To say the the Rugby World Cup has kicked off with a bang is an understatement. Tries aplenty, some massive hits, and the game’s biggest stars were all show in the first couple games, but the action has just begun, so we’ve picked five key players that you should keep your eye on for Week 2:
Wesley Fofana (France)
Louis Picamoles was absolutely immense against Italy in Week 1 of the tournament, causing all kinds of havoc for the Italians, but we have to go with the mercurial Wesley Fofana this week. France will be playing Romania, ranked 17th in the world. France are undoubted favourites to win the match and its a chance for French coach Phillipe Saint-Andre to give some players returning from injury a good run. Wesley Fofana will be playing in the No. 12 jersey and will be a pivotal strike-weapon for Les Bleus. His brilliant footwork and strong fend should be on show as Fofana pushes for a starting XV position against Canada and Ireland in France’s next two pool games following Romania.
Israel Folau (Australia)
Australia’s shining fullback Israel Folau has risen the ranks of the Wallabies in three short years since making his debut. He will be playing his first World Cup match this week against Fiji – a challenge he’ll be eager to thrive against. Fiji are a team who won’t necessarily kick down Folau’s throat for him to counter-attack, but he should get a lot of turnover ball to pounce and will be desperately needed as a last line of defence against the dangerous Fijian backline. England fullback Mike Brown proved to have a great game against Fiji, and Folau will be looking to top that come Wednesday night.
Nikola Matawalu (Fiji)
Fiji’s elusive scrumhalf Nikola Matawalu was one the most exciting players in Fiji’s opener against England in Week 1, despite his yellow card misdemeanour. His incredible break down the right wing off the back of a scrum showed his lightning pace, and although the try was disallowed due to a last-second knock-on, Matawalu showed exactly how dangerous he can be. His match-up against Australia’s Will Genia will be something to enjoy and we can’t wait to see some magic from Mr. Matawalu.
Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
The All Blacks’ side is jam-packed with big-name stars, but it was Sonny Bill Williams who stood out in their tough win over Argentina in Week 1. Williams came on relatively early in the second half and made massive contribution, and there’s no doubt he will cause trouble for Nambia’s defence this week. The big centre is paired with Beauden Barrett at flyhalf and Malakai Fekitoa at outside centre, so expect some outrageous offloads being delivered from SBW to some dangerous strike runners out wide.
Dave Denton (Scotland)
Big number eight Dave Denton will be fronting up against Japan in Scotland’s first World Cup encounter. Schalk Burger, the Springboks’ big ball carrier, was cut down to size by the effective Japanese defence, so Denton has a big task at hand to shine and get over the advantage line for his side and not fall into the same trap Burger did. Denton has also improved dramatically with his work at the breakdown and will be a feisty competitor at the breakdown. Keep on eye on the deceptively strong and fast Scotland No. 8 this week.
Damien de Allende (South Africa)
The Springbok team hasn’t been announced (at the time of writing), but given the result against Japan and threat that Samoa poses, a shake-up is necessary and Damien de Allende has to be considered. The big and elusive Stormers centre will be up for the furiously physical contest against Samoa. The No 12 was a force at the gainline in the recent Rugby Championship and the Boks could certainly do with an inside centre who asks questions of the opposition defence, given that the current pairing of De Villiers and Kriel struggled to click. De Allende will likely start or play off the bench to have a strong influence on the game at Villa Park on Saturday.
Ofisa Treviranus (Samoa)
Sneaky fullback Tim Nanai-Williams was immense against the USA in Week 1, but Samoan captain Ofisa Treviranus was the real stalwart who got his team on the go-forward. The big loose forward will be a forced to be reckoned with against the Springboks and will not back down from their physical challenge. His powerful pick-ups from the back of the scrum and his relentless defence are key attributes in his game, and the Springboks will need to be weary of the Samoan leader.
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Who Is The Fastest Rugby Player In The World?
Who is the fastest player on Earth? We break it down to see which speedy star is ahead of the pack.
Who is the world’s fastest rugby player? It’s a topic often discussed throughout the rugby community, and given the rise or some new stars, its interesting to look at who tops who on the rugby field.
