Monday, October 15, 2007


England's Golden Boys at least 2 dangers awaiting England
Ref: Alain Rolland (IRE) TJ 1: Joel Jutge (FRA) TJ 2: Paul Honiss (NZL) 4: Alan Lewis (IRE) 5: Steve Walsh (NZL) (reserve referee) TMO: Stuart Dickinson (AUS)

Well posting re the weekend rugby was delayed: my hands were shaking too much to be able to use a keyboard; not sure if that was nerves or alcohol poisoning!...better late than never I suppose: I've only just recovered from Saturday night when England beat hosts France to progress to the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final. France captain Raphael Ibanez said,
"It came down to very little,"..."It's hard to swallow but that's sport. Well done, England."
The Aussie press refrained from any sarcastic comments, I wonder if they're secretly hoping we win to excuse their own loss...two examples: blonde chick newsreader on video here on ABC and written report on Livenews. However that doesn't mean I won't post a couple of images that I was sent last week: thanks for the heads-up go to Kenji for the Aussie Whine and the NZ Choker, sorry lads. Back to the winners:
"What a brilliant day, a fantastic week," England captain Phil Vickery told ITV television. "To beat France in France in a World Cup semi-final is a huge effort from everyone."
Well, one of the key improvements is the likes of Vickery not giving away stupid penalties all the time (perhaps the games on the bench allowed this to sink in) Simon Shaw was another serial offeneder (penalties/yellow cards) but he too has seen the light: in good time too because South Africa have more than enough kicking power to score from anywhere in the half...or beyond! However, another great all-round performance and superb defensive display from the whole team put England through, albeit still as underdogs if one looks at England's recent record against the Springboks who yesterday won their semi-final that, for the first half an hour, looked anybody's game but which soon changed after a series of mistakes from a tired Argentina, allowed South Africa to win convincingly: a classic final beckons.

Mick Donohoe writing from Paris for the Rugby News Service thinks the opposing fullbacks will have a key role. "Wearing the number 15 jersey for their respective teams, England's Jason Robinson and South Africa's Percy Montgomery are match winners but in their own unique ways". To be honest their game plan, when they humiliated and overtly outplayed England only last month, was high kicks Mick may have a point!


Six Years Late said...

I can't wait, I'm going to a party at my dad's he was at the game in sydney when we won, but decide against the 2 grand it was going to cost him to secure a ticket this time round, which is fair enough considering that's what it cost him to go to Oz for 2 weeks.

Span Ows said...

Hi Six, nor me...enjoy the party. I will be with my family too - all of them! there may be some sillinessa bout looking after children while the game's on!! :-)

We have got so much better as teh tournament has progressed but I'm not making any silly bets - it will tough and probably bloody but I think penalties will decide it again (not saying there won't be trys (yippee...hope so) it's just that with Jonny and Percy plus others it will be curtains for the team upsetting the ref most; that's why in my rugby posts I've been putting what officials are in charge - could mean the difference between winning and losing although I'm glad to say (as I posted) we seem to have cleaned up our act)...I'm in Argentina at the moment - such a shmae - what a week I would have had if they'd got through!

Six Years Late said...

Well the great thing about Alain Rolland reffing is that he called the Aussie scrum for collapsing almost immediately he saw exactly what was going on, so hopefully if we can unsettle the saffers front row (blimey that's not something you would have imagined just a few years ago) then I think we've got a good chance of controlling it up front. I'm very excited as the week drags on i'm convincing myself we can win, which seemed faintly ridiculous on Sunday night.

Paul said...

Alain Rolland is usually a good ref, I think if we get any penalties out of kicking distance we should try and take a quickie.

I've been really impressed by Andy Gomersall all the way through the competition I think he's done the simple things well and covered for JW on a couple of ocassions.

I think Saturday is going to be a long day again. BTW I'm driving Janis and Nathalie mad every time they show the dressing rooms at SDF - I go "I've sat there." Well, how often do you get the chance?

The Great Gildersleeve said...

I'm not going to pretend that I know Rugby and the rules but I am very happy that they have done so well and I did see the first and last quarters.

Lets hope that we can pull something out of the final.

Certainly, it's not been the best day for football for the European Championships...England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland all losing :-(

Hopefully it's not all over.

Span Ows said...

hi Gildy, you're right re the football - couldn't have been worse! I really am hoping Scotland manage to beat Italy mainly because they deserve it so much. Re England (footy) they have pulled back a lot of lost ground in their last 3 matches but yesterday was teh clincher, now, as before, our fate lies in the results of others. Re NI of course the Spaniards are happy about that!

Re rugby...I'm now trying to balnk it out: I have a congress today and tomorrow and i need to be thinking about other's quite difficult!!!! As Paul says above...waiting through Saturday to the night-time kickoff is going to be agony! :-)

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Of course we are going to get lots of coverage on tv and radio so I hope it doesn't result in our hopes being dashed(must stay positive)hey at least we're in the final...

Do we need someone over in France reporting back at 6am? The BBC seems to think so as they have decided(if what was said on the BBC messageboards is true)I'll know on the day(if I'm awake at that hour)they sent out(and he never does weekend Breakfast on Radio 5...)Nicky Campbell.

An example where the BBC wastes money perhaps? ;-)

They will have people already in France, what will he add?

Gavin Corder said...

Perhaps Nicky Campbell might echo Raphael Ibanez,

"It's hard to swallow but that's ... England."

Kenji Mouchard said...

Span - What a game last night!

Are still you out in Argentina negotiating our claim in the Antarctic? If so there must have been much dancing in the street.

Short wait now for the boys to take to the field and then Lewis Hamilton tomorrow!

If you are about give me a call.


Span Ows said...

hi Kenji...not as planned! Doh!

I'm still trying to figure out why they were conspiring against know who...obstruction laws only work one way it seems. With my kiddiewinks at present (arrived time to watch the game!) with all my brothers lot and sis & friends

Gavin Corder said...

Bet you didn't bring my book... [scuffs foot dejectedly]

Span Ows said...

I did!...and I've just unpacked it again - it even did the rounds with me in Argentina as I was headed to England before returning to Spain (planning ahead!)...however a few be reported, changed all my'er mind Gavin...a promise is a promise and will be completed even if it does happen to be late!