10 types of tackle used by the amateur rugby player
Tackling is one of the key skills every player must have, but on the amateur fields across the land, this skill takes many ingenious forms.
1. Statue - feet planted like they have been welded to the floor, arms locked in action figure position waiting to meet the ball carrier head on. This position is usually adopted while carrier is still twelve metres away so is only of use for tackling forwards as they do not understand neither the words nor the concept of a side-step.
2. M.M.Apocalypse - One bloke on the team, usually your Not Big Enough Flanker will be a UFC fan who, after many years on the MaxiNutrition, has started learning Jiu Jitsu or some other form of MMA. He will use this to grip and spin the ball-carrier in such a way that both end up on the groud with their spines intertwined like a particularly disturbing scene from a torture porn movie. Pretending to be injured not-applicable in this case.
Video: NZ U20s perform moving Haka in memory of Jerry Collins and his family
Many of us have had a pop at the Haka from time to time; but when you see these young players performing this to the memory of Jerry Collins, his wife and for the life of their child we are all reminded what an incredibly moving spectacle it can be.
The introduction sees the leader speak of Jerry and Alana and wishing him "moe moe ra, moe moe ra", wishing them peace in their final resting place, and of their child.
As this blog demonstrates frequently, it's easy to be cynical in this world, but this prayer and tribute makes humble men and women of us all. Or at least it should.
The bloodandmud.com Awards 2015
It's the end of the season so that means that we have to do an Awards post. It's the law. In fact, if you don't do an awards post Nigel Owens comes round to your office and lectures you in a lilting voice for several hours until you weep real salt tears. So here goes, and be reminded that if you're looking for a "best player of the year" type thing then you are unlikely to find that here...
Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Failure: London Welsh. In the Orwell masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four, the party official O'Brien tells the hapless Winston Smith, "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." London Welsh fans and players have some idea of what this means now.
The Repetition Award: Dylan Hartley. "Look what he's done!", "yeah, but he'll learn from that, I reckon." "Look what he's done!", "yeah, but he'll learn from that, I reckon." "Look what he's done!", "yeah, but he'll learn from that, I reckon." "Look what he's done!", "yeah, but he'll learn from that, I reckon." Continue ad infinitum until next ban.
Conor McLeod of the Clan McLeod Immortality Award: Paul O'Connell. There can be only one.
Section 3, Mental Health Act 1983 Medal: Philippe Saint Andre. For a record third year in a row, the French funster claims this questionable gong. Expect him to return to complete sanity once out of the post.
Award for Services to Historical Study: TMOs. "I want to check the grounding, the pass, whether he was offside two minutes ago, whether he's been to confession lately, if he has filed his tax return, whether he was involved in the JFK assassination, if he's ever worn a tie with a shortsleeve shirt to a wedding, if he has previously agreed with Piers Morgan on Twitter, and if he still uses the word 'banter' in a non-ironic way". This is in jest, of course, but the serious point is that the TMO has become a blight on the game; it's taking up too much time and its use allowing refs and linesmen not to do their job correctly. The TMO should be used only to clear up confusion over issues in the immediate act of scoring, anything previous to that is the ref's or linefolk's responsibility.
The "He Did What?" Award: Yoann Huget. Andre Marais has even more of an idea about what O'Brien was talking about in Nineteen Eighty Four
The simultaneously SHIT/GOOD Award: Jonny May. As you readers know, this blog and its famous computer is clear that SHIT/GOOD is an either/or scenario. Jonny May is the exception that proves the rule.
Win a pair of tickets to this weekend's Aviva Premiership final
In the build up to the big game on Saturday Aviva has released a new documentary called Rugby Matters starring George Ford, Mike Ford, Lawrence Dallaglio, wheelchair rugby captain Steve Brown and charity Sevens team The FlairBears. The film looks at the power of rugby, community spirit and why rugby is so important to them. They have also given us a pair of tickets to give away to one of you lot out there.
Have a look at the cracking documentary and fill in your details in the form after the jump for a chance of winning the tickets. It's a quick turnaround so entries will close tomorrow, Friday 29th May at 12 noon.
Visit www.youtube.com/avivauk to see more individual short films.
SHIT/GOOD™ Ratings: Aviva Premiership semi finals
The business end of the season has arrived, so let's see what came out of the business end of the computer. Before you say anything, Ford and Joseph are a given for GOOD, the computer wanted to tell you.
Freddie Burns - the big move to a big club was meant to produce big results. One one level you could argue that a semi-final is a big result, but he shared that journey with Owen Williams and then when the it all came down to one game Freddie was completely outshone by Ford. This may seem harsh, but his talent invites such comparisons.
Brad Barritt - Made three metres and missed nearly a third of the tackles he attempted. The first part of that sentence sums up his attacking threat, the second debunks the neverending parade of nonsense spoken about his putative imperious defence.
London Welsh: their difficult season in not all made up numbers (allegedly)
The south west London club have endured a season so bad that their fans must have felt at times like they would rather stay at home and chew on rolled up pieces of tinfoil than keep coming. But it is testament to them that keep coming they did. Those people looking at the Ladbrokes promo codes at season start knew it wasn't going to an easy outing for Welsh, but these numbers demonstrate the full horror of what happened.
Gloucester Rugby and home nation rugby heroes chat about the season and superstitions
A fantastic rugby season has come to a thrilling climax. With the world’s best teams battling it out here in Britain this September and October, there has never been a better time to hear the views from your Gloucester Rugby and home nation heroes on what makes them tick.
Stowford Press, the official cider of Gloucester Rugby Club, gave fans unprecedented access to three top Gloucester Rugby and International players, Billy Twelvetrees, Richard Hibbard and Greig Laidlaw. Fielding questions from Twitter, via the hashtags #asktwelvetrees, #asklaidlaw or #askhibbard, the three discuss the season and team superstitions.
Video: England name 50-man Rugby World Cup training squad
The news is out, Stuart Lancaster has named every single English professional rugby player in the country in his pre-Rugby World Cup training squad. Apart from Dave Ewers and Thomas Waldrom. Waldrom is not in because despite a few tries he's still generally pedestrian and a bit rubbish, Ewers is not in because..er, anyone? It's no be surprise to learn that Sam Burgess is in there, however it will be interesting to see what free bet offers are available for which position the ex-RL man will play.
Should Sam Burgess be picked for the England Rugby World Cup squad?
After a brief lull in which he was allowed to be a normal person for a bit, the talk about Sam Burgess and specifically whether he warrants a place in the England squad for Rugby World Cup 2015 is reaching peak chatter. Here in the B&M shed, we know that trying to decipher the many arguments among the bluster can be harder than deciding whether to play Anthony Watson at fullback or finding the best betting promo codes.
Rugby Venn: Manu Tuilagi
The England centre and rozzer pugilist; a mix of Umaga and another man with a pathological desire not to be taken by the coppers, the legend Jimmy Cagney.