Rugby - A thug's game played by gentlemen

Oh yeah I know it wasn't a try, however the runs in league (again, it might differ in union) are pretty clear that you cannot go to the video ref to look for forward passes and that the video ref can only make decisions on what he is asked to look at. As soon as it went up stairs, that is a try just because he shouldn't be commenting on the pass, it's not his job. Now in the NRL, he could have passed the decision back to the ref, you know after the whole stadium had seen the forward pass on the big screen, as they can do that in Aus, if they are unsure of a decision.
The fault lies with the ref and his linesmen for been blind to the pass.

Axon, I'm no fan of Bakkies Botha. He's a thug and a hypocrite who gives SA rugby a bad name, so I have no objection to him, or even any other SA player, getting censured, as long as one rule book is applied to both teams by refs and citing officials.

I do sympathise with refs. Paddy O'Brien has clearly been pulling strings to give NZ the best possible shot at the cup this year. It is bringing the game into disrepute and I don't think the players and team are being well served

I saw the article that Paddy didn't like the TMO in the first one - but I think public sentiment will see him soften his stance on that in the long run.

I did not know about his reaction to the second one though. I now want his head on a spike.

Thing is, MrDeVil, as a former fattie myself I have a huge amount of respect for Bakkies. I'm reminded of the famous quote of unknown source “Sure he’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”. A lot of sides would love to have someone as physical as Botha in their side even if we do give out yards about him

As far a O'Brien goes, if I was being utterly cynical, I think he is trying to avert a situation like the yellow card against France in 2007.

Yeah, it's good to have a player like him as long as he stays on the right side of the line. He has been pretty well behaved since last year's head butt, maybe it pulled him straight.

So, was anyone expecting France to get to the RWC Finals, largely due to a Wales red card no less? This has been a great World Cup to watch IMO and as an Ireland fan I was fairly pleased with their performance.

Just saw this recent post now. twelve1784, if you're wondering why your post was apparently ignored the World Cup discussion is happening over here.

As for non World Cup rugby. My Currie Cup side, The Sharks, booked a home semi final with a comprehensive thrashing of the table topping Lions. 53-9 The Sharks have had a rough tournament, losing some games and grinding out ugly wins against weaker sides, but with their Boks back they are an all new team. Even the guys who didn't represent at the WC played out of their skins.

The Sharks needed a bonus point win (4 tries) to secure the home semi and scored 7 tries, the last 3 nearly accidentally.

We host our traditional hoodoo team The Cheetahs this weekend while the Lions host Western Province. I hope for WP to beat the Lions, and us to beat the Cheetahs so we get a home final.

Sadly from next year the 8 team Currie Cup is being reduced to 6 to free up room for the crappy 15 team SuperRugby tournament.

So Super Rugby 2012 starts this weekend. Going to be interesting to see how things play out with a lot of teams post World Cup and the mass retirements of senior players.

I'm expecting the Crusaders to dominate, as usual. The South African conference should be dominated by the Sharks, but the Bulls will always be a threat. The Australian conference should be pretty interesting, I think Jake White will have a strong influence on the Brumbies' performance.

No one was interested in the Super Rugby I guess, but there's some test in the next few weeks.

We play England who are touring here for the next 3 weeks. Should be an interesting one this weekend, our team will have been together for 5 days as of game morning, we have lost a lot of experienced players to retirement and injury and are debuting two locks and a no 6 in the starting side.

So, this thread has slipped a bit...

But man, what a win for Italy at the weekend. Love to see the minnows eat the sharks (even better when they are le requin).

Heard about the Italy France game, that's awesome. I hope Italy continues an upward trajectory.

Super Rugby season starts here soon. South Africa has a new team, the Kings, that have replaced the Lions and there's a bunch of controversy over that.

Hopefully the Sharks manage a consistent competition this year so they don't need to fly around the world 1 1/2 times in the last 3 weeks to try win it.

Leeds came up just short in their quest for a 4th world title (champions of England vs champions of Aus). Bloody great game though, just couldn't break down the Melbourne Storm line when it mattered. 18-14 was the final score.

Watching OU at UT in 2 hours. Wootah.

What is the best way to pick a team to root for if we live in the states?

It depends what you want to follow. I will watch either, but don't follow any particular team in either code.

Rugby Union (15-a-side game) - you could either follow a national team or one of those in the various leagues (Super 15 - Australian, NZ and South African franchises, English Premiership or French league).

Rugby League (13-a-side game) - best bet would be either the Australian ARL or the British Super League.

Stade Francais.

davet010 wrote:

It depends what you want to follow. I will watch either, but don't follow any particular team in either code.

Rugby Union (15-a-side game) - you could either follow a national team or one of those in the various leagues (Super 15 - Australian, NZ and South African franchises, English Premiership or French league).

Rugby League (13-a-side game) - best bet would be either the Australian ARL or the British Super League.

