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Monday Mar 20, 2017

Fascinating 2017 Six Nations comes to a close - Final Weekend Highlights Wrap

Fascinating 2017 Six Nations comes to a close - Final Weekend Highlights Wrap
71
Comments

Things didn’t go entirely to script on the final weekend of the 2017 Six Nations Championship, as Ireland upset England to block their Grand Slam, France and Wales played 100 minutes of rugby, and Italy failed to score a point against Scotland. Here are your highlights recaps.

It was a fascinating final weekend of the tournament, as positions on the final table shuffled around and while England were unable to get their Grand Slam and world record for successive wins, they did retain the Six Nations trophy.

Scotland finished in fourth position on the table after playing some thrilling rugby at times, as they bid farewell to coach Vern Cotter.

France will be happy to have secured the late win in Paris, and finish third on the table, while Wales find themselves in fifth position, after a mixed tournament.

Ireland finished second, although themselves, France and Scotland all ended on 14 points. However, Ireland had a better points difference overall.

STATS CHECK:

Camille Lopez of France ended the tournament as top points scorer, kicking 67 points with the boot, followed on 63 by Owen Farrell. Lopez also ended the tournament with a high kick percentage of 89.29%, with 25 succesful from 28 attempts.

Ireland were top in that regard though, as Jonny Sexton had a 100% record from the tee with 8 from 8 kicks, while Paddy Jackson got 14 from 15, for a 93.33% return.

Eight players scored 3 tries each, so they share that honour, although Ireland’s Craig Gilroy did it in just 32 minutes, compared with Wales’ Liam Williams who got his three tries in 400 minutes.

CJ Stander has the most carries overall, with 104, while England’s Joe Launchbury made the most tackles of the tournament, with 85 made and just four missed.

OFFICIAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH MATCH:

IRELAND vs ENGLAND

 

FRANCE vs WALES

 

SCOTLAND vs ITALY

71 Comments

  • jonnyenglish
    10:54 AM 27/03/2017

    I quite like the Guardian as a News outlet (mainly because it aligns fairly well politically to where I think, and isn't overly ridiculous like the S*n or Daily Mail / Express), but it's sports reporting is truly shocking.

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:18 AM 27/03/2017

    Cited for an interview??? This has got to be a first! Watch out, the thought police is coming....... Ironically this just proves Maestri's point. And he's becoming a people's hero over this for French fans. Basically he just said outloud what everybody thinks. As I said before, the level of mistrust is so huge something has to be done.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:13 PM 26/03/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yRM46g0Mp4 .....and Richie McCaw hasn't ever been offside either... hahaha

    Reply
  • vladimir
    12:55 PM 25/03/2017

    So the Scots can storm Joubert and get away with it, while Maestri gets cited because he said: 'A little gutted to have been refered like that until the end. Anglo-saxons referees talk about fair-play all the time. They see us, the Frenchs, like big cheaters while they'd better focus on this anglo-saxon flegmatic attitude which lacks candour sometimes.' *anglo-saxon=english-speaking.

    Reply
  • felipeg
    3:17 PM 24/03/2017

    One thing I 'd like to understand about this idea of different standards (tier 1, tier 2)... Is it written somewhere or is it just psychological? Is it a law or a mere bias against inferior teams? If the latter, I don't see how we should treat it differently from any bias (anglo-saxon VS latin, SH vs NH...). I dont see why a Tier 2 nation with a dominating scrum should be less likely to obtain a penalty try.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:35 AM 24/03/2017

    "Actually my favorite moment in that vid could be Biggar covering his head when leaving the field at the end ha!" Highlight of the entire tournament mate. :)

    Reply
  • felipeg
    8:52 AM 24/03/2017

    hmmmm. Interesting point :-) Still i m not sure the consequences would be that obvious. Attacking sides would have to adapt a bit. Like: do not pass the ball just before the tackle. Either you pass it well before, or you wait and offload. I think it was pretty silly from North to try that pass at that particular moment. Agreed that rugby should not become a slapping contest but I can't help but feel that vakatawa did a great job getting the man and the ball. As far as efficiency 's concerned, he couldn't have done more! Maybe there could be an exception to the deliberate knock on rule while in the process of tackling...

