A Rugby Rant…England v Italy.

I am absolutely gobsmacked by this after match interview by England Coach Eddie Jones. This is the first time he’s put a foot wrong in my opinion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04v3x8q

The Italian coach Conor O’Shea should be congratulated, for coming up with a tactic that totally flummoxed the England players. Now to be clear, what the Italians did was totally within the LAWS of the game. RUGBY HAS LAWS, NOT RULES!!!!! Laws can be interpreted, rules are set in stone. There is a major difference in that.

All the Italians did was not commit men to the tackle area therefore not forming a ruck, therefore there was no offside line so the Italians could stand where they liked, usually blocking England from passing the ball, so stopping them from playing how they wanted to.

Any Rugby aficionado will know this is totally legal and more to the point not new. The Waikato Chiefs did a similar thing in Super Rugby and you see it a lot in Rugby Sevens.

What upsets me is reaction from the England Coach and various ex players who put themselves up as pundits bleating about how it ruined the game and World Rugby should be looking at the Laws so it can’t happen again.

This is a typical Tweet from ex England scrum half and world cup winner Matt Dawson and my reply to him.

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How rubbish is that? Smacks of Sour Grapes to me.

What the “experts” should be worried about is the England players not knowing the Laws, as per James Haskell actually asking the Ref, Frenchman Romain Poite (who had a great game), what is the Law and what should they do about it! Poite quite rightly told him that he was the Ref and not the coach!

The other massively worrying thing was that the England players could not work out what to do when faced with something “new”, they had to wait for halftime for Eddie Jones and the other coaches to tell them how to counter the tactic. So much for Heads up Rugby and playing what you see!

To summarise, hats off to Italy for using their brains in a innovative way, worrying for England and their inability to adapt, plus lack of Law knowledge.

To finish on a positive, England still won convincingly and they seem to have the knack of winning ugly. Scotland next. Should be a cracking game against a much improved Scots team who are starting to motor.

Bikey Day…

After a quick test of my belt drive all rounder I realised that the brakes were screaming more than a wife who realises that her Hubby has just sneaked in another new bike into the garage.

A quick removal of the pads revealed that the pads while still having plenty of meat on them were glazed to buggery. So a short bit of time attacking them with emery paper removed the offending shiny stuff and revealed the original pad surface.

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While I was in the mood for a bit of gentle fettling, I did a quick service of my Giant road bike.

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Then it was off out for a pedal on my belt drive, just a very short, test the knee out type of pedal, no big hills, no major off road, just an idea of where the knee is in regards to rotating the old cranks and propelling me forward.

It was properly cold at – 2 degrees and I wished I had put tracky bottoms on instead of toughing it out with shorts. But I got round with only a few twinges and aches and pains in the old knee area.

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I was quite happy with how it went, a cliché bike and gate photo on the route above and a quick snap of the main Birmingham to Worcester main line pedestrian crossing below.

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Now I have to sort out some regular routes with a progressive increase in distance over a sensible time frame, start organising a sensible varied food intake, oh yeah and find a job…

A lot has been happening…

I had my post knee operation assessment today at the hospital. My knee, while it has been very painful has recovered enough for me to walk without a limp. The surgeon said it still will be painful as knees take quite a while to become pain free after surgery, so it’s just a case of being a patient patient.

I was fit to go back to work on the 31st of October, but for reasons many and various, my Boss kept putting off my return to work protocols, so I had extra time at home until they could be carried out. A date of Thursday the 17th of November was finally arranged for me to attend the return to work interview. And I was promptly made redundant at the meeting. Reasons that were cited were lack of work, a restructuring of the company and a new strategic long term plan.

I was thanked for my efforts, given a months notice pay and told it was with immediate effect. Was I surprised? No not really, the lack of the companies urgency to get me back was a massive Red flag and I was half expecting it.

I am now back in the job market, so if anyone has any openings please let me know!

Now my knee saga has effectively come to an end I can now continue with the slow process of getting back on my bike and getting back outside. Every cloud always has a silver lining!

Update post knee surgery…

It is nearly 2 months since I have put finger to keyboard, but 10 days ago I finally had the surgery on my injured knee.

In the accident I had at work back in February, not only did my Medial ligament get damaged along with my meniscus, but my cartilage was also torn. All of which the surgeon said he worked his magic on.

My rehab consists of a series of Physio excercises that I am doing religiously (but which are causing me a bit of grief), regular icing and rest, but I get the stitches out of my 2 surgery wounds on Friday. I still cannot kneel down, nor have I got a full range of movement in the joint and I cannot stand for too long either. I’m sure the painkillers are assisting me in my pathetic attempts at hobbling though.

But all being well, I’ll be back at work the end of the month, hopefully back on my bike too.

