- Congratulations to Munster on winning the Heineken Cup for the 2nd time in three years. If I'm honest I must admit that didn't think they'd be good enough to win it this year - but, once again, Munster proved to be masters of playing to their strengths and preventing teams from exploiting their weaknesses and to see off a club like Toulouse in the final with a certain amount of comfort is no mean feat.
- Congratulations also to England's women. Not only did they win the Six Nations and Grand Slam for an unprecedented third time on the bounce in March, they followed that up with winning the European Championships this weekend in Amsterdam. Furthermore, having already won the Amsterdam Sevens last weekend they beat the Aotearoa Maori in a one-off exhibition match at the London Sevens at Twickenham today, inflicting a second defeat in as many weeks on the New Zealand women who had previously gone nine years unbeaten (click here for more details).
- And finally congrats must also go to Bath for their European Challenge Cup win against Worcester. It had looked as if Bath might end up empty-handed this season but this win is just reward for them playing some great stuff this season. I'm particularly pleased for Steve Borthwick - a player I've always thought very highly of but who doesn't appear to be particularly rated by many journalists. The important thing about Borthwick, though, is that he's hugely respected by his peers for his consistency and his professionalism - qualities that will, I'm sure, stand him in good stead for his stint as England skipper. He's also as hard as nails - not in an obvious Rambo-esque kind of way perhaps but, if you've any doubts as to his toughness, there's a piece in today's Sunday Telegraph that recounts how Borthwick once ruptured a testicle on a Saturday, had the operation to fix it on Tuesday and was back playing again by the weekend... thus setting a benchmark of bravery at Bath when any injury in training or during a game was assessed as follows: "Burst a bollock, have you? No. Well, get up and play on then."
Sunday, 25 May 2008
No, not to Russia for their highly questionable Eurovision Song Contest victory - I'm with Wogan on that one - but to the following highly deserving recipients this weekend: