Mitchell Pearce stood down by Roosters

The Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce has been stood down by his club following the release of a video where he appears to imitate a sex act on a dog.

Pearce’s advances were rejected by a female in the video, before he then picked up the dog whilst sat on the sofa. He was also accused of urinating on himself and the furniture in the flat, by the same woman.

Earlier on during the same day Pearce had posted a photo to his Instagram of he and his teammates embarking on a Sydney Harbour Cruise, following the conclusion of their morning training session. This all happened on Australia Day.

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Love these blokes ✌🏻️

A post shared by Mitchell Pearce (@mitchpearce_7) on

A spokesman for the NRL said “will work with the Roosters to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately”.

The Sydney Roosters also released a statement, claiming they were to work closely with the the NRL integrity unit.

“The Sydney Roosters are aware of an incident involving Mitchell Pearce.

“The Club has advised the NRL’s Integrity Unit. The Club will conduct an internal investigation and will be making no further comment at this time.”

Expect this story to unravel even more in the coming days.

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Dylan Hartley: “I’ve learnt my lesson.”

Newly appointed England captain Dylan Hartley has claimed he has “learned from his lessons” following his appointment ahead of the Six Nations tournament.

Hartley takes over from Chris Robshaw of the Harlequins with immediate effect. Robshaw had held the captaincy for four years.

The new England captain may be a controversial choice to some, having been caught up in high profile acts such as gouging, biting and striking – receiving bans totalling 54 weeks for his actions.

“My rap sheet is well documented and I will get reminded of it daily.” he told the press.

Although Hartley admits he always held faith that he would eventually be able to break back into the England squad, he admitted he was surprised to find out that he would not only do that, but captain his nation too.

“Yes I am surprised, but I will take it with two hands.

“I am confident in myself as a player at Test level. I have captained my club for six years and have learned a lot there.

“I sometimes get it wrong but it has gone well for me at Northampton too. You need to get yourself at a level to be competitive and confrontational. It has gone wrong in the past but it will stay there.”

Now the England camp have shown their faith in the 29-year-old, will he commit any silly offences once more?

“No, of course not. I have learned from my lessons and it is for me to live with. Now I have to lead by example and answer the critics. I am a motivated person.”

Hartley reacted on his personal Twitter account:

Hartley speaks with the BBC’s Dan Roan today:

 

Sir Clive Woodward: “English Rugby Union is a laughing stock.”

Source: The Guardian

Former-English national team coach Sir Clive Woodward believes English Rugby Union has become a “laughing stock”, after it was revealed that Sam Burgess was to leave Bath to return to Rugby League in Australia.

Burgess made his decision after the disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign from the hosts, a squad he was a part of.

Woodward does not blame the now South Sydney Rabbitohs player for what he calls an “all-time low” and a general “mess” for the English rugby union game.

The 2003 World Cup winning coach was not the only notable figure in the sport to speak out following the announcement, as current head coach for the England team Steve McNamara said Burgess could have gone on to become “one of the greats”.

Burgess scored four tries in his one year stay at Bath, having played a total of 21 matches for the Somerset team.

Woodward spoke about the RFU and the way they had been wrongly congratulating themselves in recent years for the direction English rugby had been heading in.

“The RFU has spent the last four years congratulating itself on the direction in which we’re heading, but the truth is we have marched confidently into a total mess.

“We are the laughing stock of not only world rugby but also sport and business. The rest of the world says those involved in English rugby are arrogant. I hate this reputation, but that is exactly what the RFU has been.

“The saddest part is the players and fans have been let down. To get it right on the field of play you have to get it right off the field.”

Super League Semi Final: Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens

Photo courtesy of BBC sport

Leeds Rhinos defeated St Helens in a tight affair on Friday night to book their place in the Super League Grand final, taking a 20-13 victory at Headingley Carnigie stadium.

The win gives the Rhinos a chance of completing the treble in the Grand final next week, after having already secured this seasons Challenge Cup final and Super League Leaders’ Shield.

Leeds didn’t win the easy way, and went into the half time interval with St Helens leading 9-8. James Roby opened the scoring before the Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker hit back with a try of his own – but St Helens went into the break with their lead courtesy of a drop goal from Luke Walsh.

The Rhinos then found themselves five points behind when Mark Percival scored a try, which seemed to ignite the fight in the hearts of the Leeds players.

Ryan Hall’s try took the Rhinos into the lead, before Kallum Watkins scored a late try to put the match out of sight, breaking the hearts of the St Helens’ players and fans at the same time.

St Helens coach Keiron Cummingham told the press after the loss he was proud of every single one of his players.

“I really feel for my boys, for large points we were the better team. People really hung in there and we fought for each other. I’m proud of every one of those players.”

Whilst winning Leeds prop Jamie Peacock praised the battling spirit of his successful teammates.

“What a group to play with. We never know when we’re beaten or when to quit. It’s a pleasure to play with such a tough bunch of blokes.

“Saints are a great side, tenacious and tough, and they should take a lot of heart from that.

“It’s the big one next week and anything can happen.”

