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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday March 15 2014

I am watching the England Italy Six Nations rugby game.  Already England have, rather to my surprise, already scored two tries.  6-17 England.

Throughout the week there has been a whole lot too much talk, for my liking, of how England were going to beat Italy by fifty points, so that Ireland would then face points pressure in Paris in the day’s final game, rather than the mere pressure of having to win.  That’s the sort of talk that can have you neglecting the small matter of simply winning the game.  And indeed, England did begin rather scrappily.  Mike Brown even made a mistake.  But England are now playing like they assume they will win, and the only question is by how much.  I sit corrected.

It’s hot out there in Rome, by the look of it.  Both sides are making mistakes.  But England are looking really dangerous when the backs have it, and are scoring tries.  Brown is looking good, as he has all tournament.  Burrell looks very strong, ditto.

The thing is, games which end as try fests often begin as hard slogs, and the idea that the winners might rack up fifty seems ridiculous.  And then, bang bang bang, they do.  The commentators are now pointing out that the Ireland Italy game was very even, until suddenly, at the end, it wasn’t.  England will know all about that, and by that reckoning they are ahead of schedule.

Even if England don’t run away with this, France can still win the Championship for England by beating Ireland.

And hey!  Another England try!  Two for Mike Brown, of the three England tries so far.  6-22 England.  Farrell needs to kick everything, and in particular this one, from far out.  No worries.  6-24.  Farrell four out of four.  Half time approaches.

Well, England can’t lose this now.

Probably just as significant as the England tries is that Italy nearly scored an early try themselves, like they did against Ireland.  But England stopped it.

Half time.  The commentators are saying the Italians are already knackered.

Thank goodness Burrell and Farrell are both spelt the same way.  Burell and Farrel (for instance) would have been hard to live with.  Although, while Farrell is pronounced Farrell, Burrell is pronounced Burelle.  Reminds me of Hyacinth Bucket.  I wonder if they ever call Farrell Farelle.

Second half begins.

LATER (there was always going to be a LATER with this one, and probably more than one): 6-31 England.  Burrell off for Tuilagi!  Bad luck Burrell.  6-38 England, Tuilagi try (pronounced Tooey Langy - don’t ask me why).  Tooey Langy another try.  6-43.  But oh dear.  Interception and try by Italy.  11-43.  Again, every point matters and someone with an English sounding name (Alan?  Allen?) misses it.  11-43.

It’s not going to happen.  From the tournament point of view, England might as well have won 17-19 or some such semi-fiasco.  England pressing but time is running out.

At 6-43, England were playing catch-up rugby, and it cost them.  When Italy scored that was it.  No more England tries since then, and the whistle is about to go.  But, Robshaw scores!  Too little, says the commentator, too late.  Indeed.  11-52 England, unless Farrell misses the penalty from nearly in front of the posts.  “Immaculate from him once again.”

And it ends.  Now Clive Woodward is saying that all the substitutions made at the end might have cost them.  In particular, substitutions affect defence, you suspect.

So, an Ireland win by anything in Paris wins it for them, and a loss by Ireland wins it for England.  Allez France!!!

LATER: Not quite.