The Wrap: Ireland go up a gear as Beauden Barrett takes a fall

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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    Despite Ireland being 1-0 down in the series, and some of the travelling Irish journalists starting to show wear and tear two-thirds into their tour, the mood of the visitors in the press box prior to the second Test was confident and expectant.

    Joe Schmidt’s side didn’t let them down, working to a 26-21 win that was more convincing in execution than the closeness of the scoreboard suggests.

    While set-piece execution remains ever critical, modern rugby’s key battlegrounds have become the midfield collision area and the breakdown – both of which Ireland conclusively reclaimed, after having ceded dominance to Australia in Brisbane.

    For local fans wondering where the Wallabies’ aggression and physicality had disappeared to, it was actually still there, but this time masked by a well-drilled side who lifted their intensity to a higher level, who flooded players into the breakdown and attacked the ball, and who cleverly put their default kicking game on ice to deny Israel Folau and Dane Haylett-Petty any ball to work with from the back.

    Ireland started slowly, captain Peter O’Mahoney only just making it to the anthems after a nervous last-minute pit-stop. Then, only two minutes in, CJ Stander was tardy in his effort to fill a midfield space, and Bernard Foley found Kurtley Beale running a great line to the posts.

    Despite the promise of more riches, this was to be the last time the Wallabies saw daylight in the Irish midfield.

    Two yellow cards had a major bearing on the first half, the Wallabies momentum stunted by Marika Koroibete’s dumb lifting tackle. Despite Koroibete’s efforts to sneak to the far side of the field and blend into the crowd – possibly to chat with his parents, visiting from Fiji for the first time to see him play for the Wallabies – referee Paul Williams wasn’t being fooled, hunting down his man.

    Marika Koroibete

    (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

    The second card was more telling – Cian Healy banished for a clumsy attempt to prevent a Wallabies try from a rolling maul, from which Williams had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. But instead of taking command, the Wallabies were outdone in the next period, despite their numerical advantage.

    The Irish lifted to be sure, but a huge tactical error from Foley compounded Australia’s woes, tapping and running a penalty, where a kick to the 22 would have set up the same lineout scenario they scored from only minutes earlier – this time with a man advantage.

    The phrase ‘play what’s in front of you’ has assumed increasing popularity in Australian rugby in recent years, but in this instance, Foley’s interpretation was far too liberal.

    All hell broke out immediately after the penalty try, with Ireland restarting the match with a quick kick off, a small handful of players enjoying an imaginary game while the rest of their teammates – the ones who know the laws – were strewn all over the pitch, wandering back to halfway. Fantastic, chaotic craic.

    Ireland turned the screws further in the second half, continuing to avoid Folau through the excellent Jonathan Sexton kicking only to his wingers – although it must be said that the cross kick/kick pass is now in danger of becoming as overexposed as the Kardashian sisters.

    Australia’s own kicking game was off, high bombs directed too far infield for a wide-ranging Folau to be able to arrive in time – even if he had managed to pick a path through the strategically placed blockers (local fans upset at the tactic might care to note Samu Kerevi doing exactly the same thing in the first half).

    Both sides got value from their bench, the impressive Taniela Tupou capping another eye-catching display by burrowing over with two minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish.

    The opportunity came courtesy of a poor failure of discipline from Jack McGrath, who thought he had enough cover to get away with illegally knocking the ball from Nick Phipps’ grasp. One silly act was enough to give Australia a final shot at winning a match that – on the run of play – they had no right to.

    Despite a brave effort to go the length of the field at the death, the ball spilled free from a tackle on Folau and the south stand, a sea of green, rejoiced.

    Michael Cheika hit all the right notes afterwards – no excuses, too many penalties, too many soft penalties, too many 50/50 passes pushed, too slow to attacking rucks to support the ball carrier, and a lack of ‘hurt’ in the Wallabies midfield defence.

    His belief is that all of that is fixable, although the loss of Will Genia and Adam Coleman will make for an uncomfortable week – as well as a troubling few weeks for Rebels coach Dave Wessels.

    Adam Coleman

    (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

    Typically for a winning coach, Joe Schmidt was magnanimous and good-humoured, delighted with his side’s high work-rate and ball retention, and the growing depth and competition for places within his squad.

    Interestingly, Schmidt also singled out Phipps – not as some will suggest as part of a double bluff to ensure his continued selection for the Wallabies – but in recognition of his defensive efforts.

    The night finished on a high where, in the bowels of AAMI Park, an initially coy Tupou made himself available for a chat that, given today’s controlled environments, was disarmingly natural, frank, and humorous.

    Tupou candidly revealed how the first thing he did after scoring his first Test try was to look for his mum Oisi in the crowd, to wave to her, before he quickly realized that there was still two minutes to go to win the match, and he had to switch straight back onto the job.

    The caravan now rolls on to Sydney, with Cheika transparent in identifying his core problem – how will his team be able to impose their preferred pattern of play on the third Test? If Ireland win as much ball and retain it as competently as they did in Melbourne, the Wallabies will again be reduced to disrupting and chasing the game – which is precisely how players find themselves isolated or out of position and suckered into slapping the ball down illegally, or wrongly taking out a support player without the ball.

    The Wallabies looked dangerous in the opening and closing minutes of the match, controlling the ball and testing the Irish defence. But it will require a herculean 80-minute effort from the pack – and potentially some changes in personnel – to provide any such winning platform next week.

    Peter O'Mahony

    (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

    The second Test between New Zealand and France was highlighted by a bumbling display by the All Blacks that few people saw coming – most fans and pundits expecting them to kick on after their opening match – and discussion and consternation over the send-off of French fullback Benjamin Fall for making dangerous contact in the air with Beauden Barrett.

    The All Blacks’ underwhelming performance shouldn’t underplay the resolve of the French, who competed manfully for the full 80 minutes. Nevertheless, there is a suspicion that some soul-searching this week about the need for better composure and situational awareness might be enough to restore the world champions’ swagger.

    The Fall/Barrett matter is far easier dealt with than some of the histrionic reactions would have us believe.

    Rugby needs to decide the starting point from which to approach the issue. Is it a priority to prevent matches being ‘ruined’ by cards that create an unequal contest? Or is it a priority to ensure the safety of all players, while retaining the essence of rugby as a contest for the ball?

    World Rugby has already made that decision – rightly in my opinion – that it has a duty of care to players, and that in order to attract new participants (and parents) to the sport, many of whom are in emerging markets, in addition to being seen as skillful, tough and fun, rugby is demonstrably safe to play.

    With respect to high, contestable kicks, there are two ways to ensure the safety of players. One is to keep all players on the ground or, if you like, to ban jumping in the air, except in lineouts. While it would be an extreme overreaction, it is not inconceivable that if players aren’t able to self-correct under current laws, that something of this nature might eventuate in the future.

    The other (status quo) option is for players to challenge fairly and safely. Watch how the best catchers, whether on attack or defence – players like Folau and Ben Smith – demonstrate an innate sense of timing, knowing when they are in position to leap for the catch, or if not, instinctively knowing when to hold back and tackle the catching player as soon as he lands.

    The vast majority of professional players have similarly learned to arrive early and compete/jump from a stationary position, or else err on the side of caution and stay out of the area.

    Anything in between – as Fall found to his cost – represents a dangerous ‘no man’s land’, where the outcome becomes a matter of chance. In this case, Fall drew a blank, relegating his side to 14 men, but on another day Barrett might have landed safely, or perhaps even have suffered a career-ending or life-changing spinal injury. Rugby simply cannot afford to play this dangerous game of ‘fall lotto’.

    The issue has nothing to do with lack of intent or a player deserving sympathy for keeping eyes on the ball, nor is it about concerns over turning a hard man’s game soft. World Rugby, Angus Gardner and George Ayoub have this right and the vast majority of players know and understand this.

