Tag: wales rugby

  • Wales Rugby Legend Gravell Dies

    <br /> <br /> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>Wales rugby great and BBC presenter Ray Gravell has died at the age of 56. </strong></font><br /> <em><font color="#FF0000">The former Wales and Lions centre was taken ill on Wednesday while on holiday in Spain. He is survived by wife Mari and daughters Gwennan and Manon. </font></em><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/raygravell.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="203" height="152" alt="" /><br /> Gravell won 23 caps for his country and made the 1980 Lions tour to South Africa, playing in all four Tests. <br /> After finishing playing rugby, Gravell carved out a new career as a broadcaster and an actor in both the English and Welsh languages. <br /> Welsh Rugby Union chairman David Pickering led the tributes to his former team-mate, with whom he played alongside more than 100 times for Llanelli. <br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "Ray epitomised all the best elements of the game of rugby and he will be sadly missed, not just in the world of rugby but by everyone who knew him," Pickering said. </p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> <!–more–> <br /> <br /> WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis: <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "He was an inspiration both on and off the field and he will never be forgotten by anyone who truly loves this game of ours." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Born in Kidwelly on 12 September 1951, Gravell made his name playing for his beloved Llanelli, the club he would eventually become president of. <br /> A hard-running centre who loved the crash ball, Gravell also proved he could link skilfully with any of the hugely talented wings he played with during his career. <br /> Gravell was part of the Llanelli side that famously beat New Zealand on 31 October 1972 during the All Blacks' tour of Britain. <br /> Three years later, on 18 January 1975, the fiercely patriotic Gravell made his Wales debut in a fine 25-10 win over France in Paris. <br /> He remained a key member of the Wales teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s which dominated the Five Nations, winning two Grand Slams, four titles and four Triple Crowns. <br /> A shoulder injury denied Gravell a place on the 1977 Lions tour to New Zealand, but he did make the 1980 tour to South Africa. <br /> His impact as a replacement in the first Test was such that Gravell claimed a starting berth at centre for the second and he repaid the selectors' faith with a try. <br /> His final international appearance came in March 1982, although there was no fitting send-off as Wales lost 34-18 to Scotland in Cardiff. <br /> <br /> Gravell played on for three more years with Llanelli before joining the BBC in 1985, taking the leading role in the BBC Cymru film for S4C, Bonner. <br /> A variety of roles followed, including a part in the big-screen adaptation of the Dylan Thomas book Rebecca's Daughters, which starred Peter O'Toole. <br /> Gravell's career on radio also blossomed and he presented regular chat and entertainment series for both BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru. <br /> But it was as a member of the Welsh language rugby commentary team for the BBC and S4C where he was in his element, swapping banter with players as he interviewed them and never forgetting to let everyone know that "west is best!". <br /> One honour Gravell was most proud of was becoming a member of the Gorsedd of Bards and he was a regular at the National Eisteddfod. <br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/gravell1.jpg" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="203" height="152" alt="" /><br /> Gravell was diagnosed with diabetes in 2000 and he then faced an on-going battle with ill-health. <br /> A combination of factors, including problems with blood flow in one of his arteries, eventually led to the amputation of two toes on his right foot in April this year. <br /> Unfortunately a second operation proved necessary and his right leg was amputated below the knee. <br /> <br /> In typical 'Grav' style he bounced back and proudly displayed the Llanelli livery of his custom-built false leg. <br /> Gravell was a big man with a personality to match and WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis said his death leaves a void in Welsh rugby. <br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "We are all in total shock because Ray was so full of life even through the difficult health problems he suffered recently," Lewis said. <br /> "He was a wonderful ambassador for rugby and for Wales and a great example of how the game can bring out the best in a man. <br /> "He stayed close to rugby as a broadcaster and was always in the tunnel to greet the teams with a handshake and a hug before and after big games. <br /> "We will miss him as a rugby legend but more importantly, we will miss Ray as a great friend and a fine, family man." </p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/welsh/7072320.stm" target="_blank"><u><font color="#0000CC"><strong>BBC Sport</strong></font></u></a>

     
  • Are Welsh Women Ugly?

