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USA grind out a win over Russia in New Plymouth

I agree that he was pretty absent during this match and against Ireland (did he get a head knock during the warmup matches at all? He doesn't wear scrum caps that, maybe that has something to do with it? I dunno). But to be fair, most of the times he knocked the ball on happened because he was trying to force an offload and the tacklers' arms kept popping the ball out.

That doesn't mean he didn't spill the ball a couple of times for no real reason (the weather didn't help, though). So that was frustrating.

I wish he'd come infield more. He did it once towards the end of the match and helped with a good play as a result of it. Otherwise, when he just waits out wide, hoping to get the ball at speed and fly around some defenders like he does in Europe, it comes to nothing.

If he starts being a bit more proactive, that'll definitely help.

3 Years, 2 Days ago

Paul Williams yellow carded for huge hit on Theuns Kotze

Actually, all the law states is exactly that.

Dangerous charging. A player must not charge or knock down an opponent carrying the ball without trying to grasp that player.

Just asks that the player tries to do so. That's it. It's the referee's discretion whether or not he thinks the player tried, so sometimes calls will be made that, in hindsight, were probably not correct. That's the nature of the game, and that's fine.

But the law simply says the player must try to wrap. That's all.

3 Years, 3 Days ago

Paul Williams yellow carded for huge hit on Theuns Kotze

It's a perfect tackle because, according to the laws, it's perfectly legal. That coupled with the tremendous power behind the hit make it a damned-near perfect tackle.

No such thing as "a bit" high. It started below the shoulders and stayed there. Not high.

He got both arms around the player. That's all the rules ask for.

If you want big tackles removed from Union, just say that - no need to hide behind anti-League rhetoric. Because per the laws in Union, this hit was fine.

Now, if you want to argue that maybe from Poite's vantage point, it looked like it couldn't been a dangerous tackle, then fine - that's the risk with putting in hits like this. But, in the end, it was shown to be perfectly fine. So, Williams was hard done by. But whatever, mistakes happen.

3 Years, 3 Days ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Player numbers around the world

That's crazy - I never knew Georgia had less than 1,000 adult male rugby players, considering how many of them play for top sides in France.

3 Years, 4 Days ago

England's Courtney Lawes suspended for two weeks

Also, I'm not sure if it was negligent by the medics or just totally badass by Ledesma (I'm leaning towards the latter, since he'll do his best to stay on the pitch no matter what), but he got up after being knocked out cold, and when he came to, he was right in the middle of a lineout and a maul.

3 Years, 4 Days ago

England's Courtney Lawes suspended for two weeks

As a few people have pointed doesn't really matter that much. So he misses a pair of matches that should go alright for England...

It's a bit of a silly "lesson", but the IRB is not above theatrics just to get players' attentions. Suspend a guy for two weeks for what was a borderline reckless tackle (needless, yes, but not really "malicious"), and they probably feel like they're doing something to prevent it from happening again. They're not, because it will happen regardless...but, Lawes shouldn't care all that much, since he'll be back in it for Scotland...and it's not like he won't be at training sessions, right? It's not like they've sent him back to England to think about what he's done in a dark corner somewhere...

3 Years, 4 Days ago

England's Courtney Lawes suspended for two weeks

No, but Cooper was cited for that.

You're right in that the rulings weren't consistent, but nothing ever is. Maybe if McCaw was knocked out, it would've turned out differently...I'm not sure.

3 Years, 4 Days ago

England's Courtney Lawes suspended for two weeks

Which is why I'd be more than happy to never see the site integrate facebook or twitter commenting.

(...though, I'm not the site's owner, and ya can't blame someone for just trying to pay the bills...)

3 Years, 4 Days ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Heartbreak for the Welsh

I normally cheer for Ireland 99% of the time, but being as they were playing the Eagles, I was hoping against hope for a miracle. Oh well, at least the boys in green got a win for once...

But how awesome was the stats at the end? 101 tackles made by USA. Compared to the woeful defense that was shown in the warmup games, that's a remarkable improvement. Now if we could only learn how to compete at set pieces...

And one other thing - I said it a few weeks ago as something of a joke, that if the Eagles were going to score a try, it'd be because of D'Arcy or Paddy Wallace at 12 - incidentally, that's how the only USA try was scored. :)

Maybe we can pull something off against Russia? And maybe Italy will be more of a close match (though their scrum will mutilate the Eagles...)...or at least someone will hopefully put some huge hits in on Quade Cooper and make him see stars. That'd be pretty satisfying.

3 Years, 5 Days ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Super Saturday

Does that make you a necrophiliac?

3 Years, 1 Week ago

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