Tuesday, 6 September 2016

20 Amazing Rugby Trivia Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

If the Sydney Morning Herald is any guide, then the secret to a successful website is loading it full of clickbait. And the secret to successful clickbait is a heading featuring a number, the word 'Amazing' and an over the top phrase such as 'Blow Your Mind'. So this being a Rugby blog, here's the Rolling Maul's contribution to the world of sports trivia presented for no other reason than to increase traffic to this blog.

Having said, that, these are pretty amazing...

Monday, 28 March 2016

Burst Bubbles and Dawning Reality - Super Rugby's 8 greatest disappointments

That sound you hear is the thud of Super Rugby teams coming down to earth. It’s what occurs when the helium-like inflation of expectation becomes overwhelmed by the gravity of reality. This usually occurs at dawn.

The effects of gravity when in the stratosphere can be barely perceived. But the inevitable plunge of a Super Rugby team to earth caused by poor results and on and off field dramas, gathers pace, accelerating and accelerating until nothing can slow the team's descent. It doesn’t matter if the coach is jettisoned or underperforming players are off loaded, the debris scattering the fields at the end of the season's plunge to earth will be testament to the false hopes and dreams of players, fans and the media.

So who are the greatest disappointments and where are the biggest burst bubbles? Here's the top 8...

Monday, 8 February 2016

10 Observations from the Sydney Rugby 7s

I haven't really watched a lot of Rugby 7s. That's because at the end of the day I'm a sports snob. Test Cricket, 15-a-side Rugby and grand slam or David Cup tennis only. Throw in the Olympics so that I can enjoy becoming an expert at every obscure sport I'd never otherwise watch (hockey, luge, athletics, volleyball (not beach volleyball of course) water polo etc) and that's about it.

So when the Rugby 7s circus arrived in Sydney and pitched its tent at the Sydney Football Stadium then I was naturally reluctant to roll up even if I knew the clowns might amuse me in an awkward scary sort of way. But roll up I did. Here's 10 things I discovered...

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

All Blacks Haunt the Wallabies - Well it was Halloween

English forward pack still hungry - for brains
Two days after the final and the dust has finally settled on the Rugby World Cup, even if England's post-mortems continue almost a month after the brutal murder (there isn't going to be a zombie resurrection even if the final was held on Halloween. The apocalypse is here. Get used to it).

Nonetheless, the Rolling Maul is still so very very tired. Not tired of Rugby mind you, and the lack of sleep isn’t an issue either (English readers finding it difficult to watch the final should just be grateful they didn't have to watch it at 3am).

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Wallaby Bloodbath

Never give up. Never Surrender.

Just like the knight in The Holy Grail, the Wallabies kept ignoring their flesh wounds and carried on fighting until the enemy gave up.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 Tipping and Betting Guide Part 3 - The Real Contenders

Click here for Part 1 - the Minnows
Click here for Part 2 - the 'Second Tier'

The reality is, there are only a handful of nations with a chance of winning the Rugby World Cup. Or maybe there's only one - New Zealand. It really depends on your state of delusion.

Highly delusional people outside of New Zealand point to the All Blacks' poor World Cup record outside of New Zealand. And that's about it. There isn't any other factor pointing to anything other than the All Blacks lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy at the end of the tournament.

Slightly delusional people use phrases such as 'on their day', 'impact players' and 'anything can happen in the knock-out phase'.

But for the rest of us who don't live in la-la land, anything less than an All Blacks victory will be a shock, but a very pleasant one. Unless England win of course.

So who are these pretenders to the All Blacks crown? And what of the All Blacks themselves?...

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 Tipping and Betting Guide Part 2 - The 'Second Tier'

Click here for Part 1 - The Minnows
Click here for Part 3 - The Real Contenders

How do you define a second tier nation in Rugby? When does a nation graduate from the Minnows or get relegated from the first tier of World Cup contenders? Well, for the purposes of this World Cup Guide it pretty much comes down to tradition. And the odds. And gut feel. So in short, there is no hard and fast rule. Much like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, if you believe it then it is true (though even my kids don't believe in Italy).

So how will they fare this year? Well pretty poorly obviously, But that doesn't mean that they won't bring passions, flare and excitement to the tournament. Oh, and the chance to lay a few hard earned or tip a few tight ones...

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 Tipping and Betting Guide Part 1 - The Minnows

Click here for Part 2 - The Second Tier
Click here for Part 3 - the Real Contenders

The Rugby World Cup is on again. Just like just about every other sport's World Cup. And the Olympics. And US Presidential elections. What is is about 4 year cycles? That's a topic for another blog post (and probably another blog) but this blog is more interested in cashing in (and we don't mean through Google advertising).

Who will win and who will lose the World Cup is a largely limited question given the handful of teams with a genuine chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup at tournament's end. But fortunately there is sports betting and tipping competitions to keep us interested in every game. Even those featuring the so-called minnows - the tiny fish in the big pond who make up the numbers and much of the passion. They'll never win the Cup but they'll have a lot of fun trying.

So how will they fare, and are they worth a punt or a tip?...

Friday, 12 June 2015

Whining About the New Wallabies Jersey

Greg Chappell models the
new Wallabies jersey
So the new Wallabies jersey is yellow. And looks like a soccer shirt. And doesn’t have a collar. And looks like a bird that’s eaten too much spinach has shat stars on the right shoulder. And if it’s cold you’ll be able to see the player’s nipples. And the socks dry 8 times as quick as normal socks (good for the mums?). So what?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Wallabies End of Year European Tour 2014 Tipping and Betting Guide

Now that the Wallabies coaching dramas are behind them (yeah right), the Kurtley Beale saga is settling down (yeah right), ARU administration concerns are over (yeah sure) and all inside camp Wallaby is love, peace and mung beans (possible, not really) all eyes turn towards Europe where things can be made good again and the dramas of 2014 can be consigned to the wheelie bin of history (the one with the red lid, you certainly wouldn't want to recycle any of that garbage).

So there's plenty to play for for the men in gold but also plenty of interest for punters and tipsters with an eye for a bargain. The annus horribilis means the Wallabies are probably on the nose so it's likely they're generally going to be good value. But how good? This tipping and betting guide is your ticket to riches...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wallabies Dodge Bullets On and Off Field


Phew, that was close. For a moment there it looked like the Wallabies were a settled team singing from the same hymn book with an inspiring coach, an impressive string of victories and a fawning public becoming comfortable with the concept of a potential World Cup victory.


Fortunately it took all of about a week and a half for those illusions to be shattered, and now we can look forward to some good old fashioned desperation.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Best crowd sledge ever? A National Rugby Championship Match Report

The Rolling Maul has been taking it easy since the end of the Super Rugby and reverted to just being a normal Rugby enthusiast, watching games live and on TV and just generally basking in what was a honeymoon period for Australian Rugby up until the All Blacks came along and ruined it for everyone.

Fortunately, the National Rugby Championship has provided some ongoing sanity in amongst the Wallaby carnage. Score blow outs aside and the dismal performance of the local team the Sydney Stars notwithstanding, it's been a largely high-spirited and willing competition even if the defence has left a bit to be desired.

So yesterday the Rolling Maul packed up the family and headed out by tram to Leichhardt Oval to watch the Stars take on their country cousins the Charles Sturt University New South Wales Country Eagles. Seriously, that's what the ground announcer called them every time.