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  1. #851
    longeared's Avatar
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    Rotherham 19-38 Doncaster

    One of those games that was more of a contest than the scoreline looks. Rotherham haven't won this season and were competitive for an hour. The key passage of play came at 19-22 midway through the second half when Rotherham had a penalty, kicked to the corner then a load of territory but didn't register any points and the move ended with a knock on. Rotherham then tired and Donny put some moves for a flattering margin of victory. I'd also forgotten how dull Donny are to watch with their forward play.

    Some odd kits, Donny were in all sand, Rotherham had a Christmas variation on their normal colours to look like a festive jumper.

  2. #852
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    You’re not wrong about the kits :



    In searching for the them I see Rotherham sacked their manager after the defeat today. In other English second tier news, London Scottish and Bedford managed to play out a 52-52 draw today, 15 tries in all.

  3. #853

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    52 each is a crazy score, is this typical of that level in England?

  4. #854
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    No, that’s why it stood out for me. Scores are definitely higher than they were in the seventies and eighties, which is weird as the consensus seems to be that the game has become more defensive since professionalism.

  5. #855
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    I wonder if increased speed and athleticism among backs has something to do with that.

    Whenever I watch a highlight roundup, there seem to be an inordinate number of breakaway tries

  6. #856
    Munster v Leinster should prove high-octane Stephen's Day fare, even if the latter are reportedly fielding mostly reserves.

  7. #857

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diable Rouge View Post
    Munster v Leinster should prove high-octane Stephen's Day fare, even if the latter are reportedly fielding mostly reserves.
    I presume it's on Sky.

    BBC 2 Wales and then S4C have the two Wales derby matches. Dragons Blues is on now then it's Scarlets Ospreys.

  8. #858
    Yes, and TG4 in RoI - though most of the Munster viewership will have already switched channels, due to the home side being total cat.

  9. #859
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Sounds like Munster made something of a comeback in a corker in the Irish derby. Quite a contrast to the two rainstorm-afflicted Welsh derbies with the conditions making playing much rugby impossible.

    Cardiff took a 3-22 lead away to Newport and clung on to win 17-22. It’s half time in Scarlets v Ospreys and it’s 5-3, Stef Evans scoring a neat try but then sent off for a rash challenge on an opponent in the air.

  10. #860

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    Stef Evans has done this before, getting a red for a rash challenge. But it mattered not as the Scarlets won with a try deep into injury time. Fantastic, absolutely fucking fantastic.

  11. #861
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Shit game, despite the frantic finale. Christ knows how Ospreys lost that decisive final scrum against the head in their own 22, suicidally poor.

  12. #862

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    I missed the last two minutes, as I was called in for dinner. Bollocks.

  13. #863

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicarious Thrillseeker View Post
    I missed the last two minutes, as I was called in for dinner. Bollocks.
    The delights of living with people who don't get sport, eh VT?

  14. #864

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    Quote Originally Posted by ursus arctos View Post
    L’Equipe reports that Guy Noves and his staff will be sacked on 27 December, with his most likely successor being Jacques Brunel of Bordeaux Begles.
    And that's exactly what happened. Brunel appointed until the RWC finishes.

  15. #865
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    And now L'Equipe says that the FFR are asserting that they fired Noves and his staff for cause, and therefore do not owe them any money under their contracts.

  16. #866

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    Americas Rugby Championship

    2/3: USA v Argentina XV at Stubhub Center in LA (DH with Stormers v Bulls)
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    1/27 Canada v Uruguay, BC Place

  17. #867
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray de Galles View Post
    No, that’s why it stood out for me. Scores are definitely higher than they were in the seventies and eighties, which is weird as the consensus seems to be that the game has become more defensive since professionalism.
    A few thoughts on that.

    1) Not that this caused a 52-all draw, but scores are definitely boosted by the enormous, seismic improvement in goalkicking since the 1970s and 1980s. I dug out an old Five Nations international featuring Ireland from 1996 and Tony Ward made an incredibly prescient comment about how goalkicking was going to improve beyond all belief thanks to professionalism. Eric Elwood had an attempt at goal from the 10 metre line about 5 metres in from touch - a kick that even into my time, the late 90s, was considered quite a feat if you knocked it over - and Ward was effusing about how this would soon be a routine kick. Which it has become.

    I don't know how many points per game are added by penalty goals and increased conversions (speaking of kicks, remember when hitting a conversion from touch would garner a standing ovation?) but it has to be at least a dozen per side, if not more.

    2) It seems to me that the perception of rugby being more and more defensive is coming from the idea that it seems harder than ever to break the gainline. Also, multi-pass phases with runners in any kind of space is very rare now. With defenders not sucked up in rucks and lined up, you're swarmed upon instantly.

    Now, if you break the first line of defence, you've often got just the fullback to beat and possibly not even that, so you might get a breakaway try. But it's less fun than some of the hair-on-fire running around you'd see from the French in the early 90s or whatever.

  18. #868
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    Kicking fitness and tactical awareness have improved throughout Rugby since professionalism came along, but with all due respect to Bedford and Scottish a 52 all scoreline suggests that at their level, perhaps a few too many mince pies had been consumed in the last few days. Mind you, didn't Exeter and Wasps end up something daft like 44 all last year, too?

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