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Kevin the Tipster - England vs France Quarter Final

Wales by 10 seems a little high to me. Definitely doable, as Ireland could have a crap game and Wales could be on fire. But past encounters make me think that whichever team gives up the most penalties in this one will win. And it could very easily become a rather dull kick-fest. Hopefully that doesn't happen, though.

Position-wise, the two sides look pretty well equal. There could be an interesting battle in the scrum for the front rowers - it could go either way given that Ireland seem to be doing well in the scrum, but I'd lean towards Wales.

Both #5's are just as likely to fly off the handle some point in the game.

Ireland will have to manage the breakdown against Warburton snatching turnovers, and Wales will have to keep up their tight defense against the Irish loose.

Mike Phillips is always hard to defend against, and the Irish will need Murray to deliver quick ball in order to get the Welsh on the backfoot.

Wales is probably stronger at 12 - D'Arcy can drop tackles like a hot potato, so Roberts could be breaking a lot of lines. And Earls against North worries me a bit too.

I'm a little surprised Gatland didn't start Hook - maybe he'll bring him in pretty early in the game. Hook really can make a game turn around.

Sorry, I'm just looking through the lineups and commenting...just stating the obvious.

Either way, it'll be interesting to see Priestland and O'Gara on a pitch at the same time, to once and for all prove that they are not, in fact, the same person.

6 Years, 7 Months ago

Paul Williams red card for strike on Heinrich Brussow

I think you already hit the nail on the head:
Replays showed that it wasn't a punch, and Brussow had stayed down for longer than he possibly should have. All things considered, it wasn't a huge surprise to see someone receive a red card.

Brussow is a great openside and he's typically a pretty tough player on the pitch (he's played through injuries before)...but man, he ought to be a bit embarrassed by how hard he went down by an open-hand strike from a fullback (granted, that's one large fullback...).

Williams deserved at the very least a yellow card, and a straight red is reasonable enough. No need to act like a bitch and blindside a guy with a strike to the head, just because he was punching your arms when you held on to him over a ruck (though some of those did look to connect to the back of Williams' head, so I guess maybe he figured he'd just return the favor...)

Either way, a silly incident that didn't need to happen. Thanks dickbags, for not letting this tournament go by without at least one red card.

6 Years, 7 Months ago

Leonardo Ghiraldini in trouble after making contact with Cian Healy's eyes

Paul O'Connell - never does the fact that he isn't the captain keep him from talking to the referee like he is.

Dunno if it was really an attempt to purposefully gouge. But Healey had every right to unleash some punches on Ghiraldini. Fingers near the eye should set anyone off. And that should settle the matter.

But if it gets judged to be intentional, then Ghiraldini should expect a lengthy ban. If fingers end up anywhere near someone's face, then be prepared to face the consequences of a gouging allegation.

Just a question: Ghiraldini isn't known to be a particularly "dirty" player, is he? If not, then that should play into his favor come sentencing.

6 Years, 7 Months ago

The Rugby Club Plays of the Week - RWC Week 2

This seems to have gotten a little out of hand here (though not to the extent of the comments on the old site layout).

Let me set it straight for you all:

First and foremost, this is the Plays of the Week. It's a mildly funny and lighthearted recap of a few rugby games. It's during the Rugby Club, so of course it's Aussie-centric. That's its bag. The goal is tongue-in-cheek commentary with some dreadful puns thrown in the mix. During Super Rugby, it's not rare for them to pick "Try of the Week" from an Australian side, even when it pales in comparison to one scored by a SA/NZ side. So don't get so offended - it's not intentionally disrespectful; you just have to roll your eyes and move along.

I actually hadn't even really noticed that they left out Genia getting picked up and carried like a ragdoll. It was a marvelous moment from the game, for sure, but again, it probably wasn't a favorite moment for the Wallaby supporters, so I can see why it maybe got left out.

Regarding the media - well, who takes that stuff seriously anyway? I actually think there's nothing quite as satisfying as having your side dismissed beforehand, only for them to pull off an upset (still waiting for that to happen with the USA!).

As for the Fox Sports commentators, it's pretty simple: Rod Kafer is the least biased/most shrewd guy there; Kearns is moderately funny, if only for how boneheaded/biased he can be - at least he'll make jokes about it; Greg Martin is an idiot and the most biased of them all; Greg Clark just likes to hear himself talk.

Now, can we all just move past it and talk about something important, like Ali Williams doing the haka...?

6 Years, 8 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Damp

(he also had a pretty decent/good match, to be honest)

6 Years, 8 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Damp

Stop the presses...Paddy Wallace lasted an entire 80 minutes of international rugby without an injury!

6 Years, 8 Months ago

New Zealand beat France for Richie McCaw's 100th Test cap

So there's a good chance the knockout brackets are going to end up looking like a second-edition 2011 6N and 3N, huh?

6 Years, 8 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Wallaby rout

...just awful. 101 tackles made against Ireland - looked like just as many were missed tackles this game. I guess the tactic was to play the "B" side (yeah, like we really have that much of an "A" side...) so the preferential players would be fit against Italy. But still...apart from the first 3 minutes, it was pretty tragic. Almost as bad as the SA-Namibia game...

One positive thing is that the USA is the only team to score a try against Australia so far. :)

As for Australia, glad to hear Faingaa is okay. I was actually concerned about a spinal injury at first - the way he wasn't moving at all afterwards. No hand or leg movement...nothing. So it looked pretty bad. Good to hear he was up and walking again. Also happy to see Mitchell recovered in time for the WC, and that Barnes is back at rugby.

6 Years, 8 Months ago

Cian Healy's hit on Quade Cooper in Auckland

Healy should've been awarded man of the match based on the fact that he didn't lose a contact lens at all that night...for once!

Great tackle. Even watching the replay, it still makes me smile.

6 Years, 8 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - Ireland upset the Wallabies

Regarding Cooper, I think it's a bit of both. From stealing laptops, he got off to a bad start - most people thought he was a cock. Then, he's hopping around like a kangaroo, throwing careless no-look passes like he's the son of Carlos Spencer and Shane Williams, and doing backflips in the tryzone like he's scored a gift from god. He seems to have a bit of a cocky attitude, but then he can't defend worth a damn, so that makes him look like a goon. Plus, he's been caught throwing a few dirty shots recently (not that many players are immune from it, though). And then you've got Greg Martin getting a boner every time Cooper touches the all just adds up.

So, while I don't hate the guy, I find it satisfying to see him lined up and hammered in a tackle.

And as much as I wish I could dislike him, I have to admit he's done a reasonably good job at keeping himself in check. As far as I've seen, he's not out turning himself into a Gavin Henson...he keeps focused on the rugby, so you can't really hate a guy for that.

It's really not all that bad, and if I were an Australian, I'd actually be glad that Cooper manages to get under other people's skin a little.

6 Years, 8 Months ago