Rugby - A thug's game played by gentlemen

12 match unbeaten streak against England. All is right with the world.

And I like that video Axon. When I'm back at a PC I'll put it in the first post.


And Scotland made New Zealand sweat while France beat Australia in a close one. It's a bit upsetting to see one of the best scrum halves we've produced turn out for Les Bleues when we seem to be suddenly short of talent in the position.

Don't you mean fullback? As for the other games, got the call wrong about which would be more exciting. The Eng vs SA was a barn stormer. I'll be very honest, I thought England made a series of bad decisions that made it very difficult on them. Still, kudos to the Boks for winning a brutal game. That was a battle.

France vs Australia was boring apart from the last 10 minutes when the French fitness became a issue. Basically everyone knows you beat France by moving them around for 60 minutes but I think the Aussies are going to struggle. You cannot treat your scrum so badly for that long (selecting props based on secondary roles and not primary) and think you can reverse it in several years. Not the most compelling game all told.

Scotland are basically aping what Glasgow are doing and its beginning to pay dividends for them. Too be fair, it was a scratch NZ side but the Scots did make a whole lot of line breaks and managed to off load quite a bit under pressure. If they can keeping improving the basics, they could have a dangerous side on their hands.

This World Cup is getting more and more interesting.

Apparently we have risen to third in the world now. Ireland vs Australia has some real edge to it now.

No, Rory Kockott who has come on as a sub in the last two matches. He's a first rate scrummy, so when we have a repurposed wing starting one match and on the bench the next it's a bit frustrating. But we do also have better options at home too.

Australia is really suffering from playing union like they would rather be playing league. I don't think they will ever be able to win consistently until they rebuild their talent pipeline. It also doesn't help that they don't have a domestic competition. They jump straight from local competitions to super rugby. While this can work out for individual teams, it doesn't help develop a broad and deep talent pool.

Ah, Rory Kockott. Didn't click with me. Yeah, I see your frustration but South Africa has a huge player base (I think only second to England) and very effective system. Some players see better chances elsewhere to play international rugby. Ruan Pienaar its just that good. Look how badly Ulster perform without him. Another example, I've talked to Richard Strauss about his decision to locate to Ireland. He had his cousin and Du Plessis in the way and he could see the writing on the wall. Now unfortunately for him Best is still preferred for his set piece work and Cronin has probably over taken him but you can see his and Rory's logic. In Strauss' case he has three European Cup medals and a 6 nation's championship. Hard to turn down.

Australia is nearly a case study on how badly the Super Rugby refereeing of the scrum has been. Several years ago we here in Ireland were adopting their model and I remember us fatties giving out yards about our conditions regimes. We were up against the best scrummagers in the world but training like middle distance runners. On top of that we didn't have referees encouraged to turn a blind eye to all sorts of transgression at scrum time. I and others used to have to sneak off to private gyms in order to bulk up. Crazy. It's improved radically* thanks in a huge part to Schmidt at Leinster. His theory was that the props and hookers didn't see any grass all summer, just free weights and build up aerobic fitness in games. On top of that he stopped buying in props and started developing younger talent. McGrath (he was my man of the match against SA) is a prime example but there is now a solid number of quality props coming through. Australia, basically, need to do the same. Props are delicate flowers, they take years to germinate and finally bloom. Ugly bad smelling flowers but flowers none the less.

And your point about their domestic competition is valid. We have the same player base number and we have a much more tiered system. However we have the other home nations to provide that tier. NZ is the only country that could help them but why would they? Perhaps they need to start thinking out of the box. Start sending young lads to French or English teams and pay their contract. Doesn't have to be glamorous, lower divisions would do, just consistent work at the coal face.

*I know we did badly the other weekend but Mike Ross was back from a very long injury and we had lost 5 of our tight heads as well. I was always going to be a paddling.

Oh I don't begrudge Kockott his move at all, the was was closed for him so he took an opportunity. One of the biggest tragedies is Sean Sowerby, he played with the sharks with John Smit and struggled to get into the Boks. Then he was called up to play 2 minutes and never called up again. Because of that he could never represent France.

It's funny you mention Pienaar, so many South African fans don't rate him. I do but he's had the misfortune of playing for coaches with very specific plans that don't shows him off to his best.

You're right about the breeding of props too. It takes serious dedication and training for the position. Guys can be grown into it though. The Beast was a flank through age group level. At least in Ireland you don't have the underfoot conditions that flatter Australia down south. So you guys have to use proper props

Looks like Argentina's participation in the Rugby Championship is paying dividends.

Wales goes down after a hard fought match against NZ.

South Africa beats Italy after a stuttery performance

Ireland beat Australia.

England beat Samoa fairly convincingly, but never ran away with it.

Overall an interesting weekend of rugby.

I'm looking forwards to our game against Wales. They can be a strong side on a good day so we really need to come to the party. But we are alternating strong and weak performances and Wales has us on a strong week.

I just wish our players would take 'weaker' teams more seriously. We should dominate a side like Italy. And FFS, take god damned kicks at goal!

MrDeVil909 wrote:

And FFS, take god damned kicks at goal!

Absolutely. This will cost us a close game very soon! Drives me crazy!

If the Autumn internationals are anything to go by, the World Cup is going to be an out right stand up battle. Looks like its going to be one for the purists as well as the neutrals. I believe we are finally close to the best rules set in the history of the professional game.

If that Wales South Africa game is anything to go by then the neutrals will be turning it off in droves, good god what a terrible game. Just because a game is close doesn't make it a good one BBC.

