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Friday Funnies - Dan Biggar's bizarre kicking ritual, the Biggar Shuffle

This bloke used to be a bit of a knob didn't he? Can't remember what he did to incur my displeasure now. I find I admire the guy quite a bit these days. Aside from this comedy routine, he's playing some nice rugby and seems quite modest with it. As for the kicking set-up, it's hilarious to watch someone look so much like he's absolutely bricking it, then calmly slot 8 kicks from 8. Not that I was exactly pissing myself laughing the other night.

2 Days, 16 Hours ago

France win comfortably despite Canada scoring some great tries at Stadium MK

Brilliant by Cudmore! Love that. Not many people can get away with trolling a whole pack of forwards like that...

2 Days, 22 Hours ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

Agree. Slammin Sam makes hard yards AND puts other players in space. I've had enough of Barritt "heroically" tackling people with his face. The only reason he's there, supposedly, is for defensive organisation, yet it was his disorganised defence (rushing out of the line) that created the gap for Wales's try. On top of that, Burgess has kudos in Australia for his brilliance in the other code. Not selecting him disregards a potential psychological advantage.

I don't like to complain about refs, but Lacy was really shit. I was banging my head against a brick wall yesterday trying to explain to a Welshman how the ref pinged Fiji more, so I'm relieved to see your first line here. And, yes, I'd caveat that he was shocking against both teams, but the balance was in Wales's favour.

Players you highlighted were indeed excellent. Chapeau also to Warburton who got through a lot of work and North looked his old dangerous self when he got the ball in hand.

2 Days, 22 Hours ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

Well done to Wales for getting the job done, but the most exciting part of the game for me was first ten minutes of the second half, where they allowed themselves to be lured into playing Fijian style rugby - and Fiji got the better of them for a while. Unfortunately, Wales got a grip after the Goneva try and reverted to throttling Fiji, rather than taking them on at their own game. (On that note, I know England have Joseph back in now to hopefully spark something for the back three, but I hope they don't try to play too much like Australia; if England are going to have any chance they need to play to their (relative) strengths and smash it through the middle).

I was again impressed by Fiji, their forward pack has dramatically improved over the past couple of years. You know you're going to see exciting shit from the backs and yesterday was no exception. Their offloading is just beautiful; if they could have just protected the ball a bit better when taking it into contact I think we could have been looking at a very different result.

3 Days, 3 Hours ago

Wales get job done with win over determined Fiji in Cardiff

The "Rugbydump" moment doesn't seem to be in this clip. That for me was the moment where Bradley Davies tried to rip off the Fijian player's head at a ruck, quite early in the game. If Nadolo copped a suspension for a "head-roll", even when the judicial officer himself said he did nothing of the sort, unjustifiably missing this very game, then BD's had to be worth yellow at least, and by the letter of the Nadolo report red.

I would like to have seen how Wales coped with 14 men for the majority of the match.

Based on the precedent set with Nadolo, Davies must be cited and the book thrown at him. But that of course does nothing to help Fiji, who should have had the benefit (of playing 15 v 14) during the game.

3 Days, 3 Hours ago

Arizona Wildcat's pre-match Haka has angered rugby fans

Gettting a bit youtubey on here all of sudden...........

3 Days, 20 Hours ago

Nemani Nadolo banned for dangerous David Pocock clean out

Mate, even on that slow-mo video, you'd have to be pretty one-eyed to say that's a deliberate kick to the head.

3 Days, 22 Hours ago

Jamie Mackintosh elbow earns him red and a one week ban

Looks like a cartoon character. With a comedy high-pitched voice.

Good spot by the ref.

What a dirty bastard. Don't get how he felt he could protest against this.

4 Days, 1 Hour ago

Nemani Nadolo banned for dangerous David Pocock clean out

I agree that the neck tackles you posted (both Wood's and Nadolo's) were worse than this clear-out. For what it's worth, here's the excerpt from the Judicial Officer's report that *sort of* explains it:

(d) Further, in Clarification 4-2014 the International Rugby Board’s (as it then was) Rugby Committee stated:
“In terms of ruck clearouts using ‘head rolls’ and ‘body rolls’, this is not specifically referenced in Law. However, Law 10.4 (e) regarding dangerous play and misconduct should be applied to both the tackle and clear out:
Dangerous tackling. A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. A player must not tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the neck or head is dangerous play. Sanction: Penalty kick”
Therefore body rolls are permissible but head rolls should be penalised.”
(e) Still further, the 2015 Memorandum, under the heading “Dangerous Grasping” provides:
“A further pattern of offending was identified in the Game (Memoranda 4 August 2011) whereby players not in possession of the ball were being grasped and/or grabbed by an opponent in and around the neck and/or head area, principally in an effort to clear out players from the breakdown. While such behaviour does not come under the definition of a tackle, as no ball carrier is involved, nevertheless it is dangerous play and Foul Play under Law 10.4(e) and/or Law 10.4(f) (playing an opponent without the ball) which must be sanctioned.”

4 Days, 1 Hour ago

Nemani Nadolo banned for dangerous David Pocock clean out

Cheers RD, didn't see that link in the write-up earlier.

Here's my summary of that document, for the benefit of those that can't be bothered or perhaps are busy doing their actual job.

1. Despite my suspicion of Welsh complicity(!), the judicial officer (JO) is English...

2. Neither the ref nor his assistants saw anything wrong in this incident.

3. Pocock's statement effectively exonerates Nadolo.

4. Nadolo said his teammate #19 joined the ruck and knocked him off balance and as he was falling he pulled back to avoid landing on Pocock's knee.
I think that when you watch the video this is completely accurate.

5. The Designated Disciplinary Officer (DDO), one Yvonne Nolan, reckons he "had the opportunity to bring Australia #8 to ground safely, [but] took a subsequent grasping and/or grabbing and/or twisting and/or throwing action"

She shows a lack of empathy as to why he twisted away, which actually seems likely to have avoided injury.

I'm also concerned by this part of the report: "Before me, in her oral submissions, she finessed..."

6. The "serious risk of injury", mentioned a few times, is based on grabbing the neck/head and twisting. But JO states "On my factual findings, the grasping was of A8’s upper chest. His arm was very close to A8’s neck. However, the Player did not grasp or grab A8 in and around his neck or his head area. He did not grasp or twist his neck or his head area."

So he's completely innocent of seriously risking injury and it actually appears that he's actively *avoided* causing a far more likely injury.

This whole thing is bullshit. Even the JO's report makes it clear that there's no case here.
Not happy.

4 Days, 1 Hour ago