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Quade Cooper suspended for one week for dangerous hit on Berrick Barnes

I agree on teams being punished on the day for a player's foul play and I haven't said that anything should be ignored. If the ref thinks that what he saw deserves red then he should give it no matter who the player is. But if he's not sure it deserves a red then he should take care that he doesn't make a potentially game changing decision which on review looks unnecessary. Refs are only human and it seems to me that the white card is to give the ref a bit of flexibility in such situations. Here, the ref knew it was at least a yellow but suspected he hadn't seen everything so he also gave the white to say it should be reviewed. It's easy to say in hindsight that it should've been a red, but in the real world I reckon the outcome here is ok.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Quade Cooper suspended for one week for dangerous hit on Berrick Barnes

I guess this is as good a summing up as we'll get, of what a white card is for:–
"The white card will be helpful in instances where a referee thinks an act of foul play has occurred but is not sure if a red card is warranted, or is unsure of the identity of a player," explained SANZAR game manager Lyndon Bray.
So presumably the ref saw enough of the incident to feel that a yellow was warranted, but he suspected it might be worse than it looked from where he was standing and so asked Sanzar to have a closer look. Sanzar had a look and decided it was worse than a yellow so the only option they had was a minimum ban.
I'm OK with the yellow, but IMO it wasn't so bad as to need a ban. The problem is that a red to a key player can have such a major effect on a game that refs are, and rightly so, reluctant to give it. At least with a yellow and a ban you'll still have a full team on the field next game.
But no system is ever going to be perfect or satisfy everyone, as this result shows, but I don't think it's either a major let-off or a great injustice. In the end, if you make a messy and dangerous tackle you're pushing your luck.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Quade Cooper suspended for one week for dangerous hit on Berrick Barnes

I think that most people who comment on commentators are not very impartial either. I listen to commentary from all over the world and in their own ways none of them are entirely partial.. and I have no problem with that.
On Dan Carter, I was watching a few minutes of the second Irish test only yesterday and the NZ commentator pointed out that Carter should have been penalised for going again while still being held. Maybe that's not harsh enough for you but you can't say they are never critical. Cooper has had games where he's had plenty of adverse comment from Aust commentators. And I often see stuff going on involving UK or SA players misbehaving while the home commentators tend to just stay quiet and say nothing, which is their way. It's no big deal.
As for this vid, the commentator immediately says it's high and after a bit of discussion they conclude that it was never going to be anything but high, implying that they have no problem with the cards. I think the yellow was warranted, and as his arm was swinging the ban doesn't surprise me – which doesn't mean I completely agree with it, these things seem a bit arbitrary at the moment.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Scarlets Tries of the Season 2011/2012

"in a strong manure"!
I thought the grounds looked pretty good. Maybe you meant "manner".

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

I understand what you're saying pretzel but it was Morgan who made the comparison between the ABs and the Lions. I was just restating that the NZ side is selected from players legitimately eligible to play for their country, NZ. So there is no need to change or add on to their name. Of course I appreciate that Morgan's "NZ & PI" idea was only to make a point, I just disagree with the point.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

I appreciate your response Morgan. A couple of points though.
"new Zealand & pacific islands"
When a squad is selected from all the players eligible to play for the four unions (Eng/Ire/Scot/Wales), no matter where they were born, you and the rest of us call them the Lions. When a squad is selected from all the players eligible to play for New Zealand, no matter where they were born, we all call them the NZ All Blacks. I don't see the difference. Especially bearing in mind that most of the players of PI lineage who make the All Blacks (and there are not nearly as many as some people think) were either born in NZ or went there as two year-olds (Mils Muliaina) or schoolkids. Players like Mils grew up in NZ, learned their rugby there and are New Zealanders.
When a squad is selected from all the players eligible for England, no matter where they were born, we don't call them England & Others, and let's face it there are plenty of 'others' in recent Eng squads.
I'm sure the make-up of the recent AB side I mentioned might surprise some people, and if Ben Franks' brother Owen had been selected instead, there would have been no player in that side born outside NZ.
It's also worth saying that technically NZ itself is also a Pacific Island group and hundreds of thousands of folk of polynesian and melanesian etc lineage live there, consider themselves NZers and make a huge contribution to the country's society and culture generally. It irrational to suggest that their eligibility to play for their country is questionable.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

Rubbish. I'm not going to do your research for you but here are some stats off the top of my head. The NZ team for the first test against Ireland had one player not born in NZ, Franks who was born in Aust. It had, I believe, three players of PI descent, all born in NZ. If you are born and raised in a country how can you be "far more eligible" to play for another one. Of the scattering of overseas born players in AB sides in recent times they almost all went to NZ as schoolkids or younger. Like a lot of people you are ignorant of the nature of the longstanding traditional family links between NZ and other PI nations. Auckland alone has about 200,000 people of PI descent. In the Samoan WC squad of 2003, 17 were born in NZ, in 2007 about 12.
And as pretzel points out the claims of the "purity" of other teams on this subject are often dead wrong, the Welsh 2007 WC squad had at least six players not born in Wales including NZer Sonny Parker, and today's Toby Foletau was born in Tonga. So it's feasible that a current NZ side could play against a current Welsh side and the Welsh have the only Pacific Island born player!
Just as ludicrous is your assertion that those who play for the All Blacks don't think it's such a big deal as in other countries. You have to be joking. No one who knows anything about NZ rugby and society could ever say that, your entire credibility is lost on that comment alone.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

"domestically League is a bigger sport in England than Rugby Union."
There are at least ten times more registered Union players (approx 2,500,000) in England than League players (approx 250,000), that's from Wikipedia, but in Feb this year the Eng RFL was saying they had just broken the 100,000 mark, so take your pick.
I watch a lot of League and often enjoy it, but it's clear to me that the Aust domestic game is much superior to the Eng game and this difference is reflected in the international scores. But it says nothing about the differences between Union and League, just as NZ beating Ireland 60–0 in Union says nothing about Union vs League either. Your "argument" is irrelevant.
League's #1 in PNG, wow!
If you really are an "avid viewer of both codes" then why don't you just relax and enjoy, all these baseless assertions and wishful thinking seem so pointless.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Manu Tuilagi vs Jean De Villiers in the first Test in Durban

To clarify, the vid looks pretty even to me, but I think JDV is currently the better all round player and going by what I saw of this whole series, if I had to chose one or the other for my side right now I'd go for De Villiers. But if Conrad Smith was on offer these two wouldn't get a look-in.
I agree that Tuilagi will probably improve and my point is that one of the things that will make him a more effective player is having fast creative players around him, and he needs to connect with them. Maybe Jonathan below is right, I'll keep watching.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

2nd tackle: in the vid that's on my screen SBW wraps his left arm around the guy's upper back and his right around his chest and throws him down. I'll stick with what I posted.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

 
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