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Five tackles and a kick

We northerners are well-balanced people: we have chips on both our shoulders. One of our long-standing gripes is that Their Rugby – union – is treated as a national sport while Our Rugby – league – is patronised as a parochial throwback to a mud-splattered, black-and-white, trouble-at-the-mill world of slag heaps, Tetley’s ale, black pudding, whippets, brass bands and bizarrely accented, trilby-hatted buffoons droning on about “up and unders” and “early baths”. -- Why is Rugby League still patronised as a mud-splattered, parochial throwback?
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 10, 2013 - 26 comments

Wide World of Sports Beards

"This is Brett Keisel, a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers who makes the usually frustrating identifying process of having to look for pictures of NFL players sans helmet an unexpected pleasure. Consider two things: i) Why in the name of all that's holy would anyone want to imprison this cascading, oddly backwoodsesque yet pleasingly groomed beauty behind visor, mask or grille? And: ii) Given that he has nonetheless to do so, how the hell does he cram it all in? I'm picturing, in a pleasing sort of reverie, some sort of monstrous snood." The Guardian presents the Greatest Beards in World Sports, parts one and two.
posted by oneirodynia on Oct 16, 2013 - 36 comments

Love Lego? Love Rugby?

Ever wanted to see rugby highlights animated in lego? Of course you have! [more inside]
posted by Scottie_Bob on Dec 14, 2012 - 6 comments

A tale of (the wage bills of) three English sports

Information on cricket salaries in England is difficult to find, though the amounts are acknowledged to be low; many cricketers take on a second job during the off-season. One of the top flight teams, Durham, is the first county fined for narrowly exceeding the total playing staff salary cap for the year. As a cross-sport comparison, the top flight football (soccer) team wage bills for 2010-11, and the team salary caps for rugby.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 9, 2012 - 12 comments

But if the same tendency is maintained ...

With Rio hosting the 2016 Olympics, a series of ads for a little-known sport have appeared: Rugby: It Will Be Big In Brazil (Youtube) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 21, 2012 - 23 comments

"Never Be Satisfied"

"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2012 - 45 comments

This is the Classical

Kickstarter-funded sports site The Classical launched over the weekend. [more inside]
posted by troika on Dec 5, 2011 - 14 comments

Absolutely shagged.

New Zealand have won the Rugby World Cup, for the first time in 24 years.
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 23, 2011 - 51 comments

The game they play in heaven

The 7th Rugby World Cup begins this Friday in Auckland. The fourth largest sporting event in the world, there will be twenty national teams competing for the Webb Ellis Cup, including such diverse nations as Namibia, Romania and the USA. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Sep 6, 2011 - 135 comments

We promise no articles about buzzy bees.

Have you always longed for a comprehensive list of the shit Kiwis are really into? No, neither have we. Here it is anyway. Kiwianarama
posted by midnightbarber on May 25, 2011 - 25 comments

We all like to play in the dirt

Straight Acting [57m] is a first-person documentary about one man's journey from Mormon missionary to comfortably gay rugby player. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 23, 2010 - 21 comments

Maybe Next Year

Every year for the past 26 years, the United States has faced off against New Zealand in rugby ... on the ice sheets of McMurdo Sound. [Pages 2, 3, 4] [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Mar 23, 2010 - 25 comments

International Rugby Player Comes Out

Gareth Thomas is the first Welshman to have played in 100 rugby union test matches for his country. He also played in three tests for the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 2005, captaining the side in two of those matches. The 6'3", 226 lbs. utility back now plays for the Cardiff Blues. At one point, the Welsh rugby legend held the try-scoring record for Wales. In today's Daily Mail, Thomas revealed he is gay. [more inside]
posted by jleisek on Dec 19, 2009 - 51 comments

Friday Java Fun

Two slimes. One circle. Infinite addiction. Welcome to the world of Slimeball. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 8, 2008 - 16 comments

Midnight at Mabel Mercer's and a glass of Guiness

Unfortunately there is not much on the web about the greatest cabaret singer who ever lived, the wonderful Mabel Mercer. So I am adding this new animated Guinness commercial made for the Rugby World Cup to pad out this post. [more inside]
posted by vronsky on Sep 15, 2007 - 6 comments

Beau cul (not so) belle gueule

Broken Faces [Flash site] During 2006, photographer Denis Rouvre travelled throughout France to cover a majority of the TOP 14 French (French national championship) rugby matches all the way to the finals. He was given locker room access to take these intimate and striking shots. via SpoFi. [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Sep 12, 2007 - 29 comments

And I don't even like rugby that much...

