Thursday, 30 July 2015

Walk in the park

Every now and again (and increasingly, with a certain rugby event on the horizon) I am invited to promote a product or an event on my humble little blog.

My usual policy is that the blog does not carry advertising or promotions - at least not unless I am offered obscene amounts of cash (I'm not THAT principled).

Occasionally, though, an email comes in that tickles my fancy without the promise of filthy lucre - and so it comes to pass that I now mention the forthcoming launch, by Warner Leisure Hotels, of Walking Rugby.

Walking Rugby has, we're told, been developed following research which allegedly concludes that almost half of over-50s desire team sports to be made "more accessible for their generation." In other words, rugby needs to be made slower and needs to hurt less. No arguments from me so far.

So, lo and behold, we now have a sport which apparently involves no running, no passing higher than shoulder height, no holding of the ball for more than three seconds without passing, no scrums, shorter game duration, frequent substitutions and tries being scored by walking the ball over the try line (so no pesky bending down!).

All very intriguing… one question I do have, though, is this: did I receive the invitation to the launch of Walking Rugby randomly, or has someone been watching me play Touch Rugby?

Monday, 6 July 2015

England launch RWC beard

The RFU today announced the launch of the official England beard for RWC 2015.

The beard, modelled here by Messrs Marler, Haskell and Robshaw, features a range of innovations that have been developed by Canterbury and England Rugby following more than 220 hours of testing and 250,000 miles of travel to improve both the look, feel and performance of the beard.

The beard, which will retail at £49.99, is the most lightweight Canterbury has ever produced, featuring new 3D face-mapping technology to ensure a perfect fit for players in different positions.

“Every player in the squad takes enormous pride in wearing the England beard,” said Head Coach Stuart Lancaster.

In other news, the RFU also announced the launch of yet another England playing kit.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Touching Distance

So, one week of the Touch season to go and Dave’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead are now 9 wins from 9 and certain of being crowned champions next week.

This week’s encounter, against a very fit, quick and youthful Welsh Exiles (with not a single Welsh accent amongst them, it must be said) was played in stiflingly hot conditions and, given that we only had 9 players available for duty, was certainly a challenge from a fitness perspective.

A hectic first half saw us tied at 4-4 – which came as a surprise to us all as we had appeared to be up against it defensively all half (as the sweat dripping out of my t-shirt testified).

As has often been the case this season, however, we played a much improved second half, tightening up the defence and taking our opportunities as the opposition tired, with the final score 11-6 in our favour.

It’s been a theme of the season that we seem to outlast much younger opposition in terms of stamina – and this week 5 of our 9 players were in their late forties or older. Or perhaps it’s just been that we make fewer errors then they do when completely knackered?

At the (ever enjoyable) post match beer I was complimented on “almost pulling off the most outrageous dummy” at one point in the match. The telling word in that phrase is, of course, “almost”. In other words it all went pear-shaped once the dummy was sold and acceleration was required. Plus ça change.