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Clermont Auvergne beat Perpignan in high scoring try-fest

I'm not normally the first man to defend a scrum-half (I do like them, but they're often annoying and get in trouble a lot), but here it looks like the Perpignan defender slams his arm or fist or elbow or whatever into Parra's head - not necessarily voluntarily, more like a desperate attempt to stop the try being scored, but as a result I can understand why Parra isn't too happy.

1 Year, 10 Months ago

Harlequins pip London Wasps after incredible comeback at Twickenham

Oh my god! Talk about bumming out people about a match ...
I thought the highlights would show a great match, but all I got was that monotonously dull voice saying "and then they scored, and then they scored, and then they scored, yawn, and then [pause] they scored".
No passion in these highlights. Should have an Italian, Argentinian or French voice-over.

1 Year, 10 Months ago

Top 14 Round Two - Best of the weekend wrap-up

Oh no no no, I'm not offended at all, in fact I'm worried that there may be more diving than even a few years ago. Is it getting worse year by year, or is it still only some scrum-halves and a few backs?
I am indeed a forward (front-row), but at a super-amateur level where scrums are simulated for lack of a proper medical license to participate in scrums. The other day I was playing "touch rugby" with a few backs, since our season hasn't restarted yet, and my coach complained that I was running like a Fiji player when ball in hand, so I answered "but come on, I hardly ever touch the ball in matches, can't I just fool around like a back just this time?" (I'm generally too busy lying at the bottom of a pile of bodies, having casual conversations with other forwards trapped at the bottom too, wink wink)

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Top 14 Round Two - Best of the weekend wrap-up

I feel absolutely horrible inside when I see anyone taking a dive (even a scrum-half). I'm pretty sure 99.99% of rugby fans everywhere hate it too and I'm also sure that pretty much nothing evades the camera's glance so I also don't understand the reasoning behind it.
I do remember that front row incident, I think it was Ouedraogo. Horrible horrible.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Argentina and South Africa battle to a tense draw in Mendoza

I don't know how my comment ended up here on the wrong thread (it was aimed at Round 2 of the Top 14). Horrible video of Azam diving, that's just depressing!

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Top 14 Round Two - Best of the weekend wrap-up

I watch a lot of Top14 and my feeling is that the whole "diving" smudge on French rugby is caused by one in every three scrum-halves, and about 1 back (center, wing, fullback) per team. I've almost never seen a front-rower go down.
I hope I'm objective, because I wouldn't like the following definition of rugby to require an adjustment:
"Rugby is a game in which as soon as an Italian player goes down, he gets right back up on his feet"

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Argentina and South Africa battle to a tense draw in Mendoza

I watch a lot of Top14 and my feeling is that the whole "diving" smudge on French rugby is caused by one in every three scrum-halves, and about 1 back (center, wing, fullback) per team. I've almost never seen a front-rower go down.
I hope I'm objective, because I wouldn't like the following definition of rugby to require an adjustment:
"Rugby is a game in which as soon as an Italian player goes down, he gets right back up on his feet"

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Argentina and South Africa battle to a tense draw in Mendoza

When you're a visitor, you have got to know that the Argies are serious about playing at home, especially when they name the stadium you play in after the Falkland islands (Malvinas). France knows something about it, losing 5 of their last 6 matches in Argentina (the 6th match, and victory for France, was only this summer against the Argentina B team, while the A team was away preparing the Four Nations).

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

I play at a quite amateurish level (the lowest level there is here in France), but I am considered to be one of the better tacklers on my team (says a lot about how bad my team is :))
But I don't get 100+kg meat-machines hurled at me in matches, so I can't really compare my technique to what you both are describing above. I mean I do get 100+kg players hurled at me, but they're more on the greasy side than muscular.

I tackle a bit like a soccer goal faced with a penalty shot, that is I slow down before my opponent reaches me, place myself on the side and then hurl myself in one direction (nearly always the correct one :)).
I'm not very tall, but very dense (everyone in my family has heavy bones, my mom even has a medical condition called "bone hyperdensity"). So I use my arms and low centre of gravity to tip and make people fall. My shoulders won't do much in my case :)

2 Years, 3 Weeks ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

Wasn't expecting so much interest in my post!

I disagree that tackles are "with the shoulder". Tackles in my book are a combination of the neck area and shoulder area locking into the side of a player, followed by arms wrapping (not swinging), grabbing (working thumbs are important here), pulling (go thumbs!!), and tipping (use the opponent's weight/shape against him). The arms are not sidelined to a simple "perfunctory movement". The arms are responsible for the success or failure of nearly all tackles. They decide where and how to apply the final pressure to tip the person down. At least that's how I play rugby.
If I try to tackle "with the shoulder", I'll never manage to wrap my arms around. I'll just hit my opponent in the thorax with the shoulder.

On the matter of League, I didn't say it was crude, I said that tackles in it are crude. In response to the above poster's use of the adjective "hard" when defining SBW's shoulder hits. Why say something is hard, when in reality it's just crude? That was the point.

But you're free to defend League. I've watched a few games and found that it doesn't lift the spirit as much, but I'm not completely against it either. This is all very subjective, you'll agree. The same goes for one's perception of the brutality of rucks. I'll follow you on scrums however, I don't like the whole new concept of people driving in. It's brutal and it's poorly refereed. Players should link up first, and push later, like they used to.
Ball handling skills in League vs Union? I don't buy that. Put 2 extra players on each side in a League game and let's see if the ball moves along as nicely.

2 Years, 4 Weeks ago

 
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