Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
4 March 2015
NEW ZEALAND SEVENS TEAMS IN THE 2014-15 SERIES (In brackets; are the Keith Quinn performance ratings for each player out of 10 so far this season)
GC DB PE WN LV HK TK SC ENG CAREER
Tomasi Cama (5) x - - - -
Scott Curry (9) x x x x x
Sam Dickson (7) x x x x x
DJ Forbes (6) x x x x -
Gillies Kaka (7) x x x x x
Tim Mikkelson (6) x x x - -
Lote Raikabula (4) x - - - x
Sherwin Stowers (7) x x x x x
George Tilsley (1) x - - - -
Joe Webber (7) - x x x x
Matt Clutterbuck (1) x - - - -
Tony Ensor (1) x - - - -
Murphy Taramai (5) - x x x x
Declan O'Donnell (2) - x x - -
Sam Vaka (3) x x x - -
Kurt Baker (4) - x x - -
Ambrose Curtis (6) - x x x x
Dylan Collier (6) - - - x x
Reiko Ioane (7) - - - x x
Beaudine Waaka (5) - - - x x
Jack Goodhue (5) - - - x x
After Las Vegas, New Zealand had used 21 players on the HSBC World Sevens series.
Thus the ABs beat the Lions 18-17. Shocking really - but hey! We'll take it!
You cannot have a rugby match without a ball. According to legend, the ball that William Webb Ellis picked up and ran with at Rugby School in 1823 was similar in shape to the oval ball of today. Why Rugby School played with an oval football before running with it in one’s hands was allowed is a mystery, but the evidence is that balls of that shape were used for many years before Webb Ellis attended the school.
It could be that different forms of football were traditionally played with a pig’s bladder as the ball. Any good pig-hunter will tell you that a pig’s bladder, when inflated, is basically oval in shape. When, by 1840, leather covers were made for the bladders, they were fitted to that shape. Thus today’s rugby ball is a direct throwback to the pig’s bladder balls that were kicked around the playing fields of Rugby School early in the nineteenth century. The ‘feet only’ game of association football adopted the round ball on its own.
For years South African rugby favoured using an eight-paneled leather ball, as distinct from the standard four panels used elsewhere. In 1961 it joined the rest of the world in adopting the four-panel ball.
The first rubber bladders were made in 1870. Another significant change to the rugby ball came in 1931 when the rather squat shape of the early ball, which made for easier place-kicking and drop-kicking, was replaced by a narrower, more torpedo-like shape that is able to be passed more easily. The length was shortened by one and a half inches (35mm). A lace to hold the inner bladder together used to be found on every ball, but is now missing from the modern ball.
The main other differences that exist in the modern ball are that they are made out of synthetic rubber and have thousands of raised lumps on their surface. All are designed to give greater grip for the players’ handling. Whether they do aid catching and dispatching in a pass is the subject of endless debate among rugby watchers.
Also used on every ball are various brand names, as companies vie to have their ball used in major televised fixtures and therefore expand brand exposure and sales.
What did the famous Welsh and British Lions hooker Bobby Windsor achieve on his 42nd birthday?