SPIRO: Wallabies beware, the All Blacks and the Boks are coming!

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    Bryan Habana played the last time the All Blacks went down in New Zealand. (AAP Image/NZN IMAGE, SNPA, David Rowland)

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    Paul Cully, a rugby columnist colleague on The Roar and the Sydney Morning Herald, stated before the Wallabies’ series against France that the home side needed to win all three Tests to retain credibility as a challenger to the All Blacks and the Springboks.

    After the Melbourne kickathon, it’s two down and one to go.

    The Melbourne Test exposed a number of weaknesses in the Wallabies attacking systems. They couldn’t cross the French line. They had hardly any breaks. They kicked far too much and much too aimlessly.

    Ewen McKenzie has tried to give the Wallabies attacking line some bulk with the inclusion of Will Skelton, who is playing his first Test, and the reinstatement of Wycliff Palu. These two players have the size and power to make significant dents in the defensive brick wall that France put up in Melbourne.

    With France putting a 14-man front line defence and with the Wallabies, aside from Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale, without great speed to out-flank the line, the Wallabies had to go through it. But there was no one playing at Melbourne who could do this. Hence the stalemate and the continual kicking.

    Skelton has won as many lineouts this season, two, as old Spiro can do one-handed push-ups. But he is quick for a huge man, has great hands and a lot of power that will get more and more effective as the baby-fat pours off him.

    These things change from Test to Test but what last weekend’s results showed is that the Wallabies will need to be totally on their game in The Rugby Championship, especially against the All Blacks and the Springboks, if they want to continue their run of wins.

    After a very poor performance in the first Test against England, the All Blacks played a lacklustre first half in the second Test, before exploding into brilliant action in the first 20 minutes of the second half. This quarter of outstanding rugby was to blow away any hopes England had of winning the Test, and the series.

    Mick Cleary, the UK Telegraph‘s rugby writer, called the result “a one-point drubbing”. It was a “sobering night” for England players, coaches, supporters and (I would guess) rugby writers, Cleary opined. The All Blacks had “the game won by the 65th minute… and were in backslapping mode by then, and understandably so. They had well and truly rediscovered their mojo”.

    I have quoted Cleary extensively because it is unusual for English rugby writers to lavish praise on the All Blacks. Cleary also seems to understand that they have an ambition to play “all-court rugby” (a phrase I have used frequently in the past) which, when it comes off, is devastatingly difficult to shut down.

    The All Blacks have changed their style quite significantly this season. They use a lot more driving mauls, a tactic that was previously the domain of the Springboks. The beauty of the driving maul, which is the rugby equivalent of tennis’ top-spin shot from the back court, is that it ties up the opposition forwards and allows more one-on-one attacks for the backs.

    Now for the Springboks. They demolished Wales 38-16 at Durban. This was as comprehensive a thrashing, especially in the first half, as you could expect. Outstanding for the Springboks were Bryan Habana and Will le Roux.

    Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer said, “Willie is probably the best fullback in the world at the moment.”

    He is right up there with the best, but I’d take Israel Folau and Ben Smith slightly above him. But le Roux, Habana and sevens rugby star Cornal Hendricks give the Springboks a cutting edge in the back three that they have rarely presented in recent times.

    But will the Springboks play to this blinding speed and high skills the way the All Blacks do – to open up defences and crush oppositions? Occasionally against Wales the Springboks ran the ball from well inside their own half. But after half-time the old reflexes came into play and Morne Steyn’s kicking game went into overdrive.

    The rest of the Springboks game was business as usual. A lot of kicking from Steyn. Very good set pieces, scrum and lineouts until a couple of lineouts were lost at the end of the Test. Some powerful driving mauls. And massive charges by the huge forwards and big backs.

    All this power and bulk proved overwhelming for Wales, especially in the second half. But in the second half, what the doyen of South African rugby writers Dan Retief calls “the bulk, bash and boot” game, was far less successful.

    South African rugby writers, too, make the point that the core of the Springboks are old: Bryan Habana is 31, Morne Steyn 30, Ruan Pienaar 30, Victor Matfield 37, Bakkies Botha 34, Jannie du Plessis 31, GurthrΓΆ Steenkamp 33, Fourie du Preez 32.

