Autumn RU Internationals

So blind patriotism is in order?

Sorry, I think it is interesting to debate games and performances. It is not like trolling individuals on social media.

I’ll get my coat and leave this thread on that note.


Mrs AC mentioned to me earlier that I seem to be far less interested in the rugby than I used to be, I think it’s a combination of rule changes over several decades, many needed to tighten up safety aspects with bigger players, but ultimately I just don’t think it’s as enjoyable to watch as it used to be. Maybe my age, maybe just too many other things on my mind in recent years, this certainly pre-dates the pandemic.

In fairness, I think it’s a common trait when it comes to sport and our teams don’t perform, whichever country or club we support.

We were very disappointed for the French today as they were written off by the commentators before the start and played a superb first half.

The way they beat Wales in October was impressive and made me think they will be a strong force in the next few years. You could really see Shaun Edwards’ coaching skills at the end of the first 40 mins when they held out in the face of a relentless English onslaught today. Have always loved the flair of French rugby, when they shine they really shine.

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Yeah I agree. I played around with settings on my TV and removed the settings Amazon suggested. But the picture is as you say weird, the colours are off and it doesn’t flow right. I thought it was my broadband until the ads came on at half time and the picture improved enormously.

I enjoyed the match immensely and have to say thought France deserved it. They had a great 1st half, England were limp at best, and France could have snuck it during extra time. I thought England were going to inflict another RWC final performance on me. Rugby needs to do something about the aerial ping pong, but it can still be the most engaging sporting spectacle of the lot. So much better than soccer. Probably offended the majority there.


Didn’t notice much debate.

Farrell has always been a great player, but for someone who supports another nation he’s always been inexplicably annoying - I guess all our sides have such personalities who can come across as a bit ‘cocky’.

Again, I can’t say quite why, but Jonny Wilkinson always impressed me, genuinely loved his matchplay and kicking abilities, he really should have been born Welsh!


I know what you mean AC. As an England fan it’s Jonny Sexton who gets my goat. Always whinging at the ref. I have to say I found Gavin Henson a bit of an “acquired taste”. I saw wales play Ireland once at the old Lansdowne Road, and the Irish fans wolf whistled him every time he got the ball. Might have been his gold boots and spray on tan.

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Played at its best rugby is the best “football” period imo. Nothing beats a good game of running rugby.

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This could potentially have huge ramifications:


Seems a tough case to prove negligence here perhaps.

While I naturally have every sympathy with Steve and the others, I bet the defence will be able to cite any number of references from most, if not all, of them and probably many times over, quoting something along the lines of how Rugby is a dangerous game. They can’t really argue they weren’t aware of health risks in the game.

And if it is somehow proven, then good luck to anyone ever wishing to run any other professional sporting body again. Or sports in schools for that matter.

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It will be interesting, I agree that they were aware of the kind of knocks they could have repeatedly sustained in a full contact sport, but there has been growing awareness of the risks in many sports (it’s been obvious for decades in boxing of course), of dangers we’d not have imagined or realised at the time.

If heading footballs is already under threat in schools for younger players, it seems likely rugby union laws will need to change even further despite in-match head injury/concussion assessments. It may be easy to argue that the risks were previously unkown, but I guess we only have to look at mining and asbestos related diseases to see how longer term effects of employment, not understood at the time, have led to successful claims for compensation.

It would be interesting to know the prevalence in older players, and whether or not MRI techniques could predict early dangers from repeated head injury as used in assessment of boxers.

Either players would need regular physical assessments/scans, rules would have to change or the game would need very comprehensive insurance plans to aid those (hopefully few) players who would in the future have a good case - naturally there is the element of personal responsibility for one’s choices and actions.

Yeah read that here it’s becoming a problem for both rugby and league. Both codes now have a pretty strict concussion rules and penalise any head contact accidental or not.

The full article is worth a read as it cites the class action that American Footballers.
I believe the same class action is being taken by NZ players.

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Difficult this, especially with bigger players against shorter players where clumsy contacts might not occur if you had two players of similar build. One would hope that deliberate vs clumsy tackles/head inuries would be penalised differently, but there was an interesting comment on the weekend from commentators suggesting more cautious tackles from bigger players might allow mercurial smaller players to show their talents as the larger players would open up space by avoiding potentially clumsy moves - could be interesting.

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It’s is difficult and as a fan sometimes it’s quite frustrating. 2 players (one from each side) were given yellow cards for making head contact with their shoulders last week in the Aus/Argentina game. Both big guys and both times the smaller player ducked, causing what I would class as a miss tackle. 10 minutes in the bin can have a huge impact on a tight game.

Guess no one wants to see any player hurt, especially a head injury. Just hope it doesn’t ruin the game.


Through my lens on the game:

1- if you watch legacy games, going back to say the 1970/early 1980s (before semi-pro really came in to being - OK ‘boot money’ was around in those amateur days), player physiques were very different, due to much less gym work, a greater reliance on natural physiques and the greater speed of the game meant aerobic capability was also needed. Subs were scarce - not the stupid 8-man changes of nowadays.

This meant the likes of players like Barry John, Phil Bennett and fleet of foot wingers could play and not run in to nigh on 20-stone forwards - and if this came close, they passed the ball! Unquestionably there was much more space on the park.

2- The game has now moved on with power rugby as its core, not just in the forwards, which has meant much more violent collisions across backs and forwards, with the use of the dipped/leading shoulder prominent (a la RL). This is a recipe for serious issues IMV. Ye old ‘Maori sidestep’ of engaging contact with a dipped shoulder looks good for the cameras and breaking tackles but with greater strength and weight in play it’s dangerous and a defender/tackler will either try to meet force with force (a la RL) or be left with the option to ‘go low’, in the process enabling the off-load…not a good outcome.

World Rugby or whoever can babble on about needing to change tackle technique but, as you say, the taller players are always going to struggle with a smaller scrum-half or other nippy backs in open play.

My view is that the game needs to be de-powered and sped-up, with far fewer subs and smaller bodies, with aerobic fitness to be the focus. It’s going the way of the NFL, with so many breaks and re-sets that the players get lots of rest breaks. We’ll be getting ad-breaks at scrum-time soon!

At the moment, while there is welcome focus on tackling technique (with some unfortunate rulings IMV), nobody seems to be asking why the collisions are, in themselves, getting more dangerous.

p.s. and tackling low isn’t always a route for safety, as engaging shoulder/neck area against someone’s very solid pelvic area, can be very painful - obviously far more so if one’s head is is on the wrong side i.e. in front. It’s often easier to start higher and ride the tackle impact.

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Can’t disagree with any of that, when I was young I’d support RL cause it was about the ball. Now it’s all player’s are the same wether they’re forwards, backs or halfbacks. There’s no variation in style or type of player.

My son played rugby through school and county. He has had several overnight stays in hospital with concussions and was on a ventilator with a GCS score of 3 - there were concerns that we were going to be asked if we would consent to organ donation. He still plays…

As you can imagine I have mixed feelings about head injuries in rugby but at the same time appreciate the benefits from team sport and exercise. I think that the solution probably does come through increasing the ball-in-play time and hence aerobic demands. Reducing substitutions and scrum resets would also help. Ideally bigger pitches would also be beneficial but clearly this is impractical. Perhaps removing flankers would create more space and hence prioritise mobility over bulk?


That is the beauty of 7’s. More speed, less contact.

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