Category Archives: Rugby

Anything rugby-related which isn’t in my other rugby blog.

February ’10 Review

February seemed to be the month of near-incessant rain and floods. Not, on the face of it, very promising from a photographic point of view.

However, I did enjoy a  photowalk around Cambridge with friends from the GNPC. The weather was a bit overcast, but I got a few interesting shots, the best of which was chosen for Day #769 – mainly because it fitted one of the Treasure Hunt themes so well.

Here are a few more which I was pleased with:

The King's Post Box
The Kings Post Box
Engineering Sculpture
Engineering Sculpture
Step Aboard
Step Aboard
Goody Two Shoes
Goody Two Shoes

I also managed to get to a local rugby match with Rodney, a friend from the Chelmsford Photowalk group. I hadn’t been to a game in ages, and although it was cold and dull you can really see the concentration on the players’ faces:

Another Lineout Won
Another Lineout Won
Pushover Scrum For Southend
Pushover Scrum For Southend

The end of the month saw another patch of bad weather, so I stayed indoors and decided to have some fun with food dye in water and experiment with fluid dynamics. I was very pleased with the results:


Out Of Action

Not sure when I’ll be out and about to take photos again – I’ve had an accident which has bashed up my left knee and broken my left elbow – so holding a heavy SLR is out of the question at the moment!

I’ll just have to stay at home and watch a bit of rugby – there’s plenty on the telly at the moment…

I’ve even watched the reruns of the two Rugby World Cup games I saw in France. Here’s a shot from the England vs USA game in Lens.

Coupe du Monde en France

I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Rugby World Cup which started in France on Friday. I was on a tour which took in the Opening Ceremony, first game with France vs Argentina in Paris, then England vs USA in Lens the next evening. The trip was a lot of fun.

The links above give you photos from the two games, but I also took some shots in and around the ground to illustrate the ambience and lively atmosphere.

Outisde the ground, fans of all allegencies were mingling happily, just enjoying the colourful sideshows and rival fans. Not sure why this Frenchman looked embarrassed to have his photo taken – what did he expect, wearing an enormous yellow Chicken costume?!

Although the first game was heavily supported by the French, there were a good few fans from other nationalities in attendance – I saw Irish, Kiwis, Aussies and lots of English – plus a good number of Argentinians who were rewarded for their travel by their team beating France convincingly!

The greatest thing about rugby is how all the supporters get along with each other – none more so than these English and Argentine fans [below, showing some Entente Cordiale]. Most of the English I was with were supporting the Pumas agains the French – we’d obviously forgotten all about the Falklands debacle, but not forgiven the French for Waterloo…

There was a great party atmosphere inside the stadium, as seen below:

And right at the end of the opening ceremony, we were treated to a fly-past by crack French aerobatic display team, La Patrouille de France.

I would have liked a wide angle view with them flying over the top of the stadium, but I had the long lens fitted and there was about 2 seconds’ notice of their arrival!

Big Band Sendoff

The Rugby World Cup has rolled around again pretty quickly, and I was in Regents Park this afternoon for the Scrum In The Park event. The fans were able to see the England Rugby team training some lucky kids, there was a double-decker bus to sign with good wishes, and a Military Band provided the music to send off the team in stirring style. You can see more photos of the rugby-related stuff at, but here are a few images of the colourful Busby-clad band.

[The Busbies Are Coming – the marching band approaches]

[Trombone Troupe – they have to keep their distance from the row in front!]

[Sargeant Sax can he really see out from underneath that Busby?]

[Sargeant Trombone – it was a wonder they didn’t get their trombone sliders tangled up with all the criss-cross marching]

Thinking Around The Subject

I take a lot of photos at rugby matches, but sometimes during the break or after the game can provide some really interesting subjects, not just the players on the pitch. This is particularly true when it’s a big Cup Final game.

On 19th May, I saw Bath vs ASM Clermont-Auvernge play the European Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham Stoop. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and by the time the game was over, and the trophy was being presented to the victorious ASM team, there was some great side lighting which really brought things alive.

So rather than show you any of the match photos, here are a selection of fans and player shots, to show what else of interest you can see by thinking laterally. (You can see more after-match photos too.)


One thing I love about rugby is the fans – whichever team you support, there is always respect for good play and each other. We all sit together around the ground – there is no need for segregation. Yes, you’ll hear plenty of good- natured banter amongst the opposing crowd, but I’ve never seen any trouble of the sort which is all too common in and around football grounds.

[Left, La Dame d’Auvernge]

This lady was just on her way out of the ground after her team had won. I complimented her team on playing well (in my best French) and she rewarded me with a lovely beaming smile – which really summed up the spirit of the game and it’s supporters.


The winning team lined up on my side of the pitch for the press shots – fortunately, I was a few rows higher in the stands, directly behind the press corps, and got some great shots of the players celebrating their victory:

[ECC Champions – ASM Clermont-Auvergne]

Some shots you know are going to be special when you press the shutter. The picture below was pure serendipity – I had no idea the ticker tape was due, but just as I pressed the button, it exploded around the cup, lit from behind by the low sun:

[Ticker Tape Explosion]

Of course, being in the right place at the right time is also vital. Often after a game, players will mingle with the crowd, or at least get close enough for you to get some nice portraits. The ASM team were keen to show off their trophy, and gulp champagne out of it too! The shot below was taken with the 400mm end of my 100-400mm IS zoom lens – it has superb quality, and this is about half-frame cropped from the middle of the picture:

[Drinking a toast – Loic Jacquet guzzles champagne out of the trophy, while his team mates look on in the reflection]

If you find you’re getting the same shots from familiar situations, why not try thinking around the subject a bit, it’s surprising what you can come up with, given a little thought and a little luck!