuable experience on the IRB Sevens circuit, and with his impressive form in the JWC, has earned himself a Queensland Reds contract for next years Super 15.

South African Patrick Lambie is perhaps the player with the most experience on this list, having played a full season of rugby for the Sharks in the Super 14. Lambie possesses incredible confidence under the high ball, and has great composure both on attack and in defence.

Rhys Ruddock’s rugby story is an interesting one. The son of former Welsh coach Mike Ruddock, Rhys now finds himself playing for Ireland after having been born in Dublin to an Irish mother. Powerfully built and mobile, Ruddock has already made his senior debut for Ireland.

The one player that perhaps got people talking more than any other though was young New Zealand wing Julian Savea, who was named player of the tournament and was awarded the prestigious IRB Junior Player of the Year for 2010 award.

His pace and strength have naturally drawn comparisons to other great All Black wings from the past, and coupled with his Sevens experience, he has an incredible finishing ability that had him equalling the try scoring record for the tournament.

What do you think of the five players named, and will they go on to become Test greats?

Time: 02:39
Note: Thanks to Total Rugby for the clip


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Midweek Madness - Rory Lamont flykick on Ayoola Erinle

If you were one of the 700 million viewers who watched the football World Cup final on the weekend, you would have seen the Netherlands' Nigel de Jong controversially kung fu kick Spain's Xabi Alonso in the midriff. While that was appalling, we’ve gone one better and pulled out this shocker from last season.

The clip comes from September last year in the French Top 14 as Biarritz beat Toulon 23-9. The incident at hand features England international Ayoola Erinle who plays the part of Alonso, while Rory Lamont comes in as De Jong.

As you’ll see, Scotsman Lamont launched himself in the air to take the high ball and unfortunately stretched his leg out, catching Erinle in the face, studs and all.

Erinle was left on the floor, seemingly unconscious, with blood pouring from his cheek. Lamont wasn’t punished for the flykick, as it was deemed to be unintentional. By all accounts it was accidental, and Erinle perhaps paid the price for being a little clumsy in the challenge, charging in without competing for the ball. Some will say it was Lamont who was clumsy though.

Whatever the case, as you can see in the last replay it was pretty spectacular looking and the impact was significant, although it was luckily somewhat of a glancing blow.

When getting up for that high ball , it’s probably a good idea to try keep control of your legs. The hurdling action isn’t appreciated by kick chasers. Just ask Ayoola.

Note: Apologies for the slight audio issues.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Classic Kapo O Pango Haka against the Springboks at Eden Park

It’s been five years since the Kapa O Pango was first performed by the All Blacks. It was in New Zealand, and it was against the Springboks. On Saturday they brought it out once again, and the passion and fire that they put into it seemed to be just the start of what was a fantastic night for New Zealand rugby.

Opinions have always varied about the relevance of the pre-match wardance in this day and age. Many say it’s outdated, while others say it gives them an unfair advantage and shouldn’t be allowed. I happen to think the opposite, and know that some of the best players in world have welcomed the challenge, sometimes thriving in standing up to it.

It seems strange to talk about good Hakas and bad Hakas, but the reality is that there have been times when it has come across routine and lacklustre. It’s certainly come a long way since its early days - as you can watch in the History of Rugby series here on RD - but on Saturday there seemed to be something special about it.

Piri Weepu, despite playing off the bench, has become a worthy leader of the Haka after they had toyed with Richie McCaw leading it last year. McCaw himself has said that some of them get together and choose which Haka they’ll perform at random during the week leading up to a Test.

There seems to be more to it than that though, and I’m sure it was no coincidence that their second Haka, to many a more fearsome sight than the Ka Mate, was pulled out for the big clash at the start of the Tri Nations. There was a definite edge to it.

Whatever the case, it was fantastic to watch, and has been requested so here it is for you to watch and decide for yourself if it’s one of the better ones you’ve seen, or not.


Griquas upset the Sharks in the opening round of the Currie Cup

The Currie Cup kicked off this weekend in South Africa as local rivals went head to head in one of the oldest domestic competitions in the world. Griquas hosted the traditionally stronger Sharks, and produced an upset as they beat them 40-34 in a great game of rugby.

