Sleight of Hand

Ben Ryan is on the verge of immortality in Fiji – following on the gold medal from Rio (their first ever Olympic medal), he has been given the status of Chief and several acres of land. Fiji rugby are doing all they can to keep him as coach – not an easy task when it has been reported that he has had numerous lucrative offers from other unions.

They will be delighted if they do mange to keep him – latest reports are positive and it seems that he and his wife may well still be there when the World Series starts again.

Fiji have always been the most exciting 7s team to watch – but others, notably NZ began to catch up – Ben Ryan added to discipline to their natural flair and the result was that gold medal – secured in the final that blew Team GB away.

Fiji are the Harlem Globetrotters of 7s – watch these two videos (courtesy again of the Rugby Dump site) –

Brilliant skills with offloads that make even SBW look like a beginner.



Schoolboy Error

At a time when on pitch handbags are becoming a thing of the past in pro rugby it is encouraging to hear that vigorous ‘discussions’ with the opposition are still prevelant in lower divisions and amateur games.

These ‘pitch’ battles tend only to be recorded on i- phones these days and, if you’re lucky uploaded to you tube.

In the past I have added a number of these here – the French leagues seem to be the best source for le handbag stuff.

Mostly these end with handshakes (occasionally of the Glasgow variety) although some involve spectators and become video nasties.

Over the weekend a schoolboy match did get seriously out of hand when a brawl broke out involving 50 players and spectators –

One poor sod – a spectator ended up with a broken leg!

The match was abandoned, although it was claimed that everyone shook hands at the end!

This probably didn’t include the kid with the fracture who had been shunted off to A & E by then.

The police bloke who attended incisively stated that he was unable to confirm the exact number who had been involved in the fracas – not the most astute comment or indeed what everyone was most keen to find out!

Fryer Tuck

Over the last couple of days a seriously laughable row has broken out between two ‘stars’ of reality cooking shows.

A bloke who looks like he knows his way around a giant pork pie suggested that a deep fat fryer is a de rigeur bit of machinery for the English kitchen.

Somewhat unsurprisingly this has brought on horrified gasps because of the increasingly expanding waistlines in the land of full fat milk & extra sweet honey.

What is surprising is that the main criticism has been led by Mrs ‘Sugar Mountain’ Berry!

At least Mr Wallace seems to be aware that his ‘chips with anything’ proposal carries a certain health risk, whereas Mary appears to think that piling on the pork from shoving butter and sugar buns into your cake hole (ha ha) is up there with a heavy Pilates workout!

Arguing that a deep fried Mars bar carries more risk that shoving down a couple of Black Forest gateaux weighed down by double thick cream is a mute point (which is what Greg & Mary should be in my view).

They would  probably both be in trouble with the health police if the ‘salad days’ mob had managed to inhale enough calories to get off their fatuous arses.

Mary Mary quite contrary how do your low calorie sponges go?

None too well with Greg I suspect. Not without ladling on a couple of gallons of Ben & Jerry’s anyway!

A Sudden Thor

Taniela Tupou (real name ‘Tongan Thor) continues to do more than a passing imitation of a raging bull as he tear arses around the rugby pitch terrorising the opposition.

His latest exploits are shown in a couple of videos on the excellent Rugby Dump web site (use of the adjective ‘excellent’ is used in the hope that they’ll reciprocate by mentioning me, obviously) –

In my day I’m pretty sure it was illegal for anyone with a number less than 4 on his back to break into a trot, much less side- step like a fly half.

Thor’s opponents might want to check the rule book and get him warned by the ref (assuming they can find one brave enough).

It’s probably the only way to stop him!

At a Stroke

News today indicated that around a third of blokes and Doris’ are given the wrong diagnosis after a heart attack.

“Get up mate, it’s only a bleeding dead leg!” In this context the use of the terms ‘dead’ and ‘bleeding’ might be singularly appropriate of course.

I couldn’t be arsed to read the whole article it seemed to be full of boring stats & long words – if you want to know more (especially if you currently have chest pains) it’s on the BBC web site.

