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Aaron Cruden gets stuck in Highlanders celebration after brilliant try

That did make me laugh, and I agree with jimmy too, good stuff all round. I guess Dixon just decided to drag Cruden into the hootenanny because good rugby is fun for everyone, right?
Smart low pass from Smith to avoid the approaching McKenzie. There are players who are as good in their own position, but in my opinion there's not a better rugby player around than Ben Smith.

4 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Nick Frisby yellow carded for kicking ball out of tryscorer's hands

That's right, the ref had no choice. Further down Law 22 it says: A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off. So Frisby got the lesser of the penalties by being binned, which is fair enough. There was nothing dangerous about his action… you just ain't allowed to do it.

4 Months, 3 Weeks ago

The Best Skills were on show in June's Test window

Sorry, made reply a new post by mistake.

5 Months, 3 Days ago

The Best Skills were on show in June's Test window

My first response was that some of the clips were of fairly standard steps and offloads that I see in games every weekend. I also think that Roberts's grab of the attempted kick-through, which lead to a Welsh try, was as good as some of this stuff. And other moments come to mind. But that's the nature of subjective compilations… on another day or by a different person, and half of this video might be different.

5 Months, 3 Days ago

The Best Skills were on show in June's Test window

I'm pretty sure that Ireland, Wales and Italy are all in the Northern Hemisphere.

5 Months, 4 Days ago

England win in Melbourne to take first ever series victory in Australia

I understand your point, but if you have so much extra possession, territory, metres going forward etc, you're going to be scoring more points if you don't keep losing the ball. Australia kept racking up the good stats that should have got them over the line, but the turnovers killed them. It's usually been a strength of Aust backs that they can break the line of even a tough defence, but in this game they showed very little of that. So the phases just mount up and the turnover comes.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

England win in Melbourne to take first ever series victory in Australia

The Poms deserve their series win because they've played to their strengths, being the best drilled NH forward unit in this part of the world since their WC-winning crew and a very reliable goal kicker. I would add that their defence was terrific too but the real story there, in my opinion, is how impotent the Australian backs were. Even taking into account the Eng line speed and grit, the Wlbs just offered no real test for the defence, running predictable lines repeatedly until they lost the ball. Over 70% possession and territory and then coughing up 24 turnovers to 10. The contrast to their 2015 WC backline is stark and points up Australia's perennial problem with genuine depth in many positions. Not that England's backs offered much in attack either, but they just haven't needed to.
Oz missed Pocock badly but generally the pack did OK, winning a couple of crucial scrum penalties and getting the maul over the line. There were a couple of bizarre calls by Joubert, but in truth the Wallabies had plenty of time and lots of chances to win this one and they couldn't make it happen.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

The Chiefs score six tries to thump Wales in midweek match

Yesterday I was reading about what a valuable hit-out the Chiefs match would be, and a chance for players knocking on the door of test selection to make their claims for Wellington. To quote Mr Gatland, "it's a huge opportunity for these players, they have trained hard and are ready to get game time under their belts". Planet Rugby predicted Wales to get home by more than 10 in a "morale-boosting win".
Today I've been reading about what a waste of time mid-week matches are and an unfair burden on these highly paid professional athletes. What a difference a day makes.

5 Months, 3 Weeks ago

New Zealand composure leads to 27th consecutive win over Wales

At half-time I thought this might've ended up closer and gone either way. I didn't have the usual confidence at the break that the ABs would reset well enough to blitz the second half. Simply because Wales were playing so well. First-up rustiness has brought NZ back a couple of notches in effectiveness before, but in this case Wales didn't wait for them, they just put the foot down and roared on past. They deserved the half-time lead and more, and were well in it till the last quarter. I don't see North play a lot but this was maybe the best I've seen him against a good side. I'm thinking Wales might still get a win out of this series.
NZ will have a look at some of the stats, fluffed passes and blown tries and know they'll be a lot better next week. They'll probably have to be. And I enjoyed watching Ardie Savea play at this level… he's gonna be a handful.

5 Months, 3 Weeks ago

5 Classic Moments from New Zealand vs Wales Clashes

I won't be going back and forth on this one Larry. I think we can agree that there was biffo from both sides in those days because they could get away with it, and there was the ethos of sorting things out "on the field". I often see stuff in those old tests that would cause a flurry of replays, cards and media apoplexy today. I'm not making a judgement either way, the game has changed… mostly for the better in my opinion.
But a couple of comments.
The Murdoch try is a classic case of momentum. He was running with the ball in his possession and hit the ground just before the line, skidding well over it by about a metre without making any sort of extra movement. That would always have been given back then, just as it would be now.
In the Williams case, he is actually given the ball by Thomas a couple of paces short of the line, is knocked to the ground, and then lunges forward from a position lying on his side on the ground, swinging his arm over the line. That was never given as a try in those days.
You say that Murdoch's try "wasn't very different"… but it was clearly different in the crucial matter of him not having to make an extra lunge from a position lying on the ground. That's the crucial difference. It worries me a little, Larry, that as a ref you don't see that difference :).
Even the official WRU website only describes the two situations as "almost similar", which is about as unconvincing a comparison as I can imagine without actually saying that they aren't truly comparable at all.
Bill McLaren thought it was a try because the ref blew the whistle and stuck his arm straight up in the air! As soon as he saw it was for a penalty, he knew why and said so, including mentioning that the ref was in excellent position.
The more I watch this the more correct the decision looks.

5 Months, 3 Weeks ago