    To finish by addressing a common catch-cry – it isn’t sensible laws or referees applying them that ‘ruin’ the game. If a game is ‘ruined’ by cards – a debatable point in itself – the responsibility rests with players like Fall (and Sonny-Bill Williams and Sekope Kepu last year) to play within the laws and stay on the field.

    In Santa Fe the Pumas achieved their objective of playing coach Daniel Hourcade out of his position, capitulating to Wales by 30-12. None of this is to discredit the efforts of a rebuilding Welsh side, but if this meek series display is indeed a matter of ‘player power’ having its day, there will be no grace given or excuses allowed the Argentine players in the Rugby Championships.

    For years now South Africa have favoured an inward pressing, umbrella-style backline defence, but with centre Lukhano Am only half committing to it, they were once again exploited on the wings by England, who raced to a 12-0 lead.

    The rest of the match was mostly the ‘Thor’ show, Duane Vermeulen seeing off the unfortunate Billy Vunipola by half-time, then upping the ante even more in the second half, a decisive 23-12 win sealing the series win.

    Where Eddie Jones goes from here will be fascinating to see. The knives are out in Fleet Street, his once-mighty pack is disintegrating before his eyes and his players are running away from interviews – Ben Youngs, unusually for a halfback, proving to be a man of few words.

    There is a growing sense that the clock is ticking on Eddie and there is little time for England to identify and implant new talent who will be ready to win a World Cup in 17 months’ time.

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com. Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (503)

    • June 18th 2018 @ 7:01am
      MH01 said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Anyone else notice , once Genia went off , the leadership went with him. He really does rally the troops . I give credit to Foley for trying to lead , Pocock is great with refs , and Hooper is just useless as the Leader on the field .

      We do have the makings of a good team, though we do need a Captain that can lead and talk to the refs, not the energiser Bunny who is the coaches Golden boy .

      Happy for someone to correct me how Hooper was doing his Job . My Opinon is that Genia has the most influence on field, make him Captain , or Pocock if you want a good relationship with Refs. The refs just ignore Hooper, and understandable the way he interacts with them. He also has no idea when to talk to refs to bring up an issue or when to go for a try/Points

      • June 18th 2018 @ 7:16am
        Reverse Wheel said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:16am | ! Report

        I didn’t notice this. What were the signs you detected?

      • Roar Pro

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:53am
        Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        I don’t think Hooper has a great knowledge of the laws which is required when interacting with referees.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2018 @ 9:07am
          soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

          to me he always seems like he’s trying to outsmart them. asking “do you feel he landed on his back” as the ref called marika over just seemed like he was trying to guide the ref to what his decision should really be. got a very blunt “no” in response. what did he expect?

        • Roar Rookie

          June 18th 2018 @ 9:46am
          Don said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          I fear Pocock was also rubbing the ref up the wrong way with his constant questioning of decisions going against him.

          Look at how McCaw used to manage refs.
          If a call went against him he’d maybe give the ref a nod and a look and run back onside. When there was a run of penalties against him he’d have someone go down injured and take the opportunity to ask the question. Refs took it in because he spoke to them sparingly rather than whining.

          Our guys have a tendency to say something after every penalty. It does them no favours… and screaming at refs from inside centre about stuff in the rucks isn’t helpful either Kurtley.

          Unfortunately I think the coach’s attitude towards refs is reflected in our captain.

          • Roar Pro

            June 18th 2018 @ 10:03am
            Matt Davis said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:03am | ! Report

            McCaw as a master at managing the ref. Pocock also missed the new ruck forming law on his sabbatical and gave away a pressure relieving penalty because of it…

            • June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              I thought Peter posted a link showing the new laws had been amended so that rucks are still only formed when two players are over the ball. Now, one person over the ball merely creates an offside line.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:37am
                PeterK said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

                very true, the offside line now gets created at the TACKLE not the ruck.

                Pocock when he ran around the tackle ran foul of this change to the law.

                It became law in MAY 2018 AMENDEMENTS.

                So just last month.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:17pm
                Danny said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                On TJ’s yellow I’m totally confused. I thought tackler still had rights to do what he did? But maybe the law changed and he had to go around and come back in from his side of the ruck? Anyone got a firm view either way on this?

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:56pm
                moa said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                @ Danny,
                TJP was facing the wrong way apparently.My understanding (tenuous) is that he would have been fine if he had turned around so he was facing ‘forward’.

              • June 19th 2018 @ 9:38am
                Cliff Bishkek said | June 19th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                Danny and Moa, it is my understanding that the tackler must realise and now must ensure he goes for the ball after “coming through the gate, which means stepping over the player and turning around.

                Otherwise he cannot go for the ball

              • June 19th 2018 @ 10:44am
                moa said | June 19th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                Thanks Cliff; that is better explained than what imanaged.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 12:23pm
            Ed said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            Good point on McCaw Don.

            The below is from Mark Keo’s blog, where he asked Jonathan Kaplan about McCaw.

            “I’ve often asked him what set McCaw apart and his response was the All Blacks captain’s knowledge of the laws, understanding of them and appreciation to play to the interpretation of whoever was refereeing. He said McCaw had an intimate knowledge of each referee’s strengths and weakness; preferences and triggers.”

            I would bet Richie wrote in his exercise books after matches what aspects of the refereeing stuck out to him.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:51pm
              Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              He also corrected refs calls in test matches numerous times

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm
              woodart said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              very good post. a great captain can and does work on his relationships with different refs. the main thing is to not be constantly moaning and disagreeing. it seems as though the last two aus captains have average to poor relationships with some refs.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 2:03pm
              Peter Kelly said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

              McCaw also used to sit the Referee’s exam each year and from all accounts got better scores than most professional Refs – hard to argue with someone who both knows the rules and how to manage people

              • June 18th 2018 @ 5:57pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

                From what Iv’e heard through the gape vine Peter, ( yeh I know, talking grapes), is that Richie, is strongly contemplating, getting involved in referreeing. Be nice to see him back. Cheers

              • June 18th 2018 @ 7:23pm
                Peter Kelly said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

                I wonder how that would go Muzzo, as a player who always played to edge I wonder whether he would be strict or tolerant.
                He would have great game manage though which maybe just a look or a nod to keep players in line

              • June 18th 2018 @ 6:17pm
                riddler said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

                sam warburton is very good with the refs up this way..

                best and barclay are good as well..

                owen farrell has a long, long way to go with the ref relationship..

                eddie must see something i don’t.. i would not be having owen captain.. someone like launchbury…one of first names on sheet.. goes about his work.. never a drama..

              • June 18th 2018 @ 7:53pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

                I reckon, he would go A OK Peter, as even during his playing days, he was always pretty level headed. & that alone, should help. Interesting though, as ex players, & can go very well. We only have to look at Glenn Jackson, who was a pretty handy super rugby player.. There are others.

              • June 19th 2018 @ 5:08am
                Faith said | June 19th 2018 @ 5:08am | ! Report

                Good to know Peter Kelly. After watching Chasing Great is my sense that McCaw studied the game hard and had the mana with refs who got a sense that he wasn’t merely just testing the waters but was genuinely raising a point when he had to … Owen Farrelll was screaming away at the last game. God!

          • June 18th 2018 @ 2:04pm
            jameswm said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

            Pocock was questioning decisions? Connor Murray is way worse.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 3:53pm
              Don said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

              I wasn’t saying Pocock was the worst.
              However, when you have Hooper questioning stuff and talking over the ref, Pocock making his feelings known and asking questions when being pinged, Genia talking to the ref and KB yelling and gesticulating from the backline, you aren’t going to get the refs thinking that the captain has good control of his side.

              The thing with McCaw was, he just gave the ref a look, nod, shake his head or wave most of the time.
              In turn, the refs listened when he actually wanted to query calls.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:21pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                Almost to easy eh?Pocock argues every against call even by just body language .Tana taught Richie eye language.

      • June 18th 2018 @ 9:19am
        Gilbert said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        True that. Genia is the main cog in the wallaby team.

