Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Shooting the Rugby World Cup

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In the latest installment, South Africa-based photographer Mike Hutchings describes the gear he can’t live without and what makes shooting rugby different from his usual assignments.

Reuters RWC Photographers #4 from Tim Wimborne on Vimeo.

In the xxx third installment, Sydney-based photographer Tim Wimborne describes what is necessary to keep the file fresh throughout the tournament and to satisfy different client needs.

Reuters RWC Photographers #3 v2.0 from Tim Wimborne on Vimeo.

In the second of a series of multimedia pieces, Bucharest-based photographer Bogdan Cristel talks about the focus required to cover the Rugby World Cup.

Reuters RWC Photographers #2. from Tim Wimborne on Vimeo.

In the first of a series of multimedia pieces, London-based photographer Stefan Wermuth talks about the challenges he anticipates at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

from Photographers' Blog:

Climbing Eden Park

By Bogdan Cristel

After 40 hours of flying Bucharest - Amsterdam - Beijing - Auckland, I arrived in New Zealand; my first time in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first nice surprise here was that both my check-in pieces of luggage arrived on the same flight (I expected it to take a week and to be on the safe side packed a toothbrush in my hand luggage).

Welcome back “le crunch” — we’ve missed you

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RUGBY-NATIONS/ENGLANDThere will be an extra buzz around Twickenham on Saturday and it will not be just because England fans know a win over France would set them up for their first Six Nations title for eight years.

“Le Crunch” is back, and then some. The fixture that was for so long the focal point of the championship gradually lost its allure as England dropped off the pace and Wales and Ireland became the main challengers, but with two wins apiece for the cross-channel rivals so far, it once again looks the pivotal match.

Don’t discount Ireland for the Six Nations

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By James Illingworth

The 2011 Six Nations kicks off shortly in Cardiff with much of the pre-tournament hype suggesting a two-horse race between France and England.

England’s favourites tag among English bookmakers looks unjustified if it is based on one decent performance in November against Australia, with the 2010 grand slam winners France surely still the team to beat.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Football still offside in attitude to women

The British media furore over two television presenters’ sexist comments over a lineswoman at a Premier League match at the weekend has thrown the spotlight on the subject of women in soccer – be it on the pitch or off.

Sky Sports duo Richard Keys and Andy Gray have apologised for saying female officials “don’t know the offside rule” when they were talking about lineswoman Sian Massey at Saturday’s match between Wolves and Liverpool when they thought their microphones were switched off.

Tri-Nations stranglehold a potential problem for rugby

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Northern hemisphere hopes are raised at the start of every November but by the end of the month it has usually become crystal clear that the Tri-Nations’ stranglehold on world rugby remains as tight as ever.

Already, after the opening exchanges produced a 3-0 sweep for the south last Saturday, the imbalance is there for all to see.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

A South Africa rugby match is a whole other world

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The contrast between the highly-controlled environs of the soccer World Cup venues and the likes of Cape Town's Newlands stadium, home to a South Africa v France rugby test on Saturday, was marked.

At Newlands, the supporter is king. For decades fans have turned up early with their own food and lit hundreds of barbeques, or brais as they are known in South Africa.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Symbolic moment as rugby comes to black township of Soweto

SOCCER-FRIENDLY/South Africa’s long standing racist past means it still a country of great contrasts but with the change in power and social dynamics come great ironies too.

The latest will be played out on Saturday when the citadel of black South African football, the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, plays host to a Super 14 rugby match involving the Blue Bulls, the team so beloved by the white Afrikaners.

The ultimate grudge match: When the Scots confounded England at Murrayfield

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SPORT RUGBY NATIONS SCOTLANDA slow and depressing decline after the glory of the 1980 grand slam was magically reversed during the winter of 1989-90 when England played rugby of skill, spirit and boundless optimism.

Nobody could match the English in Europe and their standards touched those attained by New Zealand and Australia, the pace setters in world rugby at the time.

The myth of rugby’s Jonny Wilkinson

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A rugby writer, with tongue only half in cheek, once said it was possible to gauge an Englishman’s entire outlook on life by ascertaining whether he was a Stuart Barnes or a Rob Andrew fan in the years between 1985 and 1993.

Barnes, a cavalier among flyhalves who passionately embraced the running game, played only a handful of matches for the national team. Andrew, an accomplished all-rounder but with a game based increasingly on kicking, became an England institution.

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