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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life as a Pro - Behind the scenes with four professional rugby players

This is something a little different as the IRB’s Total Rugby show have made this mini documentary feature that examines life as a professional rugby player, through the eyes of four guys from different parts of the world.

All of the players are forwards, with three being from the front row and one a loose forward. They are Ceri Jones of Harlequins, Michael Reid of North Harbour, Ronnie Uys of the Pumas, and John Muldoon of Connacht. With the exception perhaps of Jones at Harlequins, all of them come from sides that are not renowned powerhouses in their respective leagues.

The countries at hand all have a great love and passion for the game of rugby though, so to be paid to play is the ultimate goal for most aspiring young players. As you will see however, the position brings with it some realities that make the job more than just a stroll in the park.

Salaries, gym, diet, travel, and disappointing crowds are topics that are covered as we get a glimpse into the life of these four players who have made rugby their livelihood. What happens after they’re forced to retire? Time will tell as for some who have been around a while, now is the time to plan ahead for the dreaded life after rugby.

It’s an interesting look at aspects of the job that we perhaps don’t often think about as fans. We often judge players all too quickly based on incidents that happen in the heat of the moment, dehumanising them with little regard for what goes on before or after the match or incident in question. There is the good with the bad though, as with most sports, rugby is a great leveller.

On a sidenote, for those Connacht fans who were anxiously hoping to see a clip of Fionn Carr’s try against Glasgow, it’s included in this piece as they cover a few short match highlights.

If you have twenty minutes to spare, have a watch as it makes for pretty interesting viewing.

Time: 20:37
Note: With thanks to the IRB's Total Rugby


Ryan Kankowski suspended following stamp against the Lions

Springbok Ryan Kankowski of the Sharks has been suspended for a week after he was found guilty of stamping a Lions player in their tense Currie Cup match in Johannesburg on Saturday. It looked out of character so there’s been a few of you asking to see the clip.

The dynamic number eight seemingly lashed out at Lions loose forward Trevor Hall while Hall hung after clearing Kankowski out of the ruck.

Up and coming referee Jason Jhafta was advised by his touch judge, resulting in the yellow card. Kankowski was later cited for stamping an opponent under law 10.4 (b) following a Saru judicial hearing that took place via conference call.

He pleaded not guilty with his defence arguing that he was in the process of falling backwards off balance, which forced him to lift the one leg to regain it, then accidentally stepping on Hall’s midriff.

After considering relevant facts and video evidence, the disciplinary officer recommended a suspension of two weeks, but later reduced it to just one week, ruling that Kankowskis offence was not reckless, or malicious, but was done impulsively as a reaction.

He will miss the Sharks meeting with the Leopards this weekend.

Please note that there is now a Facebook Share button below the video which makes sharing posts with your friends much neater and more effective than before. Try it out and you'll see that you can select the correct image, edit the text, and even add your own note!

Time: 01:35


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Juan Manuel Leguizamon eyegouge that got an 80 day ban

Last week Stade Francais and Argentina backrower Juan Manuel was banned from rugby for 80 days following illegal contact with the eyes against Toulouse in the Top 14. Not many have seen the incident in question, so we’ve organised an exclusive clip, as well as footage of his earlier dangerous tackle.

Leguizamon picked up the heavy ban after the Stade Francais game against Toulouse at the end of last month. While he was not actually found guilty of deliberately eye gouging Jean Bouilhou, he was deemed to have made contact with the eye region.

He had been carded earlier in what was quite a violent game, where four yellow cards were handed out for dirty play. You can see his tackle at the beginning of the clip. He wasn’t pinned for eye gouging later on, but was subsequently cited and charged.

Despite the victim, Bouilhou, actually sending a letter in to the league’s disciplinary committee to exonerate Leguizamon, the Argentine international was still found guilty and given the 80 day ban, the minimum for such an offence.

He will be able to play again on December 5, resulting in him missing out on Test matches for Argentina in November, as well as Top 14 and Amlin Challenge Cup games.

Eye gouging is a sensitive subject and it can’t be taken lightly, but do you think that he was possibly dealt with a little harshly on this one? Or maybe all players should be aware by now that if you get your hands near another players face, you’re going to be in trouble.

Time: 01:43


Jonathan Davies great solo effort against the Dragons

The Scarlets sit near the top of the table in the Magners League after their 27-14 win over the Dragons in Newport on Friday. Scarlets scored three first half tries, with Jonathan Davies set up one and then scoring this solo effort shortly afterwards.

Davies, sometimes referred to as Jon to avoid confusion with his commentating namesake, has shown this season that he isn’t far away from making a very competent step up to being a regular international player.

Still just 22, Davies has all the attributes and possesses incredible acceleration as well as brute strength. He is deceptively quick and is solid on defence. He’s now scored six tries in three games, and is many peoples teamsheets as the starting center for Wales while Jamie Roberts is sidelined.

On Friday night he earned another Man of the Match award after he put in a great showing, setting up a nice try for young George North, then scoring this impressive individual try.

He did pick up a slight ankle niggle, but looks to be okay for this upcoming weekend’s derby clash with local rivals Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday night.

Time: 01:33


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rugby World Cup 2011, New Zealand – Memories in the making

With the much anticipated Rugby World Cup 2011 less than a year away, the hype is building as fans book their packages to be a part of one of the greatest shows on earth. In this great video Martin Johnson and Rob Andrew speak exclusively to England Rugby Travel about their memories of previous World Cups, and give their thoughts about 2011.

Beating the All Blacks in New Zealand has always been a tricky task. To win the World Cup, the chances are pretty high that you may come up against the home side, which means you’d need all the armoury available to you.

Martin Johnson's England team will have an extra boost in that they will have a large contingent over there to back their side. Ticket sales soared in the first few weeks of going on sale with England Rugby Travel, with the most popular package being the Quarter-finals to Final option.

Johnson, team manager, is delighted with the response so far.

"The Rugby World Cup is now the world’s third largest sporting event and because it only happens once every four years it is special. New Zealand is a nation steeped in rugby history and it will be buzzing so it's great to learn that so many England fans are planning on heading out for what promises to be a great Tournament.

