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  #1996512 15-Apr-2018 16:01
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Dingbatt: While I'm disappointed the Chiefs lost, the Hurricanes converted their chances, the Chiefs didn't.
Barrett/McKenzie showed a Master/Apprentice performance. At times it was a game of millimetres. Barrett's try out-reaching Retallick. Laumape's try out-reaching Lienert-Brown. The millimetres between the four tacklers that Lamb beat for his try ;-)

 

Agreed. Just watched it this afternoon. The Chiefs really squandered opportunities including three probable tries if they had passed to their unmarked wing.

 

Colin Cooper is making a sensible suggestion to return to the round robin format and reduce the impact of such highly destructive local derbies. I'd like that purely from making it a fairer measure of each team's performance. At present, the conference tables are not directly comparable.

 

I also enjoyed the Highlanders blowing away the Brumbies for a bonus point in the final quarter.

 

 


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  #1996524 15-Apr-2018 16:18
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Hammerer:

 

Dingbatt: While I'm disappointed the Chiefs lost, the Hurricanes converted their chances, the Chiefs didn't.
Barrett/McKenzie showed a Master/Apprentice performance. At times it was a game of millimetres. Barrett's try out-reaching Retallick. Laumape's try out-reaching Lienert-Brown. The millimetres between the four tacklers that Lamb beat for his try ;-)

 

Agreed. Just watched it this afternoon. The Chiefs really squandered opportunities including three probable tries if they had passed to their unmarked wing.

 

Colin Cooper is making a sensible suggestion to return to the round robin format and reduce the impact of such highly destructive local derbies. I'd like that purely from making it a fairer measure of each team's performance. At present, the conference tables are not directly comparable.

 

I also enjoyed the Highlanders blowing away the Brumbies for a bonus point in the final quarter.

 

 

 

 

The conference set up is only there to help ensure weaker teams make it into the finals.





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  #1996907 16-Apr-2018 11:09
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So I was in Dunedin this weekend for a Squash tournament (which I won in my division so pretty happy with that). Took the opportunity to take my son to the Highlanders home game against the Brumbies under the take a kid to the Highlanders competition. Cost $30 which is crazy considering how close to the pitch we were and they had photographers taking free photos, my son got a supporters pack free and we both had a great time. Atmosphere was great, we were right near the student area, but that also meant being really close to the exit, which meant we were both freezing despite being rugged up. 

 

My son had the best time and had a great result for the Highlanders. Thought Ash Dixon should have been Yellowed for his Pocock head contact.

 

We had a great time in Dunedin all around.

 

Naholo is really getting well rounded in his game, it's good to see, as initially, he was for me a great finisher, but really not much else. 

 

 




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  #1997557 17-Apr-2018 09:28
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Israel Folau has put everyone in Australian Rugby in quite a predicament with his comments on Homosexuality. Not sure, but this may warrant it's own topic, and possibly in the politics forum, but I'll start it here. 

 

It's a difficult one. Folau didn't volunteer his view, he was asked directly and answered in accordance with his views and beliefs. I believe he should be entitled to his beliefs even if I or anyone else doesn't agree with them. 

 

I feel ARU have not been honest in how they portrayed his response to a meeting, which he has now issued a well worded and intelligently phrased response to. 

 

As well as he is entitled to his view, I believe an organisation is entitled to set their own values, which in this case include inclusiveness which includes anyone who is gay. 

 

He has said he is ready to walk away from the Wallabies, and he is likely one of their top 3 players, so they won't want to lose him, but in this instance, I believe that for them to have any credibility with their stance of inclusiveness they need to let him go.  I wonder if they will have the courage for that.

 

I consider this to be an issue that the press will never let of. He could commit to no comment statements when asked about homosexuality, but I don't believe his values would allow it. Thing is I believe League and most overseas clubs are likely to have similar policies he would run foul of as well. Maybe he could play in Japan. 

 

It's a kind of tough situation. I support his right to hold an unpopular view. I support ARU in maintaining their policies. He won't apologise for his beliefs, and an apology for hurting peoples feelings or offending people isn't going to solve the problem either. 

 

 

 

One of the big issues in Australian Rugby for the longest time is that the players have "outranked" the management. Meaning players are considered more important than the team, it's a similar problem that the Blues have and the Warriors prior to this season maybe. Until the game, the team and the country come first, I don't see them returning to

 

winning ways consistently. 

