Rugby Football 22-23

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Stuart Lancaster took over an old and ailing team and made it very good, before he lost his way prior to the 2015 World Cup. Eddie Jones took over, built on Stuart's foundations, and created something that was almost-great. That cannot and should not be taken from him.

But now it's same old, same old, with the players of 2019 preferred to the galaxy of up-and-comings, no one able to think, no flexibility. Worse still, even when England were crap, they always had a big, roughie toughie pack. Now our pack is a bunch of pussies. Old pussies, mostly. I don't know if we've got a front five capable of competing. Even Itoje is looking ordinary. What we have got, is enough players for three or four back rows. Ironically, Stuart Lancaster didn't have any flankers to choose from, apart from Robshaw, Robshaw and Robshaw.

Perhaps the exodus of English players to France will be halted, now players know they're in with a chance of selection. Richard Cockerill has taken over for now, once a member (the B) of the famous ABC club...a lifetime ago. He has done well in Scotland.

I agree, Donnylad, please, PLEASE not Diamond. I wouldn't buy a used car from him; I wouldn't buy a NEW car from him. Or from Eddie, to be honest. They are both political animals and manipulators. I agree too about O'Gara. Avoid.
 
Last edited:

Newby

Well-known member
There does seem to be a bit of an exodus of England players to France, Cowan-Dickie, Marchant and Simmonds in the last few days. Is it because they think they wouldn't get picked by Jones to play for England, because the Premiership isn't all it's cracked up to be and may be in serious financial trouble, or because of the money they can earn in France. Perhaps it's a bit of all three.

Ronan O'Gara has ruled himself after signing a long extension at La Rochelle, nice part of France.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
The Heineken starts this weekend, and we'll see how the English clubs match up against the French ones, the Irish provinces, and now the S African franchises. I think the reduced pay-cap has reduced the bench strength, at least. Older players will go for money alone, and there's an exodus from N Zealand following each world cup. It's sad when the likes of Marchant leave, because he's one of the brightest talents around, and young.

Mercer, however, is returning, and I think the others all start their French contracts after the world cup next autumn. So, potentially, a couple of seasons improving their rugby education, broadening the experience of life, and return, as better players, in time for the next WC.
 

Newby

Well-known member
Long trip for Leeds Tykes to Plymouth Albion, turns out the pitch is too hard and both teams have agreed to call the game off. Sickener.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
All the games in Nat 2N were off, except on the plastic pitches at Preston and Chester. Two defeats for Yorkshire, with Rotherham - unbelievably - going down to Hoppers, and Wharfedale suffering yet another last minute defeat at Chester.

Higher up the food chain, Donny beat London Scottish 15-14 (level 2, Championship). No other Yorkshire teams in action at National level.

There is a 'protocol' around postponing games. It is considered ideal to postpone before the visiting side set off, so decisions are made earlier when long distances are involved. This means the decisions are more likely to be wrong, of course. An 'officer' of the league / referees society makes the decision, and he must not be a member of the home club, though he will generally be local.

There is a further complication, that the league / referee cannot compel a team to play.Park Lane pitch 10-12-2022.jpg

Obviously a case of cover your arse, because a serious injury in those circumstances could lead to litigation. This is Park Lane today, where I was going to watch Sedge 2s v Blackburn 2s.

We had a case at Sedgley a few years ago, when Sandal refused to play, although our pitch was in perfect condition, apart from wet grass. Sandal - who were a weak team anyway, and well below full strength on the day - declared it 'waterlogged', which it absolutely was not.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Great stuff from the Heineken this weekend. That, and the cricket, made up for being frozen off.

They have restructured the European competitions this year - by including S African sides, for a start. They have also incorporated some of the features forced upon them by Covid last year, and which worked well. There are now two pools of 12, and each pool has 4 teams from the French Top 14, 4 from the English Prem, and 4 from the URC, which includes S African, Scottish, Italian and Welsh franchises, and also the Irish provinces. In practice, of the 8 qualifiers, there are 3 each from S Africa and Ireland, and 1 each from Wales and Scotland. None from Italy.

The new feature is that you don't play games against clubs from your own domestic competition, so Exeter (for example) play Castres, home and away, and the Bulls from Pretoria, home and away. Just 4 pool games for everyone. At this point, the top 8 in each Pool of 12 go into a straight knock-out. 9th and 10th drop into the second-tier European Challenge Competition.

Exeter winning in Castres was one of the highlights. Best game of all was probably Bulls 42-36 Lyon. If you only watch one game of rugby this year.....
Also Sharks (Durban) 39-31 Harlequins, and Saracens 30-26 Edinburgh, a game of high quality.

