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Bradley Davies & Stephen Ferris controversial tackles discussed

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with the Ferris tackle. The Davies one however was brutal and dangerous and probably deserved a red. It came from a ruck, so the "Ryan didn't have the ball" is not very relevant.
I guess Davies wanted to be an executioner of sorts (Ryan comes in on the side, while pretending to enter through the door, slams shoulder first into Adams, and then starts pretending to "ruck" ... I guess Davies thought: "ok, enough of this" and expressed himself the wrong way).
I think Barnes shares a part of responsability here, if he had blown the whistle in the first 10 minutes of the game, like Kaplan would, against all ruck infringements on both sides, we wouldn't have seen exagerated rucking attempts past the 60th minute.

4 Years, 6 Days ago

Romain Poite enjoys the funny game, but Geordan Murphy disagrees

That penalty was 50-50. The Ulster tackler is on the wrong side and could be penalised, but at the same time the Leicester player is holding on to the ball, which is being properly contested by another Ulster player on his feet.
Poite is a former police officer who he doesn't appear to have much authority, but who is quite good at scrums and rucks (however he doesn't use his linesmen enough and misses quite a lot too).
I think he meant "funny game" about the theatrics that are particular to the relation between a referee and a scrum-half.

4 Years, 1 Week ago

Gloucester and Toulouse play out a classic at Kingsholm

Actually the commentary here is quite professional and unbiased (enthusiastic about both teams on the field) because this game was televised on Canal+ which is a paying channel. The non-paying equivalent, ie. public channel France2, which shows a few HC games and the VI nations tournament, offers a much more biased (pro-French) commentary.

4 Years, 3 Weeks ago

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!

4 Years, 1 Month 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

4 Years, 1 Month 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?

4 Years, 1 Month 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 ...

4 Years, 1 Month 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.

4 Years, 1 Month 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 ...

4 Years, 1 Month 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.

4 Years, 1 Month ago