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All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch

The announcers for games here in the US, which are usually on NBC Sport, are in a word, terrible. The main announcer I doubt ever played the game, and the commentator, someone who played, his name is Hightower I believe, stinks too. US soccer matches sometimes has someone from the UK doing the announcing, who knows what he's talking about.
The problem with rugby being on the TV in America is that most who are watching played the game, so when an announcer keeps "educating" the viewer who doesn't know much or anything about rugby, it's tedious. I can see taking three or four minutes of a broadcast to go over the laws and scoring for those not familiar with the sport, but after that the game should be commented on as though the viewing public at home actually knows the game.

2 Weeks, 13 Hours ago

All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch

Check the attendance figures. They are on the Internet on Wikipedia. Just google 2016 usa pro rugby season. If you think 27,000 people seeing all the games of the five teams so far, over the last two months, is good attendance, think again. 27,000 in the seats at AT&T Park in San Francisco for the baseball Giants would be considered a bad attendance day. They get 40,000 almost every game. The San Francisco Rush has played on at least two Sundays head to head against the Giants across town. Fans numbering 700 on one game, and 1300 the next isn't going to cut it, I'm afraid, at Boxer Stadium, with a capacity of 3,500. The attendance for the other clubs isn't all that great either. Sacramento had 3,400 for one of their matches. Not a good showing overall. San Francisco's Kezar Stadium could be used, but it has a capacity of 10,000 only anyway (it used to be 60,000 before the '89 Earthquake, and it was torn down and rebuilt). If only 1,000 show up for a match at that venue, only 1/10 of the stands would have people in the seats. It would not look good on TV!

2 Weeks, 13 Hours ago

All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch

I'm surprised the San Francisco team hasn't done better, because Northern California has been dominant in US rugby over the years going back decades and decades, and many of their players play for Life, the upstart club in the East Bay that has taken the Northern California Rugby Union by storm this season and last. As to whether this pro league prospers depends on if people come out to see the games. San Francisco has been averaging 1,033 per match, at little Boxer Stadium, and since they started play in April, they've had to compete with the San Francisco Giants on at least two occasions. Not easy against the Major League Baseball champs three out of the last six seasons. The other teams, Sacramento for one, have drawn more people, if you want to say a crowd of 3,000 is something to crow about. Tickets for the San Francisco "Rush," as in Gold Rush of 1849, as in the 49ers of the National Football League, have been upwards of $30/ticket. I'm sorry, but I'm going to go to see the Giants play. I see plenty of rugby just as a referee during the season from Nov.-Dec., through April. So, will pro rugby take off in the USA? Looking at the attendance figures for the first season, it doesn't look good. I understand someone is bankrolling the whole thing, and that person isn't going to take financial losses over and over for years to come.

2 Weeks, 13 Hours ago

5 Classic Moments from New Zealand vs Wales Clashes

There were some punches thrown by All Blacks in the 1978 match. That '72 match was just a month after the Llanelli match, and Murdoch and a few other All Blacks certainly seemed more interested in kicking and punching Llanelli players in that match than playing the game itself. I don't have to remind you that the '71 Lions were intent on getting their retaliation in first.

Regarding Williams, he picked up a loose ball and placed it over the goal line, and it should have been allowed I think, . Murdoch's try wasn't very different either, and he was awarded a try while on the ground, apparently diving on the ball and sliding across the goal line. The announcer Bill McLaren even thought Williams had scored a try. That loose ball was right near the goal line, Williams hadn't been running with it and tackled short, placing the ball after the tackle, which would have been a penalty then. I know that. I am a referee. Another referee might have awarded a try at that time given the laws. Anyway, it is past history, but a few Welsh wins in the 70's might have made the more recent dominance of the All Blacks over them less daunting. With professionalism, the All Black dominance in international matches has been a record difficult to compete with: the last two WC. If anything there has been more of a gap in talent and performance between that nation and other nations, save when South Africa, Australia, or France have been able to compete and beat them. Every now and then England have, but if anything English defeats of New Zealand were more prominent prior to professionalism. Except for the few times that Ireland and Scotland have tied New Zealand, and taking the fact that Wales haven't beaten New Zealand since 1953, the dominance of New Zealand over the home countries, save perhaps of England with those occasional wins, is obvious, throughout rugby history since 1905.

2 Weeks, 4 Days ago

5 Classic Moments from New Zealand vs Wales Clashes

Well, a few things, and I know it's all about the money nowadays, but wouldn't it be great for these players if they could take a year off post RWC and not tour to either hemisphere? There's been the 6 nations, several other tournaments involving South and North American nations, and there will be the four Southern Hemisphere nation's tournament in a month or two. Isn't that enough for 2016? Next year is the Lions tour. I'm sure 2018 will be chock a block with all sorts of international matches leading up to 2019's RWC.
The Wales v New Zealand match missing in action here is the one in 1972 during the 7th All Blacks infamous tour to North America, Ireland and the UK, and France, which turned out to be controversial regarding Keith Murdoch, and had the All Blacks losing a few mid-week matches, most notably to LLanelli, getting tied by Ireland, and losing to France. The Welsh international was one that truly got away. JPR Williams should have been awarded a try instead of being penalized for double playing the ball. A try then would have led to a Wales victory I'm convinced. That bad decision was worse than the lineout call six years later, in my opinion. Ironically Wales really deserved to win the '78 match, as they dominated play for the most part, whereas the '72 match had New Zealand dominating play for quite a bit of that game.

3 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Southland Boys upset Otago Boys as Hakas set the scene for stunning individual try

I skipped the hakas, as I'm really bored with them. Overdone. To think the Seventh All Blacks did the haka once in four months of touring.

Great counter-attack move, linking with the fullback who saw the gap as the defense drifted thinking the ball was going wide, and seemingly no one back, or not too many, to cover.

1 Month, 2 Days ago

A look at the England vs Wales warmup Test and who should come out on top

Too many games, too long of a season. Result: too many injuries, too many burned-out players. You'd think internationals and tours would be given a rest for a season post RWC, then ramped up again in 2017. Lions are on tour next year anyway.

1 Month, 2 Days ago

Scotland pull off unbelievable comeback to win historic first ever Sevens title

Good on the nation that actually invented 7's. And good on them for wearing kit that actually looks like rugby kit.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Rugby Tactics: The Art of Attacking the Transition Zone

Well, it takes having backs that are thinking, not just reacting, and able to change their options quickly as any gaps in the defense appear. Carwyn James pointed that out many years ago. To quote:
"All I am saying is that you can do anything in the world provided you have the
players who can take the ball and pass it, who can handle. Then ploys are easy;
the moves, the gimmicks, call them what you like."

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Highlights from the Army vs Navy classic clash at Twickenham

That was an exciting match. The crowd sure was into it. The guys wearing the tri-cornered hats and 18th century outfits got a laugh from me. I'm guessing they were Navy fans?

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago