Tag: wales rugby

  • Fiji’s stunning victory may signal seismic change in rugby world

    <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><em>As a Welshman, it hurt, but when you see a small island nation doing this, it gives us all something to strive for. We all know about Fiji's Sevens prowess, but it seems they are now a very capable 15s outfit as well. Could the next great generation be Caribbean?</em></font> <br /> <br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/banner_top_badge_03.jpg" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="104" height="66" alt="" /><br /> <br /> <strong>Fiji’s historic win over Wales in the Rugby World Cup may not have inspired headline writers in the Pacific but it may have helped to change the accepted order of world rugby.</strong><br /> <br /> The Fiji Daily Post’s front page headline yesterday simply said, <em>“Job well done”</em>; and the Fiji Sun’s front page headline was also somewhat muted, proclaiming, <em>“Mission on track. Historic win to unite Fiji, says Tabua.”</em><br /> <br /> Fiji coach Ilivasi Tabua, quoted in the accompanying editorial, said, <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" /> “For the past ten years, it has been coup, coup and coup. The win is to unite the nation and do the country proud. One thing that unites the people is rugby. They travel mountains just to watch a rugby game. To unite the people is a great thing for us.<br /> “It will bring us together as a nation.” </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> But Fijian skipper Mosese Rauluni told the paper the team took its inspiration from Fiji’s faithful fans – some of whom went to great lengths to watch the match on Saturday.<br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <br /> The newspaper reported one fan who climbed a mountain to get reception because the satellite dish in a remote village would not pick up the World Cup match. But Fiji’s win over Wales probably has a greater significance in the overall picture of the game – not least when coupled with Argentina’s success and Tongan’s display against South Africa.<br /> <br /> Writing in the Fiji Times, John McBeth said Fiji’s success over Wales had helped to rewrite the national order of world 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" /> “A few days ago I wrote that the Tongan and Fijian players would be walking proud because of what they had achieved at this Rugby World Cup,” McBeth wrote. “They will be walking with their heads even higher after this latest round of matches, and justifiably so. The standard of these two teams, and particularly Fiji’s storming victory over Wales has grabbed the headlines in France. Up until now, Samoa has been the Pacific Island nation which has made the biggest impact on the world rugby scene. Now neighbouring Tonga and Fiji have surged into prominence.” </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> Dave Kirk, writing in New Zealand’s Rugby Heaven also believes that Fiji, together with Argentina, have caused something of a seismic shift in world rugby as they defeated the Northern Hemisphere old guard.<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" /> “The world of rugby will never be the same again. The pool matches of the sixth Rugby World Cup are over and I, for one, am left gobsmacked. It is not that hard in hindsight to rationalise what has happened but before the tournament I had no idea what was happening to the relative playing strength of nations. I didn’t know that Argentina were simply stronger, better organised and mentally tougher than any of the UK nations. I didn’t know that Tonga had the discipline and tactical nous to get within five points of South Africa and be a genuine chance of making the quarter-finals. Or that Fiji were about to return from 20 years in the World Cup wilderness. After making the quarter-finals in 1987, they haven’t looked like doing it again until they emphatically ousted Wales this year. For every new rugby power rising, an old power has sunk. To sum it up Anglo-Saxons and Celts have given way to Polynesians and Latins. The pupil has become the master and there is no going back.” </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> And Nicky Little, the Fijian outside half who was injured in the Wales game, said, <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 great for us, but more importantly we made a mockery of the money in the sport and a mockery of modern rugby. There is so much technical stuff and so much cash in the game that people forget about what really matters – actually playing for the love of it. Just look at the facts. I’m not sure if any of the big countries are on as little as $50 a day.” </p></blockquote><br /> <br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/tm_headline=fiji-8217-s-stunning-victory-may-signal-seismic-change-in-rugby-world&amp;method=full&amp;objectid=19880748&amp;siteid=50082-name_page.html" target="_blank"><u><font color="#0000CC">Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail</font></u></a>

