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Bleater's Blog
  1. The Grassroots Season Starts
  2. Not Long Now!
  3. Japan Still Beckons
  4. Japan Beckons
  5. Nearly Time To Look Ahead
  6. The Summer Break is Here
  7. The Final Countdown
  8. Yet another section of drivel
  9. The Season Continues for a Little Longer
  10. The 6 Nations Continues
  11. Six Nations and More
  12. It's RWC Year!!
  13. Its Definitely Winter
  14. Winter is here. Brrrr!!!
  15. Its the Autumn, soon to be Winter
  16. We Are Off And Running
  17. The New Season Approaches
  18. Still the Summer Tours Go On
  19. The Summer Internationals Plus, Plus
  20. The Season Climax Approaches
  21. Summer is Coming
  22. Another Section, More Drivel
  23. 2018 Already!!!! It'll soon be Xmas
  24. The Season Approaches the Half Way Point
  25. The Season Takes Shape
  26. The Season Starts
  27. More Pre-Season Build Up
  28. Pre-Season and Other Stuff
  29. The Lions Tested
  30. The Lions Roar
  31. We Are Still Counting Down
  32. It's All About The Lions
  33. The Countdown to Season's End
  34. The Season Continues Apace
  35. It's Time for the 6 Nations
  36. 2017 - Let The Fun Begin
  37. The Big Man Will Be Here Soon
  38. Let's Countdown to You Know What
  39. It's Time For Europe
  40. The Season Is Well Underway
  41. At Last Let The Competition Begin
  42. Not Long to the New Season
  43. Not So Much Rugby Now
  44. Still Plenty of Rugby to Debate
  45. The Summer Break
  46. Here Comes Summer
  47. They Think It's All Over
  48. Jones - A New Era
  49. It Was A Grand Slam!!!!
  50. 6 Nations - A Grand Slam??
  51. Six Nations 2016
  52. A New Captain, A New Start
  53. Welcome to 2016
  54. The Countdown to Christmas
  55. Winter Has Arrived
  56. November Movember
  57. The World Cup Is Over
  58. Rugby World Cup Quarters
  59. Rugby World Cup into the knockout stages
  60. Rugby World Cup Day 9 to Day 24
  61. Rugby World Cup Day 1 to Day 8
  62. Sept 9th to Sept 17th
  63. August 24th to September 7th
  64. August 11th to August 23rd
  65. July 16th to August 9th
  66. July 1st to July 15th
  67. June 17th to June 29th
  68. June 2nd to June 16th
  69. May 19th to June 1st
  70. May 7th to May 17th
  71. April 28th to May 6th
  72. April 22nd to April 27th
  73. April 13th to April 21st
  74. March 13th to Aprill 11th
  75. March 5th to March 12th
Bleater's Blog 38 of 75

38. Let's Countdown to You Know What

Tuesday 13th December - 08:30

Let's start with rugby league converts. Sale, after the mauling on Saturday, plus their perilous position in the Aviva have poached Josh Charnley from rugby league to bolster their squad. They have also said they have got several players from the 13 man code in their sights. How does this differ from importing overseas players?

Good question.

In some respects it doesn't. It is another kick in the teeth of the youngsters who have sweated their way through the academy only to have their big break thwarted by the introduction of an 'outsider'.

On the other hand most of these rugby league imports are English so English qualified and therefore could go on to a) enhance the international side, and b) to inspire youngsters into the game. Jason Robinson of England is a perfect example. For me this is the important difference.

The RFU funds the development of grassroots rugby. If the international side of the game suffers so does the ability to invest. Bringing in an overseas player into the English club game who is not England qualified simply blocks the development of English players. This is not confined to the ether of the Aviva but that is a story for another day. We have had overseas players at Crowborough and with one notable exception it has not necessarily been a great experience for long standing members of the club who have come through the junior ranks.

The bottom line though is clubs want success and sadly like everything in life today they want it now. Growing your own trees takes time, and is expensive, and doesn't always deliver the calibre of trees you need. Bringing in players with proven experience is easier. Hey ho!

This leads us on to Mark McCall of Saracens whingeing on about the Dec international vs Australia. It isn't fair on the clubs to have their players return tired. Saracens along with all the clubs agreed a deal with the RFU about the release of the players and have been recompensed handsomely for it. For me this reinforces my view that English clubs don't have the England international side as a priority. Their own vested interests are their priority, and as businesses in their own right that is exactly what they should be doing but............. and the circle of discussion about the future of our game continues.

McCall used the poor performances of Leicester and Northampton against Munster and Leinster as examples of how the Australian international affected the games this weekend. Bullshit! Neither Leicester nor Northampton have been playing well and these results are a reflection of their ongoing poor performances. Don't forget the European Cup was re-engineered to the advantage of the English and French sides because it was felt the Pro 12 sides benefitted from an easier league and qualification structure. I guess it has nothing to do with Pro 12 sides being part funded by their respective unions, having to grow their own trees, having to restrict the number of overseas players, and being told when to protect players from burn out.

I know many of you don't like or agree with Stuart Barnes but his column on is interesting. He makes some challenging comments about Dylan and his view about the European results seem to be much in line with my own, or vice versa....... whatever!!!!.

I couldn't move on without commenting on today's rail strike. This is Bolshevism, anarchy and extremism by the unions. This is an orchesrtated and cynical move to cause as much disruption to hardworking people as possible. This is a power struggle, but with incompetence of the management on the other side of the argument one that can't be won by either side. The RMT claiming this is about safety is nonsense. This is about protecting jobs and therefore protecting power. The guards have signed new contracts so if they are now in breach, sack them. There are thousands of people, let's say in Sheffield who are on benefits who could be taken off benefits and trained to work on Southern Rail as replacements.
ASLEF are also making spurious claims about driver only trains. Their members day in, day out already operate driver only trains. So what is the difference? Nothing! When you include the fact that on certain London Underground lines ASLEF drivers will be operating packed driver only trains without a hitch makes this an even more spurious argument.

For those of you who disagree with me on this subject that's absolutely fine, but if you find you can't get medical treatment today because the hospital staff have been stopped from getting to work, or you have had to lose a day at work to look after your kids because they can't get to school, or you miss your flight because you were late at the airport due to the hideous transport issues then don't whinge to me.

Monday 12th December - 10:20

The Bard has been under the weather so he didn't make it to Charlton Park either. I am therefore relying on the wonderful Mr Geering's update on Saturday's game. For the record we were a pair of 'saddos' shopping in Morrisons yesterday afternoon.

It sounds as if my assessment of Charlton Park was right. They were big, very big, aggressive (in the right way) in the contact areas and very well drilled. We were Lilliputians in the land of giants by comparison. The boys gave everything they had but again came a distant second. As already stated we are adrift at the bottom of the table. Charlton Park sit third.

Medway continue their unbeaten run with a narrow away win over Dartfordians. Old Colfeians came second to Beckenham, which surprised me a little, and this closes the gap of the chasing group. OCs remain second on 41 points. Beckenham are fourth and Dartfordians are 5th. A five point spread separates the four teams chasing the playoff spot.

