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  2. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    All of which may be perfectly true, but does not take away from the fact that some better white players will be forced to make way for black players that are there only because of the 50% quota. Steve Hansen is on record that he could not even begin to think how one could possibly achieve success at the elite international level with a team that is not 100% picked on merit.
  3. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Haha. Not that I know of - at least not in the last 1000 generations or so. Before that, who knows - you and I are probably then related! No, I just enjoy the historical NZ-SA rugby rivalry, and secondly, my view is there are two philosophies of rugby - and I enjoy the idea that it is about physically dominating and smashing your opponents until that dominance translates into points on the scoreboard. It's about the physical contest primarily, else one could watch soccer instead. The opposing philosophy is that it is about expansive, skill-over-strength "basketball style' razzle dazzle. And that's the approach that most fans seem to be gravitating to, sadly. The cheap thrills. And I find that if you like that kind of thing, rather go and watch Sevens. Meyer - and South Africa traditionally - seemed to espouse the physical dominance based game most emphatically - going back to his time when his Bulls team won the Super Rugby tournament. Anyway, I have never come across anyone claiming that the 2011-2015 era was by any means a weaker one in any shape or form. Maybe for England based fans that may be so, but I thought the likes of Ireland and Wales were quite strong in those days, Australia was in the top 3 in the world, and NZ were in the midst of their golden era.
  4. I would add to that, they didn't think about it at all, other than to thumb their noses at critics. Many critics writing for mainstream media sources complained about Benioff and Weiss and their woman problem all along, and in the final season they noted it only got worse. Their woman problem was part of their larger problem of looking at things from their own rich boy privileged viewpoint, coupled with mediocre at best writing skills. Add to this that HBO gave the "boys" free reign, not bothering to oversee what they did. (HBO didn't even bother to put up a rape warning for the atrocious and until this season, least liked episode of the show, Bowed, Bent, and Broken - other channels, including premium channels, routinely do this, even for not graphic scenes.)
  5. Consigliere

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    I am well versed in SA schools rugby so I don't need to be educated by you or youtube. The fact of the matter is that non-whites have been on the short end of the stick for a very long time in SA and transformation is necessary. A lot more needs to be done at grassroots level to ensure that non-white players have the same advantages affored to them that white players do. And furthermore, those "good white players" are not good solely due to talent but also because they've had access to well-resourced schools with top coaching and facilities which for a long time non-white players were barred from attending. There are plenty of talented non-white players around the country who will never have that talent realised because the elite rugby schools remain disproportionately white.
  6. As for #3 wouldn’t she have been wearing a wig at the party at the end? Also, it wouldn’t make much sense for her to be the Judge. It would be against her own interests to shut down business in Valbeck if she’s as heavily invested there as Savine.
  7. matt b

    Video Games: Gears of Borderlands

    Looks like most of the dlc is on sale, too.
  8. ljkeane

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Those teams weren't very good. That's the point. It's a bit bizarre anyone's a Heyneke Meyer fan. Are you related to him or something? He manged to lose every game in 2015 Rugby Championship leading into the World Cup, this wasn't coaching genius on show. That's because schoolboy rugby's a big thing in South Africa, Craven week and all that, compared to everywhere else. All the best players in most of the schools they're playing will already be in academy teams for clubs/franchises by the time they're at an age to be going on international school tours and probably won't be involved.
  9. Paxter

    MLB Postseason: Bat Fight!

    This should be the Astros to lose but you never know what the Nats could do with that rotation and red hot form.
  10. Funny how no one wants the tough letters in the regular rounds, but there were q's and z's all over the place in the bonus. Maybe every round should have scrabble rules?
  11. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Watch some Youtube videos of those elite quota free South African schools absolutely smashing the top schools from other countries - including NZ - when you have some time. Start by searching for Grey College against pretty much any international team. Then ask yourself where those good players go when they don’t make it into the 50% quota based SA age group teams.
  12. The Young Maester

    Why does Balon Greyjoy want to attack the North?

    Tell that to Napoleons men. Look at the state Stannis’s men are at. I doubt they would’ve survived if they didn’t have those wolfswood clans as scouts and the northern mountain clans. Because their lands aren’t threatened. A women or not Barbrey seems to be a decent ruler and won’t be easily frightened. Barrowton is rumoured to be as strong as house Bolton. And probably richer. I wouldn’t doubt that if the iron born have the intent of taking barrowton the barrow knights would instead decide to meet them on the field. Iron born can fight in sieges but not in an open field against disciplined infantry and cavalry. For this reason I see it hard for the iron born to conquer inland territories since they’d be forced to fight pitched battles on unfavourable conditions. Battle of the green fork is a good example of what happens when you don’t bring cavalry into a battle. Outmanoeuvring. I doubt it not when you have balon and Victorian. The North is so big that the iron born will also be spread thin if they decide to take inland castles. Robb marched his army south and still the strength put together of manderly-Dustin-Ryswell would outnumber the iron born at moat cailin. Tywin took most of the westerlander strength with him. You can clearly see this when oxcross was full of green boys and useless reserves. The North probably has more men than the westerlands seeing as Robb Only took half of its strength with him.
  13. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Strongly disagree. Australia are terrible at the moment. Absolutely nowhere. England are decent, but certainly not anything close to great. South Africa are better than during the disastrous reign of Rudolph Strauli - I was at Twickenham for the 53-3 hammering after Labuschagne got red carded for the tackle on Wilkinson - but worse than under White, De Villiers or Meyer. Meyer’s record against the top teams other than NZ speaks for itself. 4 wins out of 5 against England. 4 wins out of 5 against Wales. 4 out of 7 against Australia at a time when Australia seldom lost at home. And 1 out of 2 against Ireland. His style was based on physical dominance, and many dislike it. But it brought success and made them the number 2 team in the world during his tenure, closely behind the sublime Mccaw led greatest All Black team of all time. The current Bok team are not at that level.
  14. Consigliere

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Two good games. Japan gave a good account of themselves particularly in the first half so I'm relieved we got through that one. Wales were lucky against France and got through more by the French shooting themselves in the foot. It's a tasty semifinal lineup (with currently the top 4 ranked sides in the world) that is just too close to call. Re: Quotas. This a very contentious issue and it's undeniable that the South African government has often meddled far too much in the selection of national sports squads but I agree with @ljkeane that in this particular instance, there is not a single player of colour in the Springbok squad where a clear case for their inclusion cannot be made. That is not to say that every non-white player in the squad is a slam-dunk choice or that every one of them where stellar for every moment as that line of thinking puts a burden on black players that white players do not face; it is simply to say that all these players are unquestionably talented and not a single one can be accused of being picked for "political" reasons. I also tend to agree with Kolisi that the transformation committees need to be much more focused at the grassroots level. Having the talent isn't enough without the access to well-resourced schools and it's a sad fact but the elite rugby playing schools in this country remain stubbornly and disproportionately white.
  15. Nagini's Neville

    Is the hound Sansa's 'new direwolf'?

    Yes, but in Arya's case there are a lot of other important ppl in her life. For sure he had an influence on Arya as well, but their relationship was never really the buddy-buddy adventure story, that the show made it out to be. She never tells him anything personal and neither does he. But with Sansa he constantly shares all kinds of personal information out of the blue. And also sadly Sansa just doesn't have anyone else, Arya has a lot of ppl throughout her journey + wolf dreams, Sansa just really only has the hound and ... LF lol And on top of that there is the mystery aspect to it as well. So many things are unresolved and unexplained, when it comes to Sansa and Sandor, that is apparent, when we look at the vastly different opinions, that ppl have on them. And also the fact that he still "appears" in Sansa/Alayne chapters even though they haven't interacted since two books. If Arya would think about the Hound that often, maybe ppl would pay as much attention. Even though imo, there are a lot of ppl, who actually do.
  16. ljkeane