     
  • Six Nations Video Highlights

    <a href="http://www.rbs6nations.com/video_highlight.htm" target="_blank"><u><img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/6nations_logo1a_08.jpg" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="170" height="232" alt="" /></u></a><br /> <em>Here is some fantastic video footage provided by the Official RBS Six Nations Website. The quality is excellent and if you can put up with some drab commentary (which gets better three weeks in) then you'll love it.</em><br /> <br /> Each match has 15 minuntes of highlights, so give yourself plenty of time.<br /> <br /> <div align="center"><font color="#FF0000"><strong>Youth players who have not had many opportunities to watch first class rugby should definitely watch these clips.</strong></font></div><br /> <br /> <em><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Click on the Six Nations logo to go to the link.</strong></font></em>

     
  • Six Nations Round Up: Wales

    <div align="center"><font color="#FF0000"><strong>Horsman: Wales going in right direction</strong></font></div><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/rugby_wales_02.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="150" height="191" alt="" /><br /> <em><strong>Chris Horsman</strong> lives by the philosophy that adversity makes you stronger and he believes Wales have emerged from a difficult RBS 6 Nations much better for the experience.</em> <br /> <br /> Wales lost their first four matches but Horsman revealed that inside the Wales camp all feelings of frustration and disappointment were tempered by a confidence and belief everything would come right. <br /> <br /> There were flashes against France and against Italy but Wales struggled up front and could not produce their trademark attacking rugby with any consistency. <br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <br /> But against England, Wales raised their game and beat their old foe, avoiding a whitewash and the RBS Six Nations wooden spoon with a magnificent 27-18 victory. <br /> <br /> Horsman keeps his rugby in perspective after surviving two bouts of cancer and he views sport with a different eye to most players. <br /> <br /> The Worcester prop said: "Adversity makes you stronger and this was an important journey for the team. <br /> <br /> "We have probably learned more about ourselves than if we had got a couple of wins. We have learned more about ourselves as a group, as individuals and how we responded to situations. <br /> <br /> "Life is easy when things are going in the right direction, when the bounce of the ball is going your way. It is very easy to be positive, to be motivated. <br /> <br /> "When things aren't going well in life - and not just in sport but outside as well - your true personality comes through. <br /> <br /> "We were under pressure and nobody can point the finger and say we splintered in any way shape or form. We stuck very tight. <br /> <br /> "We constantly improved through the tournament. There is a process and a goal that Gareth Jenkins is working towards and it is starting to show. <br /> <br /> "You could see what we were about in patches. Then we won on Saturday and everything was great. <br /> <br /> "We don't want to lose - but it has been an invaluable lesson for us. We are going in the right direction." <br /> <br /> Saturday's win was particularly special for Horsman, who was facing his country of birth for the first time since pledging his international allegiance to Wales in 2005. <br /> <br /> And he marked the occasion with his first Test try in the red jersey, driving over from a metre. <br /> <br /> "It was unbelievable. Outside the birth of my children it was the most amazing moment of my life," he said. <br /> <br /> "I have always been loyal to the red jersey. I am in a very honoured position and I just feel a massive sense of pride for the nation."<br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://www.rbs6nations.com/news_5410.htm" target="_blank"><u><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Official RBS Six Nations Site</strong></font></u></a>

     
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  • Phillips eager to become giant of Welsh rugby