I have just finished watching Ospreys 17-23 Leicester, which was the worst game I saw. Awful. Dire first half. Ospreys fielded a side full of British Lions and Wales Internationals. Leicester rested most of their star players. The game was lit up in the second half by an Anthony Watson try, which was up there with any you would ever see. How England have missed him while he has been injured! So Wales' only team has lost at home against an English almost 2nd XV. Ospreys' other opponents are Montpellier. Good luck! Leicester play Clermont Auvergne, which won't be easy either.
 

Karma

Well-known member
Great stuff from the Heineken this weekend. That, and the cricket, made up for being frozen off.

They have restructured the European competitions this year - by including S African sides, for a start. They have also incorporated some of the features forced upon them by Covid last year, and which worked well. There are now two pools of 12, and each pool has 4 teams from the French Top 14, 4 from the English Prem, and 4 from the URC, which includes S African, Scottish, Italian and Welsh franchises, and also the Irish provinces. In practice, of the 8 qualifiers, there are 3 each from S Africa and Ireland, and 1 each from Wales and Scotland. None from Italy.

The new feature is that you don't play games against clubs from your own domestic competition, so Exeter (for example) play Castres, home and away, and the Bulls from Pretoria, home and away. Just 4 pool games for everyone. At this point, the top 8 in each Pool of 12 go into a straight knock-out. 9th and 10th drop into the second-tier European Challenge Competition.

Exeter winning in Castres was one of the highlights. Best game of all was probably Bulls 42-36 Lyon. If you only watch one game of rugby this year.....
Also Sharks (Durban) 39-31 Harlequins, and Saracens 30-26 Edinburgh, a game of high quality.

I have just finished watching Ospreys 17-23 Leicester, which was the worst game I saw. Awful. Dire first half. Ospreys fielded a side full of British Lions and Wales Internationals. Leicester rested most of their star players. The game was lit up in the second half by an Anthony Watson try, which was up there with any you would ever see. How England have missed him while he has been injured! So Wales' only team has lost at home against an English almost 2nd XV. Ospreys' other opponents are Montpellier. Good luck! Leicester play Clermont Auvergne, which won't be easy either.

Although Rugby is not my first love, I am interested, and your post, like your others is both interesting and informative. I'm learning bit by bit. Thanks
 
Last edited:

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Sedge already off, Saturday, so I can now reasonably attempt an all-night cricket vigil, from Brisbane to Karachi.

The RFU has approved Wasps' rescue plan, subject to some reasonable [my opinion] conditions being met. They have refused Worcester's plan, the bidders having already stated they are unable or unwilling to meet the RFU's conditions. They seem to be the sort of people sport can well be without.
 

Newby

Well-known member
Leeds Tykes are playing Sale FC at Headingley tomorrow, kick of 2pm. Undersoil heating at Headingley so that game at least should survive the weather.

I see the Premiership is due for a re-launch in 2024, not sure what that is all about. I don't get totally immersed in it but I do like to read the odd article on Rugby Union. I do worry about the sport managing to pay it's way when sponsorship etc may be harder to come by. Lots of wages to pay, including women's teams who I would suspect cost a lot more than they bring in.

Surely this nonsense of travelling back and forth to South Africa to play teams in the European competitions is asking for trouble. I know a lot of Super league clubs were glad to see the back of Toulouse and that's was much less expensive to travel to.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Leeds were ahead for much of the game against Sale FC, but lost at the death as usual. The one bonus point might prove valuable.
Hull already look doomed, but only three points separate Leeds, Taunton, Esher and Chinnor. When hostilities resume in January, Leeds begin with Cinderford (A), but then it's Esher (H), Chinnor (A) and Hull (H). Three of the five will be relegated.

On the European front, it is already obvious that clubs are manipulating the system, given that 16 of the 24 qualify. Gloucester sent a 2nd XV to Leinster, presumably on the basis that even their best XV would stand no chance. There were paltry crowds at Cape Town and at Montpellier, where the Ospreys won. French clubs have always prioritised their own Top 14 ahead of the Heineken. Ulster had to play behind closed doors in Dublin because their Belfast pitch was deemed unfit, though they say it wasn't.

Nevertheless, today was a feast of rugby, and English clubs are doing well, wage-cap or no. Despite myself, I finished up watching Saracens. Owen Farrell does my head in, and should be sent off for merely existing, but they played very well in a high-standard game.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Leicester Tigers coaching duo Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield confirmed today as England coaches, going forward (as some say). This to some extent redresses the lack of Northern representation at the higher levels of RU - see below.

Borthwick was born in Carlisle, but attended Hutton GS, Preston (which school my North Manchester HS used to play). He played his early senior rugby for Preston Grasshoppers, before making his name with Bath and, later, Saracens.

Sinfield was born in Oldham and played for Waterhead ARLC before moving to Leeds Rhinos, where he had a long and illustrious career. He finished with a season for Leeds RU before turning to coaching, and he has clearly made a huge impression at Leicester.

There are plenty of Northern players on the RU circuit, a few with RL backgrounds like Farrell, Ford, Mercer, but Northern clubs are few and far between:
Premiership: 13 Clubs (at start of season) - Sale Sharks (currently 2nd) and Newcastle Falcons (9th)
Championship: 12 Clubs - Doncaster (5th) and Caldy (11th).
National 1: 14 clubs - Sale FC (1st), Darlington Mowden Park (8th), Leeds (13th) and Hull (14th).

So that's only 8/39, and several of those are in relegation trouble already.

I look forward to watching England now they've got grown-ups in charge. We've seen in cricket the difference that a change of management can make, and instantly, with the same players, near enough.
 

Newby

Well-known member
Good luck to the new England coaching team, the addition of Kevin Sinfield will certainly perk up my interest. Former RL and Dual code players seem to have found success for other national teams.
 
Last edited:

Hawke

Administrator
Staff member
Good luck to the new England coaching team, the addition of Kevin Sinfield will certainly perk up my interest. Former RL and Duel code players seem to have found success for other national teams.
Yes RL men are here, there and everywhere in the other code.
 

Newby

Well-known member
Yes RL men are here, there and everywhere in the other code.
Dual rather than Duel.

I wonder if there is, or if they could devise a spelling test to be taken once a year by us aged ones as a guide to how quickly we are losing our faculties.
 

Karma

Well-known member
Dual rather than Duel.

I wonder if there is, or if they could devise a spelling test to be taken once a year by us aged ones as a guide to how quickly we are losing our faculties.
I understand the nature of this pest. Doctors tend to ask a series of questions : name, date of birth , can you name the Prime Minister?
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Cricket is more of a duel than rugby, though prop v prop, wing v wing, etc.

There is another pest to spelling, and that is pre-programmed fingers. If you can type reasonably well (and I learned to type, almost by chance, one very wet Saturday afternoon half a century ago)...if you can type, your subconscious gets used to patterns, and you can start a word with familiar letters, then the brain takes over and adds the usual ending, even though you meant to type something different. You meant 'sprout' and you type 'spring', for example.

Muscle memory. Weird. Try putting your trousers on, 'wrong' leg first, or your coat, wrong arm. Left leg, right arm, for me.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Some good RU over the festive season, an avenue of pleasure that is closed to the RL fan, these days.

Best was London Irish beating Saracens. There's something about them I can't abide, beginning with an unsmiling coach who reminds me of Duncan Fletcher or Andy Flower. Then, I started to type the word 'obnoxious' and my spell-checker came up with 'Owen Farrell'. I thought Matthew Carley had an awesome game with the whistle, and stood up to the would-be bully brilliantly. At least, rugby refs have teeth, and backing from the governing bodies.

Quins play tomorrow. Should have been in front of a bumper crowd at Twickers, but the rail strike has resulted in it being switched back to The Stoop.

Welsh games on free TV today, and Donny lead Caldy 19-7 at HT. Not sure if it's being streamed anywhere.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Brilliant game in the rain today, Bristol winning at Quins. It stair-rodded throughout the game, lots of mistakes, very physical, old-fashioned game. No mud, though. They wouldn't believe the conditions we used to play in.

So the bottom teams have beaten the top in the Prem over Christmas. Top of table Saracens have a points difference of only +89 after 10 games, with bottom club, now Bath, just -28.

I think Nat 2N is pretty competitive, but Sedge after 12 games are +206 and Blaydon -209.

35 years on, it's hard to believe how fiercely the traditionalists fought the introduction of leagues. Some clubs actually refused to join them, at the beginning.
 

Newby

Well-known member
Brilliant game in the rain today, Bristol winning at Quins. It stair-rodded throughout the game, lots of mistakes, very physical, old-fashioned game. No mud, though. They wouldn't believe the conditions we used to play in.

So the bottom teams have beaten the top in the Prem over Christmas. Top of table Saracens have a points difference of only +89 after 10 games, with bottom club, now Bath, just -28.

I think Nat 2N is pretty competitive, but Sedge after 12 games are +206 and Blaydon -209.

35 years on, it's hard to believe how fiercely the traditionalists fought the introduction of leagues. Some clubs actually refused to join them, at the beginning.
I see there is some fall-out from this match with Joe Mahler being charged with what sounds like a bit of sledging. All part of the game a few years ago but not now seemingly. You have to be very careful who you share a bit of banter with these days.

I can see both sides, and progress is progress I suppose and it will all lead to a nicer kinder world in the end I'm sure.
 
Top