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Still on the Guinness. Only my fourth can. My son came back from a skiing trip today so I couldn't go down the club and get blotto with the boys. Good job, think I would've jumped off the railway bridge in drunken depression. :(

Don't know if I can bring myself to read the papers tomorrow. Anyway Andre, hope you wake up with a sore head - otherwise you didn't try hard enough! :)

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Ouch, you never told me the railway bridge was that high. I must have fell on my head, it hurts this morning.

I think I should have a head shooter this afternoon, watching the last game of the weekend.:) Going back to sleep for another 2 hours now!

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Too close. Wales rubbish again. My prediction: 16:22 result 16:24. Not bad.

Wales deserved to win that one, mainly because Bergamasco (known as McDonald Fiasco here for obvious reasons) kicking was total crap. If Italy ever find someone who can kick consistently well, they might actually not come last in the six nations every year.

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Wow, what a game just finished. England, on their home turf, well done. Not what I expected at least. Palmer deserved man of the match.

Blinding game of rugby. Not pretty at all, but talk about physical commitment from both sides.

For me, the revelation was the way that England were able to come out after the half time team talk and completely ramp up the game, pushing forwards into the breakdown and correct the errors of the first half. The French didn't look prepared for that.

Fair play to the French (and the weather) for totally shutting down Ashton, apart from the forward pass 'try' which was a shame - although not as big a shame as Tindall being giving a 'non' for his which, to be fair, I thought looked OK.

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Yep, forwards won it. I though English backs were better as well.

Edited by diafol: n/a

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Possibly. Looking at the stats, the only real difference between the sides, were these:

Freekicks conceded: 1-5
Ruck+drive: 24-11
Ball won opponents 22: 24-7
Turnovers won: 7-3

Other than those, the stats suggest parity. That's not the game I saw though. The French scrum had a bit of a slap. The French certainly had a problem with loose forward play, as exemplified by the ruck/drive.

Although the English played well, the French were a little colourless at times.

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For some reason the phrase 'luck of the Irish' keeps ringing around my head today. I felt sorry for Scotland not coming away with the win, to be honest, and I have Irish blood (I'm of Irish Romany descent on the paternal side of the family, Arab on the maternal) in me.

Also, Nigel Owens had a stinker of a game IMHO. If he got them any closer in the scrum he'd have to shout "Crouch, Kiss, Cuddle, Engage" I reckon. I know it's easy to lambast the refs, and I bloody love it (the wife will testify to my anti-ref ranting during televised matches) but Nigel made some really bad decisions which cost the Scots dear in that game.

Ireland will need to kick most of their team into touch and start from scratch if they want to make any real impact during the World Cup methinks. They are just starting to look, well, really old and stale.

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Used to be we have limping French refs, blind Irish refs, then the incompetent English refs, now the downright rubbish Welsh refs. It's all cyclic! The Scots refs will be rubbish in 5 years time

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You have not seen all of the South African refs as yet, they are not far behind the rest of the world.:) It seems like a prerequisite to become a ref.

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I love Brian Moore :)
I hated him as a player (obviously), but he's got to be the best commentator since Old Bill hung up his mic. Eddie Butler is a close second, but you can keep Jeremy Guscott and Jonanthan Davies - they're absolutely atrocious.

Edited by diafol: n/a

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Quite agree about Jonanthan Davies. Decent enough player in his day, but what an annoying git as a commentator.

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I have missed a few posts. I saw that the coach for Italy, Nick Mallet (old S.A. Coach) is quite happy with the "improved attacking game" of his team. I know now why he is not our coach anymore. See why I supported Iraly initially.:) Now I'm for Wales, thanks to Ardav.;)

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Tigers v Saracens should be an interesting match, what with the core of the Tigers team on international duty and the core of Saracens being South African so pretty much a full strength squad there.

Not to mention the fact that Saracens are the only team to win at Welford Road since October 2008, of course :)

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Of course.:)

We'll see what happens on the 5th.

Some great names, Schalk Brits, Neil De Kock, Derick Hougaard. They have a strong team and they play well as a team.

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I thought that he might be declared fit but it seems that Gavin Henson is still playing flyhalf. Nothing serious though, still a tight knit team.

I am sure ardav is smiling.;)

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Henson? Nah, he was so crap that Saracens released him from his contract after just a couple of games and he can now be found being very crap for Toulon. :)

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Saracens did sign Charlie Hodgson, but he's not starting until next season. Which kind of leaves them a bit short in the 'really good fly half' department.

And that's about the only good news for Tigers at the weekend I reckon.

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You're going to break Ardav's heart and might drive him to drinking (more). It seems I am out of touch with what is happening up there.:)

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Hoi HG, old twinkle toes is a legend! Ok, a dancing legend, I admit, but still a legend.

I don't know how wise the move to Toulon will pan out to be for Henson. He is without doubt an amazing player, but he has not played serious rugby for so long, I'm concerned that he'll never regain the promise of 4 years ago.

People rate him highly due to his profile more than anything. I think his courting of fame may backfire on him.

Edited by diafol: n/a

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I actually had a look at his profile. I don't know him that well, but it looked impressive. As I said, I'm not that "tuned" into the north as would be desirable. Anything going on "southbound" I'm fairly on the strings.:)

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People rate him highly due to his profile more than anything. I think his courting of fame may backfire on him.

Henson narks me as he has pretty much proven that he doesn't take rugby seriously enough. The guy was a total genius, then decided he liked the 'celeb' thing a little too much.

To think that he somehow has a right to come straight back into the game at the same level as he left it, on his terms, after pretty much sticking his middle finger up at the game for the last couple of years is, to be kind, delusional of him. He just does not deserve a first team place at any first flight team until he has proven he can still play. The evidence so far would suggest he cannot.

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@HG - can't agree more. Imagine our befuddlement at the fact that the WRU chose him as the face of their advertising campaign just before Christmas. I reckon a soup dragon was involved somewhere in that plot.

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Who is playing flyhalf if he is not playing?

I think Saracens are playing Owen Farrell, son of Andy Farrell, at the moment. He's actually pretty good for a kid, but he is still a kid and needs his game to mature somewhat before you'd consider him a rel top flight premiership player in my opinion.

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@HG - can't agree more. Imagine our befuddlement at the fact that the WRU chose him as the face of their advertising campaign just before Christmas. I reckon a soup dragon was involved somewhere in that plot.

I felt really sorry for the Welsh lads who had been giving their all, playing for the national team and giving their all and yet were looked over for that gig in favour of someone who had pretty much proven he couldn't give a toss about club or country.

Seriously, you guys need to get rid of Warren Gatland and the upper echelons of the Welsh game who employ him...

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