    Reply
  • drg
    8:16 PM 23/03/2017

    Felipe I agree regarding Antonio, it is possible that we're all being too cynical, but it was convenient that a rested slimani can come on and dominate after a spent prop goes off, but as you said, France should have won already really! As for the deliberate knock down law, I disagree that this should be removed... If your team is getting wrecked on the field by fast elusive runners but your pack dominates, then slapping down the ball to give the opposing team a scrum that you know you'll win will become a tactic... I'd say Vakatawas card was only fair if Davies was carded later, either both or neither...

    Reply
  • felipeg
    1:11 PM 23/03/2017

    Sixth: Barnes bites North :-) Either because he's english and therefore don't like the welsh. Or because he's english-speaking and wanted to blame de french! Ahem, definitely no way of knowing what happened here. Vakatawa's yellow = joke. No bloody way to suspect he got the ball on purpose, he was tackling. You might as well say the welsh player threw the ball at Vakatawa's hand. And i m pretty sure the pass would have landed behind the next welsh player even if Vakatawa had not touched it. I thought it was a beautiful tackle. Anyway, i think that "deliberate knock-on" rule is stupid. It's a beautiful gesture to manage to intercept a pass even without catching it. Shouldn't be illegal. If its on purpose its a great technical achievement. If not, well, nothing to say. Indeed the french where brilliant the first 10min. I remember seeing 97% french possession after 5min! Desserved winners. Barnes is just weird and inconsistent. Keeping is temper is one thing, but you do that for a purpose which is taking a good decision. It seemed to me that in the end he was just focusing on not taking any hasty decision, but had no idea what to do. I was impressed by the french self-control. Not a big fan of Maestri but the way he seemed to think "YOU ARE AN IDIOT" out loud but still be polite was brilliant! I was pretty sure the french would loose and it would have be pretty unfair. Glad of the outcome. Regarding Atonio, I can't say what was the intent. But what I know is that, 2minutes before Slimani came in, I said to my friend "Atonio would be well inspired to be suddenly sick" and then tadaaaaa... he was injured... :-) I do suspect someone is guilty of cynism here. But I dont blame him. France should have won by that time.

    Reply
  • im1
    8:47 AM 23/03/2017

    Fifth way - it was another Welsh player...

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  • oliver
    8:04 AM 23/03/2017

    ha unfortunately I was alive back then, I'm an old fart! I was actually close to taking my first steps on a rugby field. So imagine for a guy like Noves, who is 65.... All that context still plays a role. And as I said the level of mistrust just seems unhealthy, we would benefit a lot I think from having non-british refs for games with british teams. It's just common sens. Anyways, what a random guy like me says on some website doesn't matter, but when you see what the French coach/players say.....something has to be done!

    Reply
  • vladimir
    6:46 PM 22/03/2017

    'Get on with it and look forward a better next tournament.' All in all, that's the spirit of a young french falling in love with the game, be it in 1978 or 2008. Problem is unfairness seem, in our eyes, to never completely disappear no matter what effort the french put on. We still have the reputation of a dirty, brutal team, getting abnormaly huge bans without proofs. Our history is full of great-but-no-luck-better-the-time moments, more than any other teams: two of three world finals for instance. When Joubert gets it wrong, Scotland gets apologies from WR, not France. And so on. In France, you start as an optimitic and often end up of the other side. (But you could say that about anything other topic we get interested in) Still, although in Paris, I enjoy watching the game in english pub the most (so much rant, beer and good spirit afterwards)!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    2:53 PM 22/03/2017

    DrG: " I remember a Jonny Wilkinson try against Scotland many moons ago where the tmo missed the fact JW's foot was out when he awarded the try..."HOW DARE YOU!!! That extraordinary piece of athleticism was reviewed many times by the TMO, who confirmed unequivocally both that Sir Jonny's foot was NOT in touch, and that his shoulder hadn't touched the corner flag, (which at that time was considered in touch). Wash your mouth out, Doctor.

    Reply
  • drg
    2:53 PM 22/03/2017

    Bunch of different ways to view this.... First way (just to annoy Oliver) - Dirty French tactics.... ...linked to the first way is the second way - if North had his bicep around a Frenchmans head, then I have no issues with him being bitten Third way - it wasn't actually a bite, but more of an abrasion caused by the tackle? Fourth way - North bit himself... I genuinely think it could have been any one of the above. If it wasn't seen on camera then it doesn't mean it didn't happen... that means that North could have been bitten, or bitten himself... As you said though Oliver, if it was caught that he bit himself then it is feigning an injury and as such should be punished very strongly!

    Reply
  • drg
    2:48 PM 22/03/2017

    .....please tell me Jouberts first language isn't English *hides behind sofa*...

    Reply
  • drg
    2:46 PM 22/03/2017

    I know even with that try, that the kiwis had a pretty good lead, but it's thoroughly enjoyable to see not one man throw his hands up in some sort of case of trying to convince the referee that it was wrong, or that he was angry with his team or anything, simple acceptance of being stung from a brilliant move..... What a thing of beauty!

    Reply
  • drg
    2:41 PM 22/03/2017

    Oliver, I understand where you're coming from, but 1978 was nearly 40 years ago... long before my life began... I'd risk a guess that it was before your life began also (perhaps I'm wrong)... so why are you or I worried about something that happened that far back? Why hold onto it and carry it forward to the future we have now. This is the same sort of thing we're seeing in the US and indeed to rest of the world with racism, leftism, feminism etc etc. Rather than drawing a line under it and getting on with life. The world is waiting for the powers that be, to make formal apologies and or recognition of past actions that were probably not carried out by anyone in charge today... I know I've escalated this by bringing in world wide issues into a sporting issue, but I'm your rugby brethren, we may not speak the same first language, but we both love the sport we have chosen - that is our commonality, why do we need to identify our differences and argue about things our 'forefathers' did? You and I both watched the Wales France match, we both agreed that the refereeing was questionable in places and we are both happy that France were the victors in the end. Wouldn't it achieve more if we said "lets look forward to next years 6N and some better refereeing"... The more you highlight or try to highlight bias, the more you will create a rift in the modern game that can only be healed by total lenience towards all French play and indiscretions and an iron fist to rule all English speaking nations.. because if a referee in an England France match makes ONE mistake, and it's against the French team, then it will be used as another case study for this perceived bias. Anyway, I hope for all aspects of the game that the French team really comes through this lower period shining brightly.

    Reply
  • oliver
    2:14 PM 22/03/2017

    Considering he showed his biceps, it's totally possible. If that was the case, I really wish he'd be suspended over that! For a very long time.......

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  • jimmy23
    2:02 PM 22/03/2017

    Maybe what Barnes suggested, he bit himself!

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  • oliver
    1:57 PM 22/03/2017

    This just in: no French player cited over North bite claim....Guess it will remain a mystery.

    Reply
  • oliver
    10:09 AM 22/03/2017

    I can certainly admit there is paranoia on the French side, nothing is ever black and white. But it's pretty clear what started that whole mentality: distrust towards non-english speakers from the british side. This has a long, long history. Do you know when France was allowed to join the Rugby Board, the international governing body? In 1978!! 68 years after the first 5 nations tournament! My dad used to work with the French Federation and he always told me relationships with the British were difficult and it was a relief to have the Italians come in, to not be the only latin country anymore.

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  • drg
    9:23 AM 22/03/2017

    I was actually shocked how that didn't get a card, imo, either both get cards or neither...I'd be happy with either outcome. There was also another knock on by Wales as well, it certainly looked a lot more accidental, but nonetheless...

    Reply
  • drg
    8:56 AM 22/03/2017

    Interesting point there about players interacting with referees.... Level headed, pleasant players, seem to get the most. This could be why poor Parisse doesn't fair so well, once he feels he's been hard done by, or is frustrated, he starts to appear dismissive and not interested in toeing the line with the referee...

    Reply
  • drg
    8:49 AM 22/03/2017

    Oliver, I think it's a big chicken and egg thing... Non English speakers, such as yourselves and the Argentinians have almost told themselves the world is against them for so long that now every opportunity that fits the bill is used as an example.... Did you guys create your own bias? There are poor refereeing decisions going against a lot of teams, remember that Wales Ireland match a few 6N ago with the ball gate drama? I remember a Jonny Wilkinson try against Scotland many moons ago where the tmo missed the fact JW's foot was out when he awarded the try...Then of course there was that pass when France was against NZ....I'm just saying a lot of teams get bad calls.... Being an Anglophobe, might be more prevelant than a clandestine meeting with dodgy referees... Regarding Argentinian referees, perhaps it's because they are not in a great position to be referees on a world stage? Do they have the immersion into the game? An aspiring referee in France can travel around France to big games, same with Britain, NZ, SA and AUS.... Perhaps an Argument referee would have to leave his or her homeland, which maybe at this stage is less appealing.. another few years and you might see more... Do we have Italian referees?

