Wednesday 23rd December - 09:45
Leigh Halfpenny could be on his way to Wasps and not home to Wales...... money, money, money
An abandoned black cab brought Regent St to a standstill yesterday, probably owned by some rich Russian oligarch dodging the congestion charge........ money, money, money
Quins tie down Nick Evans with a new contract ........... money, money, money
The 'Bung' Blatter and Platini have been banned from football for 8 years ............ money, money, money.
Long, long traffic jams at major shopping centres, sometimes for hours....... money, money, money
Brand Beckham nets £65.5m in 2015 ................ money, money, money
Thw world is obsessed with the stuff. A result of which is Christmas has lost all sense of meaning. VERY sad!!!!!!.
Like Jeremy Vine I am still suffering from 'Man Flu'. Would you believe somebody rang in and complained when he said this on air. The world is going mad and political correctness is just a fffffffnnnn nonsense.
Finally in the old fashioned spirit of Christmas; peace and goodwill to all men (or persons if I am to be politically correct), spare a thought for those living in Cumbria who have been devastated by floodong for the second time in just a few weeks.
Have a great Christmas. Back on Dec 30th
Tuesday 22nd December - 10:30
Like the Mighty Foxes Tunbridge Wells go into Christmas top of the league after a comfortable away win at Ashford. Well done to them and a Merry Christmas to all at St Marks, especially my good friend from Newport. Sevenoaks are still hot on their heels after beating Old Colfeians. Horsham had another fine win at home against Old Alleynians but Deal & Betteshanger and Dartfordians stay ahead of them after beating Beckenham at home and Hove away respectively. We remain third from bottom.
In Sussex 1 Crawley trounced Chichester III. Lewes scored another 100+ win, this time over Hellingly. Haywards Heath stay top after beating Horsham II. Seaford beat Hove II. We prop up the table after conceding our game to Worthing with Midhurst just above us after conceding their game to Brighton II
In London 3 South East Aylesford Bulls are top on points difference after beating Uckfield. Heathfield & Waldron sit second after a fine away win at Folkestone. Eastbourne lost narrowly away at Gillinghamn Anchorians and Burgess Hill lost away at Bromley. Pulborough also lost away at Park House in a high scoring encounter. In the only other game Cranbrook enjoyed their trip to Old Dunstonians.
In London 1 South Brighton beat Twickenham by a single point. Charlton Park were well beaten at home by Tottonians. Maidstone lost at Chiswick and Medway lost at Havant.
In the rarified air of the national league TJs continue their fine form with a win away at Eton Manor. Those mad Irish birds are still there in 2nd after beating Colchester. G-Force strolled past Gravesend at home and Chichester enjoyed a home win against Guernsey.
Salisbury slipped up at Witney leaving them in second spot over Christmas. Bridgnorth lie second on points difference, but with a game in hand, after their home win against Bournville.
I know some people from some of the clubs read this drivel so can I say to them particularly, but to all clubs everywhere, a very Merry Christmas.
Can I thank all those in preparing, delivering and then tidying up after Sunday's Memorial Match and Champagne, Cheese & Carols. It was a great day by all accounts. Well done.
Can I also remind all readers whilst this is a time to be merry please don't drink & drive.
Back tomorrow for a final pre-Xmas blog.
Sunday 20th December - 10:30
The Friday Club had their Christmas lunch at the Catts Inn on Friday. Needless to say a very boozy affair but very good fun. Also needless to say they had been at the club earlier in the morning setting up the clubhouse for today's Champagne, Cheese & Carols extravaganza, amongst the many other jobs that needed doing. These guys really are the unsung heroes of our great club. On your behalf I THANK everyone of them.
Having said last week we don't pull out of games I wasn't anticipating us having so many injuries this week, and so many cry offs. It is embarassing but being the last weekend before Christmas no real surprise. As a consequence we couldn't field a 2nd XV and went to Thanet Wanderers with a very much weakened side. I couldn't make it sadly due to grandparenting duties but am immensely proud of the boys for coming away with just a 10-8 loss. No matter the task our boys will give 100% and it seems this was true on Saturday. I await the match report with interest.