Haka is a type of ritual performance native to Aotearoa. Occurring before battles or peacetime ceremonies, it is less of a "war chant" than a way of fiercely asserting group solidarity while referring to a specific ancestry or significant event. The best known haka are probably the versions practiced by the New Zealand All Blacks: Ka Mate and, more recently, Kapa O Pango. More than just a traditional dance, haka has been an important element of the Maori Renaissance- the revival of language, culture and arts that has occurred since the re-affirmation of the Treaty of Waitangi (and has recently come under attack). For the All Blacks, haka now connects both Maori and Pakeha (outsider) players through a shared history and physical discipline, although this was not always the case. Nevertheless, the haka can make a powerful impression, particularly when someone answers in kind.
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Feb 19, 2007 - 65 comments

OOh.. Ahh .. Ouch ... Umaga!

New Zealand All Blacks and Hurricanes Captain Tana Umaga has been quite the news maker lately. Umaga, a hard nosed rugby player known for his fierce tackling, equipped himself with a women's handbag to beat his drunken teammate to tears while breaking up a late night fight in a Christchurch bar. Umaga then followed up the weekend be being honored by the Queen for his services to New Zealand Rugby. While it is well known that the Queen favors carrying a handbag, it was not revealed if that weighed into her decision to give Umaga the honor.

Trying to cash in on Umaga mania, the young lady who owned the bag sold it on trademe.co.nz for $22,000 NZ. While the bar owner launched a failed attempt at selling the security video of the incident. Not wanting to be left out Chris Masoe, who was hit with the bag is rumored to be considering selling the napkins he used to whip the tears from his eyes in order to raise funds to pay off the fine he received for the incident. There is still no word yet from the NZRFU as to whether or not the All Blacks will incorporate overhead handbag smashing motion into the newest version of the Haka.
posted by remo on Jun 8, 2006 - 38 comments

Cockroaches and Maroons

Rugby League player involved in unprovoked drunken assault on woman. The sporting world’s longest running train wreck? Lewd, alcohol-fueled phonecalls and brothel visits during a State team "bonding session". Coaches quitting because players can’t obey simple rules such as "please don’t show up drunk to training." Faeces smeared walls? No problems. I’ll even take a leak under a blackjack table for good measure. The Australian Captain gets dumped, unconscious, outside a police station by a taxi driver. Serial on-field sodomy. Millionaire businessman and boss of an NRL team (and father of supermodel Elle MacPherson) involved in drunken, jumper-slashing fight (or two). Sexual assault at a university dorm. Pack rape group sex by the pool, anyone? And what do you do when you’re the Australian Captain when these sexual assault claims are causing so much angst? Joke about it at a national press conference, of course. Despite all this, interest for tomorrow’s big game is high.
posted by uncanny hengeman on May 22, 2006 - 36 comments

Rugby World Cup 2011

The Rugby World Cup probably doesn't matter a lot to most, but today's announcement that New Zealand will be hosting the 2011 event is enough to send the local media into ecstasy. Not wanting to be outdone on Olympic-scale scandal, you can bet that neighbours of the biggest Rugby Stadium in New Zealand will not be happy.
posted by pivotal on Nov 17, 2005 - 40 comments

The British and Irish Lions

The British and Irish Lions tour the remote South Pacific nation of New Zealand once every 12 years. Rugby is like a religion on these islands and the rich history and intense rivalry between the Lions and the All Blacks will combine to make this the single biggest event in New Zealand’s history. New Zealand will be bursting at the seems during the tour and the economy, already buoyant will get another boost.
posted by Samuel Farrow on Apr 5, 2005 - 33 comments

I love Rugby

I love rugby I love playing, I love talking about it, I love the video game,, fans on the other hand.... Why is it Americans tend to be lower key about sports (as fanatic as we are) than the British or other folks who riot, blow stuff up, behead each other, etc.? I mean, I've slid naked on tile floor through puddles of beer, but cutting off your nuts, that's crazy!
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 12, 2005 - 44 comments

When they met, it was Murderball

Anyone up for a quick game of Murderball?
posted by lemonfridge on Jan 24, 2005 - 14 comments

Sir Clive Woodward to switch from rugby to football?

