Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News takes you on a roller coaster of Pocock magic, Convict success stories, French revolution references and the ACT’s squad for a quick jaunt to Japan

Guess Who’s Back?

Pocock gets the meaty!!

Pocock gets the meaty!!

Back again, Pocock’s back, tell a friend. (In case they were somehow unaware).

Yes, we kick off today’s news heaping yet more praise upon David Pocock (he can handle it, the guy is a rock).

Back after his sabbatical away from rugby that saw him do all sorts of non-rugby-related stuff (there’s a whole world of non-rugby stuff out there, but it’s scary and different, so let’s just stick to rugby) Pocock returned to the test arena in emphatic fashion on Saturday night in a talismanic performance that ensured the Wallabies started the international season off in style.

With 18 tackles, 3 turnovers, a couple of forced penalties, a try of his own and a hug for Folau after his (disallowed) try, the only question hanging over his future is how can Cheika get the 22 clones* of Pocock ready for next weekend’s second test in time?

In bad news for Ireland and good news for Australia Pocock touched on his, and the whole team’s desire to step their respective games up even further. “As a rugby player you always want to be chasing that improvement and trying to push the boundaries of what you’re capable of as a player. If you speak to most guys they certainly don’t think they’re at their best, they’re trying to get something more out of themselves.”

He did go on to highlight the danger Ireland present and is expecting a response from them in the coming match. “But they’re not No 2 in the world for no reason, I think they’ll be a much-improved team in Melbourne.”

While the Irish are expected to rebound for the second test the signs look good for the Wallabies who took to the field on Saturday night with obvious passion, starting with Brandon Paenga-Amosa’s stirring rendition of the national anthem and finishing with the scrambling defence to deny Kieran Marmion a try at the death.

*I’m assuming we’re working on fielding a team of consisting of David Pocock from 1-23.


Convicts win the Bingham Cup

Steve at Bingham cup presso

The Convicts win the Bingham Cup, again

The Convicts have won the Bingham Cup held in Amsterdam over the weekend.

Not only did their A side clinch victory in the Cup but their B team were winners of the Shield competition.  The women’s competition was won by local side the Amsterdam Lowlanders.

It was the Sydney team’s fifth victory in the tournament and takes the total number of times an Australian team has won to six.  It also extends Australia’s streak to four cup wins in a row with the Convicts streak being interrupted by the Melbourne Chargers’ win last year.

The tournament was the largest ever held with 2,500 players from 72 teams playing across Shield, Cup and Women’s divisions.

Convicts founder and chair of International Gay Rugby, Andrew Purchase summed up the growth surrounding the tournament, “The number of gay and inclusive rugby teams around the world has grown dramatically in the past four years, since we hosted the Bingham Cup in Sydney in 2014. There has been a 50 per cent increase in clubs, which means winning the cup and the shield was a particularly hard battle this time for both teams.”

Convicts’ president Dan Rose was similarly proud of what the club had achieved, “Both victories are a testament to the preparation and hard work of the club leading up to the tournament,” while also singing the praises of the other clubs from the bottom half of the globe, “We are very proud that for the fourth time in a row the Bingham Cup is coming back to Australia, which shows the strength of the southern hemisphere in rugby union.”

The win was also used as a platform by the club to announce they’d raised $27,000 to aid research into ways to address and stamp out homophobia in sport.  It’s hoped that the research like the study by Monash University’s Erik Denison will lead to effective programs being implemented in rugby and other codes in future.

As Purchase put it, “Ultimately the Convicts would like to put ourselves out of business, we’d like one day for there not to be a need for gay rugby teams”.

“Unfortunately, right now many people drop out of mainstream clubs because of homophobic language, which is often not intended to be harmful.”




Off with their Heads!!

Nic Berry Red Cards the Tongan #13

How is an attempt to decapitate a player not a red card?

Not since Louis XVI turned out on the wing for the Paris Peacocks in 1793 has there been such a blatant attempt to tear a player’s head off during a rugby match.

In a sickening incident during Saturday night’s first test, French winger Remy Grosso was hit high by two All Blacks in the one tackle which resulted in Grosso being taken to hospital where it was revealed he has two fractures in his skull.

To add insult to injury, neither Cane nor Tu’ungafasi have been cited over the incident and it only resulted in penalty at the time with both New Zealand players permitted to play on, in direct contrast to World Rugby’s crackdown this year on contact to the head.

Inexplicably defending a shoulder directly to the head of a player which saw them hospitalised, Hansen said “Our game is really fluid, there’s movement in it, and when you get two guys coming in to make a tackle on one, things can change late. I think that’s what happened.”  Further adding, “Sammy made the tackle and Ofa ended up hitting him in the face with his shoulder accidentally. There’s no intention to hurt him. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things.”  (Although one might cynically point out that World Rugby doesn’t actually consider ‘intention’, unless it seems the All Blacks are involved?)

To further the exasperation for the French Hansen has also come out denying any wrongdoing by his players, “We have been called cheats for 100 years haven’t we? If you keep winning people will find reasons I suppose.”

In stark contrast to the coach’s denial of wrongdoing, Ofa Tu’ungafasi has taken to twitter post-match to apologise to the Frenchman who remains in New Zealand as doctors do not want him to fly just yet.




“Brums Crums” head to Japan

Speight will be turning out in Japan this weekend after being left out of the national side.

Speight will be turning out in Japan this weekend after being left out of the national side.

With their brightest and best players plying their trade for the Wallabies the remainder of the Brumbies squad has been pared down to 24 who fly out Monday night to Japan, ahead of their showdown with the Suntory Sungoliath as part of the Japanese Chichibunomiya Minato Rugby Festival.

Before the match on Sunday afternoon match the squad has a few other duties to take care of, there are school visits (presumably to conduct coaching clinics and win favour with the locals?), a dinner with the Japanese Rugby Football Union (presumably as full-time athletes they’ll get hungry?) and a trip to the Australian Embassy (presumably they’re predicting a big win and expect their night out celebrating will result in a diplomatic incident?).

The big ins and outs for the team are Matt Lucas covering for Joe Powell at the base of the scrum, Nic Mayhew and Ben Alexander filling in for Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa at the front of the scrum and Tom Cusack hanging off the side of the scrum in place of David Pocock.

It’s of some note that the Brumbies will come up against Wallaby and barber shop legend Matt Giteau who is currently playing for Suntory.

