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Munster captain Doug Howlett chops Schalk Brits in two

and tactically, having a winger as your captain is generally a no-no -- too far away to make quick choices (PK, quick tap, scrum, etc.), or to influence the referee.


a few #13s get away with it (i.e. Brian O'Driscoll).

But other than that, your captains should come from the 1-10.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Bourgoin vs Agde all in brawl in France

Bourgoin in a bagarre generale?

Surprise.

They've had more dog hits in their history than Dr. Dre.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Toulouse hold off Clermont in another classic Top 14 tussle

"spheroid fetishist" -- the next rugby meme

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Three red cards in heated Leicester Tigers vs Bath battle at Welford Road

So referee penalizes (+ red card) Banahan for the initial hit, and then gives a red card to Deacon for the retaliatory punch on the dead ball.

How on earth was the penalty not reversed? Was that a refereeing mistake, or a change in law application?

If it's the latter, it seems that one of the hallmarks of the amateur spirit of rugby (that retaliation was always a no-no) is now lost.

Are we now in the realm of rugby league where the first infraction is always punished?

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

And adding to that -- France is always a schizophrenic team. So while I don't think the USA could beat them, I think it's more likely for FRA to lose a game to IRE or ITA in Pool D, whereas RSA will run its respective table in Pool B.

Thus, if FRA lose a match, that would actually make the top three in Pool D that much harder to reach for the USA or CAN.

Imagine if the USA squeak wins on Italy and Spain, but still finish fourth. Heck in 2011, Canada beat Tonga, but because Tonga snuck a win in over the French (and Canada drew with Japan), Canada still finished fourth.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

I think the USA (and Canada for that matter) should have the goal of simply finishing third in a pool, and getting an automatic qualification spot.

Now, which pool favors that?

I throw out the top teams (RSA and FRA) out of hand in terms of the USA or CAN beating them in 2015.

So, the real issue is about against whom can the USA steal a game against:
Pool B: SAM, SCO, Asia 1 (Japan?)
Pool D: IRE, ITA, Europe 2 (Spain?)

I tend to think that pipping the Scots will be easier than pipping Italy, and that as great as Samoa looks now, there is a greater chance of a fall from grace by them than a fall by Ireland.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

one man's "support" is another's "cronyism" ;)

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

The most egregious part of this format is that the IRB doesn't set the schedule for the matches until the teams are known. The reason they do that is to chase $$$ on the Television rights.

However, we coupled with the "bye" required of odd numbered pools, this creates the significant imparity.

Recall how in 2011, they forced some Tier 2/3 teams to play three matches in 8-9 days, whilst the powerhouse brands (All Blacks), got consistent scheduling, with plenty of rest, as well as marquee TV slots?

FIFA on the other hand, locks the schedule in place, and the random draw drops teams into the schedule. This seems more about the fact that there are so many strong countries in FIFA, that no one would stand for a country getting an unfair advantage. Also FIFA has no "byes".

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

yup.

I actually had 2023 in my head there for a bit, and figured qualifying for that would be in nine years.

I guess qualifying for 2019 would start around 2017, so five years.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Pools drawn and IRB awards given

by "regardless", do you mean "finishing at least third in a five team pool", or do you mean "losing to England and Argentina by a combined five points"?

As of late, their loss to Tonga moved them to 11th.

As for RWC 2015 -- they will likely finish 3rd again. I don't see them falling below Americas 2 (probably USA), or Asia 1 (all signs point to Japan).

But on the other hand, if they do finish 4th or 5th in their pool in 2015, they will have to qualify out of Europe in 2019. There are nine years between now and then.

Italy and Wales are actually in more jeopardy of having to qualify in 2019. Italy will likely face Canada, and Wales likely Fiji.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

 
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