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Ronan O'Gara sinks Saints with injury time drop goal

And Sexton slotted an 80th-minute penalty to tie the Leinster-Montpellier result. A good weekend overall for Ireland's two top out-halves. Though, to be fair, a dropgoal 40 phases well after the 80th minute is always more exciting than a penalty kick - partly because it's won through the determination of the players and not the referee's whistle.

99% of the time, efforts like the one in the clip end up with a knock-on, a turnover, or a penalty. Well done, O'Gara et al.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Mike Tindall sacked and fined by the Rugby Football Union

I'm still trying to figure out what Tindall did exactly, other than go out an enjoy some beers, the company of some ladies, and something rather about midgets. I wonder if the RFU is mad because they're jealous they didn't have the chance to tag along? That sounds like a pretty mild evening for many rugby property damaged, no one ending up in a hospital, no one thrown out of the bar...must've been pretty well-behaved.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Mike Tindall sacked and fined by the Rugby Football Union

Is there a regulatory body that doesn't appear to be run by a bunch of non-rugby-playing cockbags? These guys at the RFU seem all-too-similar to the easily-offended policy lovers are the IRB. Jaysus, it's like France being fined for getting "too close" to the fucking haka, or RFU "investigating" the fatter Armitage for his bitching on twitter (though, to be fair, what self-respecting forward uses twitter? RD exempt because it's for the site...).

All the panties getting twisted with the regulatory bodies seems to be an unfortunate consequence of professionalization. They want to keep the sport in good repute, and think that by making examples of players of fringe examples of wild behavior, they're doing something about it.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Jamie Cudmore yellow carded and cited for strike on Jerome Fillol

Given Cudmore's temper and predilection for retaliation outside the laws of the game, I was expecting the clip to be more "convincing" that he did something wrong. What I saw, instead, was the unfortunate hamming-it-up-ness that seems to be more ingrained in French rugby culture than in others.

That's not to say all French players fall too easily - plenty French players are tough and would rather be knocked out than risk looking like a wuss - but far too many do.

I'm not saying I wouldn't fall to the ground after getting hit by Cudmore, I probably would. But I wouldn't lay there rubbing my face to try and milk a penalty out of it.

Yellow card was fair enough. Citing is somewhat expected, given that it's Cudmore. Same would likely happen for Botha. But given Fillol had just gone after a player with a swinging arm himself, maybe he ought to have received a warning as well.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Huge amateur hit from club rugby in Buenos Aires, Argentina

That was amazing. I was expecting a big hit, but not that! Awesome stuff. I've watched it about a dozen times now, and it just keeps getting better. Perfect timing, posture, technique - that's one hell of a good tackle.

As for the SH tournament: years expanded Tri Nations tournament...will be called The Rugby Championship.

Yeah, and Lansdowne is "Aviva Stadium". This is just the Four Nations tournament, despite whatever supercilious official name it may have.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Rugby World Cup 2011 Team of the Tournament

Hmmm...there seems to be some disagreement; let me put this matter to rest:

1 - Harinordoquy
2 - Harinordoquy
3 - Harinordoquy
4 - Harinordoquy
10 - Quade Cooper, just to agitate some more kiwis
14 - Harinordoquy
15 - Harinordoquy

You're welcome.

3 Years, 3 Months ago

Radike Samo's IRPA Try of the Year 2011, vs New Zealand

Not saying you're wrong, but feel free to list some of those other tries.

Unlike previous years, I don't know if they gave a list of 2011 IRPA Try of the Year nominees this time around.

3 Years, 4 Months ago

Richie McCaw knee on Morgan Parra, Donald kick, Rougerie eye-gouge, and more

Damnit, cheyanqui! I already have to listen to that commercial five times during NFL games (the only time I watch tv live) you have to bring it here?!

3 Years, 4 Months ago

Richie McCaw knee on Morgan Parra, Donald kick, Rougerie eye-gouge, and more

...hmmm...I understand all the frustration surrounding the match; it was a final, so people are especially critical.

But the complaint against the Parra incident is one of the sillier ones to surface.

Interpretations of what happened aside, if I were Parra, I'd be proud to have a couple shiners like that after the game. Wouldn't be too happy with getting benched because of it, but Trinh-Duc probably put on a better performance that Parra would have anyway. So it all worked out for the best.

Maybe some of the indignation comes from the kiwi response to Quade Cooper dropping a knee on Saint McCaw...

But of all the things to discuss about a rugby match, a bit of knees in the breakdown, speculating on the intentions of the players, has to be among the most trite.


3 Years, 4 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily, IRB Rankings, and IRB Awards

A large part of the reason Wales is lower now than they were before the WC (from 6th to 8th) is due to the fact that they made it to the finals stages, where wins and losses are multiplied by a factor of 2.

Before the semifinal, they had made it as high as 4th place, and were above France on the rankings. That means that when France beat them, Wales lost a lot of points.

A team like Tonga, on the other hand, managed to beat France in pool stages, so that shot them up a few spots (they had lost a few matches before that and were way down at 13, but they beat France - who were 5th at the time - and took them to 9th). So, the ratings favor underdogs - teams who are ranked lower beating teams ranked higher gets them a lot of points.

The rankings don't necessarily mean that a team is "better" or "worse" at the moment than those ranked above or below it. It means that historically, they've performed in a way that puts them in the spot that they currently occupy.

So yeah, in a way, they are "bullshit" - just take the rankings with a grain of salt before getting indignant your side isn't higher up.

What all teams ought to be doing is aiming to take down the kiwis. Those boring bastards have been #1 for so long, any team other than Australia who beats them has a good chance of getting ranked pretty high after that.

3 Years, 4 Months ago