England blew it, but the Irish fully deserved a win. Like you said, Axon, form goes out the window and the Irish played out of their skins.
Frankly, I'm sorry to see the 6 Nations finish for the year. Its become a real staple in our house of a slow time of year (post-NFL, pre-cricket) and partly because it ends up being a far more social event than other sports. That combined with the tribalism/nationalism of the matches, it seems kind of similar to March Madness in the States (NCAA basketball tournament.) Plus, we usually host at least one 6 Nations party, where folks come on the Saturday pre-games and stay through the Sunday match, and everyone enjoys the rugby. So when the last weekend of games is done, I'm always sad to see it go.
At least this year I've got WC cricket, and the season itself is only three weeks off!
Saw a hooker score a try today on a chip and chase during the Stormers-Western Force game. That doesn't happen everyday!
Lost to number 4 in the nation Arkansas State. I was reserve 2cnd row.
Just watched a replay of the Twickenham game.
Just what the rest of Super 15 needed to see. Canterbury not only have Dan Carter - they have a badass scrum. As if they weren't awesome before.
Sonny Bill is a thug though and lucky not to see some bin time with that shoulder charge, and then he missed one and got a team mate.
It was a crazily expansive final with the ball being chucked around with abandon it seemed. Certainly compared the Super finals that the Bulls have won in the past couple of years. Where more than 2 passes was a genuine rarity.
The Reds hung on well even though they were utterly dominated by the Crusaders' scrum. They were turning them around at will. The roundabout to that swing was the lineout and a couple of big line breaks.
Now on to the southern hemisphere international season and what form line starts to show up for the World Cup.
I get your foreign jokes!
All of them have posted in this thread, I think.
Does the transitive property of football results mean Samoa is a better side than South Africa?
I must say I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game, I sure our boys in black can pull it off
I was yelling at the telly all through the second half. Cheating filthy black bastards.
Simmons got penalised for thinking about a ruck infringement. How does that work?
Nice to have some silverware - it's been a while.
So the Aussies win their first Tri-Nations in 10 years by beating the All Blacks 1st team, good on them.
Caught the last 10 minutes, it's amazing what the ABs get away with. At the rucks I don't think there was a single player on side.
Maybe that's their problem, that at the tournaments with Northern Hemisphere referees, they don't get away with it.
I also hate them doing the haka away from home - I'd just love to see them 'issue a traditional challenge' to England at Twickenham and have Johnson do a 99 call.
The issue of refereeing has a huge amount to do with politics. I know this as I'm personally acquainted with I consider is the best referee in the world right now, Alain Roland. He has told me of the huge pressure (and even threats) brought to bare against referees from certain countries. If you want living proof of that, I can offer at least two examples of Paddy O'Brien (NZ and head of the IRB) intervening in "controversial" decisions in favour of NZ. Case one and case two. Video for either event below.
As a prop, the day NZ done for a penalty try at scrum is the day I believe that the rules are being applied fairly.
I may add, MrDeVil, if the rules were applied properly how do you think Bakkis Botha would fair? I know South Africans love to play the victim but when you actually go out to physically beat up teams its a little hard to swallow
Now, I think we'll start a different thread for the WC.
For the first, I'm OK with the TMO helping to get the decisions right. Graeme Henry even agreed and had no quibbles about it. I hope they continue to open up that part of the TMO's responsibilities.
For the second, that was the most piss-weak refereeing I have ever seen. Go on the second part of it and see the farce continue. Second penalty should have been a penalty try. The third and fourth were just a disgrace and even then to hear him yelling "New Zealand Captain - get back onside!" - FFS!!! Point at the fricken spot and send him off. 10 minutes of faffing about and utterly cynical killing of the play.
Your missing the point on both of those, Bruce. I'm talking about the political interference in both cases. In the first case Paddy O'Brien has threatened to give the (young) referee a dressing down not because he disallowed the try but because he failed to follow protocols. Its a bizarre statement to make but one has their suspicions on where its coming from.
On the second point (The Italians handing the Kiwis their asses) the point isn't that the referee bottled it (always seems to when NZ are involved) but that not only did Paddy O'Brien feel the referee was unfair to NZ, he actually flew to NZ and addressed the team to apologise for the referees behaviour. The Australian Union when apesh!t, rightly so, and O'Brien backed down but its very clear where the head of the International Rugby Boards real loyalty lay and its not to the game as a hole.
Hey but the fact that a referee saw fit to have 9 minutes of scrums and penalties while the Kiwis were getting hammered is a pretty solid statement of how the rules are applied.
Well I'm not that up on the rules of the video ref in rugby union, that try in league, by the letter of the law should have been given, although of course in League the player who passed the ball would have been tackled anyway since his elbow hit the deck.
On another note, I don't think I have ever seen two better finishes than these two
Nah, it was a forwards pass, onewild. I'm not making myself clear here so I'll repeat, its not the referee I'm questioning in either case, its Paddy O'Brien's reaction to it. He is the head of the International Rugby Board and is a New Zealander. In both cases he is attempting to undermine a referee who didn't treat his national side correctly as he sees it.
If your a professional rugby referee how do you think that action might effect your refereeing of New Zealand? That's the question I'm posing here.
Great skill in those videos though. Love that pick up.