"They want to be able to say 'I was there' and we are delighted that they are going to be."

In this stirring video Johnson and Andrew talk about what the incredible atmosphere was like in Australia in 2003 and then touch on the beauty of New Zealand and how great of a place it is to tour and visit.

It’s a great advert for both the country and the sport, so check it out and do what you can to make sure you’ll look back in a few years time and say 'I was there'.

To find out more about official tour packages for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, visit www.englandrugbytravel.com/rwc2011 to view what’s available. Package information, venues, extra videos, and a whole lot more is available on their site. Have a look and plan your adventure today.


Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu try & Brett Deacon vs Tim Payne punch-up

A tense Aviva Premiership game took place between Gloucester and Wasps at Kingsholm on the weekend, with the home side taking it 22-20 after two big Nicky Robinson penalties. Featured here is the try of the match from Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, and the fight between forwards Tim Payne and Brett Deacon.

You can view the rest of the highlights from the game on the e-player on the sidebar, as well as highlights of all the other Premiership matches. These two incidents in particular were requested as many of you wanted to see them again.

The try to Fuimaono-Sapolu was a bit of a strange one as he managed to brush off four would-be tacklers before gassing it to the line. It was a mix of lackluster defending and determined, powerful running. The hand-off’s were pretty decent too. Overall, it was a great try from a young guy who looked impressive all afternoon.

The second clip shown here is off the skirmish that broke out between Tim Payne and Brett Deacon, after it looked as though Payne had stamped on a player on the ground, only for Deacon to stamp on him in what looked like a schoolyard disagreement.

It soon got serious as punches were thrown, but it ended as quickly as it started, with both players calming down for referee Andrew Small to send them to the sideline for ten minutes.

Gloucester replacement flyhalf Nicky Robinson landed two great penalty kicks from the same spot late in the second half to take them into the lead, while Wasps flyhalf Dave Walder came up short with a long kick of his own that landed inches below the crossbar. That meant Gloucester took it at the death, picking up their second win of the season.

Also, these two clips are posted as a playlist, so you can either watch them one after the other, or skip around as you please.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Fritz Lee sees red as he almost takes Luke Hamilton's head off

Counties Manukau loose forward Fritz Lee faces a possible lengthy suspension after he was sent from the field during his sides 40-24 win over Northland in the ITM Cup on Sunday. Lee’s high tackle is one of the worst looking hits you’ll see for some time.

Northland looked set to score after a great counter attack set up replacement scrumhalf Luke Hamilton, but he was cut down to size by the trailing left arm of Lee, who nearly decapitated him.

"It was hard to tackle him because he was a little bugger. I knew he was going to step back so I put my arm out there," said Lee after the game. "I was pretty shocked. I was hoping for a yellow. That's the first time I've got a red. Hopefully it won't finish my season,” he added.

Tana Umaga has said he feels that Lee is close to All Blacks selection and hopes that the tackle, which didn’t have malice in his opinion, doesn’t affect his chances.

"It was definitely reactionary but we don't know how the judiciary is going to see it or what happens from there. He'll be a big loss for us," Umaga said.

"Obviously there's a lot of good loose forwards going around but he'd have to be on everyone's lips and he might be in the thinking for the end of year tour. He's the physical presence, he's fit, he's over the ball at the breakdown, he runs with the ball and he's very skilful as well," he added.

Referee Chris Pollock had no option but to show Lee the straight red, the first of the ITM Cup, but Northland coach Bryce Woodward was livid that a penalty try was not awarded.

"He deserved to go and we should have got a penalty try," Woodward said.

"It was a poor decision. He probably didn't get any help from the assistant referees. Clearly if that tackle hadn't have been made – he would have scored under the posts. He said he was unsighted about the defenders coming back so he made the decision accordingly but it was a poor one."

Lee will head to Wellington for a disciplinary hearing where he’ll hope his good record will work in his favour. "The best case is guilty and I'll probably get two or three weeks off and hopefully I'll be back for our last game," he said.

Time: 02:19


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Edinburgh get first win with victory over Leinster at Murrayfield

Edinburgh picked up their first season win as they consigned Leinster to their second successive defeat in the Magners League, beating them 32-24 at Murrayfield on Friday night.

Chris Paterson notched up 700 Magners League points as Edinburgh scored four tries through Geoff Cross, Tim Visser, Mark Robertson, and David Blair. Blair kicked five points while Paterson added seven of his own.

Jonathan Sexton was a late exclusion from the game for Leinster, but Edinburgh themselves had a new flyhalf in David Blair, the brother of scrumhalf Mike, as he came in to replace the injured Phil Godman.

Ireland internationals Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney scored tries for Leinster in the second half, but they fell short of getting a losing bonus point with a missed conversion with time up. It was a back-to-back loss for Leinster, after they went down to Treviso last weekend.

Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat kept celebrations low key though as he said there was still plenty to do after he was disappointed with the way his side allowed Leinster to score the late tries.

"It’s easier to be critical when you win because then it is taken in the right way. When you lose games you have to be careful with what you say, because guys go into their shells and become afraid to try things," he said.

"I thought we switched off with about 15 minutes to go tonight. We can’t afford to do that. We’ve got to keep going." Referring to Leinster nearly getting a bonus point, Moffat said he would have been very disappointed. "These things matter at the end of the season."

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Hooker Jason Rutledge's incredible tryline defence against Waikato

Southland retained the Ranfurley Shield with a famous 9-6 win over Auckland on Thursday night, beating them for only the 8th time in 51 attempts. Hooker Jason Rutledge has been inspirational this season, as he showed a week back against Waikato with some great defensive play close to the tryline.

Rutledge, the son of a Southland legend and All Black flank, has come a long way to reach 100 caps for his team. No longer a youngster, the burly hooker has inspired those around him to greatness, as they now sit firmly at the top of the table in the ITM Cup.

Rutledge has impressed former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains, who has stated that he feels the gutsy hooker should be going on the end of year tour with New Zealand in a few months time.

The 32 year old had a strong Super 14, but was overlooked by the All Black selectors. His recent performances have suggested that he was fairly unlucky.

