Good Rugby Reads



  • A thread for folk to link good articles they find about the RWC for those of us sick of the mainstream clickbait and 'who had what for breakfast' crap being churned out as filler.
     
    I don't know why I keep forgetting about it but this site http://www.the42.ie/rugby/ has some of the best articles going around. Good analysis and plenty of output showing other publications that there are actually some interesting things to discuss
     
    http://www.the42.ie/new-zealand-team-georgia-2359862-Sep2015/
     
    http://www.the42.ie/simon-hick-column-england-rugby-world-cup-2359355-Sep2015/
     
    http://www.the42.ie/world-rugby-scrum-2357600-Sep2015/



  • Yes, the 42 is fantastic. I have had a decent scan of the foreign media in the last few days and we sure are flying under the radar at the moment. Even our media are bored of us. Perhaps a consequence of being in the middle of an easy sequence of games but certainly all media is focusing on the very real proposition of England get kocked out.



  • Ireland tends to lead the way when it comes to rugby bloggers at the moment.
     
    Whenever NZ goes to Ireland on a Northern Tour I check this site regularly: http://dementedmole.com/ because they'll put out some great stuff.



  • Great idea Crucial. I love to read rugby but not at the cost of losing faith in all humanity



  • I'll put this one here as well from another thread.
     
    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/gordon-d-arcy-burgess-is-blunder-that-could-bury-england-1.2371821
     
    Gordon D'Arcy's view on the Burgess experiment







  • whiffofcordite.com is also good; it can seem a bit "pally" to begin with - lots of player nicknames, inside-ish jokes - but it is quite good. Ireland-based.



  • Shit that D'arcy writes well, so much better than any ferner could ever hope to ( obviously ) but also better than any other 'expert' or journo I can think of.....



  • Shit that D'arcy writes well, so much better than any ferner could ever hope to ( obviously ) but also better than any other 'expert' or journo I can think of.....

    Even better than the professional writers on here? I thought his analysis was great but the structure so-so.





  • Even better than the professional writers on here? I thought his analysis was great but the structure so-so.

    That's a bit harsh on a current professional rugby player isn't it (albeit someone who may have been born into priviledge and educated in fine schools)? It reminds me of a comment Stephen Jones wrote (I know I shouldn't have read it) during the Lions' tour in 2005 about the late John Drake's newpaper articles "Good commentator, can't write for toffee".
     
    I'd read D'arcy all day if he continues to produce analysis like that.



  • Some scrum analysis for those so inclined...
     
    http://www.the42.ie/italy-ireland-scrum-analysis-2361982-Oct2015/



  • Even better than the professional writers on here? I thought his analysis was great but the structure so-so.

    Well if any ferner has played more tests in the international midfield I might change my views....until then though.....



  • Yeah I'll side with nostril, nice analysis but it seemed rather all over the show and jumpy.



  • Fucken literary critics are we now?
     
    At least it is all a damn sight better than the lightweight crap being written in Stuff and the Herald and it isn't Ratpoo or Reason style clickbait.



  • Fucken literary critics are we now?
    At least it is all a damn sight better than the lightweight crap being written in Stuff and the Herald and it isn't Ratpoo or Reason style clickbait.Well yeah it's a guy who has been there and done that for so many years. For that reason I also enjoyed Will Greenwoods stuff...as a player D'arcy was always second fiddle to BOD but so what? Is anyone better equipped to write articles that insightful on midfield play? I'll forgive a few 'jumpy' paragraphs here and there.



  • This was a good article from earlier this year from Murray Kinsella explaining Baths rugby league style diamond attacking formation..   
    http://www.the42.ie/bath-analysis-diamond-structure-shape-ford-joseph-2137439-Jun2015/



  • This was a good article from earlier this year from Murray Kinsella explaining Baths rugby league style diamond attacking formation..   
    http://www.the42.ie/bath-analysis-diamond-structure-shape-ford-joseph-2137439-Jun2015/

    That's a good article although I found it a bit funny that what is being touted as clever and revolutionary is, in reality, the simple attacking method of ensuring that the ball carrier has options left, right and behind. The 'clever' part is doing this after each ball transfer to keep the options going rather than just a one off to create an opportunity.
    It's a well drilled extra to the basic backline attack structure of having either of your centres straighten the line. If it is 12 the 10 and 13 provide the left/right option with 15 coming up from behind. If it is 13 then 12 and 15 provide the left/right with 10 looping in behind.





  • An interesting take....http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/news/106561

    Agreed but it isn't as successful for Scotland and Italy.



  • Agreed but it isn't as successful for Scotland and Italy.

    I think i's rather misleading myself. I'll agree that players may be more used to playing with each other but you really need to boil things down to useful combos.
     