Leeds will now face Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final on October 10th at Old Trafford, after the Warriors defeated the Huddersfield Giants 32-8, ensuring they reached their third successive final.

Rugby World Cup 2015: Wales vs Fiji first half as it happened

The Millennium stadium was at full capacity as the Welsh side took on the Fijian’s in both nations third matches of this years World Cup.

It was a frantic start to the match, as Wales looked to gain the early advantage. And the Welsh faithful wouldn’t have to wait long to get their first try, as on six minutes scrum-half Gareth Davies smashed through the Fiji backline to open the scoring. Giving great credit to Wales, it had been coming. Dan Biggar converted too, to take Wales into a 7-0 lead.

You could have been forgiven for thinking the game could have swung massively in Wales’ favour now they’d got their first try, but in fact what happened was the Fijians rallied – and were rewarded with their first points of the game on 13 minutes as Ben Volavola kicked home a superb penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3.

Volavola was then awarded another chance four minutes later, but this time he cannoned the ball well wide of the posts.

That missed penalty kick would have reduced Wales’ advantage even further, but instead the Welsh would get a penalty of their own a couple of minutes later – and Davies couldn’t miss, meaning Wales went back into a seven point lead at 10-3.

Wales should have had their second try of the game on 23 minutes as they broke following a turnover deep in the Wales half. The Welsh had men over and should have scored had it not been for a wonderful last ditch tackle just before the try line. Fiji were then awarded a penalty, and had escaped.

Wales were then awarded their second try as Scott Baldwin picked up on the line and tapped down, before Biggar nailed the conversion taking Wales to 17-3 with six minutes to go before half time.

As half time approached Fiji were awarded a penalty for the scrum collapsing, and this time Volavola made no mistake scoring three important points just before the break, and leaving things at 17-6 at half time.

Sadly the University had organised a student lock-in for tonight so the writer of this article had to head to that to buy some new clothes with some glorious discount.

Rugby World Cup 2015: England vs Fiji as it happened

England won their opening match of the Rugby World Cup 2015 after a convincing 35-11 victory over Fiji at Twickenham, with Mike Brown the hero of the night following his two tries.

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After the wonderful opening ceremony, including a speech from Prince Harry – the real stuff begun, as Fiji started the match, and more importantly, the Rugby World Cup 2015.

England didn’t allow the visitors to settle into the game before they got their first points of the tournament, courtesy of a penalty conversion by conversion by George Ford, who couldn’t have struck the ball much more perfectly – giving the tournament hosts a 3-0 lead.

Fiji were then handed the chance to level the scores with a penalty of their own just a few minutes later, but Ben Volavola was incredibly unlucky as he hit the post.

With 11 minutes gone England increased their score with a penalty try, on the back of powerful rolling maul. The hosts had been awarded a penalty a few moments prior after a dangerous tip-tackle on Jonny May. Ford then went on to slot the conversion away, giving England a 10-0 lead.

Fiji were guilty of some poor tackles and England were getting plenty of promising penalties, and with 22 gone the second try of the game came. The English players worked the ball out with quick precision to the left and it was Mike Brown who powered home upping the score to 15-0, with Ford not taking the conversion opportunity this time – so 15-0 it remained.

Mild controversy was to follow five minutes later, when Fiji were awarded a try before then having it chalked off. Nikola Matawalu raced down the right and was simply unstoppable, or was he? Jonny May and Mike Brown were the two chasing down Matawalu and just as he looked to have scored the try the Fijian knocked on, on the line.

But Fiji would in fact score a try just moments after, as England conceded the scrum before Nemani Nadolo caught a wonderful cross field kick in the goal area, reducing the deficit to 15-5 – but they too would miss the conversion, as Volavola failed in his attempts.

Half time was edging closer after a thoroughly entertaining opening 40, but there was time for both England and Fiji to score three more points each, both from penalties – taking the scores to 18-8 with four minutes left to play.

Despite late pressure from Fiji, and a failed penalty attempt from England, both sides went into the half time break at 18-8 in what was an excellent display from both nations.

Fiji missed a good opportunity to reduce the deficit further seven minutes into the second period, but Nadolo missed on this occasion.

After a middle of the park battle for 15 minutes, Nadolo had another chance from a penalty – but once again he squandered the chance to bring Fiji within a try score of catching England.

That wake up call wasn’t loud enough for England, who gave Fiji another penalty opportunity. Volavola didn’t make the mistake his colleague had only moments earlier, and brought Fiji back in the game at 18-11.

The visitors were back within seven points of levelling the scores for a matter of minutes before England converted a penalty through Owen Farrell, extending the lead once more to ten at 21-11.

With only 8 minutes remaining England looked to have put the game out of Fiji’s sight as Mike Brown was the hero once more, scoring the try – and Farrell scored from the conversion, making it 28-11.

England went in search of the bonus point they would be awarded for winning with four tries scored, and it looked like they may have left it too late with the 80 minutes up, that is until Billy Vunipola powered through the Fijian back-line to score the all important try. With the bonus point already in the bag, Farrell converted to leave the score at 35-11 at full time in what was a commanding display by the hosts.