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USA Women's winger Naya Tapper banned for alleged kick

I think the men's game should definitely adopt the "hug your captain when you've been sent off" as a new tradition. How great would it have been to see, for example Chris Ashton having to hug Dylan Hartley after being used as a punching bag by Manuel Tuilagi? Or Bismarck Du Plessis having to hug it out with Jan DeVilliers for the crime of tackling Dan Carter?

1 Day, 6 Hours ago

USA Women's winger Naya Tapper banned for alleged kick

Really strange, isn't it? Clearly accidental with the boot to the face but I'm trying to make sense of the card and ban. It must have been considered reckless to flail her legs like that in the tackle (admittedly, it looked strange and not a normal reaction).

I'm also thinking that the USA player flailed because she didn't like that she was tackled even though she didn't have the ball. The tackler's position was such that she probably didn't see that the winger had dropped the pass. Really hard to see any significant contact from those camera angles.

1 Day, 6 Hours ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Ah yes, the Strauss ball grab game. Just brutal all around.

1 Week, 1 Day ago

Wales edge Argentina for confidence building win

A bit of embarrassing nonsense from Dan Biggar on that Argentina try. Ball is kicked through and he gets beaten to it, but all he can do is whine about something (interference?) even while the play is still happening! He was so focused on playing it up that he went from the right side of the ball to the wrong side by the end. He probably isn't going to want to watch the slo-mo replay on that, he looks ridiculous.

2 Weeks, 4 Days ago

Kiwi pundits rubbish Craig Dowd accusations of "Disrespectful" Haka vs Ireland

Dowd's point was that he thought KaMate was the more appropriate haka for the day. Nothing more or less really.

3 Weeks, 18 Hours ago

Ireland break drought to upset New Zealand for the first time ever

I guess you should take it up with World Rugby then, somehow this unproven player has been nominated for player of the year!

3 Weeks, 19 Hours ago

Ireland break drought to upset New Zealand for the first time ever

My one question was on the Irish try from the driving maul early in the game. The ref didn't give a try on the field and went to the TMO. Every angle they showed in the stadium just showed a pile of bodies and no view of the ball and thus no grounding. Maybe there was another view that they didn't show on-site but without clear evidence of grounding, I didn't think a ref could award a try. Do I have it wrong?

3 Weeks, 2 Days ago

Ireland break drought to upset New Zealand for the first time ever

Sorry, of course 10-1 is what I wanted to say. :-)

3 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Ireland break drought to upset New Zealand for the first time ever

Totally disagree. Everyone expected NZ to take that dip after the World Cup, but they've played 11 tests this year and have gone 11-1. You seem to ascribe this success to "deep rugby culture" but they have known for a while that there was to be a huge turnover after 2015 and they have prepared. One loss at a neutral site to an excellent Irish team doesn't change that (and doesn't mean that they will "struggle again"). England is improving, but don't get in a hurry to anoint them.

Calling Barrett unproven is frankly ridiculous. He's at nearly 50 caps and was the key cog that finally led the Hurricanes to the Super Rugby championship, and he's far more than a "few flash runs". He's been outstanding all year and would probably be the starting 10 for every other international side. Aaron Smith is solid, though he's clearly in a bit of a muddle right now; I actually think Perenara is the better 9 and he showed it when he came off the bench on Saturday. Savea and Dagg are an impressive wing combo and Ben Smith is world class. Crotty is up and down but seemed to be the only one with his head on straight this weekend before he got injured. They are still searching for a solid 12 & 13 combination but that always takes time in any team.

And I agree with hedderball that their pack is just as impressive, but currently going through a trough with injuries at the moment. Ireland had a great gameplan and showed that NZ are human; pressure doesn't always get to NZ, but sometimes it does. I'm guessing they'll bounce back, but should be a really interesting match in Dublin in 2 weeks!

3 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Ireland break drought to upset New Zealand for the first time ever

Yeah, that was weird.

3 Weeks, 4 Days ago