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Defending champion Reds blown away by the Sharks in Brisbane

Great game of rugby. Fair play to the Sharks, they outplayed the Reds in the first half by a mile and were tremendous in defence in the second. The intercept try in the second half really buried the Reds.

Despite all of that I was rather unhappy with the ref (not necessarily blaming him for the loss though). Apart from the TMO decision (not Kaplan's fault) I thought the Sharks should've gotten a yellow earlier in the second. I think to remember that he warned them quite a few times about infringment close to the lines, yet he only gave a yellow once it was too late for the Reds to still turn the game. I remember the (admitadely not exactly unbiased) Aussie comentators saying a few times that the Sharks will/should get a yellow now without Kaplan doing anything..
Was that just me or does anyone else agree?

Once again it just raises the question for me about introducing neutral refs to such important games. I'm not saying that Kaplan deliberatly went on the field determined to let the Sharks win, but I do think it has the potential to influence the referee just a tiny bit in favour of his country of origin. This might not look like much, but considering how many 50/50/interpretation calls there are in rugby it can sway a match quite a bit, if they continually go in favour of one team.
Apart from that it also adds unnecessary pressure to the refs job because fans (like me) are already predisposed to question him even more and it might have the exact oposite effect, that he gives the 50/50 calls to the other team in order not to look biased towards the team of his country.

However, once again, I'm not trying to take anything away from the Sharks by saying that. They did deserve the win after the way they played in the first and defended in the second half.

5 Years, 10 Months ago

Rugby Club Plays of the Week 2012 - Tougher than Chuck Norris

Yep every Reds player wants to injure all their competition. Jeez you're on a roll aren't you?
While I at least agree with you on this one that it was rather malicious (Unlike Cooper's tackle), I doubt it has anything to do with Wallaby selection. Faingaa is 3rd choice at most, and it probably ahs more to do with levelling the score of something previous or just trying to stop him within that game than anything else..

5 Years, 10 Months ago

Quade Cooper suspended for one week for dangerous hit on Berrick Barnes

Oh come on, malicious? Deliberately injuring Barnes? A bit over the top isn't it?

We don't really know yet how it has affected Barnes, but to be honest, I doubt he'll miss any game time.
And I don't blame him too much for not publicly saying how sorry he is. He's probably spoken to Barnes and apologies or sorted it out in person and is now focused on the next match (as professionals should be), and is obviously gutted that he can't play in the most important game of the season so far.

And considering Cooper's tackling technique (or lack of it) I doubt he could deliberatly do a high hit even if he wanted to ;)

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Quade Cooper suspended for one week for dangerous hit on Berrick Barnes

Definetly high and yellow is deserved.. Not sure about the suspension.. Does anyone know of similar instances and what they got as punishment? Seems a bit harsh to me to also add a suspension but considering the way SANZAR etc. have been treating other "dangerous" tackles I can't say I'm all that surprised..

I hope the reds can still beat the Sharks despite the absence of Cooper. He's been playing some pretty good rugby in the last two weeks or so. If not it would be pretty embarassing for Australian rugby..

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Referees Keith Brown and Romain Poite get too close to the action

Haha the sound he made when he got hit was pretty funny.. Fair play though that he got up again. Hit in the back when not expecting it from a guy who's about 1000 kilos heavier must have hurt a bit, even if it wasn't full speed ;)

I remember the kiwi comentators saying that he wanted revenge when he gave the penalty advantage, though let's give him the benefit of the doubt..

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Sonny Bill Williams off to Japan then returns to the NRL and Rugby League

I think it's a bit unfair saying it was only about the money. Surely it plays a part, and especially moving to Japan makes it difficult to argue against it. But even if the Japan part is for the money, so what? let him do what he feels he needs to be doing. Maybe you don't agree with it, but I can't really blame him trying to earn as much money as possible while he's able to.
And as far as his league return, I wouldnt say that's about money. He obviously loves both games and is trying to make the best out of it.

I never like him much to be honest, but I gained some respect for him this year simply by the way he played. He obviously was a crowd magnet and has huge talent. It's sad that he's leaving Union, though I'm happy that Australia and the Aussie Super teams won't have to face him anymore.. (not that Nonu is that much worse of an option ;))

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Rugby Club Plays of the Week 2012 - Ice Ice Bieber

Looked pretty forward to me too, but could be perspective... (doubt it though).
Loved the James O'Connor look-a-like and finally someone putting SBW's boxing into perspective

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Rugby Club Plays of the Week 2012 - Best of the June Tests

Another great PotW, cheers for the upload.

Are you also going to upload the 3rd Test of Australia-Wales and England-South Africa?

5 Years, 11 Months ago

Hosea Gear bumps Keith Earls out the road on his way to the tryline

Well that was just the perfect example why New Zealand are the best rugby team in the world. I don't think the main difference between New Zealand and the other top teams is skill (although they do have a bit more of it), but it's attitude.

Just compare the Aussie to the Kiwi attitude: Both win very narrowly and a bit fortunate the week before. While the Aussies seemed to be happy to have won the game, the kiwis were absolutely furious at how close it got. And this really is the main difference. The kiwi's not only want to win, but they want to be the better team and they want to demolish their opponent in every single game. Whereas most, if not all, other countries seem to be happy if they win.

It was this attitude difference that really won them this game. Just look at McCaw, when they're about 40 points up with the series already won, he's still yelling at his team to be better and go for more.

As long as they keep that attitude (and their excellent player programme etc. of course), they will stay the best team for a long long time.. (even if they go back to choking at world cups ;-))

5 Years, 11 Months ago

USA Eagles have two players red carded in loss to Italy in Houston

Red definately too harsh on the first one.. I think there are some referees who wouldn't have even shown yellow but had only given a penalty.. THough yellow is debatable.

Second one I think yellow would've done it too, though i guess you could argue for a red, though it's a very harsh call..

5 Years, 11 Months ago