By Pete Moore On May 18th, 2013 at 9:46 pm
What a pleasure this evening to see Jonny Wilkinson lift the Heineken Cup, and what a game it was. He, and the Toulon team he captains, lined up against a Clermont Auvergne outfit in Dublin who were favourites because of a stellar backline that had swept all before them this season. Well he and his team won because of the oldest truth of all on any sporting stage: if you dig in, and if you don’t give up, you have a chance. That’s exactly what they did and they won 16-15 in an unbelievably tense finale, at one stage hanging in by their fingernails.
How good was Jonny? In the QF, SF and tonight he didn’t miss a single kick at goal. Added was his characteristic tackling, smashing into Sivivatu to prevent a certain try and getting there, to put off David Skrela from an attempted drop goal, which would have won it at the death for Clermont.
After all those times his white face grimaced in pain and frustration as another injury struck, this is damned well deserved for one of the greats.
By Pete Moore On May 8th, 2013 at 9:09 pm
At last, at long last, Fergie’s had enough of Manchester. After 27 years at Old Trafford I’ve had enough of him, frankly. Off he goes to his retirement with my very best wishes, as long as it’s permanent.
Everton’s David Moyes is the red hot favourite to be appointed his successor, which I think is marvelous because I don’t rate him at all.
By Pete Moore On February 8th, 2013 at 7:01 pm
Because Friday night is Music Night: the big one
Week 2 of the 6 Nations is here. Tomorrow Scotland is at home to Italy. After their sensational win over France in Rome last week I fancy a buoyant Italy to do it again in Edinburgh. Straight after is France v Wales in Paris. It’ll be a different French team from a week ago, particularly with Thierry Dusautoir returning. After Ireland’s win in Cardiff last week Wales are on an 8-game losing streak. They’ll make that 9 tomorrow.
Then on Sunday afternoon it’s the big one: Ireland v England in Dublin, which is always a special fixture. It’s forty years this weekend since England played in Dublin despite Wales and Scotland pulling out because of the Troubles. Brendan Gallagher has a nice piece about it in The Telegraph.
When England went to Dublin two years ago we were roughed up, beaten up, pushed back, trodden on, had our shorts pulled down and our arses spanked. Last year at Twickenham a fresh, new look England demolished the Irish scrum. The first one went badly for Ireland and that was as good as it got. It was a crushing, prompting Brian Moore to say that England had manshamed the Ireland pack. Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross will be thinking “not again”.
So what of Sunday? If England again dominate the scrum then we’ll win because Farrell win kick the points and Ireland will find it hard to retain ball. Ireland is strong of course in the back row, and if they’re sharp at the breakdown (like two years ago) it’ll be very tough for England. Still, England’s back row has been none too shabby for a while now and it could be a right tasty 80 minutes on the deck. England by 1 would be enough for me. Bring it on.
Bring on the music too, I hear you say. It’s been a while since we heard from the great man, so let’s have some Rory -
By David Vance On January 18th, 2013 at 9:25 am
Wondered what you made of Lance Armstrong’s Oprah moment? It all smacks of self serving contrived PR to me and as it pointed out here, there is no real contrition, self pity perhaps…
“I didn’t feel bad, I didn’t think it was wrong and I didn’t feel like I was cheating’:
But since he was exposed, he does feel bad, he knows he is a cheat so he has admitted his wrongdoing. Was he alone in drug cheating in this Sport. or indeed in many sports, where performance is routinely enhanced by drug taking?
By Pete Moore On October 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm
On a fantastic day for cycling Lance Armstrong has been stripped of all seven Tour titles and banned for life. According to UCI President Pat McQuaid: “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”
There’s no doubt he’s been done bang to rights and it’s a fitting punishment. Armstrong is a bully and narcissist who was no better than many others but who designed such intense and elaborate doping schemes that he was able to become an extremely successful and wealthy superstar. That’s all come crashing down and he might find the future a very expensive place. The UCI will decide next week if Armstrong must return his prize money. Primary sponsors Nike and (bike manufacturer) Trek have dropped him and others are said to be deciding whether or not to sue him for a return of previous sponsorship cash.
All in all it’s been a bad few weeks for the erm … winner of the 1996 Flèche Wallonne.
By Pete Moore On October 8th, 2012 at 2:40 pm
Just loosening my collar a bit here … (alice band wearing footballers and other chaps of a nervous disposition are advised to look away now).
Warrington Wolves prop Paul Wood had to have a testicle removed after rupturing it in Saturday’s 26-18 Grand Final defeat by Leeds
There he is, on the left, tackling Danny McGuire of Leeds during Saturday’s match. Not only did a stray Leeds knee rupture a plum, he carried on playing and didn’t see any reason to mention it to journalists afterwards. Strewth, and I thought I was being hard when I didn’t complain after a lock tap-danced on my back at university. I watched the Grand Final and didn’t even notice that he might have been in a little discomfort. Paul Wood, for services to British manliness, take a bow.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Pete Moore On September 30th, 2012 at 11:35 pm
What a Sunday! From 10-4 down, Europe turns it around against an uber-talented American team, Kaymer sinks the winning putt, it’s 13 1/2 – 14 1/2 and captain Olazabal is in tears.
How good’s the party going to be? Since Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez are vice-captains, probably very good …
By Pete Moore On September 27th, 2012 at 7:52 pm
COME ON EUROPE!
I’m not a golfer. In fact it must be a good twenty years since I last hacked my way around a council course somewhere. I’m not even much of a golf watcher. There’s always life to be getting on with instead of sitting in front of the TV all day, but I do make an exception for the Ryder Cup. The idea of bringing together individuals, in a sport of individuals, to play for representative teams gives it a special atmosphere and makes the competition unique sporting theatre. From tomorrow, at the Medinah Country Club, somewhere in Illinois.
And isn’t it a beautiful trophy?
By David Vance On August 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Sport and cheating are like love and marriage, they so often go together! Did you see this?
American anti-doping officials plan to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and impose a lifelong ban from cycling — the sport that made him an American hero and a sports icon, it was revealed on Thursday. The announcement from the US Anti-Doping Agency effectively destroys his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists in history and rubs a black smudge on a story that inspired millions of fans, drawn to his story of returning to glory after recovering from horrific cancer. The USADA acted within an hour of Armstrong’s announcement that he would stop fighting charges that he used blood doping to illegitimately enhance his performance.
Kind of sad, isn’t it? Lots of people admired him, emulated him but there was always the hint that something was not quite as it should be. How do you view this? Is it justice done? Is it a witch-hunt? And is he the ONLY guy doing this in his sport? It’s telling that it is the testament of his fellow riders that has finally seen him off, isn’t it? Jealousy? Anger?