    Most of these players have two more seasons of strong rugby left in them. But this is going to be the test for Meyer and his old stars. If he can harness the obvious power his Springboks have all over the ground, with the blistering pace of the back three, then the rest of world rugby will need to watch out.

    But this is a big ‘if’. The all-court attacking game generally takes South African teams out of their comfort zone. They don’t enjoy this type of rugby and readily return to the back-court game, where they play defensively but with great power.

    Steve Walsh is refereeing the second Test at Mbombella Stadium, Nelspruit. He generally allows for lots of running. Just the thing for the old legs in the Springboks, not.

    To round off where the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks might be in their preparations for The Rugby Championship, we note Paul Cully’s Team of the Week after the last round of Tests:

    1. James Slipper (Australia)
    2. Bismarck Du Plessis (South Africa)
    3. Owen Franks (New Zealand)
    4. Brodie Retallick (NZ)
    5. Sam Whitelock (NZ)
    6. Scott Fardy (A)
    7. Francois Louw (SA)
    8. Jerome Kaino (NZ):
    9. Fourie du Preez (SA)
    10. Morne Steyn (SA)
    11. Julian Savea (NZ)
    12. Ma’a Nonu (NZ)
    13. Conrad Smith (NZ)
    14. Willie le Roux (SA)
    15. Ben Smith (NZ)

    Cully cheated slightly by picking le Roux out of his fullback position. However, his team is made up of two Wallabies, five Springboks and eight All Blacks.

    Next weekend’s results will tell us whether these numbers reflect where the three sides are heading this season.

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (234)

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2014 @ 6:34am
      biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      I agree the “old bones” in the bok team don’t have many more seasons in them.

      Fortunately Gurthro Steenkamp is not the first choice Loose head.

      Bakkies will be replaced by Eben when he returns from injury.

      Morne Steyn, well he has compromising photos of Meyer.

      Halfback is a mystery as to why Cobus Reinach doesn’t get a shot, even Francois Hougaard isn’t getting s look in.

      Habana is still a major force in wirld rugby, so there is no concerns about him.

      The biggest concern is at halfback where there are no young incumbents as Meyer do not give an opportunity to any.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2014 @ 7:18am
        Harry Jones said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:18am | ! Report

        True, BB. 9-10 is our issue. We are well-stocked everywhere else, except tighthead. But to be absolutely fair…if we have to have Morne…we need him to play that way. Showed good vision…

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 8:44am
          Combesy said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          I would have thought pat lambie when fit would be the a better choice at 10 for the boks?

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2014 @ 7:56am
        Wal said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Habana seems to have done something truly great champions achieve and that is change his game as time passes. He is now creating more gaps and looking for work far more than he ever used to.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:39am
        RollAway7 said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        If I can single out Meyers most annoying selection it would be Pienaar, I don’t get it he has almost never played well in green, White, PDV and now mayer all keep selecting him, am I missing something?

        When is Lambie back and will he be first choice BB?

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 2:32pm
          biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          I just read yesterday he is recovering well and will be ready sometime in July.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:56am
        Elisha Pearce said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        Cobus Reinach absolutely deserves a shot. How can you be the form player in your position at Super Rugby and not even make the squad? Very strange.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 11:52am
        JamestheElder said | June 18th 2014 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        Love the comment re compromising photos. I like Steyn as he always gives his best but somewhere in SA there must be a flyhalf who can force the gaps/create space and strike real fear into the opponents. How can the Boks continually churn out giant fearsome forwards but no physically strong fly halves?

        • June 18th 2014 @ 6:03pm
          etienne marais said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          One word. Pollard.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 4:04pm
        Chan Wee said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

        @ biltongbek :

        the way iots going at U20 world cup, Pollard may get into the team as an apprentice πŸ˜‰

        despite doing nothing much against NZ , he has now got the tournament record for points.

        surely Meyer will like another Morene clone πŸ˜›

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 4:12pm
          biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

          Haha, Meyer has already commented on Pollard and apparently there are some photos as well. πŸ˜‰

          • June 18th 2014 @ 6:50pm
            Chan Wee said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

            any chance of a French Football -like player revolt against the coach ?

            we want to play running rugger like Leraux !! πŸ˜‰

        • June 19th 2014 @ 7:15pm
          IvanN said | June 19th 2014 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

          nothing much? score a try, kicked a few goals, had a very good game.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 9:58pm
        Harry Jones said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

        Beast is back; Flip too. Olivier (???????) on the bench. Photos?

