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Midweek Madness - Moldovan prop's drop goal attempt doesn't reach the tryline

Clearly that was a beautifully-executed grubber, not a butchered drop goal. If you look closely you can see him mouth the words "get after that Danny".

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Inspirational leader Sergio Parisse on the Art of Number Eight

Here's an idea.

Bearing in mind how woeful Italy's place kicking is - and has been for a very long time - why doesn't the all-round total footballer and artist (and Captain) have a crack at it?

We've seen his kicking from hand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB-DJ8zyAZQ) and I think you can see from this video that he's clearly got "tekkers".

Apart from John Eales I can't think of another forward who's regularly taken place kicks. My question is why not? It's not as if being small or faster at running immediately qualifies you as a good goal-kicker. And it's nearly always the flyhalf too - OK so he might be more in the zone for it as he's kicking the ball out of hand more than most other players during the game, but that's actually quite a different skill.

If, for example in the case of Haimona, your flyhalf looks like he's kicking three pounds of haggis (RIP Bill), then why not get someone with all-round footballing skill and insane ability to have a go.

That someone is Sergio Parisse and I demand he is given goal-kicking responsibility immediately. (I assume Jacques Brunel does come here for his team selection tactics?)

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Inspirational leader Sergio Parisse on the Art of Number Eight

I am wondering though if these videos are cursed. At least the timing often seems unfortunate.

There was that one on Jonny May just before the six nations started. Then he didn't play very well and got dropped.

Jonathan Sexton's and Paul O'Connell's were both posted to Rugbydump shortly before Ireland's first loss in months.

Italy have struggled as always in the tourny but it's unlucky that this video gets published in the wake of their biggest loss of the competition, getting nilled int he process.

There was even that series on what a nice bloke Jamie Roberts a few years ago (sorry this may be one for the RD veterans). Didn't he get injured for quite a while very soon after that?

Anyway, Mr Dump - basically what I'm saying is if anyone asks you to post one of these videos on George Ford, just bloody don't do it. Thanks! :)

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Inspirational leader Sergio Parisse on the Art of Number Eight

What an apt title - he really has made it an art form hasn't he?

1 Week, 6 Days ago

The Shortball highlights wrap from Round 5 of Super Rugby

Ahaa!

2 Weeks, 3 Hours ago

Jonathan Davies sends Johnny Sexton to the turf with a powerful hand-off

They do get carried away a bit don't they.

It seems that the polite ripple of applause is a lost art.

Gone the same way as dotting the ball down for a try then calmly jogging back to your half, with barely a perceptible smile in the general direction of your team-mates, who would also be jogging back and not trying to cuddle you like some bloody footballer. Ah, well.

2 Weeks, 17 Hours ago

England part of three-horse race for the title after victory over Scotland

And I think "a little longer and they'll have it nailed" is an accurate summary.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

England part of three-horse race for the title after victory over Scotland

Hence the italics. :)

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

England part of three-horse race for the title after victory over Scotland

Here is a brilliant analysis of Courtney Lawes's contribution to this game: http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/rest-of-the-world/six-nations-player-analysis-courtney-lawes-england-43854

With all due respect to Attwood/Kruis/Parling, it was fantastic to see this beast back in an England shirt and smashing everything that moved, especially the poor bar steward in the 10 shirt. Some people don't seem to like his flyhalf-hunting, but it's a fantastic weapon to have - if the 10 knows that he is going to have his ribs rearranged if he dithers for a split second, it puts him under enormous pressure.

Looking forward to seeing the "'Kin 'ell" boys (Lawes & Launchbury) back together - they really have the potential to be a formidable partnership for a while to come.

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago

England part of three-horse race for the title after victory over Scotland

DrG - you love to over-complicate things don't you!

These missed opportunities / butchered tries / scores prevented by good defence can all be grouped into one fault, which is the failure to execute what Sir Clive Woodward called TCUP - Thinking Calmly Under Pressure.

I don't think it's a major issue - this particular skill comes mostly with experience.

With a few more test matches under their belts, I'd expect Nowell to notice the players outside him, Burrell to look for support, Brown to hold his run just enough to allow Haskell to turn like an oil tanker and still be able to make his pass backwards, Tom Youngs to have at least a quick glance over his shoulder before throwing a pass.

It's coming.....

2 Weeks, 1 Day ago