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Source: (consider it) Thread: The game that batters: the rugby thread
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Down south where we stand on our heads the international season is about to begin ... France against a re-hashed but fired up All Blacks. Okay ... let the meaning of life begin [Yipee]

[ 13. February 2013, 04:38: Message buggered about with by: Ariston ]

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Or not ... [Frown] The French played like a team. So did the All Blacks, occasionally.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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Man, that's a turn-up for the books! I think the French should prepare for a backlash in the second test.

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Ouch, but true. The All Blacks will need to play - er - Test Rugby tonight if they're going to win. Obviously. The born to rule attitude got kicked in the bum last week - and the French are keen to add another nail to the coffin of arrogance. I think a tougher game is shaping up, but one that the French could shock all by winning by 6-12 points.

Ironically in last week's game the ABs for once had their often abysmal line-out in order. Here's hoping they continue that - and remember a few other basics about, er, using some strength in the scrum (preferably in forward gear) and actually hanging on to opponents in a tackle.

And don't attempt running the ball out from your own goal line with flashy a la Francais back line movements. They look really silly when the French grab the ball in a tackle and go on to score a try.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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Speaking of painful losses, the Lions were shaping up for a thrashing but managed to claw back some respectability. If we can sort out our penalty count and win first-phase ball more reliably, I reckon we've a shot in the final two tests.

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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I didn't see the game but the penalty problem appears to be in the scrum and Phil Vickery did seem to concede more than his share. He does so for England too, so his place for the next test must be in doubt. I'm not sure about David Wallace either: he's better about the field but Martin Williams does the dirty work so much better and Ryan Jones or Andy Powell could keep the 'Boks back row busy (and run at and over their no 10).

That apart the Lions ought to be encouraged that they came back into the game. Oh, and we should have another lock with a bit of dog about him, like Nathan Hines or Donnacha O'Callaghan. Give Matfield a black eye, so he plays with double vision which will mess up his line-out!

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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The All Blacks won against Italy, but not as convincingly as the 27-6 scoreline suggests. They only had about 35% of the territory, and the possession split about 50/50. The scoreline should have been higher, and if they're to match against either the Boks or the Wallabies they're going to have to strengthen many aspects of their game, especially their back line penetration.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Somehow, against the run of recent form, and against all odds (I would have thought) the All Blacks held out the Wallabies for a come-from-behind 22-16 victory. McCaw was back of course (and scored a try). But they looked like a unit for the first time this season. Donald kicked well, after missing one difficult one (Giteau didn't). And, paradoxically, the one feature of their play that has been lookintg good this season was attrocious at first, their lineout letting them down and costing a try.

Not either an easy or a pretty game, but a good win.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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The IRB has this week given a one year ban to Tom Williams, a winger for Harlequins who faked a blood injury to allow a substitution in a Heineken Cup game in April.

Is a one year ban too much (the article reports that Quin's point out that this is longer than the bans for stamping, gouging and pushing match officials) or does compromising the integrity of the game warrant such a harsh penalty?

If the injury was faked by using a blood capsule, what does that say about the premeditation of the Quin's players and staff?

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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The IRB say that this will be a deterrent to cheating. What bollocks! Neil Back, Richard Hill, Richie McCaw, Martyn Williams and every other player worth his number 6 or 7 shirt would have been banned for life if cheating was effectively banned!

I think this harks back to the days when rugger was about gentlemen knocking seven shades of shit out of each other and drinking pints afterwards. I'm afraid the game has changed and if the IRB spokesmen took some of the knocks that are routine in professional rugby nowadays they wouldn't give 6 week bans for "a bit of shoeing" as we used to say.

FFS, Tom Williams has been given a longer ban than Justin Harrison, who has been given eight months for Class A drug use. Harrison I gather, intends to move into broadcasting and coaching, of all things.

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Imaginary Friend

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# 186

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But Sioni, to play Devil's advocate, isn't cheating and bringing the integrity of the game into doubt even more serious than behaving in an inappropriately violent manner on the pitch?

