Category Archives: News and Updates

A day of Rugby, a day of celebration..

Oi, wake up from your drunken slumber, dreaming of men/women in green outfits after your heavy night celebrating St Paddy’s day…

That’s right, get your self down stairs, have a nice big cup of coffee and plonk your ass down and turn the TV on.

Because today

It’s GRAND SLAM DAY BABY..

Ireland have every reason to try and smash England, but with our continued winning run now standing at 18-0 since the man Eddie Jones took over we are looking for the triple crown, back to back Grand slams and a world record for unbeaten run.

So England have everything to Win and Lose.

Pressure will play a massive part, but I’m expecting you to have all your fingers and toes crossed, because just like millions of fans across the world, we all will be and hope England go out and dominate the game like they did against Scotland last week.

After a few games of slow starts, nervous butt clenching moments, England upped the gears last week to push themselves and come out rightful winners with a massive 40 point win margin over the independent seeking neighbours.

So let’s hope that the Irish were just like you and me, are turning up a bit rough and from a heavy night of celebrating a Welsh patron (hmm thought they were Irish) and put up as much resistance as a fish out of water (preferably a small one).

So get your popcorn, your beer, your snacks and get comfy, because today we will see history being made.

Till next time, enjoy and remember if you want your little ones to learn about the exciting game of Rugby, head over to www.miniruggers.com/signup to find out more and get in touch.

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An Anglo – Welsh Affair (Grounds for Divorce)

Today is the day in which England will face it’s toughest opposition (in my opinion) in the Six Nations tournament, where they will be facing their neighbour’s Wales in a grueling 80 minute heart pounding encounter in Cardiff at 16.50pm.

And where are you going to be, watching it hopefully, if not why are you even reading this, go hang your head in shame.

Alas I digress, you see this is seen by many as one of the greatest rivalries like New Zealand and Australia. Where two teams, who in their own rights have enough talent on their team sheet to be up their as the best, but yet in the last week struggled out of the starting blocks in the Six Nations opener.

We saw England last week ”struggle” to beat a defiant French team, and we saw even more bizarre a Wales team being ”beaten” by an Italian team at Half time to eventually come out of the blocks and win. But why has it taken them so long in a match to get going? is this going to be similar in this weeks game?

All I can say is watch, for I’m positive there will be millions around the world, glued to the TV looking to see the answer for themselves. Will the Welsh come out like the fierce dragons of myth, or will the English come out like the ”Bulldogs” the press have imaged them to be.

All I can say is this is two countries, who will go all out to try and win, they will give it there all. There will be blood spilt, there will be anger and tears it will be like an old married couple fighting for the bragging rights when settling a divorce, fighting for everything they believe they have the right too, the children, the house and even the money.

You see, on the front of everything, you see the fierce loyalty of the teams fans, but you don’t know much of the hatred each teams fans have for the others. This rivalry goes not back just to rugby but hundreds of years. The Welsh HATE the English and the English HATE the Welsh, end off.  The countries share borders, they share the pound even the Queen and one other very special thing, the game of RUGBY. And one thing I can guarantee you is the passion, the fierce rivalry and team (no) Country Spirit will be seen on the pitch in one of the most grueling and intense 80 minutes of rugby ever seen.

So whoever your supporting, whether its the Awesome, unbeaten run England, or the stuttering pansy girls called the Welsh (only joking) I hope you enjoy the game and remember, remember this is the 130th time it’s been England VS Wales, let’s enjoy it for another 130.

And remember if you want your kids to learn to be a rugby pro, whether they are offspring of seasoned vets and rugby is in their blood or never played before, head on over to www.miniruggers.com/signup to get registered for their free session today.

Bit of Kilt lifting and dropping the ball (Literally)

So yesterday was the opening to the 2017 RBS Six Nations WOOOOOOOO!!!

It’s been a major buzz with all the social media platform hype, everyone talking about England, will they win a second consecutive Six Nations title, would they be up for the challenge etc etc…

Well lets just firstly start by saying  FREEEEDDDOOOOMMM….

Wow what a result by what a result for Scotland, beating Ireland 27-22 during the opening match of this years Six Nations. A result that has shocked a lot of people expecting Ireland to dominate. A beautiful dummy from Stuart Hogg against Rob Kearney being the highlight with a lot of ridicule from the Scottish supporters after the match still on going. It almost reminds me of the scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson and the other Scots lift their kilts, annoying the English and then kick their asses in battle. Well played is all I can say to Hogg, enjoy it while it lasts.

Now i’ll be honest, I was thinking and expecting England to have a bit of a breeze when it came to our match against France. A lot of talk in the papers  about how they wouldn’t have the energy to put up much of a challenge due to a number of reasons. All excuses in my opinion, but on the day they put up a fight that England had not bargained for, why? maybe over confidence or even believing in the hype our national press was placing upon the England team of ”14 – 0”, ”Eddie Jones will guide them to another victory” etc etc…

Overall though, England came out eventual winners in a ”scrappy” 19-16 win in which they honestly should have put quite a few more tries over their European rivals. With what seemed to be a lack of confidence, quite a few dropped balls and a lot of ”amateur” mistakes, it seemed the French did enough to put England of their free flowing and expansive game that we have come accustomed too under Eddie Jones. Is this something the other teams will be looking to use as a strategy against England or was it just a blip on the radar that will instill confidence??

The answer will be shown over the next few matches, let’s see what happens.

Till next time, keep singing SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT… and if you want your little one to learn how to dummy like Hogg, head over to www.miniruggers.com/signup for more info.

Six Nations 2017 incoming!!!

WOOOOHOOOO, so super excited this week, do  you know why???

Yeah that’s right, I’m so excited because this coming Saturday, 4th February 2017, the 2017 6 Nations Tournament kicks off and England are in action against France live on ITV at 16.50pm.

So that mean’s get the beers ready, get the snacks out, put the wife on a spa day and drop the kids of at your parents, because International rugby kicks off with Scotland vs Ireland on BBC at 14.25pm, followed by England’s match at mentioned above.

Now normally I am quite happy and will watch every England match of the 6 Nations, but this year I’m really HYPED, and that is because of one man, and one man only who has made such a major change, that man is…..

Eddie Jones..

Did you just really ask WHO??…

Ah ok just winding me up are you? I was going to say you have to be living in a hole in a third world country not to know who this man is.

He is the best thing that has happened to England since Jonny Wilkinson and his drop goal Vs Australia to win the 2003 World Cup trophy.

He has brought new energy to this team, a great belief not only in their own abilities, but you can see each and every player, not only plays for himself, but also his team mates. Grinding out yards, making thumping hard tackles, this is the England the public has come to expect from having a southern hemisphere coach at the helm, where they play the only type of rugby we should be seeing in an international team, called Total Rugby.

Now don’ t get me wrong, all the previous coach’s England have had, Lancaster, Johnson, Ashton and Robinson have all brought their thing to the team since Clive Woodwards 7 year reign, but none have been as influential and seen such a change in the way the team plays since Woodward.

They go into this tournament having an unbeaten run spanning 14 matches, 13 though under Eddie Jones in 2016 alone. What will we see? I honestly don’t know as in come a few new fresh faces into the team, players who have trained and played hard to get the attention of Eddie Jones. But one thing I can promise you though is England will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders due to their current run and being current 6 Nations Champions.

But all I can say is let the games begin and I hope to be celebrating this time next week with another blog about the goings on’s, the upcoming games and also a little bit of exciting news for Mini-Ruggers.

Bit of a blatant pitch now but if your curious about our great classes, about our Mini-Ruggers team helping your children become the next internationals to grace the Twickenham or Murrayfield pitch, head over to www.miniruggers.com/signup to get in touch.

Falcons flying high

Here we are into the new New Year, 2017 is already passing us by and what a cold, wet, windy start it has been.

But there on the horizon is something, something moving fast, getting higher and higher, almost gliding gracefully up and up, what is it??

It’s the Newcastle Falcons

Let me explain…

As a lifelong fan, former player and just complete and utter Falcons RFC nut, it has been a hard few years, with the Falcons propping up the table, fighting relegation battle after battle, with a couple of wins a season from a highly talented team. But no, not this year, not the season of 2016-2017, the Falcons are flying higher than they have over the last few seasons, flying high up the table and enjoying the view on those below.

At this current moment they are 9th in the league, but this is a highlight for every Falcon fan as the club play with more heart and soul, there has been very few routings compared to previous seasons and we have enjoyed some BIG wins ourselves.  9th is a great achievement at this stage in the season but something I hope they build upon and look to the higher reaches of even 5th or 6th to end the season.

But the Falcons are not just flying high off the pitch, the Falcons are building on the fantastic support of local clubs and schools through the Falcons Community foundation that allows players and coaches alike help build the grass roots game in the local area. Local children are gaining from these encounters and camps on during school holidays to build the necessary skills to allow them to become the next pro players from the North East, which is paramount to the success of the local and grass roots game, building those foundations and letting them grow naturally. I am proud to say I know a lot of these coaches and have worked with some of them, they have a lot of passion about their job but more importantly the game, it becomes infectious and spreads like a disease, but a good one.

If you want your children to try out this great game, no matter their ability or previous experience, just click here to get in contact www.miniruggers.com/signup/ and we will be happy to oblige.

So till next time I say lets go Falcons, lets go……

 

Santa’s coming !!!

So just around the corner, less than a month and the big man is on his way. Santa is press ironing his outfit, making sure his list is up to date and making sure the reindeer are all up for a hard graft.

As you can most probably tell, Christmas is my favourite time of the year, except when your on holiday with your one and only, letting the waves crash against your body in some exotic country. But this time of year has something really special about it. The excitement of the children realising Santa is on his way, listening out with keen ears for the reindeer to land on the roof of their house, or is it because for us, we see and remember the magic in our own children. For me it’s the latter but I still get extremely excited to be able to spend the time with loved ones.

But with Rugby there is no off time, that’s correct, I will be playing over the winter months, training and coaching regardless like countless others, why ???

Because Practice makes perfect.

But with every little practice you start to pick up on things we were not aware of before, hands not being up as a target, holding the ball wrong, kicking the ball incorrectly. But this is a period for everyone to work on the little things and come the new year, kick of 2017 with energy and off course perfection.

So tell me, what are your imperfections, what did you achieve this year 2016, what are your New Year resolutions for 2017, what are you going to perfect for the New Year??

Watch out as next time, I’ll bare all and let everyone know what my achievements have been this year 2016 and what I am aiming for next year.

Inspiring future Olympians!!

So it’s been quite along time since we put words to screen and we have had a year of many ups and downs not just as a sport (early exit from home world cup) but as a country with the Olympics (and Brexit vote). Let me explain yeah?

After a dismal world cup in our own back yard, we as a nation were left bewildered over our national rugby. But then came some hope in the form on new head coach Eddie Jones and an unbelievable tour down under where we beat Australia 3-0.

This kicked started what would be an amazing Summer of sport with the Olympics around the corner. Already we have beaten out medal tally in Beijing 2008 and this has become the most successful Olympics abroad ever. But why is this such a big thing? Rugby 7’s was part of the Rio 2016 sports being introduced back into the fold since it was scrapped from the 1924 Olympics. The winners then were USA, but nearly 100 years later, in the Men’s final was Team GB and Fiji. This final was one of massive excitement here in England as only days earlier we had beaten the Argentinians only by a sudden death try after and grueling tough match. Team GB were out done by a country whose national sport is Rugby, which just goes to show that even the smallest countries can take the world by storm by becoming Olympic champions.

But why am I writing about this? Well its because of the coverage that it’s had in the media, not just the rugby 7’s success but people like Max Whitlock (Gymnast), Mo Farah and Usain Bolt have inspired thousands of people to take up sport again, whether its swimming, cycling or athletics, the world has gone crazy through people wanting to become future Olympians.

But there is one major flaw…

After the dust has settled and a few days turn in to a few weeks and then a couple of months, people quit what they took up. The millions become thousands, the thousands become a few hundred and then a few, people get bored and its wrong they shoul give up so quickly. This country and the world need to identify what stops people wanting to continue so come 4 years time people can live their dreams.

So lets agree on something, if your child(ren) want to become the future Marcus Watson (team GB rugby 7’s) or the future England Rugby Captain, I will help your child(ren) become what they want to achieve, together we will help develop and nurture our future sports stars. Book today for your child(ren)s free class www.miniruggers.com/signup to see first hand.

Watch out, the little teams are about…

Wow, what a start to the world cup, in the first 3 days of play there were 2 shocking results, lots of tears, and millions of drunk fans around the world.

