It’s time for our Monday wrap of who has their name in lights and who is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons this past week.
THEY’RE ON FIRE!
Dan Mugford: The former Sale fly-half spoke out about depression last week in an honest and brave interview with the BBC. Mugford revealed his struggles but also that he is now on the right track with help from the Rugby Players Association. Good luck, Dan. His interview can be found here.
Bledisloe classic: That was special, wasn’t it? After a 20 minute delay this game was worth the wait as ten tries were scored in an end-to-end thriller in Dunedin. New Zealand eventually won thanks to Beauden Barrett’s late try but the game had it all. Well done to both sides.
Rory Arnold and the Wallabies: What a courageous performance that was from the Wallabies. Written off by the masses after that showing in Sydney, they started like a team eager to prove a point in Dunedin, racing into a 17-0 before being pegged back. Arnold was everywhere as, despite being part of a scrum that was going backwards, his work around the field was admirable. Certainly came of age in this thrilling international.
Black Ferns: Another epic contest on Saturday saw New Zealand seal a Women’s Rugby World Cup final victory over England. The game finished 41-32 with the crowd at Kingspan Stadium given a real contest to end what has been a successful tournament. Television viewing figures and stadium ticket sales were hugely encouraging and this Rugby World Cup has been another stride in the right direction for the Women’s game.
Springboks: Allister Coetzee’s charges claimed an impressive 41-23 bonus point victory in hostile surroundings against Argentina in Salta. Man of the match Siya Kolisi led the way with a super allround display and was rewarded with a brace of tries while Elton Jantjies is growing from strength to strength as the team’s chief playmaker. That result means the Boks have won five out of five Tests in 2017 but the acid test awaits when they take on the Wallabies and All Blacks away from home next month.
COLD AS ICE!
Cheika hate mail: Personal attacks such as the one Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika was subjected to after their loss to the All Blacks in Sydney in Round One of the Rugby Championship are always hugely frustrating to see. Cheika has revealed that he had received emails and was also contacted via his phone number. Why people choose to go down this shameful route is baffling to us and we hope this ends swiftly and those involved are brought to account.
Blue Bulls: Nollis Marais’ tenure came to an end last Sunday as he was “granted leave for the remainder of the 2017 season”. John Mitchell was confirmed as his replacement, with the decision coming following three straight Currie Cup defeats. It was a sad conclusion to Marais’ recent time at Loftus Versfeld as the pressure had been mounting for some time after Super Rugby. What followed? A 51-15 loss at the Pumas. Not a good week.
Bernard Foley: Harsh maybe after he claimed a well-taken try but Foley’s poor goal-kicking came back to haunt his side. His 33% offering off the tee saw him succeed with only two from his six attempts, leaving nine points on the field. He will be hurting following this loss.
Rob Webber: It was disappointing reading on Thursday when it was revealed that Sale Sharks and former England hooker Rob Webber had been found guilty of drink driving. The 31-year-old passed out at the wheel after pulling into a service station after six pints following a match at Sandbach Rugby Club and the court has fined him £1,833 with £285 court costs and banned the player from driving for 23 months.