Cook Cup frolics and a strangled cat
November 23, 2012
Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale enjoy the Cook Cup's capacity in the wake of their victory over England © Twitter
Welcome to the latest edition of The Sin Bin - our regular feature offering you some of the quirkier stories to emanate from the game we love.
There's not a ruck we will not delve into or a hospital pass we will avoid in a bid to bring you some of the more bizarre, humorous and downright daft stories, videos, pictures and soundbites from around the rugby globe. Got anything you think warrants a mention? Let us know
Australian rugby has a new hero. While Quade Cooper continues to dominate the headlines with his ever-increasingly dire spat with the Australian Rugby Union, Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins crossed for his first try in the green and gold of the Wallabies last weekend. The curly haired winger calls tries 'meat pie' and he was delighted to get a piece of the action when he crashed over at Twickenham. But it is the last few seconds of this video that are absolute gold. He seems a good egg and long may it stay that way.
Saracens conjure some special brew
Not content with playing their home matches on an artificial pitch and taking their games on the road, Saracens are now pushing the merchandising boundaries with their own ale. Yes, all that time at the Oktoberfest and in Brussels has clearly had some effect on the Aviva Premiership side and they have now secured their very own ale for when they move into their new digs in Barnet. A word of warning though from the ESPNscrum team, we have sampled Gloucester's own brand ale and in bottled form, it is near-impossible to pour.
Neighbours becoming good friends
Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper snuggle up © Twitter
The win over England has clearly done wonders for the mood in the Australian camp. They are now in Italy preparing for Saturday's Test with the Azzurri and due to the confined space in their hotel rooms, it looks like Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell are having to get very well acquainted with each other.
A strangled cat
It's no surprise that England have adopted their own official anthem singer after the somewhat dubiously named The Voice boomed out God Save the Queen and Advance Australia Fair at Twickenham last weekend. Judge for yourselves, but it was a woeful effort and even by our relatively untrained musical ears, they seem to have taken a very liberal take on hitting the right notes.
Their performance brought back memories of this epic performance by Ras Dumisani when he 'sang' Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.
Rugby changes lives - and saves them
A great example of the off-the-field powers of rugby occurred in Tarrytown, New York, this week. A local police trooper was called to the Tappan Zee Bridge as a man was preparing to jump. Harnessing his rugby skills, David Katz tackled the man to the ground and saved his life in the process. "I'm a rugby player, so I basically just tackled him as if I was playing rugby," Katz, a member of the New York Rugby Club, told The Journal News. "I think he was caught off guard. I didn't really want him to see me coming. So I ran toward him, jumped up to the top of the guardrail and tackled him. Then we both went down to the ground."
Grand Slam sorrow
This week witnessed the passing of John Hefin - a TV director and the former head of BBC Wales' drama department. His name may not ring a bell but one of his productions may trigger your memory - the1970s drama Grand Slam. Starring Windsor Davies this "bawdy" and "controversial comedy" was about a group of Welsh fans who travel to Paris to see their heroes take on France for the Grand Slam in 1977. If you haven't seen the film, featuring real life stars Gerald Davies, JPR Williams, and Phil Bennett, you can fill your boots here.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September