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Best Tries of the Top 14 - 2011/2012 Season

Yep.. love this game!

1 Year, 11 Months ago

All Blacks take the lead in opening Bledisloe Cup clash vs Wallabies

@Eggman
I was mainly referring to fans on rugby sites rather than management or columnists. In fact I think the press covered those tours pretty well in general. But the number of times I read during the Irish and Welsh series "we played better and should've won if the ref hadn't done this or had done that." or "Aust/NZ didn't deserve to win, the ref gave them the game" etc. Then you look at the stats and the winners had more possession, more territory, more turnovers, ran with the ball hundreds of metres more etc etc ... and I'm thinking it looks like the best side did win and would've been unlucky to lose.
I agree with your comment about RD, although I sometimes miss a bit of the whacky element of the old days I don't miss the racist and other stuff that used to slip through. It's a great site.

@Pretzel. I've got to smile a little when you talk about "the shadowy nature of NZ play" .. presumably this is compared to the glowing purity and virtue of the French forward pack, on that day or any other! :)

1 Year, 11 Months ago

All Blacks take the lead in opening Bledisloe Cup clash vs Wallabies

I'm gonna move on Lb but first:
1) If you didn't get any of the whining about the reffing during the southern tours then we must be reading different sites and blogs.
2) As I've been saying, you only see one team pushing the limits of the law, I see all top teams doing it and if the loosies aren't going for every advantage they can get, I don't care what team they're on, then they're not doing their job.
3) Nobody "lives constantly offside", even in the 6N, so there's not much I can say about that.
4) Every single team uses dummy runners but you seem to be saying that NZ is somehow cheating... in fact I don't know what your saying. They were penalized for crossing once on Saturday but nobody including the Oz players (they would've appealed for sure), the commentators, the crowd, me, the guy I was watching it with or anybody else could figure out what it was for, except old Allain. I think he just got a bit confused. The only other thing you could possibly be referring to is during Cory Jane's try when Nonu took off in the completely opposite direction to the ball and a defender followed him and bumped into him. Neither player was anywhere near the ball and the defender wasn't within a bull's roar of being a potential tackler. Rolland got that right by ignoring it, so you see I don't think he was all bad.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

All Blacks take the lead in opening Bledisloe Cup clash vs Wallabies

This old chestnut, thanks I've seen it. A perfect example of "let's look at all the places where NZ might have infringed and pretend that they are the only side pushing their luck". For the record the Frenchman who went offside then part way back, then immediately got involved in the play, it makes a difference.
Anyway, I was more interested in the French rugby site (and I'm damned if I can remember it's name but it was linked on several comments sections a couple of days after the final) where a whole bunch of incidents involving both sides was examined by a French panel and they decided that both sides got about the same leniency, and although it was a lax reffing performance neither side was favoured. That's pretty much how I saw the game too. The French played out of their skins and all credit to them, it was reffed leniently like finals are in all codes (Soccer WC anyone!?), both teams took advantage of that and the ABs won but only just. I stand by my earlier comments.
Jeez, some people go on about NZ (or Oz) fans but all I heard during the recent SH tours by 6N sides is wall-to-wall whingeing from up north about refs and favouritism and how unfair it all is, even when the refs were NH. And now nonsense like this video is still being put up as serious analysis! Oh well, there's always the footy, roll on the weekend, whoever wins.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

All Blacks take the lead in opening Bledisloe Cup clash vs Wallabies

I understand what you're saying Jon and I think I have a reasonable grasp of the laws on this. My point is that if the ball has already clearly been won and is a couple of metres behind the point where the ruck collapses, and the collapse had has nothing to do with either winning or sealing off the ball, then I say play-on. Blowing ruck penalties without having any regard for these factors is just being pedantic and leads to a stop-start game. I think we all know that a high percentage of rucks in every game has got a smorgasbord of infringements that the ref can choose from .. good refs know the ones that matter and, IMO, Rolland got it wrong a few times in this game, not just at rucks but scrums as well.

And as for this common opinion that the ABs get away with sealing off more than other sides, I can only disagree completely. I often think the opposite is the case. A while back, after reading a comment about how the ABs got away with murder during the second Irish test I actually watched a replay of about 20 minutes of the game and just about every ruck had green jerseys lying around all over place trying desperately to stop quick ball, which is the impression I had got watching the game in the first place. The problem was that NZ were clearing the ball away so quickly that they couldn't do anything about it. I often wonder if we have all watched the same game when I read some of this stuff, but maybe most of us feel that way. If you're only looking for one team's infringements then you'll only see one team's infringements.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

All Blacks take the lead in opening Bledisloe Cup clash vs Wallabies

It's good that you identify the fact that the ABs counter rucking was so effective. The problem is that Rolland, like yourself, didn't take into account that NZ weren't going over to seal off, the Oz forwards were just buckling in front of them. By the time the Oz side of the ruck collapsed the ball was already cleanly on the AB side and it should have been play-on. You say that "Interpretation like that would have seen France lift the World cup" .. when in fact interpretation like that would've kept any strong rucking side out of the final altogether.

2 Years, 14 Hours ago

Rugby Club Plays of the Week 2012 - Double Dose with Morty, Morty scorin

Why try to bring it back up?
For a bit of a laugh, that's why. What people keep missing about POTW is that it's supposed to be fun, and Oz and NZ have had fun niggling each other about anything and everything since Moses played halfback for the Hebrews, probably earlier.

2 Years, 2 Weeks ago

Classic Encounters - Madagascar host Namibia in epic high scoring battle

Love this.. the attitude, skills, crowd, everything. With SA an automatic qualifier, the winner of this current process also goes through to the WC, and the runner-up has a chance through a repechage system against one of the Euro runners-up. So it's possible for 3 African nations to make WC 2015. That'd be good. Madagascar to take the 2031 World Cup, you heard it here first!

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

I agree on teams being punished on the day for a player's foul play and I haven't said that anything should be ignored. If the ref thinks that what he saw deserves red then he should give it no matter who the player is. But if he's not sure it deserves a red then he should take care that he doesn't make a potentially game changing decision which on review looks unnecessary. Refs are only human and it seems to me that the white card is to give the ref a bit of flexibility in such situations. Here, the ref knew it was at least a yellow but suspected he hadn't seen everything so he also gave the white to say it should be reviewed. It's easy to say in hindsight that it should've been a red, but in the real world I reckon the outcome here is ok.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

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

I guess this is as good a summing up as we'll get, of what a white card is for:–
"The white card will be helpful in instances where a referee thinks an act of foul play has occurred but is not sure if a red card is warranted, or is unsure of the identity of a player," explained SANZAR game manager Lyndon Bray.
So presumably the ref saw enough of the incident to feel that a yellow was warranted, but he suspected it might be worse than it looked from where he was standing and so asked Sanzar to have a closer look. Sanzar had a look and decided it was worse than a yellow so the only option they had was a minimum ban.
I'm OK with the yellow, but IMO it wasn't so bad as to need a ban. The problem is that a red to a key player can have such a major effect on a game that refs are, and rightly so, reluctant to give it. At least with a yellow and a ban you'll still have a full team on the field next game.
But no system is ever going to be perfect or satisfy everyone, as this result shows, but I don't think it's either a major let-off or a great injustice. In the end, if you make a messy and dangerous tackle you're pushing your luck.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

 
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