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Chris Ashton penalised for dragging Luke Marshall down by the face

I actually disagree with the above....

If it wasn't a hand in the face or eye region, then AT BEST it was a neck roll, which is also illegal.

Id actually think a ban could be enforced if only for continuity. You ban a bloke for 15 weeks, 3 of those to set an example or send a message or some sort of bs, well clearly Ashton didn't get that message, he can't argue he didn't know where he was putting his hand... I'd say the French/Fijian bloke can feel slightly miffed if Ashton cops nothing.

3 Weeks, 9 Hours ago

Clermont flanker Viktor Kolelishvili shoves referee Wayne Barnes

Can't really make up my mind, I think red for ALL the above reasons, but I can't help think yellow or penalty instead.

I suppose I was happy for the Hartley red for swearing at Barnes, so perhaps I should be expected to support a red here.

The push was massively over the top, could a gentle guidance have worked better? Did shoving Barnes actually achieve the space wanted?!?

Wasn't Mujatis defence team using the argument that the guy had a knock to the head and therefore was in a daze?

As for non English speaking mentioned above, is that really an excuse? Other than frustration that perhaps Barnes didn't understand the players native tongue, pushing a referee crosses all language barriers no?

3 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Josaia Raisuqe red carded and heavily banned for eye gouge in Stade Francais win

In total agreement with Colombes. Consistency is now a must.

"He added three weeks as a deterrent according to World Rugby’s memorandum regarding offences of this nature, before reducing the sanction by one third of the entry point (ie. six weeks) due to Raisuqe’s guilty plea, good conduct at the hearing, expression of remorse and youth and inexperience. He then imposed a suspension of 15 weeks."

So, the Fijian ticked all the right boxes as per his lawyers instruction, he also ticked boxes regarding his youth and inexperience. So one can only assume he got the best chance possible for a reduction. The 3 weeks added by instruction from World rugby, I assume is something that will carry along for the rest of the season at least...?

All we need now is a litmus test, hopefully some non islander, non frenchman, and non french afiliated player can poke someone in the eye in the next couple weeks and we can see how it pans out.

3 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Manu Tuilagi returns from injury to make big tackle on lock Courtney Lawes

Jimmy, apologies if you felt I was suggesting Nonu was average, as everyone so far has stated, Nonu is indeed far from average, but 10,10 just said Nonue was only unleashed when others allowed him to be. That is perhaps why I feel he was often the odd one out in the AB set up. AB's often have a 30 man squad with another 30 reserves all of who think quicker than the speed of light and are able to capitalise on a huge manner of opportunities... Nonu on the other hand sort of reminds me of a "Mongo likes candy"(Blazing saddles) type of player.... you don't want to get in his way, he'll smash you, he'll batter you he'll even out pace you, but he's more of a result of someone elses actions rather than his own.....again, not 100% true, but on a relative scale, compared to the other AB's this seems appropriate.

Myself, Dan, Stroudos and 1010, have said the same few things on numerous occasions how NH rugby, particularly English rugby, will always struggle to be naturally great due to a couple of reasons:
Firstly the coaching, majority of coaches up until perhaps these sorts of days, have been big, overweight guys who could never let go of the fact that in order to win a game you need to punch the opposition in the face...
Secondly, it's not Englands 'natural' game... parks in summer time are packed with blokes kicking a round ball around... not tossing an egg about. NZ on the other hand, is all about the odd shaped ball!

Anyway, Tuilagi is not too dissimilar to Nonu and as 1010 stated, it's how Tuilagi is used, but also NOT used, which will be a future test, especially as the guy grew up in the English rugby system, so one can only assume he was part of the "pass it to the big 'black' guy" game plan. (I'm aware he's an islander, it's just the aforementioned game plan is something I came up against on numerous occasions in my youth!!!)

3 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Manu Tuilagi returns from injury to make big tackle on lock Courtney Lawes

I think 10st10 has it well summed up with his mention of Nonu. I dare say Nonu is a great player, but I've always felt he was the odd one out in an NZ set up. NZ to me has always been immensely strong players with silky skills.... Nonu is about as silky as a battering ram. Sure he's got talent and I'm sure in his time with NZ his skills have been far more developed, but I can't help but get the impression that he didn't quite have the same thing the others have. He was always getting pinged for stupid no arm tackles, he'd always get a brain fart somewhere along the line..

Tuilagi is not quite the same, however there are a lot of attributes that both him, Nonu and Bastareaud share....relatively quick and heavy..... Those skills will ALWAYS win when an opposition backline is stretched or half asleep. But they also fail miserably when an oppo backline is firing well!

That being said, all 3 are great players and there are signs of vision etc from all of them, just not on the same scale as the rest of the worlds centres...

3 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Manu Tuilagi returns from injury to make big tackle on lock Courtney Lawes

I don't really have a stance for or against Tuilagi at the moment. The guy has talent somewhere...whether it's locked up at the moment or not is another matter...

However 2012 was 3 years ago (not counting 2016 as we've just entered it..)...

So he's got potential, but he's also got noticed and marked as a result...

4 Weeks, 3 Hours ago

Renaldo Bothma crunching collision in Japan's Top League


4 Weeks, 3 Hours ago

Manu Tuilagi returns from injury to make big tackle on lock Courtney Lawes

"international second row at full tilt"....

Yeh, and whilst we embellish things, Austin isn't a midget...

4 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Awesome compilation of some of the greatest skills ever seen in rugby

Well I don't understand 0:42 video with Farrell..... What is skilful about headbutting the ground? Or is this like a 'relative skill' video... Where a video of a prop running is a fantastic effort?

1 Month, 1 Day ago

Conrad Smith dummies Ma'a Nonu to slice through and score first Top 14 try

Hear hear, I remember the days when RD's main topics were big hits and dirty play....

I despise all this skilful activity that is being shown consistently on here. There is something nice about a cracking hit, it's something I can happily emulate... however catching a ball with my middle finger and skilfully farting it over to the next player whilst dodging three or four hits is not something I'm great at...

1 Month, 2 Days ago