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Tokyo Calling - Rugby 2019

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    Originally posted by Simon G View Post
    Gloucester have decided to stop selling Wolfpack Lager at Kingsholm because of it being owned by two former Saracens players.

    Can't help but think that's a bit petty - but it's the sort of pettiness I can get behind.
    If the Glaws fans don't have a banner based on Clough's Leeds/medals quote this weekend I'll be very disappointed.

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      I'll mention it to the season-ticket holder who sits opposite me now,

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        Remarkable comeback from Bristol away to Exeter earlier. After being 17-0 down at half time, they came back to win 17-20 with an injury time try after Exeter's continued infringements allowed them to kick penalties to touch and drive forward from line outs. It puts them top of the nascent Premiership table.

        Did they spend quite a bit of money in the summer? I notice they've taken Nathan Hughes from Franchise RFC.

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          Foxy out for the 6N, fuck.

          I've decided to go to Wales v Barbarians at the end of the month. I quite fancy supporting Pivac's debut (with what will be a massively patched up side shorn of injured and English-based players) and Gatland's coaching of the Baa-Baas will give me the farewell to him I was cruelly denied when we didn't reach the final.

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            Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
            England to tour Japan in 2020, which is excellent news.

            Speculation that Australia will look to host the World Cup in 2027, with USA looking at 2031. We've never had two consecutive non-European RWCs, have we?
            I guess they're following the money, and it depends on whether the European bidder(s) can come up with more cash. I'd be amazed if the USA ever became as good as Japan, though, due to NFL and the culture it creates at all tiers. And, unlike USA 94, there's no US-Latino rugby demographic AFAIK.

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              Following the money normally means a European RWC, specifically in France, England or Wales (with those three, Ireland and Scotland often pitching in to stage occasional games when the others are main host) which alternate with southern hemisphere tournaments and/or the opportunity to (re-)open markets like South Africa and Japan.

              Japan certainly made tons of money too, like you I can't see the USA (or even Australia) necessarily matching it, though both would be great hosts.
              Last edited by Ray de Galles; 12-11-2019, 12:37.

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                The European competitions all start this weekend, tonight in fact. C4 and S4C will continue to televise one game a round as well as all those on BT.

                It always seems a bit "after the Lord Mayor's show" when the tournament starts so soon after the world cup (and many of the players from the RWC won't yet be turning out for their clubs) but once the games start it's usually enthralling.

                There's also the Baa-Baas v Fiji at Twickenham tomorrow, which will be live on the BBC.
                Last edited by Ray de Galles; 15-11-2019, 11:46.

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                  Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                  Following the money normally means a European RWC, specifically in France, England or Wales (with those three, Ireland and Scotland often pitching in to stage occasional games when the others are main host) which alternate with southern hemisphere tournaments and/or the opportunity to (re-)open markets like South Africa and Japan.

                  Japan certainly made tons of money too, like you I can't see the USA (or even Australia) necessarily matching it, though both would be great hosts.
                  Australia probably would, the 2003 Rugby World Cup smashed the 1999 Rugby World Cup in terms of revenues. You're talking a country with a shedload of new and improved stadiums as well, so gate receipts would go way up on 2003 (eg Adelaide Oval now vs then, Optus Oval in Perth vs Subiaco).

                  The USA hosting in 2031 is a real stretch though. I just can't see the enthusiasm for rugby there. We're still a country where five figure crowds for the Eagles are a pleasant surprise.

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                    2003 certainly improved on 1999 but you have to look at the massive jumps in revenue that were made in 2007 and 2015 to get an idea of quite how much of a money-spinner a European RWC is.

                    I heard some very impressive figures for this year's tournament being bandied about by some World Rugby people when I met them in Japan but I'd be surprised if they match 2015 or what 2023 will likely bring.

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                      An English bloke called Andy Robinson has just been named coach of the Romanian national team. My knowledge of RU is so scant that his nationality is all I know (and that only because it was in the tweet I got it from). But anyway. Good luck to him

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                        Robinson's a former coach of Bath, England, Edinburgh, Scotland and Bristol.

                        He struggled in both of his previous international jobs (and had some bad luck too) and appears to have been out of work for two or three years. Interesting choice for Romania though.

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                          Ta. So he's a fairly big name (for Romania) then.

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                            I would say so. I hope it goes well, we need a strong Romanian side again.

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                              Premiership champions Saracens have confirmed they will not be contesting their points deduction and fine for breaching the league's salary cap.

