Sunday Social: Special Sam, Beauden magic and lost bets

Date published: March 7 2021

It is time for Planet Rugby’s Sunday Social, your quirky recap of the serious and not so serious talking points from the past week’s action.

We start with Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds, who has had another stunning season so far, and BT Sport gave a complete rundown of all his tries in 2020/21 prior to the Bath game on Saturday.

And of course Simmonds went on to grab another one, this time in front of British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, leading many to wonder whether the England discard will instead be playing against South Africa in July and August.

As for Exeter, they just don’t want him to stop scoring with the defending champions moving back up to second in the table.

Simmonds’ omission is a common theme for in-form Premiership players, with Eddie Jones resisting the pressure to select certain individuals that are standing out in England’s top-tier.

All Blacks great Beauden Barrett was less impressed with the Bath v Exeter encounter, however, with water carriers often entering the field, and we very much agree with the fly-half.

Barrett is currently plying his trade in Japan and both started and finished this wonderful try. It’s fair to say that the two-time World Player of the Year has began well at new club Suntory Sungoliath.

Continuing with All Blacks starring in Japan and TJ Perenara has settled in nicely. He has been a key component at NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes and showed how to win a game late on with this wonderful score.

Keeping with the theme of magic rugby, it is back to the Premiership now where Sale’s AJ MacGinty produced this obscene off-load to set up Lood de Jager’s try in their win over Newcastle Falcons.

From current Sale players to a former one and Mike Haley showed his class here with a superb solo crossing for Munster in their win over Connacht in the PRO14.

But the weekend’s big story, of course, came in the Championship where an international-laden Saracens lost their opening game of the season to Cornish Pirates.

That prompted us to head to the meme bank again and this Would I Lie To You? statement seemed an ideal fit for the loss. Is promotion not a foregone conclusion?

Speaking of Saracens and Andrew Forde did some digging over the week after their England captain, Owen Farrell, ranted at the referee in the Wales-England game.

That Six Nations result has continued to be in the spotlight but for a refreshing change it has remained light-hearted as bets are honoured. Here’s Joe Marler.

While his Quins team-mate, Mike Brown, stayed true to his word and wore a Wales jersey at training after losing a bet with Scott Baldwin. Great stuff, guys.