    Combos with AB yes or No
     
    Front Row (no)
    Locks (no)
    Loosies (only 7&8 but then it's actually rare that they play in this combo)
    8/9 (no)
    9/10 (no)
    12/13 (yes)
    back three (sometimes)



  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/11901963/England-v-Australia-Five-areas-Stuart-Lancasters-side-must-get-right-to-keep-Rugby-World-Cup-dream-alive.html

    The Telegraph used to have outstanding sports coverage but has dropped away considerably in the last few years and is now very poor. with loads of click-bait
     
    The Guardian has run a series of articles on RWC 2015 on individual countries Rugby culture which have been really good. Here's some examples 
     
    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/sep/11/all-blacks-how-new-zealand-sustains-its-rugby-dynasty
     
    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/sep/10/fiji-samoa-tonga-x-factor-rugby-world-cup



  • Fucken literary critics are we now?
     
    At least it is all a damn sight better than the lightweight crap being written in Stuff and the Herald and it isn't Ratpoo or Reason style clickbait.

    You all misunderstand me (apart from Bones, which is worrying in itself). Yes it is great analysis, no it isn't great writing.
    Excellent article, not an excellent example of writing.
    And yes great writing falls under the label of literature.
    I'll collect my book token now, thanks.



  • something a bit different.. Canon are posting blogs of the photographers up at the RWC.
     
    my mate Phil is there covering the AB's for Getty Images.  Ran 7.5k's covering the AB's argies games.  Great job to have.
     
    http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/news/photographer_blogs_from_2015_Rugby_World_Cup/all_black_in_business.do





  • Nice article on the AB's coming to a a rugby outpost in Northern England
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/rugby-world-cup/11909889/Rugby-World-Cup-2015-Darlington-the-latest-stop-on-this-tour-of-wonder.html

    Nice article.
     
    I did have a laugh at the sidebar of other 'opinion pieces' though. Three articles by Mick Cleary that  go "Joseph and Youngs can be England's World Cup trump cards" ; "England have picked a XV to revive the hopes of a nation" then "The scale of England's defeat by Australia means Lancaster must go"



  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/72767042/malakai-fekitoas-journey-from-tonga-to-all-blacks-had-some-timing-issues

    Malakai Fekitoa's journey from Tonga to All Blacks had some timing issues

    LIAM NAPIER IN DARLINGTON
    Last updated 07:14, October 7 2015

    PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES

    Malakai Fekitoa has come a long way from his days playing with jandals on his hands.

    Malakai Fekitoa looks around the plush Rockliffe clubhouse where the All Blacks are based this week and can't quite believe how dramatically life has changed from his childhood in Tonga.
    Like many Pacific Island kids, Fekitoa's youth was free and easy. Growing up on Tonga's sparsely populated Ha'apai islands, as the eighth of 15 children including an adopted brother, Fekitoa did as he pleased.
    "When I was younger there was no breakfast or lunch. I was never hungry because I was used to it. We would run around, go swimming straight away or find coconuts," he said with his softly-spoken tone.

    Malakai Fekitoa

    Malakai Fekitoa
    Age: 23
    Born: Tonga
    Position: Centre
    Super team: Highlanders
    Test debut: v England, 2014

    "My parents would always try and buy me jandals but I'd wear them on my hands instead of my feet. Every time I played touch and rugby when I was young I'd take the shoes and put them on my hands because I would run faster."
    Fekitoa could easily be pulling on a red rather than black jersey this weekend for his country of birth. Instead, after shining for the Tongan sevens team as a teenager, he won a scholarship to Wesley College that turned his world upside down and set him on a different path. Learning English alone was a challenge.
    For a humble guy who once frequently shared a household with more than 20 family members and survived on a diet of yams, kumara, coconut, soup and fish, he certainly appreciates his new surroundings that feature an Aston Martin parked out front.

    Appreciates, too, the vast resources and expertise the All Blacks enjoy compared to a team like Tonga.
    "It's interesting playing Tonga this weekend. I've been in that environment. I've been with a lot of those players that are playing now.
    "I feel grateful to be here because I can tell the difference in the things we have, what hotels we stay in and everything we get as a team. Tonga is nowhere near what we have so that was a massive change for me."
    The rare insight into the dynamic 23-year-old's childhood offers a snapshot of how different life is now, and how difficult some of the initial adjustments were to make.