    This is in response to the number of people who keep telling me that Welsh girls are minging.<br /> <br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/wales-portrait.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="375" height="560" alt="" /><br /> <em>Elle, like many Wales fans, is reluctant to offer public criticism of the Wales coaching staff.<br /> “It seems churlish to do so at such a crucial time. We need to support the boys through thick and thin, even though privately I might have issues with the lack of progress that’s been made on the coaching paddock with scrummaging and the line-out.”<br /> Hang on, Elle, didn’t you contradict yourself there, we asked? “Shut it and just take the photos, pal”, she responded.</em><br /> <div align="center"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/dalonilucas.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="300" height="450" alt="" /></div><br /> <div align="center"><em>For the thinking man - Ospreys Physiotherapist, Daloni Lucas</em></div><br /> <div align="center"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/kathcharl.JPG" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="300" height="150" alt="" /></div><br /> <div align="center"><em>Katherine Jenkins &amp; Charlotte Church - a 50/50 ball</em></div><br /> <div align="center"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/gav.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="262" height="350" alt="" /></div><div align="center"><em>Gav - bless</em></div><br /> <div align="center"><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/t_16849_06.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="272" height="288" alt="" /></div><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/WelshKitRWC2007.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="383" height="450" alt="" /><br /> <em><font color="#0000CC">Thanks to Darren Owens for the inspiration</font></em>

     
  • England’s mighty resurrection down to mindset as well as muscle

    <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>Fair play to England.</strong></font> <br /> <em><font color="#FF0000">There I’ve said it. Never thought I would but I have. If Gordon Brown can say well done so can we, even though his response probably owes its generosity more to the fact that he’s Prime Minister than a Scotsman.</font></em><br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> “I want to congratulate Brian Ashton, Phil Vickery and the whole England rugby team on their fantastic achievement,” said the magnanimous Brown. “This is a proud day for the country and I wish the team the best of luck for the final.” </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Without wanting to assume the state of orgasmic rapture currently enjoyed by next door’s media, England deserve credit for one of the most remarkable comebacks since Lazarus kicked open his coffin. It’s only a matter of weeks since they were nilled by South Africa and made to look laughably inept by the great rugby power that is the USA. Eddie Butler, a sporting scribe whose prose is usually characterised by elegant adjectives, couldn’t even find one worthy of their early World Cup performances. “They were sh*te,” mused Eddie.<br /> <br /> And they were. But now they’re in the World Cup final, and we – who were only moderately sh*te at the same stage as England – have been back home for ages. While All Blacks kick cars, Jonny Wilkinson kicks match- winning drop goals. While the Wallabies feel the weight of a nation’s disappointment on their shoulders, the Mighty Sheridan takes the load of the English scrum on his. And while Gareth Jenkins and Graham Henry pop down the job centre, Brian Ashton is the affable caretaker coach who suddenly has the keys to the castle.<br /> <br /> The best teams don’t always win. The flair sides are already gone from this tournament. But there are lessons to be learned from England’s example. We may never produce a monster Saxon pack from our Celtic DNA but England’s remarkable resurrection is down to mindset as well as muscle, psychology alongside strength, belief as much as beef. They just have so much dog in them, while the most impressive example of canine passion in Wales’ World Cup campaign came from Gareth Jenkins’s poodles.<br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <br /> England endured a similar media onslaught to Wales when they were struggling in the pool stages. But rather than whine about negativity, they used the pressure to bond themselves into an ever tighter unit. Ashton was under fire for his inconsistent selection decisions, but whatever the players thought priv- ately, in public they fought his corner.<br /> <br /> And while English Nigels in their yellow corduroys and all those bandwagon boys who’ve never seen a club match, are the most irritating in the supporter species, players like Wilkinson, Corry and Sheridan are modest, courteous and dignified. No provocative gestures to the crowd or press conference pouts from this lot. They front up and get on with it.<br /> <br /> Welsh rugby has been dissected like a Silent Witness corpse in the World Cup post mortem.<br /> <br /> We prod the skeleton and wonder whether the frame we have can support our game. We wonder if the body will ever be big enough and whether those muscles are being conditioned in the right way. But what goes on from the neck down is easy to diagnose. Wales needs to sort out that less tangible area between the ears.<br /> <br /> For, as England have shown, winning is as much about the soul as the body.<br /> <br /> What hope is there for mortals if Kylie’s scared of ageing?<br /> <br /> IT was my birthday over the weekend. But what with Moira finally axed from the Beeb and the news that ageism is still “endemic” 12 months after anti-discrimination laws were introduced, it doesn’t feel a particularly choice time to be embracing the final year of one’s 30s.<br /> <br /> Like crow’s feet, ageism creeps up on you gradually and finally puts the boot in. Women get their first taste of it around 30 when barely pubescent fashion journalists start telling us what not to wear. Dare to bare your midriff – even if it’s tauter than all those muffin-topped teens – and you’re instant mutton.<br /> <br /> Then you have to endure the point where misogyny meets ageism … that is, Frank Skinner. Just as I was edging into my fourth decade, the scrawny Brummie comic declared, “All women over 30 are rough as all a***holes”. Mind you, given that Skinner apparently lost his virginity to a 50-year-old prostitute he may have a few issues where older women are concerned.<br /> <br /> But while most men wouldn’t be quite so unenlightened on the theme of the maturing female, a more diluted view of Skinner’s prejudice exists. You only have to look at the average online dating site and see how few males dare to express a preference for women of their age and slightly older.<br /> <br /> Television doesn’t help this obsession with the numbers game. An entire genre of programming has been built around subjecting sad women from the Midlands to public humiliation in a bid to look 10 years younger. It used to just involve a nice new haircut, a touch of Touche Eclat and the avoidance of chavtastic velour tracksuits but now they make them have their faces cut open, fill their chests with silicone and cram their mouths with enough dazzling veneers to blind an Osmond. Never has age before beauty seemed a more sensible option.<br /> <br /> I used to have Kylie as my celebrity-age-role-model but since a newspaper published the brutal line that the pocket diva is finding it “more and more time-consuming at the age of 39 to look good” what’s the point. We 39-year-olds are evidently on a par with Methuselah as far as the media is concerned. And unlike we mere mortals, at least Kylie’s allegedly got Botox, a personal stylist and airbrushing in her armoury.<br /> <br /> But who cares. In the words of the poem, When I’m an old woman I shall wear purple. And until then, there’s always lashings of Touche Eclat.<br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/columnists/2007/10/15/england-s-mighty-resurrection-down-to-mindset-as-well-as-muscle-91466-19953807/" target="_blank"><u><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Carolyn Hitt, IC Wales</strong></font></u></a>

