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Breakdowns of the Teams in the 2019 Six Nations 0

Posted on January 03, 2019 by Jack Rose

6 nations-2England

England may go into the tournament with low confidence if their recent run of defeats continues. Despite that, they have a very strong squad and their admirably reliable kicker Owen Farrell provides outstanding leadership from anywhere on the pitch, be it in the centre or at fly half. Farrell will look to push his side to victory next spring after a disappointing outing in this year’s tournament with England finishing fifth overall.

Exciting duo Elliot Daly and Jonny May bring a touch of flair to the side and their form in the tournament, along with the team fixing their recent defensive frailties, will have a big impact on England’s success this time out. England rugby could use a lift after some disappointing results and the Six Nations is the perfect opportunity to return to the top.

Ireland

Irish rugby is in a healthy state at the moment as evidenced by some impressive performances recently, most notably a victory against New Zealand in a friendly, only their second ever win against the All Blacks. A glorious grand slam win of this year’s Six Nations, in which they defeated all five opponents, has resulted in them being the huge favourites in the next tournament. The Irish are currently ranked number two in the rankings.

Hugely experienced full back Rob Kearney has been imperative to that recent success. The most decorated player in Ireland’s history, Kearney has over 80 caps for his country and provides the experienced knowhow crucial to being a successful number 15. Read the rest of this entry →

Is Rugby on the Verge of Something Big? 2

Posted on August 31, 2017 by John Harris
One of the 10 most popular sports globally, rugby is gaining in popularity in the United States.

One of the 10 most popular sports globally, rugby is gaining in popularity in the United States.

Rugby is one of the world’s ten most popular sports but, until now, with a few exceptions, it has largely been dominated by countries from the Commonwealth.

That could be all set to change, though, as the US looks ready to embrace “the hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.”

Increasing popularity in the US

Rugby has long been established on this side of the Atlantic, with the men’s national team featuring in all but one of the Rugby World Cups held since the tournament’s establishment in 1987.

With record crowds attending international tournaments and a ten-fold increase in participation among college students over the past ten years, it’s clear that rugby has tapped into a new market in the US. But why is this, and can it break the “Big Four” monopoly over here?

The future of US rugby

American football, baseball and basketball are the traditional US sports that the majority of the country has an interest in, while ice hockey is popular in Canada and the northern states. Soccer, with the help of the 1994 World Cup, Major League Soccer, and the involvement of British stars such as David Beckham and Steven Gerrard, has joined them in recent years, and rugby could also be making a play to break into this top tier.

115,000 players are registered with US rugby – a significant player base to tap into considering the multitude of sports that are played. Compare that to Australia, traditionally one of the best sides in the world. Though the population is obviously much smaller, only 86,000 are registered Down Under. More and more clubs are being set up and, despite the demise of PRO Rugby (the first North American professional rugby league) in 2016, it’s surely only a matter of time until a successful domestic competition is established.

Last year, Soldier Field in Chicago played host to Ireland v New Zealand, a historic game that saw the Boys in Green defeat the All Blacks for the first time in their history. The attendance was over 60,000 – a sure sign that rugby now has a significant audience in the US. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Once In A Lifetime Sporting Experiences To Tick Off 2

Posted on June 01, 2017 by John Harris

5-Experiences-1Being a sports fan comes with passion, dedication, heartbreak, and ecstasy. It is a lifestyle littered with the unpredictable. But no matter who you support or what sport you play, there is one thing all sports fans can agree on; live events always offer up the best experiences you’ll ever be apart of. That’s why we have compiled a list of some absolutely must-have experiences every sports nut should soak up in person, with your own eyes; your heart beating so hard you can see it through your shirt.

5-Experiences-2The Kentucky Derby

Being in the infield at the Kentucky Derby is one of those rare experiences that you are likely to never forget, and yet may not remember either. The atmosphere, the booze, the suave suits and crazy hats and the big bucks get thrown down. It is electric. Yes, there is something nice and fancy about being in a suite, but nothing beats being in the middle of drunken horse-racing fans, cheering and jeering their horse with the dreams of leaving a little richer. Read the rest of this entry →

British and Irish Lions – Then and Now 0

Posted on May 08, 2017 by John Harris

British and Irish LionsThe British and Irish Lions is a rugby union team that comprises players from any of the Home Nations, i.e. England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. With their 2017 New Zealand tour coming up, we’ve decided to take a walk down memory lane and uncover some of the key moments in this Test side’s history.