Griquas started their Currie Cup campaign well, as they did last year, as they beat the Sharks for the first time since 2006. The game has ten tries in all, with the Kimberley side coming back from being 20-8 down at halftime.

The defence from the Sharks was leaky at times, but you can’t take away from the two great tries scored by Griquas left wing, Bjorn Basson. The flyer played for the Springboks recently, and you can why as he showed off tremendous pace and skill.

The composure and commitment of the Griquas got them back into the match, and they showed that they’ll once again be a force to be reckoned with this year, especially at home. They took five points from the bonus point win, while the Sharks left with two.

In flyhalf Naas Olivier, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorious, and fullback Riaan Viljoen, Griquas have real quality but they also have a batch of youngsters coming through who impressed. Basson, and young flanker Wesley Wilkins in particular, showed that they will be players to watch out for.

Time: 04:42


Monday, July 12, 2010

The History of Rugby - Parts 4 & 5

While the first few parts of the History of Rugby series were focussing on how the sport came to be, and the development of it thereafter, today you’ll see that the footage now goes through the decades and features Test series from 1920 to the late 1950’s.

It’s fascinating viewing as you get a chance to watch select highlights from the biggest matches each side of the second world war.

You’ll get to see moments such as Wales beating England at Twickenham in 1933, and South Africa touring and beating New Zealand in a series in that same year, in what was a tour that at the time, defined the best team in the world.

Wales beat the touring All Blacks in 1935 in a classic Test , before the British Lions head down to South Africa in 1938, losing the first two tests but winning the third.

If you ever wondered how old the tradition of selecting an uncapped player for Barbarians matches is, you’ll find out as we see footage from the 1948 game against the touring Wallabies.

Wales were impressive in the fifties, winning the Five Nations, then the Grand Slam, and then beating the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1954. It was the only loss of the All Blacks tour though, as they beat all other challengers.

France later became the first side to win a Test series in South Africa in that century, as they did so before following up with a Five Nations win the next year. Ireland dampened the occasion slightly though, with a great victory against the champions.

It’s absorbing to watch and for the rugby purist out there, well worth getting into. Today I’ve chosen to post two parts together, which will hopefully make it more worthwhile. Enjoy.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bakkies Botha suspended for nine weeks after headbutt on Jimmy Cowan

Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has been suspended for nine weeks following his opening minute of the Test headbutt on New Zealand’s Jimmy Cowan in Auckland on Saturday. He will be out until the end of the Tri Nations.

Botha expressed remorse for the attack after appearing before a SANZAR judicial hearing in Auckland earlier today. He said he was deeply upset, but accepted the ruling.

"I sincerely regret the incident. I have let my team, my country and family down and I have done an injustice to the Springbok jersey and what it stands for," Botha said.

"I apologise to Jimmy Cowan and the New Zealand rugby public for what happened. Rugby is a physical sport but it has to be played within the boundaries and spirit of the law. I truly regret my actions and will make sure that I put the extended time away from the game to positive use and return to playing with the right attitude".

The incident occurred in the first minute after Botha had charged down a Cowan kick. He then chased, but was held back by the Kiwi halfback. He waved his arms in protestation, but his claims for a penalty were ignored by referee Alan Lewis. He then tackled Cowan and followed up with the head.

It was missed by the officials at the time, but the headbutt was replayed multiple times, both on tv and in the stadium. It was deemed to be middle of the range in terms of seriousness, but Botha’s disciplinary record contributed towards the lengthy ban.

"He’s got a history. He’s probably lucky he didn’t get more than nine weeks," New Zealand coach Graeme Henry said. "It was just one of those things that happens in a game which is not part of the game and has been dealt with correctly."

The South African Rugby Union’s Manager of National Teams, Andy Marinos, expressed their disappointment at Botha's actions.

"SARU views any incident of foul play in a very serious light. Bakkies remains an important player in Springbok rugby and I have discussed with him the extent of his actions and the implications it could have on the team, himself personally and his family," Marinos said.

Captain John Smit summed things up best. "Only Bakkies can explain what goes on in his head."

