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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 55 of 75

55. Winter Has Arrived


Sunday 6th Dec - 11:00

A disappointing result yesterday for our 1s away at Dartfordians. Were we poor? No! Were they good? Yes! Very. What was the difference? They defended flat and with discipline, we missed tackles at crucial moments. They took their chances when they came, we butchered a couple of gilt edge chances. Their off loads were precise and their scrum was dominant for long periods. So, disappointed but not downhearted. Several excellent performances from our boys. We will get there. Crucial games to come in the next two weeks.

Watched the Wasps v Exeter game last night. An excellent contest with the Chiefs now going top but at a price. Henry Slade may have broken his leg. Saracens will return to the top if they beat Newcastle today in the windswept North East.

Another fine player quits international rugby. Thierry Dusautoir calls time on his international career and as France's most capped player. A credit to the game.

Heyneke Meyer falls on his sword and resigns as coach of South Africa. Funnier things have happened. Will SARFU approach Stuart Lancaster? Would be like the Conservative party asking Alec Salmond to be its next leader me thinks.

Changing sport what about those Foxes. Back on top of the league. A 3-0 away win at Swansea. My Leicester City beanie was proudly atop my head yesterday at Dartfordians.

Please don't be complacent about the risks we face on the roads during the winter months. Last night The Bard and I had to make a detour away from Argos Hill last night as there was another serious accident closing the road. Be safe, be sensible.

Oldham held by Labour, the recriminations about the bombing of Syria, Mr Corbyn's status as leader and Mr Osborne's spectacular U turn are all in the Sunday's papers and across TV and radio. Yawn!!!!!!!!

I will pick up on two aspects of this. Isn't it hugely hypocritical of the anti-war lobby to make death threats to those in favour of bombing. Secondly I haven't heard the pacifists such as Corbyn and Salmond make any coherent suggestion on how we defeat the sadistic DAESH. You can't call their embassy or politely ask their representatives for a face to face meeting in Downing St. FYI this doesn't mean I am in favour of bombing. I simply struggle to see what can be done when you face an enemy that is fanatical in extreme.

The definition of madness was articulated perfectly by a Republican in the US yesterday; 'we can defeat these terrorists by giving the public more guns and getting them to use them' (I paraphrase). So Joe Public shooting up innocents who they think of as terrorists isn't terrorism itself?????

Finally Dec 12th. Come on!!!! Join us for Xmas lunch. Book now. Give me a call.

Thursday 3rd Dec - 08:00

Eddie Jones is marooned in Japan awaiting visa clearance to work here in the UK. I can't say too much as I recently wasn't allowed to fly as my passport was insufficiently in date for my destination. These things happen.

That said it is an embarrassment for the RFU and highlights the haste at which the decision to appoint Jones was made.

The hoo-hah about his coaching team has started with Steve Borthwick being front and centre.

The autumn internationals have been announced. South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia are England's opposition across November into December. Wales face much the same opposition with TBC rather than Fiji being the opposition. Ireland only have the three games. One tier two nation plus New Zealand and Australia. The All Blacks game likely to be in Chicago on Nov 19.

Amongst the announcements Wales will play England at Twickenham on May 29th before they fly out to New Zealand for their summer tour. Madness. Absolute madness. In the run up to RWC 2015 Wales lost key players to injury in warm up games. Haven't the lessons been learnt?

Closer to home our 1s are away at Dartfordians, our 2s are at home vs Hove 2s and The Crows travel to Hastings & Bexhill this Saturday. Tough games all but we will be ready and after an inactive couple of weeks the boys will be fully charged and ready to go.

Mr O'Fez has been on my case again. He is very unhappy that I mention Dylan Hartley and England captaincy in the same sentence. Yes Dylan's disciplinary record is far from perfect. In fact it is pretty awful but lets be clear England missed him during RWC 2015. They missed his 'dog', his commitment and skills. I do agree with Lawrence Dallaglio though in that the England captain should be picked once Jones knows his squad, and even then on a game by game basis.

Elsewhere the chickens are finally coming home to roost where FIFA and Sepp 'the bung' Blatter is concerned.

Well, THAT vote went the way of Davey and the planes were in the air less than an hour later. Only time will tell whether its right or not but don't underestimate the possible repercussions of this vote.

Another mass shooting in the US. It is unclear whether this is terrorism or simply a disgruntled public employee. The problem here is weapons are so easily available in the US that this will continue until someone 'bites the bullet' and amends the constitution. Don't hold your breath.

Don't forget to book your place at the Dec 12th Christmas lunch.

Wednesday 2nd Dec - 09:00

I know its selfish and I know this is a club website but can I wish my Uncle Bill in New Orleans (and yes they do read this drivel) and my Auntie Margaret in Neath a speedy recovery from their respective illnesses.

In the rugby news it will come as no surprise that Mike Phillips has brought his international career to an end. The writing was on the wall when he didn't feature in any of RWC 2015 games and isn't always starting at Racing 92. He has had an amazing international career with both Wales and The Lions. Thanks Mike.