In the other games it must have been a cracker of a Sussex derby with The Greenies losing at home to Hove 27-28. Dont't forget it is us and The Greenies next weekend. Bromley put space between us and them with a fine home win over Old Alleynians. Finally Horsham enjoyed an easy enough win over Deal & Betteshanger.

There is four points between Bromley in 11th and Deal & Betteshanger in 8th. Much still to play for.

In Sussex 1 Uckfield beat Seaford down on the coast. Crawley beat Hellingly and Shoreham lost at home to Hove II. Brighton II v Horsham II was a home walk over. Crawley remain top with Uckfield 2nd.

In London 3 South East the eye catching result for me is Aylesford Bulls holding Haywards Heath to a 14-14 draw. Table topping Thanet Wanderers came away from Old Dunstonians with a fine win. Pulborough stay in 2nd (on points difference) with a comfortable home win over Park House. Lewes keep up their chase for the top with an away win over Gillingham Anchorians. Eastbourne lose a nail-biter at home to Folkestone by a single point 28-29. In the only other game Sheppey beat Ashford. Despite their draw Aylesford Bulls remain bottom.

In London 1 South Tunbridge Wells would have enjoyed the trip home from Dover after their fine win. They remain in 3rd spot behind Sidcup and Havant who both won at home vs Tottonians and away at Chobham respectively. Sevenoaks had a nice day out at Brighton cementing their mid table position. Brighton sit just one place off the bottom. Gosport & Fareham hold that unenviable position.

At the pinnacle of the London pyramid TJs sit proudly on top with a solid 5-17 away win at Hertford. Chichester enjoyed a morale bossting win at home to Colchester. Westcombe Park, where OUR Harry Sansbury now plies his trade, beat Southend Saxons 40-8.

In the national league Worthing went down at home to Redingensians. For the record Salisbury lost at home to Hornets but Bridgnorth enjoyed a home win against Sandbach.

The Wasps vs Connacht game was a cracker with the best paid player in The Premiership; Kurtley Beale earning man of the match. I thought Joe Launchbury was outstanding proving England do have strength in depth in the lock position. I enjoyed the Scarlets match and I thought the West Wales outfit proved their class for long periods. Well done Bristol for breaking their European duck beating Pau. Very well done England 7s for their excellent win in Cape Town over the highly fancied hosts.

A very intersting piece on talking about Dai Young's view of how the high tackle and dangerous play is being refereed. I think he has a point. It is the intent not the outcome that needs to be considered first. Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusion. For the record I still think Daly was red but equally so should have been the Argentinian. The outcome WAS different but the initial actions were identical.

OK, before I go, Paddy O'Fez has made a very good point on rugby league converts vs overseas imports. What is the difference? To be discussed tomorrow (or Wednesday).

Finally things must be great in the UK right now. No rail strikes, no immigration issues, no economic issues, the NHS is in rude health. Why? Because the papers are full of what trousers Theresa May wears. Get a grip and move on. I don't give a shi£ care if she wanders around 10 Downing Street in a Minnie Mouse outfit as long as she is leading the country properly. That's a debate for another day!!!

Sunday 11th December - 08:30

So the grandchildren crawled into bed with us at 06:15 this morning. At 07:30 enough was enough. Time to write some drivel.

Well done to our 2s. A fine win over Uckfield 2s. More importantly WELL DONE to Uckfield for turning up with no front row. It would have been easier to say 'sod it! Give them the game' No! They turned up and played and in my mind they deserve our applause for that.

The Crows strolled past Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents (how could I have forgotten that yesterday) by a lot to not many: 88-5.

Three sides out from CRFC. Three games completed.

Dare I say it I feared the worse and looking at the score line it came to pass. Charlton Park 76 Crowborough 7. I am ahead of the Bard so I'll comment further tomorrow when I look at the league in more detail. One indisputable fact is we are now adrift at the bottom of the league. All is not lost yet. The boys will continue to train hard. We will continue to try and get three sides out each week and I am sure nothing but 100% will be given on the field.

Only got to watch the one sided affair between Sarries and Sale yesterday despite being stuck in the house all day. That Maro Itoje.... what a player. He'll be on the plane to New Zealand in the summer. Leicester got a thumping too. What a splendid win for Glasgow over Racing 92 in Paris. Looking at the reports the game of the day was Ulster v Clermont Auvergne.

Four Champions Cup games today. Wasps v Connacht looks the pick of them but Toulon v Scarlets could be interesting.

Much in the news about Dylan. None of it positive..... which is no surprise. He was a shoe in as Lions captain. If he is not going to be captain then his place on the plane could be in jeopardy because Rory Best and Jamie George are both in fine form.

Talking of Lions, on Wednesday I might put my side on paper based on who is CURRENTLY fit and available. Just for a laugh.

Scanning the rugby and sports websites some one-liners:

Hosts are in pole position after day 1 of Cape Town HSBC 7s

Jimmy Gopperth gives Wasps measure of control from the centre. (This ahead of today's match up with Connacht)

Maro Itoje the superman in ruthless Saracens' six try sacking of Sale

Brian O'Driscoll doubts Dylan Hartley can lead the Lions after 'mindless' red card

Leicester left looking inept and embarrassed by dominant Munster.

Mark Reason: An open letter to George North, who must forget about rugby.
(Reason is part of Fairfax Media and sometimes writes for the Torygraph)

Elsewhere in sport there is only one story of note. Leicester City 4 Manchester City 2. The boys are back in town and Vardy hits the net at last.

The Russian doping scandal is no surprise. Russian cheating has been going on since the days of CCCP so why should we expect anything different now.

Keaton Jennings scores a ton on debut then is out first ball in the second innings. So what!!!! I agree with Geoffrey Boycott; he shouldn't be playing for England. He is South African. He is only here for the money so his qualifying via the pathetic residency rules makes me mad and a mockery of the system.

Before moving off sport go to and watch the clip of London Welsh from a bygone era.

Brexit, brexit, brexit. I didn't vote for it but come on, lets get on with it. Stop this nonsense. Yet again the only people happy are the lawyers.

I did smile when I read about the Asian community in Sheffield complaining about the immigration problems being caused in their area. Immigration is good BUT in the case of Sheffield they have been plagued by an influx of Roma from Eastern Europe. Having spent time in Eastern Europe these people are despised there and I know my Romanian and Bulgarian friends are delighted to see them gone. Enough said I think.

Times must be hard at BA as lounge staff at Heathrow tried to stop a passenger from using two teabags. To get in the lounge you must either be a frequent flyer or flying business/first class, for which the passenger (or his company) will have paid royally for. Not great PR me thinks.

Time to go. Coffee is ready. Not flying BA so two croissants to go with it.

Saturday 10th December -10:15

Wasn't going to blog this morning but weather awful so plans have been scuppered.

A couple of questions this .........

Q1 Was it a red card?
Q2 Is he a muppett?
Q3 What are the implications?

A1 Yes, without question. It looked malicious and pre-meditated. That doesn't mean to say it was. It just looks that way and that is what the officials have to go by.

