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The Roar

Will Sinclair

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Joined July 2011

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Including qualifiers, the teams England have beaten on the way to the World Cup Quarter Finals:
– Slovakia
– Malta
– Scotland
– Lithuania
– Slovenia
– Tunisia
– Panama

They have lost to Belgium and drawn with Colombia.

Seriously – has there ever been a luckier draw, and an easier run to the late stages of a World Cup?

FIFA World Cup power rankings: Quarter-finals

In short, get there, ‘Tahs fans. Your team needs you in numbers.

Seconded!

The Run Home – part 2: The equations

Am I the only person who considers the end of the QLD dynasty to be 2013?

Since then, the series results are 3-2 to QLD and the match results are 7-7… To my mind, the 2014 win broke the dynasty, and since then we are back to normal service.

Freddie’s Baby Blues finally end the Maroon dynasty

I was at Game 1 last year, and can confirm that the “loyal” Queensland fans were streaming for the exits with a good 20 minutes to play…

More Blues fans than Queenslanders there by the final whistle.

2018 State of Origin: Game II preview

Who knows what is right and what is not right, mate? It’s a mess. A complete and utter mess.

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

Yep – confirmed. World Rugby has decided the red card decision was incorrect.

What an utter, abject, pathetic farce. Just a complete shambles.

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

Hearing reports now that Benjamin Fall’s red card has been rescinded…

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

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.

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

Agree completely.

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

And herein lies the great conundrum, Geoff.

Ultimately Fall didn’t put Barrett at risk – Barrett put himself at risk by leaping into the air. If he had stayed on the ground, then he is at no risk whatsoever of falling from a great height onto his head.

I’ll say it again – Fall did nothing other than try to catch the ball. He wasn’t attempting a tackle – he was trying to catch the ball. If he was tackling a player in the air then absolutely – red card every day of the week, and a long ban to boot.

But it just seems to be utterly crazy to make Fall responsible for knowing what Barrett is going to do, and then punish him as though he has committed an act of deliberate foul play when he proves incapable of predicting the future.

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

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?

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

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.

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

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!

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

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?

Sorry Geoff, but I think you’ve missed the mark here by some distance.

OBVIOUSLY, the priority is the latter point – safety of players and a constant contest for the ball. No-one would disagree with that.

The problem is with the way World Rugby is trying to reach this objective, which has become overzealous (particularly with the use of video technology) to the point where unfortunate accidents are equated with deliberate foul play.

So we get a situation where a player can be sent off in a Test match without conducting a single act of foul play. Zero. Nothing. Zilch. Sent off for doing nothing more than trying to catch the ball. Somehow, in modern rugby, this is treated exactly the same way as an eye-gouge, or a bite, or a Richard Loe elbow to the face (which wasn’t a sending off, funnily enough!).

I’m sorry, but it’s an absolutely dire situation for the game, and anyone who thinks this will win more fans for rugby than it loses is painfully misguided.

(Other than that – hope you’re well!)

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

There is nothing worse than an NRL fan who thinks the referees hate their team. It’s a ridiculous, and embarrassing claim. I certainly don’t think the referees hate the Tigers.

However, it’s about time Greenberg and the NRL do something about the referees loving the team playing against the Tigers every week.

THAT is a disgrace, and it needs to be addressed.

You think the referee hates your side? Check the stats first

Bravo, Dane!

Barely a target left standing.

An AFL fan's guide to Origin

The ambush is in!

UPDATE: Dane Gagai expected to play Origin 1 after suffering finger injury during Maroons training

I genuinely don’t know what to think about Origin this year.

I mean, it definitely COULD play out like above, but I have absolutely no confidence that it will.

Then again, if NSW had this backline last year, the series would have been over at half time in Game Two. Which is to say, the Blues have the strike power to ensure any forward dominance is turned into points.

But I certainly wouldn’t be declaring the Blues at this stage! Anything could happen…

New South Wales will annihilate Queensland on Wednesday night

Is this the first time ever that both Origin captains have been born & bred on the Mid North Coast of NSW?

Queensland Maroons team for Origin 1: Expert reaction

Christmas has been moved to 15 May this year.

Cameron Smith announces shock representative retirement

This is fantastic!

What an experience – sounds absolutely brilliant.

Random observations from the experience of a lifetime: Sitting courtside at a Lakers game

Nice work, Brett.

I can’t answer your questions, but I can tell you that for the sake of Australian rugby there had better be an improved showing from the four Super Rugby clubs… imagine if the ARU went through all that pain to dump a province, and nothing improved…

Five pre-season questions to kick off the Australian rugby year

You could be right mate, but there is no reason not to introduce another level of governance.

There could literally be anything in there.

I can’t talk about it publicly, but I’ve worked as an accountant in Sydney and Brissy long enough to have seen a few NRL sponsors / players… and if you ever buy me a beer I can tell you a few stories!

The NRL's player movement system has to change, but can it actually be fixed?

Maybe Baz – but at least being able to review tax returns for any undisclosed income would give the NRL some confidence that they are being thorough.

After all, it’s easy to lie to the NRL, but a crime to lie to the ATO… and if the NRL finds out you’ve been receiving cash payments it’s a slap on the wrist, but if the ATO finds out…

The NRL's player movement system has to change, but can it actually be fixed?

That win still hurts too much.

I was on Invincible Star and was counting my cash.

The best racing win of 2017