Username Password
Chat about Rugby in our Forum
everything rugby
ArchiveArchive
2009 (5)
November (3)
Hi
Purple Drain Purple Drain
Northampton's Clarke can fill England shoes
December (2)
Ireland robbed - again
Gouging - rugby's shame
2010 (19)
January (4)
ENGLAND UNDER 20 SQUAD ANNOUNCED FOR SIX NATIONS
ENGLAND EPS and SAXONS SQUADS ANNOUNCED
WHO WILL CAPTAIN ENGLAND?
SEVENS HEAVEN
February (3)
MISSING BILL AND FINDING PROPS
SUPER 14 PREVIEW - ROUND ONE
England unchanged starting XV for Ireland at Twickenham
April (3)
THE BEST RUGBY WEEKEND OF THE YEAR?
Jimmy Gopperth - Newcastle's saviour
ADVANCE AUSTRALIA - TO WORLD CUP GLORY?
May (1)
ENGLAND TOUR PARTY ANNOUNCED
June (1)
England Under 20s v Australia - RFU press release
July (1)
England Squads announced
August (2)
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP - ROUND ONE PREVIEW
England Women's team for World Cup semi-final v Australia
September (1)
England Rugby Sevens squad for Commonwealth Games
October (2)
Delhi Diary - by England Sevens captain Ben Gollings
Prop Idol - Andrew Sheridan
November (1)
All Blacks triumph at Twickenham - Rupert Bates
2011 (37)
January (4)
Wallabies legend George Smith and Toulon help Queensland flood victims
WILL THE REBELS YELL? by Rupert Bates in Melbourne
England Saxons to play Italy A
MARC LIEVREMONT - profiled by Rupert Bates
February (6)
THE RUGBY WEEKEND REVIEWED - by Rupert Bates
England unchanged for Italy at Twickenham
ENGLAND DEBUT FOR CORBISIERO
England U20 thrash Italy in Bath
GARETH DELVE - THE FIRST WELSHMAN IN SUPER RUGBY
FEELING SORRY (just a little) for CIPRIANI
March (3)
Old Deer Park fund-raiser for Queensland and Christchurch
BIG WIN FOR ENGLAND U20
SCHOOLS RUGBY FINALS
April (1)
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP RUGBY AWARDS - NOMINATIONS
May (3)
HEINEKEN CUP FINAL
England XV to play Barbarians
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP FINAL - TEAMS
June (6)
England Saxons win Churchill Cup
England into Junior World Championship semi-finals
England World Cup training squad announced
England U20 team for World Junior Championship semi-final
England through to World Junior Championship final
NEW ZEALAND WIN JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
July (2)
IRB Junior Player of the Year short-list
He has climbed highest mountains...
September (5)
JONNY WILKINSON TALKS EXCLUSIVELY TO EVERYTHING RUGBY
THE DAY GEORGIA NEARLY CAUSED RUGBY'S GREATEST-EVER UPSET
HELL FREEZES OVER
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
GHOSTS OF BATTLES PAST
October (7)
WE FEEL YOUR PAIN
FALLING LEGENDS
GRASS ROOTS BUT CLEAN KIT
RED, RED WHINE
SPANGHERO - THE BOYS FROM BRAM
THIERRY DUSAUTOIR - IRB PLAYER OF THE YEAR
NEW ZEALAND WINS WORLD CUP
LabelsLabels
LinksLinks
Our Sponsor
Our Sponsor
Your NewsTHE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

Tuesday 27th September 2011
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

During the World Cup, Rupert Bates is writing a weekly column from the UK for Rugby News New Zealand magazine (www.rugby.co.nz) 
This article was first published in Rugby News September 22.
 


Privately Martin Johnson – Grumpy if a little bigger - was furious. The England players who tackled the dwarves, singing ‘swing low’ not ‘hi ho,’ clearly did not roll away.

What’s more a week later they repeated the offences – at the breakdown not the bar – against Georgia. The England squad is a great bunch of blokes, but they’ve got a Dopey and a Sleepy as well as a Hape.

Mike Tindall’s Stag do in Miami ahead of his wedding to Zara Phillips was referred to by one English newspaper as a ‘seven- hour drinking marathon’. That’s not a marathon; it’s barely the 400-metre Hurdles. A Buck’s weekend is one thing; professional sportsmen performing on the biggest stage of all, another.

It was meat, drink and royal jelly to the prurient press. If the News of the World had not closed, the infamous British tabloid would have had interviews with the dwarves - well seven of them anyway.

Nobody expects their players to be snow white – last dwarf gag for a while promise - but this was the height of idiocy, especially given Tindall’s wife is the Queen’s granddaughter.

Johnson got it wrong. Bungee jumping yes, for that is an adrenalin rush to enrich both body and soul. Relaxing over a few beers may be good for team bonding, but it is not the fuel of champions and in this all-seeing, all-judging age what goes on tour stays on CCTV.

Does Usain Bolt go for a barrel of rum between races at the Olympics? Actually scrub that. The Jamaican could drink the annual rum rations of the pirates of the Caribbean and still win at a stagger.

If anyone deserved to get epically drunk it was Ireland, a nation that has produced a few Olympic drinking champions down the years. The Irish forwards were immense against the Wallabies and I’m counting captain Brian O’Driscoll among them, as the centre could cut it as a Test seven.

We up north are now getting very excited as you big beast southerners could all end up on one side of the quarter-final draw. It’s like having Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in one half of the Wimbledon draw and Andy Murray in the other, except Murray doesn’t count in rugby terms, as he’s Scottish.

Whoops shouldn’t have said that. Scotland will now ruck England out of Eden Park.

Presumably if Wales had successfully appealed – if such a process existed - to have James Hook’s penalty re-instated, they would be regretting it now, as second in Pool D might be the best place to finish if Ireland has already produced its one big game.

Meanwhile France is doing its best to replicate its football team with its unique mixture of ennui and angst, not helped by Marc Lievremont being one croissant short of a continental breakfast.

I’m off to watch England get penalized against Romania. I hope the pub is not too crowded. I’m not very tall you see. Important to end on a low.


Posted by: , on September 27th 2011 on 08:04am
Leave a Comment

Name:
Email:
Website:

Comment:
Sponsors
join Free
Free Site
Online Coaching
Directory