Rugby - A thug's game played by gentlemen

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!

No, that is pretty rare. Pity I missed the game, was up to my eyeballs in Dawn of War. Hookers are getting quicker though.

Tomorrow's Sharks Crusaders game at Twickenham should be a good one. I'm not overly hopeful, but seeing as we are facing the Stormers next week I'm hoping for a good performance to give us momentum.

Game was a cracker, as expected. Crusaders were a master-class in running and intelligent rugby, Dan Carter was his usual self and I see what the big deal is about Sonny-Bill Williams now, what an amazing player.

Sharks were not as impressive, but to lose and still score 4 tries is nice going. I really liked how they gritted their teeth and kept playing when they were under the hammer. Next week they play the Stormers who will be on a high after trouncing the Force this week, but it should be a good game.

I don't know who the English commentators were for this game, but they were pretty interesting. The one guy said something along the lines of, 'I know we in the north laugh about Super Rugby with the basket-ball scores, but I see what the big deal is now.' The competition is hotting up nicely, although I still have no idea what the logs mean. I still cringe when guys try run from behind their own 22 though.

Nice turnout at Twickenham too, 35 000. Lots of supporters with both teams colours and it always amuses me to hear a 'foreign' crowd go 'BEEEEEEASSSST' whenever Mtawarira gets the ball, nearly as much as it amuses me to hear an English commentator try say 'Mtawarira.'

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.

Yeah, Sonny Bill didn't even get cited after the game. The clear bias of the citing commission is a concern in a World Cup year, they are going to work very hard to give it to the All Blacks.

That Crusaders scrum was scary as hell though.

Yeah, that story's been in the news all week. Apparently he doesn't have a daughter so the claims about revenge are a load of bull.

Been trying to figure out who it is, a black Bulls player who has never played for the Boks. Hmmm.

Guess we will find out when he gets to court.


Couldn't figure it out because I've never heard of him.

I'll resurrect this thread with this charming column from

English rugby announces retirement
James Stafford
May 27, 2011

After an impressive career, one that included 26 Championship wins, 12 Grand Slams, 23 Triple Crowns and a Rugby World Cup Cup victory, English Rugby has announced that it will retire from the sport after the World Cup finals in New Zealand.

At a special Twickenham media conference, called with just five hours' notice for the press, English Rugby shocked the game with an announcement no-one saw coming.

Displaying a stiff upper lip, English Rugby just about retained its composure as it revealed to the assembled press that it was 'figuratively and literally' hanging up its boots this autumn.


Milestones in English Rugby history:

1871: Plays first international against Scotland. The match was paused every fifteen minutes to allow for tea break, using only the finest china from the Empire.

1892: Kick off in Home Championship encounter with Wales delayed 43 minutes as Sherlock Holmes solves double murder in away team dressing room.

1923: First working class player allowed to play for England.

1947: England team make first pass to working class player.

1980: England claim a famous Grand Slam despite being captained by a television game show personality.

2000: Rise of isotonic sports drinks leads England to abandon traditional recovery drink of aftershave.

2003: England win 2003 World Cup despite 40% of team, according to Australian media, being made up of orcs on steroids.

2007: Mark Cueto has try disallowed in narrow World Cup final loss to South Africa.

2008: Mark Cueto tells world about his 'certain' try in 2007 World Cup final.

2009: Mark Cueto tells world about his 'certain' try in 2007 World Cup final.

2010: Mark Cueto tells world about his 'certain' try in 2007 World Cup final.

2011: England win Six Nations Championship, causing Mark Cueto to reflect on what could have been in 2007 World Cup.

I actually resurrected the thread because the Super 15 is getting to the sharp end, and I finally understand how it works. Three rounds left before the playoffs and the Queensland Reds look dead certain to finish in the top of the table. Stormers look like No 1 for South Africa and Blues are currently No 1 for NZ.

The top team from each conference hosts a home game in the playoffs, the other 3 teams in the top six combined ranking play the away games. The 'other' three are currently The Sharks, Bulls and Crusaders. 'Saders are not looking their best, Sharks are erratic and the Bulls have rediscovered their form after a bad start to the competition. The Sharks and Bulls both need to win 2 of their remaining games to make the playoffs, both are possible but far from certain.

Going to be an interesting few weeks.

So the Queensland Reds took the Super Rugby title in a final against the 7 time winning Crusaders, great game and I was happy to see the hard working, spirited and exciting Reds take the title.

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.

It was a great final, the Reds really played the game in their own way. It's true they were dominated in the scrums, but they managed to negate that. I think some fatigue started to kick in for the 'saders at the end though, they lost their pep.

I still think the expanded competition is idiotic though.

I'm looking forward to the Tri-Nations. The Aussie Union is complaining that our injury list is suspicious, but the players going on tour are the form guys from the Super tournament, not the well known old crocks.


I get your foreign jokes!

boogle wrote:

I get your foreign jokes!

That's good. There's probably 7 people on this forum that will get that.

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?

Oh man, I totally forgot about the Tri-nations this weekend! Crappy result, but not entirely unexpected.

I don't think it says too much about relative strength though. I was interested to see the outside players get a go and once again it was demonstrated that individual form is less important than team performance, something armchair coaches forget.

All the results of the last two weeks show is that a top Samoan team is better than a second string Aussie one, and a top Aussie team is better than a second string SA one. I always consider Pacific Island teams dangerous though.

I must say I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game, I sure our boys in black can pull it off

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.

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.


MrDeVil909 wrote:

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.

They got away with it just fine with an English ref on Saturday. They would have conceded about 75 points in the last 10 minute if the ref had his eyes open.

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.