Oh Danny Boy!

I was a few inches left of the post from achieving a clean sweep this weekend.

Danny Cipriani had a conversion from the touchline to beat Saracens.

Sadly it drifted wide and I had to settle for 5.5 out of 6 on my Premiership Predictions – to add to my 3 from 3 for the 6 Nations.

Cipps did contribute 11 points and will be much missed by the Sharks when he starts to wear the Wasps shirt again, sometime soon.

After some of the recent disasters in my rugby guesses a 94.44% success over the weekend is not much short of me turning up at the London 7s and feeding the lot on  5 Wonderloaf and haddock pasties.

It was a good weekend for TV fans with a wealth of live rugby on offer. Luckily I didn’t suffer from DVT as I made sure I exercised during the half time breaks and when the TMO was sodding about trying to get the rewind button to work. Whilst the distance between the fridge and the sofa probably wouldn’t have bothered Mo Farah overly, I did find it a bit of a puff, particularly when loaded up with cans and pasties on the return leg.

The last game I saw was Wasps v Harlequins where Dai Young’s side grabbed another bonus point win, scoring 5 tries and finishing the weekend at 3rd in the table after 14 rounds.

They have now won 6 on the bounce and are looking like the form team at the moment with a 5 point advantage over Saints in fifth.

Aviva Premiership

Pos Team P W D L -/+ BP Pts
1 Saracens 14 11 1 2 126 6 52
2 Exeter 14 10 0 4 133 9 49
3 Wasps 14 9 0 5 105 6 42
4 Leicester 14 9 0 5 27 4 40
5 Northampton 14 7 0 7 64 9 37
6 Harlequins 14 7 1 6 -5 7 37
7 Gloucester 14 7 1 6 26 4 34
8 Sale 13 6 2 5 0 6 34
9 Bath 13 4 0 9 -17 7 23
10 Newcastle 14 4 1 9 -138 2 20
11 Worcester 14 3 0 11 -103 6 18
12 London Irish 14 3 0 11 -218 1 13

 

Elsewhere the Premiership results were predictable (at least by me, as it turned out) with home wins for Saints, Tigers, Chiefs and Gloucester.

Dai Young has created an exciting brand of rugby at Wasps with both home grown talent and some shrewd recruitment – not least Nathan Hughes and the evergreen George Smith.

I suspect that, when Warren heads back south for a job interview in the land of the long white cloud, Dai will be on the WRFU shortlist.

One last thought – wouldn’t it be great if Wasps employed a physio called Olivia Fast?

Loll could have great fun on the ‘Rugby Club’ talking about them.

 

EU have to Laugh!

I thought it was about time that I joined in on the big EU debate – after all every other bastard seems to be having a say.

I didn’t want to make this blog in any way political but there is one important issue that neither the ‘stay’ or ‘bugger off’ camp have yet addressed.

It is, of course, the status of Albania – I imagine you are as concerned as me – but Dave, Boris and the other muppets have all ignored it.

For the last couple of years the Republic of Albania has been a ‘candidate for EU membership’. As far as I can see, this means sod all except we’ll maybe think about letting you in if you promise not to send us any cheap labour (or conservatives) and start to learn German.

The EU commission haven’t even started negotiations yet, so Albania have about as much chance of being accepted as Nelson Mandela would have had if he’d applied to be made Grand Wizard of the KKK.

I find this totally unacceptable and recommend that you watch the top Albanian news channel –canal Zjarr – to keep up to speed on what is going on over there.

I’ve been following it quite closely although the coverage is sometimes a bit sparse –

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3249071/Woman-hired-TV-reporter-revealing-breasts-audition-suspended-Albania-agreeing-reveal-breasts-Playboy.html

This may reveal why the EU are dragging their feet – no doubt concerned over Albanian workers’ rights.

The good news for Albanians is that the news channel have found a replacement – Greta – who is now causing quite a stir with her forthright views –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdGElpoKy6s

I had hoped that the BBC would try and recruit Greta to replace Bill Turnbull on the red sofa, unfortunately she has now accepted an offer from Aussie TV where she will be reporting ‘au naturel’. Luckily for her the climate down under is more conducive to presenting the naked truth about current events.

Eriki is also unavailable as she is now with Playboy – that other respected news outfit.

Alright, so I’m taking the piss – but isn’t that what the MPs do most of the time?

 

 

 

Stray of Execution

Well, it all worked out in the end but there were some heart stopping moments in the second half when it looked like Ireland were going to get right back in the game.

If the All Blacks had the amount of possession that England had in the first half they would have been 20 points or more up at the break. Our ambition was excellent but the execution was very poor.

In the first 40 we carried for 295m c.f. Ireland’s 79 and they had to make 95 tackles to our 42. In international terms that is a pasting – to only be 6-3 up is worrying.

We finished our chances much better in the second half with less time on the ball.

But it was a win and we remain unbeaten with 2 to go.

_88483060_capture

Maro Itoje looks the part and Billy was immense throughout – maybe he’s looking over his shoulder at Nathan Hughes and has no intention of giving up his shirt easily. Be very good to have two number 8s of real class.

Jack Nowell did brilliantly to stop the near try by Robbie Henshaw

But I have to say I would have given Ireland’s Van der Flier the other one – if only because of his brilliant name.

I don’t see how he couldn’t have got it down to be honest. It would certainly have made the last 5 minutes interesting, especially with Danny Care in the bin.

England are moving forward and that has to be good – great ambition and gradually Eddie Jones is bringing on the young Turks (not quite sure how they qualify – granny had a kebab shop maybe?).

Steve Hansen was in the stand at Twickenham, he won’t be losing any sleep from what he’ll have seen in the 6 Nations – let’s hope we can give him some insomnia as we move forward.

Mr Jones has stated that he will be putting himself on a media ban before the Wales game – can’t see him being quiet for a fortnight myself – will also make the next 14 days a bit dull.

The Wales battle will be a step up – Friday night’s game against France was not classic, but you can’t argue with Sean Edwards defensive strategies. Wales will be a right handful.

So I managed to get all 3 of my 6 Nations predictions this weekend.

Not doing so bad with the Premiership either – am 2.5 for 3 so far – roll on Sunday (although I don’t always wear one on the Sabbath)

 

 

 

 

TV’s Licence to Thrill

We first went to New Zealand some twenty odd years ago and visited frequently until we were no longer able to travel.

Aside from the incredible landscapes, friendly people (even during the 2005 Lions Tour) and the cheap beer, the most impressive thing to me was the 24 hour TV rugby channel. How good was that?

Okay, so a lot of it was historical footage and repeated games at different times but nevertheless I thought it was brilliant. Terry seemed slightly less amused at 2 am when I shouted “Yes!” after they showed Mighty Mouse scoring in ’71. How was I to know she was kipping?

Fast forward a couple of decades and the rugby coverage we now get on TV here is way beyond my imagination (not that difficult to be honest). My wildest dreams have come true (well not all of them, obviously – there’s still the little matter of the Euro Millions jackpot and a role in Debbie does Dallas 13).

But on the rugby front we now get live games from the Lions Tours, 6 Nations, World Cup, Premiership, Pro12, Top 14, Currie Cup, Super Rugby, NZ Provincial rugby and World 7’s.

I’ve probably forgotten some other stuff too – maybe even the brilliantly named ‘Shute Shield’

0042 LION Super14_Logo 5.4.3

How about this – today coverage of Super Rugby started at 6 am – and will go on virtuously continuously until 5pm this afternoon. Different games obviously – it’s not a charity marathon match.

This is followed by a Top 14 game – Dan Carter’s Racing 42.

Of course some of the Super Rugby will need to be recorded as the 6 Nations game in Rome will clash with the Stormers v Bulls.

Even by my calculations we’ve got (or had by the time you read this) some 16 hours of live rugby to watch today (almost live in the case of the Stormers).

You don’t even have to worry about getting up early or checking the listings – you can simply press the series link button and it will all record automatically.

Sure a lot of the coverage is limited to subscription satellite channels – but, without them, does anyone really think that the free to air TV would bother to broadcast this rugby? Not when they can fill the airtime with cheap reality bollocks!

Monthly subscription to sports on Sky and BT costs less than going to a couple of Premiership matches – even less when you throw in a shedload of beer.

Plus you get some other stuff that is worth watching – cricket, Aussie Rules, NRL, NFL, College football, Super League -even the odd round ball match.

I’m not an ambassador for Sky, BT (or even Ferrero Roche) I’m just an obsessive rugby old bloke who thinks all his birthdays have come at once – which adds up to sadly too many these days.

I was prompted to write this today by a mate on Twitter, John – he lives in British Columbia and was bemoaning the fact that rugby coverage there is rubbish.

They don’t even get TV for the World 7s which is down the road in Vancouver next month. Apparently, they also block streaming (whatever the fuck that is!).

We’ are well served – yesterday I saw Super Rugby (go Jaguares), England v Ireland U 20s as well as the game from Cardiff when my prediction that France would come second was on the money.

I’m just hoping that the possible ‘Brexit’ won’t affect us getting the Top 14 or matches in Paris.

One final thought for today – what the fuck do they feed those kids in the Under 20s on?

 

Multiple Choice

I’m led to believe that most exams and tests now use a system called ‘Multiple Guess’

I imagine this makes them easier to mark but is unlikely to qualify you for Mensa, even if you mistakenly tick the right box.

It is, however, pretty much the same way that I fill in my predictions for the 6 Nations and Premiership and this week is no exception.

With only 2 teams in each match I should, theoretically, have a 50% chance of being right – maybe as much as 60% if you go with the home team.

It doesn’t always work out that way for me – as you will know if you have punished yourself by coming here frequently.

This week I’m starting with the internationals –

 

France are equal top on 4 points with England – but they should have lost to Italy and probably Ireland as well. I think Wales will tonk them at Cardiff tonight.

Scotland are due a rub of the green (not a euphemism) and should win in Rome – but it won’t be an easy ride.

Later tomorrow I have to go for England – Ireland have suffered some serious player losses through injury and the English fans deserve a victory at Twickenham after the last two disasters.

Once again, as long as England win (1 point will do) I don’t really give a stuff about the other results.

Some interesting match ups in R 14 of the  Premiership –

Sale Sharks to just hold off Saracens

Saints to down Warriors

Gloucester to beat Falcons

Chiefs to knock over Bath

Tigers to beat Irish

Wasps to defeat Harlequins

 

First time ever I have gone for 6 home wins – last week I predicted 5 aways and look where that got me!

Super Rugby, Top 14 and Pro 12 are all on TV too – so I won’t be doing any gardening or DIY (not that I ever do to be honest – which is actually something of a relief to Terry).

 

So much for my multiple guesses – here’s a couple of tests for you –

  • Would you vote for Donald Trump?

 

  1. Yes, if someone will undo the straps at the back
  2. Yes – and so will my sister and wife (who are one and the same)
  3. Yes – I’m a stupid racist and will be taking my concealed assault weapon in case there are any Muslims, Blacks or Liberals at the polling booth trying to vote
  4. No – I may be a bit thick, but I’m not actually certifiable just yet

 

  • Do you want to be on a Reality TV show?

 

  1. Yes, I have the IQ of a medium sized turnip
  2. No – I would rather French kiss Eric Pickles

 

I took this second one and passed (lucky guess I think), so I have not applied to be on ‘’Britain’s Next Complete Fucking Idiot’.

However if they ever get the spelling right on ‘Posh Pawn’ I reserve the right to go for that one – especially if Debbie is involved, obviously.