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Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

It's nothing new though, either for France or nearly any other country, and in pretty much every sport these days too.

Re. Armitage, that will be a very bitter pill for England fans to swallow, but for my money, this is self-inflicted. Everyone knows why the RFU has their rules, but it's extremely difficult to understand how Armitage did not get a look in on the "exceptional circumstances" allowance.

Playing as a specialist fetcher and voted player of the year in the Top 14? In this situation, if Armitage couldn't get called into the England squad, the message seems to be that no-one playing in the Top 14 ever will.

2 Days, 18 Hours ago

Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

I think Hougaard is a wing who does a decent job filling in at scrum-half, it seems to me though that several of the specialist skills of the srummie don't come completely naturally to him. I do like him on the wing though, and he's a seriously good broken-field runner.

All of this stuff about Bok srumhalf is however a bit academic, Fourie du Preez is the first choice, Ruan Pienaar is his back-up, and even without Kockott available, there are enough decent 9s around to fill-in while the first choices are out. Cobus Reinach looks like he'll get a shot soon, I'd like to see Sarel Pretorius get a chance, but basically they're all just keeping Fourie du Preez's seat warm.

2 Days, 19 Hours ago

Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

This tournament is done, but I guess this loss didn't hurt quite as much because I'm feeling ok about the bigger picture.

But agree they could do with a couple of home wins against Australia and New Zealand. That bit of extra confidence might be what they need to push them to the next level, where they can mix up their game plans. The big difference for me is that unlike many previous years, I think they have the players and the combinations to do that.

3 Days, 12 Hours ago

Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

Wrt Bismarck - I think the main issue with him is fatigue. The Sharks pre-season was of crazy intensity and realistically guys like Bismarck have had no down-time all year. I don't think it's any coincidence that despite being the best SA Super15 side, the Sharks don't have many in the Bok match squad, and those that are playing (in the front row) are struggling. Marcel Coetzee is the exception, but he missed some of the earlier Bok games so is a bit fresher.

Always frustrating to lose such tight match, but I think there were enough positives getting so close in NZ, and hopefully they finish the season strong with the two home games.

3 Days, 14 Hours ago

Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

Tough old test match, a good one for the purists! NZ probably deserved to shade it, but a huge plus for SA with how Handre Pollard played. Can't wait to see how he fares playing outside Fourie du Preez.

And would also say, after last week's referee nonsense, well done to Jerome Garces.

3 Days, 15 Hours ago

Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees in Premiership opening weekend

Terrific tackle. Below shoulder-height, and he wraps his arms, textbook stuff. Players shouldn't be considered lucky to get away with tackles like this, they should quite simply not be penalised.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Female Streaker has no regrets after high shot near miss in Napier

I do like the sheepdog idea. That is good.

Dude streakers, if they incorporate a prank element, should be leniently treated too. If a streaker could somehow join a backline move, or go celebrate a try, that would be awesome.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Female Streaker has no regrets after high shot near miss in Napier

Are we having a debate about equal rights for streakers? Cool.

So, first rule, unless you take all your kit off, you aren't streaking. You are trespassing. You are a potential Piet van Zyl, and the security will treat you as such. If you can't be bothered to streak properly, you bear the consequences. Or bare them. One of those words.

If you do streak properly, you've earned some man points. Or woman points. The question is if all man points and woman points are equal. This is entirely situational. Reasonable people can disagree if Brian Baenhoff is a hero or a complete legend. Reasonable people can pass judgement Rose Kupa. This is impossible to call in a general sense.

Let me put it this way, any Sharks cheerleader could streak and 99% of rugby fans would speak in her defence. This is objectively true. But I would not want to see Piet van Zyl streak. If that makes me a sinful sexist, so be it.

1 Week, 3 Days ago

Springboks snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Wallabies win in Perth

The dummy runners were running legit lines. From a couple of angles, it looks like they could have been blocking defenders from getting to Folau, but from head on it all seemed fair to me; the Aussies had men over and the dummy runners fixed the defence, looked a good try all the way.

1 Week, 3 Days ago

Julian Savea scores a brace as All Blacks win comfortably vs Argentina

Not to be contrary for the sake of it, but sometimes (definitely not here) I think it is fair to call a block a knock-on. If the ref decides a kick is catchable, and the player knocks it down instead of trying to catch it, it's a fair enough call. That's what the ref decided here, we all agree it was the wrong decision, and what really compounds it is the fact he could have not blown his whistle and let the TMO decide.

This might not be a popular opinion, but if there were no TMO to adjudicate, I'd not be overly critical of this call. But it is not acceptable at Test Match level to make such a serious error like this.

1 Week, 3 Days ago

 
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