"I would be selecting Jason Rutledge and the reason is that the All Blacks have played a much more aggressive and physical game at the contact area this year and that has brought them great success," Mains said.

"Jason Rutledge absolutely fits into that mould. He is the best of the hookers in New Zealand in that close contact area whether it be offensive or turning over ball.

"There is a chip of his great All Black father Leicester in the way he plays. He just loves the game so much and clearly he loves the fierce competition. The tougher it is seems to be the better he goes and we see that particularly in his pick and go, but in other areas of the game.

"We are seeing him do things that we don't expect front rowers to be pulling off," he added.

Usually we see flash moves from the backs featured here as short clips on RD, but this is one for the forwards as it features two superb try line tackles against Waikato last weekend, epitomising the way Rutledge plays the game. Definitely worth watching.

Time: 02:46


Best tries of the Top 14 - Round 7

Thanks to the help of one of Rugbydump's most valued contributors, today we've got another Top 14 Best Tries compilation for you, this time from Round 7 of the fascinating French competition. There's a few outstanding tries in this round.

As always, these clips come to you a little delayed because they’re actually only broadcast about a week after the matches actually take place. So by the time you see them, it’s not really news as such, but more just a great compilation of quality tries.

With that in mind, a wrap of the scores and results isn’t all that necessary. If you do however prefer it that way (scores/results summary), then please say so and we can revert to that way of posting these clips.

Otherwise, enjoy the action as there were some wonderful tries scored. You’ll have seen some of them on here already, namely the Montpellier classic tries and the one from Joe Van Niekerk against Clermont. What you didn’t see from that game was the Clermont try to Wesley Fofana, so you can see that now. It was also a very good try.

Jerome Porical’s effort against Stade Francais deserves mentioning too, Florian Ninard scored a nice try for La Rochelle, with Seru Rabeni featuring three times in the build up.

As we catch up on the latest action, please don’t be shy to make requests by dropping RD an email or using the requests section. The site is driven by user interaction and feedback, so as always, it’s very much appreciated and encouraged. Cheers.

Time: 04:03


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Funnies - Crouch, touch, slap, engage

Unfortunately there hasn't been time for Magners League or Aviva Premiership highlights this week but hopefully tomorrow I'll get some time to post something. It is Friday though, so time for a laugh with the latest Friday Funnies clip.

This one comes from Southland's meeting with Waikato in the ITM Cup in New Zealand, a match that was low scoring but resulted in Southland continuing their winning run in the tournament. You can view highlights of the match here, in yesterdays post.

This particular moment was picked up by a forum member who watched the game live and took the time to send in the request. If he'd not done that, classic moments like this would be missed so please try do the same when you see something happen that you think would be good to share.

There's been a lot of debate lately about the way refs are handling the scrum engagement, with refs down south in New Zealand and South Africa deliberately taking ages to do the call, while up North it's more regulation and what we're used to. There are critics of both, as some say the old way isn't steady enough, while others don't like the slow, delayed calls down South.

What the delay did produce however was Southland prop Chris King doing something you won't often see at scrumtime. Somehow the ref spotted it though, penalising him and allowing Waikato to snatch three points in a tight game. We can't condone it, but it was hilarious to watch.

Have a great weekend, and keep your hands to yourself. Cheers

Time: 01:43


Best tries of the Top 14 - Round 6

With so much rugby taking place right now, it’s difficult to not only keep track of the all the goings on, but make sure the best clips are posted in a timely fashion. Your patience is appreciated as RD attempts to maintain a high standard and continue to please. For now, we’ll catch up on the best tries from Round 6 of the Top 14.

As it’s from two weekends ago, we’ll not focus too much on the match reports and scores but rather just mention the stand out tries that make the Top 14 such a great tournament to watch.

For Stade Francais Sergio Parisse crossed for a nice try against Brive after a great flick pass by Lionel Beauxis, while Ollie Phillips also flew in for a nice one down the wing. For Perpignan, Farid Sid dived over after some great work by dangerous fullback Jerome Porical, and Maxime Medard crossed for a typically classy Toulouse try.

Montpellier, who we saw earlier this week with a few classic tries in their Round 7 meeting with Agen, showed how good they are with ball in hand as they once again displayed some great handling against Castres as they sent Geoffrey Doumerou away for a try.

Toulon thumped Agen, with Jonny Wilkinson returning to the type of form that has had his club president comparing him to his 2003 version. He scored a great try as Toulon stretched down field and he stayed in support of talented number eight, Juan Fernandez Lobbe.

The number one try comes from the same game as the Francois Steyn/Sireli Bobo quick restart try you will have seen featured here last week. It was an awesome try in that Seru Rabeni broke the line and passed to fellow Fijian, veteran Norman Ligairi, who then had to sprint to the corner to beat another Fijian flyer, the aforementioned Bobo. Classic stuff.

Time: 04:54
Note: Apologies for the size/quality on this one. Clip courtesy of lerugbynistere.fr


Thursday, September 23, 2010

ITM Cup in New Zealand - Highlights from Round 8

The ITM Cup heads into another round of action as we near the weekend, so its time to catch up with the tries and highlights from Round 8. The feedback has been pretty positive, so here’s another enjoyable ten minute package of tries and highlights.

Southland continued their good run as they beat Waikato 7-6 in a hard fought, low scoring match in Hamilton. Kendrick Lynne crossed for another try, the only one of the match. Stephen Donald came on for Waikato and had two chances to win the game, but missed both.

Auckland also occupy a top three slot as they beat Manawatu 32-6, scoring a bonus point in the process. Taranaki upset Canterbury 31-20 in one of the games of the weekend, with some wonderful tries scored by both sides.

Wellington got a 17-13 win over Hawkes Bay in another game that had some sensational tries scored. The first went to Hawkes Bay’s Kahn Fotuali’i, possibly the team try of the weekend, but Hosea Gear showed his pace and power again as he scored a great try of his own. He then also set up Lima Sopaga, who finished superbly.

North Harbour came good over Tasman, winning 28-21, while Otago and Northland battled it out at Dunedin, with Rene Ranger doing his bit to help set up the winning try for captain Jared Payne. Final score in that one, 13-8.

