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Reggie Goodes suspended as clean out badly injures Michael Allardice knee

You're right, marginal wasn't a good choice of word - what I meant was he didn't miss a legal entry by much (often the case with three/four person rucks, where the point for a legal entry is not big and refs offer a bit of leniency to the attacking side). But on replay it is clearly from the side, so for the JO to say "This was a clean out that started as a legitimate attempt", that's just bollocks.

Even if he had hit him on the shoulder as he said he intended, it was still side entry.

Maybe there's some legal sense in this ruling that I've missed, but seems they've made a meal of explaining what should have been a simple ruling, and created bad precedent with this weird standard for assessing recklessness.

3 Days, 5 Hours ago

Reggie Goodes suspended as clean out badly injures Michael Allardice knee

This is an amazing decision, and who knows what sort of precedent it sets.

The ruling here states three things:
1. The attempted clear-out was legal;
2. There was no disregard for the other player's safety;
3. There was an element of recklessness in the clear-out.

Point 1 is flat wrong. He joins from the side. It is marginal, but the rules aren't ambiguous. It is an illegal clear-out, whether he attempts to bind or not. This is so obvious it hurts to point it out.

Points 2 and 3, together, are legal mumbo-jumbo. If Point 2 is true, how can Point 3 be true as well? Specifically, if I hit a ruck with proper regard to other players' safety, what else can I possibly have done to have not been reckless? I can only think of one answer - do not hit the ruck too hard.

If the suits want to take a line against people joining rucks like this - and as someone who has blown out knee ligaments, I'd have no issues with it - just say so. Call an illegal side-entry which blasts a guys knees dangerous and reckless, a cardable offence, every player on the planet will understand.

This precedent however does nothing of the sort, and it's a mystery what this judicial pinhead was trying to establish. It literally means if you hit ruck, even if you are trying to bind and legitimately clear out an opponent, the ref may red card you if in his view you go in too hard.

God knows the refs have a hard enough job already, rulings like this give them no help at all.

3 Days, 21 Hours ago

Carlin Isles burns England in semi final as USA fly to London 7s Cup Final victory

Brilliant for the USA. A strong US sevens team - one which the country will get behind at the Olympics - will do wonders for the development of rugby here.

5 Days, 5 Hours ago

Host selection process kicks off for Rugby World Cup 2023

I think that tends to happen in practice, and it is good when it does... so let's see more of it!

5 Days, 5 Hours ago

Host selection process kicks off for Rugby World Cup 2023

It'll be South Africa. Their bid will be backed by Sanzar, and the IRB won't wait more than 12 years for another southern hemisphere world cup. Be good though if they could get Argentina to host a few pool games - hopefully logistically possible.

The real test for the IRB in terms of being adventurous will be Japan 2019. If that goes well, then hopefully a North American tournament will happen before too long, and no excuse not to take matches to Germany, Spain, Portugal the next time Europe hosts.

By that time too, Sevens rugby at the Olympics will have helped spread the gospel even more.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Damian de Allende's great form continues with big hit against the Brumbies

Could Steyn be selected again? I thought he'd been ruled out indefinitely after he withdrew from the squad - what was it two years ago? - and he wasn't included in the training squads.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Damian de Allende's great form continues with big hit against the Brumbies

Could Steyn be selected again? I thought he'd been ruled out indefinitely after he withdrew from the squad - what was it two years ago? - and he wasn't included in the training squads.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Damian de Allende's great form continues with big hit against the Brumbies

I'd say he's a possible rather than a probable for the squad. He should however get some opportunities in the rugby championships - the Bokke will be resting the definites for the WC squad for at least half the tournament - and maybe he'll play himself into contention.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Damian de Allende's great form continues with big hit against the Brumbies

A little amused by the timing of this article - De Allende has had a very good season (he was immense on tour for the Stormers), but he had a bit of a stinker last weekend against the Brumbies.

I also think you are a bit optimistic on his Bok prospects. He's seen as more of an outside bet to make the Bok squad for the world cup, especially now that Jean de Villiers sounds like he's well ahead of schedule on his recovery. And he has a longer-term problem, that Jan Serfontein - a Meyer favourite - also has 12 as his best position.

I do agree that he looks an international prospect, just don't think anyone should think he's nailed on yet, not even for the next World Cup.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Toulon's Xavier Chiocci scores a great prop try against Castres in the Top 14

Knowing backs, they'd all start playing with forwards' #s on their shirts.

1 Week, 3 Days ago