Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 10 Jun 2018, 00:36

The Write Profile wrote:As first internationals of the season go, that was a pretty good performance by the All Blacks, although the 52-11 scoreline flattered them somewhat. Indeed, it might have been a different game if the referee didn't fall for Ryan Crotty's blatant playacting which saw a French player yellow-carded, likewise, Sam Cane should have been sinbinned for a clear high tackle not long afterwards. Taking those into account, there was still much to admire in the ABs play in the second half, which was expansive and at times inventive, and their setpieces, particularly their lineouts and scrums, were mostly impressive. Reiko Iaone and Damien Mackenzie were particularly explosive, while Cody Taylor played less like a prop than a midfielder and Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty overcame their first half scratchiness to command the backline in the second half. It's hard to get an idea as to how good this ABs side is, as this is clearly a second-string French side, but there was enough in the second half performance to suggest early signs were encouraging. The only worry is the fact that Beauden Barrett's place kicking was off again. It didn't matter for this match because they scored so many tries, but if it continues like this then it could cost them in closer matches.

Meanwhile, Australia's defensive performance against Ireland should be commended. There was enough there to suggest that they could be more competitive this season, which is good.


The SA England game sounded like a humdinger for the neutral, 42-39, perhaps their respective defenses could usefully spend time watching the Australia Ireland game
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Nikki Gradual » 12 Jun 2018, 15:43

My only quibble with England vs South Africa was what the fuck was going on after the Itoje try?
For a start, I have never known the video ref rather than the onfield ref to be the arbiter of whether something gets reviewed as happened in this case, thereby overruling the on-field ref's judgement. Secondly, the timing (stopping he game when Psycho was about to kick) was extremely odd. And thirdly, the given reason for his concern was whether Itoje was offside, which was clearly total bullshit. In a game when so many things are marginal or questionable (such as offside, knock-ons and forward passes) that just about everything could be questioned, there are few occasions when something is conspicuously 100% beyond doubt. Yet that was one of them: not even the slightest hint of a whiff of a suspicion of offside, or coming in at the side. Reviewing it on the basis of a possible offside stinks to high heaven.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 12 Jun 2018, 17:41

Nikki Gradual wrote:My only quibble with England vs South Africa was what the fuck was going on after the Itoje try?
For a start, I have never known the video ref rather than the onfield ref to be the arbiter of whether something gets reviewed as happened in this case, thereby overruling the on-field ref's judgement. Secondly, the timing (stopping he game when Psycho was about to kick) was extremely odd. And thirdly, the given reason for his concern was whether Itoje was offside, which was clearly total bullshit. In a game when so many things are marginal or questionable (such as offside, knock-ons and forward passes) that just about everything could be questioned, there are few occasions when something is conspicuously 100% beyond doubt. Yet that was one of them: not even the slightest hint of a whiff of a suspicion of offside, or coming in at the side. Reviewing it on the basis of a possible offside stinks to high heaven.


Does sound odd the RFU have to lay down the law on this one about what the video ref is and isn't allowed to do, as far as I know he can only direct the refs attention to instances of foul play rather than technical infringements. where would that stop, reff'ing the scrum from a video box?
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 16 Jun 2018, 11:01

Once again a match that could have been interesting was turned into run out due to an early French red card.

Hope the other big matches to day are a bit more of a contest.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 16 Jun 2018, 11:33

Copehead wrote:Once again a match that could have been interesting was turned into run out due to an early French red card.

Hope the other big matches to day are a bit more of a contest.


It's a tough one, to the letter of the law, that was a straight Red, but in the context of the match it pretty much killed off the contest. Mind you, the ABs were pretty shapeless for much of the match, it showed how dependant they were on Beauden Barrett's playmaking skills. A pretty dire match all told, although France deserve some credit for not throwing in the towel after the Red card: they were enthusiastic if unstructured on defence, while the ABs were only fitfully effective on attack. Meh. Flush the dunny and move on, as Steve Hansen is wont to say after matches like this.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 16 Jun 2018, 13:09

The Write Profile wrote:
Copehead wrote:Once again a match that could have been interesting was turned into run out due to an early French red card.

Hope the other big matches to day are a bit more of a contest.