      • June 18th 2018 @ 5:24pm
        Baz said | June 18th 2018 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

        Absolutely. Genia is like Aaron Smith. He is our on field spark plug that pushes the forwards around the park.

        The Pooper act as the more amenable types that you need to deal with the Ref.

        I can see that on field leadership and game IQ disappeared when Genia left the field.

        He is the one person in that team who is able to adapt a game plan in response to what the opposition does. I would be giving him the water bottle to carry out on Saturday night.

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2018 @ 7:06am
      Derm McCrum said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      Nice write up Geoff

      South Africa look to be back with a bang and then some.

      I’ll be interested to see how they go in the Four Nations Championship, particularly against New Zealand.

      • Columnist

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:02am
        Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

        Cheers Derm, congratulations on the win and enjoy the build up for the decider!

        The Boks’ backline defence should be fixed easily enough.
        Plenty of starch up front.
        I don’t think we’ll be seeing any 57 point thrashings this year.

      • Roar Pro

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:56am
        Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        It is hard to see where the Boks are at. They lost to Wales and are playing an out of form England side that have been hit with injuries. The first two tests have been at altitude where England have faded badly like most overseas sides bar the ABs do. Ireland also gave up a big lead at Ellis Park in 2016. I don’t think Schmidt was prepared with his selections to handle that.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 9:02am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          The ‘Boks’ didn’t lose to Wales though.

          The Boks C lost to Wales B.

          • Roar Pro

            June 18th 2018 @ 10:12am
            Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            I read that test as Wales v South Africa.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 10:16am
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              In the stat books, yes.

              Does it provide any evidence of ‘where the Boks [or Wales] are at’?

              In my mind, not really. I thought the “Test” and the teams was a sham and disrespected the entire concept of international rugby.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:13pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                Fionn, I agree with that game maybe did not deserve to be labeled a Test match. But it is what it is. And we did get some answers; Gatland’s Wales are building some depth. South Africa is very reliable on a few key players and they will face better tests when they face sides that are not so disjointed as this English side that seems to be in free fall.

              • June 19th 2018 @ 5:11am
                Faith said | June 19th 2018 @ 5:11am | ! Report

                Eben also has to come in …

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 10:41am
              taylorman said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              Iread last weekends test as England vs South Aftica, a bok side that has 17 new faces in the squad.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 6:02pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

                True T/man, as they have recalled, or had an influx, of their European based players, in which I personally think, will make a big impression on their Rugby Champs hopes this year. Still waiting for the likes of Malcolm Marx, to make a return. Cheers.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2018 @ 12:40am
                Corne Van Vuuren said | June 19th 2018 @ 12:40am | ! Report

                Reports are that Marx and Whiteley is available for selection, I suspect they will play some domestic rugby soon

          • June 18th 2018 @ 11:33am
            P2R2 said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

            Oh my…a fully International Test Wales v SA is by your books NOT A TEST…can you pull the other one??? a Test is a Test…there’s no A B or C …

            • Roar Pro

              June 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm
              Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              Yep lets also remember that SA hammered France at home last year with two tests at altitude where they played with pace, tempo and precision. We all know what happened after that.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                Yeah, that is the scary part. They looked lovely in that French series.
                But I am an optimist. There is something different brewing in Boksland this year compared to last year. The overall quality in the Boks 23 is a lot higher, a no-nonsense coach with a plan, and there is real grit, belief, and togetherness in this Boks side also.
                That French series last year was mostly plain sailing and poor preparation for the Rugby Championship

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:21pm
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

              Take a look at the team lists, P2R2. Neither team was representative of a serious effort to play anywhere near their strongest team.

              Fair point, Bakkies, and I get the argument that England is not in form and so it is difficult to tell. I don’t think you can argue South Africa’s team again against Wales demonstrates South Africa’s form whatsoever: none of the starters against Wales started against England in game 1, and I think only 3-4 in the 23 in the match against Wales made the bench in the first Test vs England.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:58pm
              woodart said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

              no friendlies in international rugby.we are not playing tiddlywinks..

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:04pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                Now that reminds me of a great leader and captain.Changed the culture of the AB s and gave Mcaw an easy transition into captain.Carters book talks of having to face Tana after a night out.Spine tingling.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 2:07pm
                Rugby Tragic said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                Mapu, sure but Carter is one of a kind. He is a humble guy whose success was well earned. He was always respectful of authority which I’m sure was the due to his upbringing.

                Except when he was caught drink driving which was a bad error of judgement he has been a great role model.

                Racing92’s boss has nothing but words of praise for Carter

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:05pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

                I wish you were right, woodart, but I find it difficult to feel that way after the Boks-Wales Test in the US.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 2:05pm
                taylorman said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                Except if its held in either Chicago or Hong Kong😀

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                RT,sorry if I implied Carter was anything but..But It was early in the piece and Dan stuffed up and had to face Tana head on as his captain.Tana asked him if he wanted to be an All Black or there about.The rest is successful history.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 6:23pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

                Hi RT,
                You didn’t happen to notice, that a former young rugby star in Brendan McCallum, laced up his boots in Matamata club rugby last weekend, did you mate? Evidently he went pretty well. Cheers.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm
          Perthstayer said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          Bakkies – Agreed. Feels like England quite literally need to come up for air.

          Itoje, George, Launchbury, Farrell, are good players who were on great club form. Loss of Mako V offsets loss of his brother (fractured arm).

          No surprise if they rebound in 3rd test.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 4:09pm
          Superba said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          Bakkies
          The Boks have also been hit by injuries
          Marx
          Bismarck du Plessis
          Etzebeth
          De Jager
          Francois Steyn
          to name a few .

          • Roar Guru

            June 19th 2018 @ 1:03am
            Harry Jones said | June 19th 2018 @ 1:03am | ! Report

            Boks were definitely hit harder by injury than England, because Marx, Etzebeth, Lood was probably best three, easiest-to-pick, and WW/Jaco Kriel was probably best forwards in 2016/17 for Boks. Oddly enough, forwards looked fine! It’s the backline where we are all excited (understandably) by the new young guys that we gave up most of the 51 points…

            Still, by the end, Boks only missed 7% of tackles and only slipped out of a couple. The last 67 minutes of scoreless England was probably the best takeaway.

            • June 19th 2018 @ 5:15am
              Faith said | June 19th 2018 @ 5:15am | ! Report

              Incredible to think of the squad S.A can put on the park. Imagine Marx, Thor, Lood, Ebeth, Jaco Kriel all out. Damn. Can’t wait for ABs at Ellis Park … can wait …

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2018 @ 12:43am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | June 19th 2018 @ 12:43am | ! Report

          English actually didn’t fade in either test. They pushed hard in the last quarter of both tests. I think the altitude thing is a bit of a misnomer.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2018 @ 10:41am
        Ralph said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        I am expecting home wins for both AB’s and Bok’s.

        • Roar Pro

          June 18th 2018 @ 12:31pm
          Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          It is looking likely that next Saturday’s test will be the last at Newlands. There is an article topic for Harry.

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2018 @ 12:36pm
            Ralph said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

            Why Bakkies?

            • June 18th 2018 @ 1:18pm
              Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              Yea why,I haven’t got there yet

            • Roar Pro

              June 18th 2018 @ 2:25pm
              Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

              WP Rugby is broke and the liquidators won in court two years ago to start acquiring assets to pay back their debts. Newlands will likely be sold off, demolished and turned in to apartments. WP and the Stormers will move to Cape Town Stadium where they will be paying rent.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:29pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                Will be very happy when I get to watch the mighty Boks playing my mightier AB s in Cape Town.

    • June 18th 2018 @ 7:33am
      Advrider-oz said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      WB’s 2 long established issues remain.

      Poor at physicality at breakdown and lack of ability to amend game to outhink opposition.

      • Roar Pro

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:57am
        Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        I doubt Cheika is even working on them as he plays his way.

