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New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

Do you think head clashes are more common now than in the past? Good point you make about how the game is played, and the safety needed and laws applied to make the game safe. You mentioned not wrapping with the arms. Some of the worst I see, and not always called, is a player going full blast into a ruck situation to clear out an opposing player, just charging in, not in control and not wrapping. It's dangerous, and if the ball has already just been picked out of the ruck, or heeled back out of a ruck, it's also obstruction, as the ruck is over and no longer in process.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

One last comment about the previous match: it wasn't televised live in America, but some two hours after the fact. I went on YouTube the other day and downloaded the RTE highlights vid. Trust me, most of you who live in the UK, or NZ, or anywhere else where rugby is much more popular, you'd have gotten a few chuckles out of hearing the American broadcasting crew. Of course the Dublin match wasn't on our TV here in the States, unless one has one of those special channels, if it is even on the cable network that is subscribed to, as many cable providers do not even have those sports networks available to purchase. Then one has to find a website on the Internet and pay up front money. NBC Sports Channel broadcast the Chicago match.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

I should think 21-9 isn't exactly, with tries now worth 5 points instead of 4 or 3, a "blowout" of any sorts. Some of the commentators a few weeks back suggested that New Zealand were going to win by 50 points or so, or at least by a very large score. I never thought that would happen, but I questioned whether Ireland could pull off two straight against the All Blacks. Having said all that the score line does suggest, and I haven't seen any highlights let alone the match itself, that there weren't all that many scoring opportunities overall, or if there were, neither team capitalized to get the sort of scoring in the previous match. The comment about not being able to beat New Zealand with a mere 9 points says heaps. In modern times I don't know if anyone has beaten New Zealand, or drawn even, with less than 15.
Last point: Soldier Field's rugby configuration had a pitch only some 96 meters from goal to goal (104 yards), and barely 7 meter in-goals, though the width was close to international standard, maybe three or four meters narrower. It seems to have become the place for an international rugby match in the USA. There are other stadiums in other cities in which a full-sized pitch could be used, and it isn't as though other major cities in the USA do not have large Irish-American populations. Perhaps Foxborough near Boston could be a site for a game in the future, or Levi Stadium somewhat near San Francisco.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

Kiwi pundits rubbish Craig Dowd accusations of "Disrespectful" Haka vs Ireland

I have to say that the whole Haka thing is overdone, and not even fun to watch anymore. When it was done for select matches only it had more meaning, to me, but I've heard it from plenty of other people recently. When American football high school teams that have a few Samoan players start doing the Haka, one knows its performance has gotten well out of hand.
A not-so-well known fact is that the ABs did the Haka only once during their 72-73 Northern Hemisphere tour, before the Barbarians match. Blame Buck Shelford: he took the Haka and turned it into some sort of "performance art." I mean no disrespect to those of Polynesian heritage, but anyone knows that when anything is overdone countless times over and over, its meaning gets lost in the process!

3 Weeks, 2 Days ago

Kiwi pundits rubbish Craig Dowd accusations of "Disrespectful" Haka vs Ireland

I have to say that the whole Haka thing is overdone, and not even fun to watch anymore. When it was done for select matches only it had more meaning, to me, but I've heard it from plenty of other people recently. When American football high school teams that have a few Samoan players start doing the Haka, one knows its performance has gotten well out of hand.
A not-so-well known fact is that the ABs did the Haka only once during their 72-73 Northern Hemisphere tour, before the Barbarians match. Blame Buck Shelford: he took the Haka and turned it into some sort of "performance art." I mean no disrespect to those of Polynesian heritage, but anyone knows that when anything is overdone countless times over and over, its meaning gets lost in the process!

3 Weeks, 2 Days ago

Semesa Rokodunguni last-minute try robs Exeter at the death

Sorry for the misspelt word; want. I get pissed off enough, I will misspell words.

1 Month, 5 Days ago

Semesa Rokodunguni last-minute try robs Exeter at the death

This match was supposed to be broadcast by NBC Sport cable channel this past Sunday. I checked the Internet for the times on Friday, and it was to be on after soccer mid-morning on the 30th. Instead, and for the next 12 hours after Premiership Football, it was NASCAR racing! Then people wonder why rugby really hasn't caught on so well in the USA! If it isn't on the TV, number one, kids won't be exposed to it. And no, not everyone in the States has expendable income to buy one of those special channels. I'm already paying $114/month for cable, about L140+. If NBC is supposed to broadcast these Aviva Premiership games, then why the hell are they televising all this car racing instead? Perhaps soccer and American football interests don't won't rugby televised. You can call it conspiracy theory if you want, but I have to wonder!

1 Month, 5 Days ago

Glasgow's coast-to-coast counter that was inches from being an epic try

Ironic you mention league, because I don't like that version of the sport, and it is because there isn't enough passing of the ball, and ball carriers tend to just take a tackle, and then the ensuing version of their ruck. That's my point: too many union players are taking tackles when they could be passing off the ball instead. There are too many rucks in so many games because the ball dies way too often when it doesn't have to happen. It should be kept alive, and if it were, even in bad weather, I believe the game would be more entertaining. Mistakes will be made, balls will be dropped, the other side will then be given their opportunities. Right now I just see the sport as having devolved into something akin to "guaranteed possession" with how rucks, and mauls for that matter, are now refereed and played, because of certain law changes. Why so much "safety first" type play? I hear it on the pitch as a referee: someone is about to be tackled, and someone on the side yells out 'go to ground.' Meanwhile that same player could have been yelling 'with you' instead!
I might remind you of some Scottish club match featured here on this site where in the space of some ten minutes there were so many recycled rucks, something like twenty or more in a row, and that number might be on the low side! Then there was some other high level club match in which a team tried to run out the clock by having those recycled rucks at the end of a match, and surprise, surprise, a counter ruck spoiled the plan and the ball was won back by the other team. Those might be extreme examples, but again, how often, and I know you've seen it, would that player early in the move on the video, behind his own 22, would have gone to ground with the ensuing kick to touch? Instead the ball was kept alive and a try almost scored at the other end. I'm not saying it should be done all the time, but certainly "as well."

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Glasgow's coast-to-coast counter that was inches from being an epic try

The second player to handle the ball for Glascow was being tackled, and instead of "going to ground" as so many players do, he passed it off! That's how the game needs to be played! So many times players are tackled when they could have passed the ball off to a team mate coming off them from behind. The game needs players who are aware enough to keep the ball alive, not killing it in setting up another boring ruck, followed by another usually non-contested boring ruck, followed by....you get the drill. There's just too much of that, and it's BORING, and with defenses just spreading across the field, the kind of play seen in this video can't happen.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Springboks and Eben Etzebeth perplexed by 'technical' lineout law

And how many scrums ever even finish at the top level? Seems maybe one out of the five to ten that happen. The rest of the time the scrum collapses and the referee awards one side of the other a penalty. The way I see it, the team without the put-in doesn't want the scrum to finish, because all the forwards are in the scrum, not lined up across the pitch ready to tackle anyone with the ball. So, why not collapse, especially is the scrum is on the opposition's side of the halfway line, and hope the referee calls it on the side putting in the ball? Otherwise, a finished scrum could mean the ball gets out to the backs with only the opposing backs to beat to gain ground, or possibly score, with forwards running after play. Funny, it used to work that way with mauls and rucks, before defenders stopped contesting them!

2 Months, 1 Week ago