Brumbies squad,

Robbie Abel

Ben Alexander

Richie Arnold

Sam Carter

Tom Cusack

James Dargaville

Benjamin Edwards

Blake Enever

Kyle Godwin

Wharenui Hawera

Jordan Jackson-Hope

Christian Lealiifano

Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin

Matt Lucas

Nic Mayhew

Lachlan McCaffrey

Connal McInerney

Andy Muirhead

Faalelei Sione

Andrew Smith

Henry Speight

Darcy Swain

Lausii Taliauli

James Verity-Amm



  • Huw Tindall

    Wow I just watched the Remy Grosso tackle. No idea how on earth it wasn’t an instant red card. Everything we’ve seen this year points to a red. Shoulder, direct contact with the head, significant force. SBW’s red in the Lions last year wasn’t nearly as bad. Absolute shocker by recent standards and I’m one of those who think these high tackle penalties have gone a bit far.

    • Jerry

      SBW’s was significantly worse as it was an illegal tackle attempt even if not high (no arms) and the tackled player didn’t fall into the tackle.

      I agree the Ofa tackle could well have been red, but I think people are being a bit hysterical about this whole affair.

      • Huw Tindall

        Fair point but Ofa never even seemed to hit arms on him. Point of his shoulder into the cheese fiends noggin. Regardless by this years standards it doesn’t matter. Direct contact with force to the head = red.

        • Jerry

          I think he was attempting to use his arms, but he never followed through due the head clash with Cane.

          Here’s a clip with Nigel Owens explaining the new directives and he suggests that if someone is attempting a legal tackle and the ball carrier falls into the tackle, that’s taken into account. (go to 3:05 if the timestamp doesn’t work)


          Now, I still think it could have been a red due to the force involved, but it’s nowhere near as clear cut as people are making it out to be.

        • Joe King

          If it had of been at least reviewed by the TMO, I would agree that people are being a bit hysterical. But because it wasn’t, I would say people are being quite reasonable and measured in their comments – at least on this forum.

        • Andrew H

          And beyond the TMO not being consulted the players weren’t cited after the match either. If they were cited, even if they were later exonerated it would be a different story.

        • Andrew H

          Follow up on this, Tu’ungafasi has since been handed some sort of official warning by World Rugby.

        • The problem is, as World Rugby have stated, the involvement of the second player. Cane’s high tackle deserved a penalty, I don’t think anyone reasonable, not even the French coach, is claiming that should be anything more. As a result of that Grosso is falling down and forwards.

          Tu’ungafasi’s tackle, because of this, was higher and sooner than he expected. Without Cane’s initial hit, what he did would certainly have been red and a lengthy ban, absolutely no doubt. But because Cane changed Grosso’s position and momentum the second tackle becomes a yellow card, not a red card. At that point, he can’t be cited, but he can (apparently, although I’ve never heard of it before) be warned.

          I think Tu’ungafasi is bloody lucky. it’s pretty likely if Cane hadn’t Grosso first he’d have still hit him high and shoulder first. It would have been a red and a lengthy ban. But, unlike SBW he’s not sideways on, he’s in a position where he might have wrapped his arms and got away with it, actually completely, if Grosso didn’t have Cane on his back pushing him forward and down. And that’s why it’s was deemed a yellow and not a red and no citing, no ban.

          Everyone screaming that “but they broke his skull” needs to remember that while in rugby we look at the outcome of the tackle in terms of “did the player land on their head/neck” etc. to determine the level of sanction, we don’t actually look at the level of injury.

      • juswal

        ‘being a bit hysterical’ means ‘talking about something that makes me uncomfortable’.

      • Who?

        Completely disagree that SBW’s was worse. He was unsighted and the player was falling. Grosso was falling, but Tu’ungafasi wasn’t unsighted, and he hit higher.
        SBW’s one, unsighted, there’s an argument that the player was breaking free of the tackle. There’s no argument that Cane was letting Grosso go. Tu’ungafasi should’ve been looking to push the player to deck and win the ball (Cane was dropping Grosso to ground at the perfect place for a turnover, regardless of Cane’s technique).

        • Jerry

          Watch that video linked below, the fact that SBW was attempting an otherwise illegal tackle elevates it automatically.

        • Who?

          I thought he was trying to get his left arm around… In the same way that Tu’ungafasi was trying to get an arm around.

        • Jerry
        • Who?

          He’s got his left arm around. That’s all that’s required to avoid the ‘shoulder charge’ line – we’ve seen that plenty of other times. He’s leading with his right shoulder and wrapping with his left – as Tu’ungafasi did. And you can see the first tackler’s (also high) arm over the shoulder, lowering the ball carrier into SBW’s shoulder. It’s what I thought at the time, it’s still what I think now.
          SBW’s access to the ball carrier was also significantly more impeded by his first tackler than Tu’ungafasi’s access to Grosso was impeded by Cane. Cane had his left arm around Grosso, so his body was behind Grosso. The first tackler in SBW’s tackle has his right arm around the ball carrier, meaning his body was between SBW and the ball carrier until SBW got ‘around the corner’ to make contact.
          I believe SBW’s RC was probably in line with WR’s intended policy over the past 18 months. I think his 4 weeks was in line with last year’s suspensions, but both were probably a bit harsh.
          But I believe that Tu’ungafasi’s punishments are significantly inconsistent with the same penalties.

        • Jerry

          “He’s got his left arm around. That’s all that’s required to avoid the ‘shoulder charge’ line – we’ve seen that plenty of other times. ”

          No it’s not all that’s required. Attempting to grasp with the non leading arm is not sufficient.

          SBW is attempting an illegal tackle which – per that video from Nigel Owens – means that the fact that the ball carrier lowered into the tackle is irrelevant. Ofa was not attempting a shoulder charge so the fact that Grosso lowered in the tackle can be taken into account.

          I actually agree that no citing this time isn’t consistent with previous rulings, but there is a clear point of difference between THESE two examples.

        • Who?

          How is SBW attempting an illegal tackle? He’s attempting to wrap with his left arm, so you can’t say it’s an illegal shoulder charge. Because a shoulder charge is according to the law “tackling without arms”, not tackling leading with a shoulder. Because leading shoulders with wrapping arms happens in every other tackle (it’s fine, it’s expected, it’s not dangerous provided it’s not high).
          Further, there is the mitigating factor of the All Blacks player whose right arm is around the Lions’ left shoulder, indicating that the ABs’ left shoulder is roughly aligned with the Lions’ right shoulder, restricting access for SBW and his right arm to wrap.
          Then there’s the issue that the first tackler did cause the Lions winger to drop, which meant a chest tackle for SBW became a head tackle. Given the drop, given it’s not (I don’t believe) an attempt to make an illegal tackle (i.e. no swinging arm, and with the left arm coming forward to pull the ball carrier onto the right shoulder – which is never penalized), it’s a penalty for a high tackle, no more.
          If you’re wishing to say that SBW’s INTENT is to make an illegal tackle, that’s very hard to judge without that swinging arm (which is what Owens emphasizes), and there’s nothing to indicate his intent is anything different to Tu’ungafasi, who’s clearly leading with his right shoulder and looking to (eventually) get his left arm around. Nigel didn’t say anything about leading with a shoulder, he talked about a swinging arm, and then mentioned leading with the shoulder in the context of his own swinging arm.
          And Nigel’s video? His definition of a high tackle is different to what’s taught in Australia. In Australia, we are clearly instructed (by Rohan Hoffman, in his role as referee instructor) that a high tackle is above the arm pits, not above the shoulder.

