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Looking back at the first ever European Cup match in 1995

Oi! What's all this "way back in 1995" business? Not that bloody long ago.....





Oh Christ, it is, isn't it.

2 Weeks, 4 Days ago

Bloodied Brad Barritt happy to put body on the line in win over Wallabies

Nice one, cheers. Even if you don't give it full "off-the-ball" status, it's surely obstruction - at the least accidental obstruction.

Good job Lawes was there to tidy up eh!

2 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Bloodied Brad Barritt happy to put body on the line in win over Wallabies

Yeah, but there's a difference "leaving it all out there" and recklessly using your face to tackle people. Especially when a tackle with the shoulders would have been more effective. I mean it's Quade bloody Cooper, he's hardly an immovable object that you're going to have to summon all your strength and commitment to stop.

2 Weeks, 6 Days ago

IRPA Try of the Year 2014 awarded to Francois Hougaard and the Springboks

(Ignore the random "boy keady" thing, just some strange predictive text going on here..)

3 Weeks, 6 Hours ago

IRPA Try of the Year 2014 awarded to Francois Hougaard and the Springboks

Out of the shortlist, this was pretty much the best.
Had everything: good hands, good chip through, good passing, great offload and just great rugby played at pace.

Great team try because loads of blokes were involved, but Hougaard deserves the plaudits boy keady because he was involved three times in the play.

3 Weeks, 6 Hours ago

IRPA Try of the Year 2014 awarded to Francois Hougaard and the Springboks

Booooooo.

It was flat anyway...

3 Weeks, 6 Hours ago

Bloodied Brad Barritt happy to put body on the line in win over Wallabies

Brad Barritt: again, he's spoken at length about it!!

Top bloke, got a lot of time for him. He's done us proud.

Playing primarily centre myself, I generally feel my role in the team is to smash the the oppo backwards andthen worry about creating things in attack and this man epitomises that, with the proverbial body-on- the-line thrown in for good measure.

But...

As I said to my father-in-law, who's not a rugby man, but cooed in admiration as the bloodied Barritt exited the field: "kind of a badge of honour, isn't it, smashing your face up like that?"...

" Maybe. But you don't split your face open if you tackle a bit lower."

I tell you what, I'm becoming a wise fakir in my old age.

3 Weeks, 6 Hours ago

Bloodied Brad Barritt happy to put body on the line in win over Wallabies

Didn't see either of the those incidents. Let's be having them RD...

3 Weeks, 7 Hours ago

Great sportsmanship from 19 year old Portuguese 7's player vs Fiji

You know this is a great game when "the innocent player was leaving the field - clearly unhappy but abiding to the refs instructions" is taken for granted. Might have been gesticulating a bit in protest but still he ran off the field.

Also I've seen football referees accidentally send the wrong player off and when the mistake was pointed out they've resolutely stuck to their guns. "I've made my decision, I can't possibly change it now" lest that be seen as a sign of weakness or something. I mean I agree in theory but when it's something as basic, immaterial and easily corrected as a case of mistaken identity, they should look to this guy for an example of common sense.

3 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Test Rugby Results - November 22nd weekend

To some extent I was playing devil's advocate. I'm a big fan of Ford and I hope he gets the gig long-term. I'd actually have Cipriani next in the pecking order ahead of Farrell, but I believe Ford offers a much more complete package than all other contenders currently.

The stuff you describe in your last paragraph would definitely irk me if I'd been aware of it. Don't seem to remember any of those incidents to be honest.

Now then. Here is a rhetorical statement that may well be proven or refuted over the coming weeks and months:
Lancaster and his team (whatever their level of influence) have done Ford a favour, by introducing him gradually and allowing Farrell to play some very tough games and take the flak where they've not been successful. I mean no disrespect towards Samoa in saying that was a good game for Ford to play a full 80. Not least, in fact, because he was able to show that he was robust enough to deal with those monsters!

3 Weeks, 6 Days ago

 
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