Paddy O'Fez has been in touch. As expected he called me an 'eejiot' for thinking that Sarries is fielding a team of foreigners. He quite rightly points out that the Fez Heads have invested in English youth and that investment is now paying dividends (knowing how much O'Fez loves the bankers I thought a financial analogy would be appropriate). Point taken.

Wasps on the other hand seem to be going the other way. It could well be that their sizeable cheque book might persuade Leigh Halfpenny to divert to Coventry rather than going home to Wales. Dai Young is highly respected by many Welsh players.

Eddie Jones starts his job this week. Good luck. I think he will do well but luck will need to be on his side. I am still undecided whether it is an inspired choice or one made in haste to be repented later. Much speculation on the next captain. Dylan is definitely in the frame. Only time will tell.

Last night's Civic Carol Service was well attended and a nice way to go into December. The sermon was about the cost of Christmas and the gift of Christmas. I firmly believe that Christmas is now simply seen as an opportunity to binge on food and drink and waste hard earned money on unnecessary gifts by many. The religious aspect has been forgotten, which was the real message of the sermon. Us, we will spend Xmas with family and we have capped total spend on presents between me and Mrs Chairman at £20 each.

I read that the RMT are now finding fault in the revised night tube proposal. Let us be clear Mike 'Loadsa' Cash does not want the night tube and he will do whatever he can to stop it. Oh how I wish I could find a way of severely disrupting his life. I was going to call him an 'economic terrorist' but with what is going on around the world that would be wrong..... wouldn't it?

The much maligned NHS is heading into its most difficult period of the year: winter and Xmas. There is little we can do about falls on ice, flu epidemics etc. but we can do something about drunks blocking up A&E and taking up the time of overly stretched nursing and medical staff. We charge them for every aspect of the issues they cause. The police get called out: £25 per hour, an ambulance is called: £25 per hour, taken to A&E: £40 per hour, kept in overnight: £100 per hour. That might get a few people thinking about doing things differently.

Finally, as we do go into the Xmas party season please don't drink and drive. It simply is not worth it.

Tuesday 1st Dec - 08:20

Where has the year gone. Here we are at the 1st day of December already. I know many people see this as the day they can put up and switch on their Christmas decorations. Me, Dec 24th is soon enough and coming down on Dec 29th is fine.

The supermarkets of course have had their Christmas stuff up since October.... aaaaarrrrggghhhhhhh!!!!! I'm fed up with it already.

That said tonight I am representing the club at the Town Councils Christmas carol service.

Before moving on, for those of you who missed out on this weekends bargains for Christmas there are still a few left: England RWC 2015 memorabilia for a start.

Stuart Barnes, I know many of you are not fans but I like his work, has written a piece on the 5 key things for Eddie Jones to consider. Nothing startling in his views but it brings sharply into focus the challenges Jones faces. Coaching team: who? Selection: overseas players or not? Captaincy: Dylan or Robshaw? Priorities: are the autumn internationals a stepping stone to success or an RFU money making exercise? A long term plan: be clear and stick to it. Its worth a read.

The RFU announce record revenue and a £7.7m profit. This is great news. We have benefitted over the last 5 years from the RFUs financial success and long may it continue. Obviously this is why I bleat on about power drifting away from the RFU to the top clubs. You can bet your last shilling the clubs would not be so generous in supporting grassroots rugby. This is why England's pathetic RWC 2015 showing so annoying.

Leigh Halfpenny could be on his way back to Wales. Hoorah

There is a horrific photo of Worcester's Nick Schonert and the facial injury sustained against Saracens. He thankfully claims it was accidental. My bro suffered something similar whilst playing for England in South Africa when Elandre van den Berg deliberately stamped on his head leaving him requiring 25 stitches.

Jamie Roberts will tick off another page in his 'All Things Rugby' book. On Dec 10th he will run out for Cambridge University at Twickenham. Once that's done he will join Quins.

If you were ever in any doubt that rugby was following soccer down the route of money being the only motivation for the stars you need look no further than the press speculation that Wasps have offered Manu Tuilagi £500k a year for him to join them. Paper talk but nevertheless a worrying development.

A big day tomorrow for Britain. On Thursday we could be bombing in Syria.

Today is a huge day for Wales. From now on people who die will automatically be assumed to have consented to organ donation. Those who object need to actively opt-out. Personally I think this is a great idea. No jokes about no-one wanting my happy genes. This is a serious subject and hopefully will be extended to England sooner rather than later.

A big Friday Club this week. Please join us.

Monday 30th Nov - 08:30

Right, lets get some dates in the diary first.

Dec 12th - Come along and enjoy a fabulous Christmas lunch and then watch us play Deal & Betteshanger. Leave the bah humbug to me. According to Mrs Chairman I am the undefeated world champion in being a miserable bugger at Xmas so there is no excuse for you to be one.

Dec 20th - Champagne, Cheese & Carols. Yes back by popular demand. The usual great format including Elvis Chan. Book early to avoid disappointment.