Since he burst onto the Sevens scene, reports have suggested that USA player Carlin Isles is the fastest player currently playing professional rugby, however, sprinter-turned-sevens player Trae Williams has the best 100m of any professional rugby player today.
The following times are the best recorded times for the 100m for each respective player:
Doug Howlett – NZ – 10.68 seconds (100m)
The former All Black, Blues, and Munster speedster was considered the quickest around during his time in Super Rugby. Howlett clocked a 10.68 in his prime, and showed his pace by scoring a number of long range tries throughout his international and Super Rugby career.
Dan Norton – unknown time (100m)
The England Sevens star is undoubtedly one of the fastest rugby players in the world, not just in sevens, but in the 15-man game too. Norton’s 100m time is unknown, but he did a time of 4.78 for the 40m, which is incredibly fast, and just behind Rokocoko’s 4.66 seconds. Norton definitely hits his top speed in the 60-70m mark, and should fit comfortably into any “world’s fastest players” list.
Joe Rokocoko – NZ – 10.66 seconds (100m)
Smokin’ Joe Rokocoko didn’t earn his nickname for nothing, as the Fijian-born All Black winger left defences scratching their heads throughout his time with the All Blacks and Blues. The winger ran a 10.66 in his prime – a great time for a man of his size and stature. He’s still tearing it up with Racing Metro in France, and hasn’t seem to have lost much of his pace.
Seabelo Senatla – South Africa – 10.6 seconds (100m)
Seabelo Senatla’s acceleration has to be one of the most explosive in world rugby at the moment. The 27-year-old Commonwealth gold medal winner is able to hit full speed from a standing start in a blink, and if his all-out pace wasn’t troublesome enough for defenders, the Stormers and Blitzbokke star has some dazzling footwork that can bamboozle the best tacklers in the game.
Perry Baker – USA – 10.58 seconds (100m)
According to reports, the USA’s new speedy find is said to clock in at 10.58 seconds on the 100m dash, slotting him into the top 6 rugby speedsters in recent times. Since debuting in the Gold Coast leg of the Sevens World Series back in 2014, Baker’s languidly-smooth, yet blisteringly-quick, pace has allowed him to cross the whitewash 170 times in the World Series, in an attack that goes someway to proving that speed is an ultimate leveller when it comes to scoring tries.
Takudzwa Ngwenya – USA – 10.5 seconds (100m)
Takudzwa Ngwenya sprinted into the limelight with a scintillating try in the 2007 World Cup, where he used his fancy footwork and sheer acceleration to outstrip Bryan Habana in the pool match-up between the Springboks and the USA. When Ngwenya put his head down on the 100m dash, he managed a time of 10.5.
Bryan Habana – South Africa – 10.4 seconds (100m)
Bryan Habana made his Springbok debut in 2004 and managed to score a try with his first touch of the ball. Since then the winger became a prolific try scorer, showing blistering pace for the Springboks, Bulls, Stormers and French powerhouse Toulon. Habana’s best 100m time is captured at 10.4 seconds.
Rupeni Caucaunibuca – Fiji – unknown time (100m)
While Caucau’s career may have had its ups and downs, one thing that remained constant was the Fijian flyer’s undisputed speed. The big winger had a deceiving turn of pace for his size, and incredible handling and side-stepping skills to match. There’s no official time logged for the speedster, but its speculated that he would be in the sub 10.4 region in his prime.
Tonderai Chavanga – South Africa -10.27 seconds (100m)
The Zimbabwean speedster hit the scene scoring six tries on his debut for the Springboks against Uruguay in 2005. Chavanga may have not had the physical bulk to match some players, but he could leave any other world winger in his wake. Chavanga managed a 10.27 in the 100m dash, which made him, at the time, the fastest rugby player in the world.
Carlin Isles – 10.13 seconds (100m)
Carlin Isles is well-known as the fastest man in rugby, and has showcased exactly why for a number of years on the World Sevens Circuit; however, he may not be the quickest from end-to-end. Isles was a former track athlete turned rugby player, so its inevitable that he would have an impressive 100m. 10.13 is the time the 27-year old produced, giving him the top spot in the world’s fastest players.
