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South Africa complete 3-0 series sweep against France

Bit of both, really. France were really poor. In the first test they didn't have any of the Toulon or Clermont players because they had just played in the final the previous weekend. Everyone said wait for the second test when those players would make all the difference. But they were equally poor then too. In all three tests France had more possession and better territory, but were largely ineffective on attack. I suppose the biggest improvement in the Boks game has been their defensive organisation. Brendan Venter joined the team as defense coach and has clearly had a huge impact. And the second Bok improvement has been the ability to know when it is on out wide and when not. I'm biased, of course, but I reckon it's the introduction of a large number of in-form Lions players who are used to playing this high-speed, expansive game (as opposed to the traditional Bok game plan of bashing it up with the fatties for 80 minutes while a flyhalf kicks the ball deep all the time. Last year only one Lions player was deemed good enough. This year more than half the team are Lions, including a confident Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), a rampaging Malcolm Marx (hooker) and a very astute captain and eighthman in Warren Whiteley. I'm not saying the Boks will challenge the All Blacks for the Rugby Championship this year, but I reckon four from four against Australia and Argentina is not out of the question.

5 Months, 2 Weeks ago

England's young guns defeat Barbarians at Twickenham

The refereeing in this game was just appalling. Couldn't finish watching it.

6 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Super Rugby 2017 - Round 14 Highlights

I know I'm horribly biased, but some of those Lions tries were truly something to behold.

6 Months, 2 Weeks ago

USA botch try as Luke Morgan makes big tackle over try line

Ah, the old blind spot chase-down. Shades of Deon Kayser on Robbie Fleck here.

http://www.rugbydump.com/2008/01/298/friday-funnies-deon-kayser-chases-down-robbie-fleck

6 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Romain Poite takes a low blow as Jannie Du Plessis sees red in Top 14 play-off

Not condoning Jannie's slaps here (or maybe I am just a little), but if you're in the "red zone" - attacking from a ruck near the line - and you hang onto defenders to open up gaps around the ruck, then it should be an immediate penalty and yellow card. When we talk about cynical infringements, it always refers to the desperate defender trying to stop an otherwise certain try. But it doesn't get more cynical than holding defenders back near the try line.

6 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Eben Etzebeth takes on Sonny Bill Williams and Akira Ioane

Blues were in Etzebeth's face all match long. They knew he's got a short fuse and they tried to get it lit. Successfully, you might say. Amusing so see 4 Blues players hanging on his collar. Reminds me of that time Andries Bekker grabbed himself two little Hurricanes. http://www.rugbydump.com/2007/11/271/andries-bekker-tells-the-little-ones-to-settle-down

6 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo and RG Snyman both banned after red cards for shoulders

Both players got nothing to complain about. If anything, Naholo got off very lightly with only one week off. That was a horrible charge to the face, nowhere near the ball and miles late.

As for Snyman, what a wally. He cost his team this game. And that could have ended very badly for his victim.

Not that it matters much to these decisions, but it looks as if that Highlanders player was also completely offside at the ruck before he got KO'd.

6 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Virimi Vakatawa's unbelievable no-look offload and try at the Paris 7s

So good. I think I sounded a bit like Sean Maloney when it happened. My kids thought I'd lost the plot.

6 Months, 4 Weeks ago

South Africa are World Sevens Series champions after tournament win in Paris

What a season.

7 Months, 13 Hours ago

Super Rugby 2017 - Round 12 Highlights

Wasn't a game with too many highlights. But I don't think the Lions minded too much. They wanted three from three on tour, and in their last game they did exactly what was needed. Brumbies wasted a lot of possession and good opportunities though.

7 Months, 20 Hours ago