 

Let me explaineth,
Firstly, Georgia,  heard of them?? not many people have except in the news about Russia and that Putin ”Bear Grylls” wannabe leader of theirs attacking them for oil. A team that normally gets beaten by the likes of a professional rugby union team Newcastle Falcons and normally gets overhauled by 30 or more points stood their ground and fought against Tonga,  a team who’s national sport is RUGBY.

Now your most probably thinking why is this a shock???? Quite simple..

 

Tonga are known as massive hitters in the world of rugby, massive high impact tackles, fast running play and great awareness about the sport they are raised to know from childhood, it’s in their DNA. It’s like mixing Spiderman with the Incredible Hulk, the speed and power is ferocious.

ANNDD GEORGIA WON.

 

The reason they won may have been a fluke, I don’t doubt at all a replay would see Tonga trounce them, but they went into their tackles and overturned Tonga on more occasions than once and just basically played the basics better… So as we always say, don’t try beating them at their own game, just do the basics right and you should WIN, which is evident from Georgia’s tactics.

Now onto the the real shock..JAPAN beating the Springboks, South Africa.

That’s right, those manga loving, Saka drinking Japanese. The Cherry blossoms fashionably called. Now I have to admit, I have always admired the Japanese, their way of life, their way of playing rugby is hugely exciting and well we can’t forget their guts and determination (Pearl harbour, anyone remember). They went at South Africa with every ounce of willing, courage and bravado, that would make Jonny Bravo look jealous and came away with a well deserved and hard fought win. But more than anything it made everyone and I mean EVERYONE sit up and take notice of the little guy beating Goliath. Now today in two hours time they take on the Scottish, who for some unknown reason have had their 16th player banned (no not Dodi weir) their fans making loud noises with Bag pipes.

Now I’m not saying the Scottish with bag pipes will go all Braveheart on the Japanese (cue specific quote about freedom), but the ability it has on stirring up affection and pride inside one can make a massive impact. I believe the Japanese have enough in depth and heart alone to keep the Scottish at bay and today, we will see potentially another upset against a team who have beaten Ireland and Wales in recent years. So with all cheer and heart lets shout

 

LETS GO JAPAN WOOOO.

Rugby World Cup Mania..

So today’s the day, no more waiting and tonight at 8PM (GMT) KICK OFF WOOHOOO

 

What am I talking about, well the Rugby World Cup of course, England VS Fiji…..

 

The excitement of the tournament will hopefully bring hysteria to the home nations, with more and more people taking part in the sport, supporting their home teams (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) and just in general following the craze of a World cup.

For me, not only will I be cheering on England, the 2003 World Champions but I’ll be very much intrigued by the lesser teams such as Romania, Georgia and not forgetting the highly entertaining USA and Japan.

Who’s gonna win, I think England are in for a shout but I really would love to see Argentina or one of the pacific Island teams make it through to the final as well (Fiji, Tonga or Samoa), making it a difference to previous World cup monopoly on teams such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England.

But here’s to all you budding fans out there, have a nice cold one, cheer on a team you enjoy watching and more importantly just have a lot of fun.

Cheers..

 

P.S  Keep an eye of for my Blogs throughout the World cup, with another due out later today…

 

Peace

Learning from defeat..

So I don’t know if you watched England’s game on Saturday or not, if you did you would have seen a disastrous 65 minutes of play by England and be upset about how long it took for the team to gel

Or

you might have been cheering for the French if your one of the ”other” international supporters…..

BUT

what I noticed about the game was just how important readiness and preparation for a game of this magnitude must take.

Let me explain for those of you who don’t fully understand –

You see they watch game footage and more game footage, looking at positional strength, technique in the scrum, defensive lines, attacking lines and plays, who’s deep, who’s not..

But with a team like France, it’s extremely hard for a team to be prepared. Their hard hitting centers and forwards just makes it harder and harder for preparation as each brings more than just experience in their own positions, but others as well.

England were not fully prepared, and to be honest, the pitch didn’t help at all especially in the scrums, but they were poor all over the park, especially in line outs and discipline.

But one thing we can be sure off is that England will take this in their stride, will it dent their confidence going into the Rugby World Cup? potentially but knowing the team, they will want to bounce back and use this defeat as a learning lesson not to be over confident over another team, including Fiji.

Let’s hope they are patient, and instead of working as individual’s, work as a team. Let’s hope they work on the discipline and keep their eyes on the ULTIMATE prize…

 

THE WEB ELLIS TROPHY