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2018 @ 7:38am
      soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      i didnt see much histrionics. just plenty of discussion with plenty of views. it seems an easy way to play the calm wise man by backing the status quo and label those considering whether change could improve things as hysterics.

      i do think there potential to accomplish both protecting the player and not ruin games by playing 3 /4 of it a man down. having a compulsory sub after 10 or 20 a man down seems much better.

      for the record current guidelines are

      Penalty only – Fair challenge with wrong timing – No pulling down
      Yellow card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player is pulled down landing on his back or side
      Red card – It’s not a fair challenge with no contest, whilst being a reckless or deliberate foul play action and the player lands in a dangerous position

      hard to argue with red from that assuming it qualifies as reckless (which again is hard to argue it didnt). you have to contest and so you need to jump everytime. actually think thats a fairly clear and good system. there seems to be understimation of how useful it is. i didnt see it specifically raised in the discussion afterwards and wasnt mentioned above and the refs didnt even clearly go through it.

      have definitely got a foot in the allow sub after 10/20 camp tho now.

      • June 18th 2018 @ 7:59am
        Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        How do you define ‘no contest’? It is easy to argue there was a contest as his eyes never left the ball and he was under the ball and would have caught it but for Barrett’s jump. If you look at it closely he was even off the ground.

        That sounds definitionally like a contest to me.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2018 @ 8:13am
          soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          yes but no genuine contest actually took place in the end. id define it as realistically challenging for the ball. in those circumstances the jumping player will get the ball 9 times out of 10 so i dont see it as a realsitic contest if you dont jump against a jumper. long story short, always jump

          • June 18th 2018 @ 8:16am
            Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            Again, define ‘genuine contest’.

            If the law is going to be there is only a genuine contest if you get up as high or nearly as high as the other player then players basically shouldn’t bother jumping against Folau or Ben Smith.

            There was a contest. It was just like that between Poland and Germany in 1939. Not much of a contest.

            Fall did jump. Just not nearly as high as Barrett.

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 8:29am
              soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

              a situation where both players are competing for the ball in the same space

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:34am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

                Either player could win the ball. Perhaps Barrett would fumble it. Perhaps Barrett would get distracted by Fall, perhaps Barrett mistimed his jump.

                And, again, using that logic even if the player has a decent jump (Fall’s jump was pretty weak we all admit) then they’re still liable for a RC if the other guy jumps better. It also means that you have to jump higher against some players than others.

                Imagine someone jumping against Folau. They’re almost never going to get higher than him, especially if he has a run up. Does that mean that even if they make a genuine effort to get up high, but he out jumps them by 1-2 feet that there was no contest and they’re liable for a RC? In my mind it just means they contested, but Folau is better at it.

                I don’t know what the answer is, but ‘genuine contest’ needs to be really clearly defined by World Rugby, as it can mean many different things. That’s the reason we have Courts of law, to interpret laws. Otherwise, legislation can be taken to mean many different things.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 8:42am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

                theyre not competing in the same space so its not a contest. waiting for someone to drop a ball or make other mistae isnt making a contest. if he wants to wait for a drop he needs to not make contact while he’s doing it

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:45am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

                So he was meant to know before the fact just how high Barrett would jump?

                How high would he have had to jump in order for it to be a fair contest?

                Would anything lower than Barrett have not been a fair contest? Would he need to be within 5cm of Barrett’s jump?

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 8:58am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

                fionn if they both jump and one gets higher for me that still competing in the same space

                theres obviously some grey area in the application (not in this instance) but at the least your chosen point of getting the ball has to be reasonably closely in the same time and space as the opponent (whether you manage it or not). and remember its only an issue if you then take them out. i dont think theres that much of an issue on the grey area. you can have a very broad definition of competing in the same space but this one wont ever fall into it.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                But they did both jump and one did get higher! That’s where the issue is. If Fall had stayed on the ground there would be no question, but he did jump, it was just a pathetic jump.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:18pm
                Superba said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                What would have happened if Fall , though jumping lower than Barrett , won the ball and Barrett still fell as he did .
                Would that be a contest won
                by Fall ??

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 9:12am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

                yep had another look and they do. but i dont think you could say fall is competing for the ball in the same space as barrett. i think the system works for this one and i syspect pretty well for most others.

                there is grey and i’ll give you maybe the slightest amount on this one but if he wants to get to the same space he needs to do better. or alternatively dont take out the player in the air while he does his poor attempt

              • June 18th 2018 @ 9:17am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                Maybe, hey. I’m not sure I’ve got a better solution. But when we red card a player who kept his eyes on the ball the entire time, positioned himself under it and jumped I can definitely envision that in another 10 years time there may be virtually no contests for the high ball.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 9:22am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                might have to agree to disagree fionn. reckon if you make the effort to jump better youve got a lot less to worry about

              • June 18th 2018 @ 9:24am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

                I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you on anything you’ve said. I’m just thoroughly confused as to how I see the issue as I see both sides of the argument as having very valid points.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:42am
                PeterK said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                Fionn – If the test for a contest is to have your eye on the ball then taking out players in theiar will become very common place, you intentional run into their legs in the air whilst looking at the ball.

                This creates a very dangerous situation.

                I agree with soapit , there was no genuine contest at all.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:41pm
                ClarkeG said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                Have a peek at the contest between Fall and Barrett Junior at the 3min mark.

                Compare that to the RC incident.

                In the first there is no problem unlike the second.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 3:33pm
                Mark Richmond said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 4:07pm
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                no mark. it got overturned over whether it was reckless or not and it was deemed not to be reckless because the contact from the ab previous. that made it accidental.

                it’s not what we;ve been talking about here. imo he had time to adjust after the nudge and was therefore reckless but its consistent with the written guideline to make a judgement that way.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                They didn’t clarify whether it would have been a red card offence were it not for ALB though. I wish they had.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 9:30pm
                ClarkeG said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                The Committee said the outcome was caused by the contact between ALB and Fall.

                It’s a fair assumption then that had the contact between ALB and Fall not occurred and there was the same outcome then the RC would have been upheld.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 11:36am
              P2R2 said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              …Again, define ‘genuine contest’….
              Was Fall ever realistically going to get the ball….? Looks like Angus G said NO…if you are an expert then you are in the wrong job…sorry

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:04pm
                woodart said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                fall didnt jump. he was still unbalanced from running backwards a step after bumping into ,maybe leinert-brown. he was barely off the ground when his head hit barrets feet and legs. to argue different is just weong. end of

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 3:40pm
              tsuru said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

              Fionn, I think you broke Godwin’s law, although you didn’t actually use the H word. But I do like your analogy and agree with the premise of your argument.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:15pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                Don’t mention the war!

            • June 18th 2018 @ 5:32pm
              cinque said | June 18th 2018 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

              I think a phrase like “only had eyes for the ball” doesn’t cut it anymore.
              Consider a more structured scenario, a short kickoff towards a group of forwards.
              After a bit of shuffling, some props lift a lock, who catches it comfortably, maybe on his chest.
              Meanwhile, a chaser with eyes for the ball, times his jump perfectly.
              Only the ball doesn’t reach his outstretched hands. He has turned side on and his shoulder impacts on the hoisted one’s kneecap, ending his season. Ouch.
              Unlucky but the chaser has failed in his duty of care.

              Just the opposite happens with players who tackle someone without the ball, like Coleman in Brisbane. Commentators said he saw his man about to receive the ball and nailed him. That he couldn’t tell whether his target had taken the pass or let it through to the keeper.
              I don’t buy that. It’s a white ball against a green background. (So some excuse when playing England!)
              Basically, players need better peripheral vision. There are exercises that help.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 9:52am
            Pedro the Maroon said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            Of course if you are watching the ball how do you even know there is someone jumping?
            I was taught to watch the ball, not the man charging through.
            History is littered with the carcasses of players who took their eyes off the high ball.
            Fall and France were hard done by. Video refs do a lot .. and a lot of what they do is incorrect.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 8:40pm
            superba said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

            soapit ,

            What if Barrett misjuged it and Fall caught the ball ?
            And Barrett still fell as he did .
            Would that have been a contest won by Fall ?
            I seem to recall that Fall did jump but not as high as Barrett .