        • Jerry

          Attempting to wrap with the non leading shoulder isn’t sufficient. His leading shoulder – the one that makes contact and therefore the one that will be causing damage without an attempt to wrap…is making no attempt to wrap.

        • Who?

          And that’s the nub of it. I don’t believe you can justify your statement in law, and practice has seen that requirement as unnecessary – only that there be some attempt to wrap. We’ve seen plenty of those tackles (i.e. grab with one arm and compress them into the other shoulder) cheered and lauded as great legal hits over the past few years, and more often than not left unpenalized, and all that with the arm-free tackle having been banned in Rugby for years.
          So, if that’s your definition of ‘he was attempting to make an illegal tackle’, and therefore his offence is somehow worse (and it’s debatable that Tu’ungafasi was any different in his approach), then we can happily agree to disagree. :-)
          But hey – it’s fun to debate interpretations, and even better if it can be done with respect (as I believe we’ve both shown here). :-)
          It’s funny for me to be the minority arguing that a Kiwi was treated a little harshly by a ref and judiciary, though. :-D

        • Jerry

          Erm, I’m basing that on the way shoulder charges have been reffed for ages.

      • McWarren

        The refs got it wrong, but that happens in game. But not being cited after the game is gobsmackingly hypocritical of the match officials and WR. Has the Frenchman who copped a dubious yellow been suspended?

    • Ruggaman

      Agree 100%, Ofa knew exactly what he was doing. He was looking straight at the french player a split second before deciding to make contact to head using his shoulder


      • Andrew H

        He does seem to concede that he did the wrong thing, he put a nice post up on twitter and tried to visit Grosso in hospital.

    • IIPA

      I could handle the TMO intervention for the Folau no-try as Coleman did do the wrong thing and then hammed it up further on the ground.

      I could handle the erroneous yellow card on the French player as I like the ref’s intent to be decisive.

      But the no review of the Grosso incident is appalling. Our main beef with TMO intervention is the stoppage to play but in this case the player was down injured. How could you not see direct contact from Cane’s swinging arm and the Ofa’s shoulder ? And especially in the context of this match where a precedent had been set for zero ( actually sub-zero) tolerance for high tackles.

      • onlinesideline

        I actually thought the Coleman tackle itself was fine. He made it a thousand times worse by chucking a Chabal once he was on the ground. But the actual tackle – happens all the time. He was sold a dummy and commited. He just went way too far with the follow through.

        • Timbo

          Id go further, yes Coleman wanted to tell the Irishman that he was now his bitch, but watching the footage, it’s the Potato who is holding on to Coleman’s Jersey.

        • Nutta

          Yes mate. It was a hold-down to milk the penalty. And it worked.

        • onlinesideline

          True but that was Irish attempt to make Coleman look bad and it worked. Thats why Coleman should have avoided the attempted face mash and just got up really quickly as if it was a genuine mistake.

        • laurence king

          Yes, I was wondering if that was the case. The Irish might be trying to do that a bit more this week. Hope the ref is onto it.

        • Brumby Runner

          They actually got away with plenty last weekend holding onto Poey and Hooper on the ground. Pretty sure there was a neck roll on Pocock early in the match to get him out of a ruck too.

        • Nutta

          Yeh I saw that. But I figured that was one of the things we apparently never let go of…

        • Braveheart81

          Coleman did smash him though. I don’t think Coleman can pull out of the tackle altogether and there will be some contact but he didn’t need to make the hit stick like he did.

          It’s poor discipline and cost us a try.

          The physicality he brings is important and he’s clearly the enforcer in our pack but he needs to watch his discipline.

        • joy

          You can’t expect players to reverse intent in 0.1 seconds.

        • Braveheart81

          OK, but you can’t tackle someone without the ball so should we just accept that is fine for Coleman to give away a penalty in that situation every time?

          He lined the guy up to hit him whether he got the ball or not. I don’t think we can let Coleman off here and say it’s just bad luck. I doubt that was the line the coaching staff went with when they went through the review. I think they will very clearly tell him that he needs to do better in that situation and he will agree.

        • joy

          The footage showed the ball passing through or just beyond the players outstretched hands. A fraction of a second later Coleman is expected to pull his tackle! I’ve seen many similar tackles pass unpenalised.

        • Who?

          Seeing something regularly unpenalized doesn’t mean it’s legal. We see people off their feet at every ruck (even moreso under the new laws, where attacking players dive in and lie down to ‘form a ruck’ without being worried about providing a contest, they just want to create an offside line), players deliberately collapsing rucks (a clear penalty offence, but the most common method of removing a jackal is to get them off their feet), we see flying wedges (i.e. players pre-bound onto the ball carrier), and yes players tackled without the ball. Not being penalized doesn’t mean it’s legal, it means (depending on the situation) the ref has missed it, the ref believes it was immaterial, or the ref doesn’t remember/care about/know that particular law. A very different thing.

        • Jerry

          He had enough time to pull back at some point. Either he didn’t realise that the tackled player had never received the ball or he didn’t care, but he went through with the tackle 100%.

          As I said above, I don’t think infringements like that should fall under the TMO protocol (unless within the normal 2 phase limit) but once it was flagged to the ref, he really didn’t have much choice. It was a penalty, it was ‘foul play’ (under Law 9), so he had to go back for it.

        • Die Hard

          There is no two phase limit for foul play Jerry. Only for forward passes and knock on’s etc.

        • Jerry

          Also for all other penalties not covered by Law 9 – eg, offside, incorrect entry etc.

          That’s what I’m saying, the tmo review outside of the 2 phase limit should be for foul play that is actually dangerous, rather than all for all Law 9 Foul Play or even all the ‘dangerous play’ chapter of Law 9 (which includes tackling off the ball).

        • Who?

          Why should the TMO’s limit on foul play be different to that of the AR’s? If that’d been an AR with a flag up, odds are he wouldn’t have been noticed by the ref until after the try.
          Further, it’s not been uncommon to have a ref call for TMO’s to check foul play live, allow the play to continue, and then call them half a dozen or more phases later when play breaks down.
          It wasn’t a good look, but it wasn’t the first time, and the bigger issue is why the ref wasn’t noticing non-ball-carriers being fully tackled (not just checked, but taken to ground, and it wasn’t the first one) earlier in the game.

        • Jerry

          These days an AR will notify the ref via their flag mike.

