Hello people of the rugby world, it’ me again: The 8cm Plastic Model of Ex-England Centre Will Carling.
That’ right, I’m not actually Will Carling, I’m just an 8cm plastic reproduction of the great man’s image.
Well, what a fiasco at HQ last week. The silly old French certainly made a mess of things didn’t they?
Philippe Georges Saint-André was a classic French winger in his day (even if I don’t think he ever had a plastic figure made of him), but, salutations to the gods, he does seem to be having a poor time of it as a coach.
Last Saturday, whilst watching the French coaching team destroy all hopes of victory and glory, I know I wasn’t the only one among us finding the thoughts of Sun-Tzu on the very tip of my plastic lips. Very cliché I know, but sometimes things are a cliché for good reason.
What I am about to write concerning Mr. Saint-André was probably said by one of the match commentators during the game and I missed it. And if not, it was certainly said by Mr. Inverdale or Mrs. Logan afterwards. Either way, I cannot help but say it again:
In military decisions
Officers and men;
In military appointments
Officers and men.
When an army is confused and perplexed
The feudal princes
Will cause trouble;
Chaos in the rank
And gives away
I know countess fans of rugby football have probably been saying the above all week, but I simply had to blurt it out. Forgive me for my weary pontificating.
That’s it for now, keep checking back for more insights and sage advice during the Six Nations.
Knowing how offended the NZRFU get when the All Blacks perform their Haka and an opposing team looks at it/moves towards it/stands in a semi-circle in front of it/ignores it/asks them to do before an anthem/throw grass in the air, etc….it is probably for the best the NZRFU take little interest in Czech domestic rugby (as covered on the Terrace in February):
The East Terrace is greatly saddened to report that Sam Warburton will be wearing a red scrum cap in the Six Nations (see The East Terrace’s 100% correct viewpoint on scrum caps here).
A column in the Daily Torygraph has revealed the terrible news:
“I am definitely more of a target at the breakdown these days – I am getting a lot of elbows and knees. I am really getting smashed and I am getting headaches for a couple of days after games. That’s why I now wear a head guard – I have got a special red one for the Six Nations.”
The East Terrace never thought that a man who responded so elegantly to a red card in a world cup semi-final, refuses to complain about anything and, generally, has so much class and elegance would succumb to the greatest blight of modern rugby. Especially a red one.
Please join us all in a moment of silence as we absorb this sad news.
Update: Sam Warburton will serve a one match suspension from TheEastTerrace.com ESPNScrum Fantasy team for this revelation.
Long time readers of The East Terrace will remember this highly valued award (for those that missed it follow this LINK). It is awarded to those who refuse to go all common (read soccer like) after grounding the ball for a five point score, and simply trot back to their allocated field position to receive the forthcoming kick off.
For these true men there are no vulgar acts of fist-pumping, no interaction with the frenzied mob watching and no (God, forbid) premeditated hand signals or body movements. True men simply shake a few hands (maybe gracefully accept a few encouraging pats on the bottom) and simply get on with it.
We award Jonny for a career full of such dignified moments, but none more so than this calm reaction after a hugely well taken and very important try:
We leave you with a quote from Mr. Wilkinson in the Guardian this week:
“I’m not necessarily proud of the World Cups and the grand slams won or lost, the amount of points scored, this record or that. What I am proud of is I have searched for the best of me and I have been a team man without fail.”
Are you reading Mr. Armitage and Mr. Ashton?
On a glourious Sunday night in Eden Park, the All Blacks were guided towards the 2011 World Cup title in an exciting coronation ceremony in which the illusion of a genuine contest was presented to millions of armchair fans around the world.
There was only one minor hitch during the ceremony when, possibly out of nerves, Joubert accidently penalised New Zealand captain Richie McCaw for an infringement. The incredulous look on McCaw’s face spoke volumes of the flanker’s displeasure. However, normal service was resumed and the rest of the ceremony passed without incident.
By our rugby correspondent Mr. L.R. Jowett
England 13 Argentina 9
For Argentina: Penalty goals by unidentified (3).
