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Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

The political beast is always there, and it always finds its voice when we lose. That's the sad reality.

Not sure I agree fully with your second point - if you look at who other Lions players could replace... it's a bit of a mixed bag. Franco Mostert and Jaco Kriel and Warren Whitely would all displace experienced players; but no question, if a white Lions player replaced a non-white member of the squad, we'd hear all about it.

4 Days, 17 Hours ago

Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

I've been trying to get inside Coetzee's head, in terms of his selections - because, like you say, the Lions players have been light years ahead of all others in terms of current form, and surely more of them deserve a run.

What I think has happened is this. He knows he's picking an inexperienced half-back pairing (they were found out in the first test), so he's tried to bolster the experience quota in other key areas, most obviously the loose-forwards. I can understand the thinking, it's born from the cautious mindset that every Bok coach gets sucked into when they first take on the job, but this time Coetzee really needed to start from fresh and go all-in on selecting Lions players. The second half this weekend showed why.

I have since read that Jaco Kriel will be starting next week. I hope that's correct, it's long overdue, and I imagine it'll take about 30 minutes for him to confirm he's world class and indispensable.

And lastly, to re-emphasise your point about Ireland, they have been a consistently strong NH team for a while. You never want to take them lightly. I'd maintain there's a gap between the NH and SH teams - the latter still win nearly all the really big games - but it's not a big gap and when you underperform, you get punished. Even when you play well, Ireland are a helluva tough opponent.

5 Days, 23 Hours ago

CJ Stander banned for 1 week after red card for knocking out Pat Lambie

I disagree with you that the challenge is late. He's not trying to tackle Lambie, he has every right to try charge the kick down, and he nearly gets there.

The question really is if the charge was reckless, whether he could have done more to avoid colliding with Lambie. I don't think so myself. You could even argue that by turning side-on, he's giving Lambie the best chance of avoiding a collision.

To me, never worthy of a red card. And unlike Schumacher - who deliberately leveled Battiston - there was nothing malicious about this.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Courageous Ireland beat Springboks in South Africa for first time ever

This was a perfectly ok SA side on paper. Some new faces, but enough experienced guys who should have stood up. The half-backs though are new at this level, but they've been excellent in super rugby... hopefully they now realize this is a step above that standard.

Re. the quota stuff - I would argue all the non-white players were deservedly there, or at least you could make a good case for each of them. Jaco Kriel however should be playing, but he probably he missed out to Francois Louw.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Courageous Ireland beat Springboks in South Africa for first time ever

Extremely unlucky on the red card. I hope the disciplinary guys decide at the very least the card was sufficient punishment, it was a nasty collision but hard for me to see what Stander's supposed to do differently and still put pressure on the flyhalf.

Otherwise, no question which side deserved to win. SA should have made more of their advantage, but they didn't, and Ireland took their chances. Basically one side looked like they knew this was a game of test rugby, the other, not so much.

2 Weeks, 1 Minute ago

Fox Sports Australia pull no punches in new promo mocking England ahead of series

There were definitely some numbnuts blaming Burgess - as if he'd selected himself. But there were numerous media critics who'd pointed out the risks, and rightly blamed England management when their fears were realised.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Fox Sports Australia pull no punches in new promo mocking England ahead of series

Should be a very good series, litmus test surely is going to be which side can find some creative spark to break down what are tough defences.

And to be fair, the Aussies seem to have the players to do that, bit more of a question against England.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Fox Sports Australia pull no punches in new promo mocking England ahead of series

What was outrageous was assuming he could become an international standard 12 in less than a year.

And by outrageous, I mean, next-level stupid.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Fox Sports Australia pull no punches in new promo mocking England ahead of series

Australia v England, now there's a series where, as a neutral, it's rarely been easy to know who to root for.

I've generally leaned Australia in the past, because I've enjoyed seeing England put in their place by a SH team. But I'm perhaps now leaning England, because I'm convinced that losing hurts Australian pride more.

And I will say too, the England team under Lancaster and now Eddie Jones is easy to respect. The way they play, the way they conduct themselves off the field, it's very professional. Compared to the shitnozzles that played in the 2011 RWC, and you do not want to hear some of the off-the-record stuff about what that squad did, they've come a long way and it's a huge credit to guys like Robshaw who laid down the marker for anyone who pulled on a jersey.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Giant Bok teammates Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager come to blows

If nothing else, it's a good excuse to get some Lions players into the team. And plenty of them should be.

3 Weeks, 4 Days ago