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All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Yes and no.
Yes - there is no money in playing in Samoa. It is a big ask for both the NZRU and the players themselves to play an extra test match in an already packed playing season.
No - the ABs don't avoid teams that can beat them. They have played several times over the years, and most years since the dawn of professional rugby the ABs have played a team from the Pacific Islands.

It is also not as straightforward as playing in other test nations - there has been some political instability between the two countries over the last 12 months.

I agree about the impact that Polynesian and Melanesian athletes have had on world sport, but it is important to remember that there is approximately 150,000 people who identify themselves as Samoan that are living in New Zealand - Auckland is considered to be Samoa's largest city.

2 Years, 10 Months ago

South Africa maintain home record with dramatic last ditch win over Wales

My main question, in regards to the last try and decision:

Before contact had been made with the shoulder/elbow, making it an illegal tackle, the South African winger had already lost control of the ball because the Welsh tackler had dislodged it with his left arm - legally.
By all accounts I agree that there is no place for shoulder charging etc in the game, and that it needs to be penalised etc, but I'm borderline as to whether the right call was made here.

Say for instance: a Welsh player makes a runaway linebreak, and a South African player chases him down, with the initial momentum of the tackle causing the Welsh player to lose the ball forward. However after the ball is lost forward, but still during the tackle, the South African player holds onto the jersey of the Welsh player which prevents him from regathering the ball. Is the South African player penalised for the jersey pulling and a penalty try given?

Or, say the Welsh player loses control of the ball in the tackle, and the South African player strikes the Welsh player in the face after the tackle has been completed. What would happen there?

Maybe instead of giving a penalty try, Walsh should have shown the Welsh player red and given South Africa a penalty? I don't know, but not sure that the precedent set is the right one.

3 Years, 11 Months ago

Brian O'Driscoll's incredible skill at training - Lions RAW teaser

I think he is referring to how easy it is to display skills in training compared to during games where there is actual pressure.

4 Years, 7 Months ago

Springboks full of belief after thumping the Wallabies in Brisbane

Completely disagree, boks backrow is probably the weakest it has been in years. They've got muscle in their tight five, but All Blacks will still dominate the breakdown. There probably won't be a huge amount of play in midfield, though Engelbrecht is easily the worst starting centre in the championship, JDV will be the man to watch. Also the ABs back three have it over the boks', save for Habana.
If ABs get good ball, they'll dominate as always. The game will be decided by Retallick v Etzebeth, Franks v The Beast, Woodcock v Du Plessis/Ooesthiuzen, Hore/Mealamu/Coles v Bismark.

I rate Meyer as a coach, he's done well so far, but still think there is daylight between the ABs and the rest, not being one-eyed. The boks put some points on weak opposition and all of a sudden they're world-beaters...

4 Years, 8 Months ago

Kane Barrett gets straight red card but cited for separate stamp

So if referees don't judge intent... then how did Horwill get away scot-free?

4 Years, 10 Months ago

The British and Irish Lions win the first Test as Kurtley Beale misses late penalties

I agree, he points inward as he wants to take the ball further infield before grounding. You can tell because he looks angry rather than jubilant after the try is scored.

Shouting and punching the ball away after the try would be more congruent behaviour if the point had been meant in a taunting or disrespectful player.

I understand northerners don't see many tries scored so they may not be as used to the scoring process as us southerners.

4 Years, 11 Months ago

The British and Irish Lions win the first Test as Kurtley Beale misses late penalties

I apologise for the you're/your mix-up, there is no excuse.

4 Years, 11 Months ago

The British and Irish Lions win the first Test as Kurtley Beale misses late penalties

Mate, you're grasp of sarcasm is as slippery as the pitch of Suncorp.

4 Years, 11 Months ago

The British and Irish Lions win the first Test as Kurtley Beale misses late penalties

Your penalty counting is pretty suspect... Northern hemisphere education must be slipping in standards if 13 is equal to double 8.

Previous to the game the Lions assistant coach Rob Howley said: "We're quite happy with Chris Pollock refereeing, he's an outstanding referee." I'd imagine that Howley has a better grasp of Pollock's refereeing style (which was consistent with Saturday night's performance) than you (or most people on this forum), and that the Lions had prepared accordingly. Perhaps the reason O'Connell (who I thought was fantastic), BOD and co. were pinged against the Wallabies when they hadn't previously in Australia, was because last night they were playing a test side, not a Super Rugby Franchise.

I have to agree with you about the erosion of Super Rugby to the point where there is no contest for the ball; the competition has produced too many players like David Pocock, George Smith, Richie McCaw, Rene Ranger, Schalk Burger, Willem Alberts etc etc who have never been able to dominate Northern Hemisphere players at the breakdown.

At the end of the day the Lions tour should be an advert for international rugby, and everyone I have talked to since said that the match was scintillating footy, with more time with the ball in play than most tests, and a true spectacle to behold.

4 Years, 11 Months ago