I won't be able to make CC&C today as the grandparenting duties continue today (and tomorrow). I am certain it will be a cracking event and thanks in advance go to the Passes for their help in making it happen.
I read with interest Bristol and the RFU have resolved their differences over Steve Borthwick. Basically the RFU have coughed up the money. Call me cynical, which I most definitely am, I find it strange that two weeks ago Jim Mallinder was saying he was happy for the RFU to talk to Alex King, now he is 'slamming' them for an unofficial approach. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The money will smooth things over won't it.
Wasps stunned Bath with a fine performance at The Rec yesterday. Bordeaux-Begles snuck past Ospreys in a cracking game. Sarries were magnificent against Oyonnax.
Got to go. The little one needs another nappy change........ a digestive system of the highest efficiency.
Friday 18th December - 08:00
It is with tremendous sadness that I advise you of the death of Brian 'Yorkie' Yorke after a short but intense battle with cancer. Brian was a good friend of the club and alongside Dave Pass, me and 'Aitch' Pantrey was an integral part of the successful team managing the promotion winning 1st XV squad of 2005/6 season.
'Yorkie' played many games for Uckfield and it was playing against them that I first got to know him. Brian was a fine man and will be sadly missed by Clare and his family.
His funeral will be at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium on Dec 29th at 12:15.
Very sadly I can't attend but do ask as many of you who knew him to make it.
Brian my friend, THANK YOU and Rest in Peace.
Thursday 17th December - 08:30
If you believe the papers then Dylan is set to replace Chris Robshaw as England captain. This may cause consternation in some quarters. In others it will be seen as a positive move. Only time will tell whether it is a good move or not. Personally I think it could be good for England but Dylan, who was at the club just a few weeks ago, must get his head around staying on the field for 80 minutes and not taking a breather on the naughty boy step during games.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The South African ladies 7s team have quailfied for Rio 16 but won't be going. Their Olympic committee has refused them permission to particpate as they feel the qualifying tournament wasn't of a high enough standard. So its true. Dinosaurs still roam the earth!!!!!
Don't forget there is a coach to Thanet Wanderers this Saturday. Contact Ian Geering.
Paul Gustards arrival as part of England's coaching staff has been delayed. Hey Ho! Money, money, money, and I guess some sensible questions like: 'is it really the best move?' Sarries are flying high at the moment whilst the Chariots have been stuck in the hanger on the ground for some time.
Must go. We have a business event at the club today.
Friday Club Christmas lunch tomorrow. Hoorah!!
Wednesday 16th December - 10:15
It's that time of year when the countdowns start. The countdown to the shortest day - 5 days away, the countdown to Christmas - 9 days away, the countdown to the New Year - 16 days away. Well me, I can't wait for it to stop raining and the sun to shine. I don't appear to have enough fingers for that.
What a shambles with a capital 'F'. The non appoitment of Steve Borthwick. He's in, he's out, he's shaking it all about. Yet again the RFU have made a complete ass of themselves with this debacle. Bristol are threatening legal action as a consequence of the announcement. Shambolic all round.
What a nonsense with a capital 'F'. The residency rule for international rugby. Two more South Africans, not good enough at home, now want to play for Scotland. This drives me nuts. Born in a country, or having a parent or grandparent born in that country quailifies you to play for a country. Being brought up and educated in a country from before the age of 18 would qualify you in my book. Coming over here to make money for a few years and then trying to increase that money making opportunity by declaring aliegence to a country after three years is truly nonsensical.
The dismissal of Farrell, Rowntree and Catt will cost the RFU, therefore the clubs up and down the country, £2m. If you underperform in your job you get sacked. Basically this is what has happened hasn't it? So why then should these guys get compensation, after all we the clubs are not getting compensated for our lost revenue as a result of England's pathetic showing during RWC 2015. We probably have a stronger case than them. Where are those parasitic injury lawyers when you want them?
FYI Alex King might be in the frame for an England job. Watch this space.
If you think £2m in compensation is bad then it is rumoured that it would cost Abromovich £40m to get rid of Mourihno. Wow. The world has gone mad. Hospitals are turning patients away because of a shortage of beds yet that arrogant piece of work would get £40m for being useless at his job.
Sepp Blatter continues to claim he is innocent of all charges of corruption. Yeah, sure you are, and I am going to be the next President of the USA. (If a dickhead like Trump can run then why can't an idiot like me make it, after of course I have played in the US for three years).
Most of the papers lead, or feature, Tim Peake's achievement, except that is The Daily Star. They lead with the extraordinary story 'Giant Rats Ate Our Xmas'. Now let me ask the question that is on your mind...... Xmas what? Tree, presents, turkey, mince pies, benefits? Or is this the story of a family who would like a new council house for Christmas. I am such a mean spirited nasty piece of work. Must go before the hate mail floods in.............. again.
Tuesday 15th December - 08:30
As always on Tuesday let's start with the league round-up.
Congratulations to the boys from St Marks Recreation Ground after their 11-6 win over Sevenoaks. A low scoring, hard fought contest me thinks. I am sure my friend from Newport will be delighted at remaining unbeaten, and quite rightly so.
Deal & Betteshanger stay in third after their loss to us but Beckenham and Dartfordians close the gap with wins against Horsham and Thanet Wanderers respectively. In the other two games Old Alleynians comfortable beat Ashford and Old Cofeians completed a clean sweep of home wins in a high scoring game against Hove. We remain third from bottom but the gap is narrowing.
Haywards Heath stay top of Sussex 1 after an easy looking win against Seaford. Close on their heels are Lewes after destroying our 2s. Crawley put last week behind them to beat Brighton 2s to get their show back on the road. Chichester III beat Horsham II, Hove 2s beat Hellingly and Worthing 3s had the dreaded HWO over Midhurst.
In London 3 South East Heathfield & Waldron are top after a very fine win at home against Bromley. Great news for them and Sussex rugby. Burgess Hill scored the narrowest of wins in a low scoring game vs Old Dunstonians. Eastbourne beat Park House but sadly the other two Sussex sides, both at home, came second. Pulborough against Ayelsford Bulls, Uckfield against Folkestone. In the other game Gillingham Anchorians anjoyed their trip to Cranbrook with a win.
In London 1 South, of the clubs we follow, Brighton, Maidstone and Medway all had a 'W' against their name. Sadly our good friends at Charlton Park came second at Sidcup. Sutton & Epsom top this league.
In the big boys league the only game in town was TJs vs London Irish Demented Game Birds. Honours even with a 15-15 draw keeping TJs top. East Grinstead closed the gap with a fine win at home to Bracknell. Chichester came second away at Hertford.
Now I know you are keen to know that Salisbury remain top with a win against Leighton Buzzard. Bridgnorth's result is not available but I guess it was postponed due to pitch conditions.
The big news of yesterday was Messrs Farrell, Rowntree and Catt being called into the headmasters office and being expelled. No real surprise as Paul Gustard and Steve Borthwick are being lined up. The cost to RFU will run into millions as they all have extended contracts.
What about those MIGHTY FOXES back on top of the table. Not quite the same watching it in bed on the iPad (other tablets are available) surrounded by Kleenex (helps my pension) sipping a Blackcurrent LemSip (other cold and flu remedies are available)as it would be on a TV with a cold beer in hand.
What an arrogant piece of dog do Mourihno is. 'The players betrayed him'. Its got nothing to do with you not inspiring them any more, or being seen to be a self centred heartless Muppet leaving badly injured players without medical care.
Not long now before Tim Peake lifts off for the space station. Lets be proud of Britain and this achievement.
Monday 14th December - 11:45
I hope anyone reading this is feeling better than I am. The first winter cold has hit and hit hard. In bed by 5pm last night. Did watch Wasps v Bath before crashing out.
Quite surprised at how convincingly Glasgow got past the Scarlets. Excellent performance, albeit a little lucky, by the Ospreys in beating Bordeaux-Begles. Sarries performance against Oyonnax was pretty much perfect. The best result of the weekend was Exeter giving Clermont Auvergne a rugby lesson with their four try bonus point win. Didn't watch it sadly as we watched the Ospreys.
The Wasps v Bath game was a cracker. Some excellent rugby from both sides watched from the stands by Eddie Jones. Plenty of players putting their names in the frame for England selection.