    Reply
  • drg
    8:38 AM 22/03/2017

    Yeh and IF Italy had a decent kicker they might have won the 6N.... :D

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:24 AM 22/03/2017

    ha "dodgy doctor" was a bit cartoonesque! A la Manuel in Fawlty Towers or Inspector Clouzeau......(yes I love British comedy). More seriously: I guess the docs have a medical authority the refs cannot overrule? @JonnyEng: if he was unbiased and had reffed the first 80 minutes fairly, we would have been spared that whole spectacle at the end. It was all France until the Vakatawa yellow.

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:21 AM 22/03/2017

    did you also notice how that edit does not show the Welsh knock-on in exactly the same situation as Vakatawa? Actually my favorite moment in that vid could be Biggar covering his head when leaving the field at the end ha! after that Serin reverse pass of course. Cultural sidenote: it's called a 'chistera' in French, from the glove used in the basque Pelota.

    Reply
  • oliver
    8:16 AM 22/03/2017

    I'd gladly exchange the 2007 forward pass for the 2011 final......

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  • oliver
    8:14 AM 22/03/2017

    Very well put! Now using SH refs would not eliminate that problem but there would be a lot less suspicion from the French side. That got me thinking: why do we never see argentinean refs on the world stage? The Pumas have been a force to be reckoned with for quite some time....

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:41 AM 22/03/2017

    Agree with 3 out of 3 points. :)

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  • jonnyenglish
    7:37 AM 22/03/2017

    "I felt he lost control of the situation" - Sorry, but how? I'm not Barnes biggest fan by a long way, however, from what I've seen he was composed, I'm not sure how the Vakatawa KO should've been a penalty try, if the refs (there's more than just Barnes on the pitch, which is very important to remember) agreed it wasn't a dead cert then surely Barnes, 2 line judges and the TMO got it wrong?

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  • jonnyenglish
    11:08 PM 21/03/2017

    Which Barnes established and forced the Welsh player (Tom Francis I think) to come back on. Surely if he was being biased he would not have forced the player to come back on in order to force uncontested scrums, which would be beneficial to Wales.

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  • 9:57 PM 21/03/2017

    Just my simple comment - seeing penalties being kicked over (including the kicker lining it up) is not a highlight - why include every one? Also, I thought the French winger was unlucky as I thought he was making a tackle. Oh, and Biggar, stop flapping those wings. Please......

    Reply
  • m.meuble
    7:46 PM 21/03/2017

    And 1995 please.

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  • drg
    7:33 PM 21/03/2017

    I think the only way to get the French to drop all this bias nonsense is to retrospectively award them the 2011 RWC...

    Reply
  • m.meuble
    6:32 PM 21/03/2017

    Of there is a crawling paranoia going on! We're French of course! But lets face it, we're a Tier2 nation at best, so being arbitrated as a Tier2 nation is not schocking. Against NH or SH teams. Whatever. Regarding my comment about the late decision, I've read it somewhere after we whined on the France Australia refeering (23 - 25) and the penalties not awarded after several scrums dominated by France in the end of the game. I think it came from someone of World Rugby. But now, I can't find it anymore.

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  • drg
    6:17 PM 21/03/2017

    Loosely....

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:14 PM 21/03/2017

    "I undersand that referees have instruction not to let a late penalty to decide the outcome".Do they? This is the first I've heard of it and I have seen refs make some very bold decisions very late in games - including in this match, in favour of France! I appreciate the rest of your comment, but have to say there is some paranoia creeping in. I do think France - and other non-English-speaking teams - find it harder to build a constructive dialogue and rapport with the ref, but the idea of France being (or being treated as) a tier 2 or 3 team is nuts!

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  • stroudos
    6:03 PM 21/03/2017

    I just wanted to get The Dodgy Doctor's new nickname in. You're right of course, but I think Barnes also asked the Dodgy Doctor the same at one point during the Dodgy Doctor's "ah I no speak Engleesh" routine. Interesting to note, by the way, that Barnesy let the Dodgy Doctor get away with it, but called the Welsh out on their injured prop shenanigans. The biased bar steward... *Takes cover*

    Reply
  • stroudos
    5:57 PM 21/03/2017

    Yes. I agree completely. Made a very similar observation a bit further down the page. In a game like rugby, with laws whose application is open to interpretation, language is important.

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  • m.meuble
    5:07 PM 21/03/2017

    I agree that with you. Barnes was not biased against the French. I felt he lost control of the situation and had some outrageous calls (Vakatawa, penalty try,...) but one point made by Maestri is right. France is now a small team and is arbitrated such as. Being a Tier1 team is what make you clinching the game on the your side. This is what happened to France in 2011, what happened to the Scotts in 2015, what happened to us latetly in November against Australia and Saturday what did not award us a penalty try. Although I undersand that referees have instruction not to let a late penalty to decide the outcome but I cannot see why the refeering should differ from minute one to minute 80 (or 100). I felt the same during Ireland/France game where Nigel Owens had clearly different refeering whether it was a French or an Irish ruck "Blue NO HANDS!!!". I dont felt it was biaised. I just felt we are a Tier2/Tier3 Nation now which is true. But no need to cry about it. We have talents, we have young wolves. I feel the turnaround is here and we need to start clinching big wins!

    Reply
  • vladimir
    4:56 PM 21/03/2017

    Easy, watch France U20!

    Reply
  • im1
    1:27 PM 21/03/2017

    how hard can it be for a referee to learn the key words required in each language to ref a game?

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  • im1
    1:26 PM 21/03/2017

    Northern Irish people can choose to represent either. Rory Mciliroy was going to choose RoI

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  • stroudos
    1:22 PM 21/03/2017

    DrG - You're at it again with your use of quotation marks when you're not actually quoting things: 'a penalty try is awarded when a try WOULD have been scored had the offence not been committed' In fact, the penalty try crops up in a number of laws, but the wording is usually along these lines - and this IS a quote, from Law 10.2 on Unfair Play (a) Intentional Offending:"A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored."The reason I'm being a boring pedant about this is that the operative word here - probably - is used in all instances. This means that, using this match as an example, and as I think you also imply, Barnesy could well have awarded a penalty try, because had it not been for the persistent intentional offending, a try probably would have been scored.

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  • stroudos
    12:35 PM 21/03/2017

    Nice one. Will keep an eye out for them, (Dupont and N'Tamack). Your track record for identifying young talent is very impressive so far.

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  • stroudos
    12:26 PM 21/03/2017

    I do indeed remember that - an absolute beauty. :)

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  • stroudos
    12:19 PM 21/03/2017

    Team GB at the Olympics, (which presumably means Northern Ireland joins up with the Republic, but I don't honestly know if that's the case). Any excuse to complicate things.

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  • oliver
    11:25 AM 21/03/2017

    As I said below about the use of anglo-saxon, I was translating Maestri's comments. As for Atonio, I honestly have no idea. Maybe it was cynical! But considering the way the Welsh were behaving, I honestly have no problem with that. You fight fire with fire. As for paranoia, you guys should read the comments on French websites....I actually see pretty often things like: 'we should stop participating in all those rigged international competitions, and just play the Top 14' !

    Reply
  • oliver
    11:12 AM 21/03/2017

    I'm not offended, no worries. I was offended a few months back with that joke about the French playing dirty, so I confess I might still be holding a grudge against you there.... Anyways let's get over that! :-) About Luxembourgish: you can't compare that to Welsh or gaelic because those two are not the dominant language you hear everyday in the streets. I guess I'll never see eye to eye with most posters here about the British thing. From a French point of view, you all (except Eire) have the same passports, same army, and the UK has seat at the UN, not England or Wales? The UK is one team at the olympics right ? Finally I used the word 'anglo-saxon' because that is what Maestri said. It reflects the way most people think in France!

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  • danknapp
    11:08 AM 21/03/2017

    Like for your last paragraph. I think this was exactly what he was thinking.

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  • danknapp
    11:07 AM 21/03/2017

    I thought Wales should have had yellow cards for their knock ons as well, I think he made a bad call in both cases.