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    Understandably, given his relaxed upbringing, time management wasn't a strength and that's probably one reason it wasn't until he joined the Highlanders that his explosive talents truly burst onto the national radar.
    "They talk about me before, my attitude wasn't right when I was in Auckland. I was late a lot."
    In the All Blacks environment, scheduling is notoriously stringent.  
    "That's a massive difference for me, the time management. You always have something to do in this team. You always have to eat right; you always exercise. Your brain is always working and taking notes. That's a massive change for me in my life. From Tonga to here it's a huge change.
    "Even though it says in the programme free-time, you've got to do stretching or look at clips from other teams. You've got to go see the physio or catch up with Bert [Gilbert Enoka] for mental skills. It's busy but in a good way."
    Half of Fekitoa's family still live in Tonga. His father, Eni, died aged 48 of complications following a car crash. Fekitoa was 14 at the time and hadn't laced a boot.
    His rise to the All Blacks, though, galvanised his family. He plans to bring his 10-year-old brother out to New Zealand in three or four years to guide him through the changes he experienced and takes particular joy from the pride of his mother.
    "I've never seen her so happy. When I was young she was always unhappy with us. I can see her now always smile, laugh and tell stories about rugby. I've never heard her talk about rugby until now. I'm really happy with that. It kind of got us together as a family. We're closer now for me being here. Everyone gets up to watch the games now."
    Fekitoa's World Cup has been a mixed bag. He was superb off the bench against Georgia, scoring one try and setting up another, but wasn't satisfied with his start at centre against Namibia.
    "I wanted to do too much with our limited chances. I didn't feel right compared to how I usually perform. I was happy last week and I need to back myself more if I get another chance. I need to relax more instead of holding back and being in my shell and try to do everything right."
    Sonny Bill Williams' battle with the flu may open the door for another chance off the bench this week. But, whether he takes the field or not against Tonga, his journey to this point is a reflection of just how far he has come.  
     - Stuff



  • Thats a good read but I'm surprised there was no mention of this in there http://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/9883933/Malakai-Fekitoa-running-down-every-obstacle



  • "My parents would always try and buy me jandals but I'd wear them on my hands instead of my feet. Every time I played touch and rugby when I was young I'd take the shoes and put them on my hands because I would run faster."

    No wonder he can have tits for hands on occasion, he needs to be wearing his hand jandals.



  • huh? A readable and interesting stuff article? I need to send them an angry letter.



  •  
    I quite enjoyed this, including the punchline at the end of the article.



  • Nice article.
     
    I did have a laugh at the sidebar of other 'opinion pieces' though. Three articles by Mick Cleary that  go "Joseph and Youngs can be England's World Cup trump cards" ; "England have picked a XV to revive the hopes of a nation" then "The scale of England's defeat by Australia means Lancaster must go"

    Cleary has become a click-bait journalist far too typical of Rugby writers in the UK.  Sad, as he was one of the most readable and professional of the lot a few years back - his book om the 2005 Lions was superb.
     
    Kitson in The Guardian is probably the best aroiund at the moment





  • Nice article about the AB's training at Newcastle  Football Club's grounds and doing training sessions with local kids.
     
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-3265227/New-Zealand-train-thousands-kids-prepare-final-Rugby-World-Cup-group-clash-against-Tonga.html



  • not a read, but a cool clip from Nonu.
     



  • Not sure where this should be posted, but a description by Murray Kinsella of the 42 website about St George's Sports Park. 
     
    http://www.the42.ie/ireland-world-cup-st-georges-park-camp-2344200-Sep2015/
     
    This is a GBP 105m pro sports training facility in England, a bit north of Birmingham (seems to be on the Trent River), which is the permanent training home of the England football team and all the other England national football squads. The Irish stayed there prior to their match at Wembley (long way away I know). Looks pretty amazing and the article says Ireland is building somehting similar. Does anyone know if NZ has anything remotely approaching the class of this facility? Would it ever be economic to build one?



  • No wonder he can have tits for hands on occasion, he needs to be wearing his hand jandals.

    Probably been done to death during my absence, but do you guys rate Fekitoa?  I mean, clearly he has some skills, he is a dynamic runner, and has a very good work rate.  But do you think he is a world class midfielder?
     
    I really have reservations about him.  I can't think of a single time where I have seen him draw and pass before contact. His instinct always seems to be to beat someone first, then pass if need be.  Not to run the line that draws the extra defender and creates space for his outsides.  Just doesn't strike me as a natural ball player.



  • Probably been done to death during my absence, but do you guys rate Fekitoa?  I mean, clearly he has some skills, he is a dynamic runner, and has a very good work rate.  But do you think he is a world class midfielder?
     
    I really have reservations about him.  I can't think of a single time where I have seen him draw and pass before contact. His instinct always seems to be to beat someone first, then pass if need be.  Not to run the line that draws the extra defender and creates space for his outsides.  Just doesn't strike me as a natural ball player.

    That tends to be a skill players learn, Nonu couldn't distribute for shit when he was Fekitoas age. Its probably easier to get a guy with a step & gas & teach him how to run heads up & pass that it is to get a guy who runs heads up & teach him gas & to step.
     
    The biggest issue he needs to work on is he's probably always been strong & fast right from 12 years old, so his instinct is to put on the gas & go around defenderrs on the outside, in in ternational rugby that just means you run your wing into touch. Again, looking at Nonu he runs VERY straight lines, which creates huge space outside him. I think thats something Fekitoa can learn. A centre that has the gas to burn guys outside & the step to prop off his outside foot & go inside is a fantastic asset. He reminds me a bit of a more solid Jonny Schuster.



  • by no means the finished article, but his reading of the game, maintaining space outside and distribution have already improved noticeably. threw a nice skip pass in his last outing (as did sbw which we haven't seen much of before). neither is anywhere near approaching nonu in that facet, but in fekitoa you've got a whole lotta time and a whole lotta talent to work with.


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