Sir Clive Woodward to switch from rugby to football? Sir Clive Woodward is the head coach of the England rugby union team. Appointed in 1997, he has had stunning success, including winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup. On Tuesday, the Daily Mail carried an incredible story: Woodward was planning to turn his back on rugby in favour of association football (soccer). Premiership club Southampton appear to be his next port of call with his ultimate aim, the England football team. Is it possible for a head coach to switch sports like this? Many experts think not. Is there any previous example of a coach switching sports like this?
posted by salmacis on Sep 1, 2004 - 24 comments

Chess with Violence

Just because you're in a wheelchair doesn't mean you can't have a ruck. Browsing our current favourite website I found myself intrigued. This year's paralympics will again feature Wheelchair Rugby, a sport that has been alternatively described as 'Chess with Violence'. The rules are explained here though I think you might have to actually see a game to figure out how they would work in practice.
posted by biffa on Aug 19, 2004 - 8 comments

He’s battered the sav again beautifully there, and it must be swelling now, it must be starting to hurt

If you're planning on watching the Rugby World Cup, you'll be sure to enjoy the full football experience by getting all your Rugby info via Australia's finest sporting commentators. (Last link is RealMedia - but you need to hear them to understand the appeal...) Rampaging Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson. They love sport so much, they even call role-playing games...
posted by backOfYourMind on Oct 15, 2003 - 8 comments

Sport is the winner

USA surrenders to very small country which must mean it's Rugby Union World Cup time again! With four billion people watching, can England finally be good at something or will New Zealand prove too strong? For those of you whose only introduction to Rugby was from an episode of Friends maybe it's time to learn the sometimes complex rules.
posted by meech on Oct 15, 2003 - 19 comments

Maggots: not just for dinner anymore

Maggot art! Ah, maggots - some folk find them gross (warning, gross), some find them tasty, some think they're pretty bad-ass, and name their hardcore band or rugby team after them. But truly, their greatest talent must be as artists.
posted by jearbear on Apr 12, 2003 - 7 comments

30 years ago, a group of Uruguayan rugby players traveled to Chile to play a game against a local team. Their plane crashed in the Andes Mountains. The 27 who survived the crash were forced to eat their teammates in order to survive. After 72 days in the mountains, 16 were rescued. Their story was told in the book Alive and later a movie by the same name. Today those survivors reunited in Chile and finally played the rugby game. The Uruguayans won.
posted by einarorn on Oct 13, 2002 - 10 comments

Think you're dedicated?

Think you're dedicated? Aussie football player has a finger chopped off at the first joint because it was affecting his ability to catch the ball.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet on Jan 23, 2002 - 11 comments

The Australian Rugby League cancelled the Australian Kangaroos rugby league team's tour of the UK after a small number of players were concered about their security. Now there's a major outcry from all over Australia and the UK regarding the cancellation, and they are being branded gutless, wimps, and cowards from both home and abroad. Great Britain hasn't beaten Australia in a rugby league test series in over 30 years, now there's talk it should be given to them by default. Quite pathetic of the ARL considering that the Australian Wallabies rugby union team (note to Americans - rugby league and rugby union are two different sports) have no doubts that their tour to Europe will go on as planned.
posted by Jase_B on Oct 11, 2001 - 10 comments

Invert rugby player: Hero?

Invert rugby player: Hero? Diversity is powerful: A passenger on the Pennsylvania plane who may have stormed the terrorists, Mark Bingham, was a 6'5" rugby player. A gay 6'5" rugby player. Hey, you never know who your friends are. Likely new contender for Toughest Sissy on the Planet status.
posted by joeclark on Sep 13, 2001 - 14 comments

Up Yours!

Up Yours! Accused of one of the most bizarre charges in the history of Rugby League, or sport in general, a player has been found guilty of poking his fingers up the anuses of three North Queensland players.
posted by aki on Mar 28, 2001 - 8 comments

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