Sunday, 11 March 2007

Rugby World Cup

England won't will the World Cup because of a lack of experience in key positions
Ireland won't win the World Cup as they bottle it at key moments and struggle when O'Driscoll is injured
Scotland won't win the World Cup because they have a lack of cutting edge in the backs
Wales won't win the World Cup as there forwards are too light weight and they can only play good rugby for 8 minutes every match
France won't win the World Cup as they don't bother to turn up for some matches
Italy won't win the World Cup as the lack a No. 10 to control the game
South Africa won't win the World Cup because the backs lack creativity and enjoy contact too much
Australia won't win the World Cup as they can't compete at the set piece
New Zealand won't win the World Cup as they traditionally bottle it usually in the semi finals

so go Japan/ Fiji/ Tonga/ Argentina the opportunity is yours

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Wisdom is easy after the event

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Avoid cliches like the plague.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune


My Fortune Cookie told me:
Avoid cliches like the plague.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune


The House of Commons has voted to have a completely elected upper chamber presumably not to be called the House of Lords. I do not want this to happen for the following reasons

1. I don't want more people trying to get my attention by making speeches at the moment the Lords debate the issues but do not feel the need to grandstand will doing so.
2. The biggest issue in education is the sheer number of changes and proposals to be enacted. More people who wants votes will want to make more changes?
3, The political parties are already in debt. Where will the extra cash come from
4. The House of Lords is a bit of history that makes the UK political system unique
5. Is it the first step to having a republic? (President Blair/Thatcher anyone)
6. Ageism - at the moment Ming Campbell (leader of the Liberals) faces criticism over his age and relating to the electorate. If people are voting for the members of the House of Lords will its demographic change and remove experienced people from the political arena?

My only hope is that members of the House of Commons that share my view have tried to spark a furore by voting for a deliberately harsh measure rather than allow it to be introducing slowly and in the shadows.

Monday, 5 March 2007

NCAA Basketball

Sarah is a massive fan of Duke Basketball team and through that I have become a follower and interested in how a season works. If you think the Duckworth Lewis sytem is complex wait till you see this puppy.
First. All the teams are in conferences and play each other twice. The teams are then rated on who has the best overall rating. So in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Duke are in 5th with 8 wins and 8 losses. All teams also play a number of matches against teams from other conferences but these have no bearing on the conference standings.

Second At the end of the season the best 65 teams get together and play knock out with the winner going into the next round until two teams are left which is the final. (Team 64 play Team 65 for the final place)

The issue comes when you try and select the final 65 and the order that they should be in. A group of people (not sure who) choose them based on how well they have done. That seems a bit arbitrary. The matter is further confused because each conference has a knock out tournament with the winner ending up in the end of season tournament so you could come last in the conference having lost all your games but if you win the conference tournament then you get into the end of season tournament and could win the overall crown. Madness.

I suggest a league structure with 16 teams in League 1, 16 teams in League 2 etc until all the teams are accounted for. the bottom two in League 1 moved to League 2 and the top two in League 2 move up. This way the teams are all of a similar standard so there are no easy matches and the best 65 teams are clear. The disadvantage is the amount of travelling but home fans do not travel much anyway and there are already long trips.

Good and Bad

Reasons this will be a good week

1. The painful shoes I bought which on Friday were rubbing me rotten were fine today
2. My knee which had been very painful had stop hurting to such an extent I did not notice
3. It was light when I woke up!
4. There is rugby at the weekend to look forward to
5. Yr11 mock week means no lessons to teach Yr11 this week
6. Managed 35 lengths at the pool
7. The flowers in my garden have flowered

Reasons this week might be a bad week
1. Sarah is in Derby until Thurs
2. Parents evening on Thursday (the ones who turn up are not the ones I need to speak to)
3. Still getting hassle from the kids as Luton (my team) lost to Norwich (their team)

Friday, 2 March 2007


It has taken me this long to calm done about the Ireland v England match. First of all I would like to congratulate the crowd on the respect of the National Anthem. There is a lot of history to be set aside and in the week that a group of people chained similarly to the African American slaves are walking from Hull to London to ask for an apology for the slave trade shows just how long collective memory can be. I was thinking of asking the Norwegians to say sorry for Viking raids!!

Secondly - while the Irish players had a smooth build up to the match all the England players had to play for their clubs on Sat and Sun. The clubs have to understand that a strong national team is the best way to get people going to club rugby.

Thirdly Fitness and conditioning. The Irish team seem to play the same lineup match after match where the English are consistently playing second or third choice players in each position. In the autumn internationals Andy Robinson was consistently being criticised but at No10, the most crucial position, he did not have Wilkinson, Hodgson, Goode and Catt. I do not see any other teams playing their fifth choice fly halves and being successful. I see Ollie Morgan is now out for the season with a seperated shoulder.

Fourthly - sinbinning of players should end after 7 points have been scored by the opposition. Ireland would have won the England match but 17 points were scored with Grewcock in the sinbin and it ruined the game as a spectacle to watch. England had to force the game, O'Gara could kick any possession not in the opposition 25, mistakes happen and Ireland can then pile up the score. Most offences are not clear cut as shown on TV. The position of the back foot and whether the ball is out are often subjective calls make by the ref and from the edge of a ruck it is hard to tell.

Fifthy Rucks. If there is two players from one team and one from another a ruck is formed and you cannot use your hands. 95% of holding on penalties seem to be rucks where players are using their hands and refs ignore it consistently.

Well that rant is over. Hope you find all is well with the world. Come on England. Cricket World Cup soon!