            Could Faf ever have a genuine contest for the ball against Retallik ?
            Even if he jumped higher for his height than Retallik did for his ?
            And Retallik fell on his head ?

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2018 @ 8:14am
          Will Sinclair said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

          Yes – this is the part I think is crazy. The idea that Fall wasn’t realistically trying to catch the ball! Utter madness.

          He was standing where the ball would have landed if not for Barrett’s jump with his arms outstretched in a clear “catching” position, watching the ball closely. He is under absolutely no obligation to jump for the ball.

          Honestly, I just do not understand this position at all!

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2018 @ 8:17am
            soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

            will its the difference between intent and what ended up happening. for sure he was trying to catch it, but in the end the way he went about it there was no reaslitic contest

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 9:57am
              Will Sinclair said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              Soap – his intent was the catch the ball.

              And it wasn’t the way HE went about catching the ball that meant there was no realistic contest, it was the way BARRETT went about it.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:02am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

                it was the way they both went about it. and the end result is barrett got upended by fall and as there was no contest falls in big trouble.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:09am
                Will Sinclair said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

                But there was a contest, Soap. How can anyone argue there was no contest? They were both trying to catch the same ball at the same time.

                If Fall had jumped half as high as Barrett would that have been OK? How about 3/4’s as high? Yes, no?

                How about 7/10th? 5/8ths?

                It’s just nonsense. Utter nonsense.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:21am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                id judge each on its mertis. im not pretending theres no grey area

                however bringing up hypotheticals doesnt mean that there was a realistic contest in this case.

                if you have to go through your opponents body from below to get to the ball (and then fail to get near it as a result) i dont think you can consider a realistic contest has occurred (as distinct from a contest being attempted)

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:48am
                PeterK said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                will Fall was not just standing there waiting to catch the ball , he actually ran into Barretts legs whilst he was in the air, a clear card and not a genuine contest.

                If Fall had got to the position first and was stationary then he has no case to answer, the point was he wasn’t stationary.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 11:01am
                Matt Davis said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                I had a similar thought watching it, Barrett jumped poorly. A player needs to be able to remain on the ground going for a catch and not be the guilty party automatically.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:44pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Barrett did not jump poorly….he outjumped Fall by 2 feet (600mm) inheight and got to the ball on the full. Fall was 1/2 a second behind and should have pulled out…His eyes can be looking at the ball and still see the position of the player. If you have ever jumped for a high ball you will be well aware that your periferal vision gives you all the info you need to make a decision on whether you will or wont get to the ball. I believe he knew 100% what was happening and its unfortunate that Barrett landed the way he did…The laws are very clear and the ref has zero choice given the way Barrett landed….Debate the law all you like but there is no debate on who caused Barrett to get hurt…and it could have been a lot worse

          • June 18th 2018 @ 12:04pm
            Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            Peter K nails it on the head.Very clear.A no jumping trial could prove to be not only safer but imagine the timed hits.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm
              piru said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

              A no jumping trial could prove to be not only safer but imagine the timed hits.

              Aussies would never agree to it, it takes Folau completely out of the game

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:29pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                Also reduces the ability to attack teams with up and unders, something that we’ve never really done and were destroyed by from 07-13 after Latham retired and before Folau became fullback.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:57pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

                Fionn it would test the strength of character of the ball catching player knowing some one was bearing down on them leading to a spill and a hugh attacking play.
                Im just throwing it out there.

        • Columnist

          June 18th 2018 @ 8:28am
          Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

          But he is under obligation Will.
          Referees will not allow players to fill the space under a high ball unless they are making a realistic effort to catch.
          The difficult bit is that circumstances differ in each instance.

          If that was a kick over the top with no AB defender at home, Fall could have caught it and kept running. Entirely realistic.

          But with better situational awareness he would have known there was a defender catching at the back.
          That changes the landscape as to what is a realistic effort to catch. If there is an opponent leaping high for the catch your realistic effort must match his for timing and height. That is the “fair contest” referees are calling out.

          If not, stay out of the area until the opponent lands.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 9:55am
            jcr said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

            I think the thing that muddies it even further is that on the way to the ball he was slightly checked by an All Black and that probably negated his ability to leave the ground in a fairer contest .

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2018 @ 9:59am
            Will Sinclair said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            Referees will not allow players to fill the space under a high ball unless they are making a realistic effort to catch.

            But he was making a realistic attempt to catch the ball. Every single action he took was about catching the ball.

            I am at a loss to understand how he is supposedly also responsible for the actions of an opposition player. Maybe Barrett should have been aware that he was putting himself in danger by jumping for a contestable ball? Why is Fall responsible for knowing what Barrett is going to do before he does it?

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 10:06am
              soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

              will you often need to respond to what other players are doing. would it be allowed in a lineout?

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am
              Paulo said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              Because he doesn’t jump, regardless of whether he gets out jumped, it is considered he was not making a realistic attempt at a catch. Yes, he was watching the ball, but should have been aware someone else ‘was likely to be jumping’. That is probably a key point to consider. As you approach a contest you need to ask…

              It is realistic to assume no one was jumping? No. In that space, someone will always be jumping.

              Given that someone is likely to be jumping, was he in a realistic position to compete? No, as a jumping player will be higher.

              There are countless examples of how to do this properly, and is not an ongoing issue players have, as we don’t see that many of them. Bottom line is Fall should have known better than to run into that space and stay low.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 10:23am
                arthur rightus said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                Ok, so if a defending fullback is standing under a high ball waiting to catch it and an attacking player comes through and decides to jump for it and ends up on his head, does the fullback cop a red card??

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:13pm
                Adsa said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                I was thinking the same thing Arthur, if a full back was well placed and the high ball was heading to him to catch with no need to jump what do they do? Stand your ground with a leaping player on top of you and get carded or get out of the way and get a huge roast by coach, supporters and team mates for not having a go.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:18pm
                Shane D said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

                No. A player is ok as long as he is not moving into the jumping players landing area. Just standing there while a player jumps into you is not a penalty.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:28am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

                i dont see how standing still could be considered a deliberate or reckless foul play action

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:30pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Arthur…of course not…The action of the person chasing is what causes the injury in the case you are asking about….In the Ab v France case the action of the chaser also causes the incident, but it was to the opposition player not himself

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm
              Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              You have this wrong I believe.It was careless and no he did not contest by jumping…he did not jump.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:47pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                How did his feet end up off the ground if he didnt jump?

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm
                Ralph said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

                He threw himself to the ground, but missed?

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:58pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Ok but not a real attempt at jumping high to contest the ball with timing

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                Mapu…yes true…a decent jump to a position of contesting the ball would have meant no sanction needed

          • June 18th 2018 @ 11:22am
            Phil said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            I think your interpretation is correct,Geoff,the French player would have known that a defender would be jumping for the ball,therefore he has an obligation to make sure his jump does not create a dangerous situation.Watching the ball is no excuse.
            I was very disappointed with Kirwan’s hysterical reaction in the half time discussion that the ref had ruined the game.As it turned out,the French probably played better with 14.All Blacks were well below their usual standard though.

            • Columnist

              June 18th 2018 @ 1:25pm
              Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              I never heard/saw Kirwan, Phil.
              Probably just as well I didn’t! 🙂

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 1:34pm
              piru said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

              As a commentator and pundit Kirwan was a very good winger

              He just sounds like someone’s ranty uncle these days

              • June 18th 2018 @ 6:26pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

                Nailed it piru !!

