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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old April 10 2014, 03:07 PM   #16
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

I miss being able to watch Rugby.
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Old April 12 2014, 09:17 AM   #17
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Brumbies just edge out the Reds 23 - 20.

This game really reminded me of the encounter last year. Brumbies all over the Reds in the first half, Reds come back, Brumbies spend an eternity on their line and this defence in the end keeps the Reds from being able to take the lead. Though last time it was a 19-all draw. Brumbies should be disappointed that they only went into the half up by 10 given they had 70% of the possession. They pushed far too many passes resulting in drop ball or it going forward and bombed 3 or 4 very good opportunities. Plus they defended a 5m maul from their line so poorly as to give the Reds their try of the first half.

The big controversy of the game is the non-send off of Moore for a punch/swinging arm during the second half. Moore was at the edge of a ruck, Quirk grabs him and Moore does the hammer blows to try to free himself, it doesn't work and he swings under Quirk to hit him (I think it was in the chest/stomach, others are saying the face), Quirk falls over and as he does Genia picks up the ball and scores a try.

They called it a no-try as Quirk's actions of illegally binding to Moore prevents Moore from being able to properly defend (though it is doubtful he would have stopped the try given his position), which of course is going to be controversial, but the bigger issue was Moore not getting carded for his retaliation, especially as earlier this season the refs binned a player for doing what Moore did.

In the end I don't think it really matter all that much to the result. The Reds had plenty of possession and territory in the second half (they turned a 30 - 70 against them to 55 - 45 by the end) that they could have won that game. They simply didn't play well enough and bombed several tries. The Brumbies were the same in round one, they had the better of the second half to win that game, but just lacked polish and patience to take advantage.

Brumbies have the bye next week and it couldn't come soon enough. They also have a number of players to come back and have a very tough next few rounds before they head to SA.
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Old April 12 2014, 09:40 AM   #18
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Haven't seen the Moore incident but it sounds 50-50ish - illegality and stupidity from both players. Not sure that punching a bloke is the cleverest way to go, though, and inconsistency from refs is always annoying. Oh, well. Boo to the Brumbies winning but as it was at Queensland's expense I'll deal with it.

The bigger controversy - at least from the viewpoint of Tahs fans - is Israel Folau being withdrawn from tonight's game against the Force by order of the ARU. Apparently doctors have given them a different interpretation of the seriousness of Folau's throat injury and the extent of his recovery than that received by the Tahs. It's all quite extraordinary; I expect to see more of this sort of thing in future as the ARU looks to safeguard its bottom line in the guise of looking after of "player welfare". It would be nice to believe Folau's well-being is their primary concern, but one has to wonder.
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Old April 21 2014, 09:54 AM   #19
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Having screwed up against the Force (who promptly lost to the Rebels), the Tahs managed to grind out a win over the weekend. Any win against South African opposition will do, but sterner tests lay ahead. I continue to await yet another Tah meltdown sooner or later. I've been burned far too many times to imagine any other scenario.

In completely unsurprising news, the Benji (I cannot take even slightly seriously any adult who calls himself "Benji") Marshall experiment is apparently over, with reports claiming he's either seeking or obtained a release from his contract with the Blues and is looking to return to league. The idea that he'd ever play for the ABs was ludicrous at best, but he was even more unsuccessful than I'd expected.
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Old April 26 2014, 10:15 AM   #20
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

And yet again it is comprehensively proven that there is no more hideously painful sporting fan experience than to be a Waratahs supporter. Why I continue to put myself through this year after year is beyond me.
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Old April 27 2014, 07:27 AM   #21
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Brumbies got a rub of the green and on the back of that confidence to put the Chiefs away on Friday. It was a tight first half with only one try, which looked to benefit from a forward pass in the play prior to the try. The next try by the Brumbies, which came in the second half, the final pass looked again to be forward. The Chiefs did what they have done and fought back late with two tries int he final 6 minutes, but while chasing the loss by 7 bonus point in the 81st minute they had a pass intercepted and the Brumbies got their 5th try.

Chiefs had some good ball as well at the front end of both halves, but they were let down by drop balls and hampered by strong defence by the Brumbies. But without Cruden they didn't look as threatening as they can be.

This win was important because the Brumbies have the Crusaders away, Sharks at home and its off to South Africa. Tahs and Force are still in striking distance and the Tahs have the advantage of already done their trip to SA over both the Brumbies and Force. In the next month I woudn't be surprised to see the conference lead fluctuating between these three teams.
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Old May 3 2014, 07:54 AM   #22
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

The Crusaders had won 49 games in a row at home against non-NZ teams. To have any chance you need to bring your A game (and hope for luck) and the Brumbies got some luck but backed it up with a quite lacklustre performance. So they got what they deserved and lost 40 - 20 and it could have been much worse.