To use another example, is taking performance enhancing drugs worse than gauging and so on? Bans for substance abuse are often several years in length, but nobody complains about them. Which offence is faking an injury closest to? It doesn't directly harm other players, as gauging and stamping do, but it does bring the game into disrepute and threatens the whole ethos of the game, as taking performance enhancing substances does.

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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I don't doubt that cheating is not serious, but I was giving a few more examples of cheating that, at their worst, are punished by a yellow card and a penalty (so it's usually three points).

Williams' offence (and does anyone here really think it is his alone??) was hardly worse than the fairly routine way sides with one prop on the subs bench take one off at half time then replace another starter with the one who was withdrawn, at about the hour mark. I remember a time when a doctor had to certify a player as unfit to continue before a substitute could come on. That rule didn't last long - how many doctors would tell a player that he was fit when the player said he wasn't? Should Rugby Union adopt the "interchange" rule from Rugby League? That alows up to 12 changes amongst the 13 starters and a four-player bench.

FWIW "faking an injury" is taking the piss out of the rules and regulations. The IRB are more concerned about this kind of regulation than with all the offsides, interfering with the ball, tackling off the ball and violent conduct you'll ever see.

And as for performance enhancing drugs, others do get injured. If someone can build themselves up by thirty pounds amd still move as fast, they will do a lot more damage to anyone they run into.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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So, the autumn internationals are on their way. England's missing half their first choice team, and Rob Andrew says they will be a fair reflection of England's progress under Johnson. Is that even vaguely true?

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Imaginary Friend

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# 186

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I didn't get to see the game, so was England's loss today as bad as the report says it was?

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sir Pellinore
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# 12163

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quote:
Originally posted by Imaginary Friend:
I didn't get to see the game, so was England's loss today as bad as the report says it was?

The article you linked was spot on IMO.

On form we are currently on the bottom of the Tri-Nations. That is pretty right, sadly.

England are not up to All Black or Springbok standards currently. Neither are we. We are in the process of rebuilding with what we've got.

The game could've gone either way. It took us a large part of the first half to begin to gain confidence and get into our stride.

I think we just had more hunger to win and better backs who can score tries.

It was a fair game and I didn't see the professional fouls that were so much part of the All Blacks game in Tokyo. Psychologically I think that's what broke our confidence in ourselves there, but you have to mentally tough it out anywhere, in any circumstances.

England have a lot going for them and I think Martin Johnson needs to move beyond his current pedestrian game plan. It doesn't work. [Disappointed]

The games at Croke Park and Millenium Stadium will show whether we are one day wonders or not.

If we lose at Murrayfield. [Help]

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Well...

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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England were controlled and deliberate but slow, which was OK in 2003 when they could strangle anyone but they can't do that at the moment.

The linked piece says "England had to play catch-up, but were not equipped to do so." which was all too true. There was no incisiveness behind the scrum.

Australia weren't a whole lot better but, unlike England, they could recycle ball quickly and in Will Genia and Matt Giteau they have a class act at half-back, which made all the difference.

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Herrick
Shipmate
# 15226

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Ireland or Australia?

The rugby correspondent for the Irish Times was on the radio here this afternoon and he pointed if Australia wins, it would be a case of the third best team in the southern hemisphere beating the best in Europe.

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A careless shoestring in whose tie
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The Weeder
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# 11321

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Not that bothered about rugby, but I happened to be in Cardiff last week, when Wales played the All Blacks.
I was staggered at the crowds in red, lots of girls dressed to the nines, and the sheer good humour of the people.
Had it been a Football crwd in Manchester, I would have been very nervous, aware of the tension and potential for aggro- but this crowd were so happy and cheerful.

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Still missing the gator

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Congratuations, les Bleus!

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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The Weeder, I have never felt intimidated at a rugby match. Even when I'm an away fan, and the home team has lost due to poor refereeing! For me, that's one of the great things about rugby: The vast majority of fans take it seriously and have a great time, but at the end of the day everybody knows it's only a game.

Big question for me is whether England can avoid making fools of themselves today... [Paranoid]

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Imaginary Friend:
The Weeder, I have never felt intimidated at a rugby match. Even when I'm an away fan, and the home team has lost due to poor refereeing! For me, that's one of the great things about rugby: The vast majority of fans take it seriously and have a great time, but at the end of the day everybody knows it's only a game.

