A Bit of a Drama

It is a nervous time for all English rugby blokes and Doris’ as we wait in the hope that Fiji can do us a big favour tomorrow and that the Wallabies implode on Saturday night.

Rather than continue to scribble nonsense about rugby today I thought I’d resort to taking the piss out of something.

For a couple of reasons Terry and I watch a lot of  TV – the main one being I’m a bit of a lazy bastard (according to her anyway)

As you might have determined I am not a huge fan of reality TV bollocks (the description itself being a bit of a clue).

So, it is mainly dramas that we watch.

There is some good stuff too – not just Brit, but foreign language and US as well.

I am always a bit surprised though when it comes to the sex scenes – most of the lead actors appear to be able to have the most passionate and satisfying jumps without removing hardly any of their togs. The top Doris will never lose her bra and, as far as I can tell she is rarely sans knickers either! Meanwhile the bloke manages to have a top time without ever losing his strides.

Now I realise that the censors are somewhat reluctant to give the go ahead for hard core porn, but you would have expected the director to try for a bit more realism wouldn’t you?

You also never see the bloke fighting to open that fiddly noddy packet either – much less trying to put the bastard on whilst the Doris is falling about laughing and asking “Is that it?” You might be wondering how I know about these things – well I have a friend who once told me this can happen.

There was a true life drama on the other day – Gamechangers – it was about a loony lawyer trying to sue the makers of Grand Theft Auto for causing a kid to commit several murders after watching the game.

With the amount of unprotected sex on the TV you’d think that lawyers would be queueing up to sue the TV writers for promoting the rise in STDs.

As far as the Grand Theft case- I suspect it might have been more fruitful to go after the gun manufacturers than the kids designing video games. Still, it was in America.

Another thing on TV – you never see anyone busting for a waz – even when they’ve been staked out in a van for days or spent the last few hours getting trollied on beer in a bar.

When they do go to the loo it is only to bust some poor sod knocking out spliffs or to have unprotected sex up against the wall. During this delicate situation  the Doris is being soundly rogered with her head banging against the redundant noddy dispenser.

It never seems to occur to either of them that it might be slightly more comfortable in the back of a car – or on top of the local landfill site next to dead donkeys and rotting fruit.

As for anyone needing a poo ever – well obviously the screen writers don’t give a shit.

At my age I spend more time in the bog than any other room in the house. Maybe I miss the actors heading off for a waz when I’m doing the same.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that TV cops are always several chips short of a Happy Meal. They head off to arrest some low life and as soon as they get within several hundred yards they feel compelled to shout out “Oi you!”

At which point the bloke legs it through some high rise flats or a crowded street. This happens so often that you’d think the cops (or the writers) might have noticed that the bloke always fucks off!

Why not creep up on the bastard and grab him with a loud “you’re nicked my son” – that’s what Reagan and Carter used to do (ask your dad).

It might also be a smart move to whack him with a truncheon or for a really good laugh give him a shot with the taser.

There are lots more idiot things on our screens besides the reality TV nonsense, but I’m a bit bored now (as you must be).

Perhaps Stuart Lancaster should issue our pack with  tasers  on Saturday – that would help us give the Wallabies a bit of a shock!

 

 

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Different Views of the Top

The inevitable media frenzy following the England v Wales game has largely centred (ha ha) on the team selection, the penalty kick at goal ( or lack of it) & the failure of the home team to capitalise on a 10 point lead despite the Welsh injuries which led to their subs having to play out of position (pretty successfully, to be fair).

My own view is that the focus has been on the symptoms of England’s problem not the wider issues.

There has also been a plethora of schadenfreude from the media and fans of other nations – most of it more vitriolic than that which greeted the Springbok loss to Japan.

It is a great pity that this tabloid & smugness isn’t confined to football coverage & fans. The English tabloids were equally culpable with their shameless & pathetic story of South Afica & seagulls.

In amongst the carping , gloating & blame apportionment have been 2 articles which do, thankfully, look at the wider picture. Mick Cleary (Telegraph) has made a case for the RFU sticking by Stuart Lancaster, even if the unthinkable happens on Saturday evening –

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/11896256/.html

In direct contrast Paul Ackford, writing in the Times has questioned the ability of

Stuart Lancaster to be a successful international coach –

http://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/72479701/england-coach-stuart-lancaster-too-nice-to-succeed-in-test-rugby–paul-ackford

Both argue their cases articulately and calmly – unlike much of the media histrionics of the last three days.

However, I personally feel that the most convincing argument is delivered by Ackford. This is not me being wise after the event – if you have read much of this blog over the last 2 years I have regularly argued that England have not made the progress (or made the right selections) needed to reach the summit.

If you have been unfortunate enough to meet me down the pub in that time you will have been left in no doubt about my views on this.

A win on Saturday will almost certainly protect the current coaching team – who, after all have unprecedented 5 year contract extensions from the RFU.