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  • danknapp
    11:06 AM 21/03/2017

    I was surprised that he didn't give a yellow to Wales, but I think virtually everyone watching, and Barnes, suspected that Antonia wasn't concussed. Getting him off the pitch, and a much better scrummager on, was pretty obviously cynical in my opinion. France deserved to win, but in this case I think two wrongs made a right.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:59 AM 21/03/2017

    Perhaps I can help here. In England it's quite common to refer to Americans as Yanks, (or Septic Tanks, Jodrell Banks and other rhyming slang versions). It doesn't really work, given that half the country fought a civil war AGAINST the Yankees. Now,I couldn't give a shit what a group of people who fought a devastating war to protect their rights to own slaves think/thought, but that's not relevant. The point is the British usage of "yank" does not meet the official definition. I think it's very decent of our French interlocutors to write their comments on here in English. If they want to use their own jargon for how they refer to different groups of people, that's fine by me. Well that's the semantic issue dealt with. I hope! As to the more significant point about whether the home nations refs are biased against the French: on the one hand I really don't think the accusation of bias holds water; on the other hand I do think many French players suffer from having to conduct all their conversations in a foreign language. The solution? Well, there's Alain Rolland, but as Brian Moore once pointed out, "just because he can make the wrong decision in two languages doesn't make it any less wrong". Maybe the answer is to find a genuinely neutral, bilingual country and recruit refs from there... Canadian refs for France games??

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  • im1
    10:57 AM 21/03/2017

    you may have said there is no consipracy, but the rest of your writing suggests you think there is one. I'll concede on the Swiss German point. I didn't realise they were so different. But not on the Luxembourgish point. It may be the native language but if if you considered it the main language then you have to consider Welsh or Irish as the predominant language of their countries and therefore your Anlgo-Saxon argument falls apart. What's wrong with arguing? You constantly bring up that you feel the French are unfairly treated and I'm just pointing out that I think you are saying that because everyone always seems to think their team is unfairly done by. And I'm only bring up all the other stuff because you are describing all the non-French (or Italian) participants in the 6 nations as British and Anglo-Saxon (I get that you use that term for English speaker, which I disagree with but understand why), which is just so wrong. We hate each other when it comes to rugby, absolutely hate each other. The dividing lines between the countries is epitomised by the relationships between the rugby teams. Everything that is different between the countries is represented by the rugby teams. The Welsh anthem is in Welsh, the Scottish anthem is about fighting the English. I don't think we need to discuss the Irish national anthem(s) to show the acrimony between the two countries. Sorry if I'm offending you, or if i do. I'm not really intending to and realise I can go over the top. I just really struggle to think that international referees lean one way or the other. I think almost everything can be put down to genuine mistakes and certainly the ones Barnes may or may not have made on Saturday.

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  • oliver
    10:56 AM 21/03/2017

    Cojones he does not lack, that's for sure.....Remember he did the same thing on the All Blacks try-line, after coming on as a substitute for maybe his second cap! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ1_CgbmG48

    Reply
  • drg
    10:54 AM 21/03/2017

    Oliver, whilst I think we agree on the final outcome, I'm not sure our journeys are the same to that point. You mention how the French may feel ganged up on, being non English speakers... Perhaps this 'paranoia' is because you're not English speakers, so rather you automatically feel outcast so every incident that goes against France just proves your theory, whereas it could simply just be another cock up by a referee. I understand how you're using 'Anglo-Saxon' for the purpose of your argument, but I really don't think Barnes as an Englishman is going to favour the Welsh over the French.... Unless perhaps he is trying to improve Celtic-Anglo relations?!? That being said, the introduction of SH refs is something I can see myself approving of... Ignoring any of the Welsh side of the game, I'm sure you yourself must think the Antonio substitution was a bit strange no? Perhaps it is massively coincidental, but he seemed to be holding his arm, complaining about a sore back and just looking completely flat out on his feet.... But suddenly he had a head injury?! All that being said, I still think France should have won the game before it came to that! The concern I have overall is the continuing penalties and lack of punishment, bar Samson Lee and the future potential Biggar card.... I understand refs in general do try and make it clear that the same offence will be punished - this is why the kiwis tend to avoid cards as they don't commit the same offence twice in succession... But for me, it was a 'scrum offence'... And continually... That being said, and to follow; loosely, 'a penalty try is awarded when a try WOULD have been scored had the offence not been committed', I can see why Barnes was not completely keen to award a try as there was no clear march towards the try line in any of the scrums BUT...This to me was caused by the Welsh dropping the scrums before they get properly going... But all in all, I'm glad the French won, they deserved it!!

