Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Sting, Mar 12, 2017.
Thank you Scotland. Some consolation for last weekend.
The late, late, late try after France had the ball, and then ar$ed around with it, conceding a penalty, rather than putting it out, was the icing and the cherry on top of the cake. What was he thinking!
Another correctly awarded red card too. Most of the games have had everything, red cards, yellow cards, amazing tries, result going to the wire. An enjoyably bonkers tournament for the neutral.
So Scotland win away against England and France. More proof if any were needed that they are back on the up and should make RWC2023 far more interesting. It is great to have two of the three main kickers able to launch the ball with accuracy and swap positions directly on the field or line up near each other to add to the uncertainity of the defence. And especially great in wet conditions placing the onus on the receiving team not to make mistakes in their own twenty two.
However what was Dulin doing ? Did he think they would get an eighteen point try and conversion ? Congratulations to Wales and Wayne Pivac who received a lot of criticism during the Autumn Cup. His interview last night was more notable for the flimsiness of the advertising background which seemed set upon crashing onto his head.
Scotland though will kick themselves for losing to Wales and Ireland and could well have finished much higher and will rue some poor discipline. Ireland are in a rebuild with Wales, Scotland a little more progressed along with that along with the French. England need a fair amount of change and Italy need to really look at schools and junior clubs otherwise they will never progress and Georgia and others in time like Germany and Spain will overtake them.
A lot of talk now about the Lions selection for South Africa. My selection
1. Jones (WAL)
2. Owens (WAL)
3. Furlong (IRE)
4. Itoje (ENG)
5. Wyn Jones (WAL) (Captain)
6. Henderson (IRE)
7. Watson (SCO)
8. Curry (ENG)
9. Murray (IRE)
10. Russell (SCO)
11. May (ENG)
12. Henshaw (IRE)
13. Davies (WAL)
14. Rees-Zammit (WAL)
15. Hogg (SCO)
16. to 30. Fagerson(SCO) , George (ENG), Sutherland (SCO), Ryan(IRE) , R.Gray (SCO), Underhill (ENG). Simmonds (ENG), Tipuric (WAL), G.Davies (WAL) , Sexton (IRE), van der Merwe (SCO), Watson (ENG), North(WAL) , H.Jones (SCO) and finally Liam Williams (WAL) as the second full back although he can play at wing as well.
Well done Wales - their hwyl and chutzpah shone through the whole tournament.
Their young winger Rees-Zammit a star find in JPR Williams mode.
And what a great day for Scotland beating France in Paris in overtime - a real ****(eral) up by them - why the hell didn’t they just take the ball out of play when the game was won?
And the winner from the true Scots legend from the wee van der Merwe clan lol.
Scotland took the positive approach the whole game and deserved their win.
A bonkers 6 nations and very enjoyable despite the lack of crowds.
I would personally find room for Taulupe Faletau (WAL) and Tadhg Beirne (IRE) too. Plenty of options for Gatland to contemplate.
There certainly are, both Taulupe and Tadhg would bring a great presence to the pack, dynamism in the loose and defensive abilities. Gatland is in a very fortunate position.
Congratulations once again to Wales. And a beautiful rendition of a majestic moving anthem. Sadly you do not really get the songs that used to ring out at the Arms Park like Calon Lan compared to the Millenium Stadium :
Leinster yet again win the Pro14 before the arrival of the South African provincial teams formerly of Super Rugby. Munster tried their best but Leinster a class apart again. Conan is on the fringes of that Lions squad. Sexton unfortunately yet another knock to the head.
Well done again Wales.
Best Anthem - even though there’s not a vowel in sight - lol, brings goosebumps -
- and the tenor section always in perfect tune!
Surprised the Belgians with their singing in Euro 2016, except they speeded it up..
From 2 mins 12 secs ..
What a great game that was..
Cannot listen to Myfanwy without tears in the eyes. Welsh and Russian choirs are unique and magnificent. My headmaster at junior school was a proud Welshman and a great singer as well. Came from the Rhondda. Sadly passed on a few years ago.
Love Calon Lan - had it at my dad’s funeral
We belted out "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" at the end of my Dad's funeral. There wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau or Land of my Fathers was the first National Anthem ever played/sung before a major sporting event.
1905, it was played as a response to the Haka of the touring All Blacks.
Not a lot of people know that!
I don't understand the criticism of the French chap who didn't kick the ball out .
Surely the aim was to win the 6 nations ?
I'm not a rugger chap so don't know the rules so can someone enlighten me here .
Would it have been possible for France to score a try and convert .
Scotland kick off. French gain possession . Score again . Etc . Or would the ref have
blown after the first converted try ?
The latter I think.
Game was over as soon as Scotland kicked the conversion for example.
France had to score 4 tries and beat Scotland by 21 points to overhaul Wales and win the 6 nations championship.
Time was up so the game is over the next time the ball goes dead.
France were beating Scotland but had no chance of winning the title based on points already scored. Their position in the table (runners up) was assured.
Dulin the French fullback had the ball and tried to open play for another score. Even if France had scored a converted try they could not get more Championship points than Wales, because the game would be over.
It went wrong and Scotland scored and won the game.
France were still second in the table but suffered the ignominy of losing to Scotland! (Who thoroughly deserved their win by playing so well and taking the attacking option to score a 5/7 point try with the penalties awarded instead of settling for a 3 point penalty kick).
Dulin went from hero to zero in 6 days.
Similar to the Gareth Davies brain f@rt moment at the end of the Wales v Ireland game. All he needed to do was re-cycle possession once or twice and then kick the ball out. Inexplicably he kicked the ball to the Ireland twenty-two and handed back possession from which Ireland threw the kitchen sink at Wales which resulted in a penalty for Ireland close to the halfway line. The Ireland replacement fly-half went for a Hail Mary placement kick for an attacking lineout near the Wales try-line but ballsed it up and saved GDs blushes by missing the touchline and kicking the ball long over the dead ball line. A truly crazy end to the game.
While we are on this topic. Another crazy end to a game:
6 Nations 2010 Wales v Scotland
You can follow SR Aotearoa here as it approaches round seven:
Nice to see how the Antipodean franchises make it incredibly hard for players born in the Pacific isles to play for their country of birth and indeed where they learnt to play. Several players have passed up the opportunity to play for Samoa or Tonga. Others like Sevu Reece have been capped by the ABs. There are one or two Irish and Scots playing as well but who do not seem to fit into any selection picture for those nations. The Wallabies seem keen to recruit RL players several who are Fijians no doubt with a view to having them play for the green and gold. Again a shame that some who have played for Fiji RL will not be turning out for them. Suliasu Vunivalu looks the most likely to be called up for the Wobs having played for Melbourne Storm.
Thanks for that.
A great game.
Shane Williams ‘too small to play rugby’ a superstar. His last game scoring vs Australia and in tears when interviewed on the pitch. Loved his shimmy sidesteps.
Gregor Townsend is set to become the attack coach for the Lions under Warren Gatland. Exeter and Bristol the leading lights in the Premiership crashed out of the European Cup at the hands of Leinster and La Rochelle.
Ealing Trailfinders are storming the Championship racking up the points. I thought I would take a look at their squad to see if they have spent big but no big names in there at all. Between them and Saracens for the title and promotion.
Massimo Cuttita passed away at the age of 54 from complications due to COVID. He and his twin spent part of their childhood in South Africa where they picked the sport up before the family returned to Italy. Massimo was part of a formidable front tow while his brother was a skilled pacy wing. They were central to the Italian side of the nineties and probably their best ever team that put in impressive performances time and time again. Other world class players in that line up were the half backs Francescato who also died young and the half Argentine half Italian Diego Dominguez with the great Paolo Vaccari at fullback.
What also makes it more tragic is that Massimo's mother passed away a matter of a couple of days before him. After retirement Massimo moved into coaching and was instrumental in helping Scotland create a formidable forwards unit.
Performances likes these against a full strength France in the European Nations Cup led to the pressure that eventually resulted in the Azzurri entering the then Five Nations. Unfortunately as has been mentioned before the incompetence of the Italian federation in developing the sport has hampered progress.
The former powerhouse of French rugby is establishing itself again. This I think having lost track of time was two weeks ago. Exeter, Bristol, Sale and Harlequins have already made it to the end of season playoffs.
The summer touring season starts for national sides although it will be overshadowed by the Lions efforts against the Boks. The US Eagles will have their first taste of action since a rather forgettable RWC and will be captained by Sale Sharks AJ MacGinty. Greg Paterson from Newcastle and Kapeli Pifeleti and Will Hooley join from Saracens. It's a side with experience and youth and looking to make progress on the back on the advent of MLR.
