Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Weekend sports round-up

Normal service has resumed with our cricket team. We were battered by Australia who simply outplayed us in every area. I guess it was nice while it lasted, but with Flintoff and Pietersen injured, and the rest of the team not up to the necessary standard, the humiliation was complete and it was all over just after lunch on Day 3. There can be no excuses (although the fire alarm being set off at the hotel can’t have helped) – let’s hope we get better and put on a good show in the final test.

From the stranger than strange files; I have been competing in a Fantasy Rugby team with some colleagues from work and an assortment of their relatives. We are playing in the Tri Nations and each week we pick a ‘team’ of seven players to compete against each other – points are awarded for tries, kicks, tackles, assists and turnovers (incidentally, is rugby the only sport where you get more points for trying than for scoring a goal?), and deducted for penalties and missed tackles.

My team is called ‘What do I know?’ Not a lot, evidently, as I am placed eighth (out of 11, and one of those is my friend’s mum who joined after the fourth game. Yes, I am ahead of her before you ask… but only just). I think my lack winning streak may be due to a couple of factors:

1) I keep picking players because I like the sound of their names – a bit like horses
2) I refuse to pick Richie McCaw because when the (real – i.e. football) World Cup was on, he was asked who he wanted to win and he said, ‘I don’t care, as long as it’s not England’. So I thought, ‘Well, don’t expect me to support you in anything, ever.’ And I won’t. Ha, that’ll show him. I bet he’s hurting now…

It’s actually quite interesting as your team can be made up of any combination of players from each competing side, and you start to watch the individuals’ progress rather than a team as a whole. This can lead to a renewed appeal in a game which would otherwise have no significance to you – i.e. if you are an England supporter and watch football.

Speaking of which, it was really weird to see Robbie Scouser playing for the Queensland Fury, not least because they may well have the vilest strip in the history of football. He scored on his (and the team’s) debut with a fairly soft penalty, it must be admitted. But although he is slow, unfit, and lacking in power, his precision passing is still freakishly good. He is still a Messiah in my eyes.

So now, with the Community Shield done and dusted and the Fergie the red-nosed %^$#er already trying to intimidate referees (didn’t take long, did it?), the count down is on until the beautiful game is back in all it’s glory.

The only problem will be having to watch Little Michael in the wrong red. It’s just wrong. Other than that, the one true game will be back as of next weekend and coming to a television near me.


Anonymous said...

Dear Kate,

Please accept my sincere apologies for my out of turn comment about your beloved England. You see, I'd had a bump on the head that day. I'd just stepped aside to speak to a commentator after a very trying test match where some mean prop took a swing at me when I was in a ruck. A spinning head afterwards and what do you know? I had a brain fart. The commentator heard it, mouth aghast in horror, and I'm sad to realise now that you heard it too - my cruel dismissal of your beloved team and country. Ms Blackhurst - may I tell you now that I indeed love England and all its worldly delights. There's nothing that pleases me more than a punt down the Thames in clement weather with a G&T in hand. Do accept my humblest apologies. I hope one day we may be friends and that you may consider picking me in your fantasy rugby team (as A) I'm actually quite good and B)get quite a few points and C)am rather easy on the eye).
Sincerely yours
R. McCaw

Kate Blackhurst said...

Well, Mr McCaw, that was indeed a charming apology and sounded incredibly sincere. I may yet be persuaded to include you in the aforementioned fantsy rugby team, not least because I want to beat Lulu's Dancing Ponies (as you would). But really, you should know that Pimms is the only thing to drink while punting on the Thames. Perhaps we could share one on a fine summer's afternoon and all the unpleasantness will be as water under the bridge.