rockbuster comments

Posted in: Japan names squad for rugby World Cup; 10 foreign imports included See in context

New Zealand probably have around the same number. In England I think it is 3 years residency that allows you to play for England. People like Riki Flutey (although he has been omitted from the RWC squad), Shontayne Hape, Mani Tuilagi and others have benefitted.

I think Japan have a decent chance of beating Tonga & Canada this year, I just wonder if they are on the receiving end of heavy defeats in their first two games (against NZ & France) how it might affect their morale going into the next games.

Come on Japan!!!

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Posted in: Japan beats U.S. 20-14 in rugby World Cup warmup See in context

Japan have already beaten Tonga once this year in the Pacific Nations Cup, which Japan won. They will definitely give Canada & Tonga a decent game.

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Posted in: Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts See in context

I'm interested, how about when Samuel Eto'o walked off the pitch in Spain whilst playing for Barcelona because he was on the receiving end of monkey chants. Should he have "grown a pair"? Or was he right to highlight the wrongness of what was happening? How about when Mario Balotelli (in Italy) and Roberto Carlos (in Russia) did the same thing? Are they weak, or were they standing up to something that obviously wasn't right?

Or how about in Aussie Rules when Collingwood supporters chanted "rapist" at an opposition player who questioned but released over a sexual assault allegation. Is that chant just part of the game?

Good on Kawashima for not letting it pass, and thus making it acceptable.

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Posted in: Kashiwa fails to regain J-League lead See in context

A weekend of surprises, with the exception of the Nagoya juggernaut rolling on. Grampus are playing with extreme confidence at the minute and it looks like they again will be the team to beat. It will be a massive match on Wednesday when they travel to Osaka to face Gamba.

Jubilo gave Kashiwa a complete schooling, Reysol were an absolute shambles but full credit to Jubilo who tore them apart time and time again with some slick passing moves. Kashiwa have what looks to be a home banker against Avispa Fukuoka next week, but after this you wonder what frame of mind they will be in.

As ever, the J-League is predictably unpredictable!

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Posted in: Japan's Euro rugby stop 'part of long-term picture,' says Kirwan See in context

Using "foreigners" for national rugby teams is nothing new nor rare. On the NZ jersey they had to remove the words "New Zealand" from it because of the number of non-native Kiwis, and now it says only "All Blacks". In the early 2000's the influx of "kilted kiwis", led by Brendan Laney & John Leslie caused a bit of consternation around Murrayfield.

And nowadays in the England backline you have people like Riki Flutey, Shontayne Hape and Manny Tuilagi - all naturalized Englishmen.

It isn't a bad thing to aim high, but there needs to be the methods available to reach those aims. The Asian 5 nations is a good start, but they need to play at that kind of level more regularly. I'm not sure how the SANZAR unions would react, but how about the winners of the Asian 5 nations get to play in the Super 15 competition? Something along those lines would give a huge incentive to improve.

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Posted in: Japan beats S Korea 3-0 to extend unbeaten run to 13 matches See in context

vg866

Put whatever spin you like on it, but the fact is that, at this minute, Japan is superior all over the park. Better goalkeeper, better defence, better midfield and a better attack. They have genuinely top drawer players in Kagawa & Honda - I'm not sure you can say Korea has any players at a similar level.

And you can't use Park retiring as an excuse - you will have to learn to do without him. You say Korea had to use "reserve team players & teens" to fill the squad, but am I right in saying 8 of the line-up played in June's friendly win over Serbia? (Although I think Lee Chung Yong played in those games before breaking his leg whilst training with Bolton Wanderers)

Asian football needs a strong Korea, as it needs a strong Japan & Australia, but at this particular moment Japan has pulled in front of Korea in terms of results, players and playing style.

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Posted in: Japan beats S Korea 3-0 to extend unbeaten run to 13 matches See in context

Japan looked very good last night. They kept the ball well, and with Kagawa & Honda they always look menacing going forward. They were a lot better than Korea last night, and Japan have a lot be positive about in the near future with young players like Usami, Ryo Miyaichi (who just got work permit approved meaning he can play for Arsenal this year) and Kiyotake, who I thought played very well after coming on, coming through into international football.

All in all a good night's work from Zac & the lads!

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Posted in: Heathrow's in-house writer revels in romance of flight See in context

Heathrow airport has to be one of the worst places on the planet. The staff are some of the rudest people you can imagine, it always operates at 100% capacity - so any tiny delay has a huge knock on effect, and nothing is ever simple there whether it be parking your car, collecting your luggage or picking someone up. And it is in London.

A terrible place.

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Posted in: British PM promises action to restore order in strife-torn cities See in context

Socio economic reasons? I'd be slightly more inclined to believe that if the people involved in the violence weren't communicating via BlackBerry's & iPhones and decked out in various designer brands. Ultimately, I think it is just people knowing that they can cause criminal damage, just because they want to, with little fear of being caught while doing it.

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Posted in: Japan to consider backup capital city for emergencies See in context

I'm sure I read somewhere that Sendai had already been chosen as a substitute capital and that certain parts of the government had already put things in place (communication networks etc) in Sendai in case something happened to Tokyo.

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Posted in: Kagawa's Japan call-up irritates Dortmund's Klopp See in context

Both Korean and Japanese coaches being selfish. They want to chalk up a win to ensure safety of their own jobs rather than use logic and field domestic players. Korea has Japan's number in these games anyways. LEt's just hope there are no injuries for both teams.

Funny that, because I could have sworn that Japan are Asian champions, having dispatched Korea along the way.

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Posted in: Kagawa's Dortmund begin defense by downing Hamburg See in context

Should say "one of the best atmospheres in world football"

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Posted in: Kagawa's Dortmund begin defense by downing Hamburg See in context

A full house at the Westfalen station, don't really care what sponsorship deal they have with it these days, is one of the bet atmospheres in world football. Mario Goetze truly is a superstar in waiting. If BVB can keep their young stars, they can challenge FC Bayern as the dominant force in German football in the next few years.

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Posted in: Kagawa's Japan call-up irritates Dortmund's Klopp See in context

Sorry, but Dortmund knew when they signed him that he would be likely to be facing these kind of journeys. This is a FIFA sanctioned international date, so if anyone is to blame, then FIFA and UEFA would be the ones to go after in this instance.

The JFA and players are blameless in this situation. It is FIFA who should have to explain the ridiculous timing of this friendly date.

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Posted in: McLaren's Hamilton wins German GP at Nuerburgring See in context

Senational drive from Lewis. So that is the worst finish for Vettel this season, and he didn't look happy at all. Next week should tell us a lot about whether this a false dawn for the title race as the Hungaroring is traditionally a slam dunk for Red Bull and their awesome aerodynamics.

Hopefully Hamilton, Alonso & Button can get in and about the Red Bulls and make it an exciting title race.

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Posted in: Soccer star Kumagai in hot water over Twitter remarks during party See in context

Kumagai fired home the winning penalty in the shootout against the United States in Sunday’s final in Frankfurt.

That is the only thing that matters!!!!

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Posted in: Murdoch rejects blame for hacker scandal at hearing See in context

The value of the Murdochs’ News Corp added around $2 billion while they were being grilled, trading 5.3 percent higher at $15.74.

Interesting that the shares were traded higher whilst the Murdoch's were giving evidence, and started to fall when Rebekah Brooks was on the stand. The Murdoch's weren't really made to sweat by the questioners (Tom Watson aside), although they were politicians not lawyers. Brooks on the other hand didn't look as assured. If it wasn't for the fact that she had been arrested on Saturday, I'm sure she would have been hammered by the panel with some infinitely more difficult questions.

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Posted in: Murdoch rejects blame for hacker scandal at hearing See in context

You would think they would have been more prepared. I lost count of the number of times James Murdoch said "I don't know the exact details...." Only two of the questioners did a decent job, namely Tom Watson & Mensch. Murdoch Snr looked very uncomfortable when Watson was on his case.

And did anyone else think James Murdoch looked a lot like David Wallace, Michael's boss in the American Office? Probably just me then......

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Posted in: Japan women eye World Cup/Olympics double See in context

On the contrary - "gutted" is the perfect expression for that particular scenario

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Posted in: Yokohama takes over J-League lead with draw See in context

As seems to be the norm in J1 it is very tight at the top. Yokohama will be ruing that late Rafael equalizer and established big guns of Grampus, Gamba & Kawasaki are not that far off.

Very bad defeat for Gamba though. They would have expected to easily see off Ventforet - but just shows that you can't underestimate anyone in the J-League. Grampus are slipping nicely into gear and it looks ominous for the other top sides. Looking forward to more big games next week including Nagoya v Sanfrecce Hiroshima & relegation threatened Albirex Niigata hosting Kawasaki Frontale.

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Posted in: United States has the trophies, Japan the game See in context

@smithinjapan

It's ironic because I had never seen a post from you on women's football until they started doing well in this tournament. Jumping on the bandwagon?

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Posted in: Alonso wins 1st race of season at British GP See in context

Alonso is an egotistical guy, but you can't doubt his driving pedigree & skills and it was a supreme drive. To be honest, I think most people were happy that Vettel didn't win.

As for team orders, the only people who don't hate them are the team principals. I would have loved to see Webber overtake Vettel yesterday but we, the spectators, were robbed of that spectacle. The FIA had the chance to make team orders illegal during the off season but they didn't, and that short changes the paying public.

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Posted in: Alonso wins 1st race of season at British GP See in context

Not that there was much doubt before, but Webber is officially the number 2 driver at Red Bull. Horner said if it was the other way round the order would have been the same but I'm not sure how many people buy that line. Webber definitely had the better grip and should have taken Vettel. But Alonso & Button would have had Vettel at Monaco if it weren't for Petrov & Sutil's (?) crash. He has had his fair share of luck this year. Luck + phenomenal driving skills = World champion for the 2nd time.

There seemed to be a lot of mistakes in the pits yesterday, Red Bull, Sauber, McLaren during the race. Very rare to see so many teams feeling the pressure. As for the focus on Fuji TV on the Schumi/Kobayashi incident, I think it just shows how far Kamui has come on. The Fuji TV commentators were upset because they could realistically expect Kobayashi to finish well into the top 10. He seems to have great race-pace allied to his great feel for overtaking.

The future of F1 on the track looks in good hands with the new generation of Di Resta, Kobayashi, Maldonado, Perez & Petrov - not to mention established young stars like Hamilton & Vettel.

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Posted in: Alonso wins 1st race of season at British GP See in context

Plenty of talking points here. First, Schumi held his hands up for his mistake. It was a mistake, and not a deliberate attempt to put Kamui out of contention. It was the first time he used the DRS and misjudged it on the slippery track. Great drive by Alonso. If the ferrari can keep getting updates then Alonso can definitely pull out wins along the way.

For me the biggest talking point is the team orders at Red Bull. After the Ferrari team orders controversy last year, Christian Horner & Martin Whitmarsh went to great lengths to stress that they would let their drivers race. Apparently only one team out of the two is doing that this year. I know it isn't illegal to use team orders now, but I kind of feel a little let down that Webber wasn't able to race Vettel on those last two laps - it could have been great viewing like Hamilton & Massa were.

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Posted in: UK's News of the World bids farewell to readers See in context

Cry me a river. Unfortunately, the Sunday Sun is just around the corner.....

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Posted in: Cavendish wins crash-marred 5th Tour stage See in context

Gotta love Mark Cavendish, hope he can recuperate in time for the next sprint.

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Posted in: Police, in a first, charge teen for using cell phone while cycling See in context

A lot of the people on this thread saying things like "well done - now the police should apply the rule all the time" & "what about walkers/smokers/drivers/umbrella holders" (delete as appropriate) will be the first ones to complain when a police car takes a long time to get to a crime scene.

In the grand scheme of things, was it really worth this police officers time and paperwork just because a girl was using a mobile whilst cycling? I really don't think so.

A bicycle is a moving vehicle. You can kill someone with it as easily as with a car.

No you can't. Short of standing in the middle of the road during a sprint stage of the Tour de France, I would say it is a lot more difficult to be killed by a bicycle than a car. A LOT more difficult.

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Posted in: J-League team Shimizu S-Pulse fined over anti-nuclear banner See in context

Sorry Mr. Dog, my mistake! I thought you meant "over here" as in Europe.

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Posted in: Red Bull rivals appear ready to write off F1 title See in context

Agreed, loving the F1 on here JT!

I think teams' last roll of the dice is the changes to the diffuser regulations. Some seem to think that the off blown diffuser is where Red Bull gets its superb downforce characteristics. If they lose that, coupled with their ongoing problems integrating the KERS system, then other teams might have a chance at catching. I think Silverstone will be a pivotal weekend in terms of the championship. Looking forward to it!!!

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Posted in: J-League team Shimizu S-Pulse fined over anti-nuclear banner See in context

Sorry Mr Dog but, as sad a reflection on the game as this is, it would not cause uproar in Europe. Remember when Spain were fined a paltry 600 Euros after racist abuse & monkey chants against black English players during a friendly in Madrid? Roberto Carlos has had bananas thrown at him in two separate games in the last month while playing for Anzhi in the Russian premier league. Any action? None. Samuel Eto'o, one the great modern African players, has suffered racist abuse in Spain & Italy, but the authorities' attempts to do anything about it were lamentable.

With regards to this incident, if the stewards at S-Pulse (was it at their Nihondaira stadium?) saw it and didn't react to it, then they do deserve to be fined. A few weeks ago the S-Pulse coach offered to sit down with these fans and explain to them his situation - I think that would be a very worthwhile exercise for everyone.

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