November Internationals 2014 Round 5 Review

Two much needed wins close out this international window of games. Here is my review of the weekend. So how did the predictions go? First up here's the link to my predictions. 1 out of 2, decidedly average. This was one of my best opportunities to get a clean sheet and I missed it. England 26 v 17... Continue Reading →

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The Pain Barrier

Sharing Sunday: This week a post about playing on with injuries, I totally agree with this post and think we should be encouraging players to come off. You only have to look at the recent coverage of Sam Burgess for example to see that we are glorifying playing on when seriously injured. If he had got another big hit to his face and lost his sight what would we be saying?

Thought Attempts

I recently saw a news article about a basketball player who suffered a fractured wrist early on in a game. He continued to play. Apparently he also spent the day on an IV drip owing to illness, and it was uncertain whether he would play at all. This got me thinking about sports injuries, and the attitude towards them from players, coaches, and spectators.

In New Zealand, there are a lot of stories of this ilk (playing on with a serious injury), mainly about various All Blacks (the NZ mens rugby team, for those not in the know). One notable example being the current captain, who?amongst other things?admits to concealing a broken foot in order to keep playing in the World Cup in 2011. Rather than being called out for this, it enhanced his reputation as a “real man”. Similar tales have assumed somewhat mythical status (google Wayne “Buck” Shelford…

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Rugby Thoughts – Lancaster’s muddled thoughts

This international window has been disappointing for England what ever the result this weekend against Australia. The long term contracts given to Lancaster and his coaching squad were supposed to provide stability and give them confidence to continue their plan. Unfortunately all we seem to have seen is muddled thinking and I'm going to take... Continue Reading →

Aviva Premiership 2014-2015 Round 9 Predictions

The international players are trickling back into the premiership as we reach round 9. Here are my predictions. First up here's a link to my review of round 8. So how did your predictions go last weekend? 4 from 6 was a good effort with Sale upsetting the form book to win away to Quins... Continue Reading →

November Internationals 2014 Round 5 Predictions

And so we enter into the last paragraph, here are my predictions for the final weekend of international rugby. First up here's a link to my review of last weekend's action. So how did your predictions go last weekend? 6 out of 9 is OK considering that two games that I got wrong were between... Continue Reading →

November Internationals 2014 Round 4 Review

Another weekend of scintillating international rugby, whilst most of the endings we expected, the journey there was not predictable. Here's my review of the weekend's international games. So how did the predictions go? First up here's the link to my predictions. 6 out of 9, is OK. Argentina used the drop goal to good effect... Continue Reading →

Natural selection? England 2012-4

Sharing Sunday: A very good blog looking at England’s selections during Lancaster’s 32 games in charge (written before the Samoa game).

'Orrible Punt

Wholehearted and hard-working, Stuart Lancaster’s men nonetheless lacked both composure and a cutting edge.”

The above is a line from a BBC’s match report on England’s narrow home loss against South Africa, from November 2012. It could well have been used this week though. There has been a strong reaction to the 2014 losses against New Zealand and South Africa, with the view that the team are now at crisis point. Are England really no better off than two years ago?

The accepted view at the moment seems to be that they can be relied on to put in a shift, possess a strong pack (regardless of injuries) and set-piece and aren’t going to be beaten by many points at home. On the other hand, there is still a big question mark over backline selection, specifically the centre combination while game management and decision making under pressure remain…

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