RUGBY PREVIEW | UP FOR GRABS
It’s the final weekend of the domestic Rugby season, and there are not one but two massive finals lined up. Rugby is streamed live in the UK by BT Sport, BBC, ITV & S4C.
The first of the two is the Gallagher Premiership Final, where Leicester and Saracens will go head to head in a 3:00pm kickoff at Twickenham.
Leicester have been the best team throughout the season, they finished top of the table with 94 points and the best points differential in the league. They finished seven points clear of their nearest rival and displayed an incredibly strong defence that really powered them through the season. Steve Borthwick has done outstanding work since taking over at Welford Road, putting into practice what he learned during an excellent playing career and his early coaching career as an assistant with Japan and as the forwards coach with England.
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Last weekend the Tigers overcame a tough opponent in Northampton to earn their spot in the final. They had trailed the Saints with 10 minutes gone in the second half, but showed a great level of mental toughness to come back and run out 13 point winners.
The Tigers squad is littered with internationals and have vast experience all over that pitch. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the halfback pairing of Ben Youngs and George Ford. Between the pair, they have 201 international caps for England. Youngs became England’s all time most capped player earlier this year, passing the legendary Jason Leonard. Barring Ford’s four year spell at Bath from 2013-2017, they have been playing together at Leicester since 2009 having both come through the academy. They’ve been an England pairing for seven years as well, and have developed a telepathic understanding together.
Saracens finished second in the table, seven points behind the Tigers on 87 points. They had the best attack in the league and having just returned from a season in the Championship following their enforced relegation in 2020 due to financial irregularities. Prior to that relegation they had won back to back Premierships and three successive European Cups. They were undoubtedly the best team in Europe.
They fell behind early in the semi-final against Harlequins but fired back to run out convincing winners with their attack looking capable of opening up their opponents at any moment.
Saracens have a star-studded squad but no star shines brighter than Owen Farrell. Farrell is almost 14 years into his Saracens career, which is outrageous when you consider he’s only 30. He made his debut in late 2008, at a time his father Andrew was still playing for the club. Farrell has a lot in common with George Ford, other than playing the same position and competing for a spot in the England starting XV. Both are the sons of Rugby League legends, and both are record setters. Farrell became the youngest player to ever play professional Rugby in England when he made his Saracens debut. Ford would later break that record.
This game may well come down to which Fly-Half, Ford or Farrell, can get the best tune out of their back line. If Ford can really get the ball moving for Leicester then Saracens could struggle because of the strength of that Leicester defence.
After events at Twickenham focus will shift to Cape Town, South Africa for the final of the United Rugby Championship between the Stormers and the Bulls.
An all South African final was not predicted before the semi-finals but an outstanding performance in an upset win by the Bulls, and a late game-stealing try by the Stormers brought us to this place and it’s something we should lean into.
The addition of the South African teams to the Pro14 has been a roaring success and they have shown that they aren’t just in it to take part, they’re in to take over. Only the Lions finished outside the top five, and the Sharks then ran the Bulls close in their quarter-final tie.
The Bulls shocked everyone when they went to Dublin and upset Leinster in a game that really wasn’t as close as the final score suggested. For an hour, the Bulls dominated the team who had topped the table and were expected to win the competition. They ran out of steam in the final twenty minutes and allowed Leinster to restore some pride by scoring two late tries. The Bulls won’t want the same thing to happen this weekend because they will be aware that despite being deserving winners over Leinster, they were a missed conversion on Rory O’Loughlin’s try away from blowing the game altogether.
The Stormers were expected to beat Ulster in Cape Town but struggled mightily against the intensity of Ulster’s approach. They needed 86th minute try by Warrick Gelant and the subsequent conversion by Manie Libbok to overcome the Irish side and book their place in the final infront of a crowd of 30,000 passionate South African fans. The Stormers won’t want to fall into the same situation again this weekend because you can only ever push your luck so far in this sport.
This is the third meeting of these sides this season, and the Stormers have won the previous two. In Round 8 they met in Pretoria at the legendary Loftus Versfeld Stadium. The Stormers ran out 30-26 victors on that January day, with a late Paul de Wet try following by a Manie Libbok conversion seeing them over the line.
The second meeting came in early April during Round 13. The venue was this Saturday’s venue, the Cape Town Stadium, and another hard fought match was played out. The Stormers again triumphed 19-17, but needed a late missed conversion by the Bulls following Elrigh Louw’s try to see out the game.
The Bulls will feel like they’ve been very unfortunate in both games. Had they been able to stop de Wet’s try, or had that conversion of Louw’s try gone between the uprights, and they could easily have won one of the two games. They could easily have won both in truth, and nobody could have argued against it. They played the Stormers exceptionally well this season, making them earn every yard and punishing their mistakes. When the sides meet for a third time, they will be hoping that luck might finally be on their side.
No matter where you are, you can use your Liberty Shield VPN to find a way to watch Rugby this week. Don’t have a Liberty Shield VPN? You’re missing out! Click right here to check out what we can offer you, and use the code EPL25 to get a 25% OFF your VPN or VPN Router at check-out.
How to watch every Rugby match from anywhere…
Rugby matches during 2022 will be streamed live between BT Sport, BBC, ITV and S4C; as well as their respective apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load BT Sport in the USA, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
Sorry, this video is not available in your country.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a UK domestic web user to access BT Sport and Sky Sports live tv streaming.
- Get a UK IP address for Rugby.
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £8.99 per month..
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as British, available from only £9.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
How can I watch Rugby on BT Sport live?
BT Sport typically show Premier League games in the weekly Saturday lunchtime slot but they do show additional matches. You can sign up for a BT Sport subscription or pick up a contract-free BT Sport monthly pass for £25.
BT Sport will also carry coverage of the UEFA Champions’ League and Europa League until 2024. Subscribers can watch BT Sport on their computers as well as their various apps on connected devices. They do offer a Monthly Pass with no contract, which will give customers access to the BT Sport mobile app. Fun Fact: Premier League VPN is one of the most searched phrases on Google.
Remember that BT Sport also features coverage from the Ligue 1 for Messi at PSG, and holds rights to Moto GP, UFC and WWE coverage as well. After a long delay the BT Sport app is now available on several models of Smart TV as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.
Furthermore; BT Sport isn’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like Now TV, Sky Sports, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, ITV Hub, All 4 and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!