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Monday, June 21, 2004

Triple Threat Tag Team Match 

It seems Woodward and Dallaglio have found a third completely wasted mind to fight their cause.

One Chris Hewitt. He's been out here on tour with the side and with a bit of luck has already left the country with whatever drugs he was on.

I just about choked on my powerade which I was drinking over lunch today while reading this pile of pretentious turd that appeared in the Herald online:
Three Antipodean disciplinarians should have spent yesterday confirming what the rest of rugby-loving humanity could have told them the previous evening - that the innately decent, fair-minded Simon Shaw is not a player who would even consider ramming his knee into the unprotected head of a rival laying helpless on the floor.
He might be decent, he might be fair-minded, he might also be a Girl Scout leader in his free time but the fact remains that he kneed a player who had his back turned and was lying in the ruck (like any self-respecting forward should do in this era of fast rugby).

He was not exonerated, as each and every one of his peers believed he should have been. This is intolerable.
Is that a bottle of chardonnay I can hear hitting the floor next to his type writer?

The outcome of yesterday's disciplinary session should have reflected what Clive Woodward, the England coach, correctly described as the "massive overreaction" of the match officials, most notably the Australian touch-judge Stuart Dickinson, who was directly responsible for Shaw's public humiliation.
Hang on? I thought Woodward was married? I didn't realise he was sleeping with traveling English journalists as well.

Shaw pushed a knee, almost apologetically, into his back to "let him know he was there", as Woodward put it. Robinson admitted afterwards he had felt nothing, but Dickinson took such a dim view of the incident that he persuaded Williams, the referee, to reach for red.

Shaw was first flabbergasted, then distraught. "There was never any malicious intent on my part," he insisted.

"I think the crowd was a factor because it was shown on the replay screen and I heard lots of people shouting 'off, off, off'." Woodward was incandescent, letting fly at the injustice of it all immediately after the game.

I'd prefer a verbal apology next time I'm lying in a ruck over an 'apologetic' knee thanks.

Following the hearing, the coach resisted what must have been an overwhelming temptation to tear into the officials anew. "I really don't need to get off-side with referees and touch-judges right now," he said, wrestling with his self-control.
Overwhelming temptation to moan, cry, bitch and blame the whole thing on everybody else once again. And to threaten to call the conference off if the pot plant in the corner wasn't switched with one from the lobby.

In all probability, England would not have beaten the All Blacks on Saturday, even had Shaw been permitted to remain on the pitch past the 11th minute.
That's right mate.

Yet while Shaw was on the field, the All Black forwards were given a thorough seeing-too at scrum, ruck and maul. There was also a revival of the English line-out, now managed by the splendidly committed Steve Borthwick.
Fantastic. If we could shorten matches to 10 minutes in length then England could be able to compete with NZ before being blown off the park after we get warmed up.

Across the field, players were stoking the fires: Woodman and Mark Regan, Dallaglio and Worsley, Andy Gomarsall at scrum-half - the Gloucester man produced his finest display at this level, by a distance - and Charlie Hodgson at stand-off, who established his international credentials beyond question.
You lost by 24 points darling. If the All Blacks suffered the heaviest defeat in their history (which that would have been) would we have had seven players all having blinders? I assume that's what being "splendidly committed" and "setting fires" and "finest display" basically means.

Basically the English were completely run off their feet.

At test level the majority of points are generally scored in the second half. Especially by the All Blacks after we break a team. Our backs didn't even play that well I thought and yet still ran in four tries in the second half alone. As far as I could tell England hadn't had a back sent off. Spencer was fairly quiet with the ball, Marshall was no better than average, Carter did a few good things with the ball and a few bad things as well, Umaga looks pretty boring on attack these days but rock solid on defense and doing the 'dirty' back work. Muliaina didn't get too much ball, and Evans made a few bad errors at the start but did well with what he had to do later in the match.

Meanwhile Rocokoko was bloody dynamite.

Thankfully there have been several other folk in the press who have seen the light (no, not the light Hewitt sees shining out of the English teams collective arse).

Here's a good one from Steve Davie at Pandasport.
And Wynne Gray writes intelligently as usual. As to does Richard Boock with his 48 Hours: Nonsensical excuses from Sir Babble.

And for something more along my lines try Peter Lampp in the Manawatu Standard.

I also just picked up on a Clive Woodward comment at the after match press conference where he said that at 10-6 down he thought they could win the game. Well then why did you also say that the sendoff ruined the contest if you thought you could still win it? You lost the second half 26-6. It's so easy to see through the guy. I wonder how long it will be before the English press start to cool off on him as he self-destructs along with the team post WC.

Just to go out on a nice note. Here's a comment from Eddie Jones regarding Woodward.

"I have nothing to say about Clive until he comes . . ."
Get ready ladies and gentlemen. Things could be about to get real interesting. Buy yourself an aussie jersey and a stuffed kangaroo (you can burn them after the game) and jump up and down on the couch for the Wallabies on Saturday night. I would definately definately draw the line at drinking XXXX though.

Omelets plural? Why not eat one big omelet? Is this a quirk we need to know about?
whoops just deleted that as I belatedly put the links in.

You'll have to ask LG as she's the one that made them. Tasted pretty good though.
Yeah, it's gonna be a heck of a game on Saturday: the Aussie press can't stand the English.
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