Ireland robbed - again
Now my father-in-law is a New Zealander, beautiful country and all that, but Richie McCaw IRB Player of the Year? I don’t think so. A great flank forward, McCaw has however missed a chunk of games and admittedly the All Blacks have missed him, for this has been a distinctly average New Zealand season. It had to go to Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, having led Ireland to the Grand Slam, key to Leinster lifting the Heineken Cup and just being an all-round inspiration on the British Lions tour of South Africa. I’m sure the votes had already been cast by then, but the sight of O’Driscoll clattering Springboks full-back Zane Kirchner in the last play of the match to hold the Irish line and victory at Croke Park on Saturday summed up the man. It’s not quite up there with the hand of Thierry Henry in terms of grand theft, but the Irish are not happy that the hand of Bod is not on the world player of the year trophy. Not happy at all. Oh well at least it wasn’t won by a Frenchman.
Strewth, Australia have a front-row. Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander are terrific young props either side of hooker Stephen Moore and they gave the Welsh scrum an almighty hard time in Cardiff. Matt Giteau was back to his best after his wobble at Murrayfield; proving that form is temporary and class is permanent, while flanker David Pocock, an adopted Aussie from Zimbabwe, looks a real hunter-gatherer on the Wallaby openside. Robbie Deans is an exceptionally canny coach and the New Zealander could just have the Australians peaking in time for the World Cup on his home soil. If he won the World Cup with Australia in New Zealand Deans would never see Christchurch again.
Who are the best rugby tweeters? I follow Everything Rugby’s Tom May on Twitter from Toulon and there is plenty of Paris banter from Ollie Phillips and James Haskell. Will Greenwood tweets with his Sky Sports hat on and Phil Vickery is just getting the hang of it. All Blacks fans can follow the musings of prop Neemia Tialata and wing Cory Jane.
Jason Leonard tweets plenty but it is about his new venture The Construction Network, not rugby, while former England scrum-halves Matt Dawson and Kyran Bracken are still locked in competition; this time for the number of followers.
Others on Twitter are London Irish lock Nicky Kennedy – why is he not in the England second-row? – and Gloucester wing Tom Voyce. I am also intrigued by the French tweets of Sebastian Chabal - Marcel Proust in a jockstrap.
It has not been the best of autumns for England defence coach Mike Ford as Martin Johnson and his coaching team come in for all sorts of stick. But Ford can take refuge and huge pride in watching the progress of his offspring. One son Joe has broken into the Leeds first team aged 19, while 16-year-old George Ford, the England U18 fly-half, was short-listed for this month’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. George last month became the youngest player to take part in a professional club game when he played for Leicester in an LV Cup game at Leeds – against his older brother Joe.
Posted by: , on December 01st 2009 on 11:09pm