Monday, 29 December 2008

Season's (hic) Greetings...

A belated Merry Christmas to my dedicated duo of regular readers and to anyone else who happens to stumble across this blog in error. I must say that I felt entirely unprepared this Christmas - the festive season appearing to have snuck up on me somewhat like an unexpected virus. Nevertheless Christmas Day passed without incident - the kids were satisfied with their annual haul from Santa Claus, the turkey put in a star performance and we were all left with full bellies and imbued with the festive spirit.

Perhaps it's because it's been the festive season, perhaps it's because my office-based job has led to an even more sedentary lifestyle, but the fact is that the past month or so as seen me become a stranger to the gym and a friend to large lunches and copious amounts of red wine. In short I'm feeling fat and unfit and if I had a set of bathroom scales I'm sure they'd be delivering extremely unwelcome news about my weight.

I turned down the chance to play in an Oldies v Youngsters game at Chesham at the weekend - partly because that really would have gone down like a lead balloon at home but also because, right now, I really am in no fit state to run out onto a rugby field. Not only would it have been distinctly embarrassing, it would also have been a tad dangerous - an injury waiting to happen. No, my target now has to be obtaining a degree of fitness before out next Vets match in just under 3 weeks time when we're due to take on Beaconsfield Vets at home. Clearly that will require a significant reduction in alcohol intake and a significant increase in physical activity between now and then - so it's fairly obvious what my New Year's resolutions have to be...

Of course, I won't be the only one making resolutions for 2009. England boss Martin Johnson, for instance, will be resolving to make the most of the time and patience granted to him by the English rugby public at large (who for the most part do realise what a shambolic set-up he has inherited). Hopefully he will have learnt the appropriate lessons from the autumn internationals and will have his forwards' coach John Wells working flat out at producing quick ball for what looks like, potentially, a reasonably exciting back division. He must also, of course, resolve not to pay any heed to the collection of bitter broadsheet hacks who seek to judge his regime after just 4 games in charge.

Across the Irish Sea, Declan Kidney will be resolving to imbue his Ireland team with whatever it is that makes Munster tick while in Scotland Frank Hadden will again plotting the downfall of the Italians - Scotland's only realistic chance, once again, of a victory in the 2009 Six Nations. Meanwhile, across the Severn, Messrs Gatland and Edwards will be resolving not to misplace the magic dust they were given last year. Edwards, in particular, must be praying that no one figures out that there are acres of space being left behind the Welsh blitz defence and that, no matter how brilliant he's been of late, Lee Byrne can't possibly defend it all by himself.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Right Reverend Graham Henry will be resolving to keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the New Zealand public and press by continuing to produce yet another team that is almost unbeatable between World Cups. Peter de Villiers, meanwhile, will he hoping that the trashing of England at Twickenham will have bought him a little time and Robbie Deans will be resolving to keep making a decent fist of the Wallabies job as preparation for the inevitable day when he is appointed head coach of the All Blacks.

However, the man with perhaps the most significant resolution will be ARU chief John O'Gobshite O'Neill, who will be as determined as ever to force the rugby world to keep playing to the ELVs no matter how unpopular or discredited they become and, if he doesn't get his way, will no doubt threaten to take his ball home and merge Australian rugby with Strictly Come Dancing on Ice to create a more TV friendly product - Australia's favourite son, Austin Healy, being lined up as the first head coach of the national hybrid team.

Whatever your resolutions, have a very happy and prosperous 2009...


Anonymous said...

yup, the ELV's are shit... thundering puts up the midfield do feck all for me.

Ciaron from NZ.

Anonymous said...

I mean thundering PUNTS.

Ciaron from NZ