The two sides go into battle again next weekend in Wellington, for game two of the Tri Nations.

Time: 01:09


Saturday, July 10, 2010

All Blacks power past the Springboks in Auckland

The Springboks looked a shadow of their former selves as they were heavily beaten by a far hungrier and supremely physical All Black side in the opening match of this year’s Tri Nations in Auckland. Four unanswered tries left the score at 32-12 before the reigning champs could work out what hit them.

The top two sides in the world wanted to get the early ascendency in the tournament and it was the All Blacks who showed greater guile and passion as they not only were more physical, but managed to disrupt the visitors' set piece and pestered at the breakdown regularly.

Bakkies Botha managed to get himself cited, as Jimmy Cowan pulled him back before Botha laid into the All Black scrumhalf with the head. The incident was replayed countless times, and Botha will no doubt be out for a few weeks following the disciplinary hearing in Auckland tomorrow.

"I don't approve of any of my players playing outside the rules and it was an ill-disciplined, very poor first half which meant we had no momentum. Only Bakkies can explain what goes on in his head," captain John Smit said.

Botha was yellow carded soon after for a first offence in the redzone, with the earlier incident perhaps playing on the mind of referee Alan Lewis, who missed it at the time.

The momentum shifted and New Zealand got off to a flyer, eventually resulting in an impressive 20-3 lead at half time. The Springboks looked fresher in the second half, but couldn’t claw their way back to a decent position as the home side continued to dominate.

"The All Blacks were really good tonight but we just didn't rock up, the lights were out tonight. A very poor, ill-disciplined first half killed any momentum, but we played better at the start of the second half.

“If we could have kept that pressure on, there was enough time for us to get back on even terms. But we were non-existent at the breakdowns, there was nothing going on on our side and we didn't put up much of a contest," Smit said.

"Our minds just weren't in the right place, there's no need for over-analysis. It was totally out of character, normally physicality and bringing that attitude to the set-piece comes naturally for this team. But it's nothing we can't get back.

"Our lineout has been good for a long time, but I have to take it on the chin, I've been poor all week in missing my jumpers. We should have done a lot more in the air and Victor will be frustrated with the kind of balls I threw to the guys," he added.

"There's no need to panic, it's nothing we can't fix. It's not a train smash, it's only the first game of the Tri-Nations. Now we need to stop the momentum of a great team but our destiny is in our own hands," De Villiers said.

The Botha incident will be posted seperately soon, as will the Haka if anyone wants to see it.

Time: 05:04


Friday, July 09, 2010

Percy Montgomery interview, tribute, and classic try from 1997

South Africa's highest ever points scorer, Percy Montgomery retired in 2008 after having held both Tri Nations and World Cup titles, as well as enjoying careers with Western Province, Newport, and Perpignan. I was able to catch up with Monty ahead of the this years Tri Nations.

What exactly are you up to these days?
I’m the kicking coach with Boks and am loving being back in the mix. Am also bringing out a range of merchandise and a dvd... so watch this space.

Is it a permanent position, and what has it been like working with Morne Steyn?
Ja until the World Cup in NZ. It’s a pleasure being part of the Boks. Morne has worked hard to get to his level. He’s a great chap. My job is to keep them sharp

What do you normally say to the players when you run on as waterboy?
Usually it’s "Are you thirsty?". We do get messages from the coaches to pass on, but if I spot something, I sometimes pass it on.

Your career was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, going from a situation where you were booed at Loftus, to being the highest ever points scorer for SA and a World Cup winner. Any regrets?
Definitely no regrets. Life is a challenge on and off the field.

Speaking of Loftus, does the try you scored against Australia in 1997 rank as one of your all time favourites?
Spot on!!

Did Springbok fullback Andre Joubert have a significant influence on your development, despite you playing centre at the time?
He was indeed a legend and a good man. I just listened and was fortunate to have had a lot of seniors around to learn from.

In your early days you started out as a 78kg centre, something that All Black Frank Bunce famously commented on. How challenging was it to transform yourself into a player with far greater muscle mass and explosive power?
Definitely not 78kg, I was 84/85kg. It was seriously hard work.