Another classic was Bay of Plenty’s 24-21 win over Counties Manukau on Sunday, as they came back from being 14-0 down to get themselves back in the game and eventually score late to sneak the win.

Time: 09:28


Currie Cup Round 11 - Highlights from the weekend

The Currie Cup highlights have been scarce the last two weeks as for one reason or another, they weren't top of the list and other tournaments got featured. If anything major happened, it would have been shown though. To make up for it anyway, here's full highlights of three games from the weekend, Round 11.

The three games featured are the Sharks against the Free State Cheetahs, Pumas vs Western Province, and the Blue Bulls against the Golden Lions.

The Sharks continue to look like tournament favourites as they showed their strength against the Cheetahs in Durban with a convincing 30-16 win. Springbok Ryan Kankowski made a difference as he was involved in setting up tries, first for Odwa Ndungane, then later for Rory Kockott. Willem Alberts and Charl McLeod also crossed for well taken tries.

Western Province, now second on the table behind the Sharks, travelled to the impressive Mbombela Stadium on Friday night as they took on hosts the Pumas. They proved too strong as they crushed them 62-10 in what was eventually a one sided contest.

The Jukskei derby between the Blue Bulls and the Lions was a far closer affair, with the revitalised Lions fighting back from being 24-9 but eventually going down to their neighbours, who won 24-21 at their home ground of Loftus Versfeld.

Please note that the three clips are presented as a playlist, so you can easily skip to the match you'd like to see (click the second button), or just sit back and watch all three as they'll start automatically once hitting play.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Midweek Madness - The All Blacks show their skills in new advert

Sky NZ’s Rugby Channel have come up with a new advert that is sure to get plenty of attention. It features All Blacks Cory Jane, Piri Weepu, and Rene Ranger at training pulling off incredible passes, kicks, and no look catches. But how original is it?

Following on from the recent success of the viral Roger Federer trickshot campaign, where R-Fed knocks a can off an assistants head twice with two pinpoint serves, the Sky NZ channel have come up with their own version as the talented backs show off their skills.

The Federer video was largely a success, with Gillette benefiting from over 7 million views on Youtube alone. That ad in itself wasn’t an entirely new concept, and this latest viral attempt has very close ties to a NFL Fantasy Football campaign from 2008, where players performed tricks very similar to what we see the All Black boys doing.

Original or not, it does make for great viewing and you yourself can decide whether you think the things they do are genuine.

"The guys are three of the real characters in the team and had a lot of fun shooting the promo and we hope fans get a bit of a laugh out of it as well," an All Blacks spokesman said.

While many believe that what they do in this clip is, or even could be real, Sky TV declined to comment, but Cory Jane did slip up on Twitter yesterday.

When asked about the authenticity of the ad the All Black wing tweeted "My bit is real haha nah I did it bout 10 times and didn't even get near the bins."


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wasps snatch win from Leicester with classic comeback

Some superb tries were scored as Dave Walder and Wasps staged a second half fight back against Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership on the weekend, coming back from 30-18 down to win 37-30.

Wasps started well with a well taken try by speedster Tom Varndell, but Leicester came back with a try of their own through Matt Smith following a sprint and dummy down the left wing from Alesana Tuilagi.

Ben Youngs added to that with a sniping break from a quick tap to score a quality individual try. Varndell then scored again, this time from a lovely inside ball from Walder and then a classy step on hapless Tigers fullback, Geordan Murphy.

Billy Twelvetrees scored a soft try straight after that as he burst through fullback Matt Van Gisbergen, then Tom Croft worked his way over the line as Leicester shout out to a commanding 12 point lead at the interval.

"We were poor in the first half but at the break we resolved to build a score while locking our back door properly," said Wasps flyhalf Walder, who then proceeded to kick four penalties, tying things up.

With five minutes left in the game Walder took command again, this time putting a neat kick ahead through for the chasing Richard Haughton, who gathered the loose ball for the winning try after Murphy looked dazed and confused, misjudging the bounce horribly.

Nineteen unanswered points meant that Wasps could hang on to the lead, despite the Tigers trying in vain with time up. Walder claimed 22 of the total with six penalties and two conversions, as well as two timely assists.

"That's the way it goes with sport," Walder said afterwards. "I was pleased with my game today and hopefully that will kick-start our season after the Newcastle match."

The defence was shakey at times but some of the tries were superbly taken and the game was played at a great tempo and had high drama. Unfortunately only 8000 fans were on hand to witness it though, two thousand short of capacity.

Time: 06:31


Montpellier score four great tries against Agen at Stade Armandie

Montpellier continued their positive start under Fabien Galthié as they scored some fantastic tries on their way to thumping Agen 35-6 in the Top 14 on Friday. They scored four very well taken tries, with the first in particular a classic.

They started well with what is probably the try of the match, as Fulgence Ouedraogo got on the end of a wonderful flowing move that had some incredibly neat touches with offloads both in and before contact.

The Montpellier captain scored again later as he combined with Francoi Trinh-Duc again, the flyhalf himself having scored too. In the second half wing Tomoci Nagusa also scored a neatly taken try as he stepped his way through the traffic with ease.

Ouedraogo has said it was their best game of the season, adding that the atmosphere within the camp is at an all time high, a far cry from the past where he said at times he found it difficult to drag himself to training.

"Here we go with a smile, with joy. We train seriously, and apply ourselves. At Montpellier, we've known seasons when there were a lot of bad things going on around us. That's why now you see so much pleasure and joy.

"There is a lot of momentum. That's has been taught and we must continue to live it. It makes for fun off the field, and we then communicate it to the fans," he said.

Montpellier now look like they could well be serious title contenders if they keep this up. They have moved up to second on the table, one point behind Racing Metro, while Agen sit second from the bottom and continue to struggle.

Time: 02:09


Monday, September 20, 2010

Tim Visser's great individual effort against Ulster

Edinburgh suffered their third defeat of the Magners League season on the weekend, this time at the hands of impressive Ulster as they went down 29-21 at Ravenhill. Dutch wing Tim Visser scored a great try for the visitors, so here it is.