    <br /> <em><strong>After becoming one of the sport’s best paid players, Mike Phillips now has the Wales No 9 shirt in his sights</strong></em><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/mike_phillips1003.jpg" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="100" height="108" alt="" /><br /> <strong>MIKE PHILLIPS</strong> is not just a giant among scrum-halves — at 6ft 3in and 14st comfortably the biggest in Test rugby — he has just landed a giant contract, making him one of the best paid players in the world. However, when the hottest property in Wales is not even the starting scrum-half for his country, tongues start wagging, and they haven’t stopped since word got out that he is moving to the Ospreys from Cardiff Blues this summer for a £1m-plus deal over four years. The gossip centres around the fact that Phillips, 24, has clinched a deal through his agent, Mike Burton, that will catapult him into the ranks of rugby’s millionaires despite playing second fiddle to Dwayne Peel at international level. <br /> <br /> Phillips has played only cameo roles for Wales so far in the RBS Six Nations, coming off the bench for Peel in the final quarter of the losses to Ireland and France, winning his 19th cap in Paris. He was “gutted” not to get a look-in in the debacle against Scotland, when his rival won his 50th cap. <br /> <br /> <!–more–><br /> <img src="http://www.rugbybahamas.com/images/Mike_Phillips200.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="200" height="203" alt="" /><br /> So why do the Ospreys think Phillips is worth 2½ times the £80,000 annual salary Cardiff paid when he joined two years ago, to escape being Peel’s understudy at Llanelli Scarlets? Burton says it is down to star quality, on and off the pitch. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “Mike is in the same mould as Terry Holmes, the biggest name in Wales in the 1980s, and that adds up to one hell of a player. Holmes might have been stronger, but Phillips is quicker. On top, this boy’s got the looks of a male model, and he won’t do the Ospreys’ merchandising any harm.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> Phillips came second recently in a local newspaper poll to find the sexiest man in Wales, although he jokes that learning Ryan Jones, the Wales No 8, was the winner took the gloss off it. But he is not shy of trading on his looks and has done a few shoots for a Cardiff modelling agency, admitting he likes to look the part. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “I like clothes. I’m probably trying to impress the girls, and I wear the occasional brand, mixed with my own cut on things, whatever looks good.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> It is what he does in rugby kit over the next four years, however, that will decide whether the Welsh public falls for him. “<blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> It’s up to me to make the move a success. It’s a chance for me to better myself. Maybe there hasn’t been enough pressure on me to perform at No 9 for Cardiff.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> Burton says Phillips is so serious about being the Wales starting No 9 that he rejected even more money from outside the principality. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “Mike had a bigger offer from Stade Français, and bids from Leicester and Worcester, but he turned them down because he wants to play for Wales.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote><br /> <br /> To make that a reality he has to turn the tables on Peel, and with the smaller man struggling to make an impact behind an unimposing Welsh pack, there is a growing lobby in favour of Phillips, who is more effective and powerful on the break. <br /> <br /> Phillips presses his case unashamedly ahead of what is being billed as a wooden spoon decider against Italy in Rome on Saturday. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “I made the most breaks for Wales in last season’s Six Nations, yet I only started one game. I’d like to get a couple of starts against Italy and England in this Six Nations. My pass is as quick as anyone’s, I enjoy having a go ball-in-hand — and rugby is all about crossing gain-lines.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> Being so big may make him an oddity among scrum-halves, but Phillips thrives on the attention. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “I’m being man-marked more but when you’re taller it gives you physical confidence. It’s a macho thing.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> <br /> <br /> Phillips is fed up with being on the bench. <blockquote><p><img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/start_quote_rb.gif" align="texttop" /> “I would love more time on the field to show what I can do. Although Dwayne is number one at the moment, I don’t see why I can’t be.” <img src="http://www.bigblogmedia.com/images/end_quote_rb.gif" align="absbottom" /></p></blockquote> It is a giant statement of scrum-half intent, and one that the Ospreys have banked on Phillips being able to measure up to. <br /> <br /> <div align="center"><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Scaling new heights</strong></font></div><br /> <div align="center"><strong>Scrum-halves of all shapes and sizes </strong></div><br /> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>The flyweights</strong></font> <br /> Peter Stringer, Munster and Ireland (5ft 7in, 11st 4lb) Pierre Mignoni, Clermont Auvergne and France (5ft 7in, 11st 4lb) Ricky Januarie, Lions and South Africa (5ft 6in, 11st 11lb) <br /> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>The middleweights </strong></font><br /> Dwayne Peel, Scarlets and Wales (5ft 9in, 13st 7lb) Harry Ellis, Leicester and England (5ft 10in, 13st 12lb) Byron Kelleher, Chiefs and New Zealand (5ft 9in, 14st 12lb) <br /> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>The heavyweights</strong></font> <br /> Mike Phillips, Cardiff Blues and Wales (6ft 3in, 14st) Ruan Pienaar, Sharks and South Africa (6ft 1in, 14st 2lb) Guy Easterby, Leinster and Ireland (6ft, 14st 11lb) <br /> <br /> Source: <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/rugby/six_nations/article1466479.ece" target="_blank"><u><strong><font color="#0000CC">Times Online</font></strong></u></a>

     
  • Six Nations Rugby 2007 Results and Tables to Date

    <br /> <em>There will be no <strong>Six Nations</strong> games this weekend, so here's just a recap on the results and tables so far.</em><br /> <br /> <div align="center"><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Tables to Date</strong></font><table align="" width="360" border="2"><tr><td><strong>Country</strong></td><td> <strong>P</strong></td><td> <strong>W</strong></td><td> <strong>D</strong></td><td> <strong>L</strong></td><td> <strong>+</strong></td><td> <strong>-</strong></td><td> <strong>Pts</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>France</strong></font></td><td> 3</td><td> 3</td><td> 0</td><td> 0</td><td> 91</td><td> 41</td><td> 6</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#009900"><strong>Ireland</strong></font></td><td> 3</td><td> 2</td><td> 0</td><td> 1</td><td> 79</td><td> 42</td><td> 4</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <strong>England</strong></td><td> 3</td><td> 2</td><td> 0</td><td> 1</td><td> 75</td><td> 70</td><td> 4</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>Italy</strong></font></td><td> 3</td><td> 1</td><td> 0</td><td> 2</td><td> 47</td><td> 76</td><td> 2</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <strong><font color="#0000CC">Scotland</font></strong></td><td> 3</td><td> 1</td><td> 0</td><td> 2</td><td> 58</td><td> 88</td><td> 2</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>Wales</strong></font></td><td> 3</td><td> 0</td><td> 0</td><td> 3</td><td> 39</td><td> 72</td><td> 0</td></tr></table></div> <br /> <br /> <br /> <div align="center"><font color="#0000CC"><strong>Results to Date</strong></font><br /> <strong>Saturday 3rd February 2007</strong> <br /> Italy 3-39 France <br /> England 42-20 Scotland <br /> <strong>Sunday 4th February 2007</strong> <br /> Wales 9-19 Ireland <br /> <br /> <strong>Saturday 10th February 2007</strong> <br /> England 20-7 Italy <br /> Scotland 21-9 Wales <br /> <strong>Sunday 11th February 2007</strong> <br /> Ireland 17-20 France <br /> <br /> <strong>Saturday 24th February 2007</strong> <br /> Scotland 17-37 Italy<br /> Ireland 43-13 England <br /> France 32-21 Wales</div>

     
  • This Weekend's Six Nations

    <br /> All three games will be played on Saturday.<br /> <br /> <div align="center"><font color="#FF0000"><strong>Saturday 24th February 2007 </strong></font><table align="" width="200" border="2"><tr><td><strong>10:00</strong></td><td> <strong><font color="#0000CC">Scotland vs Italy</font></strong></td><td> Murrayfield</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <strong>12:30</strong></td><td> <font color="#009900"><strong>Ireland</strong></font> vs <strong>England</strong></td><td> Croke Park</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <strong>15:00</strong></td><td> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>France</strong></font> vs <font color="#FF0000"><strong>Wales</strong></font></td><td> Stade de France</td></tr></table> </div><br /> <br /> Tables so far:<br /> <div align="center"><table align="" width="340" border="1"><tr><td>Country</td><td> P</td><td> W</td><td> D</td><td> L</td><td> For</td><td> Agst</td><td> Pts</td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>France</strong></font></td><td> 2</td><td> 2</td><td> 0</td><td> 0</td><td> 59</td><td> 20</td><td> <strong>4</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <strong>England</strong></td><td> 2</td><td> 2</td><td> 0</td><td> 0</td><td> 62</td><td> 27</td><td> <strong>4</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#009900"><strong>Ireland</strong></font></td><td> 2</td><td> 1</td><td> 0</td><td> 1</td><td> 36</td><td> 29</td><td> <strong>2</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>Scotland</strong></font></td><td> 2</td><td> 1</td><td> 0</td><td> 1</td><td> 41 </td><td>51</td><td> <strong>2</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#FF0000"><strong>Wales</strong></font></td><td> 2</td><td> 0</td><td> 0</td><td> 2</td><td> 18</td><td> 40</td><td> <strong>0</strong></td></tr><tr><td> <br /> <font color="#0000CC"><strong>Italy</strong></font></td><td> 2</td><td> <strong>0</strong></td><td> 0</td><td> 2</td><td> 10</td><td> 59</td><td> <strong>0</strong></td></tr></table></div> <br />

     
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