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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old April 19 2013, 10:32 AM   #46
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Hurricanes make difficult work for themselves to get a win at home against the Force, silly penalties and a yellow card keeping the men from Perth in touch in the second half until after the siren, 22-16 at full time. So that makes the NZ-Australia match record 2-6 this competition, both matches against Australian opposition won by the 'Canes. Jesus, the Chiefs better win in Sydney tonight so we're at least at a 1-2 disadvantage

EDIT: And the Chiefs lose another match, saw that coming after leaking 15 points in the first half and not getting on the board at all until the 47th minute. Those 47 minutes were the worst by a NZ team I've seen this year outside of the Highlanders-Cheetahs match. Fuck me, that's not how you get to the playoffs

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Old April 19 2013, 10:23 PM   #47
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Excellent to see the Waratahs pick up a win against quality opposition, despite yet another fade-out (and accompanying brain explosion from Timani, who may not be such a big loss for the Tahs and the Wallabies). Previously we'd have been blown away, so maybe this is a small but significant step forward. Or maybe we'll lose both games in SA by fifty points. The win will do nicely for now.
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Old April 20 2013, 12:50 PM   #48
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Crusaders won a scrappy game against the Highlanders ruled by a limp-wristed referee, apparently the first half lasted 50 minutes because of scrum resets, no wonder the game felt like it went on for three hours! 24-8 at full time. And the Brumbies ground out a draw against a 16 man Reds team seemingly led by another anally retentive NZ referee, I'm beginning to see a pattern here. At least the game was more exciting than the NZ conference game, 19 all at full time!
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Old April 20 2013, 12:51 PM   #49
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Brumbies and Reds get a 19-all draw. Brumbies were under the pump for a lot of that match and even spent a quarter of it with only 14 men (basically the last 10 minutes of each half), but they showed grit to only allowed 7 points against them in that time. The Reds were basically parked within 10 m of the Brumbies line for 6 or 7 mins in the 70 - 77 mins period and this is probably where the Brumbies prevented the Reds from winning. The Reds had the momentum for so long with so few points that it wasted enough time for not only the Brumbies to get back to 15 but to hold onto a draw against the Reds.

Best moment was when the Brumbies lost Sio to the bin and packed McCabe into flanker. Scrum went down and while they were standing up someone appeared to ask McCabe if he knew what he was doing and he just shook his head and looked lost. That got a good laugh out of us watching.
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Old April 26 2013, 10:31 AM   #50
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Hurricanes lost a very winnable game against the Stormers in Palmerston North 18-16, playing too little rugby in the first half and too much in the second, and being down a man - and nearly two - just before half time for illegally bringing down a maul didn't exactly help matters. If it wasn't for Bryan Habana's conversion chargedown at half time it looks like it would've been a draw, not sure whether it was legit like the ref ruled but I can't remember the last time I've ever seen that happen! Man, the Stormers' defense at times made it look like they were defending against a club rugby team, it's their bread and butter I suppose. At least I'm set for disappointment early and not expecting the Blues to do any miracles against the Reds shortly.

EDIT: And in the end the Reds won but it was the Blues that impressed me the most with the ability to win turn-over ball, lineouts and scrums, after the suckfest that was the Highlanders-Blues game a few weeks ago where the Blues couldn't win ANY of those matchups, great improvement in that area. Reds managed to win 12-11 after being stalemated at 9-11 for 35 minutes after half time. Ali Wiliiams has grown into his role as Blues captain after being the class clown for the last couple of seasons. I'd like to see a finals rematch at Eden Park this season but with the Reds winning 4-0 against Kiwi opposition - and Aussie teams now winning 8-2 against Kiwi opposition so far - it isn't likely to happen.

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Old April 27 2013, 01:04 PM   #51
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Brumbies put the Force to the sword 41 - 7 in a dominate display at Canberra. Great attack and defence by the Brumbies who held out the Force for 75 mins, but the Force were also their own worst enemy at times with poor passing or ball security bring down most of their attacking forays. They also had a shocking time at the lineout in the first half gifting the Brumbies possession.

The Brumbies hold onto top spot for now, but they face the old enemy in the Crusaders next week in Canberra and will need to again step up if they want to continue on their hunt for a finals berth.
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Old April 27 2013, 10:23 PM   #52
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Reading up on the game overnight it sounds like standard fare from the Waratahs - errors and poor discipline leading to the inevitable. Irritating.
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Old April 28 2013, 07:29 AM   #53
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Crusaders make hard work defeating a Rebels team who looked dangerous every time they touched the ball, the Melbournites holding the lead for most of the second half until about 15 minutes from full time, by which the score was 30-26 for the home team. The Crusaders' scrum and Tom Taylor's goal kicking proving the difference, and Jason Woodward's dreadful kick for touch bouncing over the dead ball line letting the Crusaders off the hook when the Rebels were ahead. You know, for a team that was at $10 to beat the Crusaders on the TAB website they got pretty damn close! The way the Crusaders are playing at the moment I'll be surprised if the Brumbies fail to win by less than 20 next weekend.

Chiefs won a replay of last year's final against the Sharks last night, the men from Hamilton getting up to a 24-0 lead after 20 minutes, although the Sharks caught up big time and were unfortunate not to get a losing bonus point at the death after infringing on their own 22, and Aaron Cruden finally getting kicking duties slotted his first three points for the year, 37-29 at full time.
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Old May 4 2013, 02:00 AM   #54
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Blues defeated a Stormers team who scored two tries but failed with a drop goal attempt at the death to leave the score 18-17 at North Harbour Stadium in Albany. Seeing as it's in the neighbourhood a friend and I went, and it seems a lot of South African ex-pats on the Noth Shore had the same idea, although they were definitely outnumbered by a Blues crowd. It's times like that I wish NZ supporters were more vocal like their South African or European conterparts as the Stormers supporters were definitely louder than we were! Chris Noakes kept the score for the Blues ticking over with six out of seven successful penalty kicks, Stormers' infringements saving the day. If it wasn't for the traffic problems getting from the venue afterwards it would've been even better, whoever decided that blocking off half the roads around Albany would be a good idea really needs a kick up the ass.

