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Brilliant flick infield by Adam Knight saves Otago try

The Rugby League emphasis on kicking (because of the limited number of tackles available per possession) means that there are often kicks at the end of a set of six. Couple that with the ridiculous raw athleticism required to make it in the NRL, and you get regular awesome highlights. On the flip side, I personally find it a bit one-dimensionally as far as the tactics are concerned - a typical set of six is: bash, bash, bash, pass, pass/kick, kick (if still in possession).

Also, as a union player if you want to really develop good running lines, have a go at league (especially in Aus) - you'll either come away with excellent off-the-ball running lines, or broken into a million pieces (if you don't learn).

As DanKnapp mentions though, the NRL highlight reel is fantastic regardless of which code you prefer.

3 Days, 22 Hours ago

Nigel Owens unimpressed by naughty Francois Steyn shouting at goalkicker

Very happy to see this here - this is something I've noticed creeping in at the local club level. Hopefully some of those players will see this and take note.

5 Days, 19 Hours ago

Brilliant flick infield by Adam Knight saves Otago try

Nope! Law 22.11 (a) specifies that "when the ball touches the touch-in-goal line or the dead ball line, or touches anything or anyone beyond those lines, the ball becomes dead." No mention of the plane of the line.

It's similar to touch - the ball being in or out is determined by what it touches when it lands. If it touches the line or anything beyond the line, it's dead. Until it touches something on the line or beyond the line (including players with a foot on or over the line), it's still in play.

5 Days, 19 Hours ago

All Black legend Mils Muliaina scores first try in USA Pro Rugby with first touch

5 teams makes sense to start - the player pool available to the league right now isn't as deep as in the rugby strongholds of the world. If you had 10 team right off the bat, you run the risk of having players on the field that aren't up to the level needed to catch and hold the public's interest. By phasing teams in slowly, you can develop that talent pool gradually - all while minimizing the financial requirements of the league until it can prove the business model works.

Having most teams in the west isn't too much of a problem for now - we here in North America have been looking forward to our own pro league for so long that many of us are adopting teams that have nothing to do with where we live. I'm in Montreal, but I support the San Diego team. Here's hoping that eventually there's a pro team somewhere within a few hours of my city! Until that time, up San Diego!

4 Months, 2 Weeks ago

England beat Wales in tour warmup match at Twickenham

Wrong. It is physically possible, and it happened - it's pretty clear from the overhead cam, if not before.

1 - Ball is thrown at an angle backwards towards the Welsh goal line
2 - Ball encounters large English hand between point of origin and the intended target
3 - Force from original pass causes ball to rebound in a direction roughly opposite the original direction of travel

If you want, I can go into how the angle of the hand and the angular velocity of the ball can cause the rebound to go backwards, but I figured the less technical explanation above would be ample rebuttal to your point!

4 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Scotland go into Beast mode with gymnastics flip ahead of Olympic 7s

Kudos to South Africa for waiting for the Scottish player to land safely before making contact.

4 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Morgan Parra prevents try brilliantly by punching ball out of attacker's hands

The knock-on was from Parra to the ground. The player who first picked up the ball reacted fast enough and was flat enough that you'd have a hard time calling it deliberately off-side (he probably thought he was behind the ball when it was knocked on). It's marginally offside at best, and not deliberately, and there were no Stade Francais players that could have realistically scored a try immediately, so scrum five to Stade is the sensible call here.

4 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Friday Funnies - That time the referee pushed Greig Laidlaw

As a referee, I have used a push or tug on the shoulder to de-escalate a situation. I started as an ice hockey referee and linesman, so learned some useful techniques to do it safely (linesmen are expected to break up fights and pull apart combatants). When I started refereeing rugby, I was able to transfer those skills.

Essentially, you have to judge a situation - a lot of the time tension escalates because everyone is in each other's face and no-one wants to be the first to back down. In that sort of situation, it can be useful to identify a "leader" and get them out of the situation with a firm push or pull on the jersey (yappy halfbacks are generally an excellent choice, as are hulking but respectful members of the tight five). Generally, once the group sees the referee separating out one of the problems, the rest will go about their way and get on with the business of playing rugby.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer to anyone who might be shoving someone from the front is to remain calm and to make eye contact while firmly pushing them away.

6 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Toulouse miss out on win due to casual conversion from directly in front

"The player who actually blocks the kick has a foot on the goal line when the kicker starts his run up, and thus is perfectly legal."

Actually, it's not! Law 9.B.4 :"All players of the opposing team must retire to their goal line and must not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick."

I do agree with your assessment about the decision being fair and credible - I don't think the small step over the line is material in this case.

7 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Wales win comfortably in Cardiff clash with France

Except as referees, we are taught that a series of infringements in "the red zone" can be grounds for carding, regardless of repetition of a given offence or the same player infringing multiple times. If you feel there is a pattern of cynically breaking the laws in order to stop a team from scoring, you can certainly card someone...typically it's the next bloke that infringes after you have a stern chat with the captain.

7 Months, 3 Weeks ago