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All Blacks snatch victory at the death in thrilling Brisbane Test

Coles is quick. Very exciting player, as if NZ need any more of those.

16 Hours, 47 Minutes ago

All Blacks snatch victory at the death in thrilling Brisbane Test

This is true. And I'd expand it to say that pretty much regardless of the match-situation, they have a capacity for an outrageous score. Thinking of the SA-NZ match recently, Fekitoa again scored a try completely against the run of play.

Anyway, the rule of thumb is that you have to be more than 7 points clear at 80 minutes to be sure of beating this lot. They are something else.

2 Days, 12 Hours ago

All Blacks snatch victory at the death in thrilling Brisbane Test

It sounds like the ARU knew MacKenzie had to go. Not sure exactly why, but clearly the latest Kurtley Beale business brought things to a head. I don't think there was an ideal time to leave, but at least by leaving before the NH tour, a new coach has a little time to begin rebuilding.

To my eyes, there's good reason for belief. When David Pocock comes back as captain, and if Genia and/or Cooper find some form, suddenly there's a good deal of talent and experience competing for key positions.

And looking even further ahead... if they win their tough WC group, they avoid NZ and SA until the final. They need a good coach, but I'd say it's a pretty plum job still. And sounds like it will be Cheika if the Tahs sign off.

Still a little surprised MacKenzie came up short as head coach, he was excellent at the Reds while managing some difficult characters there, so can't imagine he'll have too much difficulty finding a new job. And perhaps one day he'll explain why it wrong this past year.

2 Days, 16 Hours ago

Rugby's first ever OWN TRY awarded in NRC clash in Sydney

Ref: "Try or no try?"

TMO: "Try. Scored by me. Put it in the book."

6 Days, 13 Hours ago

Fiji beat Samoa in action packed final to win Gold Coast Sevens

Thanks for flagging, that deserves a post on its own!

1 Week, 15 Hours ago

Richard Hibbard and Sione Kalamafoni double hit on Brad Barritt

I like Barritt too, and it's his defence which keeps him in the England frame. Think Lancaster is hoping he finds someone with more creativity, but Barritt is still a decent fallback option.

1 Week, 15 Hours ago

Ben Flower red carded for vicious punching at start of Super League Grand Final

I'll go out on a limb here and say smacking a guy in the face who is already out cold is anything but a beaut.

As the guy just above said, most of this ban is for the second punch. No ifs or buts, it was completely out of order.

1 Week, 15 Hours ago

Ben Flower red carded for vicious punching at start of Super League Grand Final

Anyone who has played the game knows how spats between players can escalate. I think reasonable people can disagree exactly when this spat crossed the line, but the final punch, when Hohaia was prone, was so far over the line there really is no debate.

At least there shouldn't be.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Ben Flower red carded for vicious punching at start of Super League Grand Final

The second punch is sickening.

The League authorities, who are generally pretty good on disiplinary matters, have to get this decision right; the punch unfortunately tarnished all of rugby (because loads of people still don't realise there are two codes), and if they must make an example of Flower, so be it.

There was a helluva lot of gloating from the soccer fraternity, a "what if this had happened in our game" chat, the only way to answer it is to underline how completely unacceptable this was. A long ban is in order, and an even longer suspended ban for if he ever does something similar again.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Sonny Bill Williams back in the ITM Cup for Counties Manukau

Assume he gets a larger paycheque from the NRL than he does on a NZ contract, but the international exposure from playing in a WC, especially one in the NH, is good for the brand.

Honestly - I don't begrudge him. You have a 15-year playing career if you are lucky. For many it's less. You gotta do what you can. But if I were an AB player who lost out on a WC place to SBW, I maybe wouldn't feel the say way.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

 
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