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All Blacks fined for waterboy Liam Messam joining on field scuffle

Actually, I've had a rethink and I've decided to be insulted too. Hundreds of thousands? Nah, it should be millions and Messsam should be banned for life, and the All Blacks would be banned from the World Cup if it was up to me. I've never seen a national team who should know better do something so appalling. I'm appalled and insulted.

1 Year, 1 Week ago

All Blacks fined for waterboy Liam Messam joining on field scuffle

Firstly, Messam had no business being in there and the fine is warranted, whether he was just getting between players or whatever.
As to what actually happened, I assume that we're all watching the same video, but sometimes you really do wonder. It seems pretty clear that after the whistle goes, Moore runs a couple of paces towards Nonu and tackles him. Nonu objects and bounces the ball off Moore's head as they go to ground. A couple of the angles show Nonu landing on the ground, not on Moore as some are suggesting. Pocock sees the noggin-ball and grabs Nonu, and a few others join in. The Aussie commentator's remark about smashing into Moore's face is nonsense. I also disagree with RD's assertion that Nonu knee-dropped Moore, I don't think that's supported by the video. And Nisbett was obviously surprised when he saw a beanie in amongst it, but to say he sounded disgusted is a stretch.

1 Year, 1 Week ago

James Schrader's sensational try saving tackle in the opening round of the ITM Cup

Although the commentators seemed to convince themselves (as commentators so often do), I don't think it's at all clear on the video that the ball was forced. And the assistant referee could hardly have been in a better position to judge it.
It also looks to me as if the ball carrier knew he wasn't quite at the line which is why he hung the ball out there for that fatal split second.
If the ball hadn't reached the line and Schrader had grabbed it and forced it, then I can only see "carried back" as the call. Though looking at these replays I'm not sure that even a TMO could've sorted it out definitively anyway. For what it's worth, on the video evidence I'm ok with the way it played out.

1 Year, 1 Week ago

Australia stun New Zealand to win the 2015 Rugby Championship in Sydney

I make no comment on English supporters, but I've been reading around and it seems to me that most of the reaction to this game has been fairly measured. The Aussies are rightly pleased but realistic about needing many more performances like this; while the NZers are disappointed but equally realistic and maybe even a little relieved that a loss at this stage of a WC year is a timely heads-up. I sometimes think that rugby supporters in the rest of the world often underestimate the strength of the Bledisloe rivalry. No matter what the state of the competition, or current form, most fans regard BC games to be 50/50 propositions when the teams run on. Nobody I know assumes a win and next week at Eden Park is no exception, despite history.

1 Year, 2 Weeks ago

Australia stun New Zealand to win the 2015 Rugby Championship in Sydney

A fit Pocock was always going to make a difference to this side, and while he's been away Hooper has honed his craft nicely. They were so predatory and effective that they would've outplayed two McCaws on the day, and McCaw had a pretty good game. Factor in the inexplicable sight of NZ tight forwards, early on, wandering around in midfield wondering what to do with this rugby ball someone has passed to them, and it didn't look good for the MIB from the get-go. From the moment they fumbled the first kick-off the ABs seemed to have trouble getting wholly focussed. They have a game like this every now and then, and they played a few minutes of very good rugby which is usually enough to get them home on the worst days, but not this time, Australia wanted it more.

1 Year, 2 Weeks ago

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move first done vs Springboks by Samoa in 2013

Here's what the law says, word for word: "The receiver must stand at least 2 metres towards that player's goal line from that player's team mates… etc". Note the "at least"… that means that he must be no closer than 2 metres, but he can be more. Everybody else seems to understand this. So if he is 2 1/2 metres away as you insist, and many other analysts agree with you, then he is definitely onside. You really should check out the link to rugbyrefs.com in Roadpig's post, where all this is explained very clearly. It also shows how at least two of the SA players are in fact standing in illegal positions if the laws were strictly enforced in the way you suggest.
Others have also pointed out that the lift timing is very marginal and that many SA lineouts (and some NZ) included much more blatant early lifting. There is a photo here:
http://www.the42.ie/analysis-new-zealand-south-africa-tries-2240309-Jul2015/
…that shows a SA forward already held high in the air before the hooker has even brought the ball forward over his head to throw it in. If teams have been allowed clean attacking ball all day from lineouts like that, why should this particular, very marginal example be penalised? The answer is, it shouldn't be.

