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

I have to agree with Reality on Vunipola.

It's a funny one the whole "discipline" argument. Although it gets harder to argue the longer a game goes on and a player or team doesn't change what it/he is doing wrong, I think there has to be a distinction between the type of penalty where, for example, a player is just the wrong side (pardon the pun) of the referee's interpretation of a law, and the type of penalty that you look at and think "what was he thinking?". I can't recall all 5 of Vunipola's penalties, but he had at least one that I would put in the first category, where he was unlucky that Garces decided his knee had touched the ground as he joined a ruck. Sam Cane had done exactly the same thing a few minutes earlier and had won a penalty for NZ! However, conceding two penalties in quick succession that are of the second category type is inexcusable.

11 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Tusi Pisi sees red for in the air challenge during breakthrough Bristol win

The most shocking thing in this video is how Worcester scrum-half, after seeing his team-mate land like that, arrives on the scene and almost rolls him over by grabbing his shirt. Is taking a quick tap penalty that important? Did he forget everything he learned in his first aid class?

1 Year, 5 Months ago

Perfectly executed back heel kick 100m try goes viral

I'd dare to say he exercised more control of the ball in that moment than anyone else on the pitch did the entire game.

1 Year, 6 Months ago

Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

Great posts from Eddie-g and katman.

Fully agree that it was a combination of factors that turned the game. Combrinck was a monster, and made such a difference. With hindsight, you could argue that South Africa would have turned the game around and won no matter what, but for me the turning point was a lapse in concentration from the Irish that led to Combrinck's try. Ireland won a turnover (can't remember if it was a knock-on or a steal at the ruck) and Paddy Jackson cleared well. Whatever it was, tiredness, satisfaction at having repelled an attack, etc. Ireland just seemed to go to sleep a bit and Le Roux was able to take advantage from the quick lineout to set up the try. I know Ireland went straight back up and scored a try of their own, but watching I just felt that at that moment that the game went from being a comfortable (and historic!) win to being a very close contest. Even with one score in it at the end, it didn't have the feel of a close contest. SA were scoring at will.

In any other year, if you had told me before the test series that Ireland would win the first game playing most of the game with 14 men and would lost the second game in the last 10 minutes, I'd have said that's a great effort from Ireland. But with a lot of people saying that this was a great time to play SA, I'm not sure how much to read into it. In any case, whether it's a good time to play SA or not, I have been very impressed with a few of the Irish players, especially Paddy Jackson who has shown he can manage a game at test level and looks like he has improved his kicking. With Johnny Sexton, Tommy Bowe, Simon Zebo, Rob Kearney, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahoney, Cian Healy all missing from the squad, a lot of players have been given opportunities and have shown Ireland have more depth than in previous years.

Bring on the last test! I have a feeling that the momentum has swung, but with two close scorelines so far, hoping for another great game.

1 Year, 11 Months ago

CJ Stander banned for 1 week after red card for knocking out Pat Lambie

When explaining the decision to Best he says "he cannot charge down the ball", but I think what he means is that he was never going to be able to charge down the kick (and went ahead with the jump anyway). Earlier, when confirming his view with the video ref, he says "he has no chance to charge down the ball".

He also said it was dangerous, with the "eaps", whatever they are!

2 Years, 4 Days ago

CJ Stander banned for 1 week after red card for knocking out Pat Lambie

Not much more to add to what has already been said.

Was it late? Definitely not.

Was it intentional? Only the player can know. Did he mean to catch him in the face with his hip/arse? Considering the possible consequences, probably not. Did he mean to give him a bit of a bump, knock him off his stride? Maybe. And if he did, what's wrong with that as an intention? It's part of the game.

Go to the highlights of the game in the other post. Around 3:00, paddy Jackson makes a lovely break and chips it over Le Roux, who jumps to to try to block the kick. The players collide, Le Roux even brings his knees up in a strange movement, but as Jackson has a try on his mind, he moves his body enough that he can get past Le Roux and has a chance to get the ball. If this was just a clearing kick, query whether he would have done that. If not, he could well have taken a knee to the face and, by the same logic, Le Roux would be sent off.

So the question is whether jumping to attempt a charge-down is reckless. And if it is reckless, is it worthy of a red card? If the answer to each of those questions is yes, we need some new guidance from the IRB!

2 Years, 4 Days ago

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

I agree that, by analogy (ripping the ball from the ball carriers hands is analogous to knocking the ball from the ball carrier's hands), this is a knock-on. But why do you say it is not a deliberate knock-on?

If a player uses a swinging arm to dislodge the ball from an opponent's grasp and the direction of movement of the swinging arm results in the ball going forward, I can't see how that is anything other than deliberate.

2 Years, 3 Weeks ago

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

Ignoring for a moment whether the ball went sideways or forward, I did wonder about this. The laws don't make it any clearer (see below), as although they contemplate a tackler knocking the ball from his opponent's hands, they just seem to deal with the ball going forward from the ball carrier's perspective. Also, I'm not sure where the line is between, on one hand, making contact with the ball in tackling an opponent and, on the other, ripping the ball or deliberately knocking the ball from an opponent's hands. One will result in a knock-on and the other won't.

Perhaps one of the refs here could clear it up?

Definition of knock-on from World Rugby:

"A knock-on occurs when a player loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, or when a player hits the ball forward with the hand or arm, or when the ball hits the hand or arm and goes forward, and the ball touches the ground or another player before the original player can catch it.
‘Forward’ means towards the opposing team’s dead ball line.
If a player in tackling an opponent makes contact with the ball and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier’s hands, that is a knock-on.
If a player rips the ball or deliberately knocks the ball from an opponent's hands and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier's hands, that is not a knock-on."

2 Years, 3 Weeks ago

Leolin Zas red carded and banned after Bernard Foley's awful landing

I detected sarcasm in Citing Commissioner's proposal, but may be wrong.

2 Years, 1 Month ago

Midweek Madness - Referee stops counter attack when instinct kicks in

Ref wanting to get a bit of attention?

No need for him to almost stop to take the pass. By the look on the face of the player who threw the pass (which, although wasn't the best pass, could well have been caught by the NZ player), he thought so too!

2 Years, 1 Month ago