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Incredible mass Haka challenge from Auckland schools in annual derby clash

It is heritage in the sense that NZ rugby teams have been doing a pre-match haka since at least the 1880s. During most of the 20th century it wasn't approached with any real conviction or organisation, and it shows. Embarrassing is the word. Many things around the game of rugby were very amateurish back then, not necessarily in a good way, and the haka was no exception. In the 1980s All Blacks captain Buck Shelford took the matter in hand and insisted the haka conform with Maori cultural protocols, which changed things immediately.

3 Days, 17 Minutes ago

Epic four minutes of rugby as the Highlanders refuse to stop playing

Thanks for posting this RD. The official "highlights" clips leave out everything except the tap kick and try. It was terrific to watch in real time, especially as neither team was forced to keep going to save or win the game. They just smelled more points and went for it. Aaron Smith's beautiful passing was typical of his overall game. A man in form.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Anscombe try disallowed by TMO as England edge Wales at Twickenham

Law 21 (In-goal).
The ball can be grounded in-goal:
a. By holding it and touching the ground with it; or
b. By pressing down on it with hand or hands, arm or arms, or the from of the body from waist to neck.

So if you're holding the ball, there only has to be contact with the ground. No downward pressure needed.
If you fall on a ball that's loose in the in-goal (as in this case), you need downward pressure.

It might be difficult to adjudicate at times, but the basic law is pretty straightforward.
As a neutral, in this case I think there's enough contact with a couple of fingers against the top side of the ball as it hits the ground, to call 'downward pressure'.

The link given by 4567 strongly suggests a minuscule prior knock-on anyway, but we can't really blame anybody for missing that one.

The other question is, why is it that so many well paid commentators still haven't grasped these laws after they've been in the book for several seasons? They regularly babble on about control and pressure in ways that show they have no idea what the law actually says.

4 Months, 1 Week ago

Cian Healy leads with shoulder but somehow escapes red card

"No force, no speed"!? … He lunged at the player's head with his shoulder, using his full body weight. Under the current interpretation there is absolutely no difference between this and the two incidents mentioned in the article, among several others. And I had no sympathy for either Williams or Kepu. Red card.

6 Months, 2 Days ago

Nick Abendanon sin-bin puts inconsistency in the spotlight yet again

"Take the opposition player out of both the equations and you can 99% guarantee that both those players would have caught the ball..."

I agree with this point. It seems that players are now expected to refrain from placing themselves under a high ball that would normally then fall into their arms, just in case an opponent leaps into the air and lands on them. And the guy who doesn't make the dangerous leap is penalised. This is absurd.
Especially in the Maitland example, he clearly had eyes on the ball with arms outstretched and ready. His opponent literally crashed in over the top of him and almost fell into his arms. In what way is Maitland at fault here?
The fact that in the second case the TMO went against the clearly stated laws of the game that say the referee is sole judge is also very poor.

The rulings around this part of the game seem to have no clear basis, it's all guessing and trying to read minds. The player who has made an entirely reasonable approach to the ball is often penalised, while the reckless player gets rewarded. If World Rugby doesn't see the inconsistencies in how these incidents and others like them are being handled, then the game has a major problem.

6 Months, 2 Days ago

Waisake Naholo falcons Aaron Smith, probably because of the hairstyle

Ow! .. with the pointy bit too.

6 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo escapes card after taking Stuart Hogg out in the air

However you describe the situation, I'll stick with my view on how this sort of contact should be judged. I can't make it much clearer than in my post, so it looks like we disagree.

6 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo escapes card after taking Stuart Hogg out in the air

Naholo had to run around the #9 and once he saw Hogg flying towards him his only hope of avoiding a penalty would have been to disappear completely. Hogg just landed on him. In my opinion, this sort of situation has to be treated differently to one where there is a deliberate tackle or reckless contact made on the player during a contest for a high ball.
The new laws covering these things from a safety angle are a good thing, but there needs to be some common sense. I don't want to see matches ruined when a player leaping at speed for the ball, travelling some distance in the air while doing so and landing on an opposition player, always results in a card. Nadolo seemed more concerned about his own safety.
The push by the Scotland #5 was silly. He could easily end up in the same situation himself and would, like Nadolo, have no way of avoiding the hit.
Apologies for repeating myself from an earlier page.

6 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo escapes card after taking Stuart Hogg out in the air

I agree Jerome. Parisse had a real chance at the ball and would've jumped higher if he hadn't been held back by the jersey. It was the holding back that put Parisse in a bad position. Not Parisse's fault at all. He shouldn't have tried to pick him up, but that's another matter.
The jersey-pull is so clear to see – the officiating on some of these things is a real worry, in my opinion.

6 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo escapes card after taking Stuart Hogg out in the air

"If this was another team, or the reverse situation, it would have been a card for sure."
An assertion for which there is no evidence.

6 Months, 4 Weeks ago