Mailbox: Weekend rant

Date published: November 28 2008

What a weekend! Ireland saved Northern Hemisphere blushes with a heated 17-3 win over Southern Hemisphere rivals Argentina, but apart from that, it was the 'Big Three' who once again took the spoils with the Pacific Islands also playing their part against Italy.

What a weekend! Ireland saved Northern Hemisphere blushes with a heated 17-3 win over Southern Hemisphere rivals Argentina, but apart from that, it was the 'Big Three' who once again took the spoils with the Pacific Islands also playing their part against Italy.

With South Africa rewriting the history books at Twickenham, Wales eyeballing New Zealand following their haka and Welsh Wizard Shane Williams scooping the IRB Player of the Year award – there was plenty to discuss and this is what you had to say about it…

Shane Williams (IRB Player of the Year):

“Not the right man. Lets face facts, there is not a better or more influential player in world rugby than Dan Carter, except perhaps Richie McCaw. How a winger is chosen for this award is beyond me. The very nature of the game dictates that most scores made by a wing are created by the inside backs. That said, obviously there are wings who are more talented than others and Mr Williams is one of the top wings.

“I guess the problem is how do you continually give the award to the same two guys year in and out? Well if you want integrity you simply do it because they are the best. This is typical northern hemisphere BS. The north have the most lucrative leagues, all the money, unfortunately too much influence with the IRB, and only a touch of the best talent.

“Just look at the recent tours of NZ, RSA, and Oz. All wins against the home teams. That is pathetic stuff from the north. No player from there should win this award while their teams are so poor. Lets face it, the Six Nations title is not all that impressive unless they can beat at least one of the southern powers with regularity. This year they were smashed by New Zealand and face watered down South Africa (lost) and a watered down Australia that they will lose to as well.

“Although talented and having a great year there is no way this guy deserves to be placed ahead of Carter or McCaw.”

– Mark G

“From those who were shortlisted perhaps Williams deserved it. But obviously any shortlist without Richard the Great (Richie McCaw) is but a hoax.”

– Objectively yours from the Land of the Grating War Dance

“I think he only got the award to avoid a white wash for New Zealand. There is more than a good bit of daylight between Williams and Carter.”

– Gerry Portegys (NZ)

“You're joking!”

– Michael

“This guy is a fairy. No way should he have ever been chosen. Anybody heard of Victor Matfield or Ruan Pienaar?”

– MJG O'Reilly

“It just goes to show that the British Press have once again blown another player out of all proportion and he has landed himself an award.

“I will admit he has an outstanding attacking game. The problem however, is that people fail to realise that his “D” is nowhere to be seen. The South Africans will do exactly what New Zealand did four years ago in the second Test. They will target Shane Williams and run over him time and again. I hope McGeechan doesn't fall for the trap.

“If there is a god Williams will not even travel.”

– Jim

“There must be at least five All Blacks, three Wallabies and three Springboks who must have looked at this and said one word: Take your pick, it could be one of six expletives that came to my mind!”

– Charles

“Shane is a fine rugby player – no doubt, and I have no problems with him receiving the award. I do have a slight issue with the fact that for the second year in a row, a winger has taken the award – wonder what some of my fellow forwards think of this!”

– Steve (NZ)

“Well, lets put it this way, ask any international rugby coach in the world who they would rather have in their team, Shane Williams or Dan Carter and for fun lets throw in Richie McCaw. I'd bet my house Shane Williams would come a very distant third, but I sure as hell wouldn't like to bet on first or second. Case closed.”

– ABs fan (Oz)

“Was Shane the right choice, nope Richie McCaw proved once again, against Wales, he's the best in the business. Yes he wasn't nominated, but Dan Carter was also above Shane in the player rankings.

“Oh well, such is life.”

– Pamela

The right man to win the IRB Player of the Year is Sergio Parisse. Purely because Shane Williams plays for a better team than Sergio and so the many great plays of the Italy skipper have more importance than others. Last night was a choice missed for the IRB to show to all the world that they look for a global rugby and not only British and SANZAR areas.

– Carlo Alberto Benedetti

Welsh haka:

“So now we know the Welsh have come up with their own version of the haka. One that fits perfectly with their natural rhythmic sensibilities handed down through the generations. They stand still. And then stand still some more. Then the little man with the whistle comes along and tells them to get on with the game and they still stand still. Their next move will be to get the crowd to chant the old Ultravox song. Except that they weren't Welsh.

“Good on them for trying to show they wouldn't be intimidated by the All Blacks. Pity they forgot they still had a game to play. It's not what you do in response to the Haka that proves you're a real man, it's what you do in the 80 minutes after the referee's whistle blows.

“In taking it too far, even ignoring the orders of the ref to get on with the game, they crossed the line from a display of indomitable staunchness to childish bravado. They got what they deserved from the All Blacks.”

– Chris James

“First of all I am not a Kiwi but I'm really getting tired of this crap when teams feel they must stand up the haka. Has anybody ever notice of those teams who stand up it, eventually end up getting their arses kicked. OK – can be intimidating but for feck sake we're all grown men. Let the Kiwi's do it, gently applaud it and get on with playing rugby. They are not super-human… France and South Africa have proved that.”

– Brian O'Toole

“Clearly not the right move. Just accept the haka and move on. In South Africa the crowd as per usual drowned the haka out and they still lost 19-0. Just move on folks!”

– Mary

“My guess this was Gatland's idea. Seemed to work at first. Wales had the All Blacks on the rack for the first quarter. They just made too many mistakes in the second half and the All Blacks appeared to want the win more.

“Bodes well for Six Nations – good luck Wales.”

– Charles

“Making a statement or paralyzed by fear? Good on you Wales.”


“In regards to Wales facing down the All Blacks after the haka, it was good theatre but to no avail on the paddock. Some English journalistic hack has suggested we do away with the haka. Well if the English stop playing