[(Double standard-supporting fooks. Go on France (or us) for the World Cup.)]
"Wallaby wing Lote Tuqiri has been handed an 11-week suspension from all rugby following his dangerous tackle on All Black captain Richie McCaw in New Zealand’s Tri-Nations clinching 34-27 win over Australia in Auckland on Saturday.
Tuqiri faced a SANZAR Judicial Committee in Auckland on Sunday, after being cited by Citing Commissioner Willem Venter for the spear-tackle on McCaw in the fourth minute of the second half of the match.
Venter referred the incident to the judicial committee, which judged the tackle dangerous enough to hand down one of the tougher penalties recommended by the International Rugby Board.
Ironically, Venter was also the citing commissioner for the first Test between the 2005 British & Irish Lions and New Zealand when Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu were not reported for the tackle that left Brian O’Driscoll nursing a dislocated shoulder… [Tuqiri’s] spear-tackle left McCaw dazed. But the All Black captain was able to play on after receiving some treatment…
Tuqiri was banned from rugby up to and including Thursday 2 November 2006, which is effectively a five- or six-match ban.
In a statement issued on Sunday the SANZAR committee said … “After careful consideration of all the evidence, including clear video evidence of the incident, and submissions made on behalf of the player, the Committee found the tackle was dangerous and placed the tackled player in a vulnerable position” …
[New Zealand PM Helen Clark said to New Zealand radio,] “One hesitates, as just someone in the stand to voice an opinion, but certainly I felt someone should have been sent off … I thought it was absolutely appalling. We witnessed several acts of assault against the All Blacks captain and it was very, very ugly to see.”"
Still think it’s better to have O’Driscoll, the best player in the world, as captain rather than some provincial guy that our opposition probably have heard of before. A WC team led out by Drico will strike fear into the opposition.
Heard the guys on Newstalk during the week going through the news that all Leinster’s big stars were returning, with one running through the nicknames as the other announced the names, so went something like this:
“Leinster welcome back to their squad Brian O’Driscoll (“Drico”), Gordon D’arcy (“Dorce”), Shane Horgan (“Shaggy”) and Malcolm O’Kelly (“Big Mal”). They are further boosted by the recovery from injury of Guy Easterby (“Fly Guy”) and Luke Fitzgerald (“Future”).”
Very funny at the time.
i do sense that kiwis are becoming something like chelsea, sapping out the enjoyment out of the game through their preparedness and the quality of their players and back-up players. but you have to sit back and admire them for being so focussed on winning this coming world cup. england did it with their triumph in australia, woodward had assembled a core of 19/20 players who had been playing together for years and knew each other backwards. he was lucky in one sense that no major injuries during the tournament to crucial players didn’t interrupt, but this is something that graeme henry has even tried to take care of. it’ll be interesting to see in the coming months the make-up of his side and what/whom he brings with them on their winter tour of europe ( i see the aussies have left gregan at home ). at this stage he should be focussing in on his core players and team units. however he does have some problems in key positions. at outside centre they are yet to find a genuine replacement for umaga and his back three, whilst being the best finishers in the game, are always made to look ordinary when the ball is kicked in behind them. their lineout also has it’s bad days, this is a crucial area. don’t get me wrong, such is the quality of the rest of their players and the unit itself they could well still go on and win the world cup, however an intelligent team like australia might well upset them. france are also going to be a major force, you only need to look at their record at home at all levels to see that at home, with their crowd they’re a force that could overcome anybody on their day. the interesting build up starts in the november internationals, whilst i’ll be focussing alot of my energy on the ashes, i can’t wait for it all.
Agreed with pretty much all of that. I think they are obviously better prepared than England were for a key injury in that they effectively have two panels operating at an elite level so they have plenty of backup. I’d also concur with your areas of concern for them though. I think O Driscoll gave them plenty to think about when selecting a 13 last summer. Also their back 3 are devestating finishers but do lack footballing ability for the most part. Still think they’ll go on and win the thing though.
There was a lot of jealousy and resentment when I called Sexton’s and Murray’s prowess back in the day. Some self professed rubby experts said Murray was a poor man’s Mike Phillips and Sexton’s below par goal kicking didn’t compensate for his other attributes. But I loved Sexton’s moxy and Murray’s astute box kick game from the get go.