I see Paul Gustard is considering an England role whilst Corbisiero is considering his future by announcing he is taking a year out.
In yesterdays blog I inadvertently missed out Dave Bristow our new groundsman in the list of thanks. He is doing a tremendous job for us.
That'll do for now. Toying with the idea of going back to bed.
Sunday 13th December - 08:45
Let me start with a few thanks and then an apology.
The thanks must go to Jacqui and Sandra for a splendid Christmas lunch yesterday and a well organised day. Lots of people having a great time.
Thank you to all of you who turned up to support the 1st XV yesterday. It was great to see so many of you brave the cold wind that blasted across Steel Cross.
Thank you to the Friday Club for getting the place in shape and giving us the best option to get the game on.
Finally thank you to the RFU for their generous grant for pitch drainage improvements. Without this we wouldn't have played.
On the debit side is the apology to the juniors whose games will be called off today. Our pitches remain in a dire state: dangerously waterlogged.
It goes without saying that our 1s deserve great praise but let me first comment on our 2s going down by 131 - 5 to Lewes. It would have been easy enough to cry off because of the limited availability of players. That is not our style. I thank everyone of the boys who travelled and for sticking at it. One HWO in that league was enough and I am glad it wasn't us.
The 1s finally delivered what we've all known they are capable of delivering: 80 minutes of committed rugby in attack and defence. It is fair to say we managed the conditions better than they did proven by the half time lead. Us getting an early try in the second half forced them to play expansively, a risky strategy in the weather conditions. Some of our attacks were amazing; 80 and 90 metres made with some devasting breaks. For long periods in the second half we were forced to defend. Unlike last week every tackle was made. A well deserved win and everyone of the 18 man squad played their part.
I chatted briefly to their full back post match, probably their most potent attacker. He summed things up concisely for me: 'your guys wanted it a lot more than we did. They played very well today'
The boys can't rest on their laurels however and this has to be the standard next week away at Thanet Wanderers, and every week going forward.
For those wishing to travel there is a coach. Speak to Ian Geering.
Champagne, cheese and carols is on the 20th December.
Friday 11th December - 12:00
Just got back from the club where the Friday Club are doing a great job in getting everything ready for our Christmas lunch and tomorrow's game vs high flying Deal & Betteshanger. We might have to make some tough calls on games being on across tomorrow and Sunday but Saturday vs Deal & Betteshanger is DEFINITELY ON.
NOTE: It might be on the new improved D Pitch so it is advisable to bring a change of footwear.
The Varsity match was pretty good yesterday despite it being a low scoring game. Worrying for Quins that Jamie Roberts went off at half time with a dead leg.
Scott Williams signs an extension to his Scarlets contract and more importantly Shaun Edwards pens a new deal with the WRU. Hoorah!!!!
See you tomorrow. Don't forget your wellies.
Thursday 10th Dec - 09:45
An excellent day on Brighton Pier yesterday. The Wooden Spoon fish & chip lunch was a great occasion raising a princely sum for the charity. As forecast we were pretty well oiled by 3pm. I would like to thank The Bard, Damper, Mr Beamish and John Wilmshurst for representing the club on the day. I have to say, our blazers are the best, and that is not the old farts that is the clothing.
In rugby news Taulupe Faletau will leave the Dragons for Bath at the end of the season. A blow to Welsh rugby as they were trying to sign him on a dual contract. A bigger blow to the Dragons. I guess money is talking now which Mike Ford, rather hypocritically, fears could be the start of a football style explosion of wages in the game.
Has the time come for a 14 team ring-fenced top flight. Almost a regional franchise system with the leagues below being feeders. Outside of Bristol who in the next tier down will have the financial clout to compete with the spending power of Leicester, Bath, Northampton et al? Is it time that common sense prevailed and we accept the inevitable. I am sure clubs like Richmond and Coventry and Blackheath would want to be back at the top table but realistically is it possible? A discussion for another day.
Jamie Roberts will run out for Cambridge University this afternoon in the varsity match at Twickenham. BBC from 2pm I think.
The European stuff starts again tonight with Worcester v Gloucester. SKY for those that have it. The game of the weekend though is Exeter v Clermont Auvergne. Saturday at 5pm.
Our boys will be readying themselves for Deal & Betteshanger this weekend. We might start as massive underdogs but we will to a man be ready.
Thank you for the comments, overwhelmingly supportive, on yesterdays blog. I am surprised so many of you have time to waste on this nonsense.
In today's news I read Michael Adebolajo, the sadistic killer of Fusiler Lee Rigby, is suing the prison service because he lost two front teeth when he was restrained by prison officers. In my very humble opinion he should be restrained while they pull the rest of his teeth out. It is disgusting that an animal like this can waste tax payers money in this way.
The weather continues to be in the news with the Cumbrian clean-up underway. The weather might affect us on Saturday but thankfully our newly improved drainage on Pitch D means the game will go ahead regardless. Hoorah!!!!!
Finally, as a self-confessed aeroplane anorak I found the story about the bosses at Kuala Lumpur International Airport taking out an ad to find the owners of three Boeing 747 jumbos that have been abandoned there quite amusing. 'Excuse me madam, is this jumbo yours'.
Wednesday 9th Dec - 08:30
Last night I was out with some former work colleagues having a great time and chewing the fat about the 'old days'. Several times during the evening I used the phrase 'life is for living'. It is therefore heart-breaking when you read about 23 yr old Lily Partridge dying after suffering a head injury playing rugby for Exonian Ladies against North Tawton. I will spare a moment this morning thinking about her and hoping her friends and family can get through this tragic event. I hope you will too.
Dan Biggar signs a WRU dual contract to stay in Wales. Good news. Scott Williams has had his offer withdrawn as regions fight over his signature. More good news for Wales as Warburton and Corey Allen could soon be fit and in line for 6 Nations selection. Henry Slade (England) and Iain Henderson (Ireland) are unlikely to be so lucky.
Scotland announce their tour to Japan. Nice one.
There is still time to get on a table (not literally of course) for the Xmas lunch this Saturday. Get hold of me today to book.
Now I have a few legal matters to deal with.
Donald Trump's lawyers have been in touch and have asked me to correct my 'fruit loop' comment of yesterday. I am happy to do so. Donald Trump is a BIGOTED fruit loop, a disgrace to humanity and a risk to public safety. Hope that is now clear.
Likewise FIFA have been in touch about my reference to Sepp 'The Bung' Blatter being a 'crook'. Obviously I was mistaken. Herr Blatter is a lying, conniving, deceitful crook.
Finally, as my post bag has been full of complaints about accuracy of late. Mr Tony Blair didn't lie to the country about the Iraq war. The miserable, lying, snivelling toerag lied to the world about Iraq.
Today is the Wooden Spoon Christmas fish & chip lunch on Brighton Pier. Five of us are representing the club and I am certain will be well oiled by 3pm.
Being at this event means I will miss the U3A's annual Christmas quiz being held at the club this afternoon. For those with elderly relatives, or those like Mr O'Fez who are elderly themselves please go online and find out about the U3A. It is a great community based organisation which we are delighted to be working with.
Tuesday 8th Dec - 08:30
We languish down in 10th whilst our nearest neighbours Tunbridge Wells continue their perfect season and stay top after a high scoring win away at Hove. Sevenoaks sit 2nd, also following a perfect start to the season. After their home win against Old Alleynians they can now look forward to the 'big one' vs Tunbridge Wells next week. Our next opponents Deal & Betteshanger scored a very impressive away win at Horsham to go 3rd in the league. In the other games Ashford lost at home to Beckenham and stay bottom. Thanet Wanderers also lost at home against OCs.
In Sussex 1 our 2s narrowly lost at home to Hove IIs. Haywards Heath beat Hellingly to stay top. Lewes stay second after beating Midhurst. Horsham as a club show they are on a role as their 2s beat Crawley with an impressive 60-12 home win. Seaford and Worthing 3s were the other winners.
In London 3 South East Bromley are top after the dreaded HWO as Uckfield pull out. Heathfield & Waldron won their Sussex encounter vs Burgess Hill with a substantial 59-8 home win and stay 2nd. Eastbourne lost narrowly away at Aylesford Bulls whilst Pulborough suffered away at Folkestone. Wow, that is one long journey. Gillingham Anchorians and Park House were the other winners, both at home.