It is actually the NRL now after the healing of the Super League schism. www.nrl.com

It's still a tip of a game I reckon.

karmajay wrote:

What is the best way to pick a team to root for if we live in the states?

Can you watch games? I know broadcasting across there can be problematic.

Ideally watch a few games and see which teams play in a way that appeals to you. I can only speak to Southern Hemisphere teams and Rugby Union, but in the Superrugby competition Aussie teams tend to run a lot, South African teams are very aggressive and physical and New Zealand teams tend to walk the line between the two.

But that's overly simplistic.

My team, The Sharks, have a more total and flexible approach than traditional SA teams like the Bulls. When they are on fire they can play any style of game, depending on the conditions and the opposition. The Bulls play a kick and chase, defence heavy game that works well, but is kind of boring.

In New Zealand the Crusaders have the best record, and also have a very flexible style, but lean towards forward dominance and dominating (cheating ) on the ground. The Chiefs have a run first approach that brought them the win last year, but without Sonny Bill Williams I don't know how they will do this year.

Australia is the weaker of the 3 nations. They don't have a history of Rugby Union, and no domestic competition, so the teams tend to run everything rather than get physical. Looks nice, but doesn't bring success much. The Reds are a team that have had success though, and the Brumbies should be one to watch this year. Last year they did very well under their SA world cup winning coach with a very inexperienced side, this year they should be stronger.

As for this weekend, my Sharks got off to a winning start, although the game was closer than it needed to be after the Cheetahs made a late charge. We really need to work on winning by bigger margins for points difference. Still nice considering our injury list.

Much to my shock the Southern Kings, the new boys, managed to beat the Western Force. The Force are a weak team, but they have been in the competition for a long time, so would have been expecting to win. Was at work so I didn't get to watch, but apparently the Kings were very fierce and determined, good on them.

Bruce wrote:
davet010 wrote:

It depends what you want to follow. I will watch either, but don't follow any particular team in either code.

Rugby Union (15-a-side game) - you could either follow a national team or one of those in the various leagues (Super 15 - Australian, NZ and South African franchises, English Premiership or French league).

Rugby League (13-a-side game) - best bet would be either the Australian ARL or the British Super League.

It is actually the NRL now after the healing of the Super League schism. www.nrl.com

It's still a tip of a game I reckon.

It was still in split mode when I worked over there, my Newcastle jersey actually has an ARL badge on it, I think. Mind you, that was a long time ago.

The ARL only lasted 3 years before a deal was reached to end the Super League War, forming the current NRL.

If you want to pick a union team, stick with the national teams, much easier to follow from afar and there are plenty of games. (6 nations, tri nations, lions tours, tours, world cup)

For League, choose a club side, as there isn't much of an international programme (normally a series/4 nations at the end of the year, although there is a world cup this year, think the states are in it) and at the end the Aussies win.

Here's some ridiculous upside-down Union action :

Forward pass by the Highlanders at 1:07 and some sloppy handling and poor support, but to be fair it was a relentless 3 minutes, players must have been exhausted by then. I got tired watching it.

I think they cut out the part where Nanai-Williams puked on his own boots.

It certainly got sloppy at times, probably on account of everyone being utterly knackered.

I don't think that was forward, really. Just looks like it from the camera angle.

But otherwise, fierce.

I'm going to sound like Debbie downer, but I don't find aimless running all that impressive. If at any point whichever side was in possession hit the breakdown properly they could have turned it into points. As it turned out lack of commitment on attack led to an opportunistic try for the chiefs.

It's impressive to look at, but not good rugby. At least how I define it.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'm going to sound like Debbie downer, but I don't find aimless running all that impressive. If at any point whichever side was in possession hit the breakdown properly they could have turned it into points. As it turned out lack of commitment on attack led to an opportunistic try for the chiefs.

It's impressive to look at, but not good rugby. At least how I define it.

I think if we had seen a breakdown like you are describing, the play would have been less fluid and the defenses more set.
This loose style is similar to what I liked playing at OU, just swing the ball around and find gaps.

Sloppy play, followed by brief moments of skill, then sloppy play and so forth. If the teams could pass to hands, one would have scored way before that.

Much rather have a 30 second try where every pass, every move has a purpose, say like the greatest try ever

That's much better. Rugby is all about tactics, sustained pressure and smart play. Slinging it around and hoping for the best is not smart. It's fine for age-group and university games, but it's sub-par for professional games.

Seems Manchester United have told the Rugby Union World Cup to get stuffed, they can't use their pitch after all because of the damage risk to the pitch at what could be a key moment of the season for the team.
Not often I say this but good on Man United for using some common sense and at the same time dealing blow to the dark side

Can't believe I didn't find this thread earlier during the Six Nations!
I don't follow the French league because we don't get the super shiny (and expensive) channel with all the matches, but I do follow the World Cup, Six Nations and any big matches the other channels will cover.
Thread tagged for future reference and incoming lurking.