              • Roar Rookie

                June 18th 2018 @ 6:36pm
                piru said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

                Muzzo I take no pleasure in it, Kirwan was my hero as a kid.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 6:51pm
                taylorman said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

                Me too. He and Jones entry to the Auckland and AB scene remain for me the two best new players to top rugby ever, such was the impact of their career starts. Only Lomu had more, though I was a bit older then.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:01pm
                Muzzo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

                Yep, I appreciated what he achieved as an AB piru, & he was definitely one of our better wingers, but really as a commentator, I kinda, think after that rant he has a lost a lot of creditability. Honestly, the best winger of my younger years, was always Ron Jarden, from Wellington, till the legend Jonah RIP, came along.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 2:42pm
          Gepetto said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          It seems the most reckless player is considered to be the one with the rights. If you jump highest and nearly kill yourself when an opponent touches you, the opponent will be penalised. Even if the opposition kicks the ball to you, you can get sent off if someone outjumps you to get the ball, though mostly, the attacking team is penalised. In the interests of player safety, players need to wait until the catcher’s foot touches the ground before mercilessly smashing him.

      • Columnist

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:15am
        Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        “i didnt see much histrionics”

        We must be looking in different places soapit. Plenty of people (this site included) saying they turned their TV off because the contest was ruined, with some saying they’ll never watch rugby again.

        The problem with trying to find a middle ground sanction is that it does nothing to lessen the chances of a bad incident happening. World Rugby wants people to stay out of the contest unless they are certain they can compete fairly and safely.

        It means very little if an offending player (in this case Fall) had no intent to cause an accident, or was unlucky, or had his eyes on the ball, or if his his side unfairly goes down to 14 men, if Beauden Barrett ends up in a wheelchair.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 8:19am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:19am | ! Report

          Are you seriously saying the red card didn’t ruin the contest? The team is playing against the All Blacks in New Zealand and they got a red card in the first quarter of the game.

          A match is essentially over then.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 8:40am
            bluesfan said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            Yes the match was essentially over and that was the fault of Fall.

            Gardner’s decision making/reffing was spot on and consistent with how this issue has being reffed over the past 12/24 months. Examplse would be Super Final last year and Smith being sent off for his challenge on Havilli or Jason Emery when playing for the Highlanders vs Sharks or Elliot Daly vs Argentina

            So Fall is at fault – he could/should have pulled out when he realised that he was in no position to catch the ball and every player now knows that if their is no real competition in the air and it results in a player going off his feet – you had better hope that the player lands on his feet, shoulders etc – because if it’s his head – then the Ref will pull out a red card.

            Games are being ruined – but it’s not the fault of the Ref, but the player concerned and his decision making at the time.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 8:53am
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

              Maybe it was Fall’s fault, maybe it wasn’t. And I don’t think I ever blamed the referee.

              Nevertheless, I don’t think it is histrionics to say that the contest was over at that point. Labelling such criticisms ‘histrionics’ is just a cheap way of trying to disregard valid criticisms.

              • Columnist

                June 18th 2018 @ 9:19am
                Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                I think you’re tying a couple of things together there Fionn.

                I agree that the contest was over at that point, in the sense that France were almost certainly not going to win.

                It doesn’t always have to be that way of course, we’ve seen many great contests where a side battles manfully a man down – AB’s last year v the Lions, Wales v France in the 2011 World Cup and so on. But in this case, nobody expects France to pull off such a miracle.

                I also agree that it’s healthy to discuss incidents like this from all sides and if there are better alternatives out there, bring them on.

                The criticisms in themselves aren’t histrionic. But the reaction and manner in which they were raised by some fans and writers was.

                Regardless, these are semantics and not the issue.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 9:23am
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                The difference was that that was the All Blacks at home conceding the RC.

                I think that if any other team (including the BIL) conceded a red card against the All Blacks in New Zealand in the first quarter of the game the contest would legitimately be over.

                If France had stayed in the contest or won it may have been the biggest upset in professional rugby history, even more so than Japan beating the Boks at the 2015 WC.

                I personally continued watching the game as I was intrigued by the fact that the All Blacks just seemed so dire and disorganised despite the red card. However, if I was a rugby league or AFL fan with only a casual interest in rugby I couldn’t see myself as being particularly pumped to watch another game in the near future.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 11:24am
                Phil said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                Fionn,Kirwans’ comments at half time were “histrionics”if I have ever heard them and he did blame the ref.No wonder he was a crap coach.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 11:34am
                Nobody said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                Which is why I’ve become totally sold on the “red carded player goes off for the rest of the game, but team can bring on a substitute after 20 minutes” idea. A player who commits a red card offence simply cannot continue playing in that game. Arguing that it should have been a yellow is completely against the goal of reducing the amount of head injuries in rugby. There absolutely must be a stern penalty in order to drive the message of consideration for other players home.

                The problem then is that red cards as they stand can ruin the contest, and one did in that game. So, solely for the sake of the contest, allow a substitute to be brought on later, and 20 mins just makes sense IMO.

                Totally… simply… completely… absolutely… pardon my own histrionics. I do find it hard to restrain my passion over this issue. I feel very strongly that I don’t want the contest to be ruined, but never at the cost of more head injuries. My fervent 2c.

                (Good article Geoff)

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:54pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                Fionn…Maybe it was Fall’s fault, maybe it wasn’t.

                Are you seriously trying to say it was not Falls fault that Barrett ended up on the ground on his head? As a former Fullback/winger I know for a fact that perriferal vission allows a player in Falls position to KNOW EXACTLY where Barret was and see nothing right about what Fall did except he kept his eyes on the ball…But that in no way excuses his total mistiming of his jump…..he should have backed out completely…

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:29pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                I think a number of things contributed to Barrett ending up on his head. The kick, Barrett running in from long range and leaping high, Fall following the ball and not getting as high as Barrett.

                However, I don’t think Fall deliberately set out to hurt Barrett, and Fall did jump. I don’t like seeing contests ruined because Fall was perhaps negligent as opposed to deliberately trying to injure someone.

                I’m not certain I agree with you that everyone’s peripheral vision is always working equally well all the time.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:44pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Fionn I agree totally that Fall had no intention to injure etc and that he was trying to regain the ball….The reason he was sent off is because his actions led directly to Barrett being in a dangerous position…..The laws on this are very clear and all players would be aware of them…..As for the peripheral vision bit well of course some are better than others at spacial awareness but rugby players are in traffic all the time and if they dont have a reasonable vision then they are unaware of where their opposition is at any given time…With Fall running in and going for the catch he would have been 100% aware where Barrett was but in my opinion he misjudged his timing…hence the send-off…If it ruined the contest then so be it…That is not the officials problem..that is the players problem……..And yes it affects us fans but if I buy a ticket to any sporting…or any other..event, then I am fully aware that injury…and in sport, foul play…can have an effect on the entertainment level

          • June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am
            Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            Oh, it ruined the match all right and I was one who switched it off, although I did’t announce that. There were plenty of other, now more attractive options while we waited for the Wallaby test to start. As I posted at the time, the match went from a true spectacle to a farce. Histrionics? Only if you are seeking to appear superior. And dare I say, smug. Meanwhile, the game loses probably a million or more viewers around the world.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 9:23am
              BBA said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

              However if it was an AB fan that got red carded after 12 mins there might have been a million viewers switching on.

              You cant have different rules so you just have to take the good with the bad. Personally I would have had no problem with the player being sent off but being able to be replaced after 10 minutes for that action.

              The debate is worthy but it does need to consider a number of situations and decide whether the strategy is making the game safer, and if not what are the other options.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 1:01pm
              Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              Drongo….Its funny isnt it…A player does a very dangerous thing and all you give a toss about is that it ruined the game because the ref sent him off…
              Not that it takes much to turn you off rugby these days…Thorn not selecting QC does that every week…well thats what you say anyway.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:02pm
                Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

                Are you drunk?

            • June 18th 2018 @ 1:11pm
              Vesi Tagoiagea said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

              If that was an AB player rc guarantee no one will switch off everyone will want to see how the AB cope or play with 14

          • June 18th 2018 @ 1:08pm
            woodart said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

            well if thats your attitude fionn, we are all glad you dont coach the french team, because they didnt have your attitude.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 1:12pm
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

              And yet despite the French trying so hard, and despite the All Blacks not playing well it still resulted in a very comfortable win to the All Blacks. A result that was never really in doubt after the red card.

