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Sonny Bill Williams off to Japan then returns to the NRL and Rugby League

It is all too easy to forget that Rugby is his career. He has to think about his future, his family's future and his financial security. He's only going briefly but he has an opportunity to try out a new lifestyle in Japan before again playing NRL, which he played before union. Players don't get long careers so they have to take every opportunity. I see nothing wrong with what he is doing. Who here can say that money doesn't influence where they work??

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Scotland go two from two as they beat the Flying Fijians

Very interesting to see Visser in the international game, Scotland are beginning to get a useful attacking backline. Thought for some time now that Visser could even be a Lions starter, serious pace and power. A big step up to be made though from Pro 12 to lions but I would be surprised if he didn't go on the tour at the very least.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

Firstly congrats to Leinster, they were undoubtedly the best team in the competition yet again and they fully deserved the title. O'Driscoll's power of recovery really are inhuman, he wasn't even expected to play again this season following his surgery after the world cup and to have knee surgery 8 days before the final and put in the performance he did speaks volumes for his dedication and all round ability. Seeing Sean O'Brien back to his best after a dip in form in recent months post WC 2011 is also fantastic from a Leinster and Irish perspective. Two questions arise though, how is it that Ireland seemingly cannot play to this level? Yet again I am forced to say that Kidney must be removed and a foreign, southern hemisphere coach preferably brought in. We need new ideas and someone to shake things up. Secondly, how is it that so many articles and websites are saying Leinster are the only team to defend the title when Leicster did it before just over 10 years ago!?

Great to see Ulster back in the final too, they've been fantastic to watch for the most part, putting in some devastating performances and can know confidently know the battle for Irish supremacy is not only between Leinster and Munster any more!

2 Years, 5 Months ago

Leinster hold out against Clermont to reach another Heineken Cup final

I remember seeing that hit in the match but quickly forgot about it because Leinster went on to score and win the match. Disgraceful play though, you can see Cudmore stop, see nobody around him and then launch into Boss with his every intention to hurt him. Amazed to see he wasn't cited, he's deserving of a ban for acts of violence like that. There is plenty of room within the rules to hammer somebody into the ground in Rubgy and it be fair but that was just a player acting like a cheap thug. Proof yet again that Cudmore (if it definately was him to did it, I can't tell in the clip) is a highly unintelligent human being. Have to pity players as stupid as him.

2 Years, 5 Months ago

Darren Cave & Johan Muller hits plus highlights of first Heineken Cup semi final

Fair play to ulster, they're a quality side and deserving of their place in the final. In another year or two I could see them winning it but this Leinster team is too experienced and much better from 1-23 that I don't see them having too much hope. Delighted for them and for Connaught who will again be in the H Cup now that there's a guaranteed Irish winner! Have to wonder again if this competition is just perfectly suited to the Irish provinces because they can't stop winning it recently! Pity the national team can't replicate it!

2 Years, 5 Months ago

Calum Clark banned for 32 weeks for breaking another player's arm

32 weeks is a long time and I am glad to see that this will at the very least be a serious hindrance to his career, a deserved punishment for that horrbile act. With a new coach in charge of England Clark has much to lose out from being banned for the majority of the rest of this calander year, making it very tough to get back into the EPS and even be near the test 22.

That said I still think that this ban is far too short. He played the game in a cloud after the incident, I hear. Of course he did, he performed a stupid, dangerous and disgusting act without fully thinking and then knew the would be caught and cited. Players must control themselves, if you cannot and do something like this you should be punished and punished severly. They are grown men, not young boys who should know better. It is time to treat them like adults in the citing procedures and ban them heavily for acts such as this. A year ban would not only have been more appropriate but also much more symbolic and would help drive players like this out of the game and prevent them from doing it again. I've said it before and I am glad to see others agreeing that this kind of behaviour is much worse in my eyes than drug cheats. Players who take recreational drugs aren't cheating like those who take performance enhancing drugs and also are only dangering their own careers, the name and image of the game and their own health through their stupidity. Acts like this endanger another man's livlihood and his future. They must be stopped.

2 Years, 6 Months ago

Calum Clark cited for bending Rob Hawkins' arm backwards

from the video it APPEARS as if it could be intentional, that is not to say it was but it looks that way and whether he mean to break the players arm and not just merely hurt him is another question. This was by no means a simple tangling of bodies, Clark is clearly seen holding the Rob Hawkins' arm and pulling it back against itself.

