Real Rugby Nuts

Pumas Roast a NZ Lamb

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 25, 2006

Daniel Carter was back, but this wasn’t his day 4 missed kicks at goal and a missed dropped goal, luckily his counterpart had an off day as well.

At halftime, you felt a shock was on your hands, All Blacks 15-16 down in a one-off test in Argentina, could the Pumas carry out what no Northern Hemisphere team could and beat them. This was completely different team from the one the Irish had come close to beating.

Teh All Blacks sustained a torrid second half backlash from the Pumas, especially in the final ten minutes, when they only had 14 players on the pitch as MacDonald had been yellow carded. Silly boy!

The All Blacks won the try count 3-1, but there were enough worrying signs for Henry. A team of Argentina’s ability should not come close to beating a future World Champion and maybe this is the wake up call they needed.

Tries came from MacDonald, Carter and Hamilton, with Argentina’s first half try ming from Durand, converted by Todeschini, who scored the Pumas other points.


French Supreme

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 24, 2006

What a game, breathtaking and France playing at its sublime best.

The Boks beaten at home where they haven’t lost a home test for three years. Incredible force hitting force, backs playing with such flair and vision. Just as you though the Boks were about to run away with it, the French stood up and took the game away from them.

The Boks led 12-11 at half time thanks to Percy again and the French tendency to give away too many penalties. Percy then stretched the lead to 7 points and then a Brett Smith try made it 23-11. Surely the French were dead and buried. Back they came, three unanswered tries, two form Vincent Clerc and a great solo try by their fly-half, Damien Traile.

France the only Northern Hemisphere side to win over the summer, looked a class ahead of the rest. Why? They played the same number of games as their England, Irish, Scottish and Welsh counterparts. Answers on a postcard please

Aussies March On, Weary Irish

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 24, 2006

The Wallabies brushed aside the challenge of the Irish at the weekend. Unlike England the previous weekend, Ireland chose to bring out a full strength squad to play the Wallabies. They earned the respect of their competitors, but ground to a halt in the second half, the battles of the previous two weeks with the All Blacks having clearly taken its toll.

The worrying aspects for all Northern Hemisphere sides is that the world cup is one year away and whereas the South Hemisphere sides will be at the beginning of their season, the Northern boys will be at the end of theirs.

This Irish side ground the Aussie machine down in the first half and a very closely fought contest appeared to turn the Irish way early in the second half with a well worked try by captain and talisman, Brian O’Driscoll. This man is a natural leader and outstanding player, but like most of his team the longer the game went on, they started to wilt one by one. The Wallabies targeted the much smaller O’Gara with forwards, disguised as backs, Mortlock and the like!

It was a well worked and good victory for the Wallabies and more worrying was that their suspect scrum of the previous two weeks appeared to be back to a solid foundation. The line-out started to function properly, they are tuning up perfectly. This Tri-Nations will be a humdinger.

Scots sunk by Montgomery

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 18, 2006

Just got round to the
Scotland game today – what a rip roaring entertaining game, but less for the Scots to shout about this week. The Springboks were too powerful again in the scrummaging for the Scots, this is an area of the game to work on for the Scots. Out wide, the Scots seem to lack any real fire power, but then again saw did
South Africa. Having said that the Scots had a second try dubiously ruled out for a supposed knock-on and from the resulting scrum the Springboks scored, a 12 point turnaround situation.In the loose the Scots were outplaying the Springboks, a remarkable achievement in view of their lighter pack.
Montgomery was on excellent goal kicking form landing 7 penalties.An excellent try by Webster, set up by a grubber by Gordon Ross, was a highlight for the Scots and brought them back into the game early on, when it looked as if the South Africans might run away with it, with two early and easy penalties, converted by
Montgomery.By midway through the second half, the South Africans were way in front at 23 – 5, a late (second) try by Macfadyen brought them briefly back into the game after a Van der Westhuyzen error, but further indiscipline ended the game 29-15 to the Springboks.

This gave both teams many unanswered questions and against better teams would expose both teams’ frailties.

Australia On The Up, England Woes Continue!

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 17, 2006

England put in their place again, Australia doing the basics well.

A lot of possession for England, but points get prizes, or in this case the Cook Cup. The Wallabies were so clinical, 6 tries again. England were poor, the stand out players for England were Pete Richards and Ben Kay. The forwards played well, received a lot of ball, but weren't helped by losing Rowntree and White.

