Bonus Points returns with an apology, some news and a remarkable Haskell moment. Oh yes.
B&M would like to apologise to our regular reader for the absence of Bonus Points last week. We wrote it…and then forgot to post it. What can we say? At least one of us is an idiot.
Speaking of Idiots
Worcester Warriors’ prop Val Rapava Ruskin has been banned for six weeks after admitting pushing referee Greg Garner during last weekend’s game against Newcastle Falcons. The most puzzling thing is that the disciplinary committee stated that this was ‘at the lower end’ of such offences. Which means that it gets half the ban that Dylan Hartley got for calling Wayne ‘Barnsey’ Barnes a cheat. So there you have it, folks – it’s better to give the ref a little shove than to hurt his feelings.
We’re just joking. We don’t care if it is Wayne Barnes, you still don’t push the referee – even if he is annoying.
More Ref News
The legend that is Nigel Owens will be in charge of this season’s Champions Cup final. We’ll say no more, as he’s usually wittier than we are.
The Dane Coles Mystery
All Black hooker Dane Coles is in the concussion protocol – but no-one seems to know why. Coles has missed the past two Hurricanes fixtures with a knee injury, but when he returned to training he exhibited concussion-like symptoms. We’ll have no unkind jokes about the location of front row players’ brains here, thank you.
Large Colheitas All Round
A little bit of rugby history was made last weekend, when Sale Sharks’ Diogo Ferreira became the first Portuguese player to play in the Premiership. Ferriera has been with the Sharks for four years now, without ever getting a sniff of proper action before now. Fortunately, he didn’t have to live in Sale all of that time, combining his playing career with studying at Durham University. We said no jokes about front row forwards’ brains, didn’t we?
More From Worcester
The Warriors have released no fewer than 18 first team players this week. One or two of those are retiring (such as former England forward Phil Dowson, who is joining the coaching staff at Northampton Saints) and one or two already have new clubs. It’ll be no surprise to learn that Val Rapava Ruskin is one of the names on the list.
Going Out In Style
Former French skipper Pascal Pape had already announced his retirement. He’s now brought that forward by a few weeks, after being sent off for punching an opponent whilst playing for Stade Francais in the Parisian derby against Racing 92 last weekend. That’s what we call going out with a bang!
More Retirement News
Georgian legend (and captain) Mamuka Gorgodze is another who will be bowing out at the end of the season. He played 71 Tests and scored a remarkable 26 tries from the back row. Joining him on the sidelines will be former Italian hooker Carlo Festuccia, currently at Wasps after starting the season at Zebre. Which is a good thing, because no-one deserves to end their career at Zebre.
Haskell ‘Not Good Enough’
The astonishing part about that headline is that it comes pretty much from the horse’s mouth. The England flanker admitted this week that he clearly hadn’t been good enough to make the Lions’ squad and was now focussing on the 2019 World Cup. If that’s his ambition then he’s probably better off squishing a few Argentinians this summer than spending it either sitting on the bench or being battered by the All Black back row. You’ve got to admire his honesty, though. And if he makes Japan 2019 at the age of 34 then we’ll almost be impressed.