A2 No Dylan isn't a muppett in the sense that Boris Johnson is or Lady Gaga is. He is a competitor who sometimes oversteps the mark. Having warmed his backside on the bench for 50 minutes and watched his side come under pressure from a resurgent Leinster side he comes on with all cylinders firing and the turbo already in overdrive. Outcome ...... wallop!

A3 They could be extensive. His track record isn't exactly pristine. The offence potentially carries a high tariff. An example might need to be made in the light of the emphasis on high shots to the head. I fear he may get a ban that could put him out of the 6 Nations. That in turn could affect his Lions selection. It certainly could affect his on-going captaincy of England. Eddie Jones made a big play of Dylan's leadership and his improved discipline. This seems like a slap in the face for Jones. He won't take that well.

Ok back tomorrow but not having watched 1s it might be a broad review until I've read the Bard's missive.

Friday 9th December - 08:00

Lots going on at the club this weekend. The 2s take on Uckfield 2s and The Crows host the newest club to Sussex Brighton & Hove 'something or others'. I am embarrassed to say I forgot the teams name but they are sure of a warm welcome at Steel Cross. On Sunday there are two junior fixtures at home, both well worth watching. The place is looking great as Dave Bristow has been multitining and the pitches have responded well to that. When you see him be sure to pat him on the back. Whilst the grass grows of its own accord the pitches don't turn from swamps to excellent playing surfaces overnight. Thanks Dave.

The 1s face a very challenging tie at our friends Charlton Park. They have been playing well and my sources tell me they are big, aggressive (in the right way) and well drilled. I am really disappointed that I can't make it tomorrow as I am in Salisbury. I was hoping to catch up with Bernie and some of the other guys we met when we toured Australia with The Lions. I hope Bernie has left his 'budgie smugglers' at home. I know bragging about where you've been is somewhat tedious but I recall with great fondness being in the Sydney Rugby Club when the Charlton Park crew got the singing going and turning a great night into a brilliantly enjoyable and hilarious night......... with my liver groaning the next morning.

The Varsity game yesterday was thoroughly enjoyable. They are often not of the highest quality but I thought yesterday's was an even contest with some good passages of play. The game was plagued with the interminable periods of aimless kicking but when the ball was kept in hand it was fun.

I see Rob Andrew was freeloading at Twickenham...... ars....... move on!

Interesting piece on with Gatland expressing his disappointment that Gregor Townsend turned down the opportunity to be part of the Lions coaching team. Surprised Gatland has been so forthright. Surprised Townsend said 'no!'. Not surprised Townsend said 'no!' He has a great opportunity with Scotland and that is his first priority. He may also see The Lions as a road crash waiting to happen when the All Blacks win the series 3-0. Anyway, well worth a read.

Northampton v Leinster stands out in tonight's fixtures but there are some good match ups across the board; Munster v Leicester, Ulster v Clermont Auvergne.

Wasps will have Kurtley Beale available this weekend when they take on Connacht. Me, I'd rather be reading about some wunderkind who has come through their academy and is destined to be the next Wilkinson or Greenwood or Johnson. Hey Ho!

What a load of bollo... nonsense. The Chairman of Jersey is saying the RFU needs to look at itself after London Welsh went into liquidation. ( He is WRONG. Jersey and the other clubs who are facing ruin need to look at themselves and ask 'is the current level of YOUR spending sustainable?' No it is NOT! should be the answer. With small crowds, and growing wage bills plus an insatiable appetite for overseas players the system is broke. Yes that might be the RFU's problem for allowing that to proliferate but ploughing money into lost causes is NOT the answer. Clubs at all levels need to cut their cloth accordingly. If a club has a benefactor with more money than sense and is willing to bankroll that club then fine but they also have to understand that if that funding dries up then tough. Forget East Grinstead at your peril. If the RFU has money to invest it should be in the grass roots, in schools, in improving facilities and pitches at the lowest level, helping clubs be creative in growing their mini/junior sections and developing the 1st XV players of the future. Bailing out clubs with over-inflated ambition with no financial plan to support that vision is NOT the way forward. Here endeth the lesson.

Hoorah! Hoorah! and Hoorah! again is what I say. There is a place in society for the legal profession. There is a need for the wronged to be defended and those who have been exploited to be supported through the courts. There is no place in society for self-serving, money grabbing, ambulance chasing slugs who proclaim to be helping society but all they are doing is lining their own pockets, usually from funds that could be better used elsewhere. The money diverted from caring for patients going into lawyers pockets is a disgrace. It is wonderful news that one such slug, Phil Shiner, has been found out. Hounding our superb troops with spurious and often untrue claims about human rights violations is despicable. He is the lowest of the low and a pariah who shames the legal profession.

Must go, on grandparenting duties. Son-in-law has just left me his business card in case I need him today. Love it...... his title...... Chief of Electronic Warfare Operations. I wonder if Mr Shiseter Shiner could be a practice target?

Thursday 8th December - 12:00

Let me start with the Wooden Spoon lunch. Yet again a splendid affair with CRFC being very well represented by The Friday Club. Rob Andrew was there. Unfortunately there is history between him and a certain brother so I wasn't surprised when he was an ignorant tosser towards me when I went to say hello. I always thought Barnsey was a better player. The event raised plenty of money towards the local causes supported by the charity. Great news.

Plenty of comments about the RFU Touchline article. We were all delighted to discuss that but it was important to stress the fantastic contribution Dave Bristow, our groundsman has made to the significant improvement to the pitches specifically and the grounds in general. Shame Dave had to drop out of the lunch at the last minute as it would have been a great opportunity for The Friday Club, on behalf of the club at large to salute him.

Much talk around the place about George North. The views were pretty consistent; Northampton have cocked up and this must be a lesson to all. There are NO short cuts where concussion is concerned.

Gatland's coaching team is as expected. Looks a good mix. Howley's inclusion means Robbie McBryde will lead the Welsh squad during the 2017 summer tours.

It is very sad to read London Welsh are going into liquidation. A great club with a fantastic history. Really sad. On the other hand let us hope this is a wake up call to all clubs about the tightrope they walk when they overextend themselves and their ambition requires more money than budgeted.

Craig Joubert steps down as an international referee. Shame. With a few exceptions he has been consistently good.

Lots of European rugby to watch this weekend starting tonight with Gloucester v La Rochelle.

Can I ask 'in which country do we live?'. I think the answer is 'Great Britain'. Then can someone explain to me why a shopkeeper has been branded a racist for opening a shop selling British goods and told to take down the Union flag. So Poles can open Polish shops selling Polish goods with many advertised in Polish but a Britain can't do likewise in London. The World is truly going mad.

Wednesday 7th December - 09:30

The George North situation has been prominent in the news this week and quite rightly so. It certainly looks as if he was out cold and under those circumstances should never ever have returned to the field of play. Better to be safe than sorry. Recently we had a young lad who'd had a bump to his head and said he was fine to play. His parents wanted him to play but the coaches said 'no way Jose' (Jose wasn't his real name if you were wondering). No matter how hard it is from the littlest to the biggest, form the youngest to the oldest any form of concussion must be taken seriously.

