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Crusaders beat Lions to claim eighth Super Rugby title

Commentators at the time pointed out the difference between a kick chaser (Smith) running towards a stationary catcher who then leaps to catch it (which is mostly the case), and running towards a catcher who is barreling full speed in the opposite direction (as was the case here). This doubles the speed at which gaps are closed down and halves the time in which decisions to pull out or duck can be made.

As the laws stand, I cannot complain about the card (although I think the ban is ridiculous). But I think before apportioning blame you have to watch this at full speed and not in slo-mo, as we always see the replays. It happened frighteningly quickly.

1 Week, 3 Days ago

Lions v Crusaders Super Rugby Final set to break attendance record

So amped for this game. Lions, by a narrow margin. I hope.

2 Weeks, 1 Hour ago

Incredible Lions comeback to beat Hurricanes and reach Super Rugby final

The Lions played Kiwi opposition eight times in 2016 - five games in the conference stages as well as all three their knockout games. They won four of those eight games, including away against the Chiefs and at home against the Blues, Crusaders and Highlanders.

They ended the conference stage second on the combined log, just one point behind the Hurricanes. The idea that this Lions team is only good against non-Kiwi sides is laughable.

2 Weeks, 1 Hour ago

#Throwback Thursday: Transvaal dominate with great tries in 1993

Yep, feels like they could make one of those brink-of-disaster-and-back sports movies about it.

2 Weeks, 1 Hour ago

#Throwback Thursday: Transvaal dominate with great tries in 1993

Old school mate of mine, Jaco Louw, makes the break down the touchline in that first try. Almost forgot he was part of the Transvaal setup in those years. This was such a good era for Transvaal/Lions. Their pack was brutal, and a guy like Hennie le Roux at 10 really thrived off the forward dominance. This era was also when the captaincy was handed over from one Ellis Park legend, Jannie Breedt, to another, Francois Pienaar.

2 Weeks, 8 Hours ago

All eyes on Jaco Peyper after controversial Beauden Barrett yellow card

Also, the card hard nothing to do with the Lions erasing a large deficit, as this piece suggests. They had already made their comeback to 22-all way before the card.

2 Weeks, 20 Hours ago

All eyes on Jaco Peyper after controversial Beauden Barrett yellow card

It's only controversial because some Kiwis had a whinge. No one doubts he dragged the ball back. It was meters from the line. The try was on. Defence was nowhere. So where exactly is the controversy here?

That's a yellow card all day long.

2 Weeks, 20 Hours ago

Incredible Lions comeback to beat Hurricanes and reach Super Rugby final

It is a pretty stupid setup, and I hope the whole thing is relooked before next year. Everyone wants to see the best playing the best.

But I'd be wary of the argument that the Lions lucked it into the top spot. The same argument can be made about the Crusaders' almost unbeaten run - that they would possibly have lost more than one if they'd played the Lions in the conference stage, and then missed out on a home semifinal. Only game the Lions lost all year was away against the Jaguares, when they kept just about the entire first choice team at home.

As things stand now, NZ teams are 0 from 1 against the Lions in 2017 :)

2 Weeks, 3 Days ago

Incredible Lions comeback to beat Hurricanes and reach Super Rugby final

I'm afraid you're dead wrong. Barrett was completely deliberate and cynical in the way he brought than ball back. Watch again - go straight to 3:30 in this video for the replay - and keep your eyes on the ball. As soon as Combrinck places it backwards, Barrett clenches the ball between his legs and scoots to the right. Peyper was spot-on and made a brave call, knowing the protest that would ensue.

Jordie also knows his brother is in trouble and he quickly tries to tell the ref that he raked it back with his hands, but you can see he had no idea where the ball had disappeared to. In the context of the line break deep into the 22 and referees' instructions to protect quick attacking ball if the try is on, this is a yellow card all day long, no matter how much it hurts.

I find the knee-jerk reaction to blame a SA ref for the loss really unpleasant. Perhaps the Kiwis don't lose often enough to know how to do so with grace. In fact, the scoreline should have been even bigger in favour of the Lions if you consider that the guy who plays Cronje at 0:54 is miles offside, and Savea's try should never have stood.

2 Weeks, 4 Days ago

Super Rugby 2017 - Round 17 Highlights

LOL. I guess life doesn't always work out like you thought it would.

2 Weeks, 5 Days ago