      • June 20th 2014 @ 11:33am
        Hermann Dill said | June 20th 2014 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        Hey BB.
        About a year ago I asked if you could write “The Big Habana Storty”.
        Back then you said you liked the idea. Not much more.
        I still hope you think it is a good idea.
        He is such an amazing athlete. Best Springbok ever? I would say so.
        I wanna know EVERYTHING (sorry for capital letters, but on this occasion I think it is alright) you, your friends, old rugby gaffers and your Grandma, knows about him.


    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2014 @ 6:39am
      Argyle said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:39am | ! Report

      Good Morning Spiro,

      Are the Wallabies if 2014 in a better condition and space to challenge for the Rugby Championship than the Wallabies if 2013 were for last years tournament. Can you elaborate beyond yes or no please.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:41am
        RollAway7 said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        Uncle if you don’t mind me chirping in… I don’t think we will know till the RC.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 9:08am
          Argyle said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          Not at all, thanks for your thoughts.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2014 @ 8:41am
        sheek said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        Hi Uncle,

        The Wallabies have played something like 150 tests since last RC, so difficult to remember last month, let alone last year. πŸ˜‰

        I think they’re better placed in 2014 than 2013. The problem is that NZ & SA manage to keep in front of us, no matter how hard the Wallabies try to improve.

        Anyone mention domestic structures? πŸ™‚

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 9:13am
          Argyle said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          Has the Shiraz got to your memory bank mate πŸ™‚

          I am a little more forgiving of the Wallaby performance in Melbourne. We were told France would throw everything at us to restore pride to French Rugby. Well they scored 0 points and our scrum gained an ascendency. Not a bad effort.

          There is one very big domestic structure by the name of Will Skelton that should be of interest to all Wallaby fans this weekend. πŸ™‚

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2014 @ 2:41pm
            sheek said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

            Yeah Uncle,

            The shiraz has many therapeutic properties but memory loss could be an unfortunate by-product!

            I’ll make 200, I just won’t remember any of it!!

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2014 @ 3:00pm
              Argyle said | June 18th 2014 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

              Mate I enjoyed the Melbourne test as we won and our defence and scrum toiled well. Didn’t Sydney beat France 7-6 back the day? Was that the game where Mick Martin scored?

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 5:18pm
                sheek said | June 18th 2014 @ 5:18pm | ! Report


                According to Max Howell’s ‘They Came To Conquer’, Sydney beat France in 1981, by 16-14. Mick martin did indeed score a try, Sydney’s only try.

                Geoff Richards completed the scoring with 3 penalties & a drop.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 5:48pm
                Argyle said | June 18th 2014 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                Cheers Sheek!

      • June 18th 2014 @ 9:45am
        Magic Sponge said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Yes we are a lot better than last year but losing Moore will seriously affect our chances. We don’t have a really dominant forward unless Palu and Fardy is firing.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 2:51pm
        JB said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        I think we will compete, but I still see us just shy of the mark in the tight 5 still. McKenzie has realised this with the trials of carter Skelton and Jones, Sio Cowan Ryan weeks. They will put sides under pressure but don’t think we are a complete enough unit to win the TRC. We might sneak a couple of wins at home though.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 9:09pm
        Harry Jones said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

        In my (SA-slanted) opinion, OZ is better than 2013 but is still missing consistent (a) big runners who can swing around the corner and get over the gain line, and (b) breakdown/ruck structures that can withstand NZ-SA cleaners and pilferers.

    • June 18th 2014 @ 6:50am
      Jimbo81 said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      NZ benefitted from a ridiculous yellow card which is where they scored all their points, otherwise they conceded 27 pts to a NH side.

      Conversely, Australia conceded zero points.

      Perhaps NZ writers should be writing articles about “here come the wallabies”

      • June 18th 2014 @ 7:58am
        moaman said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Jimbo? “NZ benefitted from a ridiculous yellow card which is where they scored all their points” ???? Really? Meanwhile….