I see Saracens remain top of the Aviva Premiership after a resounding win over Worcester. I am sure the mad Irishman and super 'Fez Head' will tell me how many overseas players were in the match day 23. Wasps are on a charge and Exeter continue to show what a good team they are. I watched Leicester v Bath yesterday. Not a bad game with Leicester deserving the win. Their ground development continues apace. I still don't understand why Rhys Priestland has given up being first choice at Scarlets for 2nd string at Bath. Silly me......... the money of course.

The French Barbarians aka Toulon demolished the international line up of Clermont Auvergne and Racing 92 beat Toulouse in a thoroughly enjoyable match in the Top 14.

Scrolling through the results Taunton thrashing Canterbury 68 - 21 caught the eye. A VERY long way to travel, at great expense I bet to be beaten so roundly.

Ospreys v Cardiff was pretty dire stuff at times but watching it on TV was better than being out in the cold and rain.

Well done to Great Britain for winning the Davis Cup. Well done to all the fans who put two fingers up to the terrorists and travelled to Ghent.

Winter is here....... the Scaletrix season has finished. Another procession with Rosberg and Hamilton top guns again. I laugh as BBC shout watch the highlights on iPlayer. Driving through Crowborough in the next hour is more fun. I love the school run.

Leicester City slip to 2nd in the league after drawing with MUFC but well done Jamie Vardy on his achievement.

Will we, won't we bomb the terrorists in Syria remains the key political question. The migrant situation is not improving and climate change is worrying many people, including me.

Finally, what a send off for Jonah Lomu. Impressive and fitting.

Saturday 28th Nov - 10:30

Back at home after a week of child-minding the grandchildren after my daughter's knee operation. Looking after kids under four is a young persons game. I'm knackered........ but I can change a sh!tty nappy in 38 seconds.

Sadly yet another blank Saturday as neither Bognor nor Uckfield could get sides out to play The Crows or our 2s respectively. I know from the challenges we face what with injuries, players having family commitments etc, etc, plus the acquisitive nature of clubs close by who have money to burn it is becoming harder and harder to get more than 2 sides out each week.

I was very disappointed to listen to the Chairman of Welsh Rugby talking about drugs in the sport. It was almost dismissive. That isn't a good message. Inevitably at all levels of the game there will be players taking drugs; performance enhancing and recreational, and in my view a tough stance should be taken where drug abuse is found.

I watched Edinburgh give the Dragons a bit of a rugby lesson last night. Sadly the referee, again in my humble opinion, was sub standard heavily penalising the Dragons leaving them with 13 players for long periods in the second half. Despite the disadvantage the Dragons were valiant in defence.

There is some good Top 14 and Pro 12 rugby to watch on SKY and if you have BT then the Aviva match ups are worthy of watching.

Talking of Top 14 Dewi Morris has written a piece saying the exodus to France of top players in the twilight of their careers isn't about the money. Nonsense. It is ALL about the money.

Talking of nonsense I see George Osborne has done a stunning U-turn with pirouette with regard to tax credits and budget cuts. My granddaughter was in the back of the car with me when he was speaking on Wednesday. You had to be there to get the full benefit of her listening then starting to blow raspberries each time he made some pronouncement or other. Nice one 'Etty.

Jezza Corbyn has endeared himself to his fellow MPs saying he can't support attacks on those murdering b'stards in Syria. His shadow chancellor John McDonnell made an ass of himself with his little red book comment in response to Osborne. I have original red books in both Chinese and English. So there.

It might only be for another 9 hours but right now the mighty Foxes are top of the league. After 52 years of supporting the men in blue at last there is something to really gloat about. A team that proves that money is not always the route to success.

I see the RMT are proposing to bring Southern Rail to its knees with guards going on strike. Mike 'Loadsa' Cash really should go and live in the utopian paradise of North Korea. His desire to bring this country to its knees beggars belief.

Finally winter really is on its way. Terrible weather is forecast for the next few days. Be careful out there.

Sunday 21st Nov - 10:00

What a disappointment to have to call off all this weekends games, especially after the work done on Thursday, Friday and yesterday morning to get at least one pitch playable. Thanks to Dave, Damper and the Friday Club for their efforts.

The A Pitch was JUST about playable on Friday only for the snow to make it unplayable on Saturday morning. It was waterlogged in many areas making it dangerous. The guys made every effort to get the new posts up on D Pitch but it was impossible to complete in time. The guys will have the work completed by next weekend and with the drainage working really well on the D Pitch late cry offs should be less frequent.

I apologise to all the players and supporters for the inconvenience but please be assured we did everything possible to get the games on but we were defeated.

In other news Racing 92 and Northampton Saints put down markers to their European form. Bath battled past Ulster in a tight encounter. Exeter were excellent against Bordeaux with Henry Slade showing why Lancaster made a serious mistake in leaving him out of crucial games. He was superb....... As was Burrell for Saints.

Eddie Jones is going to stick with the policy of not selecting players who are not playing in England. Is this his call or pressure from the RFU. Regardless, and in my very humble opinion I think it is the right decision. You want players playing at home hungry for club success and hungry to play for their country. You don't want money chasers not caring about English club rugby but still thinking they can get selected for England.

The blog might be a little hit and miss this week as I am in Salisbury all week and the demands of the grandchildren will take priority.