              Which was entirely my point.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2018 @ 8:27am
          soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

          heoff i dont see turning your tv off as histrionics personally, plenty other way to spend an evening. there were a couple of never watch again tho i do recall, really a very small percentage for mine. i guess try not to react too much to the fringe

          i do get that all those things dont mean much and they want to protect the player. however i dont think allowing a player to be subbed after 20 min a man down would significantly increase to likelihood of someone doing this and it would have significant upside. 20 mins and a sub thats still a significant disincentive. at the moment players would generally think theyd generally get a yellow for 10 which is deemed to be enough disincentive for the vast majority to avoid. i do think greater emphasis on the guidelines i pasted would get the message out that you have to make a real contest otherwise youre in trouble.

          • Columnist

            June 18th 2018 @ 8:33am
            Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

            Agree with your final comment soapit, and I actually think that – in general – players have adapted well to the guidelines, and we see relatively few incidents like these.

            I watched Folau chase a couple of kicks on Sat night and you could actually see the very point at which he determined he wouldn’t be able to reach the landing point in time to jump and compete safely and fairly, and so eased off to get the timing of his tackle right.

            The emphasis should be on getting all players to match what he, Ben Smith and others do, not on trying to legislate around what Fall did.

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 8:39am
              soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

              yeah folau got binned for one a few years back where the guy jumped late and he couldnt pull up in time after really commiting so not surprised he’s learned.

              me im happy with those guidelines and reckon they are well written. i do think the red card thing result needs to be looked at as there will always be players who stuff up and a pro sport shouldnt so easily throw away the contest from mistakes of 1 individual

            • June 18th 2018 @ 1:06pm
              Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              Yes to me the very simple thing is that when playing rugby your spacial awareness is far more accurate than not seeing what Barrett was doing…Fall would have clearly seen Barrett, and seen where he was and where he was going to be. Fall continued thru with his attempted catch knowing he was never going to get there….hence the send off

        • June 18th 2018 @ 8:49am
          Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          The practical effect is that the man who gets the highest wins the rights to the ball, is deemed the ‘only player with a realistic chance’ of catching the ball. So we get the fullback hurling himself as high as possible with no chance of controlling his descent should a lower contesting player bump him, or in this case, get pushed into him. It is effectively a competition to get high and hence a competition to get into the most dangerous position possible. In line outs players have lifters to bring them down and are matched evenly side by side.
          The rule needs to be changed.
          Plus, this and the Genia incident highlight the biggest blight on the game, the incessant pushing and bumping of players off the ball. It is dirty cheating and is at alarming levels.

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am
            soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            mate he wasnt pushed into him. he had enough time to pull out after his nudge.

            just because you dont get highest and dont win the ball doesnt mean you werent a realistic chance ro get the ball from you chosen action.

            same cant be said for someone staying on the ground against a jumper.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 10:25am
              Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

              If a player bumps a higher player who then lands dangerously it will be a red card. So effectively, the higher player always wins. If they are the same height, the referee deems ‘fair contest’ and it is play on, broken neck or not.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:31am
                soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                last sentence, yeah i spose. much less likely to happen tho if theyre competing at the same height.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:49am
                taylorman said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

                Exactly, because the former means that the higher player occupied the space first, which he did.

                Fall arrived slightly later. This is not rocket science but it is interesting how little concern there is when an AB is fouled out and injured. Where the rules become more important.

                Dagg vs Beale for instance. No concern for dagg, who is still out, none for barrett, who did nothing wrongvand is out injured. Fall and Beale, neither of whom even missed a step in the game, get all the sympathy.

                Nice people.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:10pm
                Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

                We are discussing the rules, you big sook. You take this discussion and turn it into an anti-All Black thing. Ok, preface my comments with this: I truely hope that no All Black suffers an injury or pain and suffering as a result of dangerous play by an opponent. And I wish Baden (or whatever his name is) a speedy recovery.
                Ok now? And how is that persecution complex going?

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:09pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                Tman its always the same…An AB does something bad…lets ban him for 5 years..anothe team does the same thing against the ABs…lets change the rules so thats ok

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 1:53pm
                Melburnian said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                @Taylorman. I hear what you are saying about he Dagg vs Beale comparison but I feel you are being a bit harsh. Most people on this and other forums are probably not aware that Dagg is still out injured I presume from the high tackle from Peni? Peni got carded and TBH it looked fairly innocuous in the TV, that fact it hasn’t proved so shows the nature of such injuries are not always matched by the nature of the collision. I for one wish Dagg a speedy recovery.

                The issues in spectators minds arising form these incidents can be split up into separate things. 1. The injury and or the subsequent YC or RC affects the spectacle and everyone wishes it hadn’t. 2. The interpretations and World Rugby guidelines never quite match the expectations of events (Barrett / Fall – 2nd test & Folau / Kearney – 1st test. Both jumpers taken in the air, one drops on his head an is injured = RC, one lands on his face = no sanction.) Its the inconsistency that is hurting the spectacle and WR need to sort this out. If we allow contestable kicks, then we need to protect the players in the air and hang the consequences to the subsequent spectacle.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 8:11pm
                Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                I thought I watched Dagg play against the French Barbarians?

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 7:02pm
                taylorman said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

                Yes well its all this extendng out that the ABs were favoured, that the contest ended because ‘nobody can expect to beat the ABs with 14’.

                I mean its not as if we planned to have Barrett smash his head on the ground and be out injured for the series.

                Geez those lucky ABs, getting all the calls again.

                Believe me, if we could give the stupid red card back for Barrett not to be injured wed do it in a second, some just need to get a grip on their perspective. I dont give a stuff about the red card when our players are injured, potentially seriously.

                The poor french, so hard done by…pfff.

      • Roar Pro

        June 18th 2018 @ 9:02am
        Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        ‘have definitely got a foot in the allow sub after 10/20 camp tho now’

        I am not a fan as it won’t encourage teams with discipline issues to address them. Often it is the same teams conceding reds.

        It also doesn’t work at the end of matches either.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 9:04am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          Be stricter about giving players lengthier bans then.

          I’m not saying we go the full AFL route, but I think something has to give.

          The yellow card/red card system was devised in an age without the TMO and when far fewer cards were awarded. It wasn’t designed the the system we have now where cards are (rightly or wrongly) given out a lot, and often.

          • Roar Pro

            June 18th 2018 @ 9:17am
            Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            ‘Be stricter about giving players lengthier bans then.’

            Leaving disciplinary procedures to lawyers and committees doesn’t work. Case in point the NRL foul play often doesn’t get cited and when it does majority of cases don’t result in suspensions.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 18th 2018 @ 9:48am
              Paulo said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

              Lengthy bans work when you consider the Wales Red card against Arg. A sustained and violent choke hold, held even when the physio and AR are trying to yank his arm away, gets a Red card in the 82nd minute, absolutely zero impact on the game. A very lengthy ban has to be imposed for that.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am
                Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                ‘Lengthy bans work when you consider the Wales Red card against Arg’

                Well it happens rarely.

          • Roar Guru

            June 18th 2018 @ 10:57am
            PeterK said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            Fionn – i have suggested a middle ground.

            Reds used to be rare and for terrible acts like eye gouging , kicking heads and so on.

            However reds are also used for high tackles when ball carriers fall into the tackle, 2 yc’s considering a yc is quite easy to get.

            So I propose an orange card in addition to the red card.

            The red card kept for it’s original purpose for extreme acts and works how it does now.

            An orange card is 20 mins.

            It applies for the severe high tackles, for 2 yc’s, (a 3rd yc goes to red card), for those contests in the air like Falls, some tip tackles. Some tip tackles where they drive the head in the ground with force should still be a red IMO.

            Orange cards also attract citations and bans like red cards do.

            • Roar Pro

              June 18th 2018 @ 12:14pm
              Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              ‘Reds used to be rare and for terrible acts like eye gouging , kicking heads and so on.’

