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Ugly fight erupts between French and British navies in annual clash

You know, watching two military rugby teams fight doesn't seem like such a big deal. I mean, these are guys who have had to learn how to get incredibly aggressive when it's necessary. It must be quite difficult to turn that off when things kick off. The 'code' of supporting your mates is more important than blood, because the next time it happens might be when lives really are on the line. You can't spend years having that drummed into you and then switch it off in this sort of environment.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I think it's understandable. Add in the unbelievable historic rivalry between these two navies, and I'm not surprised it kicked off.

Rugby brawls may not be pretty, and aren't desirable, but at least the two teams had a beer together afterwards and all was forgiven.

4 Months, 4 Days ago

Johnny Sexton blasted by fans and players for playacting

Hi Jesus, long time fan,

Firstly, I'd disagree with your eloquent dismissal of those who called him on his behaviour as being 'rent a mouth losers', given that these are his peers in professional rugby who have a sound understanding of the culture of the game at the top level.

Secondly, you're right, there is no way of proving that he didn't have a massive, utterly debilertating neck spasm shortly after throwing his hands up. Perhaps the sudden upward motion of his arms as he appealed to the referee dislodged a nerve. I mean, his upper body (if not his neck) did hit the ground pretty hard when he was utterly destroyed by Dunbar. I mean, I might have been hurt too if someone had tossed me so casually to one side.

#PrayforJohnny

4 Months, 6 Days ago

England take the Grand Slam after beating France in Paris

I'm with DrG. Guirado was lining Vunipola up for the hit, not Cole. He could have made a better hit on Cole had he been aiming for him. Therefore the 'obstruction' has no material outcome, and a try was awarded.

4 Months, 6 Days ago

Joe Marler escapes ban for forearm strike on Wales' Rob Evans

I once taught a boy who had suffered 'banter' about being a traveller for years. A member of his family had a caravan burned down in an act of arson. I know that nobody here is condoning that, clearly, but I can't help but feel a little bit sensitive to it. It is still a tolerated prejudice to hold, sadly. I'd like to see the game take more of a stand here.

Eddie, brilliantly written post. You're right perhaps, it certainly was dealt with well at the time. Unfortunately to many people the nuance will have been missed and the take-home message will be that mocking someone for being a traveller isn't all that bad.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Joe Marler escapes ban for forearm strike on Wales' Rob Evans

I disagree with both of you. I don't see why the game should show that it tolerates racist abuse in any instance, either first or otherwise. I say this knowing that Marler has, somehow, escaped a ban for it.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

England hang on at Twickenham to beat Wales and later become champions

It's the intent joined to the word which makes it racist. So if he'd said gypsy to refer to someone who called themselves a gypsy, and didn't mean it in a negative way, it wouldn't be racist.

So me calling Anton Ferdinand black is a statement. Terry calling him a 'black bastard' is racist. Same word, different intent.

And no Jimmy, it didn't sound like you were defending him, don't worry about it :)

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes

Thanks Vladimir, I'm not that au fait with French. What's the French for au fait?

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes

I know, I know. I'm most people's hero.

It's surely down the fact that everyone 'knows' France has a problem with off-the-ball violence. All further acts of violence get seen as part of a wider malaise (what's the French word for malaise?) and the guilty party punished accordingly. I do still believe that France has a bit more unpleasantness of this type than many other countries, but I don't think that should be reflected in the citing system.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Tomas Francis only penalised but then cited for contact with Dan Cole's eyes

If he was French he'd be looking at a much longer ban. No consistency.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

England hang on at Twickenham to beat Wales and later become champions

It would be pretty similar to John Terry calling Ferdinand a 'black bastard'. If you're including someone's ethnic group as a basis for insulting them, then to me it's racism. Add to that the fact that discrimination of travelling communities has been a consistent theme in Europe for hundreds of years (something like 90% of the world's gypsy population died in the gas chambers), then I think it's fair to say that Marler's comments were at best offensive and ignorant.

It wouldn't be as bad to call someone 'Frenchie boy', in my opinion, because there isn't the same history of prejudice and persecution.

I'd have no problem whatsoever with him getting a decent ban for this. Rugby should take a stand and say that any sort of abuse based on someone's ethnic group will not be tolerated.

4 Months, 1 Week ago