From a legal perspecitve, forgetting rugby for a moment, you could easily argue that it was easily foreseeable that the injury that resulted would occur. Clark therefore holds a duty of care to not injure the player. Clark grabbed Hawkins' arm, placed it in a dangerous position that could easily break his arm and continued to attempt to hurt the player or indeed break the bone.

Personally I am devastated to see this on a rugby field and is by far in a way the worst action I have ever seen carried out by one player on another on any sports field, that I can think of ever seeing. He should be brought before the courts and charged with assault as there appears to be no other explanation for it. I do not wish to open up a precedent where any citing incident can go before a a court of law but this goes far and beyond a dangerous tip tackle or over agressive rucking, tackling and rucking are at least parts of the game. This was a callous, malicious attack and I believe he should be given a ban of numerous years. This is worse than drug cheats. Drug cheats take risks with their own body and risk their own carees. This is risking another innocent player's livlihood and I for one hope that his ban represents that. A life-time ban in this instance may be appropriate. Anything below two years would be an outrage, IF we can prove that he did intentially put the player in such a dangerous position. The evidence would appear to suggest that he did however.

Callum Clark, I for one currently thing you are an awful human being.

2 Years, 7 Months ago

Ireland beat Scotland in eventful Six Nations clash in Dublin

Hadn't questioned the decision but yes now I find it hard to understand why it wasn't a scrum? Bowe was over the line but was well held up? He shouldn't be punished for wrestling to ground the ball as if the ref had blown earlier to say he was held up the play would have finished?

None the less good first half, dire second half. Good game from omahoney but still would favour obrien coming in next week. Particularly as redden works much better with the backrow I could see him and ferris punching some holes next week. With England not having an out and out 7 either there's less of a need to play omahoney.

Well done to England for beating france today, should be a cracker next week but with the chance to beat the old enemy on paddys day I think Ireland will win. Tommy bowe to score two, he always gets over against England.

2 Years, 7 Months ago

Rob Vickers cited following yellow card punch on Joe Marler

No time or place for that in rugby. Should be a straight red card and a ban. The touch judge maybe had his view obstructed but that seems to happen far too often for it to every time be a conincidence. More than likely he bottled the decision and put a seed of doubt in his mind when we should have gone with his gut. Nobody swings their arm in that upper-cut motion to slap somebody! Ref's need to grow a pair and make the tough calls, take a leaf out of Alan Rolland's book and stick to the letter of the law. Look at Pearson's call regarding the Donnacha Ryan incident that was so clearly a red even Gatland admitted it afterwards. Referee's of the world stop being afraid to make the tough call, your fear of making the wrong decision paradoxically is stopping you from making the right one.

2 Years, 7 Months ago

France vs Ireland ends in disappointing stalemate in Paris

First of all, this was a great game of rugby. Very entertaining with some moments of magic (Bowe's 2nd try, numerous bits of wonderful fullback play from Kearney and a bit of french flair from poitrenaud and that off-load by Trin-Duc in the 1st half). Ireland I do think are the ones to feel like they lost this match. To not score a point in the 2nd half was awful, the line-out is what lost them the match. If you cannot secure set-piece ball its very difficult. Why on a wet day with a poorly functioning line-out throw it to the back when on the 5 metre line? Ireland were camped in french period for a good 10 minutes of the 2nd half and should have come away with something.

I do have to say i did not think Pearson did Ireland many favours, numerous blatant penalities were clear to see and he never game them to Ireland, I felt he had a similarly poor performance last year in the Aviva when we played the French.

Ferris deserves a special mention for another stand out game, Heaslip continues to show he's the best Irish back-row player on the deck, why nobody has ever thought to swtich him to 7 and put O'Brien at 8 I do not understand! Sexton's defensive work was incredible, he really showed why we cannot play O'Gara at 10, his poor physical attributes would be shown up now more than ever.

Well done France though for battling back into it, showed real guts, determination and leadership. I think BOD's leadership is what Ireland have missed the most this campaign, he is of course past his best but can still come up with moments of magic but I feel if Ireland had him on the pitch for the last 10 minutes against Wales and the French we would be sitting pretty with 3 wins from 3.

2 Years, 7 Months ago

 
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