              They were rarely handed out for that. Just look at the highlights from the 1990 series against France. The French should have been down to 10 men in each match.

              Peter the rest of your post is just over complicating a non issue that will leave punishment in the hands of lawyers who exploit loopholes (just look at the Cian Healy stamping case fiasco) and committees which is just not working.

            • June 18th 2018 @ 12:43pm
              Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

              I was going to ask what if there was less than 20 to go but I guess its no different to a yellow…but is it?

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 2:30pm
                Bakkies said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                It is, with a red you get an automatic judiciary hearing.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 4:41pm
                Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

                Ok but that doesn’t change the winner of the game.Maybe the next in a series but history books can be harsh

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2018 @ 9:18am
          soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          send off dont work at the end of matches.

          i think 20 mins a man down would be enough to encourage discipline issues to be addressed.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 18th 2018 @ 9:52am
            Paulo said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            this change only impacts cards given in the first 3/4 of a match, anything after has no time to bring a replacement. If we assume cards are evenly ditrivuted through a course of a match this chance only impacts on 75% of potential red cards. I don’t have a solution, but not sure this will have the change we want and adds another level of subjective decision making for the refs. Is it a YC, 20min ban (orange card?), or Red card?

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 10:09am
              soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

              i dont see not being able to replace after the final quarter being a big deal, tiyrve still had three quarters with full 15. if inaything it lessens the disparity that currently exists between send offs that occur early or late.

              agree the subjectiity could be an issue but red could be kept for intentionally dangerous acts which wouldnt be too hard to argue.

              or just get rid of the current red altogether

              • Roar Rookie

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:23am
                Paulo said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                It is difficult. I’m not really against the 20min bin, can just see the issues with it, not that the current state of affairs is without multiple issues. I think we can all agree there needs to be something in the middle of Yellow and Red, particularly for clumsy offenses like this. This wasn’t malicious or intentional, but just clumsy.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:53am
                piru said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                Tie one of the offenders arms behind his back for each offence.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:00pm
                Canetragic said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Does that supply a reasonable excuse for a no arm tackle Piru? 😄

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                Paulo I really didnt see it as clumsy….The player deliberately chose to put himself into a position to endanger another player…He had time to pull out but chose not to…The result may have been clumsy but the event was not

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm
                Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                ‘The player deliberately chose to put himself into a position to endanger another player’

                Are you aware that that reads like you’re saying Fall put himself in the position with the intention to endanger another player? If so, that’s a pretty serious allegation. I think it’s fairer to say that he put himself in a position where it was possible he would endanger another player, but I don’t think he intended to endanger or injure anyone.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 18th 2018 @ 1:58pm
                piru said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

                Does that supply a reasonable excuse for a no arm tackle Piru?

                Well, that’s the risk you take!

              • June 18th 2018 @ 1:58pm
                Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

                No Fionn I am definately not saying that…Fall put Barrett in a dangerous position by his actions….Those actions did not look deliberate to me, or to any I have seen comment here…But those actions did put Barrett in danger and the Law punishes that..I do not believe any player goes out to injure another player in international rugby these days…anger can change that on the odd occasion but this was not one of those occasions

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2018 @ 2:41am
        jeznez said | June 19th 2018 @ 2:41am | ! Report

        Should have carded Barrett. He is the one that made it dangerous jumping into a bloke under the ball.

        Ok I’m being facetious and yes we need to protect players but I don’t think being able to jump higher than the other guy means he shouldn’t be trying to catch it.

        AFL must have a much bigger issue with contests for the ball in they air. How have they addressed it?

        • Roar Pro

          June 19th 2018 @ 8:06am
          Bakkies said | June 19th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

          In the AFL it was more players using the knees in the back to get leverage for extra height. They put a stop to that.

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2018 @ 8:51am
          Wal said | June 19th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          Quite different trajectories in the AFL, where mostly both players competing for the ball are facing the same direction.

          Union and League are very different in that you have closing speeds of up to 50kph.
          League have completely stuffed it with some rubbish about being able to tackle the attacker in the air but nop the defender.

    • June 18th 2018 @ 7:55am
      Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      I’d argue the win wasn’t more convincing.

      Ireland definitely controlled all the play, but at the end of the day Australia were always in touching distance. Ireland were down a man and Australia had worked the ball 50m upfield with a chance to steal it at the death.

      Ireland certainly worthy victors, but it ended up being a tight test match.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2018 @ 9:21am
        soapit said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        kind of agree fionn. they looked better for the majority of the match but it didnt translate to points which is the ultimate goal of rugby. i do think if oz won it wouldnt have been a fair result but the scoreboard is the ultimate judge of how well youve played. its not like they had a heap of close missed chances (1 maybe?)

        • June 18th 2018 @ 9:29am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          That’s basically fair to say. But I would say that watching Schmidt’s Ireland team they often control possession and territory for large portions of the game, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to scoreboard dominance.

          Whereas New Zealand’s counterattacking game can create a lot more points with far less possession and territory.

          I think it sets up an exciting third Test, although I’m very nervous without Genia. Actually, the Wallabies getting so close without Genia for a large portion of the game is something I am actually really excited by in hindsight.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 9:38am
            Boomeranga said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

            Do you think it comes down to Powell or Gordon on the bench with neither getting much game time unless through injury?

            • June 18th 2018 @ 9:49am
              Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

              I hope not. I hope the two halfbacks get about 40 mins each to keep them as fresh as possible.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 11:32am
          Phil said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

          Agree,soapit and Fionn.Ireland thoroughly deserved the win as they came out and played as everyone expected they would.However,the Wallabies hung in for the duration and were in touching distance of a win,which would not have been really deserved.I think praise is deserved for both sides and it has set up a huge game this weekend.Bad luck about Genia,though.

      • Columnist

        June 18th 2018 @ 9:24am
        Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        It was tight at the end Fionn, and that’s definitely a positive the Wallabies can take from the loss.
        But into the 3rd quarter it always felt to me – and the guys around me – that Ireland were in control of the match.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 9:27am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Agree that Ireland were in control. But I felt that way in the second BIL test last year even despite the SBW red card. In the end though the Lions stole it, as the Wallabies were in a position to do too.

          Just goes to show that territory and possession doesn’t win you games. Points on the scoreboard do. Ireland perhaps should have run away with it and won by 15 points, but I think it is a tad concerning for Ireland’s attempts to win the WC and knock off New Zealand that such a level of breakdown dominance, possession and territory doesn’t result in a bigger win.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 18th 2018 @ 2:25pm
            Dwards said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

            Very interesting that they kicked for points with a 1 man advantage on at least 2 occasions. In the end it worked, but only just. They have a decent lineout and backline – suprising they didn’t make more of the advantage.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm
          Jacko said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          Spot on Geoff….It reminded me of the SA v ABs match at the last WC…The score was 20-18 I think but watching it I never felt the ABs were a chance of losing…even tho 2 points at the end is a very loseable game…..The Irish always looked to be controlling the game and it was Aus moments that kept them in the game on the scoreboard. Unfortunately domanence is not always reflected on the scoreboard but is generally reflected in the result

      • June 18th 2018 @ 10:29am
        Drongo said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        From when they got in front, we were always chasing the game. I never thought ‘we are getting on top here’. A last minute win would have been a surprise, a nice one, but not really a deserved one.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 10:53am
          Fionn said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          Totally agree, Drongo. But nevertheless we were in a position to chase the game, which surprised me given Ireland’s breakdown dominance, and field position/territory dominance.

          Ireland played a good match and deserved the win.

          • June 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm
            Mapu said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

            I felt that 5 more minutes and the wallabies win.They are so dangerous in possession of the ball and the yellow card factor as well.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 18th 2018 @ 7:58am
      Playerfromwaybk said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Geoff, you and NB have such a beautiful writing style, nice article, thank you.

      • Columnist

        June 18th 2018 @ 8:33am
        Geoff Parkes said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Very kind Player. Always happy to be mentioned alongside NB 🙂

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