It is not now the problems will occur but it is later in life. It was reported West Bromwich Albion favourite Jeff Astill who died some years ago was affected by long periods of heading a football during his career. This repeated pounding of the brain contributed to his demise.

Jeremy Evans, who recently made his debut for the 2s has been in touch. He's wondering if he might be in line for Lions selection. Well Jeremy I've been in touch with the Lions (of Longleat) and they've said you've lost a bit too much weight for our liking. Your mate Ash on the other hand. He could well be of (calorific) value to the Lions. See you later guys.

So Pat Lam is leaving Connacht to join Bristol. Can he turn a pigs ear into a silk purse. Andy Robinson, who I think has been hard done by, had the material to work with but just couldn't get them to gel. For the promoted side from the Championship this will always be a problem.

Gatland's Lions coaches will be announced today. Borthwick, Farrell, Howley and Jenkins are likely to be part of the team. Not much to say really.

Lions selection is many months away but there is plenty of speculation on the make up of the squad. The best combinations I have seen to date have been on the Rugby World website.

Dan Lydiate won't be going to New Zealand. His latest injury will certainly preclude him from selection but it is hoped he can make a full recovery.

I know no-one else may give a damn but it is really frustrating me when I read Sarries have signed Australian Will Skelton, Bristol have signed Irishman Dan Tuohy, and Worcester have signed Samoan Chris Vui. If England under Eddie Jones and then on into the future are to reach the pinnacle of the game having strength in depth to choose from is crucial. This is not the way forward. I know the Premiership clubs have financial incentives to field English qualified players but their objectives are not necessarily the same as the RFU. Bums on seats and winning matches vs growing English talent. Not necessarily mutually agreeable.

Newcastle City Council bid to host 2018 European finals. Good shout. Great for promoting northeast rugby. I'd like to see more games at the Amex. They did it well and could easily repeat that success.

Much in the news about Brexit still, and much in the news about the railways. So they want to put the control of the track into the hands of the operators. In the case of Southern that would be like letting the lunatics run the asylum. Move on before I lose the plot.

In just an hour The Friday Club head to Brighton for the annual Wooden Spoon Christmas lunch on Brighton Pier. The most expensive fish & chips in the world but a great day is expected. Many clubs support the Wooden Spoon so if yours does please give generously. Talking of The Friday Club they have been featured in the RFU's touchline magazine. Page 7 I think. Sadly they didn't feature the photo of the boys bedecked in the flag of ..... Wales. I can't think why.

Salisbury beckons for a few days so the blog will happen but timings will be erratic....... a bit like Southern's train service.

Monday 5th December - 10:00

Whilst level 7 rugby and below had free weekends the boys above us had fixtures to contend with.

In London 1 South I think it is fair to say that Gosport & Fareham would have been pretty downhearted on their journey back down the A27 after being spanked 97-5 by the men from St Marks Recreation Ground. With Sidcup enjoying an away win at Sevenoaks 16-32 and Havant strolling past Cobham 55-10 Tunbridge Wells remain third with an 11 point gap to Sidcup at the top. It is no surprise Gosport & Fareham are rock bottom. Brighton lost by a single point away at Maidstone so still languish in 13th spot.

In National League 3 London Tonbridge Juddians stay on top with a 25-11 win over Sutton & Epsom. Chichester had a morale boosting win away at Guildford so with Colchester losing at home to Westcombe Park they move up one place in the league to 12th.

Worthing were on the end of a bashing at table topping Chinnor 57-10. Chinnor being the club of Steve Bridges, son of the famous Eddie Bridges and the club that inspired us to start the Friday Club.

To complete the round Bridgnorth lost away to Peterborough Lions with Salisbury getting thumped away at Old Redcliffians.

Much in the papers and on the web about England's performance. I tend to agree with all the feedback; a long way still to go before England can move the All Blacks from the No.1 spot, this current side is not as good as the 2003 side, and if England are to deliver on both these first points then they must improve the strength in depth across all positions. That said, with the exception of Ireland the other nations are being left in England's wake.

It is a worry that George North takes another heavy blow and questions are being asked about whether he was concussed or not. This raises two points; a) why are we questioning the compentancy of trained and highly qualified medical staff who have made the call or b) have clubs still not learned from the impending Sale case that there is ZERO room for doubt.

Nice to see Newcastle on the up with win at home to Harlequins. Unsurprisingly with the resources available to him Dai Young's Wasps beat Worcester yesterday.

Well done to South Africa winning the Dubai 7s. Didn't see much of it but boy they destroyed Wales in semis.

In the news what a relief the far-right have lost in Austria. Having a fascist government in Europe would have been horrendous. Don't sit back and relax just yet though the French elections are on their way and surprsingly in the Netherlands there is a swing towards the right too.

EU is further in the mire as Italy rejects the Prime Ministers proposals on reforms. Watch the markets implode again.

Finally if you weren't already thinking 'I'll be gald when Christmas is over (and the supermarkets can start pushing Easter Eggs!!!)' then the story that an English seasonal worker has been stabbed to death in LAPLAND will enhance that view. Yes, Lapland the home of the big man with the white beard who can't afford to go out more than once a year and even then in that same old red suit.

Sunday 4th December - 08:30

'Blimey, you're keen' I hear you cry. Yes it is only 07:30 as I start this drivel but I have already been to Heathrow and back. Dropped a friend off who will be winging his way to Australia in the next 2 hours.

He might be winging his way with some disappointed Aussie fans after yesterday at Twickenham. It could have been so different. The first 20 minutes England were quite simply rubbish. Bereft of ideas, lacking in skill and shambolic as a team. Australia on the other hand were just excellent. They could so easily have been three tries to the good before England had got out their half.

Then it started to turn. Slowly England regained their composure, and maybe realising they had 'dodged a bullet' started to play with a purpose and accuracy. Going in at half time just three points adrift must have been a relief. The second half was then a revelation and I have to agree with many of the papers and doyens of rugby commentary such as the great Ian Roberstson that that was England's best 40 minutes of rugby of 2014 and certainly for a long, long time before that. The skill, the fitness, the accuracy and the decision making sprinkled with a little bit of luck ensured a stunning victory with the men in white making it 14 from 14 since the embarrassing RWC 2015 exit in the group stages.

Whilst Dan Cole failed to impress me in the scrum he put in a huge shift in defence and in the loose. Courtney Lawes was back to his best and Farrell and Ford continue to pull the strings in 10/12 channel. Yarde justified his selection and Ben Youngs was a clear man of the match. I also thought Tom Wood had a splendid game.

Naturally Pocock and Hooper were immense in the gold of Australia but the rest of the side flagged badly towards the end of the game.

There was, in my humble opinion, one controversial decision; the yellow card of Haylett-Petty. It didn't look great but it was nowhere near as bad as I think Mike Brown made it out to be and I don't think a yellow card was appropriate. Will Greenwood made his feelings known in commentary and Greenwood is more often right than wrong. YES the game has to look at player safety but there was much worse that went unpunished. Go onto the bbc website and look at the picture of Tom Wood on top of Michael Hooper and see where Wood's shoulder is in relation to Hooper's neck and how his body position would indicate it was a tackle aimed high on the shoulders.

