Monday, 8 October 2007

Last lap?

Where oh where did England's performance on Saturday come from? There had been absolutely no hint that they had a performance like that inside them. After the game Nick Easter commented that all the unfair media criticisms of the team had served as added motivation, but in reality none of the criticism had been gratuitous or unfair - we all know that England had played very, very poorly, especially against the USA and South Africa.

So, hearty congratulations to Brian Ashton, Phil Vickery and the England squad for finally delivering an inspirational performance that showed guts, nous and intelligence, a performance worthy of being the defending world champions.

One note of caution however - the reaction of the players and management to Saturday's win was, perhaps understandably, one of euphoria. Jonny Wilkinson even described it as being "one of the best days of my life." The players, it seems, feel vindicated and I wonder whether there's enough coal in the grate for the team's performance to burn quite so brightly again.

For me (and I appreciate that this is very much a "glass half empty" viewpoint), it was concerning to see the England players and management doing a lap of honour at the end of the game. Contrast this with England's reaction to disposing of France in Sydney 4 years ago, where it was very much a case of "job done - move on" and you have to wonder whether England might now just be satisfied with what they have achieved. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Finally, Dunderhead of the Week this week goes to Mr. M. Mexted of New Zealand for a quite breathtakingly one-eyed commentary to accompany the France v New Zealand game on Saturday night...

2 comments:

Matt @ Green and Gold Rugby said...

TF - congrats on saturday's result, your pigs certainly did a job on ours. The next couple of weeks will be fascinating, the Frogs rarely play well 2 games in a row, so you never know....

Good call on that clown Mexted's commentary, anyone who'd ever listened to that dinosaur's bullshit could have told ITV he was a no-no. Fitzpatrick didn't do a lot better, especially when they started congratulating each other.

Stuey said...

Brilliant stuff....loving this world cup SO much.