And the Rebels hosted the Chiefs in a tryfest for both sides, Gareth Anscombe scoring three alone and having another disallowed due to a knock-on in back play, and the Chiefs scoring 6 tries to the Rebels' 5, and the Rebels looked to be in for a sixth at the death if it wasn't for some staunch Chiefs defense, 39-33 at full time.

EDIT: And holy fuck the Highlanders get a win! A much improved second half after being down 7-15 against the Sharks at half time and for the first time this season the Highlanders were actually playing good-looking rugby which was working too. Sharks could have drawn it with a penalty at the 77th minute, but even after losing Brad Thorn the Highlanders' defense was good enough to hold the Sharks out for the last 5 minutes of the match.

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Old May 4 2013, 12:55 PM   #55
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Reds and Force end in a draw. They smashed each other up and down the field and despite having the better of the second half the Reds much like against the Brumbies, couldn't catch and pass their opposition. Great defence by the Force and showed far more starch than against the Brumbies holding the Reds out for 70-odd minutes.

The Badger also came back and did pretty well. He made a great run down the flank and drove Shipperley back about 10 minutes and made Cooper's attempt at a tackle look silly to set up the Force's only try. Being a lot of talk about other wingers but he is the incumbent and adds more spice into selection pot for the back three come the Lions.
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Old May 5 2013, 08:57 AM   #56
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Crusaders won in Canberra despite me slagging them off last week, maybe I should do it more often . Brumbies never looked like a winning team outside of the first 15 minutes and last five, 23-30 at full time. So we're now down only 5-7 vs Aussie opposition, and with home matches against the Rebels and Force next week I'd expect that to become 7 all. Now that I've said that the Chiefs and Blues will probably both manage to lose those matches next week!
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Old May 6 2013, 04:44 AM   #57
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Brumbies indeed didn't look in the game for the most part. It was very similar to the game with the Bulls with the Brumbies not having the intensity at home compared to their opposition. They also had issues with ball security with losing a number in contact, including one that led to the great 90 m try by the Crusaders.

A couple of lessons for the Brumbies in that match and luckily they have a bye to address those before going to meet the Tahs in Sydney in 2 weeks. The Tahs should be a better side than the one they met earlier in the season.
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Old May 10 2013, 10:30 AM   #58
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

And this week the Force gave a fright to the Chiefs at home in Pukekohe, with a good comeback in the second half for the visitors the score at full time was 22-21 to the home team. Stupid errors and a dogged determination to keep going for scrum resets in the last 15 minutes - for over 8 minutes! - saw the Chiefs with their lowest home score against the Force so far. One word to sum up the match: disappointing. Although it seems the Force have become the bogey team for a lot of sides, a performance like that in the finals by the Chiefs at home would see them eliminated by almost any other side. If they want to get that far they're certainly going to have to step up all aspects of their game, only the scrum seemed to be working well tonight.

EDIT: Reds put on a strong first half display with four tries before the break and held on in the second half to thrash the Sharks 32-17. Probably the best half I've seen the Reds play so far this year, with my personal highlight being Quade Cooper annihilating Keegan Daniel in a tackle . The Sharks really had no idea what hit them and just looked lost for the first 40.

Hurricanes managed to recover from last week's embarrassing ass-kicking by the Bulls to win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. 12 all at the break, the Hurricanes scored four tries to three over the home team, nice job especially considering they're without Conrad Smith this week!

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Old May 18 2013, 12:43 PM   #59
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Brumbies were back to their second half woes that appeared in the games against the Bulls and Cheetahs with playing not to lose in the last 10-15 rather to win. Barnes really made a difference when he came on in the second half and led the Tahs well to a win with a good try. The Brumbies really miss a player like Barnes in the backs, with that experience to take control in these situations. Hopefully the likes of WHite and Toomua can deploy these traits as Barnes has done over the years. Disappointed in the result, but the Tahs were deserving of victory for playing more to win.

Plenty of injury concerns for the Wallabies announcement tomorrow. Tafu is out with a broken arm, Smith, McCabe, Horne and Leal in doubt going off with injuries. Both Mccabe and Smith had that look that didn't fill me with confidence that they will be right. Big shame Speight can't be selected. Even when the Brumbies struggle he is a shining light. Arguably the in form Australian winger, hopefully he'll make Europe at the end of the year.

It will be interesting to see if Deans pushes the 25 man squad to a bit bigger to cover the carnage so far.

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Old May 19 2013, 06:31 AM   #60
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Chiefs held on to win in horrible conditions in Wellington on Friday night against the Hurricanes, with Latimer scoring the only try in the match, 17-12 at full time. The Crusaders will be paying a visit to Hamilton this Friday, who after their 23-3 demolition of the Blues are looking ominous, will be a real test of where the Chiefs are at at this stage of the competition.

The Rebels won their first match against South African opposition as well on Friday, holding out the Stormers to win 21-30, although the most talked about moment about the match was doubtlessly the penalty try for the home side! Well done anyway to the Melbournites. The Cheetahs bounced back to beat the Reds 27-13, and the Highlanders lost to the Bulls, surprise surprise, I wouldn't be surprised if the win against the Sharks will be their only one this season.

The Wallabies side to face the Lions has also been named, looks like Deans stuck to his guns regarding Cooper: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/i...per-misses-out
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