Sunday, September 18, 2011

This week's stuff

Rugby Notes
Bargoed mugging

Ebbw got beaten (and beaten up) by Bargoed in D1E. Lost 18-19 and Bargoed deserved the win. They played like they wanted it more, and scored the only two tries of the game. All Ebbw’s points came from the boot of Dorian Jones.

The referee struggled to keep up with all of the off-the-ball nonsense which started with a collection of high tackles, and deteriorated to an emormous brawl towards the end – not quite a “99” call but not far away. Bargoed had a player sent off for kicking that one off but it was too late in the game to affect the result.

My Ebbw man of the match was number 8 David Barry who seemed to be a main target of the Bargoed mugging (see pic).

RWC Notes

Wales sneaked past Samoa today. They survived through a stunning defensive effort, including a couple of goal line stands. But they need to improve in attack if they are going to make an impression in the competition.

Little Shane
One piece of good news for Wales is that Ireland’s win over Australia means that Wales’ half of the draw (assuming they finish second in the group) is likely to have none of the bog 3 southern hemisphere teams. If games go according to form (and that is a huge “if”) then it could be a quarter final against Ireland and a semi final against either England or France.

Russia gave the USA a scare. Kingsley Jones’ Russian isn’t very good, but from what they showed on TV be seemed to be getting his message across in English.

It was refreshing to listening to Talk Sport’s radio coverage when driving to Aberystwyth last week. Never-the-diplomat Brain Moore was better than any of the frankly poor ITV commentators.

Start the Car
Top game of cricket at Sophia Gardens (er, SWALEC Stadium) on Friday. There was nothing to play for in the last One Day International between England and India but, fair play, both sides played hard. Of course it being Autumn and it being Wales it rained quite a bit (see 2010 Ryder Cup) but the rain seemed to add to the tension.

Dravid and Bairstow
Pre-game there were so many ex-internationals around it was hard to keep score. TV crews from Sky (Gower, Botham, Bumble), Channel 5 (Boycott, Nicholas) and TMS (er, Vic Marks) were present in abundance.

It was the end of one great one-day career (Rahul Dravid) and the start of another one (Jonny Bairstow the son David Bairstow, Yorkshire keeper and one of the players I aspired to be growing up).

Bopara and Bairstow’s hitting at the end was very impressive – the umpires has to send for extra balls as at least four went into the Taff. Poor Samit Patel though, his fielding was shocking and simply not up to international standard. He put down two catches, the first of which, as Boycott once said “my mam could have caught that in her pinny”.

Huge crowd with a majority of them being India fans. I reckon the West Midlands was empty as I heard Brummie accents aplenty. A top day out, and I shall be getting a ticket to see South Africa in Cardiff next season.

Glamorgan Notes

There will be a new name in one day cricket next season as Glamorgan Dragons change their name to the Welsh Dragons. The Welsh Dragons will compete in the CB40 and Friends Life t20 competitions from 2012.

What a pile of marketing tosh. An excuse for new replica shirts at fifty quid a throw. Why not spend a little more time trying to get a better product on the field?

At least next year Glamorgan/Wales will have a local boy, Abergavenny-born Mark Wallace, as captain.

Website of the Week

The Kraken Wakes is a new blog from the Janes/Veale household, and it isn’t mine. So note that the rantings contained therein are not suitable for family viewing. But they are very funny.

Things I Think

I think that Dragon’s Den is almost unwatchable. No, it’s not Duncan Bannatyne’s “I’m oot”. It’s the endless recapping from Evan Davies, probably the most annoying man on TV. The show is now dumbed down to such an extent that almost every “I’m out” (or oot) is followed by a voiceover “another dragon is out”. Argh!

I think that I had almost given up on Doctor Who. After a pretty poor run back in the early summer, I wasn’t overly excited at its return. But the last few episodes have been excellent. Spotted the Millennium Centre and Duffryn Gardens as settings for last week’s episode too.

I think that, conversely, Torchwood set off at a cracking pace and ended at a crawl. The deeply annoying and unlikeable Rex hasn’t helped. If he grabs his chest one more time I’m going to send him to Category Zero with my own hands.

I think that it was great to watch the Tour of Britain cycle race. The Welsh stage was Welshpool to Caerphilly, and I reckon the tourist board couldn’t have done a better job of promoting Wales. The helicopter views of mid Wales were spectacular.

I think the best TV review I’ve read in a long time was about Page Eight: “vacuous, pinko tosh.”

I think that Justin Lee Collins’ comment when sitting in for Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2 speaks volumes. “He’s off hugging idiots.”

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