Rich's Rugby Ramblings

Slammin Sam

So Mr Burgess is being tipped to be involved in either the EPS or the Saxons when it's announced soon...... Yet has nothing but a luckily deflected try assist and an A league try to show for his fledgling stint at Union so far. Is this really someone we wan't in the England set up right now, this minute?

I've said so many bloody times now, LEAVE THE GUY TO LEARN THE GAME!

He was a pure passenger in the Leicester vs Bath game, playing in the supposedly creative 13 shirt and was totally outshone by Bath teammate Ollie Devoto, who ironically will be one of the likely men to miss out on Saxons duty if Burgess is included. Whether this can be purely attributed to him still learning, or the wet, boggy Welford Road pitch or simply the Tigers closing him out, it just proves he is in no way ready to step up to International Rugby just yet!

 

Wasps

OK, I keep talking about Wasps, but the move has happened now, so we're stuck with it (despite the blatant flaunting of a few key rules about not moving from your constituent area). Game 1 vs London Irish, all 32'609 seats were 'sold' out, Game 2 was a very impressive victory over an underpar Sale team and was watched by 15'323 people. So in the 2 week gap between the games, over 17'000 fans have already vanished. Wasps have said that they would be doing free or discounted tickets for the first 3 matches, but I think that drop from game 1 and 2 will concern a lot of the suits at the Ricoh. Results may be impressive, but they will not want the crowd to drop too much more before the ticket prices revert to full whack! I still predict the crowd will be under 10k by the seasons end.

It obviously still puts Wasps into a better position than they had at Adams Park, financially, but another side putting a small crowd in a 30'000+ seater stadium is not the best advert for the Premiership.

Fly half merry-go-round

Plenty of rumours that Bath are about to announce the 2 year signing of Rhys Priestland, which is not a surprise as Bath are currently being linked with every rugby player on the planet. Rhys has been treated abominably by the Welsh crowd, he's been regularly booed, every error has been magnified and he was made a scapegoat for a few fairly poor Welsh performances so it's not really a shock he'd walk away from the Welsh game, but to see him go to Bath where he'd be up against George Ford for the 10 jersey is maybe a little shocking, as you'd think he'd want to be first choice!!

More rumours have been James Hook going back to Wales, Jimmy Gopperth to Wasps (or Quins), Cipriani to Toulon (or Toulouse), Owen Williams to return to Wales.....

Gotta love silly season!!!

Disciplinary measures!

Dylan Hartley was sent off in the East Midlands derby for a mildly petulant elbow (the decision at the time wasn't helped by some great theatrical rolling about on the floor from Matt Smith!) watch the incident here. For this, he received a 3 week ban. My issue with this is that there is no way that he intended the elbow to land as cleanly as it did as he was being held and was facing the wrong direction to see Smith at the time. The red card was probably punishment enough for an act born of petulance rather than malice.

The following week, there was a very similar incident with Tom May elbowing Dan Leo and Leo basically pushing May over and pinning him down with a forearm. The elbowing was carbon copy of the Hartley incident - the bans handed out? 1 week each. So why the 3 week difference? Leo wasn't even deserving of a yellow card and was not happy at all with the situation according to his Twitter (sadly, the tweets were deleted) where he inferred that taking a dive like Matt Smith may help his cause next time!!

Can't really think of much else to write this week. So I'll leave it there!!!

 

RCK