Big question for me is whether England can avoid making fools of themselves today... [Paranoid]

[my italics]
I have - but only as a player! I think that is key. All the unpleasantness (and I don't pretend there isn't any) stays on the pitch and few if any players bear any rancour, so that it doesn't spill into the supporters.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
few if any players bear any rancour

which is an interesting difference to Rugby league.

Looks like the All Blacks were unconvincing against Italy. [Frown]

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Herrick
Shipmate
# 15226

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27 - 6 convinced me??

Big game later tonight (2 of my grandparents were GREEN) but the rest of me is all over the spectrum

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A careless shoestring in whose tie
I see a wild civility

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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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A 20-20 draw courtesy of a last minute try to BOD.

A pretty accurate indicator of where the game's at in both countries, I'd say.

OK: no Mortlock; no Barnes but that's the way the dice fell. No discredit to the Irish.

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Well...

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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In BOD we trust [Biased]

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sir Pellinore
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# 12163

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quote:
Originally posted by Imaginary Friend:
In BOD we trust [Biased]

I believe the Irish sometimes refer to him as G-D but that's a bit much.

Didn't quite part the waters.

But that's the luck of the Irish. [Big Grin]

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Well...

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Celtic Knotweed
Shipmate
# 13008

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YEEEESSSS!!!!!! [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

That has to be the most nerve-racking rugby match I've ever watched. Winning even after a try in the last minute. I still don't quite believe it.

Anyone would usually think a 9-8 scoreline meant a stinker. Not this time...

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Erasmus of Rotterdam

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Wet Kipper
Circus Runaway
# 1654

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'mon the boys !!!!

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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What CK and WK said! [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

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Oh look, it does capital letters! Still piglet, just capitalised.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Japes

Shipmate
# 5358

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[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

I think my heart rate has finally returned to normal!

[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

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Blog has moved home.

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Beenster
Shipmate
# 242

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Really cracking result for the Scottish. No, I don't support Scotland nor Australia but I can't help feeling really impressed by the performance.
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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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Aagh! [Waterworks]

Defeat out of the jaws of victory! [brick wall]

[Votive]

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Well...

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Herrick
Shipmate
# 15226

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Sir Pellinore said

Aagh!

Defeat out of the jaws of victory!



Exactly [Frown]

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A careless shoestring in whose tie
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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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quote:
Originally posted by Herrick:
Sir Pellinore said

Aagh!

Defeat out of the jaws of victory!



Exactly [Frown]

I'm tossing up whether to watch the match at Millenium Stadium. [Ultra confused]

Sadly, I think the word 'tossers' would be appropriate to the losers of the Hopetoun Cup. [Waterworks]

All credit to the Jocks. No sour grapes there.

I think the ARU really needs to look at our Super 14/15 setup and the grassroots.

Robbie Deans did nothing wrong. It's a case of (vastly) overpaid nonachievers. Psychology. Courage under pressure. [Waterworks]

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Well...

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Sir Pellinore
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# 12163

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Well, we did win the match against a gallant and talented Welsh side which started without some of its best players and rapidly lost a couple of real tryscorers early during the game.

Digby Ioane's return was a godsend. Gitteau found form. Everyone gave their utmost.

Wales never gave up. I suspect, under Warren Gatland, they will be very effective in the Six Nations next year.

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Well...

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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I'm never too upset if the All Blacks lose to the Barbars - (well ... it only happens every few decades!). It was a great wake up call after a superb tour and a brilliant game against Les Bleues. Habana was magnificent, Steyn is utterly destructive, and it was a timely reminder who really are at the top of world rugby. Nice to see Matt Giteau looking at his dangerous best, too - and the work of Roberts around the field was mind blowing. Matfield was, most of the time, absolutely brilliant in leadership and play. I'm pleased too that Rokocoko had a win: he won't I think ever again play for the All Blacks as the turning and catching game has moved past him, but he can, if wise, depart on an eccentric high note.

The ABs are in lethal form - but take McCaw, Carter and two or three others out and the gel ceases to gel. On the other hand our new Zac Guildford is an exciting prospect. While my money would be on South Africa for the World Cup on present indications, the future of rugby is exciting.

