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Friday Funnies - Clearing kick lands directly on touchjudge's head

*Buzzkill alert*

The official should have been paying more attention and should have got out of the bloody way. Samoa player could have had that and launched a quick counter-attack - there's a bloke in a good position to receive a quick throw there. OK, it probably would have come to nothing, NZ had players fanned out across the pitch, but you never know...

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Pool A - Australia and England to go through, on account of Wales having a second-half collapse against Fiji. I think Fiji will win two matches. Very tough pool and I think the pool winner will emerge in very good shape to progress through the knockout stage. Battle-hardened, as they say.

Pool B - South Africa winner; Samoa runner-up. I cannot see any other outcome, unless off-field political nonsense gets in Samoa's way.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Uncomfortable as I am with slagging off refereeing performances, I'm going to slag off the referee's performance.

1:42 - First NZ penalty. I'm sure no Samoan is offside there; just aggressive defence and quick line speed.

3:15 - Late tackle. Come off it - milliseconds in it and I'm sure the old "already committed" defence would have been accepted if it weren't a Samoan making that tackle(!)

Can't really argue with any of the other decisions, but I can't help thinking that a 3-3 scoreline half an hour into the game could have seen it REALLY open up.....

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Another point on population / interest in rugby:

Capacity crowd at Apia Park of 8,104 might not sound that massive, but in fact that's 4.26% of the entire Samoa population...

For Twickenham to accommodate a similar percentage of the population of England, it would have to hold 2,256,598 people!

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Yeah, but where's the fun in that??

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

To date, I have not heard any English individual, organisation, player, coach, caterer or masseuse suggesting in even the most cautious terms that the world cup is in the bag.

On the other hand, I'm more than happy to go on record in saying that I don't think Scotland will get out of their pool. ;)

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

Bonkers isn't it! They provide a decent number of elite rugby league and American Football players too...

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Jean de Villiers makes long-awaited comeback vs World XV

Totally agree, Eddie. That will be an absolutely phenomenal recovery if he makes the World Cup. Proof, as if any was needed, that the bloke is as tough as nails.

1 Month, 2 Weeks ago

Five classic underdog tries at the Rugby World Cup

That Caucau try v France was way better than the one featured on this clip.
a) It's against France, not Scotland. (Hastily mumbled apology to any sweaties offended by that).
b) Started from just outside his own 22.
c) In all that distance and with at least 3 players to beat, not a single Frenchman even touched him.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Craig Joubert carding Jacques Potgieter riles commentator Phil Kearns

"If you're having a good game as a referee you don't have 30,000 people chanting, 'Joubert's a w*****r'. And at the end of the game he got booed off the field. That would tend to indicate that he didn't have a good game," Kearns said.

No, Kearnsy. That would indicate that 30,000 people got lost on their way to the football stadium.

Really disappointed in Kearns for this. I usually quite enjoy his commentary but this is real tawdry gutter stuff.

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago