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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 44 of 75

44. Still Plenty of Rugby to Debate


Sunday 3rd July - 09:00

To continue yesterday's theme it's all over for Italy and Djokovic.

It's just starting for Mark Cavendish as he takes yellow on the opening stage of Le Tour. I'm a big fan of the Tour de France but won't be using the exercise bike and watching events unfold as per last year. I've learnt my lesson: that is dangerous for the muscles when you are as unfit as I am.

Well done Murray and Hamilton. A fine win in straight sets and pole position in Austria.

I wasn't feeling great yesterday.... again ..... so I watched Germany v Italy. What a dull game. I have a question though. What is Theresa May doing masquerading as the German team physio?

Well done England on another fine ODI win over Sri Lanka. I have seriously good tickets for the first day of the first test; England v Pakistan.

Here is a thought........ are you getting hacked off like I am when the subs, both in rugby and soccer invade the pitch when there is a score. In both games it SHOULD NOT HAPPEN.

Yet more massacres in the name of religion. The Dhaka and Baghdad attacks are yet another reminder that the world really is going to the dogs. It is Ramadan, the holy month. These murdering thugs are not religious at all, they are just hypocritical b'stards.

The Chilcot report is out soon. Tony Blair, your fate awaits you you lying toerag. Wednesday am. The truth will finally be out about this duplicitous ass.

Saturday 2nd July - 09:00

They think it's all over. It is now..

Well it is for two of the Callard boys.

The elder brother is no longer Chairman of CRFC. After five very happy years at the helm he stood down at the AGM last night. At the first Exec Alex Hunn will be voted in as Chairman. A fresh, young, dynamic person with great business and rugby experience. A very good choice.

The youngest of the three brothers, Jonathan, leaves his role at the RFU after 12 years in various roles including the full England side, Head Coach with the Saxons. New opportunities await him. See SKY.com/sports.

It is also over for Ryan Giggs. A Manchester United and Wales hero leaves the club after 29 years. Someone will snap him up very soon.

It's all over for Belgium as they crash out to Wales 3-1 in a magnificent game of football.

It's looking all over for Michael 'Judas' Gove as Angela Who overtakes him in the race to lead the Tory Party.

For some it's not all over.

Graham Henry is helping out at Leinster.

Brendan Venter is brought in at London Irish to inspire an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership.

Greig Laidlaw is to captain Gloucester.

Mark 'Animal' Wilson is to replace John Sayer as Facilities Director at CRFC.

Time to go Hurricanes v Blues just kicking off................ but not before saying..........

Wales 3 - Belgium 1. What a result, what a team!!!!!!

Friday 1st July - 09:00

Wow! 1st July already. We now slide towards the new season and winter. Looking out of the window winter is already here.

Tonight is our AGM. This means I am Chairman for just under 12 hours. THANK YOU for your support.

As I relinquish my responsibilities I am pleased to announce that I will be standing as a candidate to lead both the Tory and Labour Parties. Surely I couldn't do any worse than the clowns currently in charge.

So is it going to be Maybe or Maybe Not, or perhaps Gove to Govern, or Foxy bingo, or Captain Crabb or even Angela Who? Who cares? Well actually I do. This country is about to go down the toilet unless we get some new leadership in place.

Let me put my cards on the table and say please don't let it be Gove; a lying, deceitful, devious, back-stabbing to55er. Then again he might have all the attributes required.

Today is the centenary of the battle of the Somme. A moments reflection is required for one of the worst days for the loss of life in history.

Super Rugby is your viewing today and tomorrow. As I type the Crusaders are taking on the Chiefs, the same Chiefs who demolished Wales.

Talking of Wales, tonight they take on Belgium in Euro '16. Whilst the papers are full of England's demise Wales will do the country credit tonight and the fans behaviour will be exemplary.

Food for thought. Why not change the 22m to a 15m line. Make the opportunity to kick directly to touch harder.

Go to go Friday Club beckons

Thursday 30th June - 13:30

Flaming June my backside. It is cold and damp, more like winter than summer. Very depressing indeed.

Over the last few days I have pondered the success of the Summer Ball. I think it was a tremndous success and the feedback has been very positive. Two hundred people having a good time at Steel Cross; perfect.