          Plus the TMO can spot loads more so it’s going to be more disruptive. When was the last time a try got called back cause an AR had their flag up from 4 phases back?

        • Who?

          We generally don’t see much called back for 4 phases back – not from the TMO, not from AR’s. At least partly because an infraction of this sort is usually followed by some form of stoppage – because stoppages are always common in Rugby.
          You’re right, an AR will notify the ref with their mic (if it’s working), but the point is still relevant – the ref will often wait until a natural stoppage before going back and talking with the AR, and then often dragging in the TMO (though the better refs will often watch the big screen themselves and instruct the TMO on what they think they’re seeing).

    • st saens

      wtf …how the hell have Cane and Able (or whatever his name is) not been cited and suspended for the Grosso mugging. While I am sure they are really nice guys and did not intend to maim the French player, fact is they did. Scroll back a few weeks to the first round of superugby when players (such as Higginbotham) were suspended for weeks for tying there shoe laces the wrong way…
      F**k I give up. The ABs should be sponsored by DuPont because they are undoubtedly Teflon coated.

  • Mart

    The inconsistency in rugby refereeing is a blight on the game

    • Jerry

      Yes and no, I’d say the endless desire to re litigate reffing decisions is just as bad (I’m guilty of this myself as of course are my countrymen). Yes, sometimes there’s some complete inexplicable howlers but more often than not there’s a bunch that could go one way or the other and a bunch that just get missed. It’s very rare that the ref’s calls are actually responsible for deciding the match and rarer still when the players don’t make far more mistakes than the officials.

      • Nutta

        Dude, this guy just got his face busted in on live international TV caught on 17 different camera angles. This is nothing of a ‘go either way’ type decision. I’ve played rugby since the 70’s in the front row across over a dozen countries at all manner of levels from the biggest stadiums to behind Deniliquin pub. So I’ve seen my bit and I’ll stand my credibility against anyone in saying that in the modern environment with all the hypocrisy and carry-on over player safety, this (lack of) decision is more than simply bloody ordinary. It reeks. And not just from the virgin ref in the middle but by all supporting administrative structures around it. It’s bloody culpable.

        • Jerry

          I’m not talking about this specific incident, I’m talking about every single week after every single match

      • Mart

        The tmo is all over the place and needs to be simplified to 1 phase at the try and if a card is on the cards

        • Jerry

          I’m fine with the 2 phase limit, but the ‘foul play’ one should be reserved for actual foul play (ie, dangerous play, not just a tackle off the ball like Coleman). And it should be mandatory for cards – there’s no earthly reason why there should be cards like the French one on Saturday or Bismarck a few years back. T

        • juswal

          Tackling a player without the ball is in the Foul Play chapter of the Laws.

        • Jerry

          I know, in fact it’s within the ‘dangerous play’ sub clause no less. But it’s not always dangerous, the Coleman tackle was no more dangerous than any other tackle. Going back that far with the TMO should only be for play that is actually dangerous is what I’m getting at. If they need to redraft Law 9 or simply list specific offences on the TMO protocol, whatever.

        • joy

          Is falling for a dummy there too?

      • Who?

        It’s quite arguable that two incompetent and inconsistent decisions here turned a match…
        But the larger issue is the complete lack of action on citings. Cane deserved a YC, nothing more, so should be free this week. Tu’ungafasi shouldn’t be playing until July, and there’s no excuse for the citing commissioner’s failure to deal with him.

  • Nutta

    Well done Convicts. Good luck to you lads. Keep pushing boundaries.

    Pocock. Just wow.

    Louis on the wing for the Paris Peacocks. Beautiful. Just like Moses for the Cairo U6’ers (hands like goldfish but still he never got benched y’know. Not once. Damn politics)

    Donkeys – that’s still a pretty handy squad going after The Whalers.

    • Andrew H

      I’m glad there’s at least one comment on here about King Louis. :)
      Makes a fun change from some of the other comments that’s stirred up. (which was seriously not my intention, just saw the game and thought it warranted a bit of investigating, after all, a guy was hospitalised and can’t fly due to the damage)

  • Timbo

    Watching it live it wasn’t easy for either tackler to avoid however we have seen that type of accidental dangerous high contact with the head penalised and if the IRB refereeing committee can’t make those sanctions consistent, then there is going to be constant issues.
    Personally I think the worst thing here is both AB players didn’t go off for a HIA immediately like Remy. The lack of duty of care taken by the AB doctors was disgusting and it was only after a few more plays that Cane was taken off for a HIA but I’d say that was just to make sure he didn’t get a slice of cheese which he deserved

    • RugbyM

      Agree. Cane was well out of it when they all came up for air. How the Kiwi team doctor could decide that he’d be right to play on is filed under “gawd knows”… and when he did get pulled off by the independent Dr, he failed the test and didn’t return.

      If World Rugby are going to go hard on concussion issue (and they should, its life damaging), then maybe look a reviewing the policy? If it’s a head knock and the medic has to make it onto the field, the player HAS to go of for further testing off-field, non of this on-field stuff.

      • Die Hard

        In fact Cane returned to the game. Did you not watch or is this another stir em up comment

  • Missing Link

    A bit late to the party but well done Wallabies! Got the year of on the right foot against the world number 2 ranked team. All and sundry picked us to lose but there’s a clear change in the player’s attitude when we are down.

    The attempted tackle on Grosso was disgusting and some kiwi’s are trying to defend it with the old “ut’s not tuddlywunks” line. Not sure what’s worse.

    Also congratulations to the convict for winning the BC, and I hope it’s a sign that the Wallabies will also win the BC later this year :D

    • onlinesideline

      what minute of the game did it happen ML ? – cant find any vid just the full game replay

      • Greg

        well this link used to work…. but has been taken down.


        • onlinesideline

          I wont make any friends here but TBH what I saw was a head high which I reckon is a yellow and thats it. The other kiwi I really dont think was that intentional. Watching in slowmo invites the idea that he had time to scheme the French guys demise but in real time I just think it was instinct. It happened very very quickly. I think it was also a penalty though. It looks very bad because its 2 players, but when you have the 2 kiwis banging heads it suggests to me just stupidity, wrecklessness but not straight out and out malice. But defnitely a yellow card for the 7.
          Its a tough tough game and this stuff happens. SBW was worse IMO.


        • joy

          Allblack and lazy don’t sit well together. Extremely reckless with a big question mark over intent deserves better than yellow.

        • Greg

          Different views are always welcome.

          “Reckless tackle

          A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders.

          Minimum sanction: Yellow card
          Maximum sanction: Red card”

        • Greg

          The video examples at this site are also quite instructive.

          We will all have our own views.


          and… time to move on.

        • joy

          It’s instructive that of the six offenders in these videos, four are Kiwis.