England's lack of direction in the backs meant they couldn’t convert the possession. The missed tackle count was high, need I go on, it was a disaster. This was a good Pom bashing again!All credit to the Aussies, they are really growing in stature, Tuqiri, Mortlock and Larkham were outstanding, Gerrard has a good game. When Gregan got on, he was desperate to score on his growing world record. The Aussie defence was outstanding and they were playing with a turnover ball, very much playing on the breakaway, if they could create more opportunities, they would be awesome. They need to improve in the lineout, which is one of the few areas that England were very good today. But overall, a great team performance with some fine individual performances.

As I said before, England need continuity, that is the only way they can learn to play together and develop a style and the confidence to build a World Cup winning team.

The Wallabies by comparison are building up very nicely for next year's World Cup. The guy I feel sorry for is Eddie Jones, who built this team, and should be basking in the glory. He isn't and John Connelly is.

Heartbreak for Ireland

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 17, 2006

What a game – the passion stood out in such dreadle conditions – driving rain! What a cauldron to play in, New Zealand not beaten here in over a decade

Another out and out display by Ireland, but the All Blacks appeared too strong. Almost opportunistic, the All Blacks lacked real possession in the second half, they had to play of scraps, but their cutting running was both breathtaking and devastating. McAllistair's one on one drive for the line against O'Gara was man against boy type rugby was the turning point of the game when Ireland had just dragged themselves back to within 3 points of the New Zealanders. But that was the only moment when that occurred.

The worrying thing for the All Blacks is that without Dan Carter, they just don't have that cutting edge. McAllistair is a good flyhalf, but he is not in the same class, a quality back, but that is all. The New Zealand back three are reluctant to kick in their own 22, which although very exciting does put a lot of pressure on themselves. Basic rugby guys. We all love exciting running out of the 22, but not every time. I suppose it could be said that they are supremely confident, I am just advising a bit of caution.

Ireland slow of the blocks, New Zealand quick to start and scoring two good tries. The Irish responding in typical dogged fashion with two tries before half time. A penalty to draw it back to 20-17 down, only for McAllistair to break Irish hearts with a try after almost total 2nd half possession by Ireland.

What a game!

The Haka

Posted in Fun by therugbynut on June 15, 2006

I came across this great video tonight, I will be off and searching other great videos for future posts.

 Another good haka is also run below

Would you like to see more of these as I come across them?

Weekend Woes & Rants

Posted in Internationals by therugbynut on June 14, 2006

What a weekend for all the home nations and I was stuck in San Francisco, unable to watch any of it.

Try reading a write up in a US paper, little or no acknowledgement of the game, how bloody frustrating! Thank god for the internet and BBC Sport.

England walloped and every chance of a series whitewash – typical reaction to a loss, drops half the team as continuity would 'not' allow the team to grow and flourish. How can they change that many players after one result, frankly it's not the first inept decision that Mr. Robinson has made. Andy Goode's in, but I am sorry he just isn't a world class centre and was horribly exposed over the past few months. Oh and Matt Tait's a centre so let's play him on the wing. What is this guy on! The wallabies will without doubt roll them over again at the weekend.

The Flower briefly looked like they could get back into the game against the Springboks, but were well beaten by a talented side, full of the usual muscle and flair. Likely the result will be the same again this weekend; I think the score will be closer though, except they have made six changes of their own.

The Welsh are desperately in need of a shot in the arm, a morale boosting win against the Pumas was the order of the day. Champions two seasons ago and wooden spoon candidates currently, a young Wales side should really have won this game hands down, but two stupid sin binnings (the only way you can describe a sin binning), handed the game to Argentina.

Finally, the Irish the perennial underachievers of World Rugby, who have so much talent and yet never manage to put it all together. They pushed New Zealand hard, but you always new the All Blacks would prove to strong, with their mixture of raw talent and speed. The Irish just need that added self-belief that they are on the world stage and can do it. The All Blacks are looking awesome heading into 2007 and the World Cup, but privately ex players are saying that they won't win it, with the smart said to be heading towards the French and South Africans as the possible winners.

 Here's to another entertaining weekend of full on rugby and hopefully a couple of Home Countries wins. Actually, I really don't mind who wins as long as there is more scintillating ruby.