        In the real world, NZ scored one converted try ( and conceded a penalty,I think?) while Farrell was in the bin. Farrell was in the bin because he collected a ‘team-yellow’ after England conceded 4 successive penalties within a few minutes.\

        But don’t let facts get in the way of a good story……

        • June 18th 2014 @ 10:14am
          ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          Well, let’s be fair, it was something like 5 minutes prior to Farrell’s yellow that England picked up the first penalty. Hardly try saving stuff since it was well outside the 22 and the second came a few seconds later, still outside the 22 with the AB’s playing under advantage.

          Then we had the passage later where again under advantage Farrell gets pinged, this time closer to the line. There’s no massive disparity in pens conceded and there’s been no commentary from the ref in terms of warnings to warrant a ‘team-yellow’. As the Kiwi commentary team observed, where’s he supposed to roll away too – tough yellow but them’s the breaks.

          Fact is though, the AB’s get this advantage when they’re already riding a wave that was quite possibly due to break at some point. Instead they get an extra push of momentum and score a converted try while Farrell is off. He comes back on and, well.

          Might be interesting to see what happens if England can play 15 against the AB’s for a whole 80 this weekend ….

          • June 18th 2014 @ 11:41am
            Coconut said | June 18th 2014 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            And well…. they score a try that shouldn’t have been awarded by a visibly flustered ref… and your point was?

            • June 18th 2014 @ 12:18pm
              wazza perth nz ex pat said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

              I think his point is England will beat the ABs with 15 players – the evidence is it hasn’t worked too well in the past though !!

            • June 18th 2014 @ 12:43pm
              ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

              I’ll try to make it easier for you …

              The yellow was tougher than moaman suggested and it would be interesting to watch a test with 15 v 15 all match.


              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:02pm
                wazza perth nz ex pat said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

                The yellow was richly deserved and ‘capisco’ !! The evidence is England has tried to beat the ABS many times before with 15 and it hasn’t worked too well – Capiche…

              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:25pm
                ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

                Good. I’m glad you finally got it Wazza. Keep it up.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 4:20pm
                Coconut said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

                ChrisT, I have to give it to you, you’re quite a patronising sort of a chap aren’t you? There’s no need to make anything ‘easy’ for me, its just that you’re talking a pile of rubbish, so what’s there to understand? You seem to be implying that if the English played with 15 men the result would be different… and neatly granting yourself leave to give us more excuses this weekend should the result not go your way.
                I don’t think I’m going to engage in a game of could of, should of, would of with you… and best of luck to your team this weekend – I for one won’t be making excuses should the team I support not pull through with a win.

          • June 18th 2014 @ 12:54pm
            Oscar said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            My take on the yellow card (I am an ABs fan so may be a little bais) was. NZ were hot on attack and were playing under advantage, kaino hits it up and gets to with in a meter from the line. Farrell decided since they already have an advatage I’m just going to kill this attack. He then lay on the ball and refused to move, very cynical play.
            What would fix these kinds of penalties happen, allow some good old fashion rucking. 20 years ago you would have to be a very brave man to lay on the ball like that

            • June 18th 2014 @ 12:58pm
              wazza perth nz ex pat said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

              Agreed – bring back the rucking !!

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2014 @ 2:26pm
              El Gamba said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

              Farrell argued he thought it was a maul so you don’t need to roll away so that makes it a bad decision UNLESS a) he’d warned the team that the next penalty is a yellow (this is mentioned above but I didn’t see it; or b)the ref felt he’d done enough shouting “ruck ball roll away” or whatever to suggest Farrell knew it wasn’t a maul as he argued. I personally thought it a tough yellow without knowing the truth of the variables.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 3:20pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                I can see tough yellow, but not tough penalty.

                Though I do wonder if all the people saying tough yellow were saying Fekitoa should have got one last week.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 4:50pm
                El Gamba said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                Point taken and I tend to agree. The previous week wasn’t lost on me, I was thinking tough yellow considering Fekitoa didn’t get one.. Different refs different weeks etc etc, consistency is always hard across games and weeks (let alone within a game!)

        • June 18th 2014 @ 12:04pm
          Gussy Boi said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

          Shouldn’t have even been a penalty, it was a collapsed maul, Farrell didn’t have to do anything once he hit the deck…Another of a long list of the All Blacks getting the referee’s blessing.

          • June 18th 2014 @ 12:13pm
            Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            If the ball carrier in a maul goes to ground, players on their feet aren’t required to release. Farrell wasn’t on his feet.

            • June 18th 2014 @ 12:19pm
              wazza perth nz ex pat said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

              Correct !