Their first 40 was terrible, both in terms of the tactics the Brumbies used and their general play and they were lucky to go into the break 20 - 6 down. The forwards were poor in contact and the set piece was shaky. The Brumbies at least put in 5 minutes of quality to get a try quickly in the second half, but continued to give away penalties and just couldn't match the Crusaders in contact. They had two opportunistic tries against them, one for a charge down and the other off a poor line out and a sneaky little kick of the ball after it popped out the side of a ruck.

They also had opportunities, but the Crusaders were strong defensively and save for a poor read near the end that resulted in a pretty easy try to McCabe they always looked like they would get the victory.

I think there are some decisions that need to be made before they face the Sharks next week. McCabe has looked very good every time he has come off the bench and really should start the game. The question is do they put him in for CL or at fullback where he has been subbing on. Mogg has been invisible in the last few weeks and has done nothing of real note, apart from kick bombs and make mistakes. He doesn't look anywhere close to the dangerous runner he was in the last two years.

Whatever they do in training next week I think the entire team needs a bit of a bollocking. Because if they face the Sharks lacking intensity and with poor defence they would be in for another towelling.

In summary, I'm disappointed.

It's all up to the Tahs now. If they lose I think this will be the first week this season where no Australian team has won.
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Old May 4 2014, 08:27 AM   #23
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

I was going to say yesterday that if we're relying on the Tahs to keep our winning record intact we're doomed, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt since it was a home game.

Happily they managed a win in what was apparently a pretty good game, albeit featuring standard Waratah indiscipline and idiotic errors (Folau's Campese-esque pass in the in-goal area being a particular lowlight). A win is a win but I can't get enthusiastic about a side that continues to do dumb things with such monotonous regularity.
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Old May 10 2014, 01:22 PM   #24
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Brumbies defeated the Sharks 16 - 9 in a game only the fans of those teams could love. It was pretty much a Jake White-off with nearly 100 kicks in the game. The weather didn't help, but you have to wonder if it wasn't rainy if either team would have really changed their tactics.

It was very close for most of the game with only 3 points separating the sides for the most part until a late try to the Brumbies gave them the points to win. A bit of a spiteful match as well. A lot of handbags at dawn, in fact the video ref who was asked to look at an incident described it such.

On the kicking, Steyn had a shocker. Missed 3 pretty easy kicks, and put a couple into touch on the full, including 2 kick offs. CL had a mixed night, missing 3 out of 6, 2 hitting the posts. Mogg on the other hand was solid under the high ball and his kicking was safe.

Only bad news is that Tomane copped friendly fire and looked to have broken his cheek or eye socket early in the first half, so he'll be out for a few weeks. He had a great start as well, fielding the kick off and making a clean line break and taking the Brumbies over halfway and leading to their first points in the second minute. Thankfully, it looks like Speight should be back next week so he can fill in.

So the Brumbies maintain their grip on the top of the conference for one more week. Onward to SA now. If they come back with no points things will get very dicey in terms of making the finals.
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Old May 11 2014, 09:40 AM   #25
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

^
One summary I saw described it as more like an AFL game, given all the kicking. Glad I didn't see it. Generally speaking kickfests don't do anything for me.

I was spared any further Waratah-induced unpleasantness thanks to their bye, but it was good to see the Force pick up a win in SA and unfortunate but not unexpected that the Rebels lost. Rounding out our weekend, Queensland have been flogged by the Crusaders. It will be very interesting to see if McKenzie sticks with his precious Reds - his decision to go with the proven underperformer that is Simmons has, apparently, led to Kane Douglas signing on with a French side. Very disappointing if true. We cannot afford to keep losing talent like that, given we have so very little of it in the first place.
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Old May 18 2014, 08:03 AM   #26
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Brumbies lose to the Cheetahs 27-21. The Brumbies were a bit scrappy and left a lot of points out there. They missed a potential 18 points in the first have, 3 missed penalties, 1 missed conversion, and a try under the posts disallowed for obstruction. Instead they went in 11-9 up thanks to a 41st minute penalty.

Second half, the Cheetahs got two quick tries, one through some poor defence by the Brumbies, the other just great vision to kick wide where it was a one on one jump for the ball and the Cheetahs' player stealing it out of the hands of Coleman in midair and scoring. Brumbies got back to with 3 with about 7 to go, but a massive drop goal made it so it had to be a converted try.

Third best (maybe fourth?) result with the Brumbies getting a bonus point. They now need to beat the Bulls, preferably with a bonus point so to match the Force and Tahs SA trips to keep themselves well in the hunt.
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Old May 18 2014, 11:09 AM   #27
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

The Tahs managed a bonus-point win over the Lions, which is pleasant. Sounds like the usual mixed performance, though, and they'll need to do much better against the better sides. Other results played out quite nicely for us - we have a game in hand over both the Sharks and Brumbies and we play the Chiefs (all currently above the Tahs) so the Tahs have their destiny in their own hands at this stage. Bitter experience leads me to not find this anywhere near as encouraging a prospect as it should be but I suppose I can continue to hope for the best.