        • onlinesideline

          should def have been a yellow

        • moaning expat

          The point is everyone agrees its a solid yellow- at least. What is baffling (well its not baffling when it comes to the AB’s treatment as different to anyone else) is not a few minutes ago the Frog got marched for a tackle that was no where near as bad- actually on the upper chest.

          I’d just like to hear it explained to me in a calm reasonable manner by the IRU. Until then- ill keep sticking to my view that the AB’s are cheats and they are allowed consistently to get away with it for some reason.

        • onlinesideline

          Is their bias – probably.
          Cheats – sorry disagree.
          (they are the same blokes who whip our butts at SR – so are all 5 kiwi teams cheats too or do they switch to being cheats after pulling on black jersey ? )

        • Die Hard

          No not everyone agree on this at all. Including the French coach in hindsight after he cooled down.

          He looked at the other angle that showed the shoulder not contact and the damage done by the head.

          And that upper chest you mention was actually over the shoulder. Why the hysteria for a team you don’t support nor were playing against.

        • moaning expat

          online- I feel you’re probably contradictory in the fact you say ‘Bias’ but not cheating. If cheating and getting away with it is the ABs and Cheating and NOT getting away with it is the rest of the world- ( and thats called a penalty)- iM not surprised they kick arse everywhere.
          However your point is noted and my main problem with NZ is the bias. Believe me- I have had plenty of kiwi mates who’ve said “we don’t understand why you guys don’t cheat too” verbatim. I tell them we dont because we dont get away with it like you guys do.

          Die Hard- you could hardly call me ‘hysterical’. Oh and im not allowed to point out obfuscation, bias etc in another game?? I like watching top games – because your ARN’T biased.. As I can look at a game like that and not care (who wins) either way. I cant stand the French- probably the only team i root for the ABs over. i watch plenty of teams play the ABs and the same bias is there. I didnt care who won. I DO care if its bullshit rules for one team only.

        • Die Hard

          Sorry for my choice of words. Hysteria is too strong. I just hate arguments that reach too far to make a point.

          It was the ref that chose the yellow but Crotty that gets the blame. The other was a high speed collision and that happens sometimes in our game

      • Missing Link

        it happens at 58:32

        As good as the All Blacks are, these events seem to be be more common and apart from SBW, they seem to go unpunished. One that sticks out was the Franks eye gouge on Kane Douglas in the maul last year or the year before.

        Here’s a clip

        • Archie

          What about Kepu on Carter’s head in the RWC final? (No card). Did you have a problem with that? Sean O’Brien in last year’s Lions series… very similar to SBW… yet no card and no sanction. Rougerie’s eye gouge in RWC 2011 final… no penalty no card no sanction.

          People only remember what they want to remember to satisfy the narrative they actually want to buy into.

        • Missing Link

          Maybe you’re right, maybe I just hate the All Blacks. Maybe I think their ongoing dominance against all opposition is to the detriment of the game.

        • Archie

          Nothing lasts forever. Wallabies looking good so far. Reasons to be really positive about your own team rather than hate another. Cheer up mate :)

        • Missing Link

          Thanks, I think I’ll cope providing no one links me to footage of McCaw breaking away from the scrum before the ball is out, and receives the pass from the scrum half to score. :)

        • cantab

          “Go unpunished”
          Okay, lets have a look at the numbers, number of cards in 2017

          9 – Argentina
          9 – New Zealand
          7 – Australia
          4 – England
          4 – Ireland
          4 – South Africa
          4 – Scotland
          3 – France
          2 – Wales
          1- Italy

          2013 – 2017 In Games involving the All Blacks.
          All Blacks have received – 38
          Opposition – 22

        • Who?

          Stats don’t prove anything here, because Rugby’s not baseball. It needs context. Better to provide examples of moments that were wrongly adjudicated, as Archie attempted below.

        • Missing Link

          Yellow cards don’t accurately represent what I’m referring to as they can be handed out for cynical play or repeat offences, not necessarily dangerous play.

        • McWarren

          Just proves our point. Lucky it wasn’t 50 to 22.

        • Colin Fenwick
  • Greg

    Any news coming trough on Wallaby injuries?

    Beale was definitely favouring his right shoulder by the end of the game.

    • Hoss

      Cheika stated at the after game presser it was just a stinger. He was upbeat there were no injuries of concern at that point to the 23.

    • McWarren

      Ah that defence really takes its toll. No wonder he’s been avoiding it for years!!

      Seriously though how good was Beale on Saturday, I hope the shoulders not too bad. I think it was Furlong who ran into and over it.

  • Archie

    “a blatant attempt to tear a player’s head off during a rugby match.” … wow calm down!!

    Was it wreckless?… yep, was it intentional… hell no. If you think that’s intentional, you’ve lost the plot in my opinion. Even the French coach has come out in the last 24 hours and stated that after viewing the replay again he believes it was definitely accidental.

    The hysteria around this reminds me of what came out of South Africa last year after Foulau swung from an opponent’s hair, and then wasn’t carded or cited. Calls of ‘cheats’… ‘typical’ etc were abundant. Cheika also defended his player (rightly so) as Hansen is here (rightly so).

    • Greg

      Shoulder to the head. Is intent relevant?

      I agree that emotional statements don’t help the discussion.

      • Archie

        Hi Greg. Relevant to what? I’m responding to a statement from the article claiming ‘blatant attempt’… so the question of intent is very relevant to that.

        • juswal

          Put your pants back on, Archie. The whole sentence says ‘Not since Louis XVI turned out on the wing for the Paris Peacocks in
          1793 has there been such a blatant attempt to tear a player’s head off
          during a rugby match.’

          Do you need a flow chart or animations to explain how hyperbole can be employed for humorous effect?

        • Archie

          Flow chart please. Actually… animations

    • Brumby Runner

      A couple of posters (NZers I presume) claim the tackles were wreckless. To my eyes the French winger was totally wrecked. Some need to be a bit less reckless with their words.

      • Archie

        Yep it’s possible to get hurt in a non-intentional incident. In fact it happens all the time in rugby.

        • Brumby Runner

          Archie, you miss the point entirely about my post. Perhaps head back to Riverdale for English classes?

        • Archie

          No I didn’t. You’re trying to say that ‘wreck-less’ somehow implies that it was without ‘wreck’, before pointing out that the victim was indeed ‘wrecked’. Yes… very clever.

          I chose to look pass the split syllable implication and instead focused only on what the correct and true definition of the word is.

          The English language can indeed be tricky, kind of like how ‘extraordinary’ doesn’t actually mean very ordinary. Hang in there though… it gets easier with practice.

        • Missing Link

          The majority of players I’ve seen in recent times leave the field due to a head knock are actually the player attempting to make the tackle. This is due to poor technique.