It's a tough one, to the letter of the law, that was a straight Red, but in the context of the match it pretty much killed off the contest. Mind you, the ABs were pretty shapeless for much of the match, it showed how dependant they were on Beauden Barrett's playmaking skills. A pretty dire match all told, although France deserve some credit for not throwing in the towel after the Red card: they were enthusiastic if unstructured on defence, while the ABs were only fitfully effective on attack. Meh. Flush the dunny and move on, as Steve Hansen is wont to say after matches like this.


Don't think the French have any reason to feel hard done by over that, he tipped a flying player onto his head, it was red, it was stupid, but it is difficult in those situations

The trouble is with Barrett is his place kicking can be very ordinary and yet the ABs look fairly dependent on him to be brilliant rather than workman like and efficient.

The Ireland Australia match was better, Ireland really blew Australia away in reaction to last week's tepid performance, Australia did well to make it close but were never really in the game because of terrible discipline. A lot of that is down to intense Irish attack though. They aren't the flashest side but they are very direct, a bit like Bok teams of old, but on their day very effective as they were today.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 16 Jun 2018, 13:31

Having said that Ireland look as reliant on Sexton as New Zealand are on Barrett and he is no going to be around much longer.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 18 Jun 2018, 10:37

So Julian Savea is off to France. I suppose that's inevitable, for whatever reason he's no longer part of Hansen's plans for RWC 2019 and his Super Rugby form has been indifferent this season. But it's a shame that such an explosive player would fade from view so quickly. His performance in the RWC 2015 was up there with Lomu in terms of sheer power and game-changing speed, I don't think I'll ever forget the way he monstered the French in that quarter final. Unlike Lomu, he was also worth his place in the side as a defender too. However, he struck me as being one of those players who has confidence issues, Hansen once described Savea having a "cluttered" mind, which I took, rightly or wrongly, as an inference or euphemism that he suffers from bouts of depression.

And Fall's red card has been reversed by World Rugby (formerly IRB). What an absolute shambles. Either we decide that all aerial tip tackling is a straight red or we don't but to undermine a referee who actually followed it to the letter of the law (unlike the first test, where Cane should have got a red) seems a chaotic to say the least.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 18 Jun 2018, 11:38

The Write Profile wrote:So Julian Savea is off to France. I suppose that's inevitable, for whatever reason he's no longer part of Hansen's plans for RWC 2019 and his Super Rugby form has been indifferent this season. But it's a shame that such an explosive player would fade from view so quickly. His performance in the RWC 2015 was up there with Lomu in terms of sheer power and game-changing speed, I don't think I'll ever forget the way he monstered the French in that quarter final. Unlike Lomu, he was also worth his place in the side as a defender too. However, he struck me as being one of those players who has confidence issues, Hansen once described Savea having a "cluttered" mind, which I took, rightly or wrongly, as an inference or euphemism that he suffers from bouts of depression.

And Fall's red card has been reversed by World Rugby (formerly IRB). What an absolute shambles. Either we decide that all aerial tip tackling is a straight red or we don't but to undermine a referee who actually followed it to the letter of the law (unlike the first test, where Cane should have got a red) seems a chaotic to say the least.


I thought the red was justified under the current law that the player on the ground has to take account of the safety of the player in the air, I don't know where that ruling leaves things but it seems a bit odd, are they saying he had no chance to do anything differently to change the outcome?

Fall had his eye on the ball but he made no attempt to jump for it really and must have been aware that a New Zealander was coming in to to take it.
It seems at least careless and I thought that was enough. He was obviously genuinely challenging for the ball as he watched it the whole way but that does not mean you are oblivious to all else happening. I thought it was a normal red card under recent law interpretations and I am surprised.

Having said that I am not sure if I agreed with the original change in interpretation which gives the person who jumps highest a license to be reckless with their own safety and those they are jumping into.

Can of worms...........
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 20 Jun 2018, 17:56

European cups draw for next year

Heiniken
Pool 1 Leinster, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath
Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, Munster, Gloucester
Pool 3 Saracens, Glasgow, Lyon, Cardiff Blues
Pool 4 Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester, Ulster
Pool 5 Montpellier, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Toulon
European Challenge Cup draw
Pool 1 Northampton, Clermont Auvergne, Dragons, Timisoara Saracens
Pool 2 Pau, Ospreys, Worcester, Stade Francais
Pool 3 Sale Sharks, Connacht, Bordeaux-Bègles, Perpignan
Pool 4 La Rochelle, Zebre, Bristol, Enisei-STM
Pool 5 Benetton, Harlequins, Agen, Grenoble.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 19 Aug 2018, 03:32

