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SBW receives apology from ref over yellow card


All Black Sonny Bill Williams has revealed that referee Angus Gardner has admitted he was wrong in sin-binning the midfielder in last weekend’s test in Paris.


Gardner showed a yellow card and awarded a penalty try after Williams deliberately knocked an Anthony Belleau cross kick over the dead ball line. It was obvious at the time that Williams’ rugby league instincts took over, as such a move is standard practice in the 13-man code. He later admitted to not knowing that the action was illegal, however consensus was mixed on the severity of the punishment.

“The penalty was obviously awarded, but he said he made that mistake by sending me off. It is what it is, that’s footy.” Williams told Newshub.

“I should’ve been looking up the rule books. I remember laying on the ground and I looked up at Jimbo [Damian MacKenzie] and I said ‘Bro, am I allowed to do that?’ He looked at me and he shook his head. It was an honest mistake, just like the ref sending me off was an honest mistake.”

In the end it made little difference to the result, as the All Blacks ran out 38-18 victors over the inexperienced French side. All Black coach Steve Hansen is obviously unconcerned with the incident, retaining Williams in his starting side for this weekend’s test against Scotland at Murrayfield.


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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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