The Eagles take on England at Twickenham on July 4th and Ireland at Lansdowne Road on the eleventh.
David Ainu’u (Toulouse, FR), Titi Lamositele (Montpellier, FR), Paul Mullen (Utah Warriors), Chance Wenglewski (Rugby ATL), Mike Sosene-Feagai (Old Glory DC), Kapeli Pifeleti (Saracens, UK), Joe Taufete’e (Lyon, FR), Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York), Nick Civetta (Rugby United New York), Siaosi Mahoni (San Diego Legion), Greg Peterson (Newcastle Falcons), Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold), Hanco Germishuys (Rugby United New York), Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (Old Glory DC), Andrew Guerra (NOLA Gold), Riekert Hattingh (Seattle Seawolves), Psalm Wooching (San Diego Legion)
Michael Baska (Utah Warriors), Ryan Rees (Rugby ATL), Ruben de Haas (Austin Gilgronis), Luke Carty (LA Giltinis), AJ MacGinty (capt., Sale Sharks, UK), Marcel Brache (Western Force, AU), Bryce Campbell (Austin Gilgronis), Mika Kruse (Utah Warriors), Ryan James (LA Giltinis), Conner Mooneyham (Austin Gilgronis), Mike Te’o (Utah Warriors), Mike Dabulas (Old Glory DC), Will Hooley (Saracens, UK)
Prior to the Rugby Championship the Pumas will tour Europe playing two Tests against Wales and one against Romania in Bucharest. The new captain in the wake of the Matera scandal is Leicester Tiger Julian Montoya. All of the squad are Eruopean based although Matias Orlando, Santiago Grondona and Mayco Vivas miss out through injury. Uncapped Wegrzyn and Gigena will to look to make an impact at prop although the selectors might have chosen young Gallo given Italy are looking at trying to pinch the u20 WC bronze medal winner and who is a real talent. Also disappointing not to see Fernandez Criado a young lock and still no sign of Patricio Fernandez at fly half. Given the Championship starts soon after it might have made more sense to rest some players for these youngsters and give Fernandez his chance. He and Miotti are highly talanted although Fernandez is now pushing 26.
LOOSE HEAD PROP
Federico Wegrzyn (Jaguares XV), Facundo Gigena (London Irish, UK), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Bristol Bears, UK)
Facundo Bosch (La Rochelle, FR), Julián Montoya (Leicester Tigers, UK), Santiago Socino (Gloucester, UK)
Francisco Gómez Kodela (Lyon, FR), Santiago Medrano (Western Force, AU), Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors, UK)
Matías Alemanno (Gloucester, UK), Tomás Lavanini (Leicester Tigers, UK), Marcos Kremer (Stade Fran*ais, FR), Guido Petti (Bordeaux, FR)
Rodrigo Bruni (Vannes, FR), Francisco Gorrissen (Jaguares XV), Facundo Isa (Toulon, FR), Tomás Lezana (Western Force, AU), Pablo Matera (Stade Fran*ais, FR)
Gonzalo Bertranou (Dragons, UK), Tomás Cubelli (Western Force, AU), Felipe Ezcurra (Jaguares XV)
Domingo Miotti (Western Force, AU), Nicolás Sánchez (Stade Fran*ais, FR)
Santiago Chocobares (Toulouse, FR), Jerónimo de la Fuente (Perpignan, FR), Matías Moroni (Leicester Tigers, UK), Matías Orlando (Newcastle Falcons, UK)
Santiago Cordero (Bordeaux, FR), Bautista Delguy (Bordeaux, FR), Juan Imhoff (Racing 92)
The Pumitas an u20 side will tour South Africa and feature Inaki Delguy brother of Bautista and of the same original club Pucara and also a winger. Canada announced their squad for the matches against England and Wales. While the immediate outlook for JKinglsey Jones and Rob Howley looks a bit grim there are signs of hope. Rugby Canada need to change their planning and how players are pushed to sevens, made to play at Langford and the decline in youth rugby. Once again several players will be sent to the Olympic sevens such as Andrew Coe who would be better served playing at full back for the fifteens.
The signs of hope are several youngsters who have run away from Canada and ended up in France learning rugby the right way. It's a damning indictment of RC the way these players are developing. The two top prospects are Edmonton native Tyler Duguid a giant of a lock earning comparisons to the late great Norm Hadley who has broken into the Montpellier first team. He started out as a wrestler and only started playing rugby late when he saw it at college.
