Saturday, September 03, 2011

This week's stuff

Ava’s Diary

Spent most of last week down at mam and dad’s caravan in Tresaith. Spent some time on the beach where I saw a baby seal, and a crab who ran away as fast as I did. I paddled in the sea and built sandcastles. We also went to St Dogmael’s fair where I had my face painted pink and white. Dad has posted some photos on Flickr.

Today was my friend Seren’s 4th birthday party. There was a bouncy castle and lots of cake. Who could ask for anything more. On the way home mam said she needed a stiff drink and I said I needed a “stiff pink milk”.

School starts again next week, or rather my pre-school nursery. It’s great fun, and I’m learning new things every day.

Ebbw Rugby Notes

Today marked the start of the Welsh rugby season, and Ebbw Vale got off to a great 30-14, bonus point win at Glamorgan Wanderers. Without the ringers they brought in for the playoffs they didn’t offer a lot of original thought (a bit like watching England) but Ebbw were turned over at the ruck and tackle for the Wands to have the majority of the ball. Ebbw looked very quick behind with the returning Wes Cunliffe and newbie Tom Ashmead on the wing and Tom Daly (no, not the diver) at fullback.

As was the case last season, things took a while to settle down, and Ebbw’s play wasn’t as calm and assured as it was late last year. A worrying trend was the way Ebbw lost the ball in the tackle and ruck areas. The Wands were good at turning Ebbw over and Ebbw clearing at the fringes combined with an apparent lack of urgency to get the ball away led to too may turnovers. Something for the coaches to work on in the friendly against Blaenavon next Tuesday.

Tries for Nicky Coughlin (catch and drive from a 5 metre line out), Tom Daly (after great work from Wes), Dan Deardon, Ross Jones (another short range effort) and a final length of the field effort from Tom Ashmead. One conversion and a penalty from sub outside half Dan Haymond.

I hope to be borrowing pictures from Ebbw’s two (!) official photographers Graham and Robbo, but in the meantime here’s one I took. Official reports are on the Ebbw Vale RFC website.

Other Rugby Notes

Watched quite a bit of the World Cup warm-up games and, for what its worth, here’s my two-penneth. The Australia-New Zeland game last weekend was a different sport to that being played in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia could well be the team to upset New Zealand this time around. As a commentator said at the weekend “New Zealand seem to be the best team in the world for 3 years and 10 months, but implode when the World Cup comes around. We’ll see if that happens again this time.

Wales seem to be the only one of the Home countries who want to play with enough pace to keep up with the Southern style of play. But anything beyond the quarter-finals would be enough to see Gatland canonised.

Er, RaboDirect Pro 12? OK. Hands up all those who thought this that it was something that Thora Hird would advertise? Is it a chairlift or a walk-in shower? No, it’s the Magners League.

Fantasy Football Notes

If it wasn’t enough to have the start of the rugby season, next week is the start of the NFL football season. As usual I’ve got a fantasy football team, and it looks good for the beginning of the season. Ava’s Steelmen looks like it could do well. The team is:

QB Peyton Manning (Colts)
RB Chris Johnson (Titans)
RB Tim Hightower (Redskins)
WR Anquan Boldin (Ravens)
WR Roddy White (Falcons)
WR Chad Ochocinco (Patriots)
TE Owen Daniels (Texans)

It’s going to be hard to root for all my guys though as I’m not exactly a fan of Manning’s style of football.  

Useless List of the Week

Twitter has its benefits. Danny Baker (@prodnose) and others have been contributing songs which could fit under the title of Rock and Roll StaNav. Here are a few:

Right back where we started from – Maine Nightingale 
(After 250 yards turn right into) the danger zone – Kenny Loggins
We're on the road to nowhere – Talking Heads            
Stop! (In the name of love) – Supremes 
Satellite of Nav – Lou Reed
Where do you go to my lovely? – Peter Starstedt
Paradise by the dashboard light – Meatloaf 
Where the streets have no name – U2
Down on the corner - CCR 
Highway 61 revisited – Bob Dylan

And the obvious winner:

Turn Turn Turn – The Byrds.

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