Saturday, 29 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
The RFU, bless 'em, continue to listen (check out the RFU Survey) but what happens after they've gathered, sorted and lost our opinions is anyone's guess.
So far this season the ELVs haven't exactly covered themselves in glory at the elite level and various high profile coaches in this neck of the woods have expressed their severe misgivings. But what of us, the mere mortals of the grassroots game, what do we think of the story so far?
Over on Confessions of a Rugby Referee, Big Dai gives a very eloquent verdict on the ELVs from the point of view of a grassroots rugby referee. One of the stated aims of the ELVs was to make the game easier to referee but, from reading Dai's analysis, the new laws appear to have, for the most part, achieved the precise opposite.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
The rugby practice field at Hyde Leadership Public Charter School bears little resemblance to the manicured lawns of the English boarding school where the sport was born... more
Only 2 positives, as far as I can see:
- I didn't watch it (having my own little encounter to deal with - more of that later) and decided against putting myself through watching the highlights after I had heard the score on the radio; and
- It can't get any worse...can it?
Thursday, 20 November 2008
After a two games this season in which he was denied tries, firstly by a last gasp tackle and then by a myopic referee - incidents which prompted a national debate on the injustice of it all - TF has indicated to vague acquaintances that that he is ready to call it quits after analysing the balance of probabilities.
"It all started off as a bit of of a laugh," the overweight backrower said today. "But there's a real chance that I might actually score a try soon and that we might win a game, both of which would be a joke too far."
The nation's online message boards lit up with complaints after today's news as the public voiced their suspicions that TF has fallen victim to people taking rugby far too seriously.
"I am very angry about this," said one poster. "Watching TF huffing and puffing around the field and messing up try-scoring opportunities is simply hilarious."
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Apparently more than half of England's team today passed through the state school system and the team is managed by a comprehensive school kid who attended the same school where his father worked as a caretaker.
I wonder if Australia can claim the same?
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Hardly regular then, but with my next game looming large on the 22nd November I felt that desperate measures were called for - and, yes, I realise that fitness doesn't really work that way but I subscribe to the theory that something has to be better than nothing, no matter how painful.
In the changing rooms after the game I heard someone mention that the opposition had an ex-international in their back row but, as I was unable to hang around after the game that day, I was unable to verify the rumour. It turns out, however, that the player in question was none other than Bill Calcraft who played in the Australian back row in the mid-eighties before captaining Oxford University in the Varsity Match. In our match I must admit he was pretty solid in the tackle and difficult to put down, and was also fairly sprightly around the park - certainly more so than yours truly although, admittedly, that's not saying much. Given that he's also a good 5 years or so older than me, hats off to him.
No doubt the match against Chesham Vets will probably go down as a career highlight for him and he'll be recounting for many a year how I was unjustly denied my try by a myopic referee...
Friday, 7 November 2008
A black man has been elected President of the United States.
A black man has won the Formula 1 World Championship.
And three black players occupied the back three positions for England against the Pacific Islanders yesterday.
Whilst the first two events were (rightly) hailed internationally, the selection of Paul Sackey, Delon Armitage and Ugo Monye had, in a small way, its very own significance. Setting aside the fact that all three had excellent games for England yesterday (and it's possible, just possible, that in Armitage we may finally have found someone to occupy the fullback birth for some considerable time), the fact that we now have 3 black players in the England team, with the likes of Danny Cipriani also having a West Indian father, a Maori playing at inside centre (a concept that I'm not wholly comfortable with if I'm honest) and the likes of Tom Varndell, Topsy Ojo and Steffon Armitage not too far away, demonstrates that English rugby is becoming far more representative of the diverse nature of the country as a whole.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Sunday, 2 November 2008
I'll bet they're ecstatic.
Since their first trip back in 2002, the Tag Rugby Development Trust has organised nine tours, taking in Uganda, Zambia and India . On these tours the coaches are all volunteers and the target is the grass roots level, not to mention leaving behind the skills so they can continue playing.
“I think sport is an area where you can give an opportunity on a very equal level,” says founder Martin Hansford. “The children have a great time, they learn something, we leave their teachers with some new skills they can use and keep training the kids even when we’re not around.”
As well as learning a new sport, there’s also an added incentive for the children to stay in school – to be able to take part in the end of week tournament.
So, not only do TRDT spread the rugby gospel, they also leave behind a lasting legacy, a fact highlighted on the current tour to India. In 2006 TRDT took a Tag Rugby Tour to Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Two years later the Kalinga Institute for Social Sciences (KISS), a school for tribal children, is producing Tag Rugby teams that are winning tournaments in the UK and Australia.
Furthermore the skills and enthusiasm the charity's volunteers gave children back in 2006 is being passed onwards to other children in the school and has caught the attention of the highest level of authority on Rugby in India - the Indian RFU will be hosting the first ever U-16 tournament at KISS and on 2nd August this year the foundation stone for the KISS Rugby Academy was laid.
The TRDT would really appreciate any support that you can give either in the UK, professionally, financially or with your time but especially by touring with the charity to share your rugby skills and experiences. Click here to get involved.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Well, here he is, being given his marching orders playing for Stade Montois recently. Late tackle? I'd argue that he got there as soon as he could.
On the upside I guess the sending off would have given him some extra time to seek out the nearest KFC...