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    New Zealand were really good. South Africa were rubbish, England were probably the weakest they've been since the 80's, Australia were largely rubbish, Wales had a good first 15 but lacked for depth which given the nature of international rugby meant they tended to be poor a lot of the time, same for Ireland. It's not unusual for France to be inconsistent but they were lacking enough quality to be the dangerous side they normally are. If you only ever play one good side, even if that side are really good, that's a weak level of international rugby. That's also not 'business as usual'. Usually England can be relied upon to have a very strong pack and on the back of that be a good side, usually at least one, if not both, of Australia and South Africa are good, France traditionally have a brutal pack and quality backs and New Zealand are consistently good. This is probably the most competitive era of international rugby since about 2001-2003. New Zealand aren't as good as they were but they're still very good, England are the strongest they've been since 2003, South Africa are the strongest they've been since 2009. Ireland have had a poor 2019 and will have to rebuild but they were really good for the previous 3 years, Wales have built up the best depth to their squad they've had in the professional era. Australia are about the same but the positive for them is they've actually got a good young tight five for the first time in a long time which makes it easier for them to become good. France aren't good yet but on the back of their excellent under 20s sides of the last few years they've got some brilliant talent coming through. If they can get a decent coach in they could be really good.
  17. iberiandirewolf

    New Forum Census

    Nobody expects us, but Spain.
  18. Today
  19. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Referring to the period dominated by the Mccaw-Carter-Read led NZ team as the “weakest international era since the dawn of professionalism” leaves me scratching my head. Just because England was crap didn’t make it a weak era. It just made it business as usual. Australia today are the weakest they’ve been in a generation, and NZ is weaker than at any time since 2009. That alone makes this a weak era. France is also nowhere. The British teams are half decent, but largely because the southern hemisphere as a collective is weaker than at any time in the last two decades.
  20. Nagini's Neville

    What now?

    And we also cant forget, he's a gardener. What that means is he has to write to figure out the story- that takes a lot of time.
  21. frenin

    What now?

    I'm more excited about FaB2 than anything, If Martin told me what the hell happened after the dragons died i'd feel no regrets.
  22. iberiandirewolf

    Is the hound Sansa's 'new direwolf'?

    He has, but I believe his actions towards Arya were a(n indirect or subconscious) result to his failure towards Sansa. I do believe he developed feelings for her, and that those feelings were the beginning of the end for the Hound, specially after the battle of the Blackwater. Same way, I believe Sansa's feelings for him are not even a hint but an obvious and intrinsical part of her development as a woman. It's been hinted by GRRM that there's something in store for them, and I'm a complete supporter of their love+sexual awakening theory. Their topic has been thoroughly examined in other splendid discussions. I wish for a sort of happy ending between them, as I don't support the opinion that everything in ASoIaF is doom and death and dispair... Many will end up badly, but some others won't. Their storylines converging is one of the things I'm looking forward the most in TWoW, to be honest. I've seen some of you commenting on a ''RW 2.0'' and I'm a bit lost. Is this a theory? Is there an existing topic on it in the forum? I don't see how it links to their storyline. Which, on that line, I don't think Tyrion will ever set foot on the Vale ever again. What could he possibly have to do back there? The Vale will be one of the main chessboards in TWoW, fact, but I don't see Tyrion's journey leading him to that game.
  23. Joe Pesci

    NHL: 2019-20

    The "strong down the middle" model is Shero's modus operandi. Worked out well for the Pens for a time, just have to watch out for when he starts dealing at the deadline.
  24. Because he took 4 castles... His father or sister would need to beat Rodrik's army before that. Just as context it seems. Theon did a good job, Dagmer only returned to a place he knew before. And the Lord can arm them just fine, especially if he needs them to repel pirates off his lands. No it didn't, was Robb trying to conquest the Westerlands because he took the Crag?? No, but peasants do rather die doing something than just freezing to death and they would not have any regards for their lives. Not in the Moat, the place is not called a ruin for nothing, the hottest fires could not save them and especially not by someone who don't know the Northern winter, that's like saying the Dornish sun can be defeated.
  25. ljkeane

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Nope. Under de Villiers South Africa were actually good, the suggestion was that it the leadership group put together by White who were responsible for this rather than de Villiers but who knows. Under Meyer as those key players either made themselves largely unavailable by playing abroad or just declined in quality they became a pretty poor side who if they couldn't just bully the opposition didn't seem to have much idea of what to do.
  26. polishgenius

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    I dunno if quotas are the way to go- rugby has some bizarre selection rules all round- but quelle fucking surprise to see Free Northman denigrating the black players.
  27. Free Northman Reborn

    Rugby: Building up to Japan

    Surely you are referring to Peter de Villiers’s tenure with that statement and used Meyer’s name by mistake.
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