Another dominant performance by the All Blacks against the Wallabies, but how incredible was Brodie Retallick? In terms of an individual controlling a match, it's up there with Dan Carter's performance against the Lions in 2005, or Jonah Lomu against England in the 1995 World Cup. He was absolutely everywhere, stealing at least three lineouts, tackling like a complete demon, and scored a try that most wingers would be pleased to have created. He really showed what the ABs have been missing in the last few months. Whitelock was almost as good too, it's fair to say that both are at the peak of their powers, and I'd argue that they have far more influence in the game than the actual captain Keiran Read. But that was a superb second half from the ABs, it was as if someone had flicked the switch, although part of it was down to Australia simply running out of puff.

Meanwhile, Beauden Barrett remains a conundrum. Sure, he scored a try and set up at least two others, but his placekicking remains a liability. They were lucky in a sense that he created so many opportunities in the game to make up for it. On another note, if I were Ryan Crotty, I would announce my retirement. Yet another concussion and frankly it's not worth it for him to carry on like this.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Red Heifer » 19 Aug 2018, 06:20

The Write Profile wrote:Another dominant performance by the All Blacks against the Wallabies, but how incredible was Brodie Retallick?


Sort of off topic but Brodie lives 3 doors down from my wife's cousin, an imposing figure even from 3 houses away :lol: , I'd thought I'd have to administer the smelling salts on the wife, she was quite taken, as she obviously would be!
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 19 Aug 2018, 07:41

The Write Profile wrote:Another dominant performance by the All Blacks against the Wallabies, but how incredible was Brodie Retallick? In terms of an individual controlling a match, it's up there with Dan Carter's performance against the Lions in 2005, or Jonah Lomu against England in the 1995 World Cup. He was absolutely everywhere, stealing at least three lineouts, tackling like a complete demon, and scored a try that most wingers would be pleased to have created. He really showed what the ABs have been missing in the last few months. Whitelock was almost as good too, it's fair to say that both are at the peak of their powers, and I'd argue that they have far more influence in the game than the actual captain Keiran Read. But that was a superb second half from the ABs, it was as if someone had flicked the switch, although part of it was down to Australia simply running out of puff.

Meanwhile, Beauden Barrett remains a conundrum. Sure, he scored a try and set up at least two others, but his placekicking remains a liability. They were lucky in a sense that he created so many opportunities in the game to make up for it. On another note, if I were Ryan Crotty, I would announce my retirement. Yet another concussion and frankly it's not worth it for him to carry on like this.


Business as usual by the sound of it, the black machine marches on and it is difficult to see who is going to stop them given that the Lions won't be back for 11 years. I always say great sides have great adversaries but this side haven't really had those other than the Lions, I imagine they are as disappointed by that as everyone else bar the most rabid Kiwis are.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 27 Aug 2018, 08:20

Well, the march continues, with the most recent match yet another example of the All Blacks absolutely pummelling the opposition into submission in the second half. Again, they started scratchy, relying on Beauden Barrett's brilliance from broken play to get them ahead before taking it up a notch to such an extent that they actually had the chance to put even more points on the board than what they already did (40-12). Barrett was simply at another level, the pace the match was played certainly favoured him, but even his goal-kicking was on song tonight. Meanwhile, Ben Smith was about as organised as you could be as a backline general and responsible for at least two tries. If there was a blot on their copybook, it would be Sam Cane's concussion- much like Crotty, he must be only one more incident (if that) from retirement. And at a broader level, World Rugby needs to do something about the number of concussions, it makes no sense to merely turn professional rugby into a casualty ward. But that's for another debate.

In other news, Argentina were hugely impressive in their 32-19 win over the Springbocks. Here's hoping they take the confidence from that match and pose a real threat to the All Blacks. It would be nice to see them even win one against them, if only to even the balance of the competition.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 27 Aug 2018, 08:37

Australia are in a bad place at the moment, I think any real challenge to the ABs is going to come from the NH for the near future
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 27 Aug 2018, 08:45

Copehead wrote:Australia are in a bad place at the moment, I think any real challenge to the ABs is going to come from the NH for the near future


I think you might be right, although South Africa is always a threat regardless of what shape the team is in. I was wanting to know what you make of professional rugby's near-epidemic levels of concussions? What should be done about it? I don't know much about the science of head injuries but it sure seems scary.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 27 Aug 2018, 09:35

The Write Profile wrote:
Copehead wrote:Australia are in a bad place at the moment, I think any real challenge to the ABs is going to come from the NH for the near future


I think you might be right, although South Africa is always a threat regardless of what shape the team is in. I was wanting to know what you make of professional rugby's near-epidemic levels of concussions? What should be done about it? I don't know much about the science of head injuries but it sure seems scary.


