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Scotland celebrate historic win over Wallabies with sickening head clash

Congrats to the Scots. Not a game of sparkling highlights but it was intriguing to watch because of the conditions. For most of the second half I thought an Oz try was only a matter of time but the Scots' defence did the job. I thought the ref's decision to give a last minute penalty in front of the posts when he'd been letting collapses go all game was a surprise. Front row penalties always seem to be a lottery and in the extreme conditions I thought he'd done the right thing in being a bit lenient up to then. But I've got no problem with the result. Australia will need to be better against Wales, and the Scots are going to need all that defence in the islands, especially out wide.

2 Years, 2 Months ago

France vs Ireland ends in disappointing stalemate in Paris

Gotta say that I love the photo at the top, it gets something of the essence of tight forward play that hasn't changed since William Webb Ellis's day. And is the ref on the far right pointing and saying something like, "careful lads, I'm watching"?

2 Years, 5 Months ago

Robbie Fruean's huge handoff on Piri Weepu

Terrific all-round game by Fruean, making his early-season claims, maybe this will be his year. He got good leverage under Weepu's armpit and it sure looks beautiful in slo-mo. I too liked Piri's response, he got up, dug out the turnover and put in a neat kick followed by a big smile.

I thought the comment about the incident being typical of how an American might handle such a tackle must have been by an American, it seemed so strangely specific. However, although I might not agree with his view, I hardly think the comment deserved to be removed. I've read lots of sillier stuff on here, even since the comments section was tightened up. Maybe the poster removed it himself..(shrugs).

2 Years, 6 Months ago

Highlights of the Wallabies win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium

I was glad to see Williams get the try and for Wales to get something out of the game, but the reality is that he's just the sort of player they can't afford to lose. I like Wales' attitude trying to play an expansive game but this test highlighted the fact that they just don't have the players (yet) with that extra spark at the right time. They made very few line breaks and both the tries were through fairly orthodox play at a time when Oz had the game won and were looking forward to a hot shower. In contrast, the Aust tries came through a long double cut-out pass to find the open winger, Samo's delayed (and delayed) pop pass to Barnes on a planned long running arc, and the try denied by the TMO was a beautifully weighted cross-kick right into Turner's arms. (Maybe there was enough benefit of the doubt that another TMO might have awarded that one.) As in the RWC against top sides, I saw Wales getting into good positions but not having that moment of class to make it count. For their sake I hope a couple of guys can step up.

2 Years, 8 Months ago

Huge amateur hit from club rugby in Buenos Aires, Argentina

My thinking too M.M. I know nothing about these players but it looks to me as if the tackler lined up his prey from a long way back and was making a point of some sort. The response of some players suggests that there might also have been a bit of business, verbal or otherwise, immediately after the tackle. So maybe there's a back-story here.

2 Years, 9 Months ago

Felipe Contepomi's winning drop goal isn't a winning drop goal

Sure it's embarrassing for the guy, but at the same time it makes me feel good that even at this level rugby can still have such a blooper caused by poor arithmetic and faulty communication. And the reactions are classic. The human element.. I love it.

2 Years, 9 Months ago

The Golden Lions beat the Sharks to win the 2011 Currie Cup

@Pretzel.. "actually plenty of NZ'ers have likened it to a religion"

Doesn't change the point that it's mostly a journalistic cliche whether it's about rugby in NZ or in any other rugby stronghold, football (soccer) in any of the zillion places in the world where it dominates sport and much of society, cricket in India, or anywhere that a particular sport is woven into the culture. Nobody's saying that rugby isn't very important in NZ, it's just that the whole "religion" metaphor tends to distort things at times.

2 Years, 9 Months ago

The Golden Lions beat the Sharks to win the 2011 Currie Cup

UHtiger is right in saying that the "religion" idea about NZ rugby is very exaggerated. Anyone who has spent much time there would notice that NZers play just about every type of sport you can think of and rugby is just the most pre-eminent. The country's historically high Olympic medal-per-capita ranking is one indicator of this.
The Currie Cup is the oldest competition of its type in rugby and has a long tradition dating back to 1889.. every final carries all the prestige and significance that can only be earned over time. The ITM Cup only dates back to 2006 when it started out as the Air New Zealand Cup. For all its importance as the current inter-provincial comp in NZ it just doesn't get the juices going in the same way.
However the Ranfurly Shield, first played for in 1904, is steeped in a tradition of legendary games and incidents. Run on an unusual challenge system it's survived all the changes to the sport over the decades to remain, for most people, the most important prize in NZ provincial rugby. The Shield has never had trouble getting crowds and in the most recent game where Taranaki held onto the Shield against Hawke's Bay, it attracted about 18,000 in a city of about 65,000. The Shield record is 52,000 for a 1985 Auckland challenge against Canterbury in Christchurch.

2 Years, 9 Months ago

The Golden Lions beat the Sharks to win the 2011 Currie Cup

Enjoyed watching this as a neutral and came away thinking, like JNauter above, that Jantjies really looked the goods .. impressive goalkicking and lots of nice touches in general play.
And yeah, Coca-Cola Park! The horrible power of money.

2 Years, 9 Months ago

This is the game - A breakdown of the 2011 Rugby World Cup

A bit of good humour and reality, a nice antidote to some of the bitterness and rubbish that's been going round.

2 Years, 10 Months ago

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