Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Hit and miss

Massivley unimpressed by Montpellier’s Francois Steyn who yelled "MISS" when trying to charge down a conversion attempt by Northampton’s Stephen Myler during their match on Saturday.

Myler did miss, but referee Nigel Owens quite rightly ordered the kick to be taken again and Myler converted.

Steyn received a ticking off from Owens but, quite frankly, a yellow card would not have been unjustified. He will be inducted into the Total Flanker Hall of Utter Wazzocks in due course.

That Northampton went on to win the match by 2 points is justice of sorts.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Anthony Foley R.I.P.

Put up or shut up

I find myself agreeing with Matt Dawson.

The former England and Lions scrum half has noted how “bizarre” it was that only seven Premiership Rugby DoRs turned up for a meeting with England boss Eddie Jones this week.

This, following public criticism from some of the clubs of the intensity and timing of England’s recent training camp which resulted in injuries to 3 players.

Apparently the meeting was "very amicable" but it does seem very odd that certain clubs appear unwilling to take the opportunity to address face-to-face any issues they have with the England set-up but are happy enough to criticise in public...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Black Dog

Sad to hear that former Wales No 8 Andy Powell has been suffering depression for the last 18 months.

Powell retired from rugby this week with his club, Merthyr, citing a persistent knee injury. The player has since confirmed, however, that his battle with depression was the main reason.

I'm always slightly surprised when I find that a professional sportsman who is "living the dream" can suffer what can be such a debilitating condition, especially a "character" like Powell (and who can forget his infamous drunken escapade in a stolen golf buggy on the M4 motorway in 2010?). Again, however, it only goes to show how depression is no respecter of reputation.

The fact that Powell has, in a week which featured World Mental Health Day, now gone public with his condition can only be good thing and he is to be applauded.

I'm sure we all wish him a full recovery and a happy retirement.

Friday, 14 October 2016


With England’s injury list growing, there’s been talk of Maro Itoje playing at 7 for his country this November.

If true then, while a huge fan of the FEC (Future England Captain), you have to ask yourself whether it’s really fair to expect him to switch to a specialist back row role at international level from the position he plays week in/ week out for his club?

He’s a very, very special player, and I guess that if anyone could do it then it’s him, but are England’s back row resources really that depleted?

Eddie Jones has stated that the English game doesn’t have specialist opensides who are good enough to play internationally, which is why his preference has been to deploy defensively robust players at 7 who are good over the ball.

Itoje certainly fits that description, but it would be something of a kick in the teeth for the likes of Matt Kvesic, Luke Wallace and other aspiring English opensides if they were overlooked in favour of a lock forward with little or no experience of their specialist position.

I guess it's a question of watch this space...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

New Rugby?

Former dual code international, Bev Risman, has called for the sports of Rugby Union and Rugby League to merge.

In his autobiography “Both Sides of the Fence” the 78 year old former British Lion and Great Britain Rugby League player argues the case for establishing “New Rugby” which would supposedly take the best from both codes with a revised set of rules.

He’s even come up with his own ideas which include:

- 13-a-side teams
- 5 points for a try, 2 for a penalty/conversion, 1 for a drop goal
- adoption of League’s 40-20 kick
- adoption of League’s play the ball instead of rucks.

So, that’ll largely be Rugby League then, eh Bev?

Nice try (excuse the pun) but NEVER GONNA HAPPEN...