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Danny Cipriani brilliance sets up outstanding Jimmy Gopperth try

The Cipriani-Gopperth combo is looking more of a masterstroke with every game they play together.

I've always been a fan of Cipriani, including through his poncing about with Kelly Brook / getting decked by Lewsey / getting decked by a bus days. His latest revival at Wasps makes me feel delighted and smug. He looks increasingly reliable AND always seems to be able to throw in a bit of magic and creative flair.

I actually think his attitude has been top class for a long time, it's another tick in the "pro" column for me. I'd be interested to know what Eddie Jones's objection to him is. He seems happy to put other players' history happily on the past (cf Hartley). And Cipriani strikes me as exactly the sort of player that Jones would want. Arguably his chance has gone now, with Farrell and Ford installed in the side, but I think on current form Cipriani is the better 10 and he's easily young enough to make the 2019 World Cup.

2 Months, 1 Week ago

Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks

Dan, you should have warned me/other readers that the video contained an almost intolerable amount of Stuart Barnes.

2 Months, 1 Week ago

CJ Stander player mic captures comment about opposition flanker

Love a bit or player mic. Really would enjoy seeing a lot more of them.
The thing I notice most is how much chat is involved. At my lowly level of the game, we're always talking about how our on-field communication needs to be better, but there's very little of it during the match, most likely because everyone is too bloody knackered to speak...

2 Months, 1 Week ago

Quade Cooper sinbinned for off the ball shoulder on Nicolas Sanchez

Oh yes, I remember that. Wonderful moment.
In both cases, (Chabal and Hooper), we see a cheating bastard trying to illegally hold a player back, preventing that player from getting on with his game. And in both cases summary justice is served.

2 Months, 1 Week ago

Quade Cooper sinbinned for off the ball shoulder on Nicolas Sanchez

Ah but one incident *does* establish an irreversible reputation in the eyes of a petty, judgemantal arsehole like my good self. I don't care how cleanly they act in 99.99% of the time, I will never forgive Heinrich Brussow (v Paul Williams) and Yoann Huget (v Bath) for their despicable "simulation" efforts. Even Barack Habana, a player I admire, has sacrificed a number of Stroudos Points by rolling about on the floor more than I deem acceptable.

On the Hooper/Sanchez incident, I'm not saying I'd like to be on the receiving end but it was more of a "bitch-slap" than a solid strike, in my opinion.

2 Months, 1 Week ago

Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks

Good luck with that! I'm quite sure you won't get distracted and somehow end up in one of the weird sections of youtube. ;)

The incident you describe does ring a bell though...

My point here though is that Waller's arms was only across Ashton's face because Ashton was in an unusual position. If Ashton was on his feet, Waller would have hit his shoulder to clear him out. As Ashton was rolling about on the floor/other bodies, Waller had to reach down and the only thing available to grapple with was Ashton's face/head/ neck area. I'm saying he was quite entitled to have his arm across the face.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Quade Cooper sinbinned for off the ball shoulder on Nicolas Sanchez

Totally agree.

Frustrating as hell in the UK, where an English commentator is pilloried if he has the temerity to show support for England.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Quade Cooper sinbinned for off the ball shoulder on Nicolas Sanchez

Mr Dump already provided your proof that Sanchez is exactly that sort of player in the write-up above - http://www.rugbydump.com/2015/07/4466/michael-hooper-suspended-for-one-week-for-striking-nicolas-sanchez.

I agree that it was a bit of a cheap shot by Cooper, but not that bad and Sanchez most definitely milked it. The milking was really just to draw the ref's attention to the incident. I have to say I prefer Owen Farrell's far more honest (and more virile for that matter!) approach to doing that - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwN9PkCpskA.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Quade Cooper sinbinned for off the ball shoulder on Nicolas Sanchez

But I was committed sir! (Committed to smashing the bloke in the face).


Got to love the one-eyed Aussie commentary on this - is it Phil Kearns?
"Just looked like nothing really, than a head clash"
"Well his arms were low. His arms were round the waist. [sees replay, showing nothing remotely resembling this]. One around his back, one around the waist."

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Double BITING allegations get Chris Ashton banned for 13 weeks

Judging only on the video clip above, so I can't be sure I've got all the context right, but at the start of the video we see Waller fairly contesting a ruck, body in a good position; then there's Ashton, off his feet, lying all over the ruck. I don't suppose he's having any material impact on the contest for possession but it does look like he's being a pain in the arse and slowing down what ought to be quick ball.

So for me, what other people are seeing as Waller putting his arm in Ashton's mouth / swinging a forearm into his face / dirtily provoking Ashton, well I see that as Waller simply upping the intensity at the breakdown and working a bit harder to clear a bloke out who's not competing entirely legally.

I would even argue that had Ashton been on his feet and contested the ruck fairly, his head wouldn't even have been in that position where it was vulnerable to a forearm to the chin.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago