Oz dying for Bledisloe: Dagg
New Zealand fullback Israel Dagg said his side are ‘dying’ to keep the Bledisloe Cup ahead of their Rugby Championship clash with Australia in Sydney on Saturday. The All Blacks have retained the cup for 13 years in a row and Dagg says they know that the Wallabies are desperate to win it back.
“There’s a lot of expectation, you know, New Zealand and Australia, Bledisloe Cup, it doesn’t get any bigger,” Dagg said.
“There’s that special trophy that Australia are dying for and we are dying to keep so it’s going to be so it’s going to be tough out there. “Guys are going to be throwing their bodies around and there’s going to be times when we’re going to be under pressure, but that’s why we play the game because you want to be at the top, you want to be playing the best players out there and doing it with your mates. “When it gets to the 80th minute and you’ve played well and you’ve defended your hearts out, that’s when you get the enjoyment of really going to battle with your mates. Then when you do score some tries you can hot dog like Beauden Barrett or Brodie Retallick.” Dagg said his re-emergence as a top-flight footballer has come from just enjoying his rugby opposed to putting too much pressure on himself. “For me, all year has been about having fun and getting out there and just expressing yourself. This is why we play the game; we want to grab the ball, run around and have some fun with your mates.
- Planet Rugby
Catch first, think later. That is the mantra Israel Folau has adopted as he braces for a barrage of bombs from the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup Test on Saturday.
The Wallabies superstar is set to be named at fullback despite playing outside centre for the Waratahs this year, and with the All Blacks having successfully targeted Folau in previous encounters by putting up high balls and swarming him with defenders so he is not a threat in counter-attack. But Folau says his only concern is doing the job he is the world’s best at; catching the high ball. “You can’t really do much if the kicks are pinpoint accurate,” Folau said. “My job during that time is obviously to catch the ball and after that, if it is a good kick, they get time to get defenders right on you. My first job is to catch the ball, and I think about what I can do after that. “They have some great kickers in their team, right from the base there with Aaron Smith. It’s going to be a tough job for the guys at the back.” Folau has won a host of trophies in his league and union careers, but remains exasperated at never having won a Bledisloe series like the rest of his teammates.
“It hurts a lot, it gives us a bit more motivation to want to go out there and give everything that we have, not only for the team, but for the rest of the country,” Folau said. “It’s always a proud moment to pull on the Wallaby jersey, but you want to go out there and leave it all out there.”
Folau reiterated that it is the All Blacks, not the Wallabies, who will be under all the pressure in this Test having held the Bledisloe Cup for 13 consecutive years. “We’re the underdog, there’s no pressure at all from our end,” Folau said. “You don’t think about how long it has been.”- Herald Sun
Business Day. “Having beaten SA last year‚ it would be great to beat them again‚ and to start (the competition) with a victory.” The Argentine loose-forward added that from the Boks’ series with Ireland it is clear they want to play with ball in hand. “You can see that SA is now playing more with the ball (in hand) ‚ and not the old direct and physical game. They have new moves‚ playing the ball more and playing a more dynamic game‚“added Matera.Sport24
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has confirmed that Isa Nacewa has been selected as the Irish province’s club captain for the 2016/17 season. Nacewa was initially appointed to the role last season on a temporary basis when Kevin McLaughlin was forced to retire from the game after only one round of the PRO12. The appointment was made permanent for the remainder of the season after the Rugby World Cup. Commenting on the appointment Cullen said: “Isa made a superb contribution to the club on his return last season. He stepped up brilliantly in Kev’s absence and then just grew into the role as the season went on”.
The former Fiji international scored nine tries in 23 games upon his return to Leinster colours last season but missed out on a place in the PRO12 Final against Connacht due to an arm injury.