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Highlights from Week 4 of the November Tests

Kiwi in Germany are you looking specifically for cases of AUS being hard done by here or are you looking at all cases of ref mistakes?

6 Days, 20 Hours ago

New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

i don't think there is any special animosity towards NZ after the match in Ireland actually - I don't think it'll sour relations in the future or whatever - genuinely - Warren Gatland's potty mouth does more to annoy people in reality.
Irish folk are in general delighted to have finally beaten them and done reasonably well the second time - ie not capitulation, as many had feared.
And they know the best team won.
I'm suprised Rugbydump has actually started another tread on this, after I'd imagine we're more or less finished talking about it!
Fundamentally, NZ play a brilliant and v high tempo brand of rugby and in many ways its good that its on the edge. The alternative? Look at the English and French championships. Boring as hell and brutal anyway.

1 Week, 5 Days ago

New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

true, tackles can look worse slow, and i choose not to upload an even slower one for that reason .But the point of contact is the point of contact. And one player can see what's about to happen, the other can't. that's indisputable. With the new info from authorities on head tackles, for this to be called just a collision seems naive from the ref- or, he bottled it. In any case, the citing commissioner sees differently.
As regards selected pictures in the irish or NZ press, they are way too decontextualised to be taken too seriously. Obviously Irish and NZ media will be selective ,backing up their own - there are loads of available vids of illegal head tackles on stander, zebo, O Brien for eg). However - inevitably, with an 8 vs 26 pen count against NZ, the cards and now the citings - its clear which side was breaking the laws of the game.
Also the citing commissioner found 12 incidents of concern , 1 Irish and 11 NZ. And the Irish didn't cite NZ.
None of this is to say that Ireland would have won - they probably wouldn't have! NA are very hard to beat, they had their locks back, and had won 18 of their previous 19 games! But when a game pans out the way that one did, you do have to look at the head stuff, with the problem of concussions etc. Its a broader point.
(But its worth repeating, NZ probably would have won anyway)

1 Week, 6 Days ago

The Maori All Blacks' tribute to late Anthony Foley was pure class

well phrased, it was a touching moment.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

New Zealand avenge previous loss with bruising win over Ireland

The kiwis knew what had to be done, and knew they'd get away with it. Over the two matches ,the peno could was 8 (IRL) vs 26 (NZ). With the yellows and now the citings ,its obvious the ref was too star struck to get a grip on the stuff that was over the edge. And NZ knew this ,got away with it, and won .They knew where the line was - a Nigel Owens type ref would have controlled it better. Once a kiwi was in the bin he was never going to bin another during those 10 mins, no matter what happened.
Of course it was hard on both sides, plenty of this and that, but Henshaw and Stander -two of Ireland's best attacking threats - were taken out. Henshaw defo was victim of a head and shoulder charge - he was blindsided, Cane saw it all.
That said, even though it looked like Sexton did actually hold up the ball excellently, prob would have been a penaulty try as his grappling on the ground for the ball meant he went high. TMO had a nightmare on that try (in many respects!), but ref seemed afraid to call what was obvious. TMO/ref Should also have checked for the forward passes in the last try too (no one got to see if they were or not) https://m0.sportsjoe.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/20100403/Henshaw-tackle-iloveimg-resized.gif

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Best Tries from week two of the End of Year Tests

Thanks for compiling so many different games from around the world. Great - and rare - to see.

2 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Best Tries from week one of the End of Year Tests

Yes that and obviously the Argie one - v unusual continuity play at play there eh?

3 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Stuart Hogg named Six Nations Player of the Championship for 2016

well said @Jimmy23 - Itoje deserved to be top 5 at least, for sure.

Content (if not the order of) Top 4 make sense, more or less, but with Itoje in there too. Think Vini or Itoje might have been 1 actually ,thou Hogg - in a poor enough team - was amazing.

I'd probably go

1 Vini
2 Hogg
3 Itoje
4 North
5 Murray

(unsure about 2 and 3 a toss up really)

8 Months, 1 Week ago

Rugby Tactics: Screened Passing Analysis

these innovations seem to travel one way - League to Union. (I stand to be corrected, many of you know more than i on this). Are there examples of the opposite?

Also I'm not sure that the opposition always has to see the ball - how does a forward in a maul see the ball all the time when its at the back of a maul for eg?

I like the depth of the passing in these moves - that I think makes it noteworthy, but the dummy runner (which they still are) obviously needs to not obstruct in terms of contact. However innovative running lines for the deep receivers is surely the next step - cutting back into soft shoulders, then the next receiver innovating etc....I'm not seeing that (in Union, don't know about league)

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Sean O'Brien cited for punching Pascal Pape in opening minute of Cardiff clash

2 weeks reduced to one. As an Irish fan, I have to say I'm relieved. I was expecting more. Apparently it was reduced to one - after a marathon 7 hour hearing (how?!?) - for previous good behaviour.

Would be a shame for the tournament to loose a player in the form he's in, and of course it woudl have been a disaster for Ireland to loose him after loosing POC POM and possibly JS. But and notwithstanding whatever Pepe was doing behind his back and so on ,SOB was one lucky SOB :-)

@Oliver: Irish fans have a small nation peculiarity. We are quite fair and level headed in general analysis - I reckon Irish commentators are more neutral than most - but when it gets weird or big and at the same time heated, we can go bananas. We all band together in a collective madness.

So in situations like this, when the team is doing well, the more or less best player is possibly about to be banned, we think of anything and everything to hope against hope - blindly and naively - that he'll get off.

Big issues are like this for small nations which are ok but not world beaters at any sport i reckon. If you are used to winning, you can brush it off; if you are used to loosing, or being ok, you can be objective; if you are getting to be quite good, are from a small island nation ,and then have that hope dashed...you go a bit bananas.

The BOD Lions dropping was similar, and outside of rugby the Thierre Henry double hand ball was too, in 'football'/soccer. But for standard stuff, I'd maintain we're more neutral and level headed than most- in fact our commentators often over compensate to appear balanced.

1 Year, 1 Month ago