Visser was featured in last week’s Magners League Best Tries mix, as he has now scored a very handy four tries in just three matches. This one against Ulster was a rare highlight for the Edinburgh side as they came close, but couldn’t manage the win.

Formerly of the Newcastle Falcons in England, Visser has now committed to Edinburgh and Scottish rugby, and despite only being one year into his residency, will qualify to play for Scotland in two years time, a prospect that many would love to see happen.

Powerfully built with deceptive pace, a player of Visser’s talent deserves to play top level Test rugby. He’s aware of that and while he is Dutch by origin, he will no doubt be wearing his adopted country’s famous blue jersey in the not so distant future.

He was the leading try scorer in the Magners League last season with 10 tries in 17 appearances, as well as picking up the Young Player of the Year award. While at Newcastle, he did actually qualify to play for England though, as he explained recently.

"I qualified for England the day I moved up here but was no longer qualified for them as soon as I made that move," he explained. "I’ve spoken to Andy (Robinson, Scotland coach) a couple of times and he’s very interested.

"I would never not play for Scotland if I got the chance, but there is no point thinking about that at the moment because I don’t qualify for another two years," added Visser.

If he keeps showing his finishing prowess by scoring tries like this 60 meter effort, two years can’t come soon enough for Scottish rugby fans.

Time: 01:28


Sonny Bill Williams finishes off a slick team try from Canterbury

Canterbury were upset 31-20 by Taranaki in the ITM Cup on the weekend as the hosts scored five tries to two in a gritty performance of which they were deserving winners. Some fantastic tries were scored in the game, with this probably the pick of them.

It was Taranaki’s 14th win over Canterbury in 57 meetings, and while the visitors should have stayed in control while up 20-19, they coughed up a few needless tries and let things slip.

Ben Souness and Kurt Baker both crossed for neatly taken tries, while Sonny Bill Williams, as good as he was with ball in hand, failed to control two loose balls which allowed Taranaki to pounce.

While his game is still far from perfect, it’s clearly visible that each week he plays, Williams is looking more likely to be a contender for an end of year tour slot with the All Blacks.

"I think he's shown that he's a good athlete. He's got some real good skills in some areas of the game. His offloading has been pretty special. And he's also shown he hasn't played a huge amount of rugby, so he's got some potential to develop even further," said New Zealand coach Graeme Henry of the league convert.

The making of this try didn’t have much to do with Sonny Bill though, as he simply got on the end of a superb passing sequence from his side that they started in their own half. Sam Monaghan, Matt Todd, Stephen Brett, and Andy Ellis all combined to dazzle the Taranaki defence before getting the ball to the supporting Williams.

The other tries from the game will be featured as part of the ITM Cup highlights package later in the week, but for now here’s this standout effort from a highly talented group of players.

Time: 01:55


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pierre Mignoni dislocated finger and Joe Van Niekerk try

Toulon put in a great performance yesterday as they beat rivals Clermont 28-16 in their Top 14 meeting at the Stade Mayol. Pierre Mignoni dislocated his finger, but continued on, and Joe Van Niekerk scored a nice try. Both clips are featured here.

Jonny Wilkinson looked back to his best form as he kicked twenty three points to add to captain Van Niekerk’s try as Toulon took up fifth place on the table, no doubt making them more comfortable after their recent showings.

Clermont themselves haven’t looked great so far this season, as the champions have only four wins out of seven matches.

Toulon scrumhalf Mignoni dislocated his finger during the match, resulting in the team physios having to come on the field and jerk in back into place. It’s always interesting watching how they do it, and seeing the player’s reactions. Intense pain, but once it’s in it’s not too bad, and as you will see in the clip, Mignoni continued on.

The Van Niekerk try came from a crazy period of play which included fullback Rory Lamont looking like he was knocked out, but somehow getting back in play to provide the scoring pass after a neat change of angle from the Toulon skipper.

As for flyhalf Wilkinson, he kicked five penalties, two drop goals, and converted the try, taking him to second highest points scorer of the season. Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has since stated that he looks back to the form of 2003.

"Wilkinson is one of the best outside-halves in the history of rugby, he showed that today. We rediscovered the Jonny of the 2003 vintage. It's a Jonny who, in my eyes, is much stronger than last season," he said.

"I have people who have private boxes at Mayol stadium and who come by private jet from London when Jonny Wilkinson plays," Boudjellal added.

The two clips are presented as a playlist. If you're not interested in seeing the dislocation, you can skip to the try. Alternatively, the second clip will play automatically as soon as the first is finished. If you have any other requests from the weekend, please post them here.


James Downey's solid hit on Shontayne Hape from Franklins Gardens

Northampton Saints put in a convincing display against Bath on Friday night as they won 31-10 at Franklin’s Gardens, giving them their third win in three matches to take them clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Last week they beat Harlequins, with James Downey showing his presence on defence, and against Saints we saw much of the same as early on the big centre made this impressive hit on opposite number, England international Shontayne Hape.

Phil Dowson scored, with lethal winger Chris Ashton scoring twice, and Joe Ansbro also crossing for a try in the second half as they got their bonus point win.

Bath coach Steve Meehan was understandably upset at the big loss. "That was nowhere near the standards we set ourselves and, as a result, it was a wake-up call very early in the season for us," he said.

"We had a good warm-up and everyone felt good. So to go out and lose the physical battle - particularly at the breakdown - was disappointing. We have the next two weeks now where we have to turn it around. We talk about player empowerment and responsibility and this is when they need to take it," Meehan added.

This tackle was one of the better hits on the night, with hefty league convert Hape being stopped dead in his tracks. You can watch further highlights from the match via the updated Premiership e-player here. A full round up will be posted over the next day or so.

Time: 0:51


Friday, September 17, 2010

Sireli Bobo scores from Francois Steyn quick restart

There’s no Test rugby this weekend but there are still loads of games taking place, with matches in the Currie Cup, Magners League, ITM Cup, Aviva Premiership, and the French Top 14. Here is a short clip from the Top 14 last weekend, the type of try you definitely don’t see very often, if at all.

It comes from Racing Metro’s impressive 43-18 win over newcomers La Rochelle, who after having kicked a penalty, were caught off guard at the restart as Francois Steyn took it quickly. Flying Fijian Sireli Bobo was wide awake and quick enough to chase the well placed kick and cross for a try that would have incensed the opposition.

Steyn, who took a bit of stick for his performances for the Springboks in the Tri Nations, offers that something extra and while he can be error prone, he’s shown that he’s not afraid to back his own ability.

He has also recently stated that one of the things he likes about the Top 14 is that he’s allowed to try things, which obviously suits of player of his natural ability.

Another star, Juan Martin Hernandez, made his first start for the club but unfortunately went off before half time after he was hit hard in two big tackles. He will be out of action for two weeks with a thigh injury.

Questions could be asked of the legality of this try, considering that Bobo was perhaps a foot or so ahead of the moment Steyn made contact with the ball. It was still a neat piece of play by the two of them though and I thought it would be interested to share.

Have a good weekend, watch as much as you can, and get in touch as soon as you see something you think should be shown here next week. Cheers.


Aled Brew spear tackle goes unpunished against Glasgow Warriors

Newport Gwent Dragons players Aled Brew and Scott Morgan were both cleared of any wrong doing following their tumultuous encounter with Glasgow Warriors on Sunday. Brew seemingly spear tackled DTH Van Der Merwe, but has been cleared of any wrong doing.

Both Brew and forward Morgan had been cited following incidents in the game. Morgan was accused of striking an opponent, but video evidence revealed that there was nothing in it. Brew on the other hand, made this dangerous tackle yet wasn’t carded, let alone penalised, at the time.

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen was furious and afterwards stated that the Welsh touch judges failed to act as they should, calling for neutral assistants to be put in place. Dragons coach Paul Turner then said that they were concerned about these comments, putting further pressure on the Welsh Rugby Union disciplinary panel.

The hearing took place yesterday and although Brew was found guilty of a dangerous tackle, a WRU statement said that the offence should have been dealt with by a penalty or a yellow card. That means that it was not considered a red card offence, the criterion which would have allowed the panel to slap a suspension on him.

Both Morgan and Brew will be free to play this weekend, as the Dragons meet the Cardiff Blues in the Magners League.

This clip, with Gaelic commentary, shows the little battle Brew and Van Der Merwe had, with a scuffle breaking out and then Van Der Merwe returning to the field after being yellow carded, only to be dumped by Brew a minute or so later.

Time: 01:45


Lachlan Turner in the Gatorade Bolt Fastest Footballer in Australia race

Wallaby back Lachlan Turner took part in a novelty 100 metre race on Wednesday night in Sydney as Usain Bolt and sponsors set out to determine who the fastest man in Australian footy is, with athletes from Union, League, and Soccer all lining up.

If you don’t know the result yet, skip to the video now, otherwise read more about the event and what the winning athlete had to say.

It’s been 10 years since the Sydney Olmpics, so to commemorate the event and promote his new drink, Usain Bolt is on a tour of Australia, with this race between rival codes being much publicised.

While two AFL (Aussie Rules) flyers were unfortunately ruled out due to sponsorship conflicts, the field was made up mainly of League players, but had two Union representatives in Lachlan Turner and Eastwood club teammate, John Grant.

Turner ended up coming up trumps while running into a slight headwind, taking the win with a time of 11.10s, while Grant followed shortly behind him at 11.15s, and League star Jarryd Hayne came third with 11.20s. Greg Inglis came in last at 12:48s.

"It was a bit of a surprise win," triumphant Turner said. "I thought both Jarryd and John had me about the 60 metre mark, but I'm just happy to have got to the line first. I almost fell over and tried to kill myself trying to get there. I hit the guy next to me, but it turned out all good," he added.

Prize money of A$20 000 went to number one placed Turner, while bragging rights were perhaps the biggest prize. He surprisingly said he’d done no training for the event, picking up a pair of running spikes just a day before.

"I only got the spikes last night, that's how unprepared I was. It's also been a while since I last raced on the track,” Turner said. "I was hoping to go under 11 (seconds), but I'll definitely take it. The time is a personal best for me timed electrically. I'm pretty happy.

"The last two weeks have been incredible. Being in South Africa (with the Wallabies), diving with sharks. The win in Bloemfontein and then coming back here and preparing for my first Test match in a year, and then tonight. Even yesterday, I was rally car driving with Mazda, it's just been a crazy couple of weeks," he added.

There has already been talk of Turner having to defend his crown, with another race being planned before the end of the year whereby the missing AFL players will compete, as well as one or two other possibles.

This type of format would be great to see in other big rugby countries, although it’s debatable whether it should be over 40m or 100m. Who would you pick to take part in your country?

Time: 04:42


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Magners League best tries mix - Round 2

Round two of the Magners League served up a few interesting results as the best of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy played each other in the newly extended tournament. Here’s a mix of the best tries of the round.

Scarlets claimed a dramatic 35-33 win over Connacht in Llanelli after Sean Lamont crossed for a late try. Jon Davies had scored early on for the Welsh side, but it was Connacht winger Fionn Carr who was the star of the day with an excellent hat-trick.

Leinster won at home on Saturday as they beat Cardiff Blues 34-23. The pick of the tries went to Isa Nacewa for Leinster after some good hands, and Richie Rees for the Blues as he linked up with Xavier Rush for another great Cardiff try.

Welsh region Ospreys beat Italian newcomers Treviso 32-16 in poor conditions in Swansea. Shane Williams scored a nice try in the corner after a neat kick ahead by fellow British & Irish Lions wing, Tommy Bowe.

Ulster are looking good as they beat the other Italian side, Aironi, 22-15 at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella in Viadana. Flyhalf Niall O’Connor kicked five penalties and converted the only try of the game, which went to former Western Province eighthman, Robbie Diack.

The Newport Gwent Dragons beat Glasgow 23-11 at Rodney Parade in a controversial match that has resulted in two citings. More of that will be shown here soon, but for now there’s the try scored by Glasgow lock Richie Gray, set up by Richie Vernon (not Callum Forrester, as the commentator mistakenly said).

Munster narrowly beat Edinburgh 16-13 at Murrayfield, with a nice try going to flying Dutch winger, Tim Visser after a nice crosskick by Phil Godman. Enjoy the tries.

