It Deserved Better – a lot better!

The Wellington round of the World Rugby 7s ended in the early hours of this morning.

The rugby didn’t disappoint, but the lack of a decent crowd very much did.

The standard of rugby on display deserved much better and it is hard to believe that New Zealanders weren’t there in droves to enjoy it – especially as Sonny Bill was making his 7s debut.

Only 14,000 turned up for the pool games on Saturday – haven’t seen the figures for day 2 yet, but the sight of empty yellow seats told their own story.

It could have been called the ‘Comeback 7s’ – there were some Lazarus type efforts from Scotland, England, New Zealand and Wales to snatch victory – some after the clock had turned red (England v France in the first game for example).

Wales were 24-0 down to Samoa and then forced the match to extra time before going down to a sudden death score.

New Zealand twice got themselves out of jail – SBW being heavily involved both times.

http://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/10148696/sonny-bill-williams-rescues-new-zealand-in-wellington-sevens

Mind you not all of his offloads worked!

There are some good videos of some games –

http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/wellington-sevens-2016-coverage-of-day-two-of-the-world-series-tournament/news-story/623e82035c716fb9a8a00fa53247a246

and –

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/76385192/live-wellington-sevens-2016–day-two

It makes you wonder why the stands were so empty.

Despite the presence of Sonny Bill the best offload of the tournament went to a Scot – Joe Nayacavou who set up extra time against Japan in the Bowl semi-final. That was worth the ticket price for admission in itself (assuming you weren’t off having a waz at the time)

For those who were here it is –

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/76433615/kiwiborn-scot-capitalises-on-sonny-billlike-offload-in-thrilling-semifinal-victory

The show moves on to Sydney next weekend and it is already a sell-out –

http://www.rugby.com.au/News/NewsArticle/tabid/1699/ArticleID/17326/Reserved-and-General-Admission-seating-sold-out-for-inaugural-HSBC-Sydney-7s.aspx

Rich is going for the weekend with a couple of mates (Chris and Euan) – they’ve booked a hotel even though two of them live just down the road! Smart decision I think.

sfx148119

I’ll add photos next week – as long as Rich isn’t too pissed to focus his i-phone!

At least the teams will get the crowd they deserve

 

 

 

Advertisements

National Lampoon

I have been known to poke fun at politicians here a few times – and it makes a change from taking the piss out of reality TV idiots.

Those who have suffered from, what passes for, my acerbic wit include Dave, George, Boris, Mrs Thatch as well as Gordon, Jeremy and Ed.

I have tried not to forget the Lib Dems but Nick is the only one that anyone knows and now he’s on his bike (or rather Bentley).

Of course my favourite is Eric, who appears to be singlehandedly keeping Ginsters and Pork Farms in business.

Not wishing to appear xenophobic I’ve also had a go at ‘Chump and Paleface’.

You can imagine my delight when I discovered that not all those involved in politics are complete muppets.

This bloke would certainly get my vote –

IMG_6395

Not sure about the free pony though – over here £25 a head might make a bit of a dent in all that tax that George has so brilliantly screwed out of Google.

We are not alone

Well at least I’m not anyway! I was using the royal ‘we’.

A few days ago I wrote a post here (‘Bonus Balls’) suggesting that the 6 Nations committee were being myopic in rejecting the idea of bonus points out of hand.

This was in direct contrast to several pieces by rugby writers plus the defence put up by the committee (obviously). For defence read ‘excuses’.

Naturally I was pleased to read this article that appeared a couple of days after my (less articulate) ramblings on the subject –

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12128671/Static-and-stubborn-Six-Nations-is-becoming-a-slave-to-its-traditions.html

It is worth a read if only to prove that there is at least one other bloke who has the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the 6 Nations is not entirely perfect and that there might just be some potential for improvement.

Of course I may be wrong – yeah right!

