You may not have noticed, but the biggest tournament in international rugby is going on at the minute.
It’s even on terrestrial tv.
But despite ITV’s worst efforts, you wouldn’t be blamed for not noticing. England’s stuttering could be blamed, ITV’s ineptitude at live sport could too. But the main issue lies with the whole structure of the tournament.
After a brace of three games a day, the schedule seems to have descended into something a bit ad hoc. I imagine the team managers ring each other each day asking if they’re coming out to play, seemingly the answer’s been no more times than not.
In the oval-shaped brand of football, we’re scratching around to find when the next game is on but when the footballing equivalent comes round we can’t escape it. Game after game after game.
Heck there’s even the odd upset. I’m not talking about the same scale as a dogged Ireland beating Australia, try Senegal beating France.
It just doesn’t happen when William Webb Ellis is involved. The RWC is a bit of farce because of it, they may as well jump to the quarters. Georgia or Russia won’t beat Italy, let alone the bigger boys. As a spectacle it falls short until the quarters.
Many will argue the lesser lights should be there so they can develop their game. But conversely they’re only going to be improving their defence, Carter ain’t exactly giving them the ball.
By the time we get to the juicy bits everyone will have forgotten the World Cup’s even going on.
Well wasn’t that an interesting few weeks for all involved in motorsport.
We’ve had Bahrain on, then off, then TBA, then finally off again once the egg had found its way to Jean Todt’s face. Undermined in the public eye in your first year. That’s how to set your stall out, never fear though, you know you’ve always got the prancing horse.
Then we had an interesting week for marshals. The best of the best were obviously in France, ducking and diving from Audi parts but doing grand ol’jobs. As you’d expect.
The rest, were slipping, sliding, air-kicking and falling their way round F1 cars in Montreal. The warning signs were there, Vettel’s trip to the Wall of Champions was made even more enjoyable by the marshal tumbling a few feet down to the tarmac. (Obviously they were both fine, thankfully.) Continue reading
With the Rugby World Cup starting in September, England could barely be in better form for it. Beating Australia in their backyard and then backing that up with a win at Twickers and so far looking very strong in the Six Nations seems to have put them well and truly in the frame.
Well not if you’re Sean Fitzpatrick.
He claims the rich vein of form is “too late” for them to accept the tag of serious contenders for the Webb Ellis trophy.
Well, let’s just stay at home then. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing, going all that way only to be told we didn’t submit our entry for “Winners” early enough.
Maybe he hasn’t heard of the playoffs. Squeeze into sixth on the last day of the season after being in trouble earlier in the season means you already have play-off success in the bag (I’m looking at you, Leicester City).
This is the most exciting England side since the nineties, playing heads-up rugby, expansive, aggressive and pragmatic at the same time. Most importantly though it is settled.