Monday, 19 October 2015

Quarter-finals [updated]

So, who really wants to talk about much else this morning than those quarter finals?

Four great games, eh? And all the northern hemisphere teams sent home from a northern hemisphere tournament. How good’s that? And with memories of 2007 so quickly and thoroughly expunged—nine frickin’ tries!—how good was it that none of us even got the chance to have a decent chew on our fingernails.

But, well, with so much having been spent on and prepared for the tournament, and with so much riding on the result of every game—four more years, remember!—I can’t help wondering what is it about rugby that leaves so much to the arbitrary decision of a midfield maggot with a whistle? One of the world’s most important matches decided on a single penalty, where with rugby’s rotund rulebook there are plentiful penalties to be found in almost every play. A game in which numbers around the ball and in defence are so desperately important, yet which almost arbitrarily makes no-contest of a game by having borrowed a stupid send-off system from soccer.

And that’s not the only thing the game has borrowed from soccer.

If the best of the weekend was the nine tries run in by our All Blacks—they’re always our All Blacks when they run in nine frickin’ tries  aren’t they—the worst for me was the bloody Hollywood by our All Black captain. He’d come in offside at a ruck to snuff out a French attack when they were starting to look likely, a French fellow lent on him with a fist, and our alleged Greatest Al Black Ever started rolling around like both eyes had been plucked out—just long enough for the maggot to give a penalty the wrong way then pull out his yellow card and totally end the quarter-final as a contest.

That’s garbage, that is.

Same thing happened in a pool match, remember: Dan Carter rolling his neck just enough to get Tonga's Paula Ngauamo a yellow card. [Check it out from 2:46]

Takes the gloss off it for me, when your two starred veterans start rolling around like a gut-shot Brazilian to shut down a game.

UPDATE: Yes, I could go with Adolf’s suggestion:

It's high time the fifty-seven old farts took a leaf out of cricket's book and allowed a captain to challenge a ref’s decision, requiring the TMO to intervene and decide.


  1. In full defence of Richie, you clearly didn't see the Red 3 drop his knee into his face while he was on the ground. The fist thing followed ... so the treatment wasn't a reaction to the fist at all.

    The slo-mo doesn't show it, so check seconds 30-32 of the video.

  2. Looks more like a shin rubbing, to me. Surely part of any normal ruck--and he doesn't start the theatrics until the 'eye gouge.' And none of this left even a small bruise....

  3. I never saw any suggestion of an eye gouge from McCaw or anyone else. He was holding his nose, not sure if that was because it was sore or if there was an overpowering pong of garlic in the air.

    The action by Piccamoles wasn't a punch. However having a 110kg guy lean his knuckles against your nose and smear it down your cheek would be extremely painful and that's what it looked like to me. It was sneaky filth for which they have form.

    McCaw's actions afterwards are utterly irrelevant anyway. The touchie had already spotted the hand to the face and that meant the frog was going to be hopping off the field no matter what. The only things that ended the competition was the French lack of discipline and lack of ability.

    1. The main point being I'm against having frogs or anyone else hopping off the field. Spoils the bloody game. And I'm against someone rolling around the ground one minute then continuing the game unmarked, uninjured and totally unmolested having seized a bogus opportunity to turn the sport's more ridiculous rules against an opponent. So hardly irrelevant.

  4. The Tongan was sin-binned because he lifted Carter above the horizontal. Dangerous play, irrespective of whether he injured anyone or not.

  5. Didn't necessitate Carter noodling around with his neck to make it all look worse, and use the game's ridiculous rules unsportingly against the tackler. A bad trend when the game's two stars are doing it.

  6. "Football is essentially a rough game all the world over. It is not suitable for menpoodles and milksops."
    ~ Henry Harrison, Melbourne, 1870

  7. Awww, c'mon, the ABs put 62 points on the frogs in a WC q/final. Zut alors, it could have been 70.

    1. the incident was after the whistle... a while after... dumb move when there's 1500 cameras rolling.

    2. the competition was over well before that

    3. there's one aim -- win (or go home). If you can milk a moment, (created by the opposition) do it. It's part of the gamesmanship.

    There may be a better way than yellow cards, but how often do you see a team down one who then lift? Oz did it to Wales when down two. The frogs were well out of it by then, and this was an act of despondency by Piccamoles. He was made to pay. That's the rules inside the arena.

    1. Yes, great performance. France didn't really show up in the second half, but you ca only beat who's in front of you, and some of the skills were dazzling.

      The sin bin bullshit however is garbage. Inappropriate for a manly game, which is why neither AFL nor NRL have it. It destroys the contest. If the rule is garbage, the pay-acting is worse. Inappropriate for a fellow supposed to be the "Greatest All Black ever."

      1. The incident was what he was sent off for. Hard to tell what whistle was for, but McCaw was certainly offside in order to kill that drive, which was ....
      2. ... in the context of that game, and with memories of comebacks past, a crucial contest in the match. But it stopped being a contest right there.
      3. Yep. Go the dive. Might as well just watch bloody soccer. Fuck that.

    2. Disagree re:2. AB forwards had beaten them into submission at that point... hence the reaction perhaps.

      At least we're not seeing babies carried out onto the pitch post-game. wtf is that? :)


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