By the way I thought Jaco Peyper had a good game otherwise.

England can look toward to the 6 Nations with a high degree of confidence and on this form will start as out and out favourites. I would suggest however the trophy cabinet is not cleared just yet for the RWC 2019 Webb Ellis Cup. There is still work to do and England are yet to face New Zealand. That is the true test. Many of the England squad will however be in The Lions XV to face the All Blacks in just 7 months time.

Of the other games I watched this weekend The Ospreys looked in fine form beating Edinburgh, as did Ulster beating Cardiff. Leinster overcame The Dragons but fair play to the men of Gwent they stuck at it and gave the Irishmen some late jitters.

Well done Bath, Gloucester and Leicester. All fine home wins, especially at the Rec; Bath overcoming high flying Sarries.

The last minute punch up at the Etihad makes most newspapers. Not a great advert for soccer which is having a torrid time at the moment.

Must go, got to get the roast lunch prepped. It seems the traditional Sunday roast is dying out. Not in the Bleater household. Roast beef, yorkshire puds, roast potatoes and parsnips, swede, and cheesy leeks today. All served with a tasty £5 note. Yummy.

Friday 2nd December - 13:00

Just back from Friday Club. With just the Colts at home this weekend not much to do other than the usual tidy up and general repairs.

A quick advert to start. On Dec 17th we host our good friends The Greenies aka Heathfield & Waldron RFC in the first of the return London 3 South East fixtures. It is the club's annual Christmas lunch pre-match. Tables are going fast. Contact Martin Cooper for details and book your seat.

The game at their place was a cracker. Lots of tries, some great rugby and a cracking atmosphere. I expect that our two great, well run, and very friendly clubs will enjoy another epic encounter. Even if you can't make the lunch come along to support the boys. The Greenies are always well supported so let's have a some fun together. Dec 17th k.o. 2:15pm

I see the war of words between Jones and Cheika continues. Oh grow up! Let the game commence and the teams show who is better.

Dylan has come to the defence of Dan Cole. The more people stand up for him the more I think there is a concern about him. Look, you don't get all the caps he has amassed by being crap. He is a good player and worthy of selection BUT I still see him as a potential weak link in England's armoury and if you were to list all the front row forwards who have played in this Autumn Internationals Cole wouldn't feature in the top 10.

Jones has gone for Yarde and Hughes to fill the vacancies left due to injury. You know my view on Hughes so I'll leave that there. Yarde is the sensible choice but it would have been great to see Jones try something different e.g. Mike Brown on the wing.

Not surprisingly Enrique Pieretto has been given a lengthy ban; 9 weeks reduced to 7. The panel, as expected, also took into consideration the break in the southern hemisphere so he can't play until March 20th.

Warren Gatland will be disappointed and somewhat embarrassed that Gregor Townsend has turned down the opportunity to be part of The Lions set up. Where next? I think Borthwick might get the nod, and perhaps Shaun Edwards?

Jared Payne is out for several weeks due to injury. Not great news!

Ever wondered how the games get covered on TV. The timetable, the preparation, the numbers of people involved. There's a nice piece on the World Rugby website looking at SKY's coverage.

Haven't had chance to go through the front pages but I do know Mr Zac 'Shoot myself in the foot' Goldsmith got hammered in the Richmond by-election.

Lots about the immigration numbers. More ammunition for the fascist nutcases that walk this earth dragging their knuckles along the floor.

Now, before I go, there were two things that amazed me this morning at the club. I stood for several minutes watching a robin perched on the flag post marking the 22 on pitch A. I swear it was deliberately making the pole sway like a kid would a swing.

The second amazing thing was hearing in the distance the tell tale sound of a train leaving Crowborough and heading toward towards Eridge station. Now that is rare so it could have been a figment of my imagination.

Thursday 1st December - 10:00

As we move into the final month of the year it seems like only yesterday that we were exiting 2015. As you get older the time does seem to pass much more quickly.

I am sure many of you have been following the tragic story of the plane crash in Columbia wiping out the Chapecoense football team. Sport is nothing by comparison. Truly a devastating week for sport in general.

The headline news in the rugby pages is the change to the points system for the Six Nations 2017. Bonus points for four tries and losing bonus points for being within seven brings this tournament into line with most other rugby around the world. Interestingly the table would have been the same as last year even with this change in place. There is an additional three bonus points for a team winning the grand slam. This is because in theory a free scoring team could lose one game yet still top the table ahead of a low scoring side who wins all its games. Will it change anything? Not in my opinion. Every game is a single game shootout so there isn't the chnace to recover lost ground when teams meet for a second time as happens in a normal league. Only time will tell.

All eyes will be on Twickenham on Saturday as the Australians arrive in town. Will it be close? No, I don't think so. Although the Aussies will want to atone for their shambolic performance at home losing the series 3-0 and to return to winning ways after losing in Dublin last weekend. Looking at it logically Wales were rubbish and didn't put up much of a fight. Scotland were better but still not up there yet. France are France and continue to slide down the world rankings. The Aussies lost to some would say the second best team in the northern hemisphere (I say Ireland are argubly the best team) so I can't see anything other than an easy England win. If it isn't easy then perhaps the current hype about England is misplaced.

James Hook is to leave Gloucester to return to the Ospreys. Why? Sam Davies has just pledged his future to the Ospreys and Dan Biggarhead is still there. With both Davies and Biggar in contention for Six Nations selection it makes some sense but other than that he'll be languisihng in the development side.

The 7s season starts in Dubai this weekend. Always worth dipping in and out of if you have nothing better to do.

World Rugby generated an income of A$585m according to Fox Sports Australia. It is thought some A$416m will be reinvested in the game globally. Great news except the growing number of sharks, aka players agents will be looking at this and start finding ways to syphon off some into their grubby little hands.

In other sports news Gareth Southgate has been handed the poison challice; England Manager.

In the news it appears our new £5 notes contain animal fat. Mmmm Yummy!

Mike Tindall and Zara are expecting. Congratulations.

And finally a school in Mansfield, Samworth Church Academy to be exact, has told pupils to stop putting their hands up and trying too hard. What is the world coming too. Political correctness and this 'we have to be fair to all' is going to turn this country into a mediocre state of have nots. We need 'thrusters' and 'hunters' we can't all be 'gatherers'.

Time to go its Friday Thursday Club. Tasks await.

Wednesday 30th November - 08:15

THANK YOU Philip. You know what for. Really VERY MUCH appreciated.

So Elliot Daly got a three week ban for his reckless tackle last weekend. It comes as no surprise and seems fair. Eddie Jones didn't question the red card but did query the fact the Argentinian commiting a very similar offence but with a different outcome, that is the player in the air landed on his back and not on his neck, only conceded a penalty. Is this sour grapes and whingeing or is it a valid point?