Talk us through the incident in the 2007 World Cup with Toby Flood pushing you over the advertising boards. What were your feelings at the time and did you expect him to get sent from the field?
Toby should have had a yellow card as I think refs should just be fair. Another incident was during the Super 14 final Sharks v Stormers, Bryan should have got a card.

How did you find your overseas stints at Newport and Perpignan respectively?
Both places were very different in lifestyles but the people in both were really accommodating and amazingly friendly.

When you were called back to South Africa by Jake White you had a much improved kicking technique and rate of success. What do you attribute that to?
It was just practice, practice, practice.

Where is your favourite place to visit, both within rugby and just for holiday?

Did you do much surfing when you lived in Durban, and how does it compare to the icy waters in the Cape?
I surfed all the time in Durbs. In Cape Town I wear a thick wetsuit and have to watch out for great whites.

You were once into graphic design. Is it still a passion of yours?
Yes but I hardly ever have time these days.

How long did it take for your teammates do stop ribbing you over that ‘Full Monty’ TV advert you did a while back?
Ha Ha! They still do.

Who, in your opinion, is the best fullback in world rugby at the moment?
Gio Aplon, Frans Steyn and Mils Muliaina

What are your predictions for the 2011 World Cup?
The Boks of course!!!

What do you think makes John Smit such a great captain and leader?
His character!!! He’s Barney the friendly dinosaur.

Tell us a bit about your website please?
It’s not just about my career, it’s a way of keeping in touch with the fans and giving them a glimpse of my life behind the scenes as well. I try and update it as often as possible by adding new pics and stuff about what I’m up to, but am normally so busy it’s hard to keep up. And yes it is me answering the questions. I like hearing what the public have to say.

Have you spent time on Rugbydump before?
Not much before now but I have seen some wicked clips, so I will visit it more often.


Check out this tribute video that has a bonus try on the end - the one he scored against the Wallabies in 1997 at Loftus Versfeld. You can also find out more about Percy below.

As Percy mentioned, he has a website where he interacts with fans, posts blog entries, and has a whole bunch of photos from past and present. You can also read more about him and check up on some of the stats from his career.
Take a look at


Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Rugby Club Plays of the Week - Bam Bam!

The Fox Sports Plays of the Week today focus on two things in particular. First up, it’s the discarded Drew Mitchell and the great try he scored this past weekend. The focus then turns to the Tri Nations, and a preview ahead of the big match in a few days time.

The Mitchell issue is an interesting one as he was written off by the Rugby Club pundits last week after some poor Wallaby performances. He then showed them up by scoring a fantastic solo try for Randwick against Sydney University in the Shute Shield.

Today though, he was surprisingly axed from the Wallaby squad for the Tri Nations, along with fellow winger Lachie Turner. Coach Robbie Deans has said that he wants to look at a few players and how they perform in club rugby.

Mitchell will naturally want to continue with his try scoring feats if he wants to join his mates in one of the toughest competitions on the planet. The Tri Nations kicks off this weekend as holders South Africa take on the All Blacks in Auckland.

The Rugby Club looks back at some of the finer moments from last year and then profiles a few players that need to be watched in the 2010 edition. Namely Pierre Spies for the Boks, Ma’a Nonu for the AB’s, and David Pocock for the Wallabies.

Time: 02:18


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The History of Rugby - Part 3

In this next part of the History of Rugby documentary, we once again get taken back and are able to view some fantastic historical footage from classic and significant matches in the history of this wonderful sport.

We learn more about the racial tensions that existed in South Africa, and how their tours, both incoming and outgoing, were affected by the government’s policies.

On a more positive note, we learn more about the formation of two great sides that are still in existence today – The British Lions (as they were known then), and the Barbarians.

Lions tours back then were a far cry from what we know today, as they lasted up to six months, and could only be attended by those who could afford the trip.

Sadly, war took the lives of many a great player, as was evident when twelve players from the 1914 Test match, between Scotland and England, died in battle.

Later on, we see how the game once again changed with new tweakings of the laws. The scrum formation also changed, as described in great depth by former Lions and Wales player, Vivian Jenkins.

Time: 09:45


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