            • June 18th 2014 @ 1:18pm
              Gussy Boi said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              You are correct, but same applies for blokes on the ground, Farrell isn’t required to do anything, he can lie all over it, there is no obligation on the “tackler” to roll away or relase.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:33pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                IRB Law Clarification

                β€œLaw 17.6(g) says: β€œIf the ball carrier in a maul goes to ground, including being on one or both knees or sitting, the referee orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available.”

                Often situations arise in the game when a ball carrier in a maul (especially when the maul consists of only 3 or 4 players) goes to ground with an opponent remaining on his feet with his arms wrapped around the ball. ARU asks the following questions:

                a) Does the opponent on his feet need to release the ball carrier given that this is a collapsed maul and not a tackle?

                b) Does the ball carrier have to release the ball to the opponent on his feet? Law 17.6 (g) indicates a scrum unless the ball is immediately available but places no obligation on the ball carrier to make it available by releasing it.

                c) When a maul collapses, is there any obligation on players to roll away from the ball in order to make the ball available?

                d) When a maul collapses, are players who go to ground able to interfere with the ball as it is being made available while they are still off their feet? If not, what is the sanction and what is the basis in Law?”

                Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
                Questions (a), (b) and (c) relate to questions of Law and (d) relates more to the application of Law.

                There is a further variable to be taken into account when the ball goes to ground at a collapsed maul and there are players from both sides on their feet bound over the ball so that Law 16 – Ruck becomes applicable.

                (a) If a maul collapses and the ball does not touch the ground the player on his feet is not obliged to release the ball or ball carrier unless the ball touches the ground and a ruck is formed.

                (b) The original ball carrier who goes to ground (knee or sitting) who can play the ball must do so immediately and the referee then has a judgement to make:
                i. When the ball carrier goes to ground and the ball is unplayable (i.e. the ball is not available immediately), through no fault of the ball carrier, then the referee awards a scrum as per 17.6(g).
                ii. When the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)

                (c) At a collapsed maul there is no obligation in Law for players to roll away unless a ruck subsequently occurs.

                (d) If this occurs Law 17 has not been applied because the ball has not been made available immediately and the referee should have stopped the game and awarded a scrum or a penalty sanction dependent on the actions of players before. ”

                Note this bit – (a) If a maul collapses and the ball does not touch the ground the player on his feet is not obliged to release the ball or ball carrier unless the ball touches the ground and a ruck is formed.

                A player on his feet. The obvious inference is that a player who is NOT on his feet is obliged to release.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:40pm
                ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:40pm | ! Report


              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:42pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                The obvious inference to take from that passage.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:47pm
                ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                Just a bit uncomfortable with inferences

              • June 18th 2014 @ 1:59pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                Undertandably, but I think it’s a pretty obvious one to make in this case.

                For a start if you’re off your feet, you’re no longer a part of the maul – from the definition of maul “All the players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line”.

                It stands to reason if you’re not part of the maul, you’re not allowed to keep playing the ball.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 2:30pm
                El Gamba said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                But the reality, Jerry, is that you can’t tell whether the ball has touched the ground constituting a ruck and the refs don’t get grounded players to roll away. I don’t believe the ball had touched the ground in this instance anyway.

                Was it a maul or not? I believe the ref said it never was hence the penalty..

              • June 18th 2014 @ 2:35pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                There’s a difference between the ball touching the ground and the ball carrier touching the ground.

                If the ball gets to ground, it’s a ruck and everyone has to take their hands off.
                If the ball carrier gets to ground, you can keep playing the ball if you’re on your feet.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 2:50pm
                El Gamba said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                “It stands to reason if you’re not part of the maul, you’re not allowed to keep playing the ball.”

                So who gets penalised Jerry? Farrell seemed to be lying on the guy lying on the ground. Are you suggesting yellow card All Blacks?

                I think the grey in all of this explains why, in practice, regardless of the variables, if a maul collapses and the ball doesn’t come out it is a turnover scrum. I prefer what you are talking about but that doesn’t happen.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 2:57pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                The ball carrier (Kaino) is specifically permitted to go to ground.