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:36 AM 21/03/2017

    I have seen Serin youtube highlights - sought them out a couple of months ago after one of you guys (either you or Colombes if I remember rightly) brought him to my attention. Looks like he offers the complete package to me, but to have the cojones to throw a pass like that in an international test match, at his age and inexperience, is awesome - never mind actually being able to execute it. (OK, maybe 25cm further ahead of Fickou and he could have hit that gap at full speed). Agree on Fickou. Hadn't really seen much of Lamerat before this competition, but have been pretty impressed. Will be interesting to see how Fofana fits back in. Pretty sure I got "Trou-Duc" from you - maybe it was M Colombes then. :)

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  • oliver
    10:22 AM 21/03/2017

    Agreed on all points! About Lopez: he has been nominated as player of the tournament, along witjh Picamoles. About Serin: he does things like that regularly! Check his youtube highlights. I think Fickou is showing a lot of promise as well. He's still only 22! PS: did you intentionaly write "Trou-Duc"??!! I'd hate that nickname if I was him!! ;-)

    Reply
  • im1
    9:58 AM 21/03/2017

    French is the most commonly spoken language in Luxembourg. German is the most commonly spoken in Switzerland. That is why I chose those. If you want to bring up different dialects, then I would invite you to spend some time in Newcastle and Bristol and decide whether they are speaking the same language. That's just the difference with how people speak English within England itself, let alone the way the Irish, Scottish or Welsh speak English. Referring to an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy and saying that the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English are all in it together when it comes to rugby is ridiculous. Its the fact that the English are Anglo-Saxon and the rest are Celtic, which is what divides us in rugby. France and England are separated by 21 miles of water that has a tunnel under it. Stade de France is nearer to Twickenham than both the Aviva and Murrayfield. There is about 5000 miles of water between Europe and South America. The comparison does not work.

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  • oliver
    9:14 AM 21/03/2017

    oh come on, don't destroy my metaphor right off the bat, I was proud of it for a minute!

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  • im1
    9:10 AM 21/03/2017

    maybe you can help educate your fellow Frenchmen then that the Welsh, Scottish and Irish are not Anglo-Saxons, and to say they they are is offensive to start with, and then xenophobic if maintained. Most of the Irish team are from Eire, which is a completely different country altogether. Thats like saying France and Luxembourg are the same country because the speak French, or Germany and Switzerland are the same as they speak German (predominantly). And you are complaining about Wayne Barnes being biased towards the Home Nations as they are like brothers? I assume you feel the same about the 'Northern Hemishphere brothers' when re watching the France-NZ 2007 world cup match where he missed that forward pass.... Its true there is a bond between the 4 countries, but they are distinctly different. Imagine if the Basque country had had genuine independence for the past 400 years. The bond in sport is embodied by the Lions, but it is like the Ryder Cup in golf. For 4 days Victor Dubuisson is a hero for for me, but for the rest of the 2 years I couldn't care less and if he is in a play-off with an American I won't be supporting he just because he is European.

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  • oliver
    8:25 AM 21/03/2017

    we are more or less on the same page for once.....My rant coming below.

    Reply
  • im1
    6:31 PM 20/03/2017

    Broadly, Welsh = Celts English = Anglo Saxon Wayne Barnes = English Therefore Wayne Barnes, Anglo-Saxon bias cannot result in him giving Wales too much credit

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  • im1
    6:23 PM 20/03/2017

    Mistake there is considering anything written in the Guardian as news. England would have finished on 16 points (4 from France, 5 from Scotland, 5 from Italy, 1 from Ireland, 1 from Wales) and Wales would have finished on 13 (1 from France, 0 from Scotland, 4 from Italy, 4 from Ireland, 4 from England). The problem with ifs and buts is that, if you say 'if' to one situation, you have to apply it to others. For instance, what England had kicked the penalty against Ireland with about 6 minutes to go rather than go for then corner. And it wasn't a poor late try. The pass Farrell had to make was world class. It was a poor mistake for JD to make, but mistakes get made all over the park at different times in the game. To pick out one just because it was near the end is wrong. If Wales had waited one phase for Bigger to clear to touch (which wasn't their game plan anyway) who is to say England wouldn't have driven the lineout 20 meters and scored, which was what was happening at line out time.

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  • drg
    6:07 PM 20/03/2017

    Brilliant tournament and brilliant weekend....,minus...The Welsh France match... The list of issues is the same as everyone has stated. I don't see how Barnes could yellow card Vakitawa and not yellow card at least ONE of the two similar Welsh infringements. It's really hard as a player not to throw your hand out to try and catch something, but fair is fair and you can't penalise one and not the other. Then of course the final 20.... ..On one hand I don't know whether Wales deserved to win just that 20 mins through the few interesting moments and their defence, or whether France should have just won it about 5 minutes into that extra time through a penalty try. I have serious doubts about that HIA, but I don't think we'll ever know the truth, or believe the truth if/when it's presented... The alleged bite on North, if it WAS a bite, then there is no denying it... French fans, don't get upset about it... BUT, I wondered if it was some sort of friction mark as I couldn't see where it occured either? I think to sum up that game, the right team won, unpunished slap downs and the constant penalties definitely weigh into a French win category for me... Plus the Welsh groaning and moaning at every instant makes me want them to get wrecked!

