It’s not often that you see a provincial side take on the Lions twice, but that’s exactly what happened with the Natal Sharks over the weekend thanks to the ongoing Covid pandemic in South Africa. The BIL were originally due to play the Bulls in Pretoria, but Covid put paid to those plans and as a contingency plan, the Sharks were summoned to play the touring side again, just days after they had copped a 54-7 hammering.
The Sharks made several changes, including that of Lionel Cronje at 10 ahead of Curwin Bosch, whose defence had been very suspect.
To their credit, they put on an improved performance and capitalised on several Lions errors, with the likes of scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse and full back Anthony Volmink all taking advantage as the two sides were tied 26-26 at the break.
However a brainfade from Hendrikse saw him red carded early in the second half by Wayne Barnes, and with that red card went any chances of the Sharks getting something from the game. Continue reading “Sharks 31-71 British and Irish Lions | Hendrikse red card spoils evening for Natal”
It’s possible to argue that Warren Gatland is already the most successful British and Irish Lions manager in the history of rugby union. At least, that’s what Sam Warburton, his former captain for Wales, thinks. A victory over Australia and a draw against New Zealand means the coach has the opportunity to make history by recording three straight undefeated Lions tours. Continue reading “Can Warren make history with a 3rd consecutive unbeaten tour?”
The flagship international rugby union event, the World Cup, returns in 2023, and the preliminary draw has already been made. In a ceremony that took place in Paris, which will also host the final at the Stade de France, the 12 teams that have already qualified were drawn into their respective pools.
Continue reading “Japan and Argentina in England’s group for World Cup”
Over the next three years there are World Cups in both rugby league and union, but how Australia’s national teams are expected to perform differs wildly depending on the code. League is the pink of health, but union appears to be sinking fast, with fans disappointed with the lack of success for both the country’s Super Rugby sides as well as the Wallabies. The gap appears to have widened so much that some journalists are suggesting that union be merged into league in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has further crippled the 15-man code Down Under.
The Kangaroos, Australia’s national rugby league side, have lifted the RL World Cup a record 11 times and are ranked the second best team in the world behind New Zealand. They have a thriving club competition in the National Rugby League (NRL) which attracts the best players from around the globe to come Down Under. Continue reading “Contrast between codes illustrates magnitude of job on Rennie’s hands”