A threesome with David Shute. THREE BLOGS i meant.... phew.

The Hit Parade!

My mate Ben is fond (overly in my view) of telling the story of an incident in a match down in Lydney.

I took a pass from him - I know, not as surprised as I was I can tell you – not only did he chuck it but I didn’t drop it! Anyway, I was just outside their 22 (that’s the 25 in old money) and was faced by two of their blokes - for some obscure reason I thought I could ghost between them – much as Gerald Davies did in a game on the ’71 Lions tour (against Hawkes Bay I think).

After all, these were blokes from the valley of the vegetables – how hard could it be?

I dummied left and right – one for each of them and set off at pace – when I came to I was a bit dazed but managed to spot Ben – he was laying on his back like a stranded turtle pissing himself laughing.

The fact that the Lydney lot spent most of the week pulling up reluctant turnips or picking up cows and chucking them onto the back of tractor carts should have been a bit of a clue I suppose – anyway I never tried to wriggle past big blokes (or little ones to be fair) ever again!

Which brings me to today’s post – thanks again once more to Fox Sports for another top 5 – this one features little blokes taking on big bastards.

http://www.joe.ie/rugby/rugby-news/video-rugby-hq-presents-the-top-five-...

Maybe Fox should do another top 5 – where some poor sods get munched by two blokes at the same time – I could do with a laugh!

The Travel Bug

Overheard in New Zealand RFU committee room -
Chairman: ”The teams up North are trying to nick our players”
Member 1: ”yeah – bastards”
Chairman: “They are targeting all the best lads”
Member 2 (giggling): “Well – they’d hardly want the rubbish ones would they!”
Chairman (ignoring him):”I mean, what have they even got to offer?”
Member 1:”More cash!”
Chairman: ”What?”
Mem2: ”well they do have rather a lot of dosh
Chairman :”Ok – fair enough, but apart from that?”
Member 1:”Cars”
Member 2:”Oh yes - they have really nice motors – ones with that little thing in the back that you can hang your jacket on”
Member 1:”and terrific sponsorship deals”
Chairman (getting annoyed) :“alright - but apart from cash, cars with coat hooks and sponsors - what have they got?”
Member 1:”the 6 Nations”
Member 2:”and lots of very nice looking groupies”
Chairman (losing patience): ”Okay, – but apart from cars, money, crumpet, sponsors and the 6 Nations, there’s not…
Member 2: “There’s that nice song..”
Chairman (fiercely): “Will you just shut up!”
There is an embarrassing silence and everyone pretends to look down at their notes.
Chairman (moving on): “Now about this Kiwi called Thor - who’s sorting out his passport then?”
Member 1:” …er……..he’s Tongan”
Chairman:” What?”
Member 2:” He’s .. well..he’s actually from Tonga, Mr Chairman
Member 1:” the clue’s sort of in the pre-fix!”
Chairman:” oh fuck off,”
At this point the meeting finished!

The Only Weigh Is Up 

I’ve posted before about the changing size and strength of rugby players – and I don’t mean me and the rest of the old blokes getting porky.

There was a scary statistic I read somewhere yesterday – apparently the combined weight of the England U20 front row is more than the front three in 2003 that won the World Cup! I never thought of Phil, Steve and Trev as being under nourished but it would appear that they had been existing on only the one Weetabix whilst down under. Nevertheless, despite this vitamin deficiency, they managed to demolish the Aussies. Andre obviously didn’t bother to eat his carrots that day as his eyesight was somewhat suspect when he tried to ref the front row – mind you he didn’t look like he’d missed out on too many cream buns!

I looked back at some of the Askean team photos in the 60s, 70s and 80s (years not player ages) and apart from the odd one or two there wasn’t a massive (sic) difference in all our sizes. I bet if you checked today though we’d all tip the scales a tad higher. Not me obviously – I was a fat bastard even back then!

You used to be able to tell what position a bloke played without looking at the number on his shirt – hookers and backs - especially scrum halves and wingers were generally a bit scrawnier. There were exceptions – Dunky and some of our New Zealand recruits looked more like props than backs – until they started legging it, that is. The rest of the backs looked pretty average – particularly me when I had the ball in hand (on the few occasions I didn’t drop it anyway).

Today, guys like Mike Philips, George North and any number of Islanders have broken the size stereotype – not to mention the ‘Tongan Thor’ who is now even more popular on YouTube than that stupid berk shouting out ‘Fenton’ over and over again.

The size, strength and hits are growing in the game – with the inevitable consequence that injuries are more frequent and serious.

I picked up more than my fair share of pretty nasty injuries (as you can read in the post on ‘Getting Hurt’ at www.rugbyoldbloke.wordpress.com ) – god knows how much worse it would have been if I’d had bastards the size of George North clattering me! Having said that, I mostly preferred to face a big sod rather than one of those nippy buggers who could make you look a right twat when they skipped past and left you clutching the space they’d been some time earlier.

I have no idea how all this will affect the game as it continues to develop but I suspect we still have a weigh to go!