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Sandemaniac
Shipmate
# 12829

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Speaking of the All Blacks losing to the BaaBaas, I watched The Try from 1973 on YouBend, and was interested to note how many head-high tackles went in (including a blinder where the tacklee ducked out, and the tackler ended up on his arse!) in the space of one move.

I guess the high tackle law (rule?) is a more recent innovation - does anyone know when?

AG

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"It becomes soon pleasantly apparent that change-ringing is by no means merely an excuse for beer" Charles Dickens gets it wrong, 1869

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Now of course we could have whole conversations about whether Gareth Thomas' sexuality has any implications for his rugby!

In fact there was an infamous but excellent play in NZ in the early 1980s, Foreskins Lament, that raised questions of sexuality in rugby. I know at least one All Black of the 1950s and 60s who, although married, had a lurid private life which did not involve women. I admire Gareth Thomas' honesty, though I wish, for the sake of the gay community, he had been willing to speak out ten years earlier.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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Zappa, I honestly fail to see why it should have any bearing on his rugby at all. He's a decent winger and talismanic presence on the field no matter what.

Perhaps this is more purgatorial, but it grates slightly that people expect sports players to be spokespeople for whichever minority they happen to be a member of. I think it's perfectly acceptable for Thomas to have his private life and not be a poster boy for gay rights. That we seem to rely on celebrities to do that campaigning for us speaks only to our lethargy.

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Agreed in toto - but it was headlines in kiwiland this week.

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and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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Bill McLaren has died, aged 86.

May he rest in peace. [Votive]

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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RIP Mr. McLaren. [Votive]

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Oh look, it does capital letters! Still piglet, just capitalised.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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And now, sadly 1995 world champion Springbok Ruben Kruger has succumbed to his brain cancer. May he rest in peace and rise to glorious stadia. [Votive]

( details )

[ 28. January 2010, 17:09: Message edited by: Zappa ]

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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Even a Japie hard man can make it to the Great Playing Field in the Sky, I believe. [Votive]

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Well...

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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Some good news on the rugby front. I watched the second leg of the Championship play-off between Bristol and Exeter last night. Bristol had the classier performers but Exeter had everything else: great setpieces, ball retention, a top-class goal kicker and game-manager and much more desire.

A great couple of hours entertainment. I'm not sure how well Exeter will do next year in the Guinness Premiership but they don't lack for courage and effort.

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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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And some bad news. NSW and Queensland are out of the Super 14 finals which will be an all South African affair.

Ah well, they tell me 'it's only a game'. [Confused]

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Well...

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Imaginary Friend

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# 186

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I grew up about two hundred yards from the back door of the Memorial Ground. I still follow Bristol's up-and-down fortunes with interest, and wish I was able to watch them play more often.

On balance, I think I'm fairly glad that we're not going to be back up in the Premiership next season. We need another twelve months to keep rebuilding and giving the younger players the experience. I'm not honestly sure that we're really a top-flight club these days because we don't have the commercial clout to compete for foreign players and so on. Richard Hill did a great job helping us punch above our weight when were were up, but the magic hasn't been there since his departure.

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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Bristol were - at least in my memory - always overshadowed by their neighbours down the road at Bath but were a very good team. West Country rugby is still strong and the number of schools (and the university) will provide good players in future.

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Well...

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Sir Pellinore (ret'd):
Bristol were - at least in my memory - always overshadowed by their neighbours down the road at Bath but were a very good team. West Country rugby is still strong and the number of schools (and the university) will provide good players in future.

This indicate that I must be getting old!

Maybe it was an exceptional period but when I first came to know Bath FC they were definitely third in the pecking order behind Bristol (who were good) and Gloucester (who were almost as violent as their supporters [Biased] ). They always gave a good account of themselves and had some very good players, including our chemistry teacher, through whom the school got unlimited schoolboy tickets! Bath always used to beat the flash Harry's from London though: Saracens, Wasps (who were pretty poor then), Rosslyn Park and Harlequins, Bob Hiller's goal kicking notwithstanding.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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A good effort from the Irish -apart from Heaslip's brain explosion.

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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