                              Still interested in if and how they can work within the salary cap this season though.

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                                I watched Gloucester v Toulouse and Northampton v Lyon over the weekend. Toulouse came back from 20-9 down at half time (a lead the home side barely merited) to strangle Glaws in the second half and win very impressively 20-25. Lyon didn't turn up for the first half and were 19-0 down at the break, recovering slightly to 25-14 at full time.

                                I saw little bits of Bath v Ulster which was largely a terrible scrappy game that Bath should have won in the final phase, I'm still not sure if this is great defence from Stockdale or a terrible butchering of a try from Bath :

                                https://twitter.com/btsportrugby/status/1195718174123184129?s=20

                                This was probably the best individual skill of the weekend, I've seen Ibitoye compared to a gridiron running back fro his set up :

                                https://twitter.com/btsportrugby/status/1195784199992729600?s=20

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                                  Bit like Man City's title in 2014, sticks in the craw that they're allowed to keep the last two Premierships. Although admittedly retrospectively awarding medals/titles does seem a bit of a pointless exercise too, and one that always comes with a mental asterisk. I still look at lists that say Carl Lewis won the 100m in 1987 and 1988 and think "no, he didn't".

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                                    The way in which the entire matter is being treated, with no detailed explanation of the breaches or the remedies, is anything but transparent and extremely enervating.

                                    If the reports that the violations primarily involved co-investments by Wray in players' personal business vehicles are true, the unwinding of those arrangements is far from trivial.

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                                      Stockdale's defence was something else. In real time it was amazing.

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                                        He's calling it as well. See how he points the player in the full back position to stand up the ball carrier and not attempt to cover and drift. He knows he has a chance of getting back to Rokoduguni and either tackling or intercepting. I wouldn't blame the no.8 for not expecting it and releasing earlier - how many times do you see players get cut out of the game and simply stop* rather than working their socks off to get back into an effective defensive position as Stockdale does? Very few others would have been. And anyway, the ball carrier has to commit what he thinks is the last man, to properly work the (he assumes) two on one. He arguably shouldn't release any earlier.

                                        * - in part because Stockdale was covering his own arse here. He flew up out of the line to try and end the move two passes earlier, which was a major gamble that backfired as he was fractionally too late. Because he did that, he was out of position which was why there seemingly was space wide! Avoiding apologising to 20 teammates for a sickening loss is a great motivator, I'm sure.

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                                          Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                                          Stockdale's defence was something else. In real time it was amazing.
                                          I saw it live and still feel Bath screwed up a bit. I'm not sure if their 8 should have passed earlier, I'd like to have seen him hold the ball in to contact. I think he may have had the momentum to carry himself through the tackle and over.

                                          I suppose nobody could have expected Stockdale to get back and I'm being too harsh but it would nag at me if I was a Bath supporter.

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                                            I hadn't noticed before tonight but there are multiple free streams of European Challenge Cup games here, seemingly every week.

                                            C4 have one live Champions Cup game per round again too, it appears to be the 1pm Saturday slot which is Saracens v Ospreys tomorrow. S4C have Cardiff v Leicester in the Challenge Cup at 8pm tomorrow too, which also appears to be a regular slot.

                                            Ulster v Clermont is about to enter it's final quarter on BT Sport right now, 13-3 to the hosts and the visitors have been absolutely toilet so far.

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                                              Sale score a try against Stade Rochelais with a clear forward pass but take the conversion before the TMO points it out to the ref. The try is disallowed to huge disapproval from the Sale players and crowd but there are claims there has been a law change that means that can now be done even after a conversion is taken, which seems sensible if true.
                                              Last edited by Ray de Galles; 24-11-2019, 12:41.

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                                                Penarol will be Uruguay's representative in the Super Liga Sudamericana - the continent's first fully professional competition.

                                                It is currently expected to feature one club from each of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Colombia, though there are hopes that more clubs may join (including Nacional).

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                                                  That sounds very promising, has any Tier One nation played in Uruguay yet, apart from Argentina who I presume must have.

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                                                    In related news, the Barbarians went to Brazil to play the national team in between their fixtures in England and Wales. The hosts won 47-22 in front of a crowd of 14,000.

                                                    The main news from Sunday's European games were a couple of horrendous red card attacks by players for French clubs - a Vahaamahinaesque elbow in a maul from Montpellier's Du Plessis and repulsive eye gouge from Stade Rochelais's Bourgarit. Long deserved bans coming for both.

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