        • Archie


    • Andrew H

      As Juswal touches on below I may have taken some licence around describing the incident, although given I’d alluded to Louis XVI turning out for Paris I think it’s fair not to read too much into the opening sentence.
      I specifically tried to be balanced in the rest of that article to offset the cheeky statement I opened it with.

      • McWarren

        Andrew I thought it was fine. Just some over sensitive souls on hear today.

    • McWarren

      You know of all the things you guys could be justifiably shitty about with us mainlanders choosing to defend the honour of two blokes who cracked a guys skull and got off scot free is strange.

      • Archie

        It’s just the double standards McWarren. For example when Kepu did it in the RWC final (without a card)… no one seemed to say boo

        • John R

          Nah that’s not true, the Kiwi’s brought it up plentttyyyyyyy, and 3 years later are still bringing it up.

          The reason us Aussies don’t bring it up is because:

          a) it was Dan Carter
          b) it was one of our guys
          i) i.e the reason why you are going in to defend your blokes now.

  • Richard Patterson

    Intriguing to see a website dedicated to Australian Rugby serve up some prolonged click bait to get everyone jumping all over New Zealand rugby in some pointless crusade that somehow may prompt the downfall of Kiwi rugby. No thoughtful content to elevate Australian Rugby up to No. 1 to compete with NZ right? Let’s all try dragging them down to No. 3 where Australia lives. How disappointing.

    In trying to offer some balance into this analysis, perhaps we start with some simple questions.
    Do any of us like to see players injured playing rugby? No.
    Do any of us think every knock to the head is the result of an intentional act of foul play? No.
    Is a player willing to suffer a head clash with a team mate (and therefore concussion/injury to himself and his teammate) to execute an act that will intentionally injure an opposition player? Doubtful.
    Is rugby a contact sport and sometimes things just happen on the field? Yes.

    Would this incident be capturing the same level of attention on an Australian rugby website had it occurred in a test match involving any side other than the All Blacks?

    Why is there no reference on this Australian rugby website to the fact that the TMO of the match in question was an Australian? How different would that lack of reference be had the official in question been from New Zealand?

    What would have been the reaction on this Australian rugby website had the incident in question involved David Pocock and Taniela Tupou? Let me guess here… “It was an unfortunate incident that happens in a contact sport like rugby and there was no intent to injure the tackled player”?

    Since where has this viewpoint emerged that 100% of the officiating crew overseeing an All Blacks test match must get 100% of the decisions right 100% of the time? Let’s all ignore the quality of any rugby played in a 44-0 2nd half scoreline. Let’s all instead deflect attention onto one incident that the officiating crew all witnessed and moved on from.

    Isn’t attention here better spent on the outstanding performance on Saturday of Wallaby loose forward David Pocock? Would the praise be as forthcoming if he’d played 148 test matches for a team that wore black? Or would Pocock be labelled that 5 letter word starting in c that rhymes with seat? You know that word still sensitive amongst Australian sports fans.

    Keep the thoughts here constructive, balanced and focused on rugby folks. It better displays the intelligence of the Australian rugby fan we all love.

    • BigNickHartman

      Intriguing to see an All Blacks fan leave bitter comments on an Australian rugby website. Seriously, the lot of us who run this website do it for the love. It’s not a day job. If you want some specific level of coverage for the All Blacks, either contribute respectfully & constructively, or do one. Cheers

      • Richard Patterson

        That has always been my intention Nick Hartman. I am just a rugby fan. There is no bitterness – just balanced discussion.

        • juswal

          Richard, if the discussion makes you uncomfortable you can just ignore it.

          GAGR’s daily news writers are volunteers. Well, they might be paid a modest per diem, but they’re doing it for fun and we all benefit from their efforts. You’re not paying, so don’t demand that they include this or that point or perspective in their coverage.

          My two cents’ on the skull-cracking incident is that given the referee’s earlier decision to show a yellow card for an apparent high tackle, it’s astonishing that he called ‘only a penalty’ for this one. When it happened, I thought ‘hey, this is going to be big . . . two yellows, or a yellow and a red?’

          I don’t think the ref was blind, I don’t think he was paid off. I think it’s likely that he was afraid to show cards to NZ players. I hope his Tier 1 career is over, and the TMO’s too. And I hope the French forwards end Tu’ungafasi’s season in the next match.

        • Colin Fenwick

          Your last paragraph was joke. Right?

        • Archie

          1) What on earth would be behind this alleged fear to show cards to NZ players? This really is tinfoil conspiracy stuff… how would that work… why would they be afraid?

          2) What basis would you use to justify this claim given that (for example) in 2017 the All Blacks were the most carded test team in world rugby?

        • juswal

          1) OK, Archie. Accept that he’s not corrupt, not myopic, and not afraid of the consequences of using his cards. What explanation is left?

          He has given a yellow card to a French player for a chest-high tackle. He’s just seen one NZ player grab the ball-carrier by the neck, and another make head contact with a shoulder. Why no cards? Why so quick to call ‘penalty only’?

          Please explain what happened there.

          2) This ref didn’t handle the NZ matches in 2017, as far as I know. I may be wrong.

        • Archie

          Right… so you think it’s more likely that this English referee is actually ‘scared’ to give out a card to the All Blacks (for a reason we are yet to identify) than it is that he made a mistake due to his inexperience??!

          And if he is going to be ‘scared’ of handing out a card to one of these two teams… wouldn’t it be the French? They’re far more of a financial super power than little old NZ. Also I’m sure his bosses would be super stoked if they could somehow break the on field dominance of NZ to help them grow the global game… when you think about it, your theory is rediculous. You’re better off saying ‘I don’t know’ than jumping to that conclusion.

          When the ref failed to card Kepu for a second consecutive head shot on an AB in the RWC final… we were incensed at the injustice but didn’t for a second don a tin foil hat to suggest a hidden motive.

          Same with Rougerie’s eye gouge in the RWC 2011 final. Same with Sean O’Brien in last year’s Lions series

        • juswal

          Lots of words there, Archie, but no coherent answer.

          The question is: what’s your explanation for Pearce’s decision to not card the NZ players?

          You’ve dismissed all proffered theories, so what’s left?

        • Archie

          Ah no. I answered it. He made a mistake. That’s the clear answer.

          You seem to think that inconsistency means it can’t be a mistake. So I also pointed out other times inconsistencies went AGAINST the All Blacks… which doesn’t change the fact they were mistakes, and nothing more sinister

        • Richard Patterson

          I hope referee Luke Pearce in his very 1st big Tier 1 test learns and is a better referee because of this. I hope the same for the experienced TMO George Ayoub. I hope you don’t mean that last sentence juswal. That sort of outdated thuggery has no place in rugby. Leave that shit to Rugby League who still somehow crave it.

        • juswal

          Are you feeling squeamish, Richard? You don’t want to talk about the incident that left a French player with skull fractures; you don’t want to talk about the cards that weren’t shown and the citings that didn’t happen; and you don’t like the idea of players settling a score.

          Let’s sweep it under the carpet and move on. The truth can be such an inconvenience.

    • Die Hard

      I am on board with you.

      Well said

    • IIPA

      You don’t agree it was a very bad look for the game to have one player sin-binned for a tackle around the upper-arm of the ball carrier and then 20minutes later I guy gets hit directly in the head twice and nothing happens.

      You do also realise that for contact to head intentional or not is now irrelevant.

      There’d be more balance on here if there’d been more balance on the field.

      Pocock? Bloody outstanding.

      • Richard Patterson

        Yes IIPA, there were 2 officiating decisions that were not handled correctly by the crew assigned to the test match. They happen in every match, just like they happen in every sport that involves officiating crews. There has never been a perfect player or team performance. Officials are no different.

        There was some excellent rugby on the weekend involving all 3 of the SANZAR countries that far outweighed some incorrect officiating decisions. Much of it was an outstanding look for the game. Somehow though it is being overlooked here. Somehow it’s deemed secondary to dredging over some officiating calls. I think it is a missed opportunity to talk up the sport in the competitive Australian winter sports landscape.

        There is contact to the head in every game!! Are you implying any incident involving a player requiring an HIA should result in an enquiry and a player carded? What about rolling rolls and line out drives where there is contact with the head? Balance surely is required.

        Yes Pocock was indeed outstanding. He always has been.

        • IIPA

          Cant disagree about what you say regarding some of the rugby and the cracking games in Brisbane and Joburg.

          Take one of those two incidents out of the ABs game and the other doesn’t stand out as such a glaring contradiction. That’s probably what has got ‘everyone’ talking that you could have two such different interpretations in the space of 20 minutes. And surely if there was ever a chance for a referee to square things up, that was it !

          But essentially I’m with you and happy to cease whinging for now and focus on some intriguing return bouts this weekend.

        • Richard Patterson

          Perhaps you are right IIPA. I found people talking about the pace and power the All Blacks injected off their bench in the last 25 minutes of the test match in Auckland. It was up there with the performances of many Wallabies in Brisbane and Springboks in Jo’burg. How lucky are we to see it all again for a 2nd time this weekend?

        • McWarren

          No no the mistakes happen, there only human defence of refs is relevant when they miss a forward pass or a knock on. The ref has seen contact to the head, he awarded a penalty, they all had ample time to review the incident whilst the injured player was treated. That is pure incompetence. I hope the ref learns from it and develops, just as you’ve stated above. The decision not to cite is the one that concerns me.

    • Andrew H

      As the writer of this article I would counter your suggestion that it’s “prolonged clickbait”, as it happened I watched part of the game and thought I’d follow up on what had happened in the wash up from the test. I’m sure I’m not alone in being amazed that neither NZ player faces any further consequence or investigation as a result of the tackle. World Rugby have *specifically* cracked down on high contact this year, whether it be intentional, reckless or accidental and in my research to see Hansen describing it as “one of those things” just doesn’t seem right, especially given the concern Ofa expressed on Twitter.
      Do you think I’ve been unfair in my treatment of the incident? I tried to get a few different takes on it, included relevant quotes from the coach and finished the article by tipping my hat to the twitter apology.

      • Richard Patterson

        Well Andrew the evidence suggests your opinion 3 days after the match differ from the referee, the TMO, the citing commissioner and World Rugby. The referee awarded a penalty at the time and the powers that be have all moved on. A seperate issue is the 8 minutes that elapsed after the clash of heads before Sam Cane was requested to have an HIA. That would appear clumsy.

        I don’t think your treatment was unfair. I was just surprised that in a game that featured some excellent rugby and some well worked scoring movements, you chose to ignore those positives to re-flog a story that had no momentum to it. Rugby people in Australia constantly reference the fiercely competitive winter sporting landscape and the challenges that rugby faces to get profile. This weekend featured some excellent test match rugby featuring 6 great test playing countries. It came hard on the back of State of Origin I that captured enormous praise for Rugby League. Rugby’s international window in June is special and a unique chance for Rugby in Australia to capture the profile it seeks — and stick it to the AFL and NRL who can only dream of such global audiences. Rather than talking up the games in Brisbane, Auckland and Jo’burg who chose to highlight an officiating mistake in the All Blacks vs France test match and dump on everyone involved, and NZ Rugby. I believe it was a missed opportunity to generate some highly constructive commentary — right when the game has some momentum in Australia. Profiling clever rugby is a whole lot more interesting to me — but maybe I’m just a glass half full type.

        • Andrew H

          Seems World Rugby has since looked at it as they’ve handed Tu’ungafasi a caution of sorts.
          It’s interesting you bring up the competitive sporting landscape in Australia and as a casual observer of just about any sport the ability of a sport, as a whole, to reflect on itself and look to improve certainly strikes a chord with me. (Look at the bans handed down in the cricket as an example of a clear line in the sand being drawn)
          Yes, the incident took place over the weekend and involved two countries that weren’t Australia but the whole thing holds a mirror up to rugby, do we want a situation where players can potentially be critically injured and there be no follow-up on it, or, do we want to make the game we all enjoy as safe as it can be?
          As for not covering the other games, Monday’s news had a run-down of the other internationals that had been played so I looked to cover something different on Tuesday.

    • Who?

      Richard, really unusual to see you feeling on edge about the discussion. You’re normally really calm about this.
      I’m the one who first raised this issue in Monday’s news comments. Let me state explicitly – I don’t believe that Tu’ungafasi was being dirty, aiming to injure, or anything like that. I don’t believe that it’s the AB code (as I stated elsewhere, I reckon Shag would’ve been happier for him to stand up and contest the player landing at his feet rather than getting low to make a hit on a bloke who’s already tackled). I don’t believe there’s a conspiracy of foul play or a cover up to favour NZ at the judiciary here.
      I didn’t realize the TMO was an Aussie. But I was more than aware the citing commissioner and the panel for that game were all Aussies. I’m not meaning to shirk national responsibility here.
      But reality is, that was a horrible piece of play, and if there’s any consistency across WR’s domain, that was at least a RC and a 4 week suspension. This isn’t about it being an AB player. This is about consistency in reffing, and I don’t believe we saw that on the weekend (not in the NZ/FR game, and not in the Aus/Ire game). And it’s about consistency in citing. World Rugby – not NZR, World Rugby – has completely messed this one up.

      • Richard Patterson

        I appreciate the thoughts Who. Perhaps I just find these on-going discussions about officiating decisions tiresome and missing the bigger stories which are the rugby that was played in that test match and across the entire weekend. Be assured I get it. I get that in this era of social media, sports betting and fantasy sports everyone feels they are entitled to an opinion on referees, touch judges, TMO’s, review systems, match review committee’s, citing commissioner’s, governing bodies – you name it. Somehow people believe they are of the same level as a professional referee, TMO or citing commissioner and that their view is right and these supposed professionals are wrong. Somehow they also expect 100% of these professional officials to be 100% right 100% of the time. It never has happened in officiating — or any form of profession. I doubt it ever will so the willingness to pursue it baffles me.

        I tune into this website to read about people’s analysis of play’s, players, game plans, game strategies and how they unfolded during the game. That sort of discussion helps me become a smarter rugby fan and the smarter I am the more I enjoy the game. Bashing referees teaches me nothing.

        The June window is a unique opportunity to showcase rugby to competing sports who wish they had the same level of intense international competition. Rugby, and the rugby media should use that opportunity to talk the game up. Otherwise, cease this nonsense we get served up that “it’s so hard for rugby to compete in Australia and let’s all feel sorry for ourselves”. The best way to help is to help yourself. It never changes.

        • Who?

          Funny thing is that I actually enjoy over analysing it all, including the refs… My complaints about the team are as likely to have an effect as my comments on the ref might. And understanding the game – the nuances, the finer details – is part of my personal appreciation of the game. I’m much more interested in technicalities than physicality – that’s just my nature.
          For that reason, whilst I haven’t had a chance to go back and re-watch the game, I’m baffled by the ref’s penalty against Stockdale immediately before Pocock’s try… No idea how that was a penalty, no idea the law he’s referencing. Won’t change it after the fact, but it’s part of the game. In all honesty, watching the replay at the ground, I thought the actions that were penalized were pretty well exactly what I would try to coach a player to do!
          Meanwhile, Koala mattresses (Steve Smith’s company – yes, the former Aussie cricket captain) gave out branded sleeping masks before Saturday’s game with ‘Ref Vision’ printed on the front…

    • McWarren

      How pompous and trite of you Richard.

      Consistency is all I ask for from refs, in general but in particular their officiating during one particular game.

      I seem to remember one Scott Hiddinbotham being red carded for a shoulder to the head of a player in the first game of the season. It was unbelievably frustrating too all Reds fans. But the overwhelming reaction from Reds fans was you dickhead. We offer a feeble excuse around Rugby being a contact sport. Thorn did though?

      • Richard Patterson

        I appreciate the thoughts McWarren. But officiating is only a small part of the sport – not the centrepiece of the code. It is of much less interest and relevance than the quality of the rugby we pay our money to watch at the ground or on TV. Somehow certain parts of the media seem to be wanting to make officiating the biggest story of any game — or is it just select decisions that don’t favour their team? There was some outstanding rugby played in Auckland and Jo’burg between 4 non-Australian test match countries on the weekend. Somehow this website chose to ignore all that rugby and keep dredging up a story about an officiating decision involving the All Blacks and France match.

        How do you think the content here would have appeared here had the French injected some pace and power off their bench on Saturday and put 44 unanswered 2nd half points on the All Blacks at Eden Park? Seriously think an officiating decision would be the only reference to the match McWarren? Think anyone would remotely be interested?

        • HK Red

          At risk of offending, that’s codswallop.

          “It is of much less interest and relevance than the quality of the rugby we pay our money to watch at the ground or on TV.”

          Officiating, whether lenient or overly officious, can have a massive impact on the quality of the rugby that we’ve paid to watch.

          Clearly you’re here to bait and good luck to you if you get some bites. However, rugby press globally has cited the Grosso incident and asked for clarification. Are you’re NZ shoulders so narrow that you see an Australia website querying an officials ruling and you suddenly take it as an attack on your nation? Thought you big Kiwi boys were made of sterner stuff.

        • Richard Patterson

          Really appreciate the insightful commentary HK Red.

        • HK Red


  • Bernie Chan

    A good weekend (and we’ve had few to be honest…) of rugby for Oz..The Convicts win the Bingham Cup, our women’s 7s side are crowned World Champions, our men finished 4th (are ranked 11th…), the Wallas beat the Paddies…and Pocock is back!
    ABs duely beat the French…les Bleus unlucky with the yellow card for sure, but the ABs sure know how to put a team “to the sword”…
    Not sure the article about the Grosso incident is helpful….bit too “tabloid”…
    The Boks big comeback to beat the Roses will haunt EJ…such a big lead lost…And then the Blitzboks win the Paris HSBC 7s Final (beating ENG…) to overtake Fiji on the seasons table, so they are the new men’s Champions.

    • Andrew H

      Given World Rugby’s stance on high contact this year I feel it’s definitely something that warrants following up as it may set the tone for the remainder of the internationals.

      • Bernie Chan

        I certainly would agree that the application or interpretations of the dangerous tackle rules is farcical…almost Pythonesque…. People can disagree on many things in one game, but IMHO giving the French player a hasty yellow (would have been prudent to ask the TMO to assist methinks…) and awarding a “penalty only…” for contact to the head is at best odd. Not suggesting for a minute the head contact was intentional (I would hope it was not…) but it is still contact to the head…and dangerous. My suggestion was the article was too “tabloid”…the tag line was pretty poor…WHo is the current Refs boss…all anyone can ask for is consistency for both sides…?

        • Andrew H

          The tag line was merely to whet appetites for the opening line, it was honestly in jest, just a play on over-reacting royals from days of yore and it also fed into the opening line about Louis XVI.
          Did you think the rest of the article was “tabloid” or a fair representation of what had happened?

        • Bernie Chan

          I didn’t think (more in hope/optimism…?) that it was an intentional attack on the head…but as I said earlier, there are lots to disagree on in any game and I am not certain I am correct…and many watchers think it was! I would agree with the sentiment that “intent” or not, it should have attracted a harsher onfield sanction due the danger of head injuries. Recall seeing players sent off for careless “head high” tackles that were less dangerous or when tackling a player catching the ball and their timing is out by a millisecond. Accidental or not…The onus is on the tackler…
          As for Hansen…take his views with the proverbial “grain-of-salt”…like any coach, he does what he can to publicly support his troops. Though as the acknowledged superpower of rugby, I would have hoped the ABs took the high ground and basically say “we don’t need that type of rubbish…” as they are good enough to win most games without resorting to dubious means. The French coach has been more gracious after the fact…
          The tag line worked!

  • Patrick

    I think that not even citing them is a terrible decision that sets up a bloodbath for next week :(

  • Georgia Satellite

    In other news, our Men’s U20s take on Italy today in an attempt to salvage some pride in the World Cup. Mirroring the seniors’ weekend fixtures, England play SA and NZ play France.

  • Jerry

    Warning for Ofa – equivalent of an off field yellow, essentially.



Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

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