Here is my take on it. The way the player lands is NOT in the gift of the offender. It is, in my very humble opinion, a matter of chance and circumstances. If you freeze the screen just after the point of contact in both instances and compared them the similarity would be striking. The fact the players landed differently should not therefore be a factor. I believe Mr Jones has a point, especially if the 'powers that be' really want to make the game safer.

With regard to the later Argentinian sending off. That is a slam dunk and I fear a long ban awaits. The dilemma is how to make it meaningful as Argentinian and Super Rugby goes into its summer recess.

Dean Mumm escapes punishment for his tackle on Tadhg Furlong, a player pushing for Lions consideration by the way. I tend to agree.

Watching the England game, and thinking back to the furore surrounding the Ireland v New Zealand test and dangerous tackles, I felt England were continually on the cusp of going over the top with their 'choke' tackles. Watch the tape and see how often Owen Farrell tackles in an upright position high on the opposition shoulders. He was not alone.

Eddie Jones should focus on the job at hand, which he seems to be doing well, rather than the pathetic mind games he seems to enjoy. His focus should be on whether Rokoduguni or Yarde will replace Daly on Saturday. Me, I'd put Mike Brown on the wing and play Henry Slade at full back. I assume Goode is injured otherwise he would be at 15 with Brown on the wing.

Richard Cockerill says the criticism of Dan Cole is daft. I don't think so at all. He has the tendency to buckle under pressure in the scrum, he can be a liability conceding penalties at crucial times and at times is not very good in a loose and open game. Bring on the Sinckler lad and let him have a run. RWC 2019 is not that far away.

Liam Williams is dropped by Scarlets as talk about a move to Saracens intensifies.

The story that caught my eye is from France. There is a bit of a fuss about the possibility that NRL star, not even Super Rugby star, Semi Radradra is to join Toulon. The FIJIAN is facing criminal charges in Australia but this is incidental to my point. There is no guarantee he will get in the side. He is another overseas player likely to stop a French national from growing into the game in Toulon and onto International rugby. He would only be going for the money as the NRL pays pretty well. The game is going mad.

Two other quick points. What a nonsense that Lewis Hamilton is being filified for his tactics on Sunday. He is a racer, a winner who wants to continue to win. Yes from a team point of view they would have been unhappy with him ignoring instructions BUT he had a chance to become World Champion again so why shouldn't he try everything possible to win. F1 is like Scaletrix as it is so let's not allow teams to make it even more monotonous by stopping drivers RACE.

Finally, I know people think I am ultra right wing bigot who detests unions. Not true. I know people disagree with some of my comments on the unions but I don't care. When it comes to the RMT I stand by what I say. The leadership are left wing anarchists intent on maintaining their power and taking us back to the dark ages. The other rail unions are now joining the bandwagon as the rail and Underground network in the run up to Christmas will be brought to a standstill.

No-one has yet explained to me how driver only trains on the Underground and elsewhere on the Southern network are NOT dangerous yet it will be dangerous to implement driver only trains on other parts of the system. This especially as NO-ONE will lose their job.

No-one has told me why ticket offices need to stay open on the Underground. I use my recent Berlin experience as a perfect example. Not a ticket office in sight. Thousands of travellers, many non German speaking tourists (I do speak a little German myself.... smug b'stard) and not a single problem.

I do have a sympathy with the dispute on the Picadilly and Hammersmith & City lines where safety might be an issue.

I also think the management of Southern are bunch of useless tossers and this doesn't help.

HOWEVER it is the hard working Londoner and those in the South East who have no choice but to use the rail and Undergoround that are most affected. That can't be right.

Must go its Friday Wednesday Club

Monday 28th November - 09:30

I have just learned of the passing of Robin Reames. A stalwart of The Crows, a great tourist and a thoroughly nice bloke too boot. As the picture tribute on this website says 'a passing which is very much premature'. There is a touching tribute to Robin on InsurancePost. Please find a moment to read it and reflect on how life is inherently unfair at times. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and may he rest in peace.

Rugby results are of distant importance at times like these but I will do the usual Monday roundup regardless.

I think my summary of our performance is fair and accurate and talking to some of the guys yesterday they accept the feedback. Being 10 points adrift of Bromley and 15 away from our friends at Heathfield & Waldron makes for difficlut reading. The Greenies lost away at Deal & Betteshanger who are now moving towards mid table. Old Alleynians continue to struggle and a loss at home to Beckenham doesn't help their cause. Horsham were on the end of a heavy defeat to Old Colfeians but the OCs are still 7 points behind Medway after they beat our next opponents Charlton Park, albeit not by many, which doesn't augur well for us on Dec 10th. In the final fixture Hove scored a fine home win over Dartfordians. If current trends continue Medway will be promoted, but we all knew that before the season started, and OCs will take the play off spot.

Just two games took place in Sussex 1 which is PATHETIC. There was a surprise though with Crawley beating Uckfield and Crawley now go top.

In Sussex 2 East Grinstead 1s gave us a pasting BUT at least we turned up and gave of our best. I have been asked to mention that fellow Welshman Jeremy Evans made his debut for the 2s. Well done to him. As I pointed out lucky that Jezza Corbyn, Michael Gove and Boris the Buffon were all unavailable.

In London 3 South East Pulborough slipped up at Folkestone and fall back into 2nd spot behind Thanet Wanderers who in turn enjoyed a comfortable home win against Eastbourne. Lewes and Haywards Heath enjoyed home wins against Aylesford Bulls and Sheppey respectively and now are on the tails of Pulborough. They lie 3rd and 4th. In the other two games Ashford beat Old Dunstonians and Park House beat Gillingham Anchorians. Aylesford Bulls prop up the table.

Onwards and upwards into London 1 South. Sidcup remain clear at the top after beating Maidstone. Tunbridge Wells enjoyed their trip to Brighton coming away with what looks like an easy enough win. They remain in 3rd behind Havant. Sevenoaks had a difficult day with a fairly hefty loss at Chobham. They remain comfortably mid table though and whilst chickens shouldn't be counted this early in the season staying in London 1 looks pretty certain. Gosport & Fareham prop up the table with Brighton just above them.

In the rarified atmosphere that is National League 3 London TJs stay atop of the table with a fine away win over Dorking. Sadly Chichester came second to 2nd placed Wimbledon. 'Chi' now sit just one place off the bottom of the league. Westcombe Park are in 3rd after their 29-7 home win over Hertford.

For the record Worthing lost at home to Redruth.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Bridgnorth lost at home to Old Halesonians and Salisbury lost at home to Dings Crusaders.

There was a piece in The Gruaniad last week, thanks Paddy, by Gus Pichot, number 2 at World Rugby. He talks about how money is not necessarily helping our game, the disparity between tier 1 and tier 2 nations and the ridiculous eligibility by residency rules. Well worth a read. Google it (other search engines are available).

I thoroughly enjoyed watching our Under 16s vs Heathfield & Waldron Under 16s. The young Greenies were excellent. Some of their play was of the highest quality and they deserved the win. Our boys conducted themsleves well and at times they too played some really exciting and adventurous rugby. A great example of what is good about our game on and off the field. HOWEVER, and I have wondered whether I should say this but I will, there was one visitor from H&WRFC who was an embarrassment to them and to the game. His constant and inane barracking of the referee was totally unacceptable and his overall attitude was better suited to the terraces of soccer than watching a wonderful game of rugby between two teams giving their very best. I wonder what his response would have been to people making inane and unacceptable comments towards his son, who I assume was playing. Before I move on the referee like all referees gave of his best giving up his Sunday for no reward other than the satisfaction of allowing a game to go ahead. Thank you Nick. You did well.

Grandparenting duties again tomorrow so back on Wednesday.

Sunday 27th November - 09:00

Sadly the boys at Steel Cross kept up their losing streak and are now adrift at the bottom of the table. Bromley deserved the win yesterday but unlike previous weeks this wasn't a convincing victory. Bromley are not one place above us without reason.

It is not a lack of effort that is our problem. The 18 men who run onto the pitch give their all. A tackle is never shirked, heads don't drop and fingers of blame are never pointed. Yesterday our problem was decision making; knowing when to kick and when to run and vice versa, maintaining possession in the key contact areas, and then taking the chances when they present themselves. We are a young side and small in stature so we must be realistic that we will start underdogs but I for one will continue to give the boys my support as long as they continue to give 100% in return.

It was a full house at Twickenham again yesterday and with England winning I am certain those high in the ivory tower will be thinking all is well in the world of rugby. It isn't. Look at the number of HWO and AWO appearing in the results pages. Look at the disparity of scores. Look at how many clubs are struggling to run one side let alone two or three. It is tough out there.

Looking inwardly at ourselves it is tough to get teams out but we got three sides out yesterday. We had thirty people enjoying an excellent pre-match lunch at Steel Cross. The A Pitch looked great and played well despite the deluge of rain in recent weeks. There was a good crowd watching and the atmosphere was thoroughly enjoyable. Well done all, especially Sandra, Jacqui and Dave (groundsman).

Moving on to the very top of our game Wales rescued their autumn series with a win over South Africa. Wales played with more commitment and skill than they did the week before and for long periods dominated the game. It wasn't however a performance that would worry either England or Ireland but it was an improvement. South Africa, once a leading light of rugby have dimmed to the power of a tocH lamp. That is pretty dull. For Wales they need to look at the Ireland v Australia game for inspiration. The ball needs to go wider more often, at a quicker pace. The support play needs to be more varied. The ball needs to be moved away from the contact area more quickly. In terms of Lions selection Alun-Wyn Jones continues to be one of the starting locks, Justin Tipuric put himself in the frame, Taulupe Faletau's cameo appearance reinforces his quality and Leigh Halfpenny is your first choice 15.

It was sad to see the ground only 70% full. Rugby in Wales is struggling too.

What a cracker of a game in Dublin. Both sides played with flair, at pace and with precision. End to end stuff with the early play dominated by Ireland and then late on an Australian onslaught had to be thwarted. The tackling was intense as were the collisions. Ireland losing Kearney and Trimble during the game (adding to a growing list of injured front line players). The men in green deserved the win and Michael Cheika can have no complaints. Not wishing to do down our very own Dylan but Rory Best again led from the front. Ireland deservedly sit fourth in the world rankings. If you haven't seen this one then try and find a rerun of the highlights somewhere.

So to Twickenham. This was a dramatic encounter with twists and turns from start to finish. It is a testament to England's turnaround from duffers to stars that they overcame Argentina with 14 men for most of the game. The Elliot Daly red card was spot on (as was the red card in Scarlets v Leinster game on Friday night). Argentina battered away at the English and their pack put them on the front foot. Some of the old failings came to light with Dan Cole being a weak link. England's backs played well but for a while it was looking as if Argentina would win. England looked much the fitter and finally broke away with the Johnny May try. This was a true test of England's progress and they passed, not necessarily with flying colours but with enough to say; England really can on to greatness and bring home the Rugby World Cup.

Well done to Scotland with their fine win over Georgia. Stuart Hogg will be on the plane to New Zealand me thinks. Well done also to England women who crushed Canada. The Canadian scrum half is married to former Crowborough player Lawrence Ross by the way. Tonga beat Italy wow and surprise, surprise New Zealand beat France.

Must go. Chores to do before going to the club to watch our Under 16s.

Friday 25th November - 08:30

Both England and Wales have announced their sides for tomorrow and they are much as predicted. Sad that Sam Warburton has been forced out due to a training injury..... again!!! He, along with Alun-Wyn Jones were the only two who could hold their head high after the woeful showing against Japan.

Ireland have had to make a number of changes due to the much publicised injuries incurred against the All Blacks, whereas Australia name a pretty strong looking side with several chomping at the bit after sitting out the win against France.

Georgia play Scotland amid accusations that the tier two nations are being frozen out of the game by a cartel of tier one nations. There are demands for the Six Nations to be expanded. In my opinion this is a non starter due to the already crammed season. What could be a possibility is the wooden spoon team playing the leaders of the 'other' European nations. A promotion / relegation play off. Don't think it will happen but just a thought.

There is still much whinging about last weekends game in Dublin. Sorry but its time to move on.

The famed Leinster and Ireland hooker and frequent TV pundit Shane Byrne has suggested Jaco Peyper should be 'rested' and definitely shouldn't officiate in the England v Australia test on Dec 4th. I have a high degree of sympathy with this argument.

Rory Best will run on to win his 100th cap on Saturday. I still see him pushing for a Lions starting spot on current form.

RWC 2019 in Japan is now taking shape. May 10th is a key date for your diaries. The pool draw will be made.

I read with dismay that the RMT under the fine leadership of that complete and utter troublemaking anarchist Mike 'Loadsa' Cash will bring much of the London Undergound to a halt the same days that Southern will be crippled by the next two day strike. I remain convinced unions are good for workers and should be supported BUT the actions of the RMT are pure and simple anarchy. Yes, in the case of Southern the management has much to answer for but I am sorry the RMT and Cash need to be brought under control. It would be brilliant if everywhere Cash went for any kind of service; the supermarket, the bank, the coffee shop, the petrol station, refused to serve him. Withdrew their labour. Lets see how he likes it.

The bookings for Tony Blair on the public speaking circuit must have dried up as he is making more and more noise in the UK. Thankfully no-one is listening to this lying, deceitful clown.

Talking of clowns Boris has gone quiet lately. The sooner he gets the transfer to the Cirque de Bafoons with Blair the better.

Finally to brighten the day go online and find the story about Oldham City Council asking the public to name their new gritter lorry. Some very funny recommendations e.g. Usain Salt, Gritney Spears, True Grit, Make Britain Grit Again.

Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho It's off to Friday Club I go. Yes, THE Friday Club that will be featured in the next edition of the RFU newsletter.

Thursday 24th November - 09:30

Some interesting fixtures on Saturday to look forward to.....

1st XV vs Bromley. Both sides without a win but Bromley have picked up a good number of bonus points in their campaign to date.

2nds travel to high flying East Grinstead. That will be a tough one.