I’m not sure how serious a problem it is anyway to be honest – I’m guessing there aren’t that many really big cock-ups (which is actually a totally different medical challenge).

If you’re laying on your back, gasping for breath and clutching your chest it would take a seriously duff doc to reckon you’ve got a rather heavy cold before knocking out a prescription for some aspirin.

I hadn’t read this news item before I went for another slow shuffle along the beach this morning – so the biggest shock was that I may well have had a stroke or two & no bastard (including me) had noticed!

However, since actually spotting the symptoms seem to be a tad difficult, maybe I did and this post is being scribbled from ‘the other side’

Who knows? Well not the local quack, obviously!

Fall Out Shelter

The two Rugby Championship games at the weekend provided several major talking points & controversies both on and off the pitch.

In addition there was also more ‘falling out’ that poured petrol on the flames of the ‘global season’ debate (spelt ‘debacle’).

The continued low state of Wallaby rugby has been well discussed in the Australasian media since Saturday, but it is some of the less savoury incidents that have attracted most attention.

Owen Franks was quickly cleared by Sanzar regarding the alleged ‘eye gouging’ of Kane Douglas as there being ‘no case to answer’.

Predictably Steve Hansen & NZRU immediately responded ‘quite right too’ – with almost the same indecent haste as Sanzar.

Having seen the various online videos of the incident I was a bit surprised at the rapid decision – if Sanzar have film of different angles that support their clearance then frankly (ha ha) they should release them.

The rules state something along the lines of ‘don’t shove your digits anywhere near the blokes minces’ -possibly expressed slightly less colloquially. I don’t know where the NZRU & Sanzar were looking but it wasn’t at the videos I’ve seen!

As one commentator (admittedly not a Kiwi) suggested – if that had been a Springbok prop he’d be about to start a 10 week vacation!

The game was full of niggling incidents  – to be fair mostly instigated by the Wallabies.

The NZ media have retaliated to the supposedly non eye gouging by highlighting the Nick Phipps throwing Fekitoa’s boot away – hardly sporting but pale by comparison I would contend!

Not sure that rugby is the winner here to be honest.

Meanwhile the Springbok team & coaches are having Salta rubbed into their wounds by the SA press after losing to the Pumas.

As if all this wasn’t enough controversy at the weekend the ludicrous Lions schedule for the 2017 NZ tour has (at long last) been criticised by leaders of the Aviva Premiership & Pro12.

I have no fucking idea why it has taken so long to surface – even I pointed out the stupidity of the Lions management for agreeing this itinerary more than a year ago here on this blog.

Steve Tew (NZRU) countered with the suggestion that the Premiership should reduce their season to accommodate more preparation time for the British & Irish Lions.

Three things Mr Tew – (a) this was a stupid & unhelpful comment – if there is anything that might hasten the demise of the best supported touring rugby team on the planet it will be using it as cannon fodder with an impossible schedule. You might want to remember that when you get the revenue next year from the Lions.

 (b) you are still trying to bring a potato peeler to an AK47 fight if you think sniping at the NH over the ‘global season’ will work in your favour!

And (c) it might be a good idea to stay friends with the Wallabies if, as you are threatening, you won’t play  much in the NH after 2019!

Just a thought mate!

Honour Bound

Theresa has indicated that she May (you saw what I did there didn’t you) ignore the quota system for sporting honours in view of the unparalleled success of Team GB in Rio.

I hope she does – if only to dispel the bad taste left by the list compiled by David Cameron when he resigned as PM.

There has been much wringing of hands ( and phones) in Whitehall as they are desperately trying to find out who ‘leaked’ the Cameron list to the media.

I would have thought that the real concern is that the list was full of cronies & party donors!

Whoever did leak it deserves a medal – or at the very list an OBE!

Seriously – why is there a quota on giving honours to real achievers as opposed to those who have dipped a teeny bit into their bonuses?

I’m confused – so no change there then!