Trae Williams – 10.1 seconds (100m)
While most of the above players are rugby stars who would make great sprinters, Australian Trae Williams is a sprinter who has turned to rugby. While still new on the scene, Williams has made his debut for the Australian Sevens side at the Dubai Sevens in 2019, and has earned the nickname ‘Quadzilla’ due to his shocking leg girth. In 2018, Williams clocked in a time of 10.1 in the 100m of the Australian Athletics Championship, making him (technically), the fastest rugby player today.
Other notable speedsters:
Johnny May (England, Leicester Tigers) – 10.7 (100m)
Reiko Ioane (New Zealand, Blues) – unconfirmed
Source(s): Wikipedia, Telegraph UK, Times Online UK, BBC Sport, ABC Austalia, Daily Telegraph, Ruck
5 Greatest Boxing Matches Of All Time
Which boxing bouts go down in history as the greatest of them all? Find out in the list below…
Professional boxing is one of the most prestigious and respected sports in the world, and with the electric interest in the sport is as strong as ever; we thought it was only fitting to pay tribute to the real greatest fights in boxing history.
5. Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns — 15 April, 1985
Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns put on a dazzling display of boxing in 1985 in what many believe to be one of the greatest first rounds ever. Both Hagler and Hearns emerged from their corners and began throwing a litany of punches into each other’s heads. Early on Hearns had the upper-hand, bloodying Hagler and keeping him off-balance with his long reach and right hand jabs. Hagler was able to weather the storm, and about half-way through the first, he came back with his own barrage of hooks and body shots. By the time the second round began it was clear Hagler had figured Hearns out, but that didn’t stop either fighter from continuing to throw everything they had at each other. Wobbly, Hearns would valiantly fight on until the third when Hagler would finally knock him out.
4. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns — 16 September, 1981
Billed as “The Showdown”, this fight would unify the WBC and WBA welterweight titles and it lived up to all the pre-match hype surrounding it. The fight ebbed and flowed as first Hearns, then Leonard and then Hearns again held the lead. Told after the 12th by cornerman Angelo Dundee that he was blowing it, Leonard exploded in the 13th, knocking Hearns through the ropes. Leonard finished him off in the 14th.
3. Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis — 8 June, 2002
The long-awaited final meeting between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson was not the fight of the decade, yet it was the defining fight of a generation. The build-up was as dramatic as the fight itself. After three frenetic rounds from Tyson, Lewis defeated Iron Mike by KO with a heavy right hook in the eighth round. Lewis had weighed in at 249.25lb and Tyson at 234lb.
2. Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman — 30 October, 1974
By 1974, George Foreman had established himself as a powerhouse of boxing. Huge, ruthless, and durable. Foreman made mincemeat out of Joe Frazier and embarrassed Ken Norton in two rounds before it was announced that he would be fighting Muhammad Ali in Zaire in a bout dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.” Although he was beloved, Ali was looked at as the underdog going into this title match. That said, Ali cleverly used a technique he called the “rope-a-dope,” Ali famously covered himself up against the ropes and let Foreman throw bombs until he wore himself out. By the eighth round, the big man was exhausted and Ali capitalised, delivering a hard right hand that knocked Foreman out and cemented the boxer’s reputation as “The Greatest.”
Agree with our list? Let us know in the comments section below which bouts you think deserve a spot in the greatest of all time.
5 Under-the-Radar Games You Can’t Afford to Miss in 2016
Let’s take a look at some games you may not know are coming out this year, but look to be promising hits.
2016 has already got off to a big start with some huge releases so far, but with some much “triple-A” noise dominating the gaming headlines, there’s certain to be a few unsung games slipping past the radar. Here’s our picks for the under-the-radar games of 2016:
1979 Revolution (PC)
A new story-driven adventure game by the name of 1979 Revolution is ironically not making enough noise to push through the mainstream games dominating the headline, but this Telltale-style narrative-focused game from iNK Stories looks incredibly promising. It follows a young photojournalist named Reza and his experiences as he gets caught up in the events leading up to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, a complicated era mostly overlooked in the realm of video games.
What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4)
The next game from the creators of The Unfinished Swan, What Remains of Edith Finch spans many generations of the Finch family, a cursed bunch who have their only member left in the titular Edith. She’s trying to explore the history of her family and find out why they’re all dead by playing through their lives and finding out how they died. It looks to be an interesting adventure that’s sure to be shocking as it is charming.
Besiege is one of the most gorgeous looking physics-based sandbox games out there and has been garnering overwhelmingly positive attention during its year on Steam Early Access. Its game allows you to create anything from standard battering rams to medieval mechs and other ridiculous monstrosities, then let them loose on tiny villages and knights.
Inside (Xbox One)
The guys behind the impressive platformer Limbo have another moody side-scroller coming our way with Inside. Information is sparse on this one, beyond a reveal trailer from E3 2014, but we know it’s set to debut on Xbox One and lets you take control of a young boy in a city which looks plagued by… something. It looks gorgeous and the mystery around it has got our attention.
Unreal Tournament (PC)
Odd that an Unreal Tournament game is flying under-the-radar, but a shocking amount of gamers don’t know this game is coming. Even better, it’s going to be completely free. Not free to play. Not freemium. Just good ol’ free.
This game is being made in collaboration between developer and community. It’s very inspiring to see how this is going, too. Gamers have access to the game’s source code, and of course, the Unreal Editor. Developers Epic still have the ultimate say in the core design, but it’s very cool to see how open they’re being to all of the volunteers that are helping with the games creation.
The pre-alpha is available here.
What movie sequel are you most looking forward to in 2016? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us@MenStuffZA.
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8 Movies We Can’t Wait to Watch in March 2016
Which movies have got our tongues wagging this month?
2016 has already kicked off with a bang, and March is set to get the blockbuster season underway with some massive releases this month. So, in the spirit of jumping on the hype-train, we make our picks for the most anticipated films you need to see in March 2016:
Release date: 4 March 2016
In this anthropomorphic adventure from Pixar, animals have put their natural instincts aside to live harmoniously in a world very similar to ours. Judy (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) is a country bunny who becomes the first rabbit police officer in the city of Zootropolis. Assigned to parking-ticket duty by her boss (Idris Elba), Judy meets Nick (Jason Bateman), a hustling fox who joins forces with the rabbit to solve the missing-mammal epidemic.
London has Fallen
Release date: 4 March 2016
Say what you want about Olympus has Fallen, but it was a fun action movie which hit all the right beats. For the sequel, the action slides over to England, and Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart return to reprise their roles from the first film.
After the British Prime Minister passes away, his funeral becomes a target of a terrorist organization to destroy some of the world’s most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The only hope of stopping it rests on the shoulders of the President of the United States (Eckhart) and his formidable Secret Service head (Butler), and an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley) who rightly trusts no one. Morgan Freeman also stars as the Vice President of the United States.
Release date: 11 March 2016
An all-star cast featuring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul , Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson, and Kate Winslet head up Triple 9. The film follows gang of criminals and corrupt cops who plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet.
Release date: 11 March 2016
Creating a sequel to a cult classic is like walking a tight-rope, but Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson decided to return to the world of male models in Zoolander 2 in order to bring some laughs to demanding fans. Set 10 years after the original, Zoolander 2 sees Hansel (Wilson) and Derek (Stiller) thrust back onto the catwalks in an attempt to reinvent themselves and help Derek reunite with his estranged son.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Release date: 18 March 2016
The Divergent Series heads closer towards its climactic conclusion as Tris (Shailene Woodley) returns in this penultimate instalment in the book-to-big-screen adaptation of author Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. In this follow up to the admittedly underwhelming Insurgent, Tris and Four (Theo James) must, for the first time, journey outside the walls of a future-set Chicago.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Release date: 18 March 2016
Jack Black returns to voice the martial arts-loving panda in the third instalment in the animated franchise. Ater reuniting with his long-lost father (Bryan Cranston), Po (Jack Black) must transition from student to teacher and train a group of fun-loving, clumsy pandas to become martial-arts fighters. Together, the kung-fu brethren unite to take on the evil Kai (J.K. Simmons), a supernatural warrior who becomes stronger with each battle.