The Crows have a friendly against our good friends at Heathfield & Waldron

On Sunday a reminder about the Under 16s. Kick off 11am

We are still in the international period so some interesting match ups to look forward to.

England v Argentina will be a tough one. Whilst the Pumas have failed to show the form of the Rugby Championship they will be fired up for this game. The losses to Wales and Scotland would be incentive enough but a game v England, that always adds spice. A win on Saturday for them against a team who are flying high would be seen as a massive victory and would cheer fans at home for other reasons too. Remember The Falklands. England will field the strongest team available as Eddie Jones sees Argentina as one of the teams England must put to the sword if his team really are going to be able to challenge the All Blacks. I anticipate a bruising encounter with England's front row, Dylan in particular, being targetted.

Wales host the Springboks. What is the old adage; 'beware the wounded animal'. This is what the Boks are; wounded and embarrassed and I think they will bounce back with avengence on Saturday. Wales may throw Taulupe Faletau straight back into the fray after just one game back for Bath after injury. Wales will restore the rested players back to front line duty after they sat out the Japan encounter. I expect Roberts to drop to the bench with Scott Williams partnering Jonathan Davies in the centre. This should be a good game with both sides looking for a win and a win in style.

As was the case last week the best game of the weekend will be played out in Dublin when Ireland take on Australia. Australia will be boosted by the win over France and the fact they had the luxury of resting key players for that game. The question will be can the Irish raise their game to match the intensity of last week? They have a number of injuries which will change the make up of the side but I expect Ireland to go well and scupper the Aussies 'grand slam' ambitions.

Scotland host Georgia, and Italy take on Tonga. Home wins for both.

France take on the mighty, and according to my good friend Paddy O'Fez, cheating thugs known as the All Blacks. I don't see anything other than a comfortable All Black win. I don't see the French offering up the firey defence we saw last week and if the blue defensive line is by-passed like the Maginot line was in 1940 then heads will drop and New Zealand will have little to worry about. Yet again shame it is only available on some obscure sports channel.

Great news that Leicester City are into the knock out stages of the Champions League. They must get back to firing on all cylinders domestically though.

Well done Andy and Jamie Murray. Great Britain is proud of you.

The Scaletrix comes to a head this weekend with all to play for. Should be fascinating actually.

In the wider world it was 'steady as you go' for the new chancellor. I for one agree with the 'you can't spend what you haven't got' principle. Some would say I avow to the 'don't spend what you have got principle' too. Tight-fisted bar steward has been levelled at me before now.

Most of the papers lead with the Autumn Statement and Jo Cox. Quite rightly too. We don't have the death penalty here in the UK but if there ever was a case for it being reintroduced Thomas Mair should be atop of the list. By not pleading he forced us the tax payer to fund a wholly unnecessary trial as he was banged to rights and now we have to fund his lifetime of incarceration. I know per capita that might not be much but over a lifetime that adds up to a tidy sum. I for one would rather see that money go to the NHS for care of the needy rather than feeding that facist, racist, sexist tow-rag three times a day every day.

Must go The Organ of Truth beckons for more level-headed, unbiased and accurate reporting of the news of the day........... not!!!

Wednesday 23rd November - 09:15

There is only one place to start and that is with the outcome of yesterday's disciplinary hearings. It gives me no real pleasure to say I was right but it seems I was. Fekitoa should have seen red and Sam Cane had no case to answer. A one week ban means Fekitoa misses the All Blacks final tour game in France. Probably about right under CURRENT guidelines.

It is the Sam Cane tackle that has got everyone hot under the collar with the Irish calling the All Blacks cheating thugs and the New Zealanders claiming that the Irish have stolen the mantle of sore losing whingers from the English.

My view, for what it is worth, was he should have seen yellow on the day for what was a clumsy tackle that became dangerous. There is much talk about Cane leading with his shoulder. Anybody who has played the game knows to tackle you have to drive in with your shoulder as you wrap your arms around the player. If you don't you get swatted away like a fly on the back of a horse's ass and are left to look like a limp wristed wimp lying forlorn on the floor.

This issue has come about as teams want to prevent the off load in the tackle and slow the game down. In order to do that you have to tackle around the arms and shoulders in what is known as the 'choke tackle'. Get it wrong it looks horrible and is potentially dangerous. Get it right and it slows the ball down and prevents release. Sam Cane got it wrong. Brody Retallic got it right (time after time). Now before Paddy O'Fez sends the lynch mob after me I will say Cane did launch into the tackle making it look awful and as I have said time and time again the All Blacks live on the edge of legality and way too often get away with it.

Do the suits need to look at it before someone does get seriously hurt? Yes! I am not sure what the answer is though. It certainly isn't 'no tackles above the waste'. That I am sure of.

Much opinion is divided over this but one thing seems to be consistent; Jaco Peyper was poor at best with his officiating. He needs a holiday me thinks.

Some sound bites

Rokoduguni out of England's team to face Argentina despite his man-of-the-match (serem y gem) performance last weekend. Jones certainly is a ruthless bar steward.

Jones uses a drone to get an extra edge over what is going on ahead of the clashes with Argentina and Australia. This opposed to Steve Hansen who just drones on and on and on!!

Saracens are looking to snap up Liam Williams. Not great news for Wales or England. Another Welsh player unavailable for his country. Another overseas player (the River Severn actually) blocking the oppourtunity for English home grown talent.

Worcester sign Canadian Connor Braid. The English production line of talent must be rubbish if the Canadians are being brought in to bolster the Premiership clubs!

There is an interesting piece on where they have selected a Springbok team solely from players from France's Top 14 clubs. Wow it is a strong side. Well worth a read.

Rob 'Squeaky' Andrew is to head up Sussex cricket. Well there goes cricket on the south coast of England. Andrew, the great train wreck survivor should have been sacked after the RWC 2011 shambles. When Martin Johnson fell on his sword it should have then been used to cut Andrew out as well. My view of course.

Go find the picture of James Horwills finger injury. Yuk, yuk and YUK!!!

Got this far? Good! Now book your place at lunch for our 1st XVs crucial game against Bromley. Speak to me if you don't know where else to go. Then on Sunday our high flying Under 16s take on Heathfield & Waldron. Kick off 11am.

Trump wants Farage as our US Ambassador. What next? Kim Jong-un as the face of Weight Watchers. No, he can't do that as he is already the face of Amnesty International.

And finally the advertising watchdog has banned a Heinz beans ad where kids are seen to bang out tunes on empty bean cans. Yes you guessed it. it's a health & saftey issue. They are happy for the video games 'Torture and Maim 7' and 'Steal, Thieve, Shoot and Kill 29' to be advertised across all networks however. Tossers!

Tuesday 22nd November - 08:00

It comes as no surprise but we are rock bottom of London 2 South East with just a single point to our name. Equally it will come as no surprise that Medway are top after another convincing win, this time against Bromley, our next opponents, also winless. With less than half the season gone Medway have racked up 452 points conceding just 92. Old Colfeians remain second after thumping Old Alleynians 63-14. Dartfordians also had a very easy win over Deal & Betteshanger to stay third. Charlton Park squeezed past Hove in a high scoring ga