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Blues vs Crusaders Highlights - Super Rugby Round 1

Looked like a cracker! I'm glad I'll be able to watch some Super rugby starting this week, Canal+ will show one or two games a week here in France.
But remember that this is only a 2 min highlight of the game, the other 78 min were perhaps very boring :)
In the Top14 there are only 5, max 6 teams that play an expansive style of running rugby, and in the Premiereship perhaps only 2 or 3 (Saracens and co), so the NZ games are indeed more spectacular in that area of the game. But I personally like everything in rugby, I like the gritty muddy forward games as much as the wild running games.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Matt Giteau steps up as Toulon score late try against Stade Francais

You have to appreciate how the Toulon replacement hooker kicks the ball for his backs at 5:00. If Toulon had scored a try then, the guy would have been lauded as a genius!

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Matt Giteau steps up as Toulon score late try against Stade Francais

Wilkinson is out for 2 months, Armitage was pretty damn good, Sackey's slap on Aurioli (the substitute hooker trying to break up the fight) was unexpected and weird to say the very least. A very intense match, I thought Stade Fran├žais started looking really good only when Warwick went back to his normal position at fullback (some kid had started at number 15, while Warwick had started the game at 10 and was average at it). Contempomi comes off the bench at number 10 => and the team wakes up! Toulon are starting to look formidable.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Super Rugby 2012 Profiles - The New Zealand teams

(nb: I feel bad for Kaino who's a great player)

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Super Rugby 2012 Profiles - The New Zealand teams

It's going to be an ugly year, now that the NZ teams have recruited nasty French players who indulge in eye-gouging:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Eye-injury-for-Kaino-against-Highlanders/tabid/1607/articleID/243288/Default.aspx

3 Years, 1 Month ago

No date confirmed yet for postponed Six Nations game

The good news is that the FFR has been planning the construction of its own stadium in the Paris region (to be independent of the Stade de France's planning), and its now down to two geographical candidates (Thiais or Evry - place chosen in june 2012). The stadium will house 82 000 and have a retractable roof. Opening match in 2017.
For French speakers:
http://www.ffr.fr/index.php/ffr/rugby_francais/projet_stade/dates_cles

3 Years, 1 Month ago

No date confirmed yet for postponed Six Nations game

sidenote:
The FFR's (French Rugby Federation) treasurer argues that the General Sales Conditions for Stade de France tickets do not make it compulsory for the FFR to reimburse tickets for the cancelled match (casus fortuitus).
This makes it possible for Pierre Camou, the FFR president, to appear magnanimous when he says that the FFR "will reimburse nonetheless", as a kind gesture to all those poor fans.
Rubbish.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

No date confirmed yet for postponed Six Nations game

When major rivers start freezing over, and sun-blazed Toulouse hits the -18 windchill mark, you feel that the organizers would get a sense of the urgency regarding the pitch. But somehow everyone got it wrong and now the blame game has started. It's the fault of the French. It's the fault of the Stade de France. It's the fault of the VI nations committee. It's Mr Pearson's fault. It's because of the TV channels (who, we later learned, actually proposed to move the match to 3pm earlier in the week - or so they say). It's because rugby has become too popular.

Although the pitch was in a bad condition (Vincent Clerc said that in some areas he couldn't even plant his studs into the ground - and skidded instead), what I personally think, regardless of cause or culprit, is that the decision could and actually should have been taken earlier.

10 000 people have come from Ireland (plane fare, hotel, ticket ...), perhaps three times as many from all corners of France (the Stade de France is a seven-hours or more drive from Toulouse, and will cost about 150 euros in toll and fuel alone, so if you had hotel and ticket costs ... ), and all the others from Paris and surroundings ... all these people deserved to have known 2mn before kick-off.

ps: here in Toulouse all rugby fields have been shut down by Townhall for 2 weeks now. All amateur rugby has been shut down. It seems only the pros have been playing (and even some Top14 games have been cancelled).

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Bradley Davies & Stephen Ferris controversial tackles discussed

Poor kids, that is just so sad. In my opinion everything should be considered the other way around as youngsters are not built to withstand the same pressure as pros. At my level of rugby, called "rugby loisir" (leisure rugby) here in France, we're not allowed to do real scrums because it's considered that we don't have the proper neck build. Second Ankle-taps are also illegal, but I can't really figure that one out.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Bradley Davies & Stephen Ferris controversial tackles discussed

It does seem I always agree with you too! (and it's good to see that Caucaunibuca Stade Toulousain pic)

But I still think that Ryan infringes in this particular ruck, as he doesn't displace the Welsh number 1, who is clearly on his feet and thus contributes to forming the ruck. Ryan should move him backwards, he cannot sort of go over the number 1 and then miraculously find himself slamming into Adams. At least that's my point of view. If not, then referees would allow players to walk or dive over defenders, instead you often hear refs scream at players on one foot behind the ruck, and the other over the ruck: "put your leg back in place!".

Of course this only highlights the reason for Davies' reaction but in no way excuses it, as you say no one should try to take the law into their own hands.

3 Years, 1 Month ago