Will Percillier and Quentin James are in the Stade Francais academy and Percillier has already debuted for the team and made a big impact. With the arrival of half Canadian half South African Ross Braude it provides some real depth and quality at last for Canada at scrum half for some time to come. Mehdi Porchat has also appeared for Oyonnax although only at ProD2 but it is still highly encouraging. The talent in Canada is there but not being tapped into or being properly developed. France continues to be a vital development arena for the up and coming nations. Santiago Arata of Uruguay who started out at Old Christians and impressed at the 2015 RWC broke into the Castres side at last and made an impressive nineteen performances which were sufficient to earn a two year contract extension.
So the Lions overcame Japan 28-10. Not unsurprising. Japan are rusty and only started to flow in the second half. Jamie Joseph seems to be recruiting ever more from overseas players from the J Top League which is a bit disappointing. The big news of course is the tour ending shoulder to Alan Wyn Jones. I doubt he will ever have another chance to be a Lion let alone captain. A cruel blow indeed.
Connor Murray will now become captain with the likelihood of James Ryan to replace AWJ. Ryan was unlucky not to make the original cut and from his u20 days with Ireland is captain material. Harlequins upset the Chiefs in the season ending playoff Premiership final winning by two points. Marcus Smith on the basis of his performances this season will be an England regular as well as Louis Lynagh. If the surname seems familiar he is the son of the great Wallaby flyhalf Michael who played in partnershop with Nick Farr-Jones. There will be a tussle between the two nations to see who can win him over no doubt.
In MLR Rugby Atlanta head the midseason standings followed by the Utah Warriors. Crowds have been small but of a regular nature and all the clubs now have their youth academies in place which is excellent for long term development of the US national side.
Shame for AWJ - been a great leader.
In better new great win for Quins.
Another high scoring win - this time over Exeter.
Shame only 10k could attend - obviously wasn't high profile for the Government.
The summer Tests have arrived. And barring the Ireland- Japan and Romania-Argentina game they were mismatches. Japan proved their performances in the recent past are no fluke coached ably by Jamie Joseph but Ireland held on to score a morale boosting win for their coach Andy Farrell.
Wales thumped Canada 68-12. The win was effectively a match between two B sides. Wales blooding several players marred by an early injury to Leigh Halfpenny. Canada were missing most of their professionals based in Europe including Tyler Ardron and Tyler Duguid. Apparently they are not happy with coach Kingsley Jones and will not play until he goes. Which is worrying since Rugby Canada in another screw up have given him a new four year contract.
Both SA and Argentina looked rusty as the Boks eventually eased to a comfortable win over Georgia while the Pumas squeezed past the Oaks at Arcul stadium. Andy Robinson is starting to blood some new youngsters into the national side and rugby is back on the up over there although it will take a while for them to return to the situation of the early eighties where they were more than a match for the Five Nations sides of the time. Their jerseys could do with some work though. Appalling creations.
NZ crushed Tonga 100-0. WR made itself a bit of a joke this week by sanctioning the Test given that 20 Tongan players were unable to come having to pay for their own Covid tests and more than likely it has been said told not to make themselves available by their agents. So in effect an amateur team from Tonga turned up and full Test match status was awarded. It is concerning given the success of Tonga in RL that those of a union disposition do not want to see PI rugby weakened and results like these do no favours.
It is vital tier two teams play more regularly against the tier one nations but the conditions have to be on an equal footing. The best players for the tier two sides also have to be available. Both Tonga and Canada for instance will have learnt nothing from their matches given their best players chose not to make themselves available and all it does is dishearten those at the grass roots. In Canada for instance RC if they have any sense need to revitalize club rugby in BC and Ontario which they have ruined with their idiotic top down approach.
A lack of discipline from both sides, some questionable refereeing and the rugby was hardly fluid throughout.
But a win against SA is nothing to be scoffed at, and it’s so great to be watching the Lions again.
For the neutral or the Lions supporter, what a dreadful game of rugby.
Comfortable wins for NZ and SA in the first round of the Rugby Championship. The Wallabies not best pleased by having the return in Perth cancelled as NZ calls a snap lockdown. Think Rennie got out of the wrong side of the bed.
In the wake of the Lions tour series defeat there have been recriminations but also calls for the number of substitutes to be reduced to prevent tired players coming up against fresh players with possible consequence in the impacts when the two meet. In certain quarters and raised by former Wales captain Sam Warburton that this may even result in a death.
On the league side of things Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield who is on his way to become defence coach for Leicester Tigers will have statues erected at Headingley. Rob Burrow is suffering from MND and last night was as emotional as they come as he made his way out onto the turf where he and Sinfield revelled in enormous success.
So the spivs are at it again. Another harebrained money making scheme from them. Sport in general has been hit by the pandemic. Some sports more than others. Football at the top for example shamelessly enriching players while happily sacking support staff and tea ladies. Union has been affected badly so the spivs have seen this as an opportune moment to throw their muscle about and ruin things as they do with countless other areas of life.
It's along the same lines as the Cricket Hundred. Players auctioned and then competing in eight picked franchises. Why twelve ? Because 7,10,13 and of course 15 have been taken. I have no idea how it would work out on the pitch in terms of backs and forwards but the aim surely is to have a smaller pitch perhaps and more points. Why because kids have short attention spans these days. As you can tell the spivs that have come up with this are money men. No idea of how rugby actually works, no idea about tradition.
Are they planning a Packer revolution ? They have not asked WR for their official backing but have approached players apparently. The aim surely has to be player welfare given the number of lawsuits coming up. We do not need more matches but less. For me the gold standard in union is the fifteen man Test and as in cricket it is the five day Test.
Like football and basketball, rugby gets the occasional millionaire megafan willing to invest and lose a lot of money for the teams they love. However, rugby also gets more than its fair share of mad millionaires who reckon they can revolutionise the sport. Competitions like PRO, NRFL, and Global Rapid Rugby either immediately flopped or just crashed before they even took off. Despite trying various methods of ownership and trialling flashy new rules, all these attempts have promised the world but delivered nothing.
You would think then (perhaps even hope!) that the monopoly men who seem to come from nowhere and fund these projects would learn from these failures and realise that if they truly love rugby, they're better off just doing what everyone else does and invest the boring way. That they would start spending more on academies and less on cheerleaders. Because after all if Vince McMahon keeps failing with XFL, what luck would anyone else have in rugby?
In the final (touch wood) act of this pandemic we had all hoped for a bit of a reset button within global rugby. Some ideas were getting a bit silly and with the long break to think about it, some surprisingly sensible things have happened. Super Rugby Pacific hit us with the double whammy of PI pro teams and reduced travel times, and on the other side of the world the ProXX took a gap year to find itself and came back as the URC, a seemingly more stable version of its previous self complete with approval from Jay Z. Japan is improving its own domestic competition and South America goes from strength to strength with new pro teams and competitions set to make a big splash once people take notice. The MLR powered through the pandemic unscathed and the Premiership and Top14 were never in any danger themselves.
And so, on cue, here comes World 12s Rugby. Yet another idea based on the opinions of old men that children won't watch sport if they have to look up from their bloody mobiles for more than 15 seconds, ignoring the fact that sport participation drops off after turning 18 but BLOODY MOBILE PHONES, am I right old fellas?
12s is a poorly thought out inbred lovechild of 7s, 10s, and Rugby League, and nobody knows who the father is but XVs may have slipped in while nobody was looking. Short games, big stars, and most thrilling of all, strictly managed gametime. Excited yet, kids? Don't worry if you've got this far, I'll explain why it's a scam in a bit, but first I think it's fair to try and take it at face value and look at what they've suggested.
Teams of 12, made of 6 forwards and 6 backs, compete over two 15 minute halves in a round robin tournament with a knockout thingy at the end over the space of three weeks, in August. Players will be auctioned (From who?? What??) from around the world to play for one of the 8 franchises set to be involved. I can't see anywhere in the website where it says the players have any choice in this so we'll just assume they'll all have explosive collars on * la Battle Royale. The winning team will receive prize money. It should also be pointed out that these players, set to be auctioned, currently do not have any assurances over payment for the duration of the tournament. So yeah... moving on...
It should be clear by now that this whole thing is stupid. Even if they could get the best players in the world involved, which they won't, they would have to convince them to take three weeks out of pre-season which would be used for either resting or training with your actual club. Outside of using those explosive collars, I can see this being a hard sell.
Where this gets interesting for me is that World 12s Rugby has registered as a limited company. That's not unusual by itself, but considering that they currently have NO official sanctioning from ANY Union or governing body, have no teams or players, have very basic and kind of amateur looking branding, and not even a venue, it starts to look fishy.
Sports leagues can be attractive to investors. It's rich people ****, I don't get why they do it but they do. Some loaded thickos will get told 12s is the NEXT BIG THING in rugby and they should be getting in now while nobody gives a ****, which is definitely going to change after we deliver those insane promises! Being a limited company, those in charge have limited liability for any debts incurred by the company.
So what is World 12s Rugby? It's a scam. At the very least, it's not really what it says it is. They will present it as legitimately as possible. They will hype it up as the evolution of rugby like all the others have done in the past. Then they'll spend the least amount they can on making it a reality. It will fail. Either right before or right after it happens. Then someone gets the blame. Clubs didn't want to release players, Unions didn't co-operate, the explosive collars accidentally went off during the games etc etc. Then the project is pulled and the directors walk away with the change from the whole thing.
You may have read this and think that either I'm a conspiracy nut or know absolutely nothing about business and limited companies. Both are true. But surely, surely it has to be a scam. Nobody involved with the game for any amount of time could think this is a helpful project...
...Right? significantly. So we have this mad idea of Rugby 12s.
While club rugby in some parts of the world has shown an alarming contraction especially at youth level. More kids stuck to their consoles unfortunately it keeps going strong in most areas and expanding into others. Sadly the sport is dangerous and in recent weeks there have been a couple of deaths with players collapsing after a match.
So NZ secured another Rugby Championship despite losing their last match to SA. Australia showed a marked improvement in their level of play while Argentina have a lot of thinking to do and were hit by poor discipline on and off the field. Mario Ledesma may not be the man for the job after all.
In the RWC qualifiers Uruguay overcame the USA 50-34 over two legs having won the fixture in Montevideo 34-15 at Estadio Charrua. The US missing several players based in Europe will face Los Condores. Yes Chile have made it to the reperchage final after beating WC regulars Canada. It's an embarrassing culmination of years of mismanagement from Rugby Canada. Perhaps the sole positive being that the failure to qualify predicted by many seasoned Canadian rugby fans spurs change in the organization and it's long term planning.
Minus several top professionals who are refusing to play while the current coach Kingsley Jones remains in charge. Chile were also missing their two French based professionals. Why WR cannot force clubs to give players to such important matches beats me. You would never see this with tier one sides. Chile held on despite a late sin binning to win overall 54-46 on aggregate. It's a result which has brought much focus on the sport in Chile which is progressing under the coaching of former Uruguayan star Pablo Lemoine as are Brazil. The US should have too much for Chile but you never know.
The Lynagh brothers Louis and Tom are still to make a decision on their international futures. Tom is almost certain to declare for the Wallabies whereas Louis has been offered spots by Italy, England and Australia. He has already been included in an England squad much to the ire of the Wobs. I wonder what his father makes of it.
Good to see MLR building links with highschool and college rugby programmes to provide better youth coaching and expertise which can benefit American rugby long term. They also will no doubt naturalize several overseas players using residency over the next few years. Predominantly several of the young Afrikaans that are in MLR. Hopefully Rugby Canada realize they need to invest in the grass roots and college rugby and focus on fifteens using the sevens only as a development tool. They have destroyed club rugby and the pathway for many young players to get into the Canadian set up by selecting only from those that make it at certain age groups. Myopic to say the least as players develop at different rates.
They need to get hold of Duguid as well. France may well look to poach him as he has started superbly in the Top 14. I really wish the Tier 1 sides would stop poaching. Leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Surely a red card for the prop there. No arms used in the tackle and contact to head ? NZ get away with it again. Yellow card only for Laulala. Basham excellent for Wales.
A lot of work for Pivac to do despite being shorn of several players against a very experienced and match ready All Blacks.
Disappointing effort from Tonga despite the fact they were unable to practice much together. With the addition of Fiji Drua and Moana Pasifika into the Super Rugby competition I sincerely hope it is the point where PI rugby can kick on and flourish given the number of PI players who play for other Test teams. WR will be funding these two teams for the most part so I do hope that some players born in the islands will think twice before deciding to play for Australia and NZ who seem the beneficiary time and time again of creaming the crop.
What I fear is that these two franchises will see the best youngsters who shine offered contracts by the Antipodean SR sides. But only if they choose to elect to represent the Wobs or ABs. I do hope WR will make sure that does not happen. Aaron Mauger will coach Moana Pasifika while former Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne will coach the Drua.