 

 


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  #1997731 17-Apr-2018 12:17
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I don't see Folau's comments as discriminatory against homosexual/gay people who might start or are playing rugby. Folau would give the same answer for anyone who is not saved or not a Christian. He was not singling them out. Someone else did that and was probably looking to create trouble knowing Folau's likely views.

 

I imagine that he would say the same thing for many other categories/groups that would generally fall outside of the category of Christians or people with behaviours specifically condemned. That traditionally includes Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, Mormons, murderers, thieves, liars, gossips, fornicators, etc.

 

Folau's statement did not discriminate against anyone playing the sport - there's no rugby in heaven or hell, as far as I can tell.

 

On the issue of inclusiveness, the ARU policy aims to eliminate discrimination regarding participation within the sport. The policy  specifically focusses on supporting homosexual/gay people. For example:

 

1.6 ARU’s policy on inclusion is simple: Rugby has and must continue to be a sport where players, officials, volunteers, supporters and administrators have the right and freedom to participate regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion and without fear of exclusion.There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words both on and off the field must reflect this.

 

http://www.rugbyaustralia.com.au/Portals/1/PDFs/InclusionPolicy.pdf

 

If Folau had said that any group should not be playing rugby then clearly he has broken the inclusiveness policy. Also, if he had sought to create a situation where others were specifically barred from participating in rugby then that would break the inclusiveness policy. He has not done any such thing.

 

He is already playing with players and support staff (including referees) who are vocally homosexual/gay. He has not even said that he would not play with them. And even if he did, that would probably not be sufficient to exclude him as he would effectively be self-excluding himself.

 

On the other hand, it is nearly as big an issue to exclude him because he has views that don't conform with the politically correct norm. It is amazing how many people who focus on inclusiveness only want it to apply to people that agree with them. It is not inclusiveness if the holding of contradictory views is sufficient to exclude someone. Some people think that someone arguing against the inclusiveness policy should be excluded. That's like saying that someone who opposes a law should face legal consequences simply for voicing an opposing opinion.

 

His comments may sour his relationship with some people and so it may inhibit team performance. If that is the case, then that is an issue for the selectors, coaches and management to deal with.

 

(Edit to remove ambiguity in second sentence)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  #1997746 17-Apr-2018 12:43
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I agree he wasn't saying Rugby players can't play Rugby if they are gay, however, it's a strong view that may affect some people in a negative way and change their willingness to participate. 

 

Inclusiveness can be looked at two ways. 1) Allowing someone to play, which I don't think he did anything wrong in regard to 2) The spirit of the word, which is where I think the issue lies and what the clause is intending. 

 

If you are allowed to play but recieve a hostile response to being part of a team, would you be keen to play? This is the issue I think. 

 

There are some players who have completely opposing views like Pocock who said he wouldn't marry until gays could marry. They are both leaders in the Wallabies and whilst I don't see Folau pushing his views on others, I can see Pocock taking issue with Folau's view on this. Even if it's not a major every day problem, I think those sort of tensions can

 

affect a team and it's culture.  I guess in some ways it's the same as when the Crusaders and Highlanders members form up for the AB's they put their differences aside, but I do wonder if this is more serious than that.

 

 


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  #1997747 17-Apr-2018 12:45
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I don't want to see Folau excluded from the Wallabies. I want them to be as competitive as they were ten to twenty years ago. The games are much more exciting to watch and, if the skill levels were more similar, the virtuosity on display is amazing. For me, the games of the last ten years, basically since George Gregan retired from the Wallabies, have lost the thrill I used to get. Genia an others have been excellent players but the dominance has swung too far back to the All Blacks.

 

A related issue, is that our rugby commentators have got far too cocky with NZ dominance over the Australians. Even worse because the South Africans have had problems at the same time. Closer games would force our commentators to give better comment and analysis. The Australian commentators have the opposite problem, they have moved from reasoned analysis to gung ho optimism simply because they have to be seen to be supporting their own teams against NZ dominance.

 

I watch the Australian show "Kick and Chase" because a different perspective makes things more interesting. I particularly liked Andrew Mehrtens being on the show last year. So I would like to see an Australian great on the NZ shows at least once a month. It would help our commentators not to get too up themselves. I also like that they try to pick the winners of each round of the Super Rugby competition and keep track of who's picking best. The NZ shows have stopped doing that which means they can give lip-service compliments to the Australians by making out that games might be closer than they really are. But they don't have to front up by showing what they really think.

