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France U18s win the European Championship and give hope to the future

If Italy and Scotland don't deserve their places based on history and proximity, who does? Georgia would be absolutely hammered in every match if they took part, just like every other team in Europe outside of the Six Nations, and would have absolutely zero chance of winning against Ireland, Wales, England and France - and Italy and Scotland, for that matter.

And I'd say based on history Scotland do deserve to be there. They're going through tough times but they've been there for over a hundred years and in the past were pretty successful.

2 Days, 13 Hours ago

Toulon set for yet another final following tense victory over Leinster

Some truth? It's undeniably the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

4 Days, 9 Hours ago

Clermont brilliance sees off Saracens to set up place in Champions Cup Final

I hope you're right, but people have been saying it's their year for the last four or five years.

4 Days, 9 Hours ago

David Pocock's Turnover Masterclass against the Blues

I count two good ones and two bad ones. Half a master-class in turnovers, half a master-class in playing to a crap referee.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Marcelo Bosch last gasp Quarter Final penalty sinks Racing Metro

The only thing I'd reprimand Owens for in this case is not giving a penalty earlier. They illegally sealed off at nearly every single ruck between the scrum and the penalty.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Julian Savea and Eben Etsebeth slap one another while smiling

God Etzebeth is absolutely loathsome. Just like his predecessor Bakkies.

3 Weeks, 12 Hours ago

George North knocked out again as Nathan Hughes gets red card for knee

Obviously Hughes didn't intend to make contact with his head, but if you manage to kick someone in the head when your foot has no business being near his head, then you should be punished for recklessness. I wouldn't ban Hughes (at least not harshly) but you simply cannot kick players in the head when they score tries and then just say it was an unfortunate, unavoidable accident.

I don't know if I'm the only one here that sees it this way, but rather than Hughes doing what he can to slow himself and avoid contact, I see him trying to kick the ball out of North's hands and missing and getting him in the head. Considering that kicking the ball out of someone's hands isn't allowed, there's no justification whatsoever.

3 Weeks, 4 Days ago

Wales dash Ireland's Grand Slams hopes in epic Cardiff battle

Well, when I say I loved it I mean that the difference in treatment was absolutely ridiculous and Craig Joubert-like.

But in reference to your point about Barnes, I actually find it funny how he congratulates players. At scrum time it's fine, because each referee might expect a different thing and the players need to know if they're doing what's expected. Getting out of the way in rucks is just the basics of rugby though, and thanking players for it just weakens his image as an authority figure, in my opinion.

1 Month, 6 Days ago

Wales dash Ireland's Grand Slams hopes in epic Cardiff battle

Personally, I loved the way he continued to penalise Irish players who got caught on the wrong sides of rucks (rightly or wrongly, depending on your opinion) and then when Dan Lydiate did it he just said, "He did everything he could to get out of the way" and didn't penalise him, even though in that instance he really was obstructing the exit of the ball from the ruck.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

France ease to comfortable victory over Italy at wet Stadio Olimpico

Italy really, really need to get a better kicking coach, or better kickers. They're not a team that will score loads of tries, so they simply must capitalise on their kicking opportunities. It nearly cost them the match against Scotland, and it cost them any hope they had against what turned out to be a pretty decent French team. If Italy had gone 6-0 up at the beginning like they should have, it could have been a very different game. Kelly Tuscany Haimona is very poor at kicking (even if he didn't play yesterday), and is a centre rather than an outhalf, so they need to stick to Allan and whoever else there might be. It's the single biggest factor in Italy's losses, and should be made top priority by all the stakeholders.

On another note, matches like these really show how important a factor the weather can be in matches. I think on a dry day that could have been an excellent match, and not the knock-on fest it turned out to be.

Well done to France though. I don't know if they've turned a corner (I doubt it) but they were pretty impressive.

1 Month, 1 Week ago