On Saturday the club hosts one of the very best local bands; The Big Kahuna. Tickets still available and on the door on the night. Go on, give it a go.

I see that the great Bobby Charlton was asked how he thought the England team of '66 would have fared against Iceland. 'I think we'd have won 1-0' he replied. 'Only 1-0' said the reporter incredulously. 'Yes' said Sir Bobby 'Most of us are in our 70's now!!'

Dean Ryan leaves Worcester Warriors, probably to go to coachless Bath.

Australian Amy Perrett will be an assistant referee at Rebels v Stormers game this weekend thus making history as the first female to officiate at a Super Rugby game. Great stuff.

Well, The Champions Cup draw, did neither Toulon nor Saracens any favours with them being drawn in the same group. There are no real easy groups but when you add in Sale and Scarlets Pool 3 looks the toughest.

In the Challenge Cup Pool 4 with Cardiff, Bristol and Bath drawn together with Pau looks great. Some cracking match ups there and not much travelling for the fans, unlike the Dragons group where they have to travel to Siberia.

The entire draw on BBC or SKY website.

Mr Corbyn, despite being kicked in the teeth by his MPs, is still hanging on. I guess the far left wing who are demanding he stays know what they are talking about. So Mr Corbyn, the Eagles are hovering in anticipation of coming in for the kill.

I am late with the blog today so am startled to read that Boris has withdrawn from the Tory leadership race. Now that is a surprise, and not necessarily an unpleasant one.

In the papers, quite rightly, the Tory and Labour parties implosions and the EU take the front pages......... except that is for The Sun and Daily Star who lead with Raheem Sterling (one of England's overpaid, overrated, underperforming footballers) bragging about his wealth and David Beckham to replace Roy Hodgson. Hey Ho!

Here is a thought for you. There are people in parts of Wales on benefits stating they can't get a job and benefits is the only option. Whereas the thousands and thousands of Poles for example who travelled to the UK and are working diligently in factories and elsewhere, are paying taxes and striving for a better life. Immigration - The Myth. There many more pressing issues at home me thinks but.............. as the song goes....... baby it's too late now!!!

Wednesday 29th June - 08:00

Another horrendous atrocity in the name of what I don't know. A terrorist attack on Ataturk, Istanbul airport. I despair at this carnage. I despair at the impossibility of halting these murdering fanatics. I feel for the millions of innocent Turks whose lives will be blighted further as tourism will again plummet and the ridiculous anti-Turkish sentiment will grow.

It seems wrong to talk rugby and other matters but stopping is a sign of defeat against these b'stards.

Yesterday I made reference to England's front row as an Achilles heel. Now some would ask; WHAT?!!!!!! Dylan is in the front row, Dylan is one of our own. Yes you are right. Dylan, if form and discipline are maintained will lead the Lions in 2017. He is playing as good as he ever has and his leadership has been exemplary. The hooker is only as good as the men either side of him and this where I worry. Dan Cole has been good on this tour but can be very inconsistent and when it goes wrong it goes wrong spectacularly. Maku Vunipola has been a rock around the pitch but his scrummaging of late has been questionable. On the bench there is inexperience and with Joe Marler's suspect discipline it must be a worry. That's my view anyway.

The Champions Cup draw will take place today. The draw will be dominated by six English and seven French clubs with just one Welsh side; Scarlets being included. All four Irish regions make it with Zebre and Glasgow making up the twenty clubs.

Irish star Luke Fitzgerald is forced to retire at 28. Sad situation. Wales Andrew Coombs, 31, has also been forced into retirement. Another sign that the game is getting faster and harder.

GB Olympic 7's squad has been drawn in the same group as New Zealand, Kenya and Japan. GB women are in the same group as Canada, Brazil and Japan. Full draw on bbc.co.uk

When I was watching the post Brexit fall out Nicola Sturgeon was front and centre. I got somewhat frustrated by her 'I', 'I', 'I'. She sounded like a third world dictator without any grasp of the significant complexity of her desires. I too would prefer to still be in the EU but the vote says it isn't to be the case. Whether she likes it or not Scotland is part of Great Britain and so they are out too. IF Scotland were to secure independance, and that is far from a given, they would be at the back of the queue to join. There would be no automatic place at the EU table. If they were to join it would be as a new country and therefore would require a commitment to join the Euro. They couldn't have the Bank of England as their financial backstop so it would be unlikely they would fully meet the EU financial health checks. There would have to be a border between England and Scotland. I could go on.

