Brian Micklethwait's Blog

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

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Other Blogs I write for

Brian Micklethwait's Education Blog

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog


Blogroll

2 Blowhards
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adloyada
Adventures in Capitalism
Alan Little
Albion's Seedling
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Alex Singleton
AngloAustria
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Biased BBC
Bishop Hill
BLDG BLOG
Bloggers Blog
Blognor Regis
Blowing Smoke
Boatang & Demetriou
Boing Boing
Boris Johnson
Brazen Careerist
Bryan Appleyard
Burning Our Money
Cafe Hayek
Cato@Liberty
Charlie's Diary
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
Chicago Boyz
China Law Blog
Cicero's Songs
City Comforts
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Clay Shirky
Climate Resistance
Climate Skeptic
Coffee & Complexity
Coffee House
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Contra Niche
Contrary Brin
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Скрипучая беседка
CrozierVision
Dave Barry
Davids Medienkritik
David Thompson
Deleted by tomorrow
deputydog
diamond geezer
Dilbert.Blog
Dizzy Thinks
Dodgeblogium
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
dropsafe
Dr Robert Lefever
Dr. Weevil
ecomyths
engadget
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
English Cut
English Russia
EU Referendum
Ezra Levant
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Flickr blog
Freeborn John
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
ft.com/maverecon
Fugitive Ink
Future Perfect
FuturePundit
Gaping Void
Garnerblog
Gates of Vienna
Gizmodo
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
HE&OS
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Ideas
Idiot Toys
IMAO
Indexed
India Uncut
Instapundit
Intermezzo
Jackie Danicki
James Delingpole
James Fallows
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Jihad Watch
Joanne Jacobs
Johan Norberg
John Redwood
Jonathan's Photoblog
Kristine Lowe
Laissez Faire Books
Languagehat
Last of the Few
Lessig Blog
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Alone
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
listen missy
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Londonist
Mad Housewife
Mangan's Miscellany
Marginal Revolution
Mark Wadsworth
Media Influencer
Melanie Phillips
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael Jennings
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
Mick Hartley
More Than Mind Games
mr eugenides
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Natalie Solent
Nation of Shopkeepers
Neatorama
neo-neocon
Never Trust a Hippy
NO2ID NewsBlog
Non Diet Weight Loss
Normblog
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
Oddity Central
Oliver Kamm
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
phosita
Picking Losers
Pigeon Blog
Police Inspector Blog
PooterGeek
Power Line
Private Sector Development blog
Public Interest.co.uk
Publius Pundit
Quotulatiousness
Rachel Lucas
RealClimate
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Rob's Blog
Sandow
Scrappleface
Setting The World To Rights
Shane Greer
Shanghaiist
SimonHewittJones.com The Violin Blog
Sinclair's Musings
Slipped Disc
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stephen Fry
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Style Bubble
Sunset Gun
Survival Arts
Susan Hill
Teblog
Techdirt
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Agitator
The AntRant
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Croydonian
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Filter^
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Futurist
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Sharpener
The Speculist
The Surfer
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
things magazine
TigerHawk
Tim Blair
Tim Harford
Tim Worstall
tomgpalmer.com
tompeters!
Transterrestrial Musings
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Unqualified Offerings
Violins and Starships
Virginia Postrel
Vodkapundit
WebUrbanist
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours


Websites


Mainstream Media

BBC
Guardian
Economist
Independent
MSNBC
Telegraph
The Sun
This is London
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner
Podcasts


Categories

Advertising
Africa
Anglosphere
Architecture
Art
Asia
Atheism
Australasia
Billion Monkeys
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
Brians
Bridges
Business
Career counselling
Cartoons
Cats and kittens
China
Civil liberties
Classical music
Comedy
Comments
Computer graphics
Cranes
Crime
Current events
Democracy
Design
Digital photographers
Drones
Economics
Education
Emmanuel Todd
Environment
Europe
Expression Engine
Family
Food and drink
France
Friends
Getting old
Globalisation
Healthcare
History
How the mind works
India
Intellectual property
Japan
Kevin Dowd
Language
Latin America
Law
Libertarianism
Links
Literature
London
Media and journalism
Middle East and Islam
Movies
Music
My blog ruins
My photographs
Open Source
Opera
Other creatures
Painting
Photography
Podcasting
Poetry
Politics
Pop music
Propaganda
Quote unquote
Radio
Religion
Roof clutter
Russia
Scaffolding
Science
Science fiction
Sculpture
Signs and notices
Social Media
Society
Software
South America
Space
Sport
Technology
Television
The internet
The Micklethwait Clock
Theatre
This and that
This blog
Transport
Travel
USA
Video
War


Sunday February 26 2006

This weekend is a Six Nations rugby weekend, and Scotland v. England gets underway at Murrayfield.  Not for the first time, the ref provides the biggest laugh of the game so far.  It’s 3-3 and both sides are launching into each other like mad things.  And the ref just talked to a couple of the players, one of each colour, saying: “We’ve a chance here of having a really good game . . .”, provided you two are both good boys, presumably.  As if they care about a “good game”.  They care about winning.  What is this?  A day out at the beach?

