There has been much talk of the Rugby World Cup around here lately, so I feel the time has come to lower the tone considerably, and take a look at some amateur rugby league. This is the vicious 1997 Yorkshire Cup final between Siddal and Featherstone Lions, featuring a fabulous fight and a move on 41 seconds that Ric Flair would be proud of.
The dark horses. A team that has quietly been bulking up both physically and form-wise for the last two years and should be in with a shout, if they can keep enough players out of the sin-bin in every match. The return of Schalk Burger is a big bonus, and in Bryan Habana they have probably the best wide man in the world.
Key Player: Victor Matfield
The naming of the England side to face France on Saturday, and indeed the whole England squad, suggests that Yoda Ashton has decided to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon that is an inescable part of modern life. With Christmas rapidly approaching, and to tie in with the Rugby World Cup, I think the RFU would do well to release an England Old Skool compilation album, feturing such titles as:
Fans travelling to the quarter-final to be held at the Millennium Stadium on 6th October have today been informed that there will be only one train back to London, 30 minutes after the final whistle. Anyone who has attended a match in Cardiff will tell you that there is no way you can get into the station within thirty minutes, unless you shoot everyone in front of you in the queue.*
We all know that New Zealand take a great deal of pride in the Haka, it is a motivational tool, a symbol of their cultural heritage, and a chance to scare the opposition a bit. Also, you disrespect it at your peril, as Wales discovered last year at the Millennium Stadium.
Frank Hadden, coach of the most improved team of the summer if last weekend is anything to go by has announced his squad for the Rugby World Cup. The only uncapped player to make the final thirty is Glasgow flanker John Barclay.
Jerry Guscott really gets on my nerves. Whatever the pros and cons of Andy Farrell’s inclusion in the England Rugby World Cup squad, and there are plenty of both, Guscott cannot resist having a pop at the former GB Rugby League captain.
We all know the score, New Zealand look unstoppable in-between World Cups, and then for some reason come the actual tournament itself they cock it all up. Let’s look at the full list of excuses/reasons for them losing since their solitary win in 1987, and then have your say in our poll.