                17.2 d “Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues”

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2014 @ 4:24pm
              biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

              Jerry again. LIsten to the referee, Farrell was carded “for not rolling away”

              You don’t have to roll away in a collapsed maul.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 4:31pm
                wazza perth nz ex pat said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                Maybe the Ref was confused like he was at the other end with the non try – How about carding Farrell for not releasing the tackled player then – he clung to Kaino like he was a long lost cuzzy.. or could it be man love for him perhaps….

              • June 18th 2014 @ 4:37pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                You have to release the ball/ball carrier. If you’re lying on the ball, rolling away is necessary to releasing.

                You can question whether Peyper articulated the penalty properly, but the fact is Farrell was unquestionably committing an offence, so I’m not really sure what the problem is.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 4:54pm
                El Gamba said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                I don’t think he called “Maul” BB, that would be the point?

                I’m not sure about your 17.2 d law above Jerry, I know what you are saying but this doesn’t happen in practice…. and perhaps “providing the ball is available immediately” suggests turnover ball because it wasn’t available immediately.

                One day I am going to take the required 7 years out of my job to acquire a basic understanding of the rules!!

              • June 18th 2014 @ 5:15pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

                17.2 is pretty clear – you can’t keep hold of the ball (or stay bound) if you go off your feet. But it also says that the ball carrier is allowed to try and get to ground if he wants to try and free the ball up (otherwise it’d be a penalty for trying to collapse the maul if you think about it).

                You don’t really see penalties for players going off their feet and keeping hold of the ball no, but it’s not like there’s usually an incentive for defenders to do so. If they’ve got hands on the ball, they’re usually trying their best to keep the ball carrier on his feet so they can get the turnover and if they go off their feet they’re risking a penalty for pulling the maul down.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 5:29pm
                biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                You have to release the ball when you go off your feet at a RUCK, not a maul.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 6:08pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                Asked and answered Biltong – why would they specify a player ON HIS FEET can continue to play the ball?

              • June 18th 2014 @ 9:18pm
                JimmyB said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

                It seems pretty clear to me that most of us see what we want to see in any given situation, then spend considerable time justifying what we think we saw. There aren’t many of us who can honestly admit to seeing things dispassionately.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 9:27pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

                I dunno, in this case what happens is pretty clear, it’s the decision that’s being questioned.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2014 @ 8:10am
        44bottles said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:10am | ! Report

        Come one Jimbo, stop trying to bait everyone and just accept that we are now 16 in a row. πŸ˜‰

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:21am
        WQ said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        “Conversely, Australia conceded zero points.”
        Against a French Team that could not have beaten the UpperJucumber West’s 3rd’s mate!
        A grip on reality would be fantastic.

        • June 18th 2014 @ 12:06pm
          soapit said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          yet they beat england a few months ago

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2014 @ 12:19pm
            niwdEyaJ said | June 18th 2014 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            Bollocks WQ… last Saturday was an example of France’s “A” game. That was the type of French performance that put away the AB’s twice in World Cups and almost a third time in the last final… in fact, they played an almost identical game in the final and the AB’s only just got over the line by a point… we beat them by 6 πŸ˜‰ Not saying that means we’re 6x better than the AB’s (have to caveat everything with all the cynical comments that are rampant on the Roar) but the fact is it was a solid WIN.

            • June 18th 2014 @ 1:23pm
              Ralph said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              Hey, not so fast, I’ll take that. The AB’s are clearly the under dogs come the RC and will do well to get near a team six times better!

          • June 18th 2014 @ 1:42pm
            ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            In France

            • June 18th 2014 @ 4:31pm
              soapit said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

              i dont think wq specified a location

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:38am
        Jack said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        The Kiwis scored one try during the yellow card period, and England were awarded one of their tries incorrectly, with the video referee seemingly unaware that there is no law in the game that says a try has been scored when the ball hasn’t touched the ground. So It sort of cancels out…

        In any case, the Kiwis dominated the game from the 20 minute mark, right through to the 70 minute mark and those English tries came when the game was effectively over.

        • June 18th 2014 @ 2:11pm
          ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

          And they had 15 players again.

          • June 18th 2014 @ 2:30pm
            Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

            They didn’t do so great with 15 men before they were 15 points behind.

            Besides, winners don’t let cards stop them. http://www.espnscrum.com/statsguru/rugby/match/173972.html

            • June 18th 2014 @ 3:53pm
              ChrisT said | June 18th 2014 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

              They did Jerry, for at least the first 25. Besides, momentums change and change again. We can’t know that 15 English men couldn’t have turned it back again – but we do know it’s a lot tougher playing a man down.

