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ljkeane

Rugby: Building up to Japan

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5 hours ago, ljkeane said:

I can't say I care about the whole wearing a runners up medal or not thing, all the players in the latter stages of the World Cup are there to win it, or course they're disappointed with anything else. On top of that the whole gold, silver and bronze thing they have at the World Cup is kind of stupid and basically nobody cares. 

The big news for English rugby is that the rumored big penalty for Saracens for salary cap irregularities is definitely a big penalty, 35 points deducted and over £5 million in fines. It's a bit of a shock they've gone that far and I do wonder what precipitated it, it's been pretty widely known that Sarries supplement many of their players wages with various 'business partnerships' for years so why now?

The business partnerships is new knowledge. Came out a few months ago and was investigated, this is the resulting that investigation.

 

Before that, there were plenty of rumours of plenty of clubs finding plenty of loopholes; but precisely 0 evidence of anything beyond mild accounting errors.

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15 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

The business partnerships is new knowledge. Came out a few months ago and was investigated, this is the resulting that investigation.

I don't know whether you want to call it 'knowledge' but it's been pretty widely rumored that this was how Sarries were getting around the salary cap for years. I remember it being talked about when they signed James Johnston. Why the Premiership has chosen to actually investigate it now rather than at any other point is a little strange.

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Because actual evidence emerged rather than rumour.

 

There's a big difference between supporting a player's new business (all clubs do this), and gifting a player a fully functioning business with significant investment from the club owner.

 

My memory suggests the pay James Johnson was rumoured (not proven) to have had... favourable terms selling pies to Saracen's fans. Most of the rumours though, were that their South African imports were being given property in South Africa, with the money never touching British shores, and outside the ability for PRL (or the Inland Revenue) to investigate them.

The Vunipolae were (allegedly) given a multi million pound property portfolio and experienced solicitors and estate agents to manage it for them, with Wray remaining a silent partner in the business, for now.

Edited by Which Tyler

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I don't recall ever seeing any Olympic silver and bronze medalists not wearing their medal when presented to them, and leaving it on while the winner's national anthem is played. But then again giving out the medals at the RWC is not very ceremonial.

The NZ press definitely seemed to have a boner for saying anything negative they could about England. So if there's a petulant sore loser it would be the NZ (and Aussie, since it was an Aussie journo who first raised it) press over the ABs losing to England the previous week.

The salary cap penalty doesn't seem all that bad. In the Aussie NRL when Canterbury was found guilty of breaching the salary cap they were stripped of their place in the top 8 and were not allowed to play in the play offs even though they had a near (or actual) unbeaten season. If salary caps are going to be taken seriously then when breaches are proven the penalty needs to be severe.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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On 11/5/2019 at 9:43 PM, The Anti-Targ said:

I don't recall ever seeing any Olympic silver and bronze medalists not wearing their medal when presented to them, and leaving it on while the winner's national anthem is played. But then again giving out the medals at the RWC is not very ceremonial

Didn’t catch the national anthem being played at the winners ceremony, I can only recall the funerary music during the entire ceremony.

World Cups are not about the podium, they are about winning. No-one who loses a final is glad about it, and it’s hard to see how players should be pleased with a silver medal. I think that’s fitting in a way

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24 minutes ago, Antonius Pius said:

Didn’t catch the national anthem being played at the winners ceremony, I can only recall the funerary music during the entire ceremony.

World Cups are not about the podium, they are about winning. No-one who loses a final is glad about it, and it’s hard to see how players should be pleased with a silver medal. I think that’s fitting in a way

So is every sporting competition. WCs aren't different in that respect. The difference is in how the medals are values. If the medals really aren't valued then it might be best to just get rid of them. In Olympics, 2nd and 3rd are obviously also disappointed not to come 1st. But there is also an understanding that getting a silver or bronze at the Olympics still comes with cred for having achieved a level of excellence. In the Olympics silver and bronze are seen as 2nd and 3rd winner. In the RWC silver and bronze are seen as 1st and 2nd loser. The RWC has the Taladega Nights syndrome "If you're not first you're last". The fact that this is a move taking the piss out of that kind of attitude should be a sign that the Rugby World should maybe rethink its attitude.

The second most happy country coming out of the RWC is Japan, because they came 5-8, whereas 2nd-4th are all crying into their beer, and are probably the most miserable teams coming out of the whole comp.

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There's also that most Olympic sports have more than 2 competitors in the final, and that there's a decent gap between the end of the final, and the medal ceremony.

At the RWC it's a couple of minutes after heart break with no time to gain perspective, and you've literally just lost.

At the olympics you have the best part of an hour, you've had a shower and a massage, you've spoken to your family, let the adrenaline run out; and you still beat 6 other people on the day. Beyond that, of course, many Olympic sports have an element of the personal best about them - which goes some way to mitigating disappointment; whilst all of them have the benefit of rapid turnaround - a week between the semi and the final is enough to dissipate any feeling that you've exceeded expectations just by being there, a day... less so.