 

A particular peeve of mine is that I'm tired of hearing Justin Marshall's one-eyed comments. He almost always favours particular players and teams which leads to him making some farcical claims. A suitable Australian might find it easier (assuming they weren't scared of losing a paying gig) to pick up on them and give him a hard time. One of Marshall's latest was saying that Brodie Retallick was keeping pace with Beauden Barrett in the race for the try line - he clearly wasn't.


 
 
 
 




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  #1997749 17-Apr-2018 12:55
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I don't want Folau to be excluded either, they need every good player they can get. I don't rate him quite as highly as some, but he is significantly better under the high ball than anything in NZ playing right now in my view. I have said for 2 seasons we aren't good under the high ball. When Cory Jane and Dagg were at their best, they were the two best and no-one could touch them. I see though, his continued presence means the press will target him and bait him into responses. How long till someone asks him if he thinks gay people should be allowed to play Rugby. His best bet in my view is for him to reply to any questions related to this with "I have made my views known about this topic and have no further comment to make" but I can't see that happening. 

 

I am torn around the commentary, I don't mind JM as much as some, all commentators have their favourites. I find Pod annoying as all hell. 

 

I feel sorry for commentators in all fairness, they are damned if they do and if they don't. The job is to gee up the audience and right now it's pretty hard for Australian Commentators to find good things to say about Aussie Rugby, esp against NZ teams who give them a decent hiding most outings. They aren't really that competitive and there is only so much you can gloss over. Same with Kiwi commentators, a lot of what is said to try and be balanced is poppycock, but they have to say something.

 

I am not stating Australia can't play well, or that they can't beat NZ, but the instances are rare and there is a reasonable gap right now. 

 

 


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  #1997825 17-Apr-2018 13:55
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networkn:

 

If you are allowed to play but recieve a hostile response to being part of a team, would you be keen to play? This is the issue I think. 

 

There are some players who have completely opposing views like Pocock who said he wouldn't marry until gays could marry. They are both leaders in the Wallabies and whilst I don't see Folau pushing his views on others, I can see Pocock taking issue with Folau's view on this. Even if it's not a major every day problem, I think those sort of tensions can

 

affect a team and it's culture.  I guess in some ways it's the same as when the Crusaders and Highlanders members form up for the AB's they put their differences aside, but I do wonder if this is more serious than that.

 

 

I disagree that Folau is personally making "a hostile response" to anyone in particular. Although, some people opposing his statement will try to make it out that it is part of his personal, impassioned and hostile crusade against individual homosexual/gay people. But I'm pretty sure that most Christians think of going to hell, if they believe in it at all, as a matter of spiritual fact like our scientific facts like gravity or the world being round. In this case, going to hell is seen to affect everyone equally because we all start in the same spiritual location where "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".

 

I agree that the effect on the team could be important but there is an absence of info on that so I can't really comment. Pocock and Folau have been publicly off-side on such issues for years. I think that the ARU could have had very specific guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not. That they didn't has left a substantial grey area which could have been resolved at least a year ago when Pocock and Folau were on opposite sides in the public argument about gay marriage. 

 

Folau is honest about his own view even knowing it could cost him a lot. On the other side, Pocock has very clear views about public statements which he stated at least as early as 2010. So I imagine that he would want the ARU to discipline Folau. For example, hear his comments at the start of this video from 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9gJHHA_ggA.

 

Pocock speaks safe in the knowledge that he is solidly politically correct. I'd be very surprised if it costs him much or anything to not get married in a society when most people his age don't get married anyway - defacto relationships by far exceed marriages for people of his age. Anyway, he had a 'wedding' in 2010 with his partner, Emma Palandri, who agrees with him on this issue so he's fortunate there too. Not to say that he wouldn't be as brave about such issues as he is on the rugby field: he took a hammering from the Highlanders who probably should have been penalised for endangering him last week. He spoke out relatively early on the gay marriage issue and I imagine that he would have spoken out even if it did cost him something.

 

 

 

 




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  #1997853 17-Apr-2018 14:52
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I applaud Folau's conviction regardless of my support or not of his beliefs. He could lose a lot and is still stating his position, there is something to be said for it. Unpopular views are ... unpopular. It's a brave man who goes against the grain these days. I have seen people removed from clubs temporarily or permanently for stating they were anti-gay marriage.

 

I don't think he hates gay people, I don't think he was trying to hurt anyone specifically, but I do think his comments would in most peoples eyes, fall short of the "spirit" of inclusiveness even if not the very definition of the word. 