Time: 03:59
Music: Lost Prophets - Darkest Blue


ITM Cup in New Zealand - Highlights from Round 7

Last week the reaction to the extended ITM Cup highlights was pretty good, so here are more highlights, this time from the latest round, Round 7, a round that had a few tight clashes, and some great tries.

The first game featured in this video is probably a bad ad for the rest of the highlights, as it was played in atrocious conditions with not too much to write home about, except for the big win by Bay of Plenty, who beat Manawatu 41-13.

One of the best games of the weekend, with some fantastic tries, was Southland against North Harbour in Invercargill where Southland scored seven tries to win 47-21 and retain the Ranfurley Shield. Center Kendrick Lynn had a great match, scoring two excellent tries.

The Hawkes Bay against Waikato game turned out to be somewhat of a classic, with a few standout tries and one in particular to Gillies Kaka that was incredible. You can watch a longer version, including replays, here. With the score at 24-27, Hawkes Bay got a penalty 48m out…

Sonny Bill Williams had another good game for Canterbury as he played a part in each of their three tries as they held off a determined challenge from Northland, 27-23. While at Eden Park, Auckland battled it out with Wellington to pick up a hard fought 21-15 win.

Chris Jack scored a try for Tasman, but they went down 13-11 to Otago in a low scoring game in Nelson, while Counties Manukau went down 28-19 against Taranaki, with David Smith and Kurt Baker both scoring great nice tries.

Time: 11:13


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Midweek Madness - James Semple throws up after big tackle

This incident from New Zealand’s ITM Cup was requested via the Rugbydump Facebook Page last week, so after a bit of digging, here is the clip in question as we see young James Semple take a big knock, and suffer for it.

Despite surprising many and having a great start to the season, the Counties Manukau side have had their string of injuries and while they’ve got the midfield general Tana Umaga’s experience to call on, they’ve been hit hard in certain positions.

At flyhalf, or first five-eighth as they call it in New Zealand, they lost key man Baden Kerr to a lower back strain. Kerr was instrumental in their early successes and a real loss for the side.

Bring on 20 year old James Semple, who a week before the Tasman game made his debut against Waikato off the bench. He lacked the composure and confidence that a player like Kerr has, but a week later he got his first start for Counties, against Tasman.

He was much improved and actually showed a lot of maturity and control in a game that the Steelers won convincingly, 23-3.

In the first half he took this solid hit from Tasman wing James Kamana, who obviously got him in in exactly the right spot, as Semple lay strewn on the floor, and eventually brought up whatever it was he had to snack on before the game.

Tana Umaga very kindly helped to help clean up the mess.

Time: 01:46


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

George Stowers straight red card for hit on Nick Abendanon

As you may have seen on the Aviva Premiership highlights post yesterday, George Stowers of London Irish received a straight red card on the weekend after he made a dangerous tackle on Bath fullback Nick Abendanon at the Recreaton Ground.

Stowers was shown a straight red by ref Dave Pearson after his flailing arm looked to have connected with Abendanon’s chin, stunning him for a few minutes as he flopped to the floor in a heap.

Abendanon stayed on the field and actually helped Bath to the 20-13 win, scoring a try 15 minutes later, despite being a bit dazed by what had happened. He said he didn’t even realise that Stowers had been sent off for the swinging arm.

"I felt it and I was pretty dazed," Abendanon said. "As I was running I tripped a bit and I think he was unlucky to catch me. I don't think he meant to do it," he added.

Stowers appeared before RFU disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett earlier this evening, with Blackett ruling that the red card was sufficient punishment.

There was a bit of talk about it on here yesterday, so below is a better quality version for you to watch. Happy with the outcome of the hearing, or do you think red was harsh in the first place?

Time: 01:04


Something super is coming to rugby - Super Rugby launch

In case you haven't heard yet, yesterday saw the launch of the newly formed Super 15 tournament, now with an extra team (Melbourne Rebels), a new format, and re-branded as Super Rugby.

There’s plenty of change for the tournament, not only with the Rebels joining, but with more games, more derbies, and a longer tournament that is bound to test the depth of each respective squad.

Just so there’s no confusion, they’ve come up with a new, blue logo, and the 15 teams will come from a new three conference system, made up of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Each team will play the other four teams in their conference twice and four of the other two conferences away, as well as four teams of the other conferences at home. Still following?

What it means is that each team won’t play each other, and two will be missed out, one from each of the other conferences.

There will be more derby matches, and of each of the 16 league matches that a team will play, 12 will be in their home country. The finals will be made up of a three-week, six-team finals series, which the winner of each conference will automatically qualify for.

The other three teams with the highest total competition points, no matter which conference they’re from, will take up the next three spots.

There will be an increase in overall matches of 33%, from 94 to 125. In non-World Cup years there will be a 50% increase in the length of the season, and in World Cup years, only a 31% increase, with it changing from 16 weeks to 21 weeks.

The common perception from players, coaches, and even some fans, is that there is too much rugby at the moment, especially when we look at attendance figures in some parts. While it’s sure to be entertaining, is this really the best way forward, or are we looking at revenue figures being put ahead of the well being of the sport?

This video gives you a better understanding of what’s to come, and shows a little bit of how we got to this point. Excuse the last minute, which for whatever reason just shows that interesting new logo. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Time: 03:11


Monday, September 13, 2010

Quade Cooper's outrageous sidestep on Cory Jane

This is a quick clip that has been requested from this past weekend's Tri Nations game between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. It features Aussie flyhalf Quade Cooper showing his moves as he dances his way around Cory Jane.

Cooper, after having a brilliant season for the Queensland Reds in the Super 14, has been an integral part of the Wallabies plans for the tournament. He unfortunately sat out for a few weeks after a spear tackle though, so despite showing moments of magic, hasn't really set the stage alight like many had hoped he would.

In some ways, for the Wallabies, that's not a bad thing as he'll now know how much work he still needs to do ahead of a huge upcoming year. There's no doubting his talent and right now he's one of the most exciting players in the game. He also showed impressive maturity on the weekend with a few well placed kicks for the corner, and seems to be working hard on his defence.

