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Tamati Ellison's sensational pass puts Ben Smith in for the try

I'd settle for the Wallabies' backs being able to pass both ways.

4 Years, 7 Months ago

Alesana Tuilagi straight red card for high tackle on Jean de Villiers

I think the red is fair enough as it was high and a shoulder charge, but I don't agree that it was late. High: some people are saying that JDV jumped and was coming down but that's no defence for a high shot as it's on the tackler to keep the tackle down. Shoulder charge: the islander nations constantly get away with shoulder charges because they put their arm out like that, with no intention of ever wrapping. Good referees pick it up for what it is, and that was definitely a shoulder charge as his arm stayed completely straight throughout. Late: if you watch the replay at full speed it's clear that Tuilagi was committed to the tackle. It's not as though JDV passes the ball and then gets hit, he attempts to catch the ball, misses it and then gets hit. By all rights, he should have caught it, Tuilagi expects him to catch it and therefore sets himself to tackle JDV.

Still a red though and I wouldn't mind a 2 week ban as he has a prior record.

4 Years, 8 Months ago

Tongan Eddie Aholelei punches Jebb Sinclair after fight with Canada

Anyone who thinks that second tackle was legal is having a laugh. I'll admit it's hard to see where the initial contact is, but at no point there was the tackler ever intending to wrap his arms. You see these Pacific Island nations do it all the time; they put their arm out wide when shoulder-charging so it looks like they're intending to wrap, but that was always going to be a cheap shot and in my opinion the contact was predominantly with the head. Right call on the yellow card.

As for the first, clear yellow even if the Canuck does try to milk it a bit.

4 Years, 8 Months ago

Day One Highlights from the IRB Junior World Championship

The ref has to make the call on the isolated incident. I don't think you can say that he shouldn't red card them because it might impact them later in the tournament. Having said that, I think both incidents should have been yellow cards. I've seen much worse spear/high tackles than those get yellows.

4 Years, 8 Months ago

Schalk Brits suspended for three weeks for striking Owen Farrell

While I do think Brits was stupid for punching Farrell in the face, I just can't stand people holding at rucks. It is starting to really ruin games as there are dozens of pick and drive tries scored due to defensive players being held back and the refs seem completely oblivious to it.

When this happens to me during a game I usually give the bloke a few punches on the forearm/wrist as hard as I can. That usually gets them to let go pretty quick smart and refs don't seem to mind it.

4 Years, 8 Months ago

Schalk Brits suspended for three weeks for striking Owen Farrell

That is absolutely ridiculous. Being a rugby player has nothing to do with having the self control of a monk. If someone punches me in the head you bet your ass I'm gonna give him a cheeky grin and a wave as he's sent off the pitch. I'd be surprised if you've ever spent long enough outside your ivory tower to play any rugby.

4 Years, 8 Months ago

All Blacks remain unbeaten with strong win over Boks in Soweto

An openside flanker's (and indeed every player on a rugby field's) job is to play to the line that the ref will allow. Yes McCaw has made an artform of 'accidentally' falling on the wrong side of a tackle, but as long as the refs keep letting him do it, McCaw should, and will, continue to be the best openside flanker in the game, and possibly ever. I'm not at all suggesting that he isn't an incredible player outside of this, but the only other player who is starting to learn these tactics from Richie is David Pocock (who is crucified by the public for playing unfairly), who is arguably the second best openside flanker in the world.

On another note, does anyone else think that Steve Hansen could do with a touch more humility? There have been a couple of instances lately where I think he needs to pull his head in a bit. I won't comment on his coaching ability, but he has inherited an incredible playing group as they came off a World Cup title, and I think that he should be a bit more humble in victory and not have so many negative things to say about other teams. It takes the shine off the amazing feats that the All Blacks have accomplished over the last 12 months.

5 Years, 4 Months ago

Bryan Habana hat-trick sinks the wounded Wallabies in Pretoria

Can someone explain what Slipper's sin-binning was for? I only got to watch the highlights, but it looks to me like the tackled player was isolated and that both Wallaby players were well within their rights to try to pilfer the ball. Maybe another angle showed that Slipper did not maintain his feet?

5 Years, 4 Months ago

USA Eagles have two players red carded in loss to Italy in Houston

Ignoring the legality of the hit, the Italians were clearly milking these tackles. I'm not saying the hits wouldn't have hurt, but in the first tackle the Italian player behaves as if he is unconscious, despite being hit in the chest. This is typical of Italian rugby players, who have obviously been influenced by their national sport.

5 Years, 7 Months ago