From the experts

The low down from those in the know
What was wrong with James O’Connor last night?

All James O’Connor had to do on his return to Australia was stand up, be counted, and pack his bags for the Rugby Championship, and the Rugby World Cup. Not any more.

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Fresh Crusaders to topple the Waratahs in a do-or-die match

Saturday’s rematch of last year’s Super Rugby final between the Crusaders and the Waratahs promises to be the match of the round.

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Tempers have flared at Western Force training this week, and coach Michael Foley couldn’t be happier.

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The NSW Waratahs are wary of a vengeful and surging Crusaders side heading into Saturday’s crucial Super Rugby clash.

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Providing the grunt for a charge to the Super Rugby playoffs has priority over any All Blacks ambitions for Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst.

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A horror James O’Connor error allowed the Sharks to break a six-match Super Rugby losing streak with a 21-14 victory over the Queensland Reds on Friday night.

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Super Rugby expert tipping: Round 15

We all knew Round 14 would be decided by the first game, and it was indeed a close-run thing.

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Who is van der Westhuizen and why is he officiating the game of the week?

Yesterday, Spiro Zavos wrote ‘Rugby needs better refereeing, not more referees’. Spiro was answering Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham’s ridiculous suggestion rugby should follow the NRL’s two-refs per game policy.

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Western Force winger Nick Cummins admits he needs more of the “seed” if he is to lock down a World Cup berth, and he knows time is of the essence.

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The Melbourne Rebels have continued to plunder the ranks of the Queensland Reds, signing hooker James Hanson.

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Bouncing back with a win after your character has been publicly questioned is easy.

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Stats interesting: Sifting through the numbers from Round 14

One of my favourite sayings about stats – and my apologies for not knowing its origin – is: “Statistics are like bikinis – what they show is interesting, but what they hide is crucial.”

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SPIRO: Rugby needs better refereeing, not more referees

Stephen Larkham was a great rugby player and is making a decent fist of coaching the Brumbies, but his advocacy of a two-referee system for rugby, similar to that used in the NRL, is perplexing and worrying. And it is wrong.

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Sevens explosion imminent after Rio

It’s just over a year until the Rio Olympics, when rugby takes a momentous leap into the future, with Sevens featuring for the first time.

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The Chiefs’ injury roster might be mounting by the week, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be reckless in rushing back players before they’re ready, assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge says.

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‘The Australian Rugby Survey’ offers fans a chance to have their say

The Australian Rugby Union is encouraging fans, players and stakeholders to join the conversation on the future of the game by completing The Australian Rugby Survey.

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Waratahs' Super Rugby head coach Michael Cheika. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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Henry Speight for the Brumbies (photo: John Youngs photography)

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Naiyaravoro breaks free of Reds defence in his sides victory in Rd 19 of the Super Rugby competition.

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ACT Brumbies' Pat McCabe escapes a tackle to score a try during the Round 8 Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Blues at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Friday, April 4, 2014. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

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Referee Jonathan White. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

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The Roar of the crowd

Your sports opinion. Write your own article

Bye-bye to ANZ for the Tahs

By Michael Essa, Today
Bye-bye to ANZ for the Tahs

It is with mixed feelings that I prepare to head to ANZ stadium on Saturday night to watch my beloved Waratahs take on the mighty Crusaders.

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[VIDEO] Reds vs Sharks highlights: Super Rugby scores, blog

For both the Reds and the Sharks the finals are out of the question, but pride is still on the line. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:30pm (AEST).

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[VIDEO] Chiefs vs Bulls highlights: Super Rugby scores, blog

The race to the Super Rugby finals is heating up and with both the Chiefs and Bulls in contention a hard-fought contest is guaranteed. Join us for live scores and commentary from 5:30pm (AEST).

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Scrumma-mogram: Wallabies Scrum (Part 3)

Today we compare Wallabies-Ireland in 2013 versus 2014. We also included cheerleaders, whose presence is unanimously agreed by the panel and should be added into the rulebook somewhere.

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The end is in sight for the amazing Brad Thorn

By Darren Clayton, 22 May 2015 Video
The end is in sight for the amazing Brad Thorn

To finish your playing career with a title is the greatest way to bow out.

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A coach’s dream: A selection headache

By Noah Hughes, 22 May 2015 Video
A coach’s dream: A selection headache

I am writing this article because I’d like to see what Roarers’ input is on the Wallabies back-row and what combinations are possible.

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Pragmatism or romanticism? How will the All Blacks tackle the Rugby World Cup?

Following on from Digger’s topical article last week about the All Blacks’ World Cup selections I want to discuss what kind of game the All Blacks could be expected to play. This will determine the kind of players they’ll be looking to fill those spots outside the starting XV.

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Most of us shout at our TV screen, usually at the referee. But sometimes it’s at a player, and not at an opposition player – one of our own.

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Rugby Championship 2015: The Phoney War?

By Kia Kaha, 20 May 2015 Video
Rugby Championship 2015: The Phoney War?

In September 1939, both France and the UK declared war on Germany two days after the invasion of Poland. There followed a period of inaction on the continent that came to be known as the Phoney War.

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Referee errors are just part of the fun in rugby

We hear a lot about refereeing errors leading to results that could or should have been different, but who is making the biggest noise? And, is the noise justified?

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Waratahs’ loss in 2015 is the Wallabies’ gain

With four rounds to play in the regular Super Rugby season it is clear that the competition is still very much open.

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Swamped by flankers

By Inky, 19 May 2015
Swamped by flankers

Darwinism was particularly cruel to the unviables this weekend, and even some of the more advanced rugby species saw their habitats shrink. Slipping around in the gore looking for a pattern was tough, but I found one.

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Week 14 Super Rugby movers and shakers

By KiwiDave, 19 May 2015
Week 14 Super Rugby movers and shakers

It was another fantastic week of rugby. It started with the Blues, despite being undermanned, showing how tough a nut they are to crack at Eden Park.

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Roar Wallaby form teams after Round 14

Here are the four Wallaby form teams after Round 14.

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The Wrap: Ma’a Nonu stars on and off the field while Allan Hird has a shocker

For the second week in a row the Hurricanes were unable to unlock the free flowing game so loved by their supporters but, perhaps more satisfyingly, they were still able to grind out a narrow, hard fought win, 22-18 against the Chiefs.

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Super Rugby Australian player ratings: Round 14

Here are my player ratings from Round 14 of Super Rugby. Submit your own, keeping the figures for mediocre scores aside for reasons of brevity AND so that the focus is on the best and worst performers.

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Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara

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Henry Speight looks on for the Brumbies (photo: John Youngs photography)

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The Waratahs' Bernard Foley is tackled by the Crusaders Israel Dagg

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Tom Marshall of the Chiefs

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New Zealand captain Richie McCaw

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Dan Carter of the All Blacks. (AAP Image/Steve Holland)

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Reds players react against Rebels. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

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The Waratahs Adam Ashley Cooper (center) is tackled by the Bulls Venter Jacobus Francois and Sadie Johann

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