Let's look at the border. The Berlin wall would be a fine model. Tank traps, gun towers, kill zones, minefields and of course Checkpoint Boris. Can't wait for the hate mail from the Scots. I can add it to the weighty post bag that arrives everyday.

Tuesday 28th June - 07:30

England have gone from chumps to champs in a short space of time and the series win in Australia is historic but England remain a long way from being able to beat New Zealand in my humble opinion. They shipped five tries on Saturday, albeit one of then when the game was effectively over. If Australia had a kicker of Halfpenny's, or Farrell's or Carter's quality they would have won. The penalty count is still too high. They remain fragile out wide in defence. This new 'niggle the opposition' policy will backfire sometime soon. The front row is an achilles heel.

If England, as I expect they will, perform in both November and during the 6 Nations they will provide the bulk of the Lions in 2017. I disagree that Itoje and Farrell would make an All Black side. The only UK player to fit that category is Talupe Faletau.

I hope to watch the Ireland game at some point this week.

So move over Brexit and welcome in EurOut. What a pathetic showing last night by the 'Three Lions'. It was more like the Eleven Sloths. Roy Hodgson, who is a very honourable, well spoken and highly educated man did the right thing by immediately falling on his sword. In the midst of very unsavoury jingoism following the Brexit vote dare I say that England's problem stems from the fact that English top flight football is dominated by overseas players. You only have to look at the team sheets of France, Germany, Belgium, Iceland, Slovakia and I could go on and look at who are their star players. Yes, Premiership based players. Q.E.D.

Can you believe that Jeremy Corbyn hasn't fallen on his sword yet. Like King Canute he is sat on the beach denying the fact the tide will inevitably overwhelm him. He was anonymous during the referendum campaign and his views so entrenched that I feel it is impossible for him to lead.

What a ffffnnn shambles we now find ourselves in. The 'Out' campaign didn't have any sort of plan so we find oursleves leaving the EU without any thought of what we are going to do, how we are going to manage it, and what the implications are. Both sides lied during the campaign and you reap what you sow. There are, in my humble opinion, some powerful arguments for leaving the EU; the ridiculous cost, the MEP gravy train, faceless and unelected law makers, crazy laws. There are some myths; immigration. There are many very good reasons to stay; business stability, the single market and so on. Many voters had no real idea of the upside or downside so voted on instinct, with protest against the establishment being at the head of the list. It seems crazy that people living in the South Wales valleys who get a significant chunk of EU cash voted 'out'. There is also this myth about benefits for foreigners. Do you know what? There are plenty of no-good, bone idle scumbags who are British who fiddle the system for millions every day of the week. Let's not forget that.

Before I implode with frustration can I say I am embarrassed to be British at the moment. The race hate attacks are disgusting. If it wasn't for the kids and grandkids me and Mrs Bleater would be off to New Zealand.

On a positive note Wimbledon has started. Most Brits are already out but nevertheless we still have Murray. Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!! A Scot. Tomorrow Nicola, sounding more like Kim Jon-un, Sturgeon is in the firing line tomorrow. Think Berlin Wall!

Monday 27th June - 08:30

Truly historic events in your lifetime are actually quite rare e.g. JFK assassination, Japanese Tsunami, Neil Armstrong on the moon. We awoke on Friday to another: Brexit. In some respects this should dominate this drivel but I will return to that through the week. This is a rugby club website so let us look at rugby and club matters.

Despite being down to 14 men Racing 92 secured the Top 14 title on Friday night in the amazing Nou Camp stadium. (I've been lucky enough to have watched a Champions League game there; Barcelone vs AIK Solna.). The two squads of international stars squared up to each other in a game that failed to reach the heady heights of the previous weekend but well worth watching nonetheless.

Wales were again given a masterclass in rugby by the All Blacks. Warren Gatland put a brave face on it but the men in red were simply second best at all phases of the game, especially at the breakdown. The speed of action from the New Zealanders makes them unstoppable. Wales are not a bad side and in two of the tests they played well with a new found verve so lacking previously.

Next up; England. The Australians played really well epitomised by the fact they put 40 points on the board outscoring England by 5 tries to 4. England's new self-belief meant they were not going to lie down and accept a 2-1 series win. Led from the front by our very own Dylan England kept up the pressure and Owen Farrell kept the scoreboard ticking when the opportunities presented themselves. Several players put their hand up for Lions selection and if the team was being picked today English players would dominate. Eddie Jones has certainly galvanised the men in white and has turned a shambolic group into a world force...... they are still a long way from being good enough to beat the All Blacks though.

As expected the Springboks won the final test against the Irish to win the series. Ireland can leave South Africa with their heads held high. They played with high degrees of skill, and a fiery commitment to not be beaten. In the end the Bokke were just that little too strong and with the Irish resources being stretched ran out winners.

Congratulations to England Under 20s on clinching the World Championship. They were the class act from start to finish and ran out worthy, and on paper, comfortable winners against a plucky Irish side. The future is very bright for English rugby.

Scotland beat Japan but from what I have read this was far from convincing and it could be argued that for long periods Japan were the better side. Stuart Hogg being the shining light in an otherwise drab performance. The game was lit up by Kaito Shigeno's try for Japan. Find it on iPlayer.

I thought, with the exception of Jerome Garces who was average at best, that the refereeing across the series and across the other games I have watched has been very good. Depsite Cheika's rant Nigel Owens was his usual exemplary self.

Well done Wales on reaching the quarter finals of Euro 16.

What a FANTASTIC night on Saturday as the club held its summer ball. Everything was just perfect. A massive thanks to Sean and Gail of Purple Pumpkin, plus Peter Johnstone, Graysey, Sandra, Jacqui and Baloo from the club for making it all happen. Special thanks to Ginger Hicks and Big Vern Pooley for their contribution in the fund raising. It was a great night (more on this tomorrow).

Let us keep Brexit until tomorrow but boy oh boy what a pig's breakfast, a dog's dinner and a fffffnnnn shambles.

Thursday 23rd June - 09:45

We have finally arrived at E-Day, or as some have put it 'Okey-Cokey Day'. Having mulled it over for one last time I am now firm in my decision and I will be voting ......... later today.

Eddie, Warren and Vern have shuffled their decks ahead of Saturday's games. It is pretty certain the England coach will name New Zealand born Teimana Harrison instead of the injured Haskell. Haskell has been a revelation so will be missed. Jack Nowell is likely to be replaced by Marlon Yarde following his knock to the head last week. Australia make three changes in a bid to avoid the three zip whitewash as predicted by yours truly.

Scotland have made six changes in the hope of breathing life into the team to face Japan. Notably Henry Pyrgos takes over as captain and scrum half from Greig Laidlaw. When you cast your eye over the Scottish side, other than Stuart Hogg, it is difficult to see any of them making the Lions in 2017.

Gatland makes two changes, one enforced, as Rob Evans comes into replace the injured Gethin Jenkins and Tomas Francis comes in for Samson Lee who drops to the bench. Gatland has said Wales must not shoot themselves in the foot AGAIN. They have to play for the 80 minutes and cut out the sloppy mistakes but I fear that that won't be enough.

Ireland haven't named their side yet.

I go for England by a couple, New Zealand by a lot, Scotland by a few, South Africa by 10.

I read with interest that the Rugby Championship will adopt the bonus point system currently in place in Super Rugby, i.e. the bonus point for tries kicks in if you finish three tries ahead of your opponents.

Soccer is dominating the sports pages as England, the MIGHTY WALES, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all reach the knockout stages.

There was one story that caught my eye; the Republicans in the US voting down amemdments to the gun control laws. They voted against tougher laws on pre-purchase checks, preventing criminals and suspected terrorists and those who have been diagnosed with mental illness from buying guns. So if you are a mentally unstable murderer who supports Daesh then happy days. AK-47 here we come.

