The Roar
The Roar

Harry Jones

Roar Guru

Joined August 2013

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"Never confuse motion with action."

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Well done, All Blacks! Smart, ruthless, and tough. Boks: clearly, the Fafmobile idea needs to stop.

All Blacks scrape past Springboks in Rugby World Cup clash

Smart ABs. Great D. Dangerous on the counter! I’ve never seen them so ragged as in the first 20. But they stayed calm. We looked too frantic, especially at 9. Poor passing. Anyways, congrats to NZ: defo the better team. They controlled the SCORE, if not the match.

All Blacks scrape past Springboks in Rugby World Cup clash

Who was the best hooker?

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

For example, Rugby Pass has Sam Whitelock at 83 and RG Snyman at 90 on their ratings system. That’s nutso ipso fatso. Sam is in our prestigious Top 50!!! Hahaahaa!

Ranking the five best flyhalves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Yes, and I think Rassie has some real tweaks for his NZ tests. On defence, the Bok wings shoot up beyond Bok 12/13 to create umbrella (Faf shoots up on the inside) and they do it every single time, so the young wings don’t have to read. Pollard often plays sweeper, if he is not engaged in a ruck. Pollard plays at the breakdown. He also fields a lot of kicks. Remember the catch and line break at Wellington with the chip kick? He’s not bad in the air and at the run-back.

Ranking the five best flyhalves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Yes, I read it, after you referred to it. My problem with Ben Smith’s analysis is:

1/ the headline was silly–“Why Pollard isn’t in the Conversation about World’s Best 10.” Rugby Pass literally rates only three flyhalves ahead of him: Richie, Sexton, and Farrell. But when they compare Sexton to him, they have Pollard way above him (30 points) on attack. So, it just comes down to kicking. Also, Pollard is very physical; he makes dominant tackles, even on forwards. He’s in the conversation. Is he the best? No.

2/ Ben says Pollard wasn’t good in Super Rugby. He was in the conversation for player of the year, even in a so-so Bulls team. And he played a vital role there as captain.

3/ He analyses only scoring plays against the All Blacks as his yardstick, and dismisses two MOTM performances (one for the RC trophy, where Pollard scored over 30, including 2 tries, and 2 direct try assists) as irrelevant, but in the 16-16 game, it was Pollard who set Willie free with a no-look pass, which led to the Kolbe kick regathered by Hershel.

Ranking the five best flyhalves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Carlos, yes, I don’t find rugby a particularly easy sport to statistic-ise. Haha! Try assist stats are really non-informative, actually.

Ranking the five best flyhalves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Rugby Pass has a few super contributors, but a lot of their individual rankings are, to be polite, total kak. The Boks’ rise is inextricably linked to Pollard’s play. He was probably at his worst a few years ago, and has patiently added pieces to his skillset (his pass is among the flattest and longest, off both hands, in world rugby at 10; his kicking is definitely now up there with Sexton and Farrell). But the trap of looking at stats like “try assists” is that they will always favour the “last pass” guy. Pollard’s long passes are often the “second-to-last” in a try, or his own linebreaks set up the next phase, with a try. Also, his kick-passes are phenomenal to the wings. I don’t know if he’s 2nd or 3rd best behind BBBBB, but he’s up there.

Ranking the five best flyhalves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Sheek will love me for nominating a prop.

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

So, only NZ and SA tipped to win it all; and if we give 2 for first place and 1 for second, it’s:

NZ 13
SA 10
Ire and Eng 2

Which is increasingly the view of the betting establishments.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Crystal ball predictions for champions, best player and much more

Nobes had Bakkies just above Dan Carter. I love him, now.

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

Windhoek

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

no upsets, mate?

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

I’m sad that Jordie isn’t in there. Need him to have a brain fart. So, now I’m counting on Reece to show us he isn’t good in the air against the Bok chasers.

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

Rassie v Shag is also delish.

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

Delicious matchups all over the park. The Sams versus EE + PSDT. Ardie and Siya. Cheslin v Bridge. Frans v SBW in the last 20:00. Pollard v Richie. The bench front rows: looking forward to that! Willie seems to wake up vs NZ. BBBBB vs BBBBB.

Rugby World Cup tipping Week 1: unprepared

England will definitely handle the heat OK (mad dogs and Englishmen and all that), but I will believe a freckled Celt thriving in the sauna when I see it.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Crystal ball predictions for champions, best player and much more

Corne, thanks for kind words. I know you’ve pulled together these kinds of lists and it can drive you mad afterwards to see the obvious misses! I also think there are a lot of big shifts in this list depending on who wins this one, or gets close. Imagine a 25 year old Handre Pollard with a 2-point loss to Dan Carter in the 2015 SF and then a 2019 Cup with him being high scorer? How far up would he go? Or Sam Whitelock? Jeez! He may be one of the best Kiwi locks ever! Or we can all throw up and imagine Owen Farrell holding Bill aloft….

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

I had R Kruger at 23rd. That’s pretty high for not even making it into the 50 at all!

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

Absolute legend.

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

Yes, I had Juanito at 33. But also, I thought Pienaar was way too overrated. And I also like Gorgodze!!!!!!

The Roar’s 50 greatest Rugby World Cup players wrap-up: Who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best countries and positions

Shag’s been playing games like this forever; good on Rassie for getting in Hansen’s head a bit. Meyer and Coetzee were too eager to be his little buddy. I see Shag is sputtering about it not being cricket and such. Come on. This is all part of the fun. I’m sure they’ll have a beer after the match, no matter who wins.

Springboks coach has a message for referees ahead of RWC clash with All Blacks

“Most influential.”

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 5-1

Yes. And Kriel was a 15 for the Bulls. And Kolbe is great at 15.

Springboks confirm strong side for Rugby World Cup opener vs All Blacks

I nominated Craig Joubert!!!!

The Roar’s 50 greatest players in Rugby World Cup history: 5-1