In London 1 South Medway were beaten by league leaders Sutton & Epsom. Maidstone scored a high scoring win away at Chobham. Our good friends Charlton Park went down at home to our other friends at Chiswick and are perilously close to the bottom of the table. Brighton sit mid table after a fine win against Gosport & Fareham.
In the big boys league TJs are top after their away win vs Colchester as the demented London Irish Geese lose at home to Hertford. They face each other next week. East Grinstead won away at Wimbledon and sit 4th. Finally Chichester lost by a single point at home to Shelford.
In Midlands 1 West Bridgnorth beat Stratford upon Avon and are now top. A tremendous achievement after being promoted last season.
In South West 1 East Salisbury beat Windsor and they too sit top, again after being promoted only last season.
The big news stories in rugby are Dan Biggar wins Wales Sports Personality of the Year, Manu Tuilagi becomes the highest paid player in the world as he extends his deal with Leicester, Conor O'Shea turns down the job as head coach of Italy.
Of those the Tuilagi deal is the most important. £450k per year. Where does the money come from? Ticket prices going up, sponsors squeezed. How do Leicester manage their other high profile stars and stay within the salary cap? I have no idea. I really fear for our great game as the direction we are going in doesn't seem sustainable. £450k for one player. Clubs at our level shelling out £200 per player per game. I am not an ostrich with his head in the sand and his ass in the air but I struggle to see how the maths stack up.
One non rugby story caught the eye. Oscar Pistorius having his conviction changed to murder. Not before time. He killed her.
I was going to mention Donald Trump but giving up my time for that fruit loop is not going to happen. Move on.
Monday 7th Dec - 09:00
'A day that will go down in infamy'. This is one of the classic quotes relating to the sneak attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbour on this day in 1941. Terrorism on a truly terrifying scale. Fascinatingly the war with Japan was brought to an end with the ultimate weapon of terror; the atomic bomb. In a strange way there are worrying parallels with the current battle against Daesh. Trying to bomb an enemy into submission. Lets move on remembering the horror of 1941, and the subsequent horror of August 1945 and hope for peace.
A bit heavy for a Monday morning and the club blog but I do like my WWII history.
As expected Saracens go back to the top of the pile after a tough battle with Newcastle despite what the scoreline says. Charlie Hodgson showed there is life in the old dog yet scoring 21 of Sarries 38 points.
I looked twice when I saw the Dragons had beaten Munster by 22-6. The Dragons all too often the whipping boys of Pro 12 have slowly improved under Lyn and Kingsley Jones (not related). So much so several of the Gwent side now feature in Wales Under 20 and senior sides. Keep up the good work. You get fed up of hearing 'west is best' from those the other side of Swansea Bay.
Is it time for Alex Corbisiero to think about life outside rugby as he faces another layoff with impending knee surgery. He can chat with my daughter and compare notes as she awaits news on the next stage in her treatment.
The papers continue to discuss the England captaincy. So what. Pick the squad first and then pick your captain. Joe Launchbury seems to be the latest in the frame. Then of course there is the coaching squad. Me and The Judge chatted about this last night and feel Borthwick is your man with the current incumbents assigned to the bin.
European rugby returns next weekend. You will miss it on Saturday as you will be with us for Christmas lunch followed by 1s v Deal & Betteshanger.
Before I move off sport why hasn't soccer fully embraced technology. Mahrez second goal for the MIGHTY FOXES was clearly offside, and Liverpool had a goal chalked off when it was clearly onside. Hey Ho!
Loving the Sepp Blatter discomfort. Squeeze until his pips pop out. Crook as he is.
Then there is the attack in Leytonstone. It highlights how careful we have to be but also why some who oppose bombing in Syria could be right that this type of lunacy will increase as a result. The worst part of this incident is the cowards who stood by and filmed the attack rather than trying to help the man seriously injured. One of these selfish, uncaring self obsessed cowards is using his video to promote his rap album. Don't buy it.
Finally spare a thought for those poor families flooded out of their homes this weekend
Time to go, the dentist awaits. Ouch!