I’ve blogged about this before I’m pretty sure, but I’ll never forget the time, during the closing stages of another equally ferocious contest, the ref said, to a similarly selected duo of combatants: “You two are spoiling it for everyone else.”

At the moment, it’s one hell of a game, and no-one is spoiling it for anybody.

Half an hour gone.  Still 3-3.  Grewcock has just come back from a ten minute rest, for who knows what arcane infringement of the bafflingly complicated rules of this game.  The score when he started his ten minute time-out?  3-3.  England have the look of a team who could score at any any moment.  It just needs one missed tackle, or misaligned defender, and one of the white guys could burst through the hole.  England pressing, two yards from the line.  England put-in near the Scottish line.  England forwards on the march.  England penalty.  But they take the scrum again.  Now the ref is telling the Scottish forwards to watch themselves.  Do not go in on the blindside with four fingers raised instead of three.  Remember a ruck is a ruck if two or more players have their heads in contact, and one or both of their knees are off the ground, and provided there’s a “y” in the month of course.  What could be plainer?

The England bloke drops it, with the line at his mercy.  Ben Cohen.  Scotland scrum.  If England lose, which they well might, that will be played and played.

What a contest.  Nearly half time.  Still 3-3.  It is half time.  Bloody hell.  Are we going to see one of those games where it ends something like 9-6.  Usually games end something like 25-12, or 30-18, with tries throughout and a burst of tries at the end.  I still think England are favourites to score a burst of tries at the end, if and when the Scotland defence finally caves in, but the commentators have all been saying that if Scotland are still in it with twenty minutes to go, they could grab it.

Earlier today, France beat Italy.  I am getting rather tired of all this pro-Italy blather.  All they do is try to stop the other fellows scoring and kick the ball up the other end and hope one of the other guys commits one of those weird infringements.  As soon as the French stopped trying to win the way they won against Ireland, by running in lots of twinkle toed threequarter tries before the opposition forwards were dead on their feet, and switched to running the ball back into the trenches, it was all over.  At the time they started doing this, France were 12-8 down.  At that point, and I wish I had it blogged or recorded or something, I said, out loud: France by twenty points.  I really did.  In the end, it was by twenty five.

France, when they deign to play, are the best team in this tournament, although unfortunately for France, deigning to play against everyone you play is all part of being a decent team.  But, against England, France will definitely deign to play, surely.  In which case, I fancy France to win that.

Meanwhile, England and Scotland have swapped penalties, and it is now 6-6.  And now, I kid you not, it is 9-6 to Scotland.  “The longer this goes on and the more the crowd gets behind Scotland . . .”

England are battering away but the Scotland tackling is relentless.  Ellis is now covered in blood, and that means Dawson will come on.  And Dawson, in my opinion, is a better scrum half than Ellis.  He is quicker at passing, it seems to me.  And guess what, Guscott agrees!  Quicker to get there in the first place, he reckons.  That too.

Moore: “England now will start to feel the pressure.” I’ll say.  “The pressure is mounting on England.” Indeed.  Could this be one of those games which just goes to show that it’s only a game, i.e. a game that England lose?  It’s looking likely as of now, I would say.  This reminds me of those iffy games against Samoa and Wales in the preliminaries of the last World Cup, which ended up not being only a game, as you may recall.

Now, it’s 12-6, with a Dan Parks drop goal.

The good news about all this is that this is not England playing badly.  It is Scotland playing well.  Yes, England are making mistakes, but these mistakes are not an accident, if you get my meaning.  I mean, they are.  But the point is, they are the result of immense Scottish pressure.

So now, twenty minutes to go, and Scotland are “still in it”.  Six points ahead to be precise.  But, so are England.  When will Dallaglio come on?  England get a penalty, and, thank God (who does not exist), it goes over.  So now, if England can score a try, the conversion won’t be so crucial.  But, still no tries in this game at all.  An old fashioned game, a bit like that old fashioned armed robbery we had during the week.  In an open stadium, and with lots of cold, cold rain.

Here comes Dallaglio, the man whose neck is wider than his head.  Off goes Corry, the England captain.  How does that work I wonder?  Scotland “under pressure”.

England make another mistake, and Guscott will be tearing his hair out.  It’s easy for him to talk.  He’s Guscott.  But, I have a tape of Guscott failing to score a certain try by failing to ground the ball, so even he sometimes fails to be “clinical”, and to “finish it off”.

Displacement activity time.  I’ve already put insoles in a couple of pairs of new shoes, and I also have some washing up to do.  Scotland now deep in the England twenty two.  And they nearly score!

I do the washing up.  15-9.  15-12.  18-12.  All penalties.

Only a game.

imageimage

I told you.