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Harlequins beat Leicester Tigers to win the 2012 Aviva Premiership title

@guy: fair enough, to a point. But would they have won the premiership had they been more severely punished, eg, punished more as a team rather than as individuals, within 3 years of an appropriate punishment? Not sure. They might well be rebuilding well etc, but winning the premiership? Questionable.

5 Years, 4 Months ago

Harlequins beat Leicester Tigers to win the 2012 Aviva Premiership title

Feel a bit conflicted on this. Considering how lightly they were treated over bloodgate, this victory does leave a bit of a taste in the mouth. Their punishment could have been more severe/apt - they only lost that bloodgate match by one point...imagine if they'd won it? How would that have been unraveled?

5 Years, 4 Months ago

Carl Hayman suspended for four weeks for Zee Ngwenya spear tackle

ahh hold on. He didnt succeed in driving the man into the ground head first, but the angle involved was extreme. That's a throw back to why they are sometimes called spear rather than tip tackles.
Hayman brought his legs up to an insanely high angle, we're talkin 150 degrees from the ground (hip height being 90). That could easily be a red.

Often a player gets sent off or a yellow for 90 degree tip and a reasonably safe put down, which is wrong (eg Ferris for irl vs Wales, when the player actually had a leg still on the floor). In this case, once the angle goes that high, at that speed, u have generate an out-of-control moment.

5 Years, 4 Months ago

Quade Cooper returns after seven months off through injury

mcCaw defo gets away with it:@ he's miles offside when Cooper clears him out in that first clip from Jon. As usual. A post rugby career in hypnosis awaits Sir Richie, as he seems to have refs bamboozled continuously.....
Cooper reacted cos the ref, like all refs, let McCaw away with it. Continuously.

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

"You don't experiment in matches against New Zealand."

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

looks like cheika will be available too..

but I can't see the IRFU making a bold decision, unless of course Irl are slaughtered in NZ....oh, wait

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

Leinster are certainly a form side globally: a world club cup might not be significant, as it doesn't even work in soccer. So we can only ever speculate about the levels a Leinster are at. Thou I'd imagine Leinster, Clermont and Toulouse (and maybe globetrotting toulon) would do OK in the SH, the rest of the NH clubs would struggle.

BOD really rolled back the years in that final: ppl keep saying he's lost pace: I'm sure he has, but his 5 yard burst, which was always his strong point running-wise, was in full effect in this most important of matches. The change of pace and burst happened a few times, like when he offloaded to SOB for the Healy try.

Ulster showed great handling and momentum at times int he first half, but they were playing Leinster's game. However the up and under game wasn't an option with of all ppl Kearney at the back. (Possibly now Leinster's best full back again!)

SOB completely back on form, and played in an acceptable position: will Heaslip stay on the Irish team now (bench warmer for a few perhaps?) Ferris and SOB both have to play, in their correct positions for Irl as a priority.

SH coach for Irl would make a lot of sense alright.

@CCC:That's the all time European table from your perspective, not the current best in Europe I'm defo presuming....

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Heineken Cup Final 2012 preview with Donal Lenihan

game over: question. Are Leinster as good a club team as there is?

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Best Tries of the Top 14 - Round 24

@stroudos: yup. #10 was the clincher.

I've given up thinking of these as _in _any_way in order thou. We've seen these over the years, and its great to watch french rugby, but the top 10 with the dodgy filler music is never, ever, in order! Its completely random.

Superb handling in that clip, and what a kick through.

5 Years, 5 Months ago

Ospreys into the RaboDirect Pro12 final with big win over Munster

@Calon Lan

I do get what you mean about the regions, though I think the soccer example is a bit OTT. there is something regional still about the regional clubs, isn't there? Its more like Liverpool and Everton and a few feeder teams from the lower divisions being turned in one club, isn't it? (Also soccer hatred in the last 4 decades is different to rugby rivalry). And soccer is almost completely meaningless as regards identity now that's its a rich man's plaything.

Certainly the Irish example is a good one, as the Irish clubs aren't the richest but are managed well. Irish clubs tend to have the biggest number of native players (from what I can gather). It is about 2/3 of the starting line ups, and obviously most of the squad, of both Munster and Leinster, who are Irish. (And nearly always from Leinster or Munster)

When professionalism came, in, they really expected Irish rugby to nosedive: most top Irish players played in England then. It didn't for a few reasons:

Its v hard to get into the Irish team unless A u play here B you got into the team when playing here is key. As is the restriction on imports (which is getting tighter again next year).

Wages are obviously lower than in France, but there are tax intensives for players who retire in Ireland. (That's why so many of them did stay and didn't move)

Fewer games each season.

Ireland boomed economically from professionalsm til 2007/2008: it made Ireland a more attractive place to live in some (but not all) ways: esp if you were a rugby player perhaps, but also, if u were an aspiring one, there was always the likelihood of work. Now, people emigrate.

Yes the provinces actually meaning something helped, esp in Munster

No League whatsoever (as in Rugby League) this may or may not have helped, but its a reality.

Club game beneath this level has of course suffered

And the mad thing is the national team isn't great! Flatters to deceive.

5 Years, 5 Months ago