No event in recent rugby football history has been so anticipated amongst the rugby fraternity as the opening match of England’s 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign.
Despite the fixture taking place far off in our most distant colonies, the amazing advances in communication technology in the modern era meant eyes from all over the civilised world were able to ‘tune in’ (if I may use modern parlance) and watch our stout yeomen take on the fiery South Americans.
The offences against the true spirit of rugby union in and around this encounter were manifold and, if the reader will permit me, I would like to indulge in a short tirade against these before moving onto the match itself.
I realise that to rally against the payment of players in modern rugby is to be of little avail, but I am personally still left with a sour taste in my mouth when I see so many young men spending their youth idly pursuing sporting honours rather than contributing to society in a more meaningful way. However, I am fully aware that bird has flown, so to speak, and will not return to the subject for the time being.
Furthermore, whatever the outcome of the matches themselves, I am still uncomfortable with the RFU’s decision to award full caps for matches against junior countries like Argentina. I remember in 1905 Scotland did not even deem the mighty New Zealand worthy of full cap status. I wonder what these leading administrators would make of today’s culture of awarding caps against all manner of lowly nations. I am of the firm belief it devalues our great game.
What is more, whilst one can admire the technical dexterity of the Colonials in Dunedin in building a rugby stadium with a roof, one wonders if the spectacle of rugby really should be played in such artificial conditions? Are not the elements of wind, rain, sleet and snow as much a part of rugby football as scrum time and lineouts?
And finally, before we move on to a report of the game itself, I must express my outrage at England wearing anything but white when playing. Even if there is a potential clash of regalia with opponents, surely as England are the founders and true guardians of the game it is for other teams to change colours? And if we are to use this method of numbering players like cattle (I am still uncomfortable with this dehumanising of our men) could it not be possible to affix numbers which do not disintegrate upon contact and leave us looking most slovenly? One cannot help but come to the conclusion than the outfits of the Englishmen had a negative impact on the team’s general mental constitution and the sporting goods firm Nike should be thoroughly ashamed of their crass and inferior product.
With just days remaining before the 2011 World Cup kicks off the New Zealand Rugby Union have launched a high profile campaign to remind the general public that rugby is 'only a game'.
The All Blacks' surprise failure in the Tri-Nations, alongside the ghost of repeated World Cup disappointments, has spurred the NZRU into a proactive attempt to dampen the public's expectations ahead of any potential failure to win the Webb Ellis trophy.
The campaign has been deemed so important that the All Blacks' management and players have delayed the start of their final training camp by a week to go door to door throughout New Zealand and personally speak with members of the public and ask them not to 'get too upset about what is, after all, just a game'. It is estimated the cost of the project will run into several million dollars.
Much to the chagrin of Kiwis everywhere the famous All Blacks have gained a notorious reputation for choking at the game's showpiece event. Every tournament from 1991 to 2007 has seen the men in black enter as favourites only to come unstuck when it matters. On each occasion the public has reacted with not only tears but also anger. Some financial experts even claim the failures damage the country's economy.
The 'It's Only a Game' campaign was kick started by an extraordinary press conference in Auckland on Thursday when head coach Graham Henry said that winning the World Cup would be 'very nice but of little overall importance in the grand scheme of life.."
For the full story: click HERE.
The East Terrace is proud to announce that Mr. Lewis R. Jowett has signed on to write for The East Terrace via Twitter.
Mr. Jowett wrote on rugby from the late 1870s until the early 1900s. He was believed to have perished at the tail end of 1905 whilst watching a rugger match on a bitterly cold December afternoon after forgetting to drink his usual glass of brandy.
However, 106 years later it seems the esteemed writer was simply a tad frozen and has, amazingly, thawed out just a few days ago.
Not wishing to dwell to long on his change of circumstances (and the death of all those who were dear to him), Mr. Jowett has committed himself to commenting on rugby for The East Terrace.
Those interested in following his musings should sign up for his Twitter feed at: http://twitter.com/#!/LRJowett