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  • mastersa
    4:31 PM 20/03/2017

    Dont think Barnes was consistent as usual. Two potential tries stopped by each team feom deliberate knock ons. One saw yellow the other didn't. One a definate penalty try, because absolutely nobody would have stopped North 5 yards out from a clear line. Yellow for first offence in game against Ireland for Sexton in the previous match might not have seemed wrong had the same standard been applied for the remainder of game, which again it wasn't. Just plain inconsistent but felt for him a little with doctor who should never see a Rugby field again.

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  • colombes
    4:24 PM 20/03/2017

    England deserved winners of this 6N as the most complete team and... bench. Ireland professionals in chief for break parties and winning streaks. Les bleus achieving to win a curious game, they would have certainly lost few months ago Scotland future can be bright with Townsend (one of my favorite 90's players) Wales needs to bring creativity to complete their "crash-test dummies" defence Italy unfortunately lack talents to match Parisse brilliance, imagine 15 Parisse clones.. Back to this weird France-Wales, it's not only Wayne Barnes fault as welsh players and the french management may have used tricks to test his nerves and influence his decisions. We could debate on its double-standards decision to give a yellow card to Vakatawa for the same offense made by Davies, who received nothing... But his manner to deal with the scrum in these 20 minutes was quite extraordinary as he could and should have given a penalty try after at least 5 penalties (i think we reached the double) My theory: Barnes may thought the french management may have played with the borders of the rule with Atonio hia and then decided he would never give the penalty try wished. As Jimmy said above, we will see what will happen with the 6N review, but regarding the hia episode, wales delaying their subs, the bite allegations... this game was not rugby, it was a comedy. Shit, i'm talking like Eddie Jones.

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  • vladimir
    4:15 PM 20/03/2017

    I had read this article and I find it outragious, especially about Picamoles' quick tap and the welsh offside, calling it a 'Harsh not ten yards away call on Wales'. Furthermore, he seems to contradict himself immediately: 'This is one of the areas where I felt he might have been a bit more lenient in his decision-making. You can't be 10 metres back from a five-metre scrum anyway, so you stand on the try-line.' This is just basically hypocritical as you cannot simply allow the team to be offside by 2 meters to prevent a certain try. For me, this was the moment when Warnes was given a clear opportunity to award a penalty try. But as Noves said, Barnes ensnared himself with his anglo-saxon's bias, giving Wales too much credit and freedom to push the rules to their limit. And he woke up too late when the Welsh had already driven the game into chaos.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    4:01 PM 20/03/2017

    France vs Wales: That has to be the most bizarre ending to a game I've witnessed. A lot of people are attacking Barnes but this article actually highlights that for the most part, he got it right. Baring in mind this is Wales Online, which isn't exactly know for it's objectivity. A lot of this extra time was due to some interesting developments with substitutions and the biting allegation, not stuff Wayne has much influence over really. Will be interesting to see what becomes of that. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/sport-opinion/wayne-barnes-big-decisions-right-12763778 Scotland vs Italy Nice to see Vern Cotter get a good send off, shame he's leaving as it seems like his influence is finally starting to take shape. Gregor Townsend is a pretty decent coach as well though. As for Italy, well, I feel bad for them. I feel bad for Parisse mostly. But their place in the tournament is starting to get rather questionable. England vs Ireland Kind of anticipated that being a bridge too far, had to happen eventually. Ireland's defence was just magnificent and I don't think England even got one decent attack going all game. Happy we won the tournament though. Guess the next test is to see how Eddie and the team react to this. A lot of people say that Eddie's positive effects on a team only last at the start before it starts to dwindle, I guess we'll find out.

    Reply
  • andinov
    3:58 PM 20/03/2017

    An interesting point made in the English Guardian was that were it not for Wales conceding a poor late try vs England we would have seen 5 of the teams all finish the tournament on 14 points with England top due to points difference. This I think would have been a fairer illustration of the differences between these 5 teams.

    Reply


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