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Nigel Owens unimpressed by naughty Francois Steyn shouting at goalkicker

Once we let money into the game all the cool stuff about rugby culture went out with it.

Once upon a time rugby players were highly accomplished professionals and classy people playing for the right reasons. Now they are gym rats and mercenaries chasing a buck.

Test rugby and Lions tour will soon give way to some global Champions League style competition. Sure the game is faster and bigger, but at what price?

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Johnny Leota banned for dangerous judo throw on Aled Brew

The answer is no cards and no weeks.

Cards and bans are handed out almost arbitrarily. Cards didn't exist in rugby in the 20th or 19 century. They don't seem to be deterring any kind of behavior AND they do encourage play-acting and milking injuries and controversy in general.

Referees should give just penalties or if a player does something really bad just send them off. Keep power plays for hockey.

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Nick Phipps warned for pushing medic during Argentina Test

A player physically knocking over a member of the medical team is one of the worst things I've ever seen in rugby at any level. This is much worse than any bad tackle, punch or off the ball incident. Total garbage and tantamount to hitting a girl or worse a ref.

The things that some people think are okay (cynically holding opposition) and the things some believe to be heinous (players colliding in mid-air=instant red card) in rugby I can't really understand anymore. The culture of the game is really moving in weird directions.

One thing I'm sure of is: Nick Phipps is a low down grub.

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Los Pumas beat Springboks in Argentina for first time ever

Argentina is improving and South Africa is declining. I think these trends will continue.

Bottom line:the powers in charge of the Springboks do not want the Springboks to be successful.

It's really too bad. For the sake of test rugby we need somebody to challenge the All Blacks. It doesn't look like SA or Aus will be threatening NZ this year.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

Fred Tuilagi Junior yellow carded for high tackle just 7 seconds from kickoff

You're correct and it's not as bad as it was in the 90's. Did you know that there is an underground Polynesian league in Utah that has nothing to do with USA Rugby?

1 Year, 3 Months ago

TJ Perenara escapes ban after kicking Sam Cane in the face

Look, I don't think there should be any kind of post-match citing process at all. If a player can get avoid the attention of 4 (!) referees then let freedom ring...Still this citing process is incredibly subjective, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

There is a spectrum as to the likelihood of players to be cited. On the hard end of things are Pacific Islanders and South African fwds with Dutch names, then Australians, then New Zealanders, with the light end falling on NZ backs that play for the AB's.

Retroactive citing is tricky and sets uneven precedents. If four refs miss something just get it next time.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

#Throwback Thursday: That time Sebastien Chabal knocked Marc Giraud out with a slap

No, it's cheap by Marc Giraud to hold a player and prevent them from playing rugby.

Chabal has a right to play rugby, Giraud has no right to prevent Chabal from doing so. If rugby wants to be 100% clean they need to ban the player that is cheating by holding the opposing player.

Actions like this by Chabal are (or used to be) the only thing that kept players honest. Refs will never pick up garbage like this and it's up to players to sort it out. What Would Colin Meads Do?

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

Undermining what success?

Quick, name three Italian clubs that have been around for more than 20 years.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

@ DrG
Great pts!

1. Italy is NOT a home nation. They never should have been admitted into the 5N. The reason they should be relegated is their record on the field of play.

2. I see what you mean about "yo yo". The possible tragedy with promotion/relegation would be Scotland going down and the game losing what popularity it has left. But would the trade be worth it if the game explodes in Spain or Russia? The 6N is the de facto NH/European championship. The top countries should compete.

3. The reason that Georgia has not beaten any Tier 1 teams is because they don't have the opportunity. If the the Georgians got to play 2 6N teams a year regularly in any fashion I'd be happy.

4. Although the Pacific Islands have a legitimate claim to some kind of regular play they have such small populations and lack of infrastructure nobody wants to play them. Hotels, stadiums, tv's, and even fans are not plentiful. The entire combined population of Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji is less than the city of Glasgow. Unfortunately to play these nations is to lose money.

5. I'm not Georgian at all but we imported three of these guys at my club. They're a revelation, and all with less than 5 years of experience. Rugby is so stale with really only a handful of viable teams. When we have the opportunity to really grow the game we must. These guys are naturally born for our sport, much like Polynesians.

1 Year, 4 Months ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

If by "yo-yo competition" you mean the best playing the best in the region then, yes that is the very point. I think that the 6N wooden spoon should be relegated and the European Nations Cup Champ should ascend.

Tradition in the 5N lost it's argument once they let the Italians in. There is no grand tradition of Italian rugby.

Letting the Argies into the Tri-Nations was the right move for similar reasons. Argentina has beaten Australia and (due to their inclusion) South Africa too.

The reason that Georgia is the focus (Romania was for a period too in the 80's) is because they have made some serious waves and produced outstanding players with very little money, infrastructure, or regular competition. Again, look at the results from the Pacific Tour. Georgia has won the 6N B or come in second every year for the past 10 years. They're knocking on the door. What do they have to do to be let in?

Levan below is 100% correct. Next time England or Ireland really want a warm up before they leave Europe come to Tblisi. See what happens.

1 Year, 4 Months ago