Rugby

Today’s rugby news as England fans demand refund after Wales game and All Black slates Six Nations standard – Wales Online


Here are your rugby headlines for Tuesday, February 13.

Frustrated England fans demand refund for Wales game

Some England fans have demanded refunds from the RFU after they claimed to be unwittingly part of an alcohol-free trial at Twickenham in the game against Wales.




The Telegraph report that fans had to throw away drinks or even drink multiple pints quickly in order to go to their seats, owing to them not being allowed to take alcoholic beverages into their seating area. They say one man “downed” four pints consecutively after being told they could not be taken to within view of the Twickenham pitch.

The anger appears to stem from supporters claiming they were unaware they were allocated tickets in an alcohol-free zone, with signage only beginning on the way to the seats or on the seats themselves, when drinks — and expensive drinks at that — had already been bought.

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An article on the ‘debenture members’ section of the England Rugby website, dated January 24, says that alcohol-free measures will also be in place for England’s match with Ireland.

An RFU spokesperson told The Telegraph: “We know the full match day experience is very important to fans, which is why we continue to evolve the wider Twickenham event day experiences before, during and after the game.

“Twickenham Stadium introduced alcohol-free areas for our two home Guinness Men’s Six Nations fixtures on a trial basis based on supporters’ feedback.

“When selecting seats within these areas ticket purchasers would have clearly seen that they are buying within an alcohol-free zone and have ticked a box confirming that they have been made aware of the alcohol-free policy.

“To understand the views of fans we conduct surveys after each game about their experience and encourage feedback from those sitting in these areas so that we can review ahead of the Ireland fixture. We will also be gaining feedback and insight from our own staff managing those areas on Saturday.”

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All Black Marshall slates standard of Six Nations

Former All Black Justin Marshall has slated the standard of the Six Nations, claiming Ireland and France are streets ahead of the competition.

Those two sides played against each other in the first weekend, with Ireland running out 38-17 winners over the French. Of course, that match-up didn’t take place last weekend, but England’s game with Wales was close, with just two points in it. France beat Scotland by only four points, too.

But former Ospreys scrum-half Marshall believes the second round of fixtures was a let-down.

“I don’t mean this disrespectfully, let’s just keep this in check because I know what can happen – the referees get social media coming at them but so do former players – but France and Ireland are at a different level than Wales, England and Italy,” he told The Platform.

“I just feel that because that match-up didn’t happen this weekend, there was just a little bit of a drop-off in skill set, performance, tempo and physicality. That’s just me looking at it objectively and the way that the second round played out.”

Marshall was left unimpressed by the England-Wales game, labelling it “a drag” despite the tight scoreline.

“The second weekend was a little off,” he added. “The first weekend was amazing. France-Ireland was amazing, Wales-Scotland, Italy put up a fight against England, but honestly the England v Wales game was a bit of a drag.

“The only thing that kept it really interesting was the score. I certainly felt that the game in Scotland was a lot better but I did feel that there was a buttoning off of quality.”

Scotland let injustice rest

Scotland have decided not to escalate their frustrations over the last-minute try they were denied against France. Most rugby pundits, coaches and fans believe the Scots were wronged when referee Nic Berry and TMO Brian MacNiece decided there was no clear evidence Sam Skinner had grounded the ball after five minutes of deliberation.

TV replays seemed to suggest otherwise, with coach Gregor Townsend insisting they would seek clarity from World Rugby following the game. But reports in the Scottish Daily Mail say Scotland have now decided to leave the matter rather than pursue an official complaint with World Rugby about the officials.

And scrum-half Ben White says disgruntled fans should lay off the referee.

“People are passionate, they care, it means a lot to them. Some people in the heat of the moment might have booed, but I want people to show the ref respect,” he said.

“He doesn’t need to get any abuse. He’s made his decision, he’s done his process and, look, that’s life. Things go wrong all the time. Whether he’s made the right or wrong call, it’s not for me to talk about and put pressure on him.

“I didn’t really hear the booing. I was caught up in my own emotions but, hey, he’s made his call and that’s life.

“I hope he doesn’t receive any backlash. We have to be better as a team so that we don’t even bring him into it. I haven’t heard the conversation they had, but they’re very experienced officials and good at their jobs. They’ve gone back and forth and you have to respect their call. We’ve all seen the ball on the floor but the question the ref’s asked, he said he’s seen the ball held up, so then it has to be really clear and obvious for it to be overturned.”

New Ireland star inspired by NFL

By Ed Elliot, PA, Dublin

New Ireland star Joe McCarthy has been taking inspiration from American football but has no plans to follow former Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit in chasing an NFL career.

Leinster lock McCarthy has been one of the standout performers of the opening two rounds of the Guinness Six Nations and was named man of the match on his championship debut against France.

The powerful 22-year-old’s eye-catching display in a 38-17 win over Les Bleus came just over a fortnight after 23-year-old Rees-Zammit stunned rugby union by quitting to pursue a dream in the United States.

New York-born McCarthy, who tuned in with international team-mates to watch Sunday’s Super Bowl as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers, said: “I love the defensive side of the game, probably like it more than the attack sometimes.

“They say defence wins championships, so it is good.


“I love getting off the line, I love pressuring teams, love getting them ‘man and ball,’ getting in at rucks. I like watching the defensive players in NFL, like seeing the stuff they do.

“At the moment I like Maxx Crosby from the (Las Vegas) Raiders. I liked JJ Watt (former Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals defensive end) when he played. He is a beat, or was, he is retired now.


“I don’t think I’ll be changing over to the NFL any time soon. I’ll stick with the rugby.”



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Ellis Wilder

Hey there! My name is Ellis Wilder, and I'm a student at the University of Calgary. When I'm not hitting the books, you can usually find me writing articles for sports and travel blogs. I've always had a passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures, so I love sharing my travel stories with others. Whether I'm hiking in the Rocky Mountains or exploring a new city, I always try to capture the essence of the places I visit in my writing. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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