Planet Rugbys Loose Pass - 30th June

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Teh Mite, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Teh Mite

    Teh Mite TRF Legend

    Feb 16, 2005
    Northampton, England
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    Welcome to Loose Pass - our weekly assortment of disjointed thoughts. This week we will be mostly concerning ourselves with attitude, soccer and more nudity...

    In our last outing, Loose Pass proclaimed the south as victors in the perpetual battle of the hemispheres. But have England and Scotland given us pause for thought?

    In a word, no.

    Of course, a rare victory for England in Australia and an historic series win for Scotland in Argentina are to be applauded.

    But let's not lose sight of the fact that Matt Giteau managed to lose his own at a crucial moment, and that the Scots benefited from some rather familiar weather patterns during the second Test in Mar del Plata.

    All told, the southern sides held all the cards when it came to vision, athleticism, communication, intensity and tempo. All the English and Scots had to offer was what Lewis Moody later described as "just an attitude".

    That doesn't sound like much, but it is more than a mere crumb of comfort to those of us above the equator. Out of all the aforementioned attributes it's the one that can't be coach. It is therefore the most valuable.

    Harness it, and the so-called powers of Europe might yet close the gap in time for their next jaunt down south. There's something happening down there in 2011, right?

    Bottle it up, and they might make a few extra quid by selling it to England's sorry excuse for a soccer team.


    Speaking of England's sorry excuse for a soccer team...

    As Fabio Capello's preening fools retreated from a crack at glory to their mock-Tudor mansions and pimped-out Bentleys, the words of the dearly departed Andy Ripley rang in our ears.

    "Friendship and loyalty have been smashed," he said. "The sport has lost its heroes. I want to have heroic figures out there. If they're chasing a few quid like me [in the city] I don't like it. It devalues them. It means they are marionettes, puppets, manipulated by people with money."

    The great man was speaking about rugby at the dawn of professionalism, of course, but his words neatly sum up how John Terry and chums have lost their way. What do you call people who only do it for money?

    Luckily, Ripley's worst fears have failed to materialise in the oval word - and long may his wise words keep us on the right path.


    Indeed, the past few weeks have witnesses two decisive victories in the war to rein in own preening fools.

    Yes, Gavin Henson and Danny Cipriani have both been dumped by their celebrity girlfriends and are planning on giving rugby another crack.

    Whilst Kelly Brook has decided that Melbourne is no place for the megastar of such films as 'Piranha 3D', Charlotte Church has belatedly realised that Gav isn't a keeper. Our guess is that she finally got around to reading 'My Grand Slam Year'. Or perhaps she just spoke to some Wales players. Who knows.

    But whether the dynamic duo do return to the game is another matter.

    The Welshman's dalliance on the high shores of celebrity looks set to continue for a wee while longer, so get ready for Gavin Henson: Human Guinea Pig. (No, it's not a joke.)

    Meanwhile, rumour has it that Brook is not alone: her former squeeze is also having second thoughts on making the move to Australia.

    Some are speculating that he's booked in for a trial with Fulham FC, but it is his failure to secure a Rebels contact for his best mate Ed Lewis-Pratt (who is surplus to requirements at London Welsh) that looks like the most likely deal-breaker.

    Expect an orchestrated tantrum followed by a low-key return to Wasps.


    We said we'd bring a report of the Naked Rugby International between the Nude Blacks and the Welsh Leeks in Dunedin, and we're happy to reveal that the locals managed to pull it off. (Be warned: more lame puns to follow.)

    Unfazed by a couple of clothed streakers (subsequently arrested by naked 'policewoman'), New Zealand's ball-chasers overcame stiff resistance to record a tight 20-15 victory.

    We could point an accusing digit at referees Richard Loe and John Timu and expose their national bias, but we'd be picking at holes etc etc etc.

    On a more serious note, Dunedin has hosted nude internationals since 2002 as a curtain-raiser to All Blacks matches against touring teams, but the demolition of Carisbrook puts the future of the burgeoning tradition in doubt.

    So where to next for rugby in birthday suits? Your suggestions, please!



    "Dan Carter is one of the best number tens in the world, up there with Jonny Wilkinson."
    - Canterbury-bound Sonny Bill Williams suggests the unthinkable - and sends our numerous Kiwis into an overdrive of preciousness.

    "They're there for the taking."
    - Wales star Mike Phillips reflects on the All Blacks following his side's aggregate 71-19 defeat in the Test series. Or was he referring to the Nude Blacks?

    Compiled by Andy Jackson,25883,3551_6238896,00.html
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