Friday, 27 November 2009

On Rugby

I don't want to turn this into a sports blog but......

Even out here, you can't miss the Autumn internationals.  African Media is so dominated by South African product and South Africa so dominated by rugby that it is easier to catch the full calendar of fixtures here than back home in chilly London.

Mother moustache was visiting so I asked her to bring a selection of rugby print, to see what Brian Moore, Mick Cleary and the eminent mr Stephen Jones were banging on about.  Brian Moore was candid about his opinions clearly a man out to sell his talents rather than offer real insights into the game; I think he's be honest about that.

It was Stephen Jones who attracted my attention with his byline in Rugby World

"STEPHEN JONES rugby correspondent of the Sunday Times for more than 20 years, is one of the sport's most outspoken and influential journalists"

A little pompous perhaps - 

Outspoken, well yes if by that you mean wild innaccurate and blustering much like the tale you can hear in any Ghanaian expat bar of the adventure that we should have had.  Flights of  fantasy are Mr Jones' speciality, he will pilot you through the "widely held consesus" of his own pontification.  "England need 3 wins from 3 nothing less!" - Really?  I mean really really, Autumn internationals mean very little but for world ranking places, I would say they are an excellent place to blood new talent before the real combat of the six nations.  The RWC has changed world rugby there are games that don't need a win just an improvement.  I think Martin Johnson has done well to hold the Good Ship England together, plenty of decisions I didn't agree with but Rugby has become about the long game and the big prize.  Everyone is looking for the cycle or structure that will see their international team be the first to win and retain the RWC.  I think the Autumn internationals have done a great deal to strengthen England's strength in depth, we know things we didn't Monye is not a fullback but is a great wing, club form is not international form (Jordan Crane).  England can rise from this tough break and turn it into an impressive six nations tournament. OK tub thumping done!

Oh and Mr Jones if you have been this influencing force for 20 years please stop.  in the last 20 years the game I love has gone from a beautifully balanced sport for all shapes and sizes to the hideous crassness of the Rugby League with better set pieces sport of today.

All the best TMBTM