Sleeping with Other People
Release date: 18 March 2016
There’s a few rom-coms hitting the cinemas this year, but Sleeping with Other People looks to be one of the most different and interesting spins of the genre. Twelve years after a one-night stand, a man (Jason Sudeikis) and a woman (Alison Brie) run into each other and try to maintain a platonic relationship despite their mutual attraction. Expect a lot of filth, awkwardness, and endearing moments.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: 25 March 2016
Perhaps the most highly anticipated movie of 2016, the two biggest names in DC Comics will battle it out in order to set up the expanded comic book film universe that will eventually lead to The Justice League. The Dark Knight takes on the Son of Krypton as Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) takes it upon himself to rid the world of Superman (Henry Cavill) following the events of Man of Steel. With Zack Snyder in the director’s chair, this one will undoubtedly deliver on the visual splendour.
What movie are you most looking forward to in March 2016? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @MenStuffZA.
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5 Game Franchises That Jump Through Time
Grab your video game time-machine, here’s the 5 game franchises that take us on a journey through history and the future.
With Ubisoft taking it’s modern guerilla shooter series Far Cry back to the Stone Age with Far Cry: Primal, we decided to look at some of the video game franchises that jump through history, whether it be spiralling into the past or light-speeding into the future.
Part of the allure of the Assassin’s Creed franchise is getting the chance to play through a different historical period every time a new AC game games out (which is quite often these days). We’ve seen the Third Crusade in the late 1100s, 15th century Renaissance Italy, the American and French Revolutions, the Colonial era, and the Victorian Era all in the space of a few games. Add in jumping into the future to see the sci-fi elements of the game’s McGuffin, the Animus, and you’ve got arguably the most diverse period-hopping franchise around.
We can’t not mention the franchise that inspired this very list. The Far Cry games have traditionally taken place in the year they’re released, with Far Cry 1, 2, and 3 taking place in 2004, 2008, and 2013 respectively, but things were turned upside down when the spin-off, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, took gamers to a dystopian 2007, where robotic dinosaurs and pseudo-science fiction 80s inspired outfits reigned supreme. The most recent release, Primal, then kicked gamers back to 10,000 BC, giving them the complete opposite spectrum, playing as a primitive caveman.
Age of Empires
PC gamers have been given history lessons since 1997 thanks to the acclaimed Age of Empires series. The franchise focuses on events in Europe, Africa and Asia, spanning from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the expansion for the original Age of Empires explored the formation and expansion of the Roman Empire. The sequel, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, was set in the Middle Ages, while its expansion focused partially on the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The subsequent three games of Age of Empires III explored the early modern period, when Europe was colonizing the Americas and several Asian nations were on the decline. Thanks to Age of Empires, we can safely say that we’re fit to rule in any historical period.
Call of Duty
While some may accuse the latest Call of Duty game for being too similar to its predecessor, the franchise has never shied away from taking some risky leaps through history. From the series’ original World War II origins, all the way up until the futuristic 2065 setting of Black Ops 3, Activation’s big cash-cow has made some interesting stops along the timeline of the world. The Cold War, Vietnam, and even a Red Dawn-inspired 2016 from Modern Warfare 2, the Call of Duty games have blazed their way through the most violent of historical settings.
All of the Red Faction games are set in the future, but the throughout the series’ four games it covered a massive 100 years, with Red Faction being set in 2075, Red Faction 2 in 2080, Red Faction: Guerilla in 2125, and Red Faction: Armageddon in 2175. The series showed us the early years of Mars colonisation and the exploitation of miners who helped establish humanity’s existence there. Throughout the next century that the game series stretched across, we get to see the revolutionary Mason lineage (from grandfather Alec Mason to grandson Darius Mason) take on the oppressive Earth Defense Force (EDF).
What game that jumps through time do you think deserves a spot on the list? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.