 

As to whether that is a sackable offense or not is hard to judge, but the ARU could take a hard stance themselves and say the spirit is more important than the definition. Folau wouldn't fight it, he has plenty of other opportunities.

 

Folau was adamantly for exclusion when it came to Gay Marriage so fell short on both definitions, but didn't have anything to do with Rugby. Again I am not saying his view is right or wrong. 

 

It would not surprise me if Pocock said he wouldn't play in the Wallabies unless Folau apologised. If that happens, I suspect Folau will be gone, either of his own accord, or because it's untenable for ARU. If I were the ARU, I'd suspend them both if that happened. I am getting into some outer supposing now.

 

Also wouldn't surprise me if Folau resigns in the coming few days because he can't be bothered with the fuss. 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  #1997964 17-Apr-2018 16:26
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ARU blinked first, no action will be taken. Let's see how the sponsors take that. I am disappointed by Raelene Castle. I felt she was the wrong choice in the first place, but I think Folau made fair calls in calling her honesty into question. 

 

 

 

On another much more happy note for both the Crusaders and NZ Rugby, Dagg and Franks are back from Injury to take on the Sunwolves Saturday night. Saw an advance contingent of Sunwolves fringe players at Auckland Airport on Sunday night. Two were limping considerably.

 

 


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  #1998209 17-Apr-2018 23:04
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networkn:

 

ARU blinked first, no action will be taken. Let's see how the sponsors take that. I am disappointed by Raelene Castle. I felt she was the wrong choice in the first place, but I think Folau made fair calls in calling her honesty into question. 

 

She's in a hard place and I only have sympathy for her. The terms of the inclusiveness policy would have to be changed to make it an exclusiveness policy that would automatically exclude Folau simply for making such comments. So I'm not surprised that the ARU didn't try to force it.

 

She is hard pressed and so I'm not surprised that she heard more of what she wants to hear than what Folau thought he said. She probably did gild it some more in the retelling. But what she said is no worse than puffery and deceit we are treated to many times each day in the media. I don't support this but nor do I think most people should be throwing so many stones at her.

 

 

 

networkn:

 

On another much more happy note for both the Crusaders and NZ Rugby, Dagg and Franks are back from Injury to take on the Sunwolves Saturday night. Saw an advance contingent of Sunwolves fringe players at Auckland Airport on Sunday night. Two were limping considerably.

 

Irrelevant for me. Happy for the Crusaders definitely. I didn't even notice they were gone except that I did miss Dagg's smiles - not something Franks is know for on the field.


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  #1998212 17-Apr-2018 23:24
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networkn:

 

It would not surprise me if Pocock said he wouldn't play in the Wallabies unless Folau apologised. If that happens, I suspect Folau will be gone, either of his own accord, or because it's untenable for ARU. If I were the ARU, I'd suspend them both if that happened. I am getting into some outer supposing now.

 

 

A dual suspension seems a silly idea given the circumstances. Such exclusions would be more likely to bring the ARU into disrepute and I doubt that they would survive a legal challenge by either player.

 

Just because they're employees/contractors doesn't mean that they can be told what to do just to suit the ARU. 

 

The ARU Code of Conduct is worth reading if only to see there's not a lot of rules tied down outside of playing rugby. For example, a criminal offences isn't always enough to breach the code.

 

 

1.7 Use Social Media appropriately. By all means share your positive experiences of Rugby but do not use Social Media as a means to breach any of the expectations and requirements of you as a player contained in this Code or in any Union, club or competition rules and regulations.

 

1.8 Do not otherwise act in a way that may adversely affect or reflect on, or bring you, your team,club, Rugby Body or Rugby into disrepute or discredit. If you commit a criminal offence, this is likely to adversely reflect on you and your team, club, Rugby Body and Rugby.

 




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  #1999213 19-Apr-2018 11:26
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Bit of a LOL moment. I think you'd have to *seriously* reconsider your position on pretty much anything if you knew Bryan Tamaki agreed with you!

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12035526

 

 




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  #1999232 19-Apr-2018 11:59
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Coles and Read out for the French series. I'd like to see Tafua (I'll just wait here quietly for the accusations of bias) considered for the 8 jersey, he missed out last season closely I think. That is if Squire isn't fit. Ioane has also obviously played really well this year. I do wonder about his temperament (as I do with most Blues players right now). 

 

 


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