The Sin Bin
Bruises, beauties and bloody Scots
ESPN Staff
June 15, 2012
England's Brad Barritt offers his Twitter followers a close-up view of the damage a riled Springboks side can do © @bradbarritt

Welcome to the latest edition of The Sin Bin - our regular feature offering you some of the quirkier stories to emanate from the game we love.

There's not a ruck we will not delve into or a hospital pass we will avoid in a bid to bring you some of the more bizarre, humorous and downright daft stories, videos, pictures and soundbites from around the rugby globe.

Giving Dubai a try

We were tempted to dedicate the whole of The Sin Bin to this gem we stumbled upon earlier this week due to the unprecedented level of unintentional comedy. In summary, England winger Chris Ashton and his girlfriend travelled for a short break to Dubai for a feature for the Daily Mail's travel section.

We are led to believe that Ashton penned this extensive piece on his return that includes such observations as: "The hotel was the location of the film's 'black-tie' scene - if you happen to watch it, look out for the intricate marble floors, red carpets and luminous chandeliers." and "The slide catapults you into a transparent tunnel that passes through a shark-filled lagoon, where guitar, bowmouth, whitetip, blacktip and grey reef sharks swim around, looking at you with hungry eyes. It's more terrifying than facing the All Blacks."

"They've split their heads open in celebration"

Scotland's gutsy display against Australia in Newcastle ensured the international season got off to a sensational start with the tourists notching an historic 9-6 victory. But they will not be talking about their outstanding defensive effort in years to come, no, this game will be remembered best for the exuberance of Joe Ansbro and Al Strokosch. The duo got a little caught up in the moment and the result will have even brought a smile to the faces of Wallabies fans trying to comprehend a shocking result. Re-live the comedy below.

Swapping mud for Miss England

A self-confessed "tomboy" rugby player is set to compete for the Miss England title next this month. The Times & Citizen newspaper reports that 18-year-old Sophie Amos will contest the crown having been snapped up the Miss Bedfordshire title after a rival was "disqualified for breaking the rules". "I only entered because my friend wanted to enter and she didn't want to do it on her own," she told the paper. A former Ampthill and District Rugby Club regular, she now turns out for the University of Bedfordshire and is clearly made of tough stuff. "My old Ampthill coach used to take me off the pitch with broken fingers, tape them all together and send me back on within 20 seconds. No amount of broken bones will deter my passion for rugby." You go girl!

The man can do know wrong

We're big fans of the legend that is Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll and we know you are too. He took his latest step towards sainthood with this heart-warming gesture while on tour with Ireland in New Zealand. With credit and thanks to our friends at Crowd Goes Wild and James McConie.

Come dine with me

Dutch-born speedster Tim Visser is poised for his long-awaited Scotland bow on far flung shores this weekend in Fiji. He is set to come up against his Edinburgh team-mate and former flat-mate Netani Talei. According to the Scotland on Sunday, Talei offered a culinary education during the time they lived together but Visser refused to bite. "Netani was making a Fijian fish dish using the whole fish," Visser recalls. "It was brilliant, his cooking was incredible, using all the fresh ingredients. Then we heard this ticking noise. What's that? We looked up and Netani was sucking out the eyeballs and spitting out the little hard bit in the middle on to his plate." Post-match function should be pretty interesting.

Home Nations haka?

A last-gasp penalty from replacement centre Elvis Seveali'i gave the BGC Asia Pacific Barbarians a hard-fought 22-20 win over Saracens in the Chartis Cup in Hong Kong at the weekend. You may have missed the result but you surely have not managed to avoid their celebratory haka - led by the likes of Nick Easter, Shane Williams and Martyn Williams. Maori through and through - we think not.

Film 2012 with Mike Phillips

And in the latest instalment of what we fear may become a regular thing, Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips offers his latest film review. You may remember he put the cat amongst the pigeons with his take The Iron Lady, this time he finds fault with the realism of Men In Black 3.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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