Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Return match

I always thought it would difficult for Leicester to win in France and it seems I was right. There was a brief glimmer of hope in the first part of the second half as Tigers put together a good passage of play. Ultimately it wasn't to be and in the end we couldn't get the losing bonus point, which we probably be all important at the end of the tournament group stages.

Saw some of the WASP v Clermont game as well. That was a crazy match, I thought wasps had it all tied up, but then Clermont came back and back at them too secure the all important losing bonus points, which wasps threw away the week before in France.

Cipirani is getting better all the time as a fly half. Some touches of pure genius, however followed by some poor decisions in the second half. However, he gets better all the time and the Heineken Cup is a great proving and learning ground for him when looking towards playing internationally. Better he makes such mistakes now and learns in time for the internationals, than learns in a crunch 6 nations or world cup game. In comparison Toby Flood doesn't get this level of competition at Newcastle and must be asking him self if he should be moving on. He will always be in Jonny's shadow at Newcastle, plus will only ever likely to get to play in the second rate Europe cup. If he wants to be a contender for the fly half position I suggest he has to be in a team that plays in the Heineken cup every year.

Look how much of a better player Paul Sackey has become from playing at wasps. To get better you need to be playing better competition. Thus you need to play against the best players club rugby has to offer.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Leicester v Toulouse

Watched the game on the telly this weekend. It was a very tense affair between the two teams and seem to come down to who made the least mistakes. Obviously, Toulouse gifted the the ball to Ollie Smith and he went in for the try. Also they gave away a number of penalties that Andy Goode was able to slot away. It seem to be a case of playing to the conditions, Leicester did and Toulouse tried to throw it about and create something which led to the try.

Leicester seem to be missing back up for the scrum half and fly half positions at the moment, Andy Goode had to struggle on and Ben youngs had to come in at scrum. I have only seen him play at centre before.

Varndell played well again and seems to be growing in confidence every week at the moment. I really believe he will be back in the England Squad for the 6 nations.

On the question of England how much longer is it going to take to appoint a new Manager?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Leicester vs Sale & Ba-Bas Vs South Africa

Leicester won at the weekend put I am not sure how much Sale wanted to win the game in the first place, as they left Andrew Sheridan out of the squad. Interesting that at half time Leicester were only 10-6 up and at half time the coach changed tactics. Second half the tigers came out and finished off the sharks 32-8. It was obvious that Loffreda is a very good tactician as he showed in the world cup. He decided the game needed changing at half time and was proved to be right. As said in previous blog entries I think Loffredas tactical knowledge combined with Tigers strength and depth in squad will propel Tigers to more trophies this season.

Ba-Bas beat South Africa! Was it really a surprise, if you look at the Ba-bas side it was one of the best line ups they have had for a long time and South Africa was missing some it players post world cup. I think the South Africa team will go the same way the England team did after they won the world cup. Lots of similarities, both sides won through a very disciplined defensive and a strong kicker. Both Managers left after they won the world cup. A number of senior players retired, or in the case of South Africa have come to play in Europe instead. I reckon come the tri nations New Zealand and Australia will both beat South Africa.

Next weekend Leicester vs Toulouse. This should really give both sides a good indication of how well they are playing at the moment. Looking forward to watching this one at the weekend.