The wheels seem to have completely fallen off in Red-land and they may well end up with the wooden spoon at this rate. As an Australian I ought to find that prospect unpleasant but given the juvenile parochialism with which so many of them approach so many sporting matters I frankly couldn't care less. The human turnstile picked up a shoulder injury during their latest loss and it will be...quite interesting to see which way Australian rugby's "saviour" will go in replacing him.

Losses for the Force and Brumbies made it another mixed weekend from an Australian viewpoint. The Force loss was particularly disappointing but they're still travelling much better than pretty much everyone expected.
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Old May 23 2014, 07:05 AM   #28
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

The Wallabies squad was announced yesterday with a couple of surprises. I was surprised to see Beale at 10 and Toomua listed as a centre, I thought it would be the other way around. However, given McKenzie's explanation it's clear he wants to continue with Toomua at inside centre, so he listed him there.

From the players in positions we can make some pretty easy guesses for the bulk of the team, baring injuries. 11 - 15 seems like it will be Cummins, Toomua, Kurdrani, AAC, and Folau, so that leaves the halves as the biggest question. I did think Foley was a certainty but I've seen quite a bit in the media pushing Beale at 10. Halfback is also open. Genia hasn't been great so it will come down to form of the other halves versus Genia's experience.

Half of the forward pack I'd say are certainties. Moore at hooker, Hooper at 7, Fardy at 6 (since he's listed as a backrower), and Horwill in the second row. Props, Slipper and Kepu were the starters against Wales last year, so good chance they will be back. Simmon was the other second rower, but given the French are apparently bringing out a monster pack we might see Skelton instead. No.8, working off the big pack theory you would have to favour Palu, though McCalman and Higgs have been pretty good this year.
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Old May 24 2014, 08:08 AM   #29
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Well, that was a disaster. Bull beat the Brumbies 44 - 23, it was only 4 tries to 3, but the Brumbies leaked penalties of which the Bulls kicked 6 of 8. There was some soft defending the the first quarter and the Bulls were rewarded with two tries. By the end of the half they were I think 23 - 6 down. In the second half the Bulls got an intercept try and again thanks to the penalties from the Brumbies the Bulls got a lineout close to the line and just mauled it in.

All three of the Brumbies' tries were in the second half. The first was off the back of a 5m scrum where Speight just sliced through the Bulls and shrugged off the cover tackles. The second was thanks to a good run by McCabe (who came off the bench onto the wing) who threw a pass in as he was getting bundled into touch close to the line, it bounced off a Bulls player coming across and Mowen was able to basically fall on the ball and slide over the line. The third was again a bit of luck. Ball kicked ahead and the Bulls fumbling it near the line between two players and Kuridrani picks up the ball and falls over the line.

Brumbies copped 2 yellows in the game. The second, which I think was what led to the penalty that the Bulls kicked to touch for their mauling try, was not a big surprise. Brumbies gave away a bunch of penalties at the breakdown, so you could argue that they ref had no choice. The first was bordering on ridiculous. Toomua got binned early in the 2nd for a high swinging arm tackle that was a grap across the check that bumped up due to the Bulls player breaking the tackle. Not even the SA commentators thought it was worthy of more than a penalty. It wasn't in the same league as the red card against the Reds last week that cost them the game as it wouldn't have changed the result, but it might have made it less...worse.

Brumbies at best will be 5th at the end of this weekend. It is a definite that either the Crusaders of Highlanders will go ahead since they are playing each other (even a draw would see the Highlanders go ahead). Both the Chiefs and Hurricanes also have a chance depending on who wins and with the Canes if they get a bonus point. The Force also have a chance with a bonus point win against the Lions to jump ahead. So they could fall to 7th. Whatever happens the Brumbies are in the must win territory now because they have a bye still to come, so only 3 games and I think every else in the top 6 - 8 have 4 (the Tahs and Force both do at least), if they want to even make the finals this year.
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Old May 24 2014, 08:33 AM   #30
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Re: Rugby 2014 thread

Aside from the exclusion of Robinson (bizarre, IMO), the inclusion of the serial underperformers Slipper and Simmons and the bewildering ongoing selection of the grossly overrated Horwill, I thought the squad was pretty predictable. It'll be quite interesting to see which way the Saviour goes at 10 now the human turnstile's out of the way for a while, and ditto the choice at 9. Genia just hasn't been the same since the knee reconstruction and this is as good a time as any to see what the next cabs off the rank are like. Regardless, it's well past time for some of these blokes, particularly in the forwards, to stand up - at all, never mind consistently - and demonstrate that they belong at international level. And it'll be interesting too to see who the Saviour installs as captain. Please, not Horwill. Almost anyone but Horwill.


Meanwhile the Tahs had, on paper at least, a good win but it wasn't in the bag until well into the second half. It was good that they went on with the job, but next week will be the real test - the Chiefs away. If we can contrive to win that game I may allow myself to feel mildly optimistic about our credentials but I won't be surprised if we stuff up royally, either. What did surprise me was the poor goalkicking; hopefully that's a one-off because these things can be very, very costly at the business end of a season.
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