Many will argue, even in the event of a loss, that for the sake of continuity & the admitted success in creating a team that no longer provides fodder for the tabloids, they should stay anyway.

When they are off the field this is progress – it is on the field where I have most concerns.

Where are the ‘White Orcs on steroids’? Not my description, but one from the same NZ media who are now delighting in our current difficulties.

Where is the passion & aggression that made English packs feared by everyone?

I don’t mean punching & kicking – but the no nonsense, no quarter ‘you’re not having the ball’ & ‘we’ll grind you into the mud’ attitude & passion.

Don’t get me wrong, I pray that we pull out a performance on Saturday that keeps us in the World Cup.

However, I do not believe that should mask a much greater problem going forward.

Many, maybe the majority will disagree with this view – only time will tell!

Just  remember what they say about where nice guys come!

Another Blandmark

At some point during the early hours of this morning – that’s UK time – which is surprisingly, actually relevant.

I say surprisingly simply because much of what I write here isn’t.

Anyway around 1.39 & 53 seconds (that’s a guess) this blog passed 50,000 views & is currently a bit north of 50,213.

it reached this number in a little over 2 years (starting July 2013) – when I first started scribbling I never ever thought that it would take so fucking long to reach this landmark.

Justin Whatsisname gets more hits each day before he’s had his first muffin (nudge nudge) & he doesn’t even play rugby.

To date the 50,000 has been spread across 129 different countries – out of a total 196 on the planet (according to Google that is!)

These include Senegal, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Palau & Brunei. Amongst the more discerning places yet to take offence by reading my drivel are Micronesia & Central African Republic – they are showing admirable restraint in my view!

I realise this is hard to believe – how can anyone not succumb to the intellectual prose like what I use extolling my expletive ridden rugby memories, considerable prejudices, rants and general piss taking of all things political, designer and reality TV?

So far I have added a little over 1,260 stories ( for want of a more descriptive word – like ‘bleeding nonsense’ – ok two words if you want to be pedantic).

You are probably wondering why I do it -then again almost certainly not.

As Harro would so eloquently put it “who gives a fuck?”

To anyone who has ever been offended by my views, bad language & vitriolic tripe I would just like to say, in all sincerity and with great humility “why don’t you piss off and read something else?”

I would like to say a final thank you to someone who showed wit and some real perception when he wittily commented here-

“Your blog is shit” (The ‘Guesting Game’ post)

Cheers Tyrone – you have been my inspiration & a constant reminder that I must try to be a better person.

Learning How to Draw

Well, that didn’t quite go to plan did it?

Last night I seriously considered not bothering to write anything today – or possibly ever again.

Sorry to disappoint but in the cold light of day things didn’t seem so bad – they were actually worse.

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Today’s headlines are all about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, although they should read how we might have snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Forget letting a 10 point lead slip – twice, the weird substitutions and the fact that Wales confused us with several players out of position because of injury.

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The controversy about selection wasn’t the biggest problem either.

Try the unforgivable discipline that gave away a dozen penalties and then turning down the chance of three points at the death.

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This on the day that Chris Robshaw went ahead of Martin Johnson in number of times he has captained England – I know, it surprised me too!

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Up and down the country blokes and Doris would have been screaming “take the points” or, as in my case “take the fucking points”

Forget Japan’s heroics – this is the ‘Group of Death’ – you are looking down the barrel and there can be no glorious failure – especially at home.

The crowd might well have applauded going for the corner – I imagine the Welsh contingent certainly did! Did nobody notice that we had a new hooker on and that Wales had just introduced the second tallest bloke in the tournament?

Chris Robshaw has form for poor decisions in the dying moments – remember in the autumn internationals in 2012 when we contrived to lose to both Australia and the Springboks in successive weeks?

That was three years ago – he was new to the job – how come we are making the same mistakes in the biggest competition of all?

Would Martin Johnson have told Jonny to go to the corner – I don’t think so.

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Some twat on Twitter argued that we only lost 1 additional point by going for the win – totally ignoring the benefit of denying Wales 2.

There was also a lot of talk about it’s not a crisis and how we’ll stuff the Aussies, no problem – although personally I’m not as sure that it will be quite as easy as some seem to think! Still,  they obviously know best!

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However, it is pointless (sic) crying over spilt lineouts now.

Next Saturday we face the Wallabies in a ‘do or die’ situation and the possible ignominy of being the first host nation to not get out of the pool stage – much less at least reach the semi-finals.

There are, of course, various scenarios that can save us and a plethora of different results that can yet decide who qualifies.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that we could yet win the group – although this requires Fiji to beat Wales and a range of different bonus points needing to be won and denied.

It is pointless (ha ha) going through the permutations – we have to beat Australia and get 5 against Uruguay – as did Wales and Australia

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With 15 points – I suspect we’ll struggle to get 4 tries against Australia – we will survive. Then other things beyond our control will decide the top place. Points difference could even come into play.

Right now I’d happily settle for coming second to either of the others.

We just need to keep our fingers crossed, our nerve and to believe.

Even though it is hard to do so this morning

One final thought –

It’s admirable to encourage discipline and clear thinking off the field, but it’s a waste of time if you don’t have it on the field!

I mean – 12 penalties – 7 of them kickable (obviously) and ignoring the posts with Farrell still on the pitch? Really?

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Next Saturday is ‘all or nothing’ – there is not much room for mistakes or poor decision making.

Blood Counts

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Next Saturday (3rd October) Askeans are playing a league game against Greenwich when the club will be supporting the ‘Delete Blood Cancer’ charity.

It has been organised by Claire, the wife of one of the Askean players.

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Details are here –

http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/askeanrfc/news/askeans-against-blood-cancer-1489636.html

It is a very worthwhile cause and they hope to attract both donors and donations.

It is a sad irony that, despite this being an issue that our family knows only too well, I have had nothing to do with this event at the club.

Blood cancer is a real bastard – it is a terminal disease that destroys bones and the immune system.

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Terry can’t have a stem cell transplant, but others can.

Good on you Claire and Askeans!

For more information or to help go to –

http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk/en

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What are the Odds?

When the pools for the World Cup were drawn some 3 years (??) ago by the IRB (as was) you could hear the gasps when Wales and England were drawn together.

I’m making that bit up, obviously – I wasn’t actually in the venue (again obviously) – my invite must have been lost in the post (I blame Vince Cable).

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Anyway I still I imagine there was some element of shock at the make- up of Pool A.

Truth is I suspect that neither England nor Wales were exactly chuffed to find themselves in a group that also had the Wallabies and later, Fiji in it.

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Well, the biggest pool clashes for this World Cup (or any WC to date) will take place over the next 14 days – finishing with Wales v Australia at Twickenham on 10th October.

It starts tonight and after all the nonsense in the media about who is going to do what to whom, all will be revealed in the first heavyweight contest with England v Wales at 8pm.

Both sides have had their share of injuries – including Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny for Wales.

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England have lost Jonathan Joseph and Manu Tuilagi plus the self -inflicted wounds of Dylan Hartley and Steffon Armitage.

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None of that matters now – in the modern professional game these things happen.

However, I bet you could have got very good odds on a Burgess and Barritt combination in the centre for England after the Joseph injury was announced.

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They’ve not played together before – Burgess coming on to replace Barritt in previous games and they make up the 14th different centre partnership in the last 4 years –

Centre pairings under Lancaster (starts):

11 Tests: Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt.

6: Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees; Jonathan Joseph and Burrell.

3: Barritt and Owen Farrell; Barritt and Twelvetrees; Joel Tomkins and Twelvetrees.

2: Joseph and Tuilagi; Tuilagi and Kyle Eastmond; Barritt and Eastmond.

1: Joseph and Twelvetrees; Eastmond and Joseph; Henry Slade and Sam Burgess.

I imagine that you’d have got lesser odds on any of the following – Barritt and Slade, Burgess and Slade,

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Owen Farrell and Slade – or even the club partners, Farrell and Barritt.

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Interestingly (or worryingly), neither Bath nor Saracens regularly play either in the positions chosen for tonight.

I suspect that Wales, for all of Warren Gatland and Sean Edwards attention to detail, would not have planned for the powerful combination of Sam and Brad.

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It would have been preferable in my view that it was kept under wraps until the last moment in order to surprise the Wales camp.

However there have been more leaks from PennyHill Park than you get in a decent Welsh Cawl Cennin (that’s thick leek soup to you and me)

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And any chance of catching Warren Gatland with his shorts down was lost around breakfast time on Tuesday.

I don’t know if it is the England plan to keep the media onside by letting them know what is going on ahead of official announcements, but from the constant junk in the press I’m guessing it’s not working very well.

How about this for yesterday’s serious bit of rugby journalism –

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/rugby-world-cup/11888395/Rugby-World-Cup-fans-petition-ITV-to-replace-truly-awful-Paloma-Faith-theme-music.html

It makes the Wills v Harry garbage seem almost newsworthy!

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A bleeding petition about a sodding song for fuck’s sake? Give me strength.

Now, one about ditching ‘Swing Low’ I would have signed in a heartbeat. If you want a ‘rugby’ song then you might as well have ‘Dinah’, Little Redwing’ or the one about the well -endowed chap strolling about in the woods. Maybe even the ditty about not wanting to be in the army? No – it isn’t the one by Status Quo.

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All of these are equally as awful as ‘Swing Low’.

If you want a song to stir the blood and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up – try ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

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Having said that, I do pray that we hear that slave song later tonight – hopefully roaring England to victory.

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Generated by IJG JPEG Library

I just have to trust that SL has made the right call and that Sam, Brad and the others will bring it home.

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