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Barbarians V Australia @ Twickenham Preview


If you love ball games that involve ferocious tackles, you need to cancel all of your plans for the 1st November 2014 and get your rugby-loving tush down to Twickenham. Kicking off the Autumn Internationals is the hotly anticipated match between Australia and the Barbarians (or the Wallabies versus the Baa-Baas, to all you rugger fans). The Wallabies have one of the most impressive backsides – sorry, backlines – in world rugby, and the Barbarians have a more fearsome attack than a fleet of Angry Birds with Uzis. This match is sure to be an explosive contest between two of the most talented egg-tossing teams in the world.

After a historic defeat against Argentina in Mendoza, the Wallabies will be fired up to make amends and silence all of their critics. With turmoil on and off the pitch including a string of injuries, there certainly will be something to prove on the day. You know what they say: absence makes the team grow stronger (or something like that).

Beating the Baa-Baas will not be an easy task, however, as Nick Cummins – aka the Honey Badger – is set to start against his old Wallaby team-mates. They’re going to have to stay compact in defence, because the Honey Badger is crazy.

There is also a lot at stake for the Baa-Baas. Last time the two teams met in 2011, Australia trounced them 60-11. There were glimpses of the trademark Barbarian dash and dazzle on the day, but most of that was lost to a murky sub-plot of yellow cards, off-the-ball spats and crass handling. The Barbarians will be keen to restore some pride, not least because John Kirwan has been named coach for this Killik Cup clash.

Kirwan is an All Black, and given the Trans-Tasman history shared by the two nations, there’s sure to be no love lost. I mean, how would you feel if France tried to sell the UK on eBay? Or if they stole Stephen Fry and made him French? There are some things Kiwis just don’t forget, and no matter how many films of Lord of the Rings they make or how good AC/DC are, they’ll still want to destroy their rivals on the pitch. We wouldn’t be surprised if Kirwan spent all of his training sessions teaching the Barbarians to Haka.

So for a chance to see the mercurial backs Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Will Genia and Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies against England’s Matt Stevens, and Springboks CJ van der Linde, Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brüssow of the star-studded invitational Barbarians team, get yourself a ticket to Twickenham here. It promises to be a scrumptious display of rugger, great for fans of the game and the perfect introduction for rubgy virgins!

Please note: If you are reading this in the future and know the result of this titanic clash then A) please don’t travel back in time and ruin it for us and B) although you may have missed your chance to see this particular match, there’ll be plenty more great sporting offers on Wowcher.co.uk.

Wowcher’s Guide To: Enjoying the World Cup (At Home)

Not one England supporter visible – they must be watching the final…

So you didn’t get tickets to Brazil this summer? That’s fine – neither did Zlatan Ibrahimović, Gareth Bale or Samir Nasri. There’s no point getting your knickers in a twist, Samir – just admit that you’re not quite meant for the bright lights of construction sites, and make sure you get the most out of the World Cup at home!

Rather than spending 90 minutes staring at the back of someone’s head or peering through the fabric of one of those massive flags, why not get yourself a HD TV and speaker system? Substitute vuvuzelas and tambourines with the dulcet tones of Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend in stunning HD quality.

We’re also going to need something safer and more stable than the stands of a half-built stadium. Forget clambering around the telescopic boom of a hydraulic crane to see fat Frank pile drive one into row Z, because we’ve got plenty of beanbags and sofa beds for you and the whole World Cup watching team.

With kick-off times as late as 11pm and the fact that Henderson and Jones have been included in the England squad, you might have a few heavy eyelids. That’s where the cinema sofa bed comes in handy! One crying England fan in a bed is more than enough, so make sure you’re evenly spread out around the house. You may even want to invest in an ’anti-snore’ device, as we all know lager has the potential to turn people into grunting farmyard animals.

The first step to enjoying a World Cup match is knowing who is playing, followed closely behind by knowing which team is which. For those in need, this should help!

The first step to enjoying a World Cup match is knowing who is playing, followed closely behind by knowing which team is which. For those in need, this handy kit guide should help!

Let’s imagine (bear with us…) that England qualify from Group D, or don’t all collapse from heat stroke in fixture number one – you’re going to want to celebrate! Why not have a mini carnival in your front room without the danger of fireworks and pickpockets? Alternatively, take the party outdoors, put up your parasols, and relax with the help of some Rattan garden furniture and turn your patio into a rodizio. After the recent removal of 2.6kg of food from the England hotel due to it being ‘unfit for consumption’, you would be forgiven for preferring a healthy George Foreman family grill in your kitchen to stadium hot dogs. Grill some Ricky Lamb-burgers and fill your Leighton Buns with Chiplallanas (other England-themed snacks are available). Certainly beats the out-of-date salmon offered in Rio!

And for the tidy-up, you can always rely on our 2-year supply of bin bags, a Dyson DC25 Special Edition upright vacuum cleaner and 7-in-1 steam-mop deals – if only there was a gigantic mop for the local councils in Brazil, the clean-up process might actually stand some chance of completion. Good luck peeling the sunburnt Brits off the promenade of Copacabana beach.

Finally, C’MON ENG-GER-LAND!

Wowcher versus Tyson Fury Fight Night

fury

Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.” – George Foreman

I have to agree with the lean, mean fat-griller-endorsing machine on this. Boxing to me is very much like jazz – I haven’t got a clue how it works, real fans of it seem near enough mythical and I would definitely not be all that interested in having a go. Aside from the knowledge I have gathered from the Rocky movies (i.e. none whatsoever), I was and still sort of am a virgin when it comes to this, brutal, cinematic spectacle. It doesn’t strike me as a contest for gentlemen like days of old, it’s more like a contest for modern men – not just men, but manly men. Men who like to hit each other in the face. Men who buy tigers and keep them in their homes, men with a penchant for shiny suits, fast cars and going bankrupt. Men.

But I figured a slightly gentler introduction to the sport would appear in the form of the Tyson Fury charity fight night – taking place in the famous Clapham Grand. A night where people would have a few drinks, watch some dedicated sportsmen respectfully do what they do best to each other, and have the proceeds go to a good cause. While it certainly wasn’t exactly gentle, it offered an altogether more charming side to boxing to which I hadn’t really ever been exposed. Read more

The Sky’s the limit…

With the wintry weather in full swing and New Year’s having a strong hold on your purse strings, we’re forced to look for new ways to keep the family entertained. We’ve replaced bar stools with sofas and blankets and glasses of wine with hot water bottles and tea, but unfortunately some of us are woefully unprepared for all this free time indoors. Dad’s one-man hand puppet show actually makes the bitter outdoors look like an attractive option, Twister seems to result in one too many strained muscles and afternoons with Monopoly tend to end in bloodshed. Luckily, there’s no need to watch elderly relatives mime Free Willy in painfully embarrassing games of Charades because there’s plenty of favourites back on telly this year!

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