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Tongan Thor charge ignites match with HUGE bump in opening minute

Fair play though, the hooker was back up quickly, even attending the ensuing ruck. Impressive.

8 Hours, 11 Minutes ago

Rio Olympics 2016 Preview: Fiji

I really want to get hold of the dude who produced that video, grab him by the lapels and yell in his face:

"This is the Fiji sevens team for Christ's sake! Do you really think a series of clips of blokes diving over the tryline, half a dozen kickoffs (with lingering close-ups of the kicker's ankle after the ball's gone for some reason? Ah, the brand of boots! Well I hope the manufacturers are paying handsomely for the privilege) - but I digress - and weird slow-motion clips of players standing in a circle ceremoniously touching the ball really do justice to this group of players?!? Don't you think some footage of players sidestepping, swerving and generally skinning opposition defenders would offer a more insightful summary of *why* Fiji are such strong contenders for Olympic gold? I counted two offloads in the entire video and had to wait four minutes for them - one of them was an absolute beauty but there must be dozens of similar ones in the archive you could have used. Don't you think that would make for a more interesting and entertaining video??"

3 Weeks, 5 Days ago

TJ Perenara escapes ban after kicking Sam Cane in the face

That's exactly how I see it. And I'd go even further after just watching again now: I think the reason he got Cane's face, rather than another part of the body, is that Cane had his face up and looked like he was making some kind of apology for the original clear out. So all in all, a very polite albeit violent exchange.

3 Weeks, 5 Days ago

TJ Perenara escapes ban after kicking Sam Cane in the face

Did anyone else notice how much worse it looked on the slow-motion replay, (from about 0:17 onwards)? We've talked about this before on these esteemed pages and how the world's best referee Nigel Owens (and some others) always requests the replay to be shown at real speed.

Well, newly published research - - backs up this theory, with much more serious implications. In a study where a mock jury was shown video footage of a murder, "Watching the slow-motion version quadrupled the odds that these mock jurors would begin their deliberations ready to convict". (Emphasis mine)

We've often discussed "intent" on here and how difficult it is to prove - this research finds that slow motion gave observers "the sense that those carrying out the violent acts on tape have more time to think and deliberate - and the observers therefore believe there is more intent in the violent actions".

Interestingly enough, the research did cover our field of interest too:
"The authors also look at the issue of slow-motion replays in sports, and found significant bias when referees or umpires had more time to consider a decision - particularly when doling out punishments. According to Prof Caruso, the use of slow-motion should be limited.
The reality that the referees actually see in real time, I think is fair as the one to use for that judgement."

3 Weeks, 6 Days ago

TJ Perenara escapes ban after kicking Sam Cane in the face

Now then. I don't disagree that a boot to the face really ought to result in a red card and, given that the ref & officials missed it at the time, then a 1-wk suspension via the citing process would be expected.

However, I don't think the intent was that clear-cut and all this business about checking if the ref saw I think is also wide of the mark.

Cane tackles Perenara off the ball (or rather cleared from a ruck he was not actually attending) - this can be compared to a flanker being held in a ruck, in both cases the bloke just wants to release himself and get quickly to the next breakdown. The kick is more of an instinctive flicking out of the boot(s), in the same way as a flailing arm might be thrown by the trapped flanker. I actually don't think he intended to kick Cane at all, let alone in the face. It looks like Perenara's surprise is genuine to me.

As for the glancing repeatedly at the referee, it looks to me that he was checking what was going on at the ruck. He's torn between checking on Cane and apologising (which again looks genuine to me) and trying to get back in position to keep up with the game. This is why you see him go straight back to helping Cane as soon as the ref's whistle goes.

3 Weeks, 6 Days ago

Hurricanes power into Super Rugby final with win over Chiefs

There's a rumour that Sam Cane stuck a finger in Victor Vito's eye, partly inspiring Perenara to boot Cane in the face later. Must be in the act of scoring around 2:45 - can see Vito holding his eye but I can't see anything dodgy from Cane. Not on this video anyway.

4 Weeks, 10 Hours ago

Rugby Conditioning - High Intensity Training: The Hill

No grannies, but smashed a few kids looking for Pokemons... ;)

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Hurricanes masterclass in the wet sets up home semi final

I've now seen this in more detail and close-up -

100% legit on closer viewing. An absolute beauty. To be honest, I loved it even when I thought it was illegal.

1 Month, 3 Days ago

Hurricanes masterclass in the wet sets up home semi final

Nice forearm smash by Perenara around 1:17. Not entirely legal but rather effective!

1 Month, 4 Days ago

Friday Funnies: James Haskell and Owen Farrell Best Mates Compilation

"Of course it's all just a bit of a character Haskell is playing" - well, yes to an extent and particularly the David Brent element, but I met the bloke at a do a few years ago and he was EXACTLY like this for the whole evening.. Bloody hilarious if you ask me.

1 Month, 1 Week ago