Cooper, despite still only being 22 years old, has been around a while and although the razzle dazzle will always be there, his goals of achieving greatness will take some time in coming. His all round game seems to get better each time he plays and the maturity he's shown in recent times, both on field and off, will stand him in good stead.

While there was major speculation about him making the move to League, he recently announced an extension on his contract with the ARU that secures his services for at least until after the World Cup in New Zealand, his land of birth, next year.

While the NRL may well be in his future, for now we can enjoy moments like this one on against the AB's, where he made the fleet footed Cory Jane look like a pie munching front rower.


Aviva Premiership highlights - Round 1 & 2

Today’s post is a little different as I’d like to draw your attention to something that has been on the site for a while now, but is perhaps underutilised by many of you. I'm talking about the e-player that usually sits on the sidebar, and has the best highlights from matches in the newly branded Aviva Premiership.

Rather than let it sit there untouched, its probably good to experiment with this by posting it as a main post, allowing you the user to catch up on all the matches and give feedback on whether you like this type of format.

It’s handy in that you can easily choose exactly which match you’re after, then watch a short recap of that particular game. There are also the occasional match previews and competitions, as well as highlights of other goings on if you fiddle with the navigation.

The beauty of this is the speed at which the highlights are up, as today is Monday and all but one of the Premiership games from the weekend are already there. Last weekend’s matches are also included. If a game is ever missing, just check back as it will be updated soon.

I won’t go through each match, but there’s a few things worth checking out, namely two incredible tries scored by Wasps against Newcastle. The first came from Tom Vardnell after a missed penalty kick, and the second from some sensational handling after a nice Richard Haughton break.

Also take a look at the red card for George Stowers in the Bath vs London Irish game. He was given a straight red for his high shot on Nick Abendanon, who at the time looked to be knocked out for a brief period of time.

It may look a little different to what you're used to, but if posting the player like this is handy for you, please say so and the same will be done again next week. Also, if there are any particular incidents from the Premiership that you would like featured or shown again, please get in touch.

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Promo spot: Barbarians vs South Africa - Twickenham

The Barbarians face the Springboks at Twickenham on December 4th in what should be a highly entertaining clash with a whole host of international players. As a special promotion, if you buy a full price adult ticket before Wednesday (Sep 15th), you will receive access to 25% off through a merchandise voucher code. Get your tickets at ticketmaster by clicking here now


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Best tries of the Top 14 - Round 5

Time to catch up on the best tries from the French Top 14 for Round 5, which took place last weekend. Unfortunately we missed out on Round 4, but this one packed with ten of the best from the league.

On a whole the round probably wasn't as good as the previous Top 14 video posted here, but there were a few standouts with some great handling and one or two backs showing serious pace.

For Clermont former All Black battering-ram Sione Lauaki showed a neat touch as he set Julien Malzieu away for a nice try against Racing Metro. He featured earlier in the build up too, but that's wasn't included here for some reason.

Maxime Medard scored a typically classy try for Toulouse, along with a few other very neat finishers right across the board. The number one try though is one that wasn't featured here after the match because I had a feeling it would show up in this Canal+ compilation.

It's without a doubt the best of the week, and definitely a contender for try of the season as Brive managed to create something special in their 27-9 win over Toulon, the same game that Mafileo Kefu was red carded in.

It started way back and was finished superbly by flanker Gerhard Vosloo, who miraculously managed to stay in field. All round though the build up was great. The compilation doesn't show the try again unfortunately, but sit tight as another video will play directly afterwards, which shows slow motion replays of some of the build up, and then the strong finish. Enjoy.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Zealand comeback ensures Tri Nations clean sweep

The All Blacks showed what a quality side they are as they achieved a Tri Nations clean sweep by coming from behind to beat the Wallabies 23-22 in the final test in Sydney. New Zealand have now beaten Australia for the tenth time in succession, and have a 15 Test unbeaten run.

The hosts got things off to a good start as they seemed in control with the score at 22-9 following a try from James O’Connor after eighthman Ben McCalman broke off the back of the scrum.

Matt Giteau had a poor night with the boot, kicking only three from seven attempts, but extended their lead before Adam Ashley-Cooper went over early in the second half.

New Zealand stayed composed though and gradually fought their way back into the game, first through a Richie McCaw try then later through Kieran Read. Piri Weepu converted, giving them the lead and taking his record on the night to five from five.

Australia had under ten minutes to attempt to recreate another late win as they tried to get within penalty range, but came up short and were resigned to the narrow loss.

"We were on the back foot for a fair bit of the match but we stuck to the gameplan, kept pushing, and to come out on top was very satisfying," said McCaw.

"It's easy when you get behind like that to try and throw miracle passes but we kept faith in the game plan. We stuck to the game and we got there in the end."

McCaw has now surpassed Sean Fitzpatrick as New Zealand’s most capped skipper, with his record now sitting at an incredible 46 wins from 52 Tests as captain.

The two sides will meet next in Hong Kong on the 30th October.

Time: 05:04


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Rugby Club Plays of the year 2010

As the Tri Nations comes to a close tomorrow in Sydney with the final game of the tournament, it signals the end of another season of Plays for the Rugby Club team at Fox Sports. This is their Plays of the Year compilation.

Sean Maloney takes us through their pick of the greatest moments - both on and off the field – from the start of the year as we get to see the usual mix of the best hits, great tries, and a fair smattering of good looking girls.

Speaking of girls, the hit of the year comes from none other than Wallaroos winger Nicole Beck, who made one of the hits of the Womens Rugby World Cup tournament recently.

In the tries category they’ve got big Victor Matfield and his neat chip and chase, as well as Corey Jane setting up Mils Muliaina for a fantastic try, but there’s no surprise in the best try award going to Quade Cooper and the Reds from the Super 14 a few months back.

Kurtley Beale, seen earlier today on the Friday Funnies post, makes an appearance in this clip too, for both his header and his sensational winning penalty kick.

All in all, it’s a great video with plenty of laughs and loads of top rugby action. Have a good weekend, and as always, get in touch if you see something you’d like featured on RD next week.

:: Related Posts ::
Plays of the Year 2009
Time: 03:31


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