Saturday, October 13, 2007


I always thought it was going to be France’s year . I fancied their pack to give the All Blacks trouble up front and thats the only way to beat them .When they came off that astonishing win , I just thought , …at home , strength class and some terrific impact players on the bench , I think they are going to take this one.
I didn’t even feel bad about it . The way England came into this tournament a noble exit at the semi final stage would have been more than you hoped for . We had improved with every game true, but my money was on France to carry the momentum through, and win the world cup . It was not to be; and how England have turn this around since losing by 36 points to the Boks is a sporting legend playing out in real time .

Its starts up front with Sheridan and co. and if there is one thing that has propelled England it has been their brutal efficiency in the tight and line out time maul. The line out has been effective with the throw in a great improvement on the days of Thompson and the fitness throughout a revelation. Behind ,the technique of Andy Gomarsall has been a joy to watch . My brother in law knows him quite well and I have watched him stuck behind Dawson for years , always ,always, a class act . It was his bad luck to be in a queue behind the best English scrum half we have had , but in many ways he has a lot more to offer .His service is far better than Dawson’s , his kicking infinitely ahead and all round linking play very good indeed.
Wilkinson has not been kicking at his very best, especially out of hand ,but he seems to galvanise the rest with his decision making and solidity. Sackie has been magnificent and I have just loved the old man Jason Robinson showing he is still a sportsman from another dimension. Surely the outstanding player in both codes of our generation . He managed a marvellous run tonight England should have capitalised on.
Tonight was the night that Mathew Tait fulfilled the promise he has long shown. Always quick he showed how a lighter centre can flourish by getting the man down and getting back into the line at breathtaking speed. England were not once short of numbers . Ipkiss came on to great effect as well.

The defining moment of the night , apart from Wilko`s kicks , was Worsely tapping the froggie winger when he was in for a try . The ensuing support keeping Chagal away from that precious line showed all the qualities that have made this team of written off no - hopers into potential champions.

What now ? They have to have a chance . They have played and beaten better teams than either of those in the other semi ,., in my view, but this sort of thinking is not needed. Somehow they have to maintain the awesome test rugby mental zone they are in. In the next week , think about nothing but what you can do better ,what your job is , do not think about what it means and how close you are . It will take superhuman concentration but only now do I start to think we might just win it .

Come On England You Have Made Us Proud History Awaits !!!


idle said...

Never in doubt. Jaapies next week, no doubt. Reversing a 32-0 tharshing will result in a few trainers and jockeys called before the Stewards, though.

But the result would stand.

Ed said...

I even watched it!


Sorry, perhaps I should have come here first - I gave response as a comment on City Unslicker's post a few minutes ago. We won by luck and daring; the French were very skillful.

Newmania said...

We were lucky Sackerson but we have also pulled together into a fine team.

Newmania said...

Idle isn1t it amazing hiw they have improved . Its that emoptional eam element that Rugby has that football cannot match it( much as I love it )

Nick Drew said...

team is the word, have you ever seen a more genuinely collective effort ?

there is no one real captain but they all rise to the challenge together (not exactly sure WTF Dallaglio is doing there but that's another story)

a kind of 'virtual Martin Johnson' has arisen from the collective

spooky, eh ?

(PS Sackers your instinct is correct, you should always go to CU first !)

Newmania said...

Sneaky stuff Nick ,Dallagio is still worth a few minutes at the end . I am staggered at how Jason Robinson has found one more tourny in him

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