Don't forget .... Vote ????????? today!!!!

Wednesday 22nd June - 08:30

After Monday being a washout spoiling Mrs Bleater and my plans yesterday was much better; Eastbourne with my grandson. The weather on Monday did allow me to watch yet more rugby however.

Wales' misery continued with what can only be described as a men vs boys thrashing as the Baby Blacks strolled by the young Dragons with ease. Like the senior side they were irresistable turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Wales, the current 6 Nations Under 20s Champions have under performed in the tournament but this really was a low ebb.

Ireland and England on the other hand purred their way into the final next Saturday. Both sides played with aplomb and a high degree of skill. Their respective opposition: Argentina and South Africa, were no slouches making the results so much more impressive. Ireland might have the edge up front but England have greater flair out wide. It should be a good game and well worth watching.

Let us now divert to the round ball game. I know many of you can't be bothered with soccer and those who are bothered were probably watching England's game vs Slovakia. Me, on the other hand was glued to Wales' demolision of Russia. The result could have been even more resounding. Wales progress to the next round.......... as do England. Wales are now in the easy half of the draw. England are in the same half as Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Good luck!

Back to our great game. I see Eddie Jones is in agreement with me in that Dylan might just make a great Lions captain in 2017. If England beat Australia on Saturday and then replicate that form in November and then again during the Six Nations then I think he will be a shoe-in for the captaincy.

Wales are forced into changes for their final All Black challenge as Bradley Davies, Josh Turnbull and Gethin Jenkins are injured. They are down to the bare bones as several other players; Jake Ball, Jamie Roberts, are also recovering from knocks.

England don't seem to have any injury woes so I expect an unchanged side. Ireland will restore to the starting lineup some of those who missed out in Jo'Burg but also have some injury problems with Robbie Henshaw definitely out. Scotland will ring the changes after an unconvincing win over Japan. We'll know the lineups soon enough.

This time tomorrow the polls will be open. As I say I am now firm in my decision and will vote.............

Whilst driving to Eastbourne I listened to the Customer Services Director from Southern and Mike 'Loadsa' Cash from the RMT speaking on the radio. I tried to be objective but to be objective neither answered a single question honestly in my view and the Southern man's apologies sounded hollow. Here is my take.........

The issues on Southern are NOT all the company's or the Government's fault as Cash would like us to think. The unprecedented and unsatisfactory sickness by RMT members is a strike by stealth and under these circumstances it is difficult to operate effectively. It is obvious the situation is being exploited by Southern to mask other operarting inefficiencies the company undoubtedly have.

The RMT argument about driver only trains is bullshit. 40% of Southern's network operates effectively this way already. The London Underground, one of the busiest networks in the world operates very effectively with driver only trains so why can't the same happen overground. Whilst Southern play up the customer service benefit, the no loss of jobs or changes to terms & conditions I bet the bean counters in the office are thinking moving from 40% to 100% driver only trains and losing the requiste number of staff would increase profitability significantly.

On balance I come down on the side of Southern primarily because Mike 'Loadsa' Cash is a self acknowledged left wing agitater with not a care for the hard working people he affects. I don't care for the fat cats of Southern but the nurse, or teacher, or shopworker, or office assistant who has no choice but to use the rail to get to work to keep food on the table have to be considered.

Put football, rugby, the EU and the rail strikes to the back of your minds. The most worrying stories remain Donald Trump becoming President in November and the relentless efforts of North Korea to develop long range missiles with nuclear capability.

Have a nice day.

Monday 20th June - 08:15

When senior management is away and you are not feeling at your best then there isn't much else to do than watch rugby wall to wall. That is exactly what I did this weekend so let's start at Friday night........

England Saxons played with spirit and a high degree of skill to overcome a lively South African A side. It was a close affair with some great rugby from both sides. There were plenty of players who could have made the senior squad and even more who could have made the Saxons squad but didn't so this results reinforces the point that England rugby could and should be challenging the All Blacks for world dominance.

After that there was the amazing Top 14 semi-final between Clermont Auvergne and Racing 92. What a game of rugby. Back and for, to and fro. Some fantastic rugby from both sides. What an advert for French rugby, that is the 'international' domestic version where money is no object.

New Zealand again proved that they are simply in a different stratosphere when it comes to our great game. Did Wales play badly? Outside an unacceptably lax lineout? No! Wales played really well. The men in black were simply faster, more skillfull and more cohesive every time it came to the crunch. Regardless of the number on the shirt the All Blacks knew when to pass, when to kick, when to go into contact and those around the man with the ball had an uncanny knack of knowing what was going to happen next. They are simply irresistable. The men in red can walk away with their heads high having scored two late tries to narrow the gap and yet again for long periods were more than a match for New Zealand. Toby Faletau and Alun-Wyn Jones are world class and right now Rhys Webb would be The Lions starting #9.

Then it was the short trip across the Tasman to Australia and Melbourne. The stadium might be superb but the pitch rather than looking like a billiard table looked more like an autopsy table; bits everywhere. On the back of this their second and series winning result England jump to second in the world rankings. The red rose men defended with all they had and when the opportunity came they took it with both hands. They showed a flexibility sadly lacking in previous years and thwarted the Wallabies at every turn. The men in green and gold dominated possession and territory but England were simply unbreakable. A number of players have rediscovered their mojo and will be eyeing a 3-0 series win and start thinking about a place on the plane to New Zealand with the Lions. Hartley as captain perhaps.

It wasn't all sunshine and light. Robshaw got away with a horrendous neck tackle. He should have seen yellow and perhaps red. The persistent niggle is an unsatisfactory way forward. Maro Itoje needs to wind his neck in. It is unseemly and unnecessary. That said England are finally realising that with all the resources they have available to them they should and can be world #1.

Next on the agenda was South Africa vs Ireland. Another amazing performance from the men from the Emerald Isle. Of the four home nations Ireland are on tour with the least experienced squad with several front line players still at home. Despite this they took the Bokke to the wire and to do this at Ellis Park and at altitude is a testament to Ireland. Another free flowing game with ball being kept in hand and not being hoofed aimlessly into the air at every opportunity. Ireland flagged late on missing some crucial tackles but can still be proud of their performance.

Whilst I only caught glimpses of Japan v Scotland it seemed a very even contest played on a bowling green of a pitch. Scotland won but need to up their game if they are to keep in touch with England, Ireland and Wales.

The final game I got to watch was Toulon vs Montpellier. Another clash of high quality with two sides laden with international stars, and not French ones either. This was not the classic of the first semi-final but a great game nonetheless. It was heartening to see Leigh Halfpenny back and play with some aplomb too.

What a 24 hours of rugby. A great advert for our game. Not a flare in sight, not one bit of crowd trouble, fans mixing amiably from start to finish. Brilliant.

Back to reality now. Management is back so......... that won't stop me getting my fill of the Under 20s today, especially if this rain doesn't relent.

Friday 17th June - 08:15

England Saxons take centre stage tonight as they take on South Africa. If I am going to watch anything I'll probably watch Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92.

Despite a fine win last weekend Joe Schmidt makes five changes to his Irish side when they take on the Bokke in Johannesburg at altitude tomorrow. There is a feeling he is sacrificing this one for a showdown at sea level in Durban the week after. Nonsense. This would be a high risk strategy likely to end in a 2-1 series defeat.

I watched the game last night and have to say that the Irish were excellent in defence, especially with 14 men for 3/4 of the game. I thought red was right by the way. The Boks aided the Irish with a very high penalty count and a lack of precision at crucial times.

Western Force sack Foley. Good. He is an arrogant piece of work who stuck two fingers up to The Lions and the Lions supporters who spent £1000's following their team in 2013. He was also a disruptive influence at Bath.

Warren Gatland remains favourite to lead The Lions in 2017 despite the embarrassing Chiefs defeat on Tuesday. Good!

Looking ahead to tomorrow I go England by a one or two points. It will be another bruising encounter. Don't expect the ball to be flung wide at every opportunity.

In Jo'Burg I go The Bokke by 15. Altitude and a backlash to last weekend being the key factors.

In Wellington the All Blacks will stroll past Wales. I simply cannot see the men in black being as lax as they were last weekend and Wales must still be in shock after Tuesday.

Scotland will beat Japan but not by many.

I see Joe Marler has had another slap on the wrists for his online outburst.

What is it about the Welsh. Yet another last minute score to deprive the men in red of a fine result. To be fair England were far the better side for most of the game and Wales only led due to a goalkeeping error by Joe Hart. Thankfully there is no new news about hooliganism.

What is the world coming too when an MP is gunned down on the streets of Britain. Whilst any MP being murdered anywhere in the world is awful you can almost understand it in Bogota or Mexico City where drug cartels rule the roost but in leafy Yorkshire? Do me a favour, and it seems it was all over the EU vote. Jo Cox, Rest In Peace.

To counter the depressing story above a certain Mr Roy James has completed his 20 year quest to build his dream model railway. To see what the man from Sheppey has built go to BBC.co.uk/news. It is brilliant.

Time to go. She who must be obeyed has left me a long list of tasks to complete as she is on grandparenting duty in Salisbury. Yes I'll get them done......... so I can slob infront of TV tomorrow for wall to wall rugby.

Thursday 16th June - 10:30

A deliberate delay to today's drivel so as to catch the England team announcement. Just two changes; Ford starts as expected ahead of Burrell who drops out of the squad altogether, and Nowell comes in for Marlon Yarde who also drops out of the squad, which for me seems hard on Yarde who I thought had a solid game last weekend.

The Aussies strengthen the pack with their changes with the recall of James Slipper and Sekope Kepu. This will stiffen the scrum and in my view make life a little uncomfortable for Dan Cole, England's weak link.

Michael Cheika has warned his charges not to take the bait as England try and 'niggle' their way to victory. Eddie Jones has made it clear that the English win was below the standards he expects and he is looking for more this weekend as they run out at the AAMI stadium in Melbourne. Been there........... heehee! It is a magnificent golf ball domed stadium with great views no matter where you sit, and an excellent pie and chips. A little small compared to the Ethiad however. This was where the second Lions test was played.

Wales have also made two changes, one enforced. Rhys Patchell replaces the excellent Liam Williams at full back who moves to wing for the injured George North. Luke Charteris is the only unforced change coming in for Bradley Davies who I thought played well on Saturday. Charteris adds height to the lineout and has been excellent throughout the season. Davies replaces Jake Ball on the bench.

Steve Hanson also makes two changes with Israel Dagg coming in at full back and Sam Whitelock returning to lock. Wow, that is going to weaken the side........... NOT!!!!!! Two very experienced hardworking players who will bring an extra dimension to the All Black game. This one is in Wellington at the Westpac Stadium. Been there too. Heehee.

Still haven't seen the Ireland game yet. Sorry.

Scotland enter the fray this weekend with their opener against Japan. Should be good. FYI I thought this was last weekend but yet again Bleater was wrong. Sorry.

Tim was right the Under 20s tournament is high quality. Yet again Wales blow it in the final minutes. How often have we said that. What a cracking game though. Some real talent on show.

Well done England, albeit a non too convincing showing. They beat a well disciplined and talented Australian side and are now top seeds as they go into the next stage of the tournament when they face South Africa. Argentina take on 2nd seeds Ireland in the other semi final. These games are on June 20th.

The other big game is England v Wales in Euro 2016 kicking off at 2pm. Wales top the group but will find this a tough one. Yes I will be watching and I go for England 2-0.

The behaviour of SOME of the England fans has been a disgrace. More trouble last night unfortunately. Now to be fair I think there has been provocation from local thugs and equally I think the French police have a lot to answer for. There is one photo I've seen where it looks as if the police are itching for some action when perhaps a more 'softly, softly' Dixon of Dock Green approach would have been better. You might not be old enough to remember Dixon of Dock Green; 'evening all'.

Don't you just love nonsense. Page 7 hot drinks are bad for you. Page 9 coffee on a regular basis is good for you. Come on which is it?

I have made my mind up about the EU vote. I am going to vote.........

Finally have any of you suffered with this cough that is going around. I'm into the third week and its driving me nuts. Phlegm, phlegm and more phlegm. Great Scrabble word.