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

I appreciate your response Morgan. A couple of points though.
"new Zealand & pacific islands"
When a squad is selected from all the players eligible to play for the four unions (Eng/Ire/Scot/Wales), no matter where they were born, you and the rest of us call them the Lions. When a squad is selected from all the players eligible to play for New Zealand, no matter where they were born, we all call them the NZ All Blacks. I don't see the difference. Especially bearing in mind that most of the players of PI lineage who make the All Blacks (and there are not nearly as many as some people think) were either born in NZ or went there as two year-olds (Mils Muliaina) or schoolkids. Players like Mils grew up in NZ, learned their rugby there and are New Zealanders.
When a squad is selected from all the players eligible for England, no matter where they were born, we don't call them England & Others, and let's face it there are plenty of 'others' in recent Eng squads.
I'm sure the make-up of the recent AB side I mentioned might surprise some people, and if Ben Franks' brother Owen had been selected instead, there would have been no player in that side born outside NZ.
It's also worth saying that technically NZ itself is also a Pacific Island group and hundreds of thousands of folk of polynesian and melanesian etc lineage live there, consider themselves NZers and make a huge contribution to the country's society and culture generally. It irrational to suggest that their eligibility to play for their country is questionable.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

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

Rubbish. I'm not going to do your research for you but here are some stats off the top of my head. The NZ team for the first test against Ireland had one player not born in NZ, Franks who was born in Aust. It had, I believe, three players of PI descent, all born in NZ. If you are born and raised in a country how can you be "far more eligible" to play for another one. Of the scattering of overseas born players in AB sides in recent times they almost all went to NZ as schoolkids or younger. Like a lot of people you are ignorant of the nature of the longstanding traditional family links between NZ and other PI nations. Auckland alone has about 200,000 people of PI descent. In the Samoan WC squad of 2003, 17 were born in NZ, in 2007 about 12.
And as pretzel points out the claims of the "purity" of other teams on this subject are often dead wrong, the Welsh 2007 WC squad had at least six players not born in Wales including NZer Sonny Parker, and today's Toby Foletau was born in Tonga. So it's feasible that a current NZ side could play against a current Welsh side and the Welsh have the only Pacific Island born player!
Just as ludicrous is your assertion that those who play for the All Blacks don't think it's such a big deal as in other countries. You have to be joking. No one who knows anything about NZ rugby and society could ever say that, your entire credibility is lost on that comment alone.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

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

"domestically League is a bigger sport in England than Rugby Union."
There are at least ten times more registered Union players (approx 2,500,000) in England than League players (approx 250,000), that's from Wikipedia, but in Feb this year the Eng RFL was saying they had just broken the 100,000 mark, so take your pick.
I watch a lot of League and often enjoy it, but it's clear to me that the Aust domestic game is much superior to the Eng game and this difference is reflected in the international scores. But it says nothing about the differences between Union and League, just as NZ beating Ireland 60–0 in Union says nothing about Union vs League either. Your "argument" is irrelevant.
League's #1 in PNG, wow!
If you really are an "avid viewer of both codes" then why don't you just relax and enjoy, all these baseless assertions and wishful thinking seem so pointless.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Manu Tuilagi vs Jean De Villiers in the first Test in Durban

To clarify, the vid looks pretty even to me, but I think JDV is currently the better all round player and going by what I saw of this whole series, if I had to chose one or the other for my side right now I'd go for De Villiers. But if Conrad Smith was on offer these two wouldn't get a look-in.
I agree that Tuilagi will probably improve and my point is that one of the things that will make him a more effective player is having fast creative players around him, and he needs to connect with them. Maybe Jonathan below is right, I'll keep watching.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

2nd tackle: in the vid that's on my screen SBW wraps his left arm around the guy's upper back and his right around his chest and throws him down. I'll stick with what I posted.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Manu Tuilagi vs Jean De Villiers in the first Test in Durban

I agree that from what I saw of the series JDV did win this battle, mostly because he's just a better player. I only see Tuilagi every now and then and maybe I'm missing something but, as ilovebacon says, he's a great battering ram but it seems to so often just end there. I think he needs the support of creative runners with better lines than England can offer at the moment, someone to offload to after the bash.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

On the first tackle, if you actually look at the video, Williams' head and eyes follow the ball and he half pulls out of the hit, he actually stands still and doesn't take another step forward. If he wanted to he could've gone right on through the guy and if there was no wrap I would have no problem with a card. But I'm OK with the penalty although I've seen worse not given.
The second time he tackles the same guy entirely legit and dumps him on his side. How is that not OK? As SBW runs at him, the #5 puts his elbow out, Williams makes hard first contact but I can't see anything high and even you admit only to "what looks like something pretty high". Well I can't see it, none of the refs did, and I don't think you can either. Another Highlander player starts wrestling SBW off the ball and that's when the handbags come out.
A few days ago it was all about what a good guy SBW was by showing concern for an injured Earls, now he's a nasty ego-monster. I don't buy it.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Sonny Bill Williams puts the shoulder in against the Highlanders

A lot of moralizing going on here. It was a shoulder charge, I've seen a lot worse and plenty of them.. a penalty's fine. The ref did OK, let play go on while the assistant ref kept an eye on things. Then there was a bit of mouthing off and pushing and shoving. No big deal.
As far as SBW's career, start living in the real world, at this level players are moving round all over the place trying to make the most of their few years at the top because it doesn't last for long. They have every right to look after themselves and their families however they want. I don't think the other players are going around muttering about loyalty, they're saying 'good luck' and many of them are wishing they had the talent and drawing power to get the sort of opportunities that SBW is being offered.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

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

In a top level comp pretty much anywhere in the world these hits, in isolation, would both be yellow. If he'd given a yellow for the first and a general warning to both sides, then I wouldn't argue with a red for the second. By giving a red for the first hit the ref left himself nowhere to go for the second one.

2 Years, 4 Months ago

Argentina snatch victory from France with late try in Cordoba

Calm down Tito. I think the comments on here about the commentators are mostly friendly and saying that they enjoy the difference in style. And I don't think you can seriously claim that the Pumas are the only players who are proud to play for their country, I guarantee it's the same feeling for anyone playing test rugby.

2 Years, 5 Months ago

 
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