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Damian de Allende apologises but should not have been sent off

You don't have to see me do better. Players are deviating at pace within two and a half steps regularly in most games I watch. Especially for a centre/wing like De Allende, it's a basic skill. I don't think it was a particularly bad hit, but as others have said, he made no attempt at all to avoid it.

1 Week, 17 Hours ago

Rieko Ioane calls Springboks and All Blacks classic toughest Test he's played

So many people here and elsewhere just stating outright that the Crotty try wasn't a try, without looking at why the try was given or the laws that allowed it.
I had the SA commentary and could clearly hear the TMO and ref agreeing that the ball had been knocked back under the player, who had grounded it with his waist. The video confirms this is what happened and the laws say that's a try, whether you agree with the laws or not.
Unfortunately both SA and NZ commentators appeared to not understand what was going on, and to be honest, showed once again their patchy understanding of the laws.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Damian de Allende apologises but should not have been sent off

I agree with Oui Jerome on this, to say it's not a penalty is silly. De Allende had plenty of time to deviate if he'd wanted to. I understand that he's putting pressure on the kicker, but he did it badly and the hit was late and high. Penalty and a card (pick your colour). If it had been, say, SBW on Jantjies, I'm sure you would have a different point of view.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Taranaki claim Ranfurly Shield with sensational comeback against Canterbury

As you say, Canafrikaaner, a beautiful trophy. When this much loved symbol of NZ provincial rugby first arrived in the country from the UK, it was presented to the Auckland side which had gone through the 1902 season unbeaten. But first, the embossed silver 'action shot' in the middle of the shield had to be altered.The UK manufacturers had assumed the prize was for association football. Uprights had to be added to the goals and the round ball made more egg-like. It's still pretty easy to see where the work was done.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

New Zealand second half too strong for courageous Argentina

As I see it, when Barrett runs towards the fullback there are two Pumas in the tackle and third starting to bend over the ball and tackled player, with another AB arriving. Barrett is entitled to enter this situation and clean out the 15. The other AB coming in clearly starts his run behind the tackled player's feet (at 3:10), so he is not entering from the side. I understand your different view, but I'll stick with what I see.

1 Month, 5 Days ago

New Zealand second half too strong for courageous Argentina

"I see the ABs doing a lot of this kind of thing".
I see players from all teams doing this kind of thing all the time.
When Barret first stepped towards Tuculet to make an entirely legal cleanout, the fullback had both hands on the ruck and was hovering in an offside position. Barrett was fully entitled. Tuculet appeared to step back just as Barrett was hitting him. Similar things happen at the ruck in every game of rugby I watch. Play on.

1 Month, 6 Days ago

New laws explained with two very informative pitch demos

Lifting has allowed the lineout to function much better than the flailing arms and scragging brawls that I remember and which so often ended in a scrum being called. Not to mention the regular penalties for the sneaky lifting and supporting that went on. I was a bit dubious about that change at the time but I now think it was a good one.
The cards were inevitable once the authorities rightly started to crack down on the thuggery, and there was plenty of it. Of course I don't always agree with every card, in fact I think there are too many, but I have no problem with the concept.
With the amount of rugby that players now play in the professional era, substitutions are necessary, and I'd rather have a bench used in an honest way than the phoney injuries that were sometimes employed.
I enjoy watching rugby at least as much as I ever have. So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on these things.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

New laws explained with two very informative pitch demos

I don't have any false nostalgia about rugby, but generally scrums in the time that I played (when there was no ref's call) seemed to work fine. I don't recall collapses being a common thing and I don't recall anyone ever talking about them. Film of test matches etc from past decades confirm that most scrums took literally a few seconds for the whole process, packs down, ball in, ball out. Apparently all the scrum tweaking of a few years back was to do with player safety. What happened of course is that instead of scrums taking a few seconds, we had neck-scrunching 'hits' and constant resets to do some more scrunching. And forwards milling around fiddling with this and that while the ref explains to these highly paid professionals the basic laws of the scrum. Don't get me started! Anyway, as you say, I think we're roughly on the same page with most of this stuff.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

New laws explained with two very informative pitch demos

I had no issue with Italy's tactics because they were within the laws, showed some fresh thinking that generated discussion, and to be honest, prompted Eddie Jones to make a goose of himself again. However, I think that a law which allowed players to stand beside the opposition halfback and loiter around in their backline, was a problem long term. I have no issue with that particular change.
I don't really see how any of the changes (even though I think at least one is entirely unnecessary) have any impact on the type of rugby experiences you've enjoyed (me too). I know that your general point is that you feel the tinkering is mostly just to get new "punters" in. But I think that many of the changes in recent years have been efforts to make the game work better for players as well. There have been some real disasters, like the crouch, touch, pause, engage travesty that immediately made scrums much worse. But, in my opinion some changes have been for the good of the game all round. Maybe the single biggest difference in rugby in the past 30 or so years has been the organisation and effectiveness of the defence. As Michael Lynagh has said, the wrap arounds and skip passes that so often worked a treat in the 90s, are just not so effective any more. Without recent changes that allow the halfback more time and space, and encourage quick breakdown ball so defences can be stretched and broken, I think the balance of the game regarding attack and defence would be much different now, and to the game's detriment.
So I agree, stop the pointless fiddling… but it's not all pointless.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

New laws explained with two very informative pitch demos

I think it's possible, in fact necessary in this world, to be both a sport and a business at the same time. Especially at the top levels.

I never had any problem with Italy's tactics on the day and thought the "it's not rugby" complaints were nonsense. However I do think that longer term there would be more minuses than pluses for the game if the offside law wasn't tidied up at the breakdown. Something like this change was inevitable.

I really don't get the need to stop a player coming through the ruck and kicking at the ball. Barnes says something like "pretty negative, isn't it". Since when? If the halfback is faffing around at the back of the ruck and the opposition player breaks through the cleanout and gets a toe to the ball, good work, play on. What's negative about it? It's not as if it happens a lot, and surely the current situation encourages the halfback to get on with it. This is fussy tweaking just for the sake of it.
Barnes also mentions the abuse he'd get when a tackler legally picked up the ball from the "wrong" side and wasn't penalised. There are a few good flankers who took that abuse for years. McCaw knew the law well, although I think even under this new change he'd still snaffle more than his share, one way or another.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago