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

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Saturday October 01 2011

Well here I am watching England v Scotland in the Rugby World Cup, and so far it’s been almost all Scotland, maybe because it’s raining and they love that.  Only after about half an hour have England started to do anything.  Parks has landed two tricky penalties into the wind, with the second one being adjudicated with the help of television.  A first, apparently.  And until just now, Wilkinson was on 0 and 3.  0 and 3.  Wilkinson.  It’s now 1 and 4, with Scotland leading 6-3, but if England can’t rely on Wilkinson, then as all their enemies (i.e. the rest of the world) say, what do they have?

The scrum seems to be a perpetual bore, with all this “touch” pause “pause” pause “engage” nonsense from the ref, which (a) seems to go on for ever, and which (b) still falls to pieces.  However, this time, it is only the England scrum that is falling to pieces.

Drop goal from Dan Parks, and at half time it’s England 3 Scotland 9.  Where was Parks and his drop goaling when Scotland were playing Argentina?  Can England pull themselves together and win this?  My understanding is that if they don’t win, they’ll be in the strong, otherwise Northern Hemisphere half of the draw, and after losing to Scotland won’t frighten anyone there, except themselves.

If Scotland win, but without the bonus point from winning by eight points (or whatever it is) or more, they won’t go through at all.  So at least England might take Scotland with them into nowhere land.

They’re showing the England scrum giving away penalties.  Not pretty.  It’s all looking very much like Rugby is Only A Game.

There’s just been a great tackle by Tui … langi?  Followed by some England attacking down the left.  Better.  But Scotland are doing well at the line-out.  England back on the attack.  If they can keep hold of the ball they look a threat.

Another scrum, more grief for England.

When the weather is wet, rugby is more of a lottery.  Here in England we are having a first burst of truly hot (as well as cloudless) weather of the entire year so far.  Hot weather is left wing.  Have you noticed that?

England have just won a Scotland scrum!  England attack.  England knock-on.  Too many England errors.  But, another England turn over at the scrum.  Better.  Wilkinson misses a drop goal.  He’s the weak link.  I’ll say it again.  Wilkinson is the weak link.  Is this his last England game?  Nevertheless, England as a whole look stronger.  If they could just score a try.  Not this time, England give it away and Scotland attack.  Scotland nearly score!  Scotland penalty, it’s good.  Scotland need to win by “8 points or more” and now lead by 9.

Until today I was happy with England’s progress, and may yet be, if they can win this.  Hey, Wilkinson puts over a drop goal!  Scotland back needing more points.  As I was saying, I was happy with England.  Everyone moaned about their early wins, but at least they were wins.  Argentina are hellishly difficult to beat, and England beat them.

Lots of displacement activity from me, rearranging CDs in CD shelves.  Another penalty success from Wilkinson!  England look threatening now.  England 9 Scotland 12.  If England can just scramble a win here, I’ll be back defending them.

What happens if it ends in a draw?

Another Wilkinson penalty attempt.  Just short.

The England scrum seems to be working better now.  The reason I’m unclear about the details of this game is that another of my displacement activities just now is listening to CD Review, where they’re comparing all the Bruckner 8s. 

Penalty to England.  If this goes over, it becomes 12 all, with minutes left.  If it stays like that, then, according to my calculations, England will win the group.  But, England go to the corner.

Ashton scores on the right!  England ahead!  “You can only feel sympathy for Scotland!” Well, I can think of a few other feelings I can feel.  Hah!!!  Toby Flood gave the scoring pass, a big miss-out looper.  He seems to have made a difference.

No swallow diving by Ashton this time.  Flood nails the conversion.  Flood is looking very good.  16-12.  That conversion means Scotland have to score a try, and, well, until now, Scotland haven’t done tries.  We’re past the 80 minutes mark, the next stoppage does it.  England win!

I have lots of recordings of Bruckner 8, but none of three the BBC has just recommended.  Bugger.

So, it’s official.  England are now the Germany of the rugby World Cup.  They look rubbish in early games.  But then the prettier teams knock each other out, and hey presto, a month later England are still in it.  That’s what happened last time.  I hope that happens again.

Apparently Tonga beat France.  Hah!!  (All the pool results so far are to be found here.) Looks like if Tonga could only have beaten Canada also, that would have meant France being out of it.  I think.  Antoine Clarke (pronounced Claire for the duration) won’t be happy.