1950 – The team became known as the British Lions rather than the British Isles. This was the first time in 14 years that the Lions had toured and lasted nearly 8 months.

1955 – During the 1955 season, the Lions went up against the South African Springboks in a rare shared series. This year, the Lions made history by featuring Irish winger Tony O’Reilly, the team’s youngest test player at the age of 19 years and 91 days.

1959 – The Australian tour as straightforward from the beginning, but since the League was a far bigger game than the Union games; the team lost the series to New Zealand.

1962 – During this tour the Lions visited Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya after losing to the South African Springboks.

1966 – This was the last year the Lions played against two nations on one trip, namely Australia and New Zealand.

1968 – This was a disappointing tour for the Lions. First, they lost to South Africa, and then many of its members left the team to play Rugby League professionally once they returned home.

1971 – This was a glorious year for the Lions as Coach Carwin James inspired the team to their only series win in New Zealand.

1974 – This was one of the most successful tours in Lions’ history, but a disallowed Fergus Slattery try in the final minute resulted in a loss for the side.

1977 – The team was plagued with injuries and homesickness during the 1977 tour. Things got so bad that the Lions even lost to Fiji on their way home. Read the rest of this entry →

Sports Betting History Examined- Now and Then 0

Posted on March 07, 2017 by Beth Casey

gladiators-1The Early History of Sports Betting

Sports betting is thought to be a very old practice: the first evidence of its existence is over 2 000 years old. The first nation to be believed to indulge in this pastime were the Greeks, famous for their love of sporting activities, who used to place bets on a variety of athletic events.

The Romans then went on to usurp this Grecian habit, taking it further by rendering it a more commercial activity. They even assigned it a legal status, and bet on events like the Gladiator games. Even when this event ceased to be practiced, the gambling aspect of it survived, and went on to thrive in the various kingdoms the Romans established.

The Medieval Wagering Practices

In medieval times, some leaders frowned upon the practice of betting, and attempts were made to make laws forbidding it. This, however, only resulted in sports betting going underground, where it persisted, and underwent major evolutionary steps as new athletic activities were introduced.

Sporting Betting in England and Surrounds

Eventually gambling took off in England, with people there particularly fond of betting on horse racing events. The English took this love of gambling with them when they populated the rest of the planet, particularly the United States of America, and it was incredibly common with the inhabitants of the New World. Legal issues once again plagued the practice, however, a problematic situation that continues for American sports bettors today. Read the rest of this entry →

Some Brave Predictions for the 2015 Rugby World Cup 0

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Samantha Waites
Who will lift the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

Who will lift the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

For Rugby fans, the next sixty odd days can’t pass quickly enough. The 2015 Rugby World Cup is fast approaching and Rugby enthusiast just can’t wait for it to take stage. The wait for the World cup will be over in just over two-month’s time and following are a few brave predictions from me concerning the event.

The All Blacks won’t defend their Title

For Rugby fans around the world, loving the All Blacks is a hard thing to do since they pretty much win everything in sight. However, despite being the world’s best Rugby team at this point of time, it will be hard for team from New Zealand to defend its title. The reason for this is simple—they haven’t won a World Cup outside of their home soil. I cannot see the trend changing this time around.

The Irish will finally make it to the Semi-Finals

The Irish have tried again and again in World Cups to reach the Semi-Finals but for one reason or the other always seems to fall short of their mark. However, a maiden World Cup Semi-Final appearance is what the Irish victories against SpringBoks and Australia in the calendar year 2014 indicates.

Fiji will become a sorry tale a week after the Cup kicks off

Playing without some of their best players doesn’t help the cause of the most flamboyant Pacific island nation. The first five days of the competition is going to be tough period for Fiji as they’ll have to tackle two time Rugby champions: Australia with some of their star players missing.

Samoa will give Scotland a Scare

In the 2015 Rugby World Cup I can see the tiny nation of Samoa giving a massive scare to the team from Great Britain: Scotland. However, I can also see the Scots eventually coming through this nail-biting affair. Read the rest of this entry →

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      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

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