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Mat Protheroe fires back on Twitter after Sale publicly accuse him of diving

By Ian Cameron
Mat Protheroe breaks through /PA

Ospreys fullback Mat Protheroe has hit back on Twitter after Sale Sharks publicly accused him of diving during their Heineken Champions Cup clash in Swansea this afternoon.

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The Sharks picked up a valuable win on the road, leaving Wales with a 21 – 13 win, but a Tweet about Protheroe in which the club effectively accused him of diving hasn’t gone well with Welsh fans.

Three minutes before full time the Ospreys full-back chipped the ball over Sale Sharks’ Luke James, who belatedly attempted to charge the kick down.

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The pair collided, with the Welshman needing treatment following the incident, although referee Andrea Piardi decided James had nothing to answer for.

Sale Sharks suggested on Twitter that Protheroe was making the most of the incident in order to win a penalty.

They wrote: “Ospreys make a show after Mat Protheroe dives after contact to try and win a penalty.

“Nothing comes and the hosts put the ball into touch 10m from the Sharks line.”

Protheroe hit back after the match, quote Tweeting the original Sharks tweet and along with the caption: ‘Good story that’ with a clown emoji.

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It was a game in which Alex Sanderson’s side conceded 18 penalties to the Ospreys’ four.

“I thought there were things we could have done better in terms of our performance – the penalty count, playing with 14 men for nearly 20 minutes,” said Sanderson. “I thought we did the fundamentals very well in that first 25 minutes. We were clinical in the Ospreys’ 22, which is something we had been working on. We were physical in that area, and we were back to our best defensively.

“We saw all of it in that first half, and we couldn’t seem to get a foothold in the second. It was penalty after penalty that led to another yellow card. That penalty count goes against the trend of winning rugby games, really.”

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

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