              • June 18th 2014 @ 4:05pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                We can’t know, I don’t care.

            • June 18th 2014 @ 4:33pm
              soapit said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              yes jerry, i think its safe to say winners dont lose .

              • June 18th 2014 @ 4:38pm
                Jerry said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                Winners go home and f**k the prom queen, Sean Connery said so.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2014 @ 7:31pm
                Diggercane said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

                Do love that movie

        • June 18th 2014 @ 9:28pm
          JimmyB said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

          The 20 minute mark? Haha

      • June 18th 2014 @ 10:31am
        Clark said | June 18th 2014 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        That yellow card was completely justified. And let’s not forget that one of England’s tries was in fact held up.

        • June 18th 2014 @ 9:33pm
          JimmyB said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

          I’d hate to see the reaction if the ABs really got shafted by the referee. On hang on, Barnes you ….

          • June 19th 2014 @ 5:41am
            Coconut said | June 19th 2014 @ 5:41am | ! Report

            Its really not so strange JimmyB, because the ABs inevitably find a way to win, as they have done many times with 14 men on the field, or a difficult ref… they get decisions going against them at least as often as any other team, and sometimes come under even more scrutiny, being the top dog. The difference is that they win, so people forget more easily about the decisions that went against them. Its not the same for the supporters of a losing team, where the decisions take on a much more bigger dimension (create reasons for losing, referee bias etc). So human nature is what it is, and of course AB supporters will complain just like anyone else when the ABs lose, the only difference being that its not that often.
            I dont mean to sound arrogant, but I think you’ll agree with what I am saying.

      • June 19th 2014 @ 11:18pm
        dianne said | June 19th 2014 @ 11:18pm | ! Report

        rubbish nz well get stronger aussies are all getting to old and slow cant even get trys and win by penalty points

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2014 @ 6:58am
      Harry Jones said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      Spiro, can you really do two one-handed pushups?

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2014 @ 6:58am
      Harry Jones said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      Spiro, can you really do two one-handed pushups?

      • June 18th 2014 @ 7:37am
        soapit said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        yeah i call bull dust on that one.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 7:57am
          Wal said | June 18th 2014 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          I think the count might be more one two handed push ups πŸ™‚

      • June 18th 2014 @ 8:36am
        moaman said | June 18th 2014 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        Think I just threw my hip out testing to see whether I could do one!

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2014 @ 2:43pm
          sheek said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

          I used to be able to do one-handed pushups.

          But that was a long time ago. Back in the 1800s, I think…

    • June 18th 2014 @ 6:59am
      SamSport said | June 18th 2014 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      le Roux is a liability on defence. Misses too many tackles. Great on attack, but you need a back three that make their tackles.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 9:19am
        Batdown said | June 18th 2014 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        I concur wholeheartedly SamSp. That match winning cover tackle by B. Smith on Tuilagi was quite simply….worldclass!

      • June 18th 2014 @ 2:54pm
        Suzy Poison said | June 18th 2014 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        I agree SamSport Willie is not Ben Smith yet. But still he is a lot better than Kirtcher or Lambie or Frans Steyn who have played in that position before, so as a Bok fan, I reasonably happy.

      • June 18th 2014 @ 3:10pm
        JamestheElder said | June 18th 2014 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

        Quite right. His defense is nowhere near as good as Ben Smith. Maybe close to par with Folau because Folau can be a bit suspect in the air.But we are talking about top class players here. Against the mere mortals they are all superb

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2014 @ 4:27pm
        biltongbek said | June 18th 2014 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

        le Roux is in his second season of international rugby, the tackle Ben Smith made was an easier tackle to execute than Willie having to come across field from side on, any top class wing can beat a defender one on one with a step.

        Willie isn’t great in defence I grant you that, but he is improving.

        • June 18th 2014 @ 10:20pm
          Daniel Manning said | June 18th 2014 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

          Smith had the pace on Tuilagi which made his tackle even easier. le Roux had to come across field which is a situation that is always in the attackers advantage to step inside.

        • June 19th 2014 @ 5:11am
          JamestheElder said | June 19th 2014 @ 5:11am | ! Report

          Agree. By the time the WC comes around he may well be without peer as the best FB.

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