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1 Week, 1 Day ago

New Wasps signing Kurtley Beale sidelined after freak injury at kickoff

"Beale has overcome diversity on numerous occasions..."

Lol. I assume you meant to write "adversity", but that's not what made me laugh.

Much of the adversity he's had to overcome involved his being a muppet off the field. From bar brawls to fighting with team-mates to sexting a team manager, he's made quite a name for himself.

Though I will concede, that under Cheika, he's gotten his act together and played some very good rugby. And he is of Aboriginal descent, which in Australia can come with its own baggage.

But very good news for him and Wasps if this injury will keep him on the sidelines for only 6 months. And hope he makes a full recovery, his turn of pace is still a helluva sight.

1 Week, 4 Days ago

Ben Botica inexplicably kicks the ball away as Harlequins attempt late comeback in final

Yep. I feel bad for the bloke here. We all have these moments, a complete brain fail forgetting what we're supposed to do, very few of us have them on live TV in front of millions.

The great thing about this game though, is that you know his team-mates will have been the first to tell him it wasn't his fault they lost. And then they'll take a trip to the drinker and rag him about it.

1 Week, 5 Days ago

Lima Sopoaga creates Waisake Naholo try with one of the flattest crosskick's you will ever see

I think Sopoaga's game has come on hugely the last couple of years, he's a big reason why the Highlanders have become so strong, and he's surely going to be in contention for the AB jersey.

Agree he's a better goal-kicker than Barrett, but Barrett's attacking game is top drawer. I guess that's the happy choice the NZ selectors face, as usual!

1 Week, 5 Days ago

Lima Sopoaga creates Waisake Naholo try with one of the flattest crosskick's you will ever see

I guess if you don't want to be known as NZ's 4th best flyhalf, you need to do things like this.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing

No worries, I had to double check myself.

Personally, I don't have a problem with the emphasis of the rule - if you kick away possession, I agree the responsibility should be on the chasing side to not run into defenders jumping for the ball.

I do however put a question mark against taking discretion out of the hands of the ref in terms of punishment. Not all these incidents are the same. And definitely, a red card has a huge impact on the game, so it's not something you want handed out lightly.

For the JOs, the reason for a 2 week ban versus a 4 week ban for Emery... I'm not sure, under current rules, that I understand why there's a difference. In line with your point, I would however argue that the red should be just about enough - maybe an extra week or two in some more extreme circumstances, but the red is already harsh punishment.

Anyway it's pretty clear for a while that World Rugby wants a big deterrent - Sam Warburton's red in a WC semifinal they agreed with, so I don't think a couple of similar incidents in Super Rugby will make them change their minds.

3 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing

The bloke's name is Leolin (not Leonil).

I guess the only real talking point here is how to factor in the slip - because to me it looks like he might have been able to avoid the collision if he hadn't lost his footing.

But not to argue about otherwise, the law here is pretty clear.

3 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Joe Marler could be in trouble again after appearing to kick an opponent in the head

My memories were of younger Marler were of a great lad who didn't take himself too seriously, gave it his all and played the game in a great spirit. Question-mark was always if he was a good enough scrummager (still a question mark perhaps?)

I can't recall, prior to this season, if he had past history of cynical play. This act of petulance seems to me a little out of character, even if you have a look at the other stuff he's gotten into trouble for, it's nothing like this. The "fore-arm smash" he was cited for was a nothingburger, and banter-gate, especially after World Rugby weighed in, was a circus which must have had an effect on him.

But he needs to get his head straight, he's too good a player to damage his career with moments of foolishness like this.

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Owen Farrell yellow carded for knocking out Dan Robson with sickening clash

I think Farrell's a little unlucky here. It is a nasty collision, but at full speed it was one of those untidy plays where both players' body positions are bad and the impact is unfortunate as a result. Farrell, imo, sees he has a good chance of making a big tackle behind the gain-line, and I can't really pinpoint a moment where he either should have pulled out of the tackle or gotten into a better position.

I see though he has been cited, presumably because the suits are being asked to consider if this was a red card offence, but that would seem to be extremely harsh. It was a dangerous tackle, but neither intentional nor reckless, not by any standard that you can easily apply to rugby.

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Joe Marler could be in trouble again after appearing to kick an opponent in the head

Total muppet behaviour.

I mean, there's not a whole lot in this, but it is the thin end of the wedge in terms of players kicking each other - and given he aimed his flick at another bloke's head, he can't have any complaints when he gets banned.

Really disappointing too, I enjoyed watching Marler as he rose through the ranks at Quins and became a top quality player, but he's letting himself down badly. And this is just such a stupid way to get yourself in trouble.

1 Month, 3 Days ago