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  1. Eddie Waring may be a figure of controversy for some in Rugby League, but outside the M62, Eddie's profile was boosted by TV shows such as It's a Knockout and Morecambe & Wise leading to impersonation by the likes of Mike Yarwood etc. In doing so he gained a greater profile for Rugby League, for good or Ill depending on your view, than anyone else has since. For the benefit of you younglings, here's Eddie, Frank Bough, Richard Baker and some others I cannot place on the Morecambe and Wise Special in 1977. ed by
  2. The major sports in this country all have official supporters clubs - an England Soccer one, "The First XV" England RU one and "We are England Cricket supporters" so are the opponents of an England RL supporters club really conceding that Rugby League is not a sport that warrants having a supporters club for the national team ?
  3. It should last until 3.00pm tomorrow. Then the inquest begins....
  4. London need to give it a crack, they are at their best when when written off by most people- including myself - so go on Broncos prove me wrong. Hull KR by 12
  5. So it's overcast and wet in Manchester in September - who would have thought it ? The point made by Jim Maxwell at the Oval in the last Ashes series played this late in September 2013 when England seemed to be chasing down Michael Clarke's target only to be thwarted by bad light remains valid. What did people expect playing at this time in the year ?. Cricket administrators need to learn - Greed is not good Australia in pole position at 170-3 and I have this feeling that the wicket is going to appear a lot less flat once Starc and Cummins bowl on it. With two clear days coming on Saturday and Sunday can England keep the series alive until the Oval and will it actually matter if they do, since the selectors resolutely fail to make much needed changes to the side? Shane Warne rose even higher in my estimation yesterday
  6. Australia odds on favourites IMO to retain the Ashes at Old Trafford if weather does not intervene. To say that the England selection has been underwhelming is an understatement. Rory Burns - Neds a score here or at the Oval to make the winter tour. The likes of Adam Lyth also scored a hundred early in their short England career but tailed off afterwards as soon as he had been worked out et tu Rory facing a barrage of short deliverys into the body. Joe Denly - Pushed up to number two by Jason Roy's abject failure as a opener. Joe's from my county and he is a good County pro but that's the size of it Joe Root - Batting in the wrong position and an unhappy captain. Relieving him of the captaincy would be a mercy killing - Just compare the Test and ODI records for Root 66 over the last few years to see how it affects him. Jason Roy - Sorry I am all for a bloke being given a fair go but was he not in the side as an opener so as far as I am concerned any runs are irrelevant in a long term context. He is in Joe Root's position. Ben Stokes - Techncally the best batsman in the England side but he surely cannot pull England's fat out of the fire again with bat and ball. Stokes for England Captain on the non World test championship tour of his native New Zealand - You read it first here. Jos Buttler - Nees a break from Test Cricket, one centrury in 34 innings tells it's own story. Jonny Bairstow - Jonny B has nver let England down, I think the press have been messing with his mind with all the Foakes talk in the Cricket pages . Jonny emotionally needs to keep the gloves. One can only hope Bayliss has given him the nod for the series. Craig Overton will prove adept at relentlessly hitting the middle of Aussie bats as he did down under. if England needs his runs an number 8 then it says little about batters 1 to 7 Jofra Archer - About to be bowled into the ground. when Overton and if Leach leak runs. Stuart Broad - Still worth his place in the side as a bowler but rumour has it that its Oval and out for Broad as he swops dressing room for commetarty box. Jack Leach - Unsung Hero and Yeoman Left Armer but not someone keeping Aussie batters awake at night. Australia have made a positive move swopping Smith for Khawaja and at last Mitchell Starc comes in for Cummins or Patterson . It remins me of an exchange between an Australian Official and a nameless ECB blazer in the Waugh / Warne era "my the best team win" offerd the Aussie hand out "I F***ing hope not!" was the reply. England will finally make changes to the batting once the series is lost and then it will be a case of where was this guy....
  7. Another afternoon in which you would have to grade the Broncos performance as A for effort and D+ for execution. FWIW I thought Leeds were value for their win . London had a lot of field position in the first half but Leeds defended superbly and went in at the break 18-0 up and liooked the more clinical side. A knock on immediately after the restart had Leeds on London's line before Keiran Dixon got an interception try going almost the length of the field. From then on it was 25 minutes worth of London pressure. When Morgan went in the corner making the score 10-18 there was some concern amongst the large Leeds contingent. The gamechanger was Jordan Abdull going through dribbling the bnall on his thigh on the last tackle. This was explained by Robert Hicks to Jay Pitts as having bounced off Jordan Abdull's arm. I was in line and it did not. Instead of a Leeds Scrum they got a penalty for Bronco backchat and field position before finishing off in the corner on the sixth tackle against what had been the run of play in the second half up to then. 10-24 down London started to chase the game and Leeds starrted to make line breaks, one of which resulting in Keiran Dixon being sin binned for a professional foul about 5 metres out from the London try line. As is customary in Rugby League the chasing team ends up under a rude scoreline and although Leeds were the better side, IMO 10-36 was a bit flattering. Not over for London yet, but I have the odd feeling that even with two wins out of two points difference will be the decider.
  8. I am going to post this prior to the Leeds game and this remains my opinion regardless of how the rest of the season pans out. I have been watching the club since the dawn of Super League and while the Broncos have had better players, and sides they have mnot had a better team than the one that has been on the park this season. Written off before the start of the season and writen off again by some, including myself, mid way through the season, the club has defies the odds and if they have not silenced the critics then certainly give them food for thought. To still be in the mix to stay up in the penultimate game is tribute enough to the players and coaching staff. I read a lot that Danny Ward was never considered head coaching material but let this be a lesson to all reading this in your professional life, that individuals who possess leadership skills are not always the most obvious candidates. Can the Broncos defy the odds again - who knows. Not to jinx them as is traditional I tip the opposition - Leeds by 10
  9. Just thougt I would wait until after the hyperbole has died down before posting. "The Greatest Innings of all time" I saw Headingley 1981 as a kid and there are a few other claimants to this title - Certainly Ben Stokes knock is up there and will be the subject of many a late night pub debate years into the future. "The Greatest Match of all time" again I saw Headingley 1981, Edgbaston 1981, Edgbaston 2005 but it's up there and as the above, the subject for debate. "The Greatest Series of all time" - Well if the last two games have anything like the pathos and drama of the first three then this joins 1981 and 2005 as a GOAT contender. What all of this has in common is that they are ASHES clashes and while it's hard to top a world cup win, and I am still firmly of the view that this series should have been scheduled for another year. This series has delivered. The only concern going into Old Trafford is that Selectors Ed Smith and James Taylor stick with the same XI for Old Trafford. Jason Roy needs to be put out of his misery, Jos Buttler needs a break, Chris Woakes does too and should be replaced by James Anderson, If fit or Sam Curran if James Anderson is not fit. Dom Sibley was the named England opening concussion substitute for the second and third testsand should replace his ex-Surrey colleague as opener. Buttler is most likey to be replaced by Ollie Pope (again concussion sub for 2/3 Tests) who would bat, unlike last year, at No 6 where he was playing for Surrey. The alternative wuld be Dawid Malan but as I posted here before Ed Smith would have to "eat crow" over his comments about Dawid being suited for overseas conditions and not English or James Vince and If Vince gets the call the scream you here is me logging on to an ECB media release. I no longer surprised by anything in life but if Mitchell Starc is not playing for Pattinson or Cummns at Old Trafford I cannot see him playing at all and if I was a betting man Usman Khawaja will make way for Steve Smith with Labuschange moving to number three. On paper, I would still fancy Australia to win but Sport is not played on paer and England now have momentum. PS - Just a reminder below that not everybody enjoyed yesterday ......
  10. Posting as someone who was actually there, well played to Warrington. Sometimes it works out for you if the main man is not there as it makes everyone else put in a shift. Certainly in the first 20 minutes I felt St Helens were an ankle tap away from a clean break but Warrington kept on getting that ankle tap. Yes St Helens had a try that was chalked off without going to the Video Referee (and it was shown in the ground which was a bit naughty) But Warrington defensively were superb. If I had to have a quibble with Warrington it was letting Ratchford unleash the bomb on the last tackle, it paid off once but certainly in the second half, Ratchford butchered a 5 on 3 opportunity to his right to kick and very rarely did they kick into the sun. St Helens by contrast played the last tackle through the hands which tactically meant Warrngton attacking from deep. The St Helens performance lacked composure, getting worse as the game dragged on with play becoming ever more frantic and the ball being promoted looking for the miracle offload and posession not respected. Given the strength of the Warrington defence it looked like while Saints had a Plan A there was no Plan B save to try to speed the game up further. St Helens unquestionably are the club to beat in the regular season but when it comes to he games that matter, with this and last season, the Holbrook era may be defined as the big game bottlers, as certainly if I was a rival club I would always travel in hope to the TWS, seeing as Holbrooks Saints buckle under pressure. St Helens leave Wembley not just without a Cup most expected them to win, but with a big metaphorical gorilla on their back beating its chest. It will take a trophy to get that ape off their back.
  11. No Blake Austin is huge considering the organising role he plays for Warrington. It was tough for Warrington with him, in the side it would be a monumental, but not impossible, task without him. Looking forward to this game.
  12. Correct, and if Jason Roy really is going to play a quick fire ODI style 60 today is the day to do it. You can never tell how a pitch plays until both sides have batted but this is shaping to be a low innings test . All the attention on Jofra but Woakes and Stokes need to up their game the Warner-Labuschange stand was helped by some truly risible bowling in helpful conditions. Others need to shoulder their share of the load or Archer and Broad are going to be bowled into the ground.
  13. Great achievement by the Chemics to get there considering the off-field problems the club has had. Kiss of death for me to tip Widnes so to ensure a decent reception next time I walk down Lower House Lane it's got to be Sheffield by 10
  14. That may be true but Stokes does bowl a "heavy" ball as they say in the trade so If Archer does need a backup paceman that's where Stokes comes in to rough up the opposition. Not Ideal for a no 5 Batsman but with Wood and Stone unavailable no other option either.
  15. He would be fourth seamer, as i suspect Stokes would come on first change, buthe does swing the ball and adds Left arm variety - probably long term a better batsman, and in addition is what they call a "golden arm" i.e he can send down an absolute pie and get a wicket - Just ask William Porterfield. The only concern would be leaking runs if he was being used as a stock bowler. which would impact on Archer as you say simply because you cannot create pressure on a batter if runs are coming freely at the other end. Rumblings out of the England camp about "resting" Woakes today, I suspect his knee is playing up and with back to back tests, as was proved at Edgbaston, you cannot have someone puling up lame once the game has begun. He was very sparingly used in conditions that should have been helpful. My bad because my response is not that clear, the original question referred to a decision pitching outside off-stump and the poster was a bit confused as to why this was not given out. when the pitch map came on TV. As you say, if had pitched outside leg then this would not have been an issue nor if, in the opinion of the umpire, he had not been playing a shot
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