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Wales beat the Barbarians as Shane & Martyn Williams bid farewell

Pity for Shane Williams not to also finish this game with a try, but I guess you can't have it all. Doesn't look like a great game from Wales, but once their usual starters are back I'm sure they'll improve.

I must say I am a bit worried for Australia in the next few weeks. I somehow can't shake the feeling that they'll lose to Scotland and also lose at least one game to Wales. Im hoping though that Australia will at least beat Scotland and win the overall series... However, the Australian Super rugby teams have been rather average this season and they definately got a bit of a problem in the backline with injuries, especially at full back and fly half (O'Connor, Beale and Leliafano, who had a fantastic season, all injured and Cooper only just back from injury, while Barnes is struggeling for his form)..
This forwards are about as good as Australian forwards get, with only Horwill missing out at least the start of the series if not the whole series. Should be intersting to see how the Rebel's locks shape up against Wales and Scotland if they get any game play... Hope they can keep up with the Welsh.. At least Robinson's back and Pocock's fit. Should be interesting to see Pocock facing up against Warburton, especially now that both are captain

1 Year, 10 Months ago

Vincent Clerc's incredible try saving tackle on Max Evans

Maybe the ref judged that a ruck had formed after the fullback was tackled? I'm not entierly sure whether that counts as a ruck already, but at least the ball was grounded there with one player of each team involved..

1 Year, 10 Months ago

Vincent Clerc's incredible try saving tackle on Max Evans

Fantastic work by Clerk to hold him up like that. Bit of a fail by the full back though, he could've easily taken the ball from Evans and score.. But then again it did happen fairly quickly..

1 Year, 10 Months ago

Quade Cooper returns after seven months off through injury

I also find it amusing how the kiwi commentators say that Cooper's got caught in the wrong place, considering he just pushed McCaw off of the ruck legally and got a few handbags for it..

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

Are there actually any salary caps at all in NH rugby? If not, it might be a good idea to standardise them, at least for the countries/teams contending in the Heineken Cup to make it a bit fairer. Furthermore, a rule like the aussies and kiwis have, only allowing players playing in the country they want to represent to play internationals, might be a good way for England and Wales to keep their talent at home. It might hurt the national sides a bit in the short run (e.g. Wales without Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, James Hook, Huw Bennet, Chareris etc.). However, in the long run the national club sides will definetly profit from such a rule and might bring some Heineken cup glory to Wales ;)

I thought I once read somewhere that England was thinking about introducing such a rule as well, though I don't know if it ever came to anything or if they're still planning on introducing it..

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

Well regarding Burgess etc, there always are exceptions to the rule. I agree with you about McAllister, had he decided to stay in NZ he'd have a decent chance of playing for the All Blacks. Burgess too would have featured regurlarly as a Wallaby, though I doubt that he could replace Genia to start a test match. Maybe he thought that being a back up Wallaby wasn't enough compared to the money he could earn in France. (And of course, it's not like France is a bad play to live or play rugby, so it's obviously far from a raw deal to play for Toulouse ;) ).

However, I don't think David Smith would've made it as a Wallaby, considering the rather large depth the aussies have right now on the wing, with the likes of Ioane, Mitchell (O'connor, when Smith moved) etc.

However, I do take your point that there are some good players who move north at the peak of their career. The question remaining is if they would also do that if the South paid the same amount of money..

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Highlights of Leinster's record breaking Heineken Cup final win over Ulster

Haha a tad unfair to compare Leinster, Northampton and Touloun to the Force, Lions and Cheetahs ;)

I think it's a fair point from Jon, although it doesnt apply as well for Leinster as for English and French sides. What you have to consider is that there are only 5 teams per country in the super 15 and especially the top 2-3 sides (e.g. Crusaders, Chiefs, Reds, Tahs (although they're shit right now), Stormers and Bulls) usually field 8+ internationals from their respective country. The same holds true for Leinster and Munster though, and obviously all top teams have lots of international players in them. (I wasn't trying to comment whether NH or SH clubs are better btw, in case I made the impression)

The reason why good SH players move to the NH usually is because they can earn a lot more money up north. I think SBW for example got offered about 1 million a year by a French club last year, while in Australia, for example, I don't think anyone earns more than half a million a year. At least in Australia there is also a salary cap for each club, though it's rather intransparent how large the cap is (aprox 4-5 million a year I think for the players, not sure if staff has to be paid out of that as well).
The reason fewer players go North is because AUS and NZ (not sure about SA) have a policy that only players playing in their respective countries are elligible for the international sides. The World Cup last year in particular was a huge motivation for SBW to stay in NZ, despite being paid less.
So usually (not always ofc) the great players stay in the South while they're still hoping to play for their countries and only move North in the late autumn of their careers to cash in before retiring.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Leinster hold out against Clermont to reach another Heineken Cup final

I don't really see how you Rougerie is in from the side, since the ruck hasn't formed yet when he joins. He seems to be pushing the ball carrier and thus enteres the ruck/tackle at the same time as him. However, I agreee that O'Brien rightfully contested for the ball and deserved the penalty.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

Try Savers & Rib Breakers 12 - Rugby World Cup 2011 Edition

Awesome video!

2 Years, 1 Week ago

Jonny Sexton's great pass sets up Brian O'Driscoll try vs Cardiff Blues

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/champions-league-may-come-to-rugby-20120121-1qb4w.html

There seem to be some attempts to introduce this, but as you said the calendar is a major issue, especially considering all the international games going on during the off-season..

2 Years, 1 Week ago

 
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