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16 of the best tries from the June Internationals

That Japan try...

5 Months, 3 Days ago

Willie le Roux gets one week ban after another midair contest goes wrong

I posted this same comment on the Boks/Ireland match thread, before I saw one dedicated to this tackle. And while this was a terrible fall, I feel the IRB need to have a long hard think about how to better handle these incidents.

Making the second (lower/later) jumping player entirely responsible for the wellbeing of the first (higher/earlier) jumping player is a stupid concept, in my humble opinion.

If the ref honestly feels that the second player cynically brought the other player down, then perhaps yes. But in most of these cases both players are clearly jumping for the ball. And I'm sorry, but if you're jumping 6 feet into the air, towards an onrushing, jumping human, then you should shoulder some of the responsibility for your own safety.

Because now a jump has simply become a free pass to claim either the ball or a penalty or both. We even see players leaping up to catch a high-ish pass or a bouncing grubber, making him immediately off limits for any would-be defender. If we cannot find an acceptable way to give the defender a fair shake at stopping an advancing player who jumps up before contact, then we should outlaw jumping altogether (he said with dripping sarcasm).

I mean, later in this game, two Irish players failed to scream "mine" and clattered into each other at high speed in mid-air. Their intentions were just as cynical as le Roux's or Stander's (i.e. not at all) and the resulting clash was equally dangerous. Why not give the slightly lower/later of the two a yellow card in the name of consistency?

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Springboks clinch series victory with tense win over Ireland in deciding Test

Making the second (lower/later) jumping player entirely responsible for the wellbeing of the first (higher/earlier) jumping player is a stupid concept, in my humble opinion.

If the ref honestly feels that the second player cynically brought the other player down, then perhaps yes. But in most of these cases both players are clearly jumping for the ball. And I'm sorry, but if you're jumping 6 feet into the air, towards an onrushing, jumping human, then you should shoulder some of the responsibility for your own safety.

Because now a jump has simply become a free pass to claim either the ball or a penalty or both. We even see players leaping up to catch a high-ish pass or a bouncing grubber, making him immediately off limits for any would-be defender. If we cannot find an acceptable way to give the defender a fair shake at stopping an advancing player who jumps up before contact, then we should outlaw jumping altogether (he said with dripping sarcasm).

I mean, later in this game, two Irish players failed to scream "mine" and clattered into each other at high speed in mid-air. Their intentions were just as cynical as le Roux's or Stander's (i.e. not at all) and the resulting clash was equally dangerous. Why not give the slightly lower/later of the two a yellow card in the name of consistency?

5 Months, 1 Week ago

South Africa U20s skipper Jeremy Ward suspended for two weeks after dangerous challenge

By the logic of penalising the slightly lower, slightly later jumper for endangering the player who gets to the ball first, one of the Irish guys should have been carded too... for clashing into his own player mid-air in the final test against the Boks. I mean, what he did was no less cynical, intentional or dangerous than what le Roux did earlier in the game, or what Stander did in the first game. He just happened to be wearing the same colour jersey as his victim. For 10 points, discuss.

5 Months, 1 Week ago

Should Waisake Naholo have been yellow carded for taking out Liam Williams?

Naholo had no hope of getting the ball in the first one, and he clearly knows this as he goes up to make contact. Yellow Card.

And Naholo clearly rams Williams with the shoulder on the second. He doesn't just "change his line". Also Yellow Card.

Sure, Williams dramatised the fall in the second, but this doesn't change the fact that Naholo illegally brought him down.

Don't really want to be THAT guy, but if this were any other team, I suspect we'd have seen yellows on both.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

Thanks.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

Oh, and screw DSTV for blocking this video footage on YouTube in SA.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Bok-lash earns South Africa an incredible comeback victory

For me, two things changed from the first to the second half of this game. The first was that the Boks started to make first-time tackles. Around halftime they showed a montage of Bok missed tackles from the first half, and it was horrible to see them all back to back. Same repeat offenders too - Malherbe, I'm looking at you. Once the first tackler started holding on to his man in the second half, the dangerous momentum of the Irish was halted, and we could start to mount some attacks of our own.

And the second thing was the introduction of form players from the bench. Make no mistake, I'm a big fan of guys like Vermeulen and Louw, but they haven't been great recently. And because we hardly see them play, most of us didn't know this until the first test. We do however know how good guys like Whiteley, Combrinck, Redelinghuys and Mostert have been this year. And it was no surprise that these four pulled the match out of the fire for us.

Pity a couple of the other form players of 2016 are not even in the squad, most notably the Lions hooker, Malcolm Marx. He's head and shoulders ahead of any of the other three hookers in the squad. And, in the absence of Bismarck du Plessis, he should have been there. It's also crazy that the best loose forward in SA, Jaco Kriel, has not featured at all, even though he is in the squad. He must get a run in Port Elizabeth.

Coetzee needs to look beyond past glories, and he needs to look beyond his old Stormers allegiances. Pick the guys who have performed week in and week out against the best teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

Oh, and much respect to the Irish. They are playing some amazing rugby and I think just about all of us underestimated them. Hopefully we won't make that mistake again.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

South Africa vs Ireland preview and look back at explosive 1998 Test

Ugly game. I remember it well. Let's hope tomorrow is remembered for the right reasons. Just got myself a ticket too, so this weekend is really shaping up.

5 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Fox Sports Australia pull no punches in new promo mocking England ahead of series

How can anyone forget the underarm incident, when Warnie ran out of deodorant on a tour to India?

6 Months, 11 Hours ago