 

Out Reach

Every now and then someone posts a reply to one of my posts – amazingly they are not all like Tyrone who said “your blog is shit” – although most of them are to be fair!

A couple of days ago this was posted –

Andy Miller on January 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm 

Just discovered your excellent, fascinating blog quite by chance. My own rugby playing days were spent just down the road from Askeans at Thames Poly RFC, known as Woolwich Poly just prior to my joining and Greenwich Academicals once I’d been pensioned off.

I played at Thames Poly with both John Long and Steve Millward whom I’ve seen references to on your blog. They were kids when I played with them but you could see that they were both destined to progress to better things as indeed they did.

A touching tribute to Steve Dunmore. I was privileged to meet him on a few occasions in a non-rugby context many years ago but once we discovered the common interest we had some enjoyable conversations.

Thanks again for an enjoyable blog. I will visit it again.

I don’t know Andy and I didn’t pay him for this (although I probably should have!).

Nice to see Andy made references to three good mates who I played with at Askeans. As an aside if you’re an Askean and looking to see if I’ve mentioned any of your mates – or worse if I’ve taken the piss out of you – then just type the name in the search box at the top and it should chuck up all the relevant posts. I certainly wouldn’t want you having to trawl through the 1500 posts just to see if you can sue me for libel.

 

 

My Numbers Up!

This is post number 1,500 here and, as far as I am aware, only Terry has read them all.

She attempts to correct the grammar, spelling and to get me to remove all the bastard expletives. As you will know she has failed spectacularly on both counts (not her fault, to be fair).

This stuff has now been viewed over 60,000 times and in 145 countries – I know – what the fuck?

I’m still short of getting the interest from any blokes (and Doris’) in the Central African Republic or Micronesia and in fact any of the other 51 places on the planet yet to waste time here.

Obviously it would help if the missing places spoke English – although thinking about it that might actually not be an incentive for them..

So, if you have any contacts in odd places I’d warn them not to bother.

When I started writing this nonsense some two and a half years ago, I never thought that it would take so fucking long to get to it being read in 74% (okay 73.9%) of the countries on the globe.

Now, I just need Tim Peake to stop wandering about in that silly helmet and have a butchers! That would fill up a bit of space (sic)

 

Trial of Strength

With the squads away for the 6 nations this is a time when the Premiership clubs get to test the depths of their squads.

It also gives an opportunity for those sides that do not have any or many players away with their international team mates.

More importantly it makes it much harder to predict the games in the Premiership – oh joy!

english_badges_06_416

So Round 10 gives me the excuse to blame it on not knowing much – or indeed anything about rugby!

Although I know which players from the elite squads have been released back to their clubs it is not definite that they will be used this week. And since I am drafting this on Thursday, as I am busy tomorrow, it is complete guesswork – so no change there then!

Right, having got my retaliation in first here’s what I think –

Saints to just hold off Wasps – making home advantage count

Sharks to beat the Irish

Gloucester not strong enough to take down Tigers, despite being at Kingsholm

Weakened Saracens to beat a similarly depleted Bath

Falcons to lose at home to Quins

An away win for the Chiefs at Worcester

 

I have gone for 3 homes and 3 aways – possibly foolishly – so again no change there!

 

He’s having a Laff

My really good mate Airdy is from Yorkshire and he’s always going on about how it’s ‘God’s Country’

Being an atheist I have no idea who he’s talking about and would have suggested that probably this place doesn’t exist either. However, since I lived in Leeds for several years I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

They say you can tell a Yorkshire bloke anywhere, but you can’t tell him anything – this is true as Airdy never listens to a bleeding word I say. But, there again, maybe that’s just me. I say this since not taking any fucking notice of me doesn’t exactly put him in a minority.

In honour of my mate here’s a clip that will appeal to him – although he will almost certainly not think it’s funny and will be trying desperately to book himself a flight home –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ughBl09QDVg

Can’t blame him it looks a lot more fun than some of the airlines I’ve travelled on!