1 Year, 3 Weeks ago

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move first done vs Springboks by Samoa in 2013

I've watched the last try several times too Larry. You're not disagreeing with me, you're disagreeing with the laws of the game regarding passing the ball, and the way they are interpreted by every referee in international rugby. I can't help you any further.

As for dredging up all these old "missed calls" from decades ago, NZ have been on the wrong end of plenty of them and they continue to be, because every team has bad calls go against them. Knock-ons from 1967! You don't have to go back that far, Ireland probably scored from one in 2013.

I had to laugh at your suggestion that trying to milk penalties is somehow a NZ invention. I played for many years and I've watched for many more… I mean, you've got to be kidding.
It's nonsense to suggest that there has been some conspiracy in world rugby for 50 or 60 years to make sure NZ wins. You're sounding a bit paranoid, Larry, you need to move on, you might enjoy your rugby a little more.

1 Year, 3 Weeks ago

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move first done vs Springboks by Samoa in 2013

… "that's been fairly obvious" for 110 years. :)

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Brilliant Richie McCaw lineout move first done vs Springboks by Samoa in 2013

OK, I'll take the bait. You say that McCaw was at least 2m from the lineout, and the law in fact says that he must be 2m away… so no problem there. The timing thing is very marginal and lineouts cannot be, and never are refereed within such fractional margins. I have no doubt that if SA had scored, then the try would also have been awarded and correctly so, in my opinion.

As for your historical grievances going back 40 years or more, let's get it straight. Haden did not win a penalty for his dive, the referee himself has said that he penalised the player jumping off Oliver's shoulder at the front of the lineout. Nobody denies that Haden tried to draw the penalty, but if you seriously think that only NZ amongst all teams tried to draw penalties in this and similar ways during those years, or even now… you are being absurdly naive. And the refs in both those ancient examples were English. I would be very interested to read any theories about how English officials have favoured NZ rugby down through the decades… I like a bit of fantasy fiction

There are no clear forward passes in the final NZ try against the Irish, according to the current interpretation of the laws. And I see every team at international level being judged exactly the same on this aspect. However, in the first Irish try the assistant ref asked for the TMO because he thought the ball had been dropped over the line. At least one of the replays seemed to confirm this, and yet the same TMO that you say favoured the All Blacks, gave the try to Ireland.
The fact is that despite what you say, the ABs are on the wrong end of plenty of 50/50 or dodgy decisions but they still tend to go on and win, so nobody makes a big deal of them.

Now let's talk about that NZ try disallowed in 1905 when even Welsh try-scorer Teddy Morgan agreed that Deans was pulled back over the line after he'd scored. Wales won 3–0, demonstrating a bias on the part of referees against NZ "that's been fairly obvious" for 110 ye

1 Year, 1 Month ago

All Blacks score late to deny Springboks in another Ellis Park classic

"I thought he got about as much of the line as Kuridrani got last week."

Can't really go along with that Eddie. Even the low-level shot seemed to show the line was not broken. The other angle I've seen confirms that the ball had not reached the line at all. If a try had been awarded to NZ on that evidence, I have no doubt that sites like this would be in an uproar, and rightly so.
In the Kuridrani case, the low shot showed the ball grazing the grass for a moment, which is all that's needed, and the overhead showed the ball was actually well over the line at the time. That's quite a different scenario. The only problem I had with the Kuridrani was whether the extra movement took too long, but it's hard to not give it when you see it in real time.

1 Year, 1 Month ago