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Samu Manoa and Mike Haywood crunching tackles vs Harlequins

Come on man, you should rejoice instead. Imagine if John Cabot's expedition in 1497 had decided the naming of the continent, you'd be called the Cabotans. And if Cabot hadn't had his name anglicized, you'd be the Cabotonians.
So being called Americans isn't so bad, I'm telling you!

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Highlights of Toulon vs Clermont, including Rougerie fight & Smith yellow

That's what I wasn't sure about, I hadn't seen a clear "play the advantage" rule about this. My opinion is that even the referee didn't know, which is probably why he called for the video ref for what seemed to be no particular reason (not a single defender anywhere near Lapeyre).
On the IRB website, rule 13.6: "If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line but is first played by an opponent, play continues".

ps: the Rougerie try should not be allowed either, there is a major screen by Rougerie himself on Armitage which makes it possible for Malzieu to break the line

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Referee Nigel Owens - 'This is not Soccer'

Way to go, Nigel Owens!
And about social networking, who cares ... a few years back even Ahmadinejad (the "president" of Iran) had his own blog.
I don't mind a referee giving intimate details about his life, but I do mind a team owner trying to be vulgar when condemning refs (cf. Boudjelal, Toulon's president, who said yesterday that he was "sodomized by the ref's decisions" in his team's defeat to Clermont). Seeing as Toulon scored a dodgy try in that game, I think Boudjelal should put up a better display.

PS: maybe RD can put a video about that try, it comes from a restart kick-off at the center of play, Clermont kicks, the ball doesn't travel 10m, a Clermont player touches it at a distance of 8 meters, but doesn't get a hold of it, then a Toulon player picks it up and goes and scores a try, everyone else thinking play had stopped. The IRB states that play can continue if the kickoff travels 10m or if the opposite team plays the ball (not the kicking team). Perhaps the referee played some sort of non-written advantage law about kick-offs, or am I missing something?

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Benoit August playacting after James Short lashes out

I meant to say that "professional rugby will actually survive" the scare, and not that I don't think it will ...

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Benoit August playacting after James Short lashes out

This man I know who's a volunteer referee for a juvenile football league (and yeah, I agree it's a terrible idea!) once told me that he saw the wind change when 12-year old youths started playacting and talking back to the referee.
This is why I don't think that professional rugby for the time being will survive this whole "football-like" scare: youths are taught a certain ethic at rugby schools that is more or less incompatible with this type of footballish attitude, ie. don't talk back to the ref, suck it up, take one for the team, etc etc
But I fear that in the long run you'll be right, as more money gets pumped into the system, the risk of it becoming subject to this type of behaviour increases.

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Fight Night in France - Agen vs Biarritz mass brawl

I love it how someone from the Agen bench holds the beast Narjissi back as if on a leash, as this player (a decent hooker) isn't exactly known for his ability to discuss trivialities with opponents without resorting to fisticuffs.
This muddy match was horribly boring on the attacking side of things, but was really thrilling in terms of combat. When the fight started, you could just feel everyone ready to boil over ...

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Classic Encounters - Montpellier vs Racing Metro on New Year's Eve

The guy hadn't even been on the field too long. But when brandishing the card, the referee said: "too many successive infringements" (by the Racing Metro team), so it was a team yellow card.

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Top Ten Tries of 2011 from Canal+

Ahhh, "La Peña Baiona", this song just makes anyone vibrate, adversary or not.
McAlister had barely landed in France when he was sent onto the field in Bayonne (on Toulouse's first match of the season).

Before that, as a sub, you could see him stare blank-eyed at the public, probably wondering where the hell he had landed.
When interviewed after the match, he said the atmosphere was insane.

Another rendition here (listen at 0:40 onwards):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiiM4BHz8go

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Classic Encounters - Montpellier vs Racing Metro on New Year's Eve

You have to appreciate how Bobo converts his own try with a drop from the 5m line.

The match was a real cracker throughout, Racing and Montpellier are two attacking sides in the Top14 ... Racing Metro is ranked last in its Heineken Cup pool, but has the highest number of points scored in their pool (and worst defence, thus their ranking).

Also noted: at some point Jacques Cronje from Racing gets into a brawl with Fulgence Ouedraogo. When the referee calls them up, they keep on arguing in front of the referee. Cronje is saying that Ouedraogo just eye-gouged him. And Ouedraogo is mad with anger, saying "no f--- way, I never do stuff like that!". It gets to the point where the referee tells Ouedraogo that he better calm down, being captain and all ...

2 Years, 3 Months ago

Exclusive interview with Richie McCaw, featuring Don't Drop The Egg

A bit of a serious interview (but then again no one said it shouldn't be). McCaw is a player I particularly dislike, but is most certainly a good guy off the field (like Lawrence Dallaglio). In France, we got to see a little documentary about him before the pool game between NZ and France, and they presented him as this zen glider pilot whose grandfather flew planes in WWII. Just the right thing to say to make him a lovable person for the French public :)

2 Years, 3 Months ago

 
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