Froth and bubble: Border changes and beer festival force Bledisloe shake-up

New Zealand Rugby has all but confirmed the Bledisloe Cup will begin with two Tests in New Zealand following the popping of the trans-Tasman bubble. Last Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced quarantine-free travel from Australia would cease for eight weeks, throwing the Rugby Championship schedule into chaos. Instead of a Test in […]

Froth and bubble: Border changes and beer festival force Bledisloe shake-up

New Zealand Rugby has all but confirmed the Bledisloe Cup will begin with two Tests in New Zealand following the popping of the trans-Tasman bubble.

Last Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced quarantine-free travel from Australia would cease for eight weeks, throwing the Rugby Championship schedule into chaos.

Instead of a Test in Perth sandwiched by matches in Auckland and Wellington, the Bledisloe will now kick off with two Tests in New Zealand.

The Eden Park opener will go ahead on August 7, with the venue and date of the second Test up in the air.

New Zealand Rugby’s ideal scenario – to play at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on August 14 – is unavailable as the stadium is hosting popular craft beer festival ‘Beervana’.

“I don’t think contract law allows us to bump Beervana,” NZR executive Chris Lendrum said.

“There’s a range of options that we can consider around hosting in Wellington, which is our preference, or if it came to it, hosting elsewhere.”

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Lendrum said a Sunday or mid-week match was possible ahead of the Optus Stadium clash, currently slated for September 21.

The border changes mean the All Blacks won’t host Argentina in September, with Lendrum saying those matches would now happen in Australia.

“It’s tremendously disappointing… we don’t see any way that we would be able to bring Argentina into New Zealand for those two games,” he said.

“It’s not a surprise. It’s just what we have to work with.”

NZR will face a multi-million-dollar hit from the loss of the matches, and the All Blacks will be required to quarantine on return to New Zealand.

Ardern has promised no exemption for the All Blacks, saying they have to play by the “same rules as everyone else”.

NZR remains desperate to hold on to their final two Tests of the year against South Africa.

Included in those matches will be the 100th Test between the two nations, 100 years from their first meeting in Dunedin.

“Those two fixtures are hugely exciting for the team and the rugby public. All planning is going towards those being in Dunedin and Auckland as we’ve previously announced,” Lendrum said.

The Wallabies are expected to get government approval to enter New Zealand and fly out on Friday.

Source : The Roar More   

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‘Reckless and dangerous’: Erasmus attacks Lions on social media

Rassie Erasmus has resumed taking pot shots at the British and Irish Lions on Twitter after posting footage to highlight what he describes as “reckless and dangerous” play. The clip comes from South Africa’s 22-17 defeat in Cape Town on Saturday and sees Ali Price tackle Cheslin Kolbe close to the touchline before Mako Vunipola […]

‘Reckless and dangerous’: Erasmus attacks Lions on social media

Rassie Erasmus has resumed taking pot shots at the British and Irish Lions on Twitter after posting footage to highlight what he describes as “reckless and dangerous” play.

The clip comes from South Africa’s 22-17 defeat in Cape Town on Saturday and sees Ali Price tackle Cheslin Kolbe close to the touchline before Mako Vunipola picks the Springboks wing up off the floor.

“Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!! More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!!” Erasmus tweeted.

“Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, it’s reckless and dangerous!”

It comes the day after Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, retweeted a post from an anonymous user showing some “questionable calls” by the officials against the world champions.

As part of the retweet, Erasmus adds: “Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they dont (sic)”.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In a twist, the anonymous poster named ‘Jaco Johan’ uses the same type of graphics – a yellow circle – to highlight the alleged foul play as Erasmus does on his official account.

Additionally, the user has only tweeted twice and on both occasions the content was of video clips implicating the Lions in dangerous play.

Erasmus used Twitter two weeks ago to draw attention to two challenges by Owen Farrell in the South Africa A game, but after Saturday’s defeat he appeared to have adopted a more conciliatory tone.

“No excuses this side!! You are far away from home, families and going through same tough COVID protocols like we do!! Congrats and well deserved !!!” he tweeted.

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy said if Erasmus had any complaints about rough play from the tourists he should direct it through the appropriate channels and not social media.

“It is his viewpoint, we thought the officials did a good job at the weekend, and if there is anything we need to bring up we will go through the appropriate channels,” Tandy told reporters on Monday.

“We just have to worry about we do and do our talking on the field,” said Tandy.

“Rassie’s comments are his own, we are just focusing on what we need to tidy up to make sure we are nice and clean about how we go about things.”

Tandy says there is a danger if every piece of potential foul play is analysed by the television match official, games would be too long.

“We don’t want the games going on forever, it is the major calls you want to get right and spend the appropriate time on them. But the little bits… for the officials there are so many things going on in a game,” he said.

“As a team it is about micro-analysing the match (afterwards), we do that ourselves. But it is then about raising the ones (foul play) that are relevant through the appropriate channels.”

Source : The Roar More   

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