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Tawera Kerr-Barlow sets up try with sensational behind the back pass

NZ's got Aaron Smith, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and TJ Perenara vying for the no. 9 shirt and can possibly field two world class XVs. What on earth do they feed kids over there!

3 Years, 9 Months ago

All Blacks put 50 on the Wallabies to continue Eden Park domination

I guess it's fair to say that Saint André had his hands a bit more tied than McKenzie. Europe's best side, Toulon, was almost comically made up almost only by foreigners, and he had little combinations to pick from, not a lot of youngsters coming threw, very few first choice club level goal kickers who were actually french, and not many french players with big game experience and tight combinations.
Just think of their current half backs (Machenaud, Doussain, Parra, Plisson, Trinh-Duc, Tales, Michalak) to see how he has chopped and changed without a clue who their starting half backs will be at the World Cup.
McKenzie, instead, had a star-studded Waratahs XV winning their first ever Super title in front of a record crowd with their no. 10 being the best player and top points scorer of the season, and had formed a irresistible combination with Phipps and Beale at either side of him. Why on earth would you break that? Besides, the Foley-Beale axis has the great asset of knowing exactly well how to unleash the talents of Folau so he can create havoc. Messing with that is nonsense, and if he succumbed to Beale's blackmail, then he doesn't have the guts for the job, simple as that.

3 Years, 9 Months ago

All Blacks put 50 on the Wallabies to continue Eden Park domination

The AB's were absolutely brilliant and ruthless. Bit you've got to feel that Mckenzie shot himself in the foot with some of his selections. Yes, there were a couple of injured or unavailable players, so I'll just focus on the ones taht he could have got better. The front five is as good as they could muster, but wat's with Wycliff Palu? Great for the Waratahs but almost a ghost when playing for Australia, specially against the All Blacks - time to give Scott Higginbotham a shot. He's a good tackler, great carrier and has cut his penalty count (which was a ral let down of his game) so he isn't a dangerous player to have around anymore.

Nic White also has to make way for Nick Phipps. White kicks and kicks and kicks and then goes and wind up opposition players, and makes the odd tackle. Phipps is extraordinary fit, very good on defence, a slick passer and getting better at kicking, so give him a shot as well. The Beale experiment was clearly a failure, and who knows if Mckenzie put him there just to keep him happy and in rugby. But there's no reason to keep having Foley on the bench, a great kicker/goal kicker, excellent in defence and very competent in attack, but, above all, a number 20 you can really rely on and that WON'T HAVE TO DEFEND AT WING like Beale does, which is shameful when you consider e's a professional athlete.
Beale and Toomua can fight for the no. 12 shirt.
Oh and the wings - I get there's no Cummins, Speight or Tomane, but come on, Pat McCabe is a good player but has no pace to play on the wing. Just look at guys like Hendricks, Montero, Jane, Savea, Yarde, Gilroy or even Maitland and you'll see my point.
Hope the Wallabies find bak their mojo!!

3 Years, 9 Months ago

The Call of the Wallaby - Episode 1

Excellent documentary. Really interesting to get a look at the mind of the Aus rugby fan... i was in OZ last year and was amazed at how union could only get the back pages while league got sick coverage, I mean it was EVERYWHERE. Let's hope it gets back on track, and with guys like Hooper and Folau on the pitch, Cheika and Mckenzie in the coaching roles, Pulver at the ARU (an institucutio than had to be heavily cleaned) and a guy like Maloney on the mic it looks in a good position.
How awesome would it be if the Wallabies won back bledisloe eh

3 Years, 10 Months ago

England impress with big midweek win against the Crusaders

Some skill from England! Great to see Pennell getting a try, fully deserved... roll on the 3rd test!

4 Years, 2 Days ago

Jebb Sinclair controversially red carded for 'leading with the elbow'

This is crazy. TMO's must be ruled out from judging every thing that goes on the pitch and only be allowed to help the ref with the grounding of the ball on scoring situations. This is insane. Geez I simply cannot believe it. What are the IRB doing to my beloved game!!!

4 Years, 4 Days ago

Star studded Barbarians too good for England XV at Twickenham

Long live the Barbarians!

4 Years, 2 Weeks ago

Adriaan Strauss suspended for three weeks after tip tackle

As far as I'm concerned, a dump tackle occurs when you set up to tackle a player and get your arms and shoulders below his waistline, grabbing the back of his thighs and pushing your shoulder into his waist with your knees bended. Then you stand up and drive him forwards (or backwards for him), making he lose ground and then putting him down on the turf in line with your body, without twistig, shifting or lifting his legs above his waist, so that he lands on his back.

It's a tackle technique that demands total control of the situation of the ball carrier's body during the tackle, and that's really effective, as it stops runners dead on their tracks and makes him lose ground. It's also a very dficult tackle to perform correctly, as it's way more easy to just lift a player spectacularly and then just drop him, which is really dangerous, than to be aware of the position of the player during the whole tackle.

Here's what I think is a perfectly execured dump tackle - Dan Bowden on James O'Connor.


View Video

4 Years, 3 Weeks ago

Mathieu Bastareaud big dump tackle on Jaques Cronje in Top 14 semi final

The TMO's to blame, I think. It was once a great idea - have technology and slow-mo replays to help the ref when his own experience of the events was incomplete or inconclusive to make a decision. But what we are seeing now is ridiculous, with refs looking for a forward pass or obstruction or whatever a good couple of phases before a try was scored.

The same thing happens with tackles. Big hit, player landed safely, no one complains, no injury whatsoever, play continues. But refs are coming under the scrutiny of punters and TV commentators, columnists and ex players, journalists and every rugby fan, who have the luxury of watching slow mo replays and judge upon them. So I guess you can't really blame the refs for always trying to make sure they make the right decisions, using every bit of footage available, even if that means losing several minutes of play (and entertainment) every game.

I think a great example of the use of TMO was on show whn JP Doyle sent off Salesi Ma'afu for punching Tom Youngs in the premiership semi, and gave Youngs a yellow. But it should really be restricted just for dangerous play or the act of scoring itself.
Refs aren't perfect and neither is rugby, it is insane to think that a ref can see everything that goes on in the pitch (that's what touch judges are for!). So let's go back to the time when the ref made the calls, trusted his touch judges with his life and we could all enjoy a game without this sort of nonsense!

4 Years, 3 Weeks ago

135kg Schoolboy Prop Taniela Tupou scores Hat-trick

Wow. Just wow.

4 Years, 1 Month ago