What is a Garryowen?

What is a Garryowen? Not to be confused with American stand-up comedian Gary Owen, ‘Garryowen’ is a rugby union term used to describe a high, tactical kick, otherwise known as an ‘up-and-under’. Garryowen is Gaelic for ‘Eóin’s Garden’, but its use to describe a rugby manoeuvre derives from the name of Garryowen Football Club, or Garryowen, for short, in Limerick, Ireland. Historically, one of the most successful clubs in Irish rugby union, Garryowen FC won the Munster Senior Cup three years running between 1924 and 1926, executing the tactic on each occasion.

Although there are risks involved, the Garryowen is an attacking tactic. The aim is to kick underneath the ball, so that it travels as high in the air as possible, rotating end over end, without covering any great distance. Correctly executed, the Garryowen allows attacking players enough time to chase down the kick, arrive in numbers and compete for the ball as it descends from the heavens.

Of course, it is entirely possible that a defending player can safely win back possession, but catching a high ball is often touch-and-go, especially in the face of opposing players, in potentially wet and/or windy conditions. Consequently, the risk of losing possession is mitigated by putting the defending team under pressure, which can lead to handling errors, infringements and scoring opportunities for the attacking team.

What’s the record winning margin in an international rugby match?

What’s the record winning margin in an international rugby match? The record for the widest winning margin in an international rugby match is held jointly by Argentina and Japan; interesting the record was set by Argentina on May 1, 2002 and equalled by Japan just over two months later.

In their match, against Paraguay, at the Mendoza Rugby Club in western Argentina, Los Pumas ran up a score of 152 points, including 24 tries, without reply; left wing Facundo Soler, right wing Jose Nunez Piossek and lock Pedro Sporleder all scored four tries apiece. Not to be outdone, in their match, against Chinese Taipai, at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo, the Cherry Blossoms scored 155 points, including 23 tries, with just a solitary penalty in reply; left wing Daisuke Ohata, who later became the leading tryscorer in international rugby, scored eight tries.

Coincidentally, Japan were on the receiving end when New Zealand recorded the widest winning margin in the history of the Rugby World Cup, in South Africa in 1995; the All Blacks ran in a record 21 tries en route to a 145-17 victory.

For the record, in club rugby, the widest winning margin was achieved, under peculiar circumstances, in a match between Royal Kituro and Soignies in the top division of the Belgian league in 2015. After the referee was delayed, by over an hour, the most of the Soignies players departed, along with their coach, assuming the match had been cancelled. However, the match did go ahead and, in protest, the remaining Soignies players allowed the opposition to score, unhindered, throughout the match. Royal Kituro eventually scored 356 points, including 56 tries, against a lone drop goal, to win by a margin of 353 points.

What is the wooden spoon?

What is the wooden spoon? The wooden spoon is figurative booby prize awarded, in good-natured ridicule, to the team that finishes bottom of the table in the annual Six Nations rugby tournament. Historically, a real, physical wooden spoon was presented to the student who achieved the lowest mark in the final honours degree examinations, known as tripos, in mathematics at Cambridge University, but still earned a third-class degree. The last such spoon was awarded at Cambridge University in 1909, but 15 years earlier, the ‘South Wales Daily Post’ had already used the term, in the correct sense, in connection with rugby union.

The Six Nations began life as the Home Nations Championship – as the name suggests, featuring just England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – in 1883. Since then, Ireland has won the wooden spoon 29 times, followed by Scotland on 21, England on 19 and Wales on 16. The Home Nations Championship became the Five Nations Championship between 1910-1931 and 1947-1999, with the addition of France, and the Six Nations Championship from 2000 onwards, with the addition of Italy. France has won the wooden spoon 12 times, but Italy has already finished bottom of the table in 13 of its 19 appearances.

Who is the leading tryscorer in international rugby union?

Who is the leading tryscorer in international rugby union? Rugby union is the most popular form of rugby, globally, and is played in over a hundred countries on six countries. Indeed, rugby union is the national sport in developed countries, such as New Zealand, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Georgia – all of whom have played, at one time or another, in the Rugby World Cup – and even in Madagascar, which is one of the least developed countries in the world, according to the United Nations.

Half a dozen players have scored 50 or more tries in international rugby, but the leading tryscorer of all time is the former Japanese wing, and occasional centre, Daisuke Ohata. Ohata rose to prominence in the World Rugby Sevens Series but, having scored a hat-trick on his debut for the Japanese national team on November 9, 1996, went on to play 58 test matches. All in all, he scored 69 tries and, while his record was criticised because he spent much of his career playing inferior nations, he also scored tries against against France, Ireland, Wales and Argentina.

Second place on the list of all-time tryscorers in international rugby is former South African wing Bryan Habana, with 67 tries. A Rugby World Cup winner in 2007, Habana also jointly holds the record, with Jonah Lomu, for the number of tries scored in a single Rugby World Cup tournament (8) and for the number of tries scored at the Rugby World Cup (15). Habana is closely followed by former Australian wing and full-back David ‘Campo’ Campese, with 64 tries in 101 test matches; Campese was the first Australian player to participate in hundred test matches.

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