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New Zealand snatch victory in Bledisloe Cup thriller in Dunedin

Law 13.3 says it's a scrum at halfway with the opponents having the put-in.
Maybe it's hard to tell in many cases and refs don't want to be shown up by the replay. I think they should call any really obvious ones early in the game. I'm sure that would have the desired effect.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

New Zealand snatch victory in Bledisloe Cup thriller in Dunedin

Without doing a count-back of recent great matches, I generally agree with you, he's a terrific ref. Yet I didn't think he had a particularly good game this time. But when two sides are set on playing an open attacking game, Nigel's the man.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

New Zealand snatch victory in Bledisloe Cup thriller in Dunedin

Fair enough, flanker. It seems that on this point at least, we're pushing the same way.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

New Zealand snatch victory in Bledisloe Cup thriller in Dunedin

You're guessing. And yet the Aussies appeared to be, to quote one commentator, "miles in front of the kick-off" at times. I'd be happy to have consistency from refs on this too, but you can't just complain about a single instance while also admitting you have no evidence.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Top 5 Tries from Round 2 of the Women's Rugby World Cup

I'm genuinely interested in what you consider to be "the golden era". Depending on who you listen to or read, the golden era of rugby could be during any given period since the 1880s. What are the criteria? I probably played the game for several years during someone's 'golden era'. There was some great rugby being played in past decades, but a lot of dull, inept and frankly boring rugby as well… a lot. In my opinion, even allowing for the greater amount of rugby being played generally, these days there is more skilled, attacking and entertaining rugby than ever, and this in a time where the biggest improvement in the game in recent years has been in the organisation and effectiveness of defences. Even at the highest level, defences in the past were sometimes woeful, as Youtube can often demonstrate. The brilliant players of the past were no more brilliant than today's best, and had to contend with much less effective defences.

2 Months, 1 Day ago

Series drawn as All Blacks and British & Irish Lions decider ends in stalemate

"…that probably favoured the abs on balance." I haven't spoken to a single person who agrees with that, and they weren't all NZers.
Other than that, like you I'm also not entirely certain the ball went forward, but the point is that Poite decided it did go forward and the player was offside. No matter what anybody might fantasize the ball was momentarily grabbed, and then dropped on purpose. Nine times out of ten that is given as a penalty.
However, the ABs should have put this game away long before that and they'll know it.

3 Months, 2 Weeks ago

The most controversial moments from All Blacks vs Lions 2nd Test

I think you're being much too kind on O'Brien, DrG, his retreat wasn't a noble "right thing to do" having whacked Nadolo across the head. At least we agree that he knew he'd hit him, but strangely O'Brien himself disagrees with that idea. He told the panel he didn't even know he'd hit him until the next day. How he kept a straight face I don't know. And the panel says they believed he wanted to (quote) "get on the ball if the opportunity presented itself". Well Nadolo was flat out on the ground with the ball rolling free, yet O'Brien showed no interest in "getting on the ball". He made himself scarce.
I understand that the Papé case was different in some respects, including that it was to the chest not the head, and Papé wasn't left semi-conscious on the ground… yet O'Brien still got a week's suspension. That's the important difference for me.
Anyway, it's a good case (among many others) to keep in mind the next time we hear about those nasty All Blacks always getting away with things.

3 Months, 2 Weeks ago

The most controversial moments from All Blacks vs Lions 2nd Test

In my opinion the intent is clear in the replay, anyway. O'Brien struck him across the head with his forearm. His hand, open or closed, was not going at the ball. O'Brien told the panel that he didn't know he'd hit Naholo until the next morning. The way he connected and then immediately backed off… he knew.

3 Months, 2 Weeks ago

The most controversial moments from All Blacks vs Lions 2nd Test

O'Brien swings his arm into the tackle and strikes his opponent full across the side of the head. Naholo goes to ground, leaves the field for concussion assessment and doesn't return. After the game the incident is judged by the Citing Commissioner to have met the threshold for a red card and was therefore worthy of a judicial hearing. After all, we're repeatedly told that the outcome rather than the intention is so important where a strike to the head is concerned.
The judicial panel looks at it for over three and a half hours and concludes… "unfortunate". O'Brien says he didn't even know he'd hit Naholo's head. And the panel says that he had his hand open at the time anyway!
O'Brien got a week's ban in the World Cup when he struck Pape, and tried to get off that time by also saying his hand was open. It didn't fool them then, but apparently it did on Sunday.
You gotta laugh.

3 Months, 2 Weeks ago

HIGHLIGHTS: British & Irish Lions beat All Blacks to keep series alive

"For every example that you want to cite for one team getting the rub, there are as many examples pointing the other way. I think you're choosing not to see them though." Exactly, and of course Larry chooses not to see them. Larry himself admits on here to "personally, being someone who doesn't like the All Blacks" and unfortunately all his comments on NZ rugby flow from there.

3 Months, 2 Weeks ago