 

Looking at other sports with 2nd place trophies, you very rarely see the runner-up at Wimbledon looking happy to have just lost - and that's with way, way more experience at it.

Edited by Which Tyler

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20 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

29 year old Rugby League international forward, Natalie Harrowell has died "suddenly". Simply don't know if her death is related to rugby or not.

That's a shame. I don't think there's much reason to think her death would be rugby related given I'd expect their season has been over for a while.

New Zealand have decided to promote from within the existing set up by going with Ian Foster as their next coach. That's a little surprising given Hansen's tenure ended on a bit of a low note. To be fair they had a few good years before then though.

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So it sounds like Saracens are going to get another 35 point deduction, effectively relegating them to the Championship.

I have to say as someone who isn't a particular fan of any of the Premiership sides and more of an England fan I really don't like the potential consequences of this decision. Saracens have really had a big hand in developing the core of the current England side, losing that and potentially a number of the key England players plying their trade in the Championship next year could have a significant detrimental effect on England. On top of that as a casual fan of Premiership rugby losing one of the two best sides in the league doesn't help my interest in the competition.

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Raging homophobe, Israel Folau returns to rugby league, with the Catalan Dragons: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/51282586
 
Wigan Warriors announce that their home game against Catalan will be "Pride Day" in support of LGBT+ community and charities: https://wiganwarriors.com/news/2020-01-28-wigan-announce-pride-day
 
Well played Wigan Warriors

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1 hour ago, Which Tyler said:
Raging homophobe, Israel Folau returns to rugby league, with the Catalan Dragons: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/51282586
 

Well that's a bit shit. It was good to see in the wake of his initial comments the NRL said they wouldn't be having him back so one of the Super League sides taking him isn't ideal. Good on Wigan for taking a bit of a stand though I suppose.

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Very disappointed in Dragons. There are precious few morals when it comes to sport so good on Wigan Warriors!

Folau is a despicable individual.

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I've been a bit down on rugby in the wake of a pretty demoralizing World Cup final for England fans but the Six Nations and Super Rugby starts this weekend and with pretty much every major nation other than England and maybe Scotland entering some sort of new era with a new World Cup cycle starting it should be interesting to see how things shape up.

The Six Nations in particular should be good with Ireland and Wales replacing Gatland and Schmidt, who've been major factors in the tournament for a long time. France have also made changes to their coaching set up but the exciting thing about France for me isn't Galthie and Edwards but the talent coming through from their two Under 20s World Cup winning sides.

The Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France teams have been announced so far. I suppose the big news is Finn Russell out (which we already knew) and Hastings in at 10 for Scotland, Faletau back for Wales, in what looks a decent backrow, and Caelan Doris making the Ireland team.

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6 hours ago, ljkeane said:

The Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France teams have been announced so far. I suppose the big news is Finn Russell out (which we already knew) and Hastings in at 10 for Scotland, Faletau back for Wales, in what looks a decent backrow, and Caelan Doris making the Ireland team.

I'm not sure I think much of Scotland's chances in Dublin. It would always have been tough, but losing Finn Russel makes it especially tricky since he's probably the most difficult player for Scotland to replace.

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16 hours ago, williamjm said:

I'm not sure I think much of Scotland's chances in Dublin. It would always have been tough, but losing Finn Russel makes it especially tricky since he's probably the most difficult player for Scotland to replace.

Yeah, I suppose. Ireland were always going to be the favourites at home and Finn Russell's ability to pull something out of the hat could have given Scotland a better chance. Having said that he's almost as likely to shoot himself in the foot as to pull off something brilliant. Hastings is a decent enough player enough player and Scotland probably need to work on setting the foundations of a side which isn't reliant on Russell doing something off the cuff to get a win.

England have announced their team for Sunday. There's some positives there, good to see Furbank at fullback in particular, but Eddie Jones continues to make some slightly baffling choices at times. The fact that he continues to only pick Youngs and Heinz at scrumhalf is a bit baffling and Lawes at 6 just makes no sense to me. A few years ago flanker was a bit of a problem position for England but they've got loads of good actual backrows who could play there. Off the top of my head Ludlam, Earl and Hill in the squad would all do a good job and outside the squad there's Dombrant, Willis and Ben Curry. I just don't see the logic behind picking a second row.

 

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Hastings has been fine replacing Finn Russell but Scotland really are throwing away the chance of a win in Dublin so far. They’ve played some decent rugby ball in hand but they’ve repeatedly shot themselves in the foot when they’ve had ball in Ireland’s half.

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1 hour ago, ljkeane said:

Hastings has been fine replacing Finn Russell but Scotland really are throwing away the chance of a win in Dublin so far. They’ve played some decent rugby ball in hand but they’ve repeatedly shot themselves in the foot when they’ve had ball in Ireland’s half.

Agreed, they did seem to do most of the hard work but were never able to finish off any of their attacks.

At least it was a much improved performance on the last time the two teams met.

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Ireland beat the Scots but it wasn’t very convincing.  The team still looks like it’s declining from a peak two years ago.  And there wasn’t much new or different from a new coach.  Here’s hoping they rediscover some spark. 

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