 

Feeling the heat…

I know I live in Dear Old rainy England, but we have seen unusually high temperatures and clear Sunny days of late. Which makes my knee injury all the more galling. Ideal cycling/commuting weather and I’m stuck at home on my backside.

On Monday I attended The Princess Of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove, after much NHS bureaucratic faffing around, to see the knee specialist.

I have never been to medical school, not a medical professional at all, but he confirmed my feeling that there is more than one issue going on in my 52 year old knees.

He analysed the MRI of my right knee and confirmed that I have a severely torn medial ligament and a badly damaged meniscus both of which needs surgery to rectify. Months of hanging around to be told what I’d already guessed when the injury occurred back in February. I am now on a waiting list. I actually asked the specialist how long will I have to wait for the surgery and he said and I quote “It’s up to the secretaries to work their magic.”

He also said I need to keep my immense weight off the leg at all costs until after the operation. A problem for me in regards to work. Concerned about that lots…

But to finish on a positive, my daughter is back home on leave in 2 weeks after a particularly tough exercise in Canada with her Regiment. If we are friends on Facebook you will have seen her post exercise calamities in all of it’s gory glory. She is well on the mend now and cannot wait get back to Blighty for some well earned down time.

Knee jerk reaction…

My knee appointment to see the consultant has finally been confirmed after the complete NHS admin disaster of 2 weeks ago.

It is the 18th of July. 2 weeks tomorrow. which is just as well as I am now having more bad days than good with the knee.

After a visit to the Docs last week, during a particularly bad knee day, he actually told me what specifically was causing the pain and why I do have good and bad days with it.

The cartilage and the ligament are damaged and the damaged bits are flapping around in the knee. Those flappy bits sometimes get caught in the knee joint resulting in a big ouchy situation.

The treatment according to my GP will be surgery to repair/remove those flappy bits.

So there we have it. Just looking forward to getting it sorted and removing the ouchy bits from my life.

 

I’ll probably regret this…

After The Euro Referendum where, unexpectedly my Nation voted to leave the European Union, the standards of behaviour of our Political Classes and more disappointingly our electorate has deteriorated into something that is in my view far more sinister than anything I have ever seen in this country before.

I’ll ignore the pre referendum distastefulness as I have commented on that before.

What is happening now goes beyond the bounds of distastefulness and into the realms of something far more darker.

I was brought up in a political household, my parents being members of a political party, but despite their views, which were at times far to one side of their party, not once did they question the democratic process whatever the results. It was hammered into me, one man one vote, this is how we do things here and people have died to get you that right and to protect that right. The winners might not be right, but that is democracy, we live with it and crack on.

Now I understand that some people are upset by the results, I get it, I really do. But since when did we decide that we can ride roughshod over the will of the majority of the people? In our country now, the self appointed “betters” are citing “Intellect”, “Racism”, “Poor information” “Lack of education” “being working class” and “being old” while generally being full of contempt for the majority of the country who did vote to leave.

So much so that they are amazingly calling for a second referendum! Where does it stop? In theory then, if they do get a 2nd go at it and win, can the Leave folk then get another go? And don’t get me started about the areas that voted in or out. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted Remain, England and Wales voted Leave. Some parts of big cities voted Remain, while others parts of those cities voted Leave. I know people in my street voted differently. Where does the demarcation stop? Can Jim’s house down the road petition Brussels to stay in the EU while Sharon over the road leaves? It is totally ridiculous! Can the people under 35 stay in while those over 35 leave? This is just pathetic! I’m astounded, disbelieving, bewildered, a little angry and more than disappointed.

We voted as one Nation. This time even the naysayers cannot say that as a Nation that there was not a clear mandate within those guidelines to leave. There was a clear mandate to leave. To change that now would set a very ugly and dangerous precedent. It would in fact be the start of the end for democracy in this country. Just take a moment to let that sink in. The start of the end of democracy in this country. If the will of the people is overturned, what then?

It doesn’t matter what I voted. These are my opinions and observations regardless and I would be saying them if I had voted leave or remain. I know how to win humbly and more importantly I know how to lose with good grace. In fact it is one of the tenets of the game I love, that of Rugby Union.

It might be a good idea if the Nation looked at the game’s core values.

Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.

The big 3 in this situation are:

Teamwork. This is where we are, the people have spoken, let’s pull together and make this work.

Respect. The people on the other side of the argument are entitled to their views, they are worth the same as your views, show some respect.

Sportsmanship. Don’t be a bad loser, you congratulate the winner, learn from it and move on and try and improve. Don’t be a bad winner, no-one likes a gloater, show the hand of friendship and fellowship to the beaten side and learn from them as their views will have some merit too.

Like I said before, surely we’re better than this?