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The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

Well 8th place at the moment are Edinburgh, and they are usually very surprisingly competitive in Europe. Beat Toulouse in the Quarter-finals two years ago! Although I will concede that you're right on that. Are the 7th/8th placed teams in the Premiership competitive in Europe? Who knows, they wouldn't have been in Europe before.. Its not a bad solution, its just one that favours England and France. But yeah, I'd rather some form of european competition, even if it isn't perfect!

1 Day, 3 Hours ago

Liam Williams and Robin Copeland face disciplinaries after double red card

Never been a fan of Liam Williams, he always seems to just throw himself about, and cynical play from him is no surprise to me. The stamp doesn't look like it was aimed for the head, I seriously doubt that Copeland could have seen Williams' head there but that is simply not on. A stamp in that situation would probably have been a yellow anyway, and if you can see what you're stamping, there's always the possibility to hit the head.

I agree with the citing commissioner there though, that tackle was deserving of a red, that is so dangerous. No way Williams should have even been on the park to get a second yellow so I reckon a ban is coming his way, around 3-5 weeks? Copeland will likely get a week or two longer, but I dont know much of his disciplinary record, so he may get off lighter. Both deserve bans though, in my opinion.

1 Day, 6 Hours ago

The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

I agree that the irish teams are getting shafted here, but I dont think its as bad as its being made out for Ireland. If you took the draw right now as it stands, you'd have Leinster, Warriors, Ospreys and Treviso as the one-from-each-country and then Munster, Ulster and Scarlets. So you'd have the top three Irish, which is what was before, and since Leinster and Munster are regular top of the table teams, with Ulster up there more often the last couple of years, I don't think it will make that big a difference in Ireland. In Scotland, where we already have money problems, only having one team qualifying (since Edinburgh have been dire, and only seem to be getting worse..) is going to put the SRU in an even worse position than it was before. Same thing in Wales. Its only the Scarlets and Ospreys that will ever really get into this competition. The Dragons and the Blues will become second rate.

While I can agree that the top 14 is a better league than the Rabo, I disagree that the Premiership is. The average is higher for sure, but teams like Leinster, Glasgow, most of the whole top half of the Rabo are competitive in Europe and would be competitive in the Premiership. I think the English have complained and moaned their way to getting more teams into this European champions cup of whatever. They're not in it on merit. They really should have many more play-off spots.

2 Days, 4 Hours ago

France break Scottish hearts with late winning penalty at Murrayfield

I was absolutely devastated when Huget took that interception as I know how delicate the Scottish confidence is at the moment. We haven't had much form at the moment and until Cotter comes along, we wont have any long term consistency in tactics, squad selection, coaching etc etc.. With France scoring, there was every possibility that they would suddenly wake up and then start cranking in the tries, which didn't happen, but you could see that this was in the mind of all the scottish players. If only we had scored one of those penalties, we would be going to cardiff on a high with some momentum, to play against what looked like a rather lacklustre Welsh team.

I do think however that once the younger players like Hogg, Visser, Maitland, Wier, Dunbar etc in the backs and Beattie, Denton, Wilson etc in the forwards grow up a a bit, gain more experience and start training under Cotter's hard-work regime then we could be looking a much better team soon (I hope). Come on Verne, hurry up!

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Nigel Owens shows Anthony Allen the way to the football stadium

Playing for my local U16s team, my dad was reffing (really small town, only about two qualified refs in the area) and the opposition had been betting pinged all game for a huge number of infringements (no bias, my dad was always likely to ping me if I was even anywhere near the ball, just cos he could, the sadist) but there was one ruck where their captain started mouthing off, so penalty, then roughly 40 further metres up the pitch before he realised he should shut up. After the game, their coach, who had been berating my dad throughout the whole game tried confront my dad, buuut my mum got there first and gave him a piece of her mind. Dont think that coach has ever come back to my wee town.

2 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Ian Evans facing suspension after red card for stamp on Mike McCarthy

Deserved the card, deserves a ban. Intent is irrelevant, he stamped on the guys head three times. I wouldnt go as far as the studio guy does and say shoulders down is fair game if you're in the wrong place but if you're driving over and stand on him then no bother. The up/down or backwards motion law shows itself, this was deliberate. I agree with xxxwookie, take the rap.

3 Months, 3 Days ago

Wallabies reclaim third in the world spot after win over Scotland

To the two comments above: Firstly, Dales, I agree with your first point, but the second is a load of nonsense. The Millennium Stadium in Wales is usually a far worse pitch than Murrayfield, which is usually one of the best in the UK, however, if you could read you would see that there is a parasitic infestation, which there is actually next to nothing you can do about in the short term. Just unlucky that its happened now.

Secondly, Hendogo, Scotland are not "just a bad team". Admittedly we do play badly on occasion, but the last two times we played Australia we won. One in Australia. What we lack is composure and consistency. It doesn't help that the SRU is run by a bunch of total idiots that couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, although things are starting to get better now. Football is more popular, but thats irrelevant because the same goes for England and France. Scotland's biggest disadvantage comes from only having two professional teams, meaning that we don't produce the depth of talent that other countries of a similar population where rugby is bigger do. Rugby is still relatively small in Scotland, but we usually do well, all things considered. Third in the 6 Nations last year being one example. We performed terribly against SA just after having a great game against Japan (although not the highest quality of opposition) and then had a decent, but not amazing game against Oz this week.

4 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Wing JP Pietersen's big tackle on Eighthman David Denton

Good tackle by Pieterson, well done Denton for not rising to the immature face-rub. All this does is take away from Pieterson's tackle and makes him look like a childish idiot.

5 Months, 6 Hours ago

Willie Le Roux stars as the Springboks beat Scotland at Murrayfield

Jim Hamilton is nearly as stupid as he is tall. He's forever losing it for one reason or another and doesn't ever think about anything. He's a total liability for us but we don't have the depth of squad to just leave him out really. Had himself sent off quite a few times for his club (believe he plays for Montpelier).

But I agree with Guy, above, I love watching the Boks play, they tend to play with an intensity you don't often see up here in the NH, but their reputation as dirty players tarnishes that shine, and JP Pieterson is definitely not helping anything. As was mentioned above, if that was early on in the game, and maybe one of the first tackles that he's made then fine, its just making a mark, but when you're 28-0 ahead with 5 minutes left, you're just being a first rate tool.

This is rugby though, glad Denton didn't react, I've seen fights start over much less and I'm sure that they will have had a drink and been fine afterwards.

5 Months, 2 Days ago

Heineken Cup 2013/2014 Best Tries - Round 1

I think this video just goes to show the increasing quality of northern hemisphere rugby. The previous gulf in quality of the H-Cup and Super Rugby is diminishing every year. Only a good thing for our sport. Some absolute stunning tries in there!

6 Months, 3 Days ago

 
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