April 2017: The stories that didn’t make the headlines

Image courtesy: BT Sport Twitter feed @btsportrugby


Player knowledge forces ref reversal 

The flummoxed England side in the RBS Six Nations clash with Italy betrayed a lack of rugby knowledge among some players. Not so TJ Perenara who convinced referee Angus Gardner that the official had erred in the Super Rugby encounter between Hurricanes and Queensland Reds. To his credit, the ref took on board the advice of the mouthy Hurricanes scrum-half and changed his decision.

Where did I put my whistle? 

Less fortunate was Romain Poite, who appeared to swallow his whistle during the Top 14 match pitting Clermont Auvergne against Brive.


Sep-tacular try not enough for Dutch

Former Boroughmuir winger Sep Visser, brother of Scotland international Tim, bagged a try for the Netherlands in their Rugby Europe Trophy match against Poland in Warsaw. The touchdown came after a deft kick through from scrum-half Amir Rademaker. Unfortunately for the Dutchmen, it wasn’t enough to prevent a narrow 14-13 loss.


Le Pen is mightier than Lassalle

April was a mixed month for the Lassalle family in France. Father, Jean, attracted only 1.21% of the vote in the first round of the French presidential election. That left him in seventh place, some way down on Marine Le Pen, who was second and therefore progressed to the second round ballot with favourite Emmanuel Macron.  Meanwhile son, Thibault, who replaced Richie Gray at Castres this season, sat out the local derby with Gray and his new colleagues at Toulouse. However, there was something for the Lassalles to cheer, as a crushing win for Castres boosted their bid for a play-off spot and means that at least one member of the family still has a chance of success.

The fitness challenge part two

Last month’s news round-up featured the first part of a fitness challenge between Bristol winger Tom Varndell and jockey, Leighton Aspell. The scores were tied at the end of the opening two tests. So, who would prevail in the second set of challenges?


Have boots will travel

With growing numbers of fixtures being called as a result of player shortages, particularly at lower levels, credit is due to the guys behind the website http://www.fybrugby.com/

Via social media, they bring together clubs whose games will otherwise fall by the wayside because of player shortages. Registration and travel may be barriers to this being implemented in Scotland, but as this system shows, where there is a will, there is a way to find a game.

Kelly strikes the right note 

Former Scotland skipper Kelly Brown showed that his skills extend beyond the rugby pitch when he addressed the Saracens supporters after his final home game for the club. Instead of a tearful farewell, Brown showed that his reputation as a talented singer is well-deserved.


About Colin Renton 292 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!