I'm hoping this disastrous tour is the kick in the arse those entitled man-children in gold jerseys need to their act together for the WC.

I'm not often one to comment on rugby union in a positive light, but what a second half by Wales against Italy, 47 unanswered points to put them in the driving seat for the championship. Now England and Ireland have to chase tries.

Yeah, was a really exciting day of rugby all around. Just finished watching the England vs. France match. So many points! Tough break for England, and congrats to Ireland.

Curious, onewild, what's your beef with Union? I'm kinda new to the rugby thing, so I'm not up on all the differences.

mwdowns wrote:

Curious, onewild, what's your beef with Union? I'm kinda new to the rugby thing, so I'm not up on all the differences.

Well lets get the cultural bias out of the way first. I'm from Leeds, which is in the North of England (Yorkshire) and part of the Rugby League heart lands. There is a lot of culture clash inbetween the codes, where union is the sport of the toff, mainly from the South. (and poor Welsh Valley towns but there are always an exception to the rule while League is the game of the poor northern folk.

This sterotypical view goes all the way back to the birth of the sport, which was brought about by the northern teams wanting their players to get broken time payment for playing and the southern clubs really not wanting to do that. What followed was 100 years (up until Union went openly professional) of union doing their best to kill the game off and thankfully failing. Ranging from banning all players who crossed codes, or even entertained that idea, from having anything to do with union at any level. They wouldn't be allowed to go into RFU clubs when they came back, let alone play the sport at an organised level. Then there was this little episode with the Vichy government. Anyway I got really sidetracked there by a social history lesson.

So lets fast forward to modern day. It comes down to this, I find union really boring to watch, it's all about the break down and field postion. Leads to lots of kicking the ball to each other, plus it has some really silly rules, like calling the mark and 2 pens been worth more than 1 try. It just encourages negitive tactics. Getting your opponents to make mistakes so you can kick at goal (this last weekend was the massive exception to that clearly). Most of the time the crowd don't even see the ball because it is at the bottom of a big pile of men.

Where as league is all about scoring tries, which leads to a much more pleasing game on the eye, lots of passing and running moves, high level of skill, a faster pace driven by limited tackles. Big hits and the complete lack of mess that is the union break down or maul.

This is considered the greatest try ever by union folk

It's a good try no doubt but it took place in a glorified friendly match!

Where as this try won in the biggest game of rugby on the planet, where the result mattered

Locally RL is in a bit of a self induced crisis. Crowds are down more than 10% from last year and ratings even more.

Too many boofheads behaving badly and getting away with it might finally have the fans deciding enough is enough.

By the way the League v Union thing is hilarious since ~10% of the dudes I played union with in the states (really no league here) are felons now.
You are right, that union try is not the best.
Can we just all agree that 7s is primo?

I can't really comment intelligently on League vs Union because I've barely seen any League played outside of a few highlights, which look pretty much the same as Union highlights. (That 'best ever' union try above? I don't think it's great, too many unforced errors) But the aspects of Union that League fans criticise are the parts of the game I like. The control of space, the grind and set-pieces are the fun part, the willy nilly running that they seem to prefer strikes me as a schoolboy game.

League thinking is starting to infect Union, partly to help grow the sport in Australia. And the rules for scrums and breakdowns are getting too complicated though, which is a big problem.

And boogle, as much as I enjoy 7's I don't think you'll get much agreement that it's 'primo.'

MrDeVil909 wrote:

League thinking is starting to infect Union, partly to help grow the sport in Australia. And the rules for scrums and breakdowns are getting too complicated though, which is a big problem.

Best thing about this was when Austin Healy complained that league defensive coachings were killing attacking rugby in union, a few days before that last day of the Six Nations, talk about timing

Danny Jones, a player for the league one Keighley Cougars, died this weekend after suffering a cardiac arrest . Nobody should go to their job and not come back. The RFLfamily has some together and raised over £25,000 in less than a day for the RFL Benevolent Fund.

Well the World Cup is just around the corner! The All Blacks are looking solid, let's see if Richie can hold the cup over his head again.

Really looking forward to this year's World Cup. Let's see if Japan can sneak out of the group stage. I think they've got a chance.

I'm actually looking forward to the Japan v USA match. I have a feeling That pool is going to be 1.South Africa 2. Scotland, altough with SA losing to Argentina recently we way see Scotland in the number 1 spot.

Really looking forward to it as well!! Got the app installed on my phone, and I watched the France-England test matches with great interest (and some alarm). Should be interesting!

Yeah, going to be an interesting tournament. We had a torrid build up, but a lot of our top players are coming back from injury and we've got some great new blood so I'm slightly confident.

Just going to leave this here - how not to finish a game

Damn! That reminds me of this NFL clip.

And the tournament is under way. England won their first game with a convincing scoreline of 35-11 over Fiji, but it seems they didn't play too convincingly, I wasn't watching the game myself so I can't speak to the quality of the play, but match analysis is pretty harsh. Five points on the table is a good start though.

Seems like we are headed for our first minor upset as Georgia are leading Tonga 17-8 with 9 minutes left. But Tonga has closed the gap in the time it's taken me to type this post.

Ireland plays Canada within the hour, South Africa plays Japan after that and France plays Italy in the last game.

Ireland and South Africa should win convincingly and France vs Italy should see the French win, but who the hell knows with that team?

Man, I wish these were playing at reasonable JST times. Looks like I'm gonna be on a day delay or so watching them. Shouldn't be too hard to keep away from the news. Let's go Japan!

Really wish there was a streaming service I could buy to watch the games.

I'll try not to spoil the game for you.



That's embarrassing.