     
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  • Grand Welcome for Flying Fijians

    <font color="#FF0000"><strong>A sea of colour greeted the Fiji rugby team yesterday as more than 4000 fans turned up to welcome the Flying Fijians at the Post Fiji Stadium in Laucala.</strong></font><br /> <br /> The die-hard fans braved the wet and windy conditions to take part in celebrations to honour the FMF Flying Fijians side after their inspirational performance at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.<br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/Flying Fijians.jpg" align="" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="390" height="236" alt="" /> <font color="#0000CC"><em>Flying Fijians coach Ilivasi Tabua leads the team in the march in Suva</em></font><br /> <br /> President Ratu Josefa Iloilo was joined by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the diplomatic corps, interim ministers and people young and old to mark the day.<br /> <br /> In what was a repeat of 2005 when the Fiji 7s team won the 7s RWC, this celebration was fit for heroes despite the Webb Ellis Trophy still being in France.<br /> <br /> Students from various schools lined Laucala Bay Road from Vatuwaqa Primary School to the stadium waving Fiji flags as Ilivasi Tabua and his men marched to the tune of the Fiji Military Forces and Fiji Police Force bands.<br /> <br /> Back at the stadium, a small group of fans braved the rain and decided to sit on the grounds. They then kept the majority of fans who had gathered at the grandstands entertained with the Fiji rugby war dance cibi.<br /> <br /> Upon entering the stadium, the crowd erupted into a cheer and sounds of "go Fiji go" echoed around the Laucala Bay bowl.<br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <br /> As the team did their lap of honour, children ran along the embarkment to get a closer glimpse of their rugby heroes.<br /> <br /> The national anthem was played upon the arrival of Ratu Josefa Iloilo.<br /> <br /> In his speech, Ratu Josefa said everyone paid tribute to the fine performance demonstrated by the Flying Fijians.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "As the nation stood still in awe at the splendour of your prowess honed by the breathtaking performance first against Japan and then Canada, you failed to be diminished by the Australians," Ratu Josefa said.<br /> "These were but the prologue to the theatrical masterpiece you summoned to slay the Welsh Dragons.<br /> "This being no coincidence for it was in our years in the Dragons playground in Hong Kong that honed our flamboyance and to which we have so richly adapted in the full code.<br /> "To face perhaps the best forward pack in world rugby in the form of the mighty Springboks at the quarter-finals, you again were not deterred by mere reputation alone.<br /> "You showed the whole world that Fiji can indeed be a force to be reckoned with in world rugby. Even when the chips were down with one man short, you brought our nation to its feet in jubilation to draw level with a mere 15 minutes to go in the match." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> The players were then called up to receive a plague each for the fine performances. They each received cheers from the crowd.<br /> <br /> For some of the players, the support of shown by the people was overwhelming being held with high respect was new.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "We did not expect a big crowd here today. But now we have seen the people of Fiji are in unity and we are happy to give something back to our country," </p></blockquote> big number eight Sisa Koyamaibole said.<br /> <br /> Prop Graham Dewes said the team hoped to bring more celebrations for the people of Fiji in the future.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "I would like to thank the fans of Fiji for supporting us all along. Hope we can continue to please you all," the Auckland-based player said.<br /> "We did not imagine it to be like this. It is an honour to have marched into the stadium and having the fans greet us with applause." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> For coach Tabua, he said the people have always been the driving force behind the team.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "It's amazing what our performance has done. To see the reaction of people is just amazing and we are overwhelmed by the support," the former Wallabies forward said.<br /> "For us, playing in France was for all our supporters and we would like to thank them for turning out in numbers." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=72285" target="_blank"><u><font color="#0000CC"><strong>The Fiji Times</strong></font></u></a>

