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Ardie Savea huge hit on Elton Jantjies raises concerns

Don't they teach people how to tackle properly? Both tackles on the replay were made with the head leading into contact!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All eyes on Jaco Peyper after controversial Beauden Barrett yellow card

I like Peyper's explanation: "he's on the wrong side, so whatever influence he's had [read: accidental or not] I have to penalize him".

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Highlanders inflict second tour defeat for British and Irish Lions in Dunedin

To be fair, Warburton's try could have been prevented by the Highlander's #3... if the tighthead prop in question wasn't busy being held back by AWJ...

3 Months, 1 Week ago

Super Rugby teams face emotional cut with another restructure

I'm not suggesting that we use on-field performance as the yardstick here - if (just as an example) the Brumbies are losing money, I would advocate for disbanding them. The people responsible for creating the winning culture there (including the academy) could be moved.

The draft should be structured such that teams pick in reverse order of quality (based on a couple of seasons of results). So hypothetically, and using the same random example as above, if the Brumbies were disbanded then the draft order might look like this: Rebels, then Force, then Reds, then Waratahs. That prevents a top team (i.e.: 'Tahs) from taking the top 3 players, but also prevents weak team (i.e.: Rebels) from taking all the top talent and thereby essentially duplicating the team that was removed.

To your point about a team not being removed simply because they feature top talent: it's not as though the talent would disappear from the league - they would be drafted by other teams in their conference. So if the Reds were to be folded, then your Coopers and Higganbothams would simply be drafted by other Australian teams.

P.S.: I'm not suggesting the Brumbies be disbanded.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Dillyn Leyds sets up try with one of the best passes you will ever see

How....what?!?
Incredible.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Super Rugby teams face emotional cut with another restructure

Truth be told, I thought expanding to 18 teams was a mistake. Adding teams in Argentina and Japan is worthwhile experiment (I'd love a PI team, but financially the rationale isn't there) but adding the teams should have involved axing teams to keep the number around 15.

Adding the Kings was a terrible idea, and in fact chopping a SA team would have made sense at the time instead of adding a team.

Australian Super Rugby teams could benefit from a cull - the Rebels have never really been competitive on the pitch, and the Force and Reds have been rather hit-or-miss.

In both Aus and SA, pick the team(s) in the weakest market (worst attendance figures, lowest apparel and spin-off sales) and chop'em. Have a draft at which the remaining teams take it in turns to pick players - start with the team with the worst record in the last two seasons and take it in turns. That will make sure the financially viable teams stick around, and the talent from the axed teams gets selected to surviving teams in a way that helps increase the overall competition.

If SANZAR wants to do right by the players, it will have to take it on the chin and pay out the contracts of the players affected - I'd like to see a deal in place where players have the option of terminating their contract early in order to sign with an overseas club or where they can remain with a Super Rugby club and SANZAR picks up the tab for whatever is left on their contract. That way, guys who are fringe/substitute/training squad-type players have financial security for the remainder of their contract and the clubs aren't stuck footing the bill for a larger number of players that they need. It also allows flexibility for players who find themselves superfluous to their team's needs to active pursue foreign contracts without penalty.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Taqele Naiyaravoro leaves a trail of destruction on his way to a try

It drives me nuts to see poor tackling like this. A textbook tackle right at the line of the shorts, with a good strong wrap of the arms would have done the trick. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, time was that a textbook tackle was the bread-and-butter of any rugby player worth his salt.

This guy doesn't even seem to have much pace. Remember when wingers were quick?

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Jonathan Faauli suspended for 4 weeks for big tackle

Whaddya reckon gents? Dick level of 6 for a swinging arm to the chin, plus an initial dick level of at least 2 for the dead rodent on his head, minus a dick level for acknowledging he's been a bit of a prick...total dick quotient of 7?

Is the ban in line with the crime, or has the judiciary once again 'cocked up'?

5 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Ed Quirk lashes out with elbow and knee after being held off the ball

All this to say, Quirk was a dick and should be punished. Whether or not it was dangerous, some things just aren't cool.

5 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Ed Quirk lashes out with elbow and knee after being held off the ball

One of my favourite things about rugby is that generally people acting like dicks are sorted out on the field until the "dick level" is balanced. Add to that the fact that if the "dick level" exceeds a certain total, the ref gets involved and it's simple and straightforward. Take for example this simple formula:

- Chiefs lock holds Sunwolves flanker = he's a category 3 dick, and dick level is 0-3.
- Sunwolves flanker rubs his elbow in Chiefs lock's face = category 4 dick move, dick level is 4-3 (total of 7)
- Sunwolves flanker knees lock = upgrade him to category 7 dick, dick level is 7-3.

At this point, things can go three ways:
- nothing further happens (unlikely) and Quirk goes on his merry way as a category 7 dick. This is bad for rugby as a whole, because he'll be a cocky dick because he got away with it. No-one likes a cocky dick.
- a Sunwolves player delivers a late hit or "gives him the bidness" in the shadowy depth of some ruck, thus bringing the dick level closer to balance (likely around 7-7, plus or minus 1). Games continues on, Quirk recognizes that being a dick has consequences and saves his prickishness for when it's absolutely necessary.
- the referee decides that at 7-3, the total dick quotient for the game has exceeded the level he's comfortable with. He issues a penalty (-1 dick level), a yellow (-4 dick level), or a red (-total dick level of carded player). This brings the dick score of the game to an acceptable level, and theoretically moves it closer to balance.

5 Months, 4 Weeks ago