Monday, 2 June 2008

Thumbs up

A hearty slap on the back goes to Robbie Deans and his Crusaders for yet another Super 14 victory this weekend (at least one of my predictions at the beginning of the year bearing fruit). The Crusaders were the outstanding team of the tournament and Deans the outstanding coach and both would have been so whether or not the ELVs were in force.

What I do hope, however, is that the weekend's somewhat attritional final will silence those so-called critics who labelled the Heineken Cup Final as "boring" and who see the ELVs as the saviour of rugby union. Finals, under any laws, are finals - tense and hard fought but rarely electrifying with the team who defend well, make the fewest errors and take their chances usually coming out on top. In the Super 14 final that team was the Crusaders - hats off to them.

That said, Saturday's Premiership final was an absolute firecracker of a game with Wasps producing yet another remarkable end-of-season performance. Leicester played their part with a spirited 2nd half comeback but, the script having been penned by a certain Mr Dallaglio, there was only ever going to be one winner.

From a personal point of view I confess that Dallaglio's appetite for self-publicity has never really been to my taste (I prefer quiet dignity of someone like Richard Hill) and his presence around the England squad in recent seasons was, despite his denials, undoubtedly divisive - but no one can deny what a remarkable player Dallaglio was over the years for England and Wasps. A one-club player, I'd say he is probably the greatest club captain of his generation and will be sorely missed both as a player and a character (although I doubt we'll get away without a bomardment of Dallaglio soundbites on the sports pages in the coming seasons).

1 comment:

Nursedude said...

Hey TF, you know, after watchinig the drama of the Heineken Cup Final and watching a very good Super 14 final in the middle of the night here in the States, I think that BOTH finals were a lot of fun to watch. The Heineken Cup was a contrast in styles, and the Super 14 final was a passionate, well played game with some great tackling and some nice tries. To me, to argue if one final was better than the other would be like having an arguement if Monica Bollucci is better looking brunette than Catherine Zeta-Jones-in the end, it's ALL good.