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Farewell to Shane Williams - Final try and interviews after the game

Got both a try saver and scored a try in his final match for Wales. Can't ask for much more than that (other than the win, I guess).

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Alesana Tuilagi and Tom Wood red carded following touchline brawl

Dunno. Nothing really wrong with what happened - you go in with punches, expect a red card. Not that I mind seeing a small punch-up here and there, but a match-stopping brawl is unnecessary.

Either way...if you've got long hair, expect it will get pulled at some point. But then if you pull someone's hair, expect to get a punch to the head and your team ought to give you some shit for a while about being a hair-pulling little girl.

Yellows could have been used here, but red works just fine, and the laws say red is justified.

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Peter Stringer commits daylight robbery on James O'Connor

O'Connor does have a tendency to take a while at the tee, and has gotten away with not kicking it within the allotted minute after the try before. But I don't think that's what happened here.

It's his somewhat irregular routine (as pointed out in the write-up). He does a little shuffle with his feet, shifting his body weight, and then lifts an arm. From back behind the try line, it could look like he's beginning the kick.

The charge is allowed when "the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick", right? But then, "Neither the kicker nor a placer must do anything to mislead their opponents into charging too soon." So I imagine discretion is just left to the referee.

This clip is hilarious. From Stringer's penchant for being a stone in the other team's shoe at every opportunity, to O'Connor's look of total confusion. Great way to end the first half.

5 Years, 1 Month ago

Richie Gray ruins Stephen Donald debut with match winning try

I'm sorry, could you repeat that again? I didn't quite catch it the first couple times ;)

Despite the gratification in seeing Donald do well elsewhere (when he was pretty much dismissed back in NZ), this was a satisfying try. Friggin' Heineken Cup. The only time of the year NH rugby really shines. It's games like this that make it such a great tournament. Plus, it's always good to see a Scottish side come up on top. Doesn't happen often enough.

5 Years, 2 Months ago

2003 RWC winner Martin Johnson resigns as England rugby coach

I love it when English rugby constantly gets in the way of itself. They really have the ability - both in the talents of current players, and the talent in the extremely large pool of players below that - to be right up there with the best in the world. But they always seem to shoot themselves in the foot.

They had it alright with Johnson. He wasn't great. But he wasn't awful. And he was getting better. As was the English squad, for the most part. Maybe a new coach can help speed that along, but maybe it won't. Who knows. The only thing that's certain is the RFU will keep fumbling over itself, so just grab a cold beer and take in the comedy that is international English rugby.

5 Years, 2 Months ago

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.

5 Years, 2 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.

5 Years, 2 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.

5 Years, 2 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.

5 Years, 2 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.

5 Years, 2 Months ago