Barrett receives 4 weeks
In news that will appeal to most readers of this site – given that most are Australians – Scott Barrett has been banned for four weeks for his dangerous weekend stunt. With an initial entry point of six weeks, the judiciary reduced his ban to four due to mitigating factors including Barrett’s acceptance of foul play, his expressed remorse and his plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity. available. During the same hearing, Dickson and Aumua were both punished for incidents during the Highlanders v Hurricanes game in Dunedin on Saturday night and received three-week bans.
All good news for the Australian teams they face next weekend and personally I have no problem with any of these calls. To me the inconsistency that saw Banks drop for very low mitigation (and I still believe that had more to do with his injury than anything) and other decisions that just seem weird do justice a joke. I personally believe that players should not be allowed to have a legal representative and that they and their coach should come forward and plead their case themselves. The players’ lawyers have no responsibility to respect World Rugby’s intention to reduce head contact and all they care about is getting the least possible sentence for their client. I think that’s wrong and with the 20 minute red card that coaches seem willing to accept only as a risk that’s why the message doesn’t get through and players don’t change their technique.
Australian team of the week – according to Cully
1. Angus Bell (Waratahs) Player of the Round
2. Dave Porecki (Waratahs)
3. Harry Johnson-Holmes (Waratahs)
4. Fergus Lee-Warner (Strength)
5. Matt Philip (Rebels)
6. Charlie Gamble (Waratahs)
7. Fraser McReight (Reds)
8. Harry Wilson (Reds)
9. Tate McDermott (Reds)
10. Tane Edmed (Waratahs)
11. Manasa Mataele (Strength)
12. Lalakai Foketi (Waratahs)
13. Hunter Paisami (reds)
14. Mark Nawaqanitawase (Waratahs)
15. Alex Newsome (Waratahs)
While there seems to be a bit of a bias towards the Waratahs (yes, I know Hoss, that’s right), especially in Edmed’s selection, I think to be fair Cully is at least consistent.
Australia take bronze in Vancouver
The Australian men’s sevens program clinched bronze at the Vancouver Sevens, robbing Samoa of victory in the dying moments of the match. Australia won 21-19, after a full-time conversion to Nathan Lawson in the team’s final match in Canada after a stellar weekend. Drawn in Pool C, Australia faced tournament hosts Canada and Spain in their opening two games, beating both sides before falling to defending champions South Africa in of their last group match.
As the full-time siren sounded, the Australians were still trailing by five points, with shrewd footwork from Maurice Longbottom putting Lawson into a gap in the Samoan defense to allow Longbottom to secure victory for the Australia.
Congratulations on beating the Kiwis in the Qtr final as well. I have to admit I was a little surprised it wasn’t posted on all the rugby sites here. The Sevens is turning out to be a very good tournament this year, with all teams looking to improve and be able to beat any other team on their day. For me, it’s much better than them all fighting to see who comes after SA and Fiji.
Of course, this year has been disrupted and some teams have not been able to play or have their best players available, but for me that is part of what made the tournament so good. Rock on the Toulouse stage of the World Series, which will begin on May 20.
Fair warning – Opinion piece
As they say, opinions are like assholes and just because we all have them doesn’t mean they should be shared. Well, unfortunately, since this is a blog, it’s actually opinions for the most part. My view on who should play in a particular position versus someone else’s view is exactly that – an opinion. If you’ve read any of my previous posts or comments and don’t like what I’m saying, can I humbly suggest that you don’t read this section and save us both from being upset ( although, to be fair, I’m unlikely to be much upset).
I have to admit I’m starting to get a little heated with the way players, ex-players, commentators, the public and coaches are starting to question and not support the referee in Super Rugby. Am I biased because I am a referee? Absolutely I am. BUT (and yes I think it’s a big but) the game has always had this problem and over the years players and coaches have accepted that the referee, like the players and coaches, always does the odd mistake on the pitch, either inconsistent at times and I learned to accept it and move on.
However, now it seems everyone believes they have the right to question the referee, challenge his decisions and make derogatory comments about his ability to do his job. I completely agree that some referees could sometimes be better and that some of them make terrible mistakes. Rugby is an extremely dynamic game with a lot going on both before, during and after contact, the referee has to make split second decisions about what they are seeing and as this is very subjective, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to see why the decision was fabricated. Oddly enough, it always seems to be the losing team that has the problem, or the coach that has a player carded for a shitty tackle that gets a card. Now, maybe I’m being a little straightforward, but I’m pretty sure the winning team has the same things going on. Maybe because of the victory they don’t care, or maybe because they managed to get back on their feet thanks to smart decisions, good play and good skills that diluted the effect of any refereeing error.
I think the addition of some pretty good referees (Charlie more than me) to this site opened things up a bit and made it very clear to explain some of the incidents that happened and how the rules are enforced ( very different according to their way of reading). So while I can fully understand that you care more about decisions against your team, unless the one against the opposition gives you an advantage, I think it would be nice if we started giving a little more love to the referees. None of them walk into a game thinking “Which side am I going to play today?” or “Which of these watts gets a red card today?” They referee because, like all of us, they love the game and they really want it to be a good game for everyone.