Rave On

It’s just a few days now before the 6 Nations kicks off and there has been surprisingly little baiting in the media from any of the teams who face each other on Saturday and Sunday.

Rather there has been a plethora of respect from all sides.

Tom Wood has warned about the danger of Louis Picamoles, Joe Schmidt has heaped praise on Scotland and yesterday Thomas Castaignede announced that England are better than the All Blacks –


As much as I’d like to believe he is right I think we need to take this comment with a lorry load of Saxa (possibly two lorry loads)

The litany of charm offensives came to an end rather abruptly when Jim Telfer ripped into Eddie Jones and England –


There were a couple of surprises in this assault – firstly it came way ahead of the England v Scotland match (11th March) and secondly he said –

“To me he’s building his whole team on set-piece and the building of the attack comes secondary”

This attack (sic) seems slightly odd when England have scored 265 points in their last 7 games at an average of 37.8 points per game. As good as Owen Farrell is with the boot he didn’t kick 13 penalties a match. These matches were all against tier one teams with the exception of Fiji – Australia (4), Argentina and South Africa. Add in the Grand Slam and the argument that England can’t attack now looks flimsy at best.

Eddie was also mauled as being like Donald Trump by Telfer – which again was a bit odd as Eddie had made the same comparison a couple of days earlier –



Finally Eddie was castigated for wanting to put the hammer down –

“Eddie Jones doesn’t want to beat teams, he wants to demolish them, which I find a bit disappointing,” Telfer told BBC Sport. –

Isn’t that what the All Blacks have always done? I don’t see it as a weakness frankly – and I’m really surprised that Telfer does.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Jim Telfer, his ‘Everest’ address before the first Lions test in 1997 will go down as one of the best rugby motivational speeches ever –


I particularly liked –

They don’t think f*** all of us. Nothing. We’re here just to make up the f***ing numbers.

He reprised the sentiment in his attack on England this week –

In England it’s just disdain – ‘Why are we playing these plebs?’.

“I don’t like Twickenham; a concrete jungle, nothing attractive about it at all.”

From a man with his outstanding rugby pedigree I thought it was a little disappointing.


Brutal Truth

Last week I mentioned a couple of books by Stuart MacBride that featured an unconventional cop (‘Extreme Force’).

I also indicated that the ‘hero’, Ash Henderson, was way more aggressive than Regan or Rebus. I don’t really count Gene Hunt – ‘Life on Mars’ was just a way of bringing back Jack Regan in the face of ultra PC (ha ha) TV niceties.

Gene Hunt: “I think you’ve forgotten who you’re talking to.”
Sam Tyler: “An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?”
Gene Hunt: “You make that sound like a 
bad thing.”

What I forgot to include was other TV cops who also have, how shall I put it? –  less than traditional methods of policing.

Two of the best Cop shows are both foreign language series featuring gendarmes – ‘Braquo’ (4 series – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1429534/?ref_=tt_rec_tti ) and ‘Spiral’ (5 series -.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477507/)

In addition to the blokes (Eddy and Walter) who ‘take no prisoners’ (often literally) there are two Doris’ that you wouldn’t want to cross – Laure (‘Spiral’) and Roxanne (‘Braquo’).

Graphic stuff – and even if you’re not keen on sub-titles they are both worth persevering with!

Book Cover

Harro sent me this photo of Andy Tanner, (Tans as Harro wittily calls him), apparently reading a book

Andy was a more than useful centre for Taunton and Somerset and whilst the book title is interesting, the more revealing aspect of the shot is that I wasn’t aware that he could actually read!

Stress Test

I read a survey the other day that listed the most common reasons for stress –


  1. Job interview (56%)
  2. Not earning enough money (44%)
  3. Presentation or speech in front of a crowd (43%)
  4. Lack of me time (41%)
  5. First day at a new job (40%)
  6. Disagreement with friends (34%)
  7. Being cheated on (32%)
  8. Becoming a parent for the first time (25%)
  9. Job security (24%)
  10. Underachieving (24%)


  1. Job interview (47%)
  2. Presentation or speech in front of a crowd (37%)
  3. Not earning enough money (33%)
  4. First day at a new job (29%)
  5. Job security (27%)
  6. Lack of me time (26%)
  7. Underachieving (23%)
  8. Disagreement with friends (23%)
  9. First date (20%)
  10. Being cheated on (17%) / hair loss (18%)

Personally I think there might be other things that might be slightly more worrying –


Wellington Boot?

I finished yesterday’s post about the poor attendance at the Wellington 7’s with a simple question regarding an alternative venue – ‘Suva maybe?’

Interestingly Sir Gordon Tietjens – coach of Samoa 7s (and formerly the hugely successful NZ team guru) has just suggested pretty much the same – possibly after reading this blog (ha ha) –


Understandably he has included Samoa as one option.

Another article also echoed my thoughts from yesterday –


“The question is, is there enough interest in sevens rugby in New Zealand? That’s the one [thing] we have got to explore.”

It’s a big question for NZRU

Guess What

I told you on Friday that I knew bugger all about the Anglo Welsh Cup didn’t I?

Well for once it turns out I was right.

Of my 8 Round 3 guesses (they hardly count as predictions) I managed a poor 4 plus a ½ (which will piss Airdy off – but at least edged me over the 50% mark)

I missed out on the three away wins and the draw.

I watched some of the games and, as I expected, most teams included a fair number of youngsters (who I didn’t know).

I’m guessing it will become more interesting when we get to the knockout stage – from the tables it looks like only Quins have so far guaranteed a place. Tigers currently look strong but have to go to Saracens in round 4

I’ll probably guess again next week which sees round 4 as well as the start of the 6 Nations – my best guess is that you don’t give a toss of course!