     
  • Pumas can teach Celts - Cusworth

    <em><font color="#FF0000">Pumas rugby director Les Cusworth says the Celtic nations could learn from the structure of rugby in Argentina.</font></em><br /> <br /> Cusworth believes staying amateur has benefited Argentina while countries like Wales and Scotland have struggled to establish a professional elite.<br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/_44155645_lesc203.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="203" height="152" alt="" /><br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "Lots of amateur clubs have gone because of professionalism. To get an elite, you need a wide base," he said.<br /> "We have a base other countries would die for and our future, while amateur, is a lot brighter than many nations." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Argentina have made the quarter-finals of the World Cup despite a lack of resources and preparation time while their top players ply their trade in Europe.<br /> Both Wales and Ireland failed to reach the knockout stages and Cusworth, a former England fly-half who has been with the Pumas since 2001, says Argentina's decision to remain amateur has been vindicated.<br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "I have changed my opinion significantly over the last two years," he said. "Especially if you look at the problems Welsh and Scottish rugby has gone through.<br /> "The strength and passion of the game in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales is based in club rugby and we have dismantled all that with the professional game.<br /> "As soon as you bring in payments a lot of people stop working.<br /> "I would go back to the club structure tomorrow and let the top players go abroad. Could you not have a couple of sides playing in the Magners League based at those clubs?<br /> "If you have mediocre seasons for a couple of years, fine - but get the business structure organised first.<br /> "We have 60,000 people playing rugby in Argentina and 82 clubs in the Buenos Aires province alone. There are 400 Argentine players playing rugby in Europe. If you take 400 top players out of the Home Nations, what would be left?<br /> "The real reason we are all here is for kids to be playing the game. If we encourage them just to play for the provincial sides, you have 3% in the elite. What about the other 97%?" </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Argentina have risen to fourth in the world rankings despite being without regular top-flight competition and have fought a lengthy campaign to be included in either the Six Nations or the Tri-Nations.<br /> And Cusworth insists the prospect of inviting the Pumas into something like the Six Nations should not scare the established countries.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "Where is this game going, where do we want it to be in 30 years time?" he said. "Do we just want a Six Nations or a Tri-Nations? What a stagnant game we will have if that is the case.<br /> "It would be better for us to be in the Six Nations. We could base ourselves in Brussels, Valencia, Madrid, wherever.<br /> "If we are included it will benefit the incumbents. Let's get into the cosy club. The International Rugby Board have been very supportive about our case but they are not the stakeholders. The stakeholders are the Six Nations Committee." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> The immediate focus for Argentina is Sunday's quarter-final clash with Scotland at the Stade de France.<br /> The Pumas, who defeated hosts France and Ireland in the pool stages, are on the brink of reaching the semi-finals for the first time but Cusworth says his players are not feeling the pressure.<br /> <br /> <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" style="float:left;vertical-align:top" /><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" style="float:right;vertical-align:bottom" /> "This is a journey for them," he said. "Whatever the result is on Sunday, they will have enjoyed the experience.<br /> "These players have real pride in playing for Argentina. In 40 years of being involved in rugby, I have seen nothing like it.<br /> "We are balanced mentally. Argentina have had hiccups in the last two World Cups when things were going well.<br /> "Scotland are the most improved team in the tournament, we said that really early on. Frank Hadden is a very astute coach and he has a good coaching team around him.<br /> "They have excellent line-out forwards, a good scrum, cracking kickers and it will be a very difficult game for both teams." </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/scottish/7027567.stm" target="_blank"><u><strong><font color="#0000CC">BBC Sport</font></strong></u></a>

     
  • Dramatic Courtroom Custody Ruling.

    <em><font color="#FF0000"><strong>Nassau, Bahamas</strong> - A seven year old boy was at the centre of a courtroom drama this week, when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.</font></em><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/journal.JPG" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="200" height="79" alt="" /><br /> The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and Judge Armbrister, presiding, awarded custody to his aunt.<br /> <br /> The boy however confirmed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and refused to live there. <br /> <br /> When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents the boy cried out that they beat him more than anyone.<br /> <br /> Then in an unprecedented move, the judge dramatically allowed the boy to choose who should have custody of him.<br /> <br /> In a final ruling yesterday, custody was granted to the Welsh National Rugby Team as the boy firmly believes that they are not capable of beating anyone.<br /> <br /> <em>Thanks to Dayne D'Aguilar for that one</em>

     
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League 2012-2013

Last Match

Cuckoos "B" – Nassau Youth

0 - 0

Table

Pos   Team Pld Pts
0 Freeport 0 0:0
0 Buccaneers 0 0:0
 

Heineken Cup