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England edge France in tight Six Nations battle at Twickenham

Occasionally you see footage of rugby where there's no commentary, just the sound of the crowd and the players and officials via the ref's mic. So much more enjoyable to watch!! That should definitely be an option.

2 Weeks, 2 Days ago

Wales come good in second half to comfortably beat Italy

WelshOsprey - unfortunately I have to agree. And it's bloody Wales - great running lines and backline moves have always been intrinsically part of Welsh rugby players' DNA. It is sad to watch these young Welsh players involved in such a blunt game plan. Can't help feeling Gatland has destroyed the whole ethos of Welsh rugby.

On the other hand, I felt that in the early stages of the game, when Wales kicked 3 or 4 penalties to touch, they should have just taken the points. Get points on the scoreboard early and put pressure on the opposition to score.

2 Weeks, 2 Days ago

England edge France in tight Six Nations battle at Twickenham

When I was moaning about Picamoles' petulance earlier on this page, his complaining to the ref here was one of the things in my mind as an exhibit for the prosecution. However, I obviously hadn't really seen that "tackle" clearly! I'm now wondering how he managed to stay on his feet / awake, after basically being Zidaned whilst running at pace. Looked like he took the headbutt flush in the face too, but I don't remember seeing too much in the way of bruising and definitely no cut. His face must be made out of granite!

A bit high is an understatement and to be honest I'm surprised Farrell didn't get a card for this, let alone concede a penalty.

Ah, go on then, I'll say it: if it was Frenchman on Englishman we'd be looking at a red card and a ban!

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Wales come good in second half to comfortably beat Italy

Yep, agree with all of that. Just seems a shame to watch a bloke I've always respected gradually becoming more petulant.

I've already mentioned the "tip tackle" or whatever that beautiful hit was described as, which I thought was a major turning point in the game. Webb should have definitely been shown a yellow card for barracking the ref like that - utterly disgraceful.

Must be hard enough playing for Italy, without this type of frustration. So yeah, I understand Parisse's exasperation, I just wish he'd react more positively.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Wales come good in second half to comfortably beat Italy

Touché Guy! Have to say that probably goes for me too. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt!

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

England edge France in tight Six Nations battle at Twickenham

2014 v Wales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHH1gP75yYY.
Now, admittedly that was a mystifying decision, even by Monsieur Rolland's standards, but still... Saint-Andre called him out on it in his press conference afterwards.

Here we can see even a football referee clamping down on this type of petulance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2emrOciST7I. As the morally superior sport, rugby needs to keep a lid on this behaviour...

I can't think of any other examples of Picamoles petulance, but in my head, (judgemental prick that I am), he's got a bit of a reputation for it.

And, by the way, let's not forget that he has a hilarious name - if you're Brazilian anyway: http://www.rugbydump.com/2016/07/5205/brazilian-sports-presenters-find-it-hard-to-talk-about-louis-picamoles

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Wales come good in second half to comfortably beat Italy

Parisse is becoming a bit of a tit in his old age isn't he?
Gave away a few unnecessary penalties in this game and just seems to act very petulantly. Always seems to moaning and whining at referees instead of keeping a constructive dialogue with them. He's really starting to get on my nerves.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Wales come good in second half to comfortably beat Italy

Mentioned already on the England v France thread, but:
The Italian dump tackle v Moriarty was an absolute beauty and something to be celebrated, not penalised. Although "only" a penalty, it came at quite a crucial moment in the game and in my opinion really shifted momentum. That tackle should have been a massive psychological boost for Italy and ended up being three points and a major relief of pressure for Wales.

After Wales had spent so much of the game naively kicking penalties to touch when they could have put 9 points on the board, I found this particularly frustrating.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

England edge France in tight Six Nations battle at Twickenham

Very good summary Colombes. I was very impressed by Haskell and Care - as you rightly say, they really made an impact, as did Te'o.

Hask is still on his way back from injury, not that you'd know it from the energy he put in. For the time being I'd keep him as an impact replacement, but mid-term he's surely way ahead of Tom Wood in the pecking order.

Three things I didn't like about Wood on Saturday:
1. Late challenge and unnecessary handbags on Serin;
2. Couple of silly penalties;
3. Terrible hair. You're not Chabal Tom, get that monstrosity cut.

Care always injects pace and the whole team benefits enormously. The question is whether Youngs is more tactically astute and should continue to start, or would that pace right from the start be a better option? Personally I don't know, but this is exactly the type of dilemma Eddie Jones is paid a lot of money for and I back him to get it right. Certainly a case can be made for keeping Danny up the sleeve and unleashing his pace on a tiring defence.

Similar debate to be had over Farrell and Ford. I think Farrell is England's best option at 12. He may also be the best 10 though - looked very good in the final section of this game, but he had quicker service from the 9 and the French defence was tired - Ford is at his best in those conditions.

For these selection debates, I'm happy to support England rather than France right now - Eddie's making sure the right guys get opportunities and the players all seem to be responding well.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

England edge France in tight Six Nations battle at Twickenham

Yes Jimmy, he's an excellent player. But he's always given me the impression of being a complete wanchor. Until we see Kieran Read sarcastically applauding the ref for yellow carding him, I'll refuse to entertain that bold claim of yours.

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago