Tank Top

In the past I’ve added videos of players like ‘Tongan Thor’ who can tank through the opposition like the giant who was Jonah Lomu.

However this latest clip is even scarier.

This is from an under 8’s game in Canterbury Bulldogs Juniors.

http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/bulldogs-junior-reignites-age-vs-weight-competition-debate/news-story/42605efa4b0a07ed8dd917da799dbb2a

This 7 year old kid is more than twice the body weight of anyone else on the pitch – except maybe the ref! And I’m not entirely sure about that either!

The Samoan lad plays for St Johns Eagles and scores a try that the opposition, the Berala Bears have no hope of stopping – I’m not sure I could have taken him down – well not without an anti-tank gun.

It is no wonder that there is a concern that kids should play in weight groups rather than by age.

Either way, this kid could have a ‘big’ future in the game.

 

Moral Trumpitude

Trump’s latest brilliant idea is a proposed a ban on transgender people serving in any capacity in the US military.

I really don’t think that this is a cynical decision to pander to the right wing bigots that support him but much more likely to be based on his own extensive military experience!

If you voted for Trump, I should point out that I’m being sarcastic!

 

The Lion’s Den

Just before half time in Johannesburg I really thought that my prediction of a Crusaders v Hurricanes final in Christchurch was going to be on the money.

Leading 3-22 and with three tries there didn’t seem to be anyway back for the Lions. Had Dane Coles hung on to that pass, I might even have switched over for the cricket.

So much for my forecast – the Lions scored either side of halftime and changed to a traditional SA power game – it took the Canes by surprise. In the second half the NZ outfit kicked badly, fell foul of some referee decisions (see post below ‘Decision Time’) and after staging a mini comeback, were eventually blown away 44-29. The last Lion’s score came courtesy of a ‘Hail Mary’ effort when the Hurricanes attempted to run from their 22 and gifted an interception and 7 more points.

The Hurricanes scored only 7 points to the Lion’s 41 in just over 40 minutes!

I suppose it is only right that the top two teams in the overall standings should play out the final, although like the Champions Cup I think it would have been better for the final venue to have been selected before the competition started.

In Europe the final is always at a national stadium not a club ground – it doesn’t completely eradicate the possibility of a ‘country’ benefit but it does preclude a home stadium advantage.

The crowds for both semi-finals were poor for a major tournament and it is just one more thing that the administrators have to take into consideration in planning (ha ha) next year’s format. Sanzaar probably think planning is a misspelling of something you do with vegetables – which is quite appropriate when you think about it!

The final should be a tough battle and you can only hope that they (Sanzaar again) might actually pick neutral officials this time!

Decision Time

It’s a semi-final between a SA side playing at home and a NZ franchise in the crown jewel of Southern Hemisphere club rugby – so obviously you want to make sure that it is absolutely fair.

Not if you’re Sanzaar you don’t.

You appoint South Africans to all 4 official positions!

I said last week that this was to risk controversy (Stop Messing About’ post) and Cassandra –like, my prediction turned out to be right.

Jaco Peyper and his helpers made at least three questionable calls – all three were game changing.

  • Beauden Barrett’s yellow card was dubious – a penalty yes – but not 10 minutes off
  • Not referring one Lion’s try that even on replay looked dodgy – the SA assistant ref telling Jaco that he had definitely seen the touchdown was not good enough – it should have gone to the TMO (despite him also being SA)
  • The potential ‘knock on’ by the Lion’s before a try also gave them a massive benefit of the doubt.

Even Nick Mallett and Naas Botha said that the yellow for Barrett was harsh – it should be noted that the Lion’s scored two tries while he was in the bin.

Understandably the Hurricanes were unhappy about the decisions, but, to their credit, they simply said that they saw some of Peyper’s calls differently.

Dane Coles commented that they had enough chances in the first half to have put the game out of reach of the Lion’s, which would have made the refereeing controversies irrelevant.

Once again Sanzaar risked unnecessary problems – it was such an easy decision to go neutral that you wonder if they have a clue about anything.

Note to Andy Marinos – I can give you information, I can’t give you understanding!

Taped Over

The controversial documentary on Channel 4 regarding the ‘Diana Tapes’ will air next week. Naturally, the Daily Mail is adopting a low profile approach in order to maintain their dignified coverage of the Royals.

Another scoop for Channel 4, hot on the heels of their reality TV ‘Eden’ project

What next ffs?

 

 

Fox the Hunt

Brilliant news – Liam Fox is having none of this EU negotiating nonsense – he wants a hard Brexit!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40767023

“I find that hugely condescending. You know, the British voters have had a long time to think about European Union membership and they gave us a clear instruction.

“They didn’t say ‘would you mind thinking about our European Union membership’. They said ‘we ought to leave the European Union’. It’s done, it’s over.

“And those who constantly want to revise the issue, I would give them a dictionary and ask them what they don’t understand about ‘referendum’ and ‘binary’.”

The Eurosceptic MP made it clear that he believes controlling migration is more of a priority than EU trade.

He added: “They wanted us to control our borders. We cannot control our borders when we have unlimited free movement. We gave that commitment, we have to deliver on it.”

This really is splendid comradely news from Liam!

He is absolutely firm that he will not have free movement – I just hope that he also fulfils his promise of £350m a week for the NHS

Or is he chicken? (unchlorinated, obviously)

Luckily for us he is extremely trustworthy

 

 

The Last Crusade

Red Auerbach, the legendary basketball coach of the Boston Celtics once famously said “You can’t win without the ball”

This morning the Crusaders proved that you can in making it the last crusade of the season for the Chiefs and departing coach, Dave Rennie

With less than 30% possession overall the team from Christchurch kept the highly impressive attacking game of the Chiefs try less until the 78th minute.

Last week they shut out the Highlanders.

They have a great defence, but to claim that is all would be to damn them with faint praise.

Their forward play is outstanding and with Richie Mo’unga, Jack Goodhue and Ryan Crotty in midfield they are always a threat. The back three of Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu and David Havili are amongst the best in Super Rugby – and beyond!

The Chiefs had their chances – they created a lot, with Anton Lienart-Brown, Ker- Barlow, Aaron Cruden and Damien McKenzie all having big games.

At the end they will have been wondering how they were so far adrift at 27-13 – without Brodie Retallick’s late try the difference would have been 21 points – somewhat adrift of my prediction, the Crusaders by 5.

For a game played in less than ideal conditions the skill sets of both teams was exceptional – as was the fitness levels – no wonder Michael Chieka has taken the Wallabies away from extreme conditioning work.

A high quality game that proved that Super rugby is still a major competition – it just needs Sanzaar to get their heads out of their arse and put in a format that works throughout the season and not just for the last 4 teams.