It is scary, I can't believe there are that more of them, just that we are more conscious of them and better at spotting them so that has to be a good thing, but players routinely seem to sit out months now for concussion protocols and you wonder where it will end up.

I see they are dropping the tackle height to try and combat it but most concussions seem to be to the tackler anyway.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Nikki Gradual » 27 Aug 2018, 10:53

The game is teetering on the brink of being too dangerous to play. This could be the endgame of the professional era, sadly. Even if they properly cracked down on steroids and eradicated them, the size, strength and weight of the players is so much greater that the current levels of injury (and all the injuries are far more intense because the bodies are so finely tuned they simply don’t have the same tolerances) are inevitable. Also the amount that top professionals are required to play is ludicrous. If you are a full international playing for a team that qualifies for and does well in the Heineken Cup (yes, yes, I know) then you could expect to play close to 40 top level games a year. It’s a wonder any of them can cope with that level of physical punishment in a game as tough as rugby. And I don’t think the authorities are at international or club level are fulfilling their duty of care because this is only going to get worse. As a lifelong ruby fanatic it distresses me to see how much the sport is starting to resemble Rollerball.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby Copehead » 27 Aug 2018, 22:14

Nikki Gradual wrote:The game is teetering on the brink of being too dangerous to play. This could be the endgame of the professional era, sadly. Even if they properly cracked down on steroids and eradicated them, the size, strength and weight of the players is so much greater that the current levels of injury (and all the injuries are far more intense because the bodies are so finely tuned they simply don’t have the same tolerances) are inevitable. Also the amount that top professionals are required to play is ludicrous. If you are a full international playing for a team that qualifies for and does well in the Heineken Cup (yes, yes, I know) then you could expect to play close to 40 top level games a year. It’s a wonder any of them can cope with that level of physical punishment in a game as tough as rugby. And I don’t think the authorities are at international or club level are fulfilling their duty of care because this is only going to get worse. As a lifelong ruby fanatic it distresses me to see how much the sport is starting to resemble Rollerball.


I don't think steroids are a problem in the professional game, they get regularly tested and there have been a tiny number of positives, they are a small problem in the amateur game but the same is true in football and it is more to do with the cross over with gym body building culture, so I think that is a red herring.
I also don't think the game is that much more dangerous, they guys are bigger and faster but I am not sure why that would make concussions that much more common.
I think the main reason that they are more common is that we are far more aware of them happening these days and people play more rugby at the elite level and those are the people whose concussions make the news, I doubt they are as common at the normal professional or amateur level; that tends to suggest that they aren't going to be a huge health risk because they haven't been for the last 150 years.
That doesn't mean risks shouldn't be minimized, but you could say the same about boxing or Aussie rules or even Soccer. The main thing to do, in my view, would be to protect players at the highest levels from playing ridiculous numbers of games, I think that only really happens in England, and possibly France, everywhere else the Club/Nation set up precludes people from being over played.
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Re: Copehead's RWC thread NOW IN ITS 14TH GREAT YEAR

Postby The Write Profile » 10 Sep 2018, 03:28

Well I don't really have much to say about the All Blacks vs Argentina test match that I didn't already say about the All Blacks vs Wallabies matches. Except to say that Argentina was equal and even better than the ABs in some aspects- particularly their setpieces- but still managed to lose 46-24. The ABs are just playing at a speed that's utterly dumbfounding and seems totally counter-intuitive. I mean, the ABs conceded a whopping 18 turnovers and yet none of that seemed to matter. Hansen seems to be building a team that accelerates as the match goes on, rather than the expected opposite. I don't know how good this AB side is- they need to have a proper challenger to be really assured of greatness. It's not like the 1996-97 side, which was merely one great side facing very good Wallabies and Springboks sides week-in-week-out. It's not even like the 2015 side, which knew how to dominate in extreme pressure matches like the RWC final. I guess we won't know whether they're the real thing or just a mirage until the next RWC.
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