Thursday September 17th - 08:15
Matt finally saw the 'fickle finger of fate' point in his direction last night as he was ejected from The Great British Bake Off. Whilst his Victorian game pie was good he failed dismally in the technical challenge and his 'show-stopper' was shoddy.
Oh! bugger........... wrong blog..........
RWC 2015 must now only be hours away as the papers fill with stories of WAGs. Heaven help us.
In the serious news there are still tickets available, some for the home nations. In fact one of our patrons picked up some tickets for the Brighton Community Stadium only this week. Buy ONLY from OFFICIAL websites.
As I trawl through the papers one team is noticeable by their absence: Australia. England take centre stage and the hype builds about them being certain for the final. New Zealand are already making room in their trophy cabinet for 'Billy'. Fiji are going to hit England hard. France are disappointed with their Croydon base and think Croydon is dull. (To the French I say get the Southern service to Crowborough. We'll liven things up for you.) Where are the Ozzies? Quietly and efficiently preparing to win the group. An ominous silence is what I say.
South Africa name a strong side to take on Japan on Saturday. Despite their erratic form in the Southern Hemisphere Championship. They must be up there with a serious chance of winning.
You guys have busy lives but if you get a chance read the piece on the challenges the groundsman at Leicester City's stadium is facing ahead of the three RWC 2015 games they are hosting. (SKY Sports online). To me it highlights what a great job Andrew Hunter did for us with zero funds to work with and what a tremendous difference Dave Bristow is already making here at Steel Cross.
Today's World Cup talking point: Will RWC 2015 help Romania get back to the glory days of the Communist era when they were pushing for a spot at Europe's top table?
Doubt it. Toulon and Racing Metro will buy up all their stars and put them on restrictive contracts meaning they miss international matches for inflated salaries........... perhaps.
Talking of Toulon, there have been some interesting drug allegations pointed in their direction. Mischief making or something to keep an eye on?
Something else to ponder. Warren Gatland is reputed to be the most successful coach at RWC 2015. Mmmm!! not sure about that but that is what the official RWC 2015 website is telling me.
Next week on TGBBO Paul and Flora must raise their game or it could be 'adios'.
September 15th - 10:45
Not long to go now before the opening ceremony and the big kick off. Stuart Lancaster has made his selection and overall it is difficult to argue against it.......... but I will.
Yes, losing the first game is not an option but I would have had Henry Slade in the team instead of Brad Barritt. Slade is more attack minded than Barritt. Points difference could be important in the final reckoning and Slade can bring a game alive. Barritt is tried and tested however.
I would have started with Wigglesworth at No.9. I just think he is smarter and quicker around the ruck and his distribution is sharper.
Finally Webber would be my choice at starting hooker. Tom Youngs has always added something later on in games coming off the bench. He is good in the loose as the opposition tires.
The bench has masses of experience, Burgess excluded, but it looks 'heavy'. With the exception of Wigglesworth it is a bench of Sherman tanks able to trundle over the field. Late on the airforce and an agile spitfire or two might be more valuable. This is where I think cutting Cipriani from the team is a mistake (Likewise for Wales not having Hook).
England will win and win well.
The 'finger of doom' is pointing fairly and squarely at Wales as no sooner has Eli Walker unpacked his bags he is packing them again. Walker would have brought something fresh to the squad but sadly not to be. Gatland has made the bold move to bring in Ross Moriarty as his replacement. This leaves the squad short on backs but strengthens the forward options. Moriarty played well in his warm up game appearances. He must have been close to original selection. Gatland appears unwilling to eat humble pie and bring back Hook, which is what I would have done. His versatility in the back line would have made the squad look more balanced and he can bring some pizazz to a game.
I see that Dylan has lost the captaincy of the Saints to Lee Dickson. No real surprise. His discipline remains a problem and the Saints will lose him when he is restored to the England fold.
Nigel Owens wants to have a go at sorting out Jose Mourinho and other prima donna soccer managers. Wouldn't waste your time Nigel. The arrogant piece of work will get his comeuppance soon enough. Being 15 places behind Leicester City is a good start.
Today's RWC 2015 questions are: Will Scotland get out of the group or will Samoa be the surprise package? Is Sandy Park, Exeter the boldest venue choice?
September 14th - 13:00
Those of you, who like me, enjoyed the sunshine on Saturday will have watched a thoroughly enjoyable game of rugby at Steel Cross. Yes we lost but I think it is fair to say that for long periods we were the better side. Some of our play was excellent and on a different day we could have won by a distance. To be equally fair Thanet Wanderers defence was outstanding and when they got a sniff of the line they took the opportunity presented to them.
Some of the back play from us was great and the new boys fitted in well. The forwards stuck to their task and their superior technique helped them to hold back an experienced and sizeable opposition pack.
Good luck to Thanet in the next round.
Lots in the press now as RWC 2015 gets ever closer. On Sunday Ian Geering and I represented the club at the welcome ceremony for the Springboks. It was great to be there. Eastbourne College opened up with a nice rendition of 'The World in Union'. The awarding of the caps was interesting. I must congratulate both Heyneke Meyer and Jean de Villiers for their speeches. The former was from the heart, the latter was very amusing and motivating.
Type in 'Eastbourne Welcomes South Africa' into your search engine and you'll fine plenty of pictures.
I hope none of you reading this nonsense have bought tickets for RWC 2015 from anywhere other than the official site. There are plenty of scams around and risk of being stung is high.
It had to come. Another gimmick from SKY. Player mic. What a load of drivel. Let the players get on with playing and stop all this unnecessary marketing hype.
There is an interesting piece on BBC Sport website today; 'Is rugby union just for posh kids'. Its a long piece but asks some fascinating questions about rugby at school. For the record we are working with Beacon to get rugby higher up the pecking order of the schools attention.
In other sport news there is only one story; Leicester City 3 Aston Villa 2. Come on you Foxes.
Outside sport there is only one act on the stage right now and that is Jeremy Corbyn. Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale move over. The new soap opera on the block is 'Jezza, Friend or Foe'
Finally I must thank Padi O'Fiz for his ackusasion that my speling is rubisch. Well Misster O'Fiz I reely don't kare.
September 12th - 10:30
What a difference in two days. Yesterday The Friday Club and our fantastic new groundsman Dave were basking in glorious sunshine and today we wake up to bleak mid-winter weather.
The main pitch is looking as good as I have seen it. The weather has been kind as we move into Autumn so that has helped. If you don't believe me get to the club for the game vs Thanet Wanderers. K.O. 2:30pm
Marking the pitch from scratch is a long and arduous task. We have three more pitches to mark out. Can you help next Friday? As an incentive I am sure we can afford a couple of free beers when you return to the club to watch the opening game of RWC 2015. (I won't be there as I am in Brighton at the fanzone).
The ITM cup team of the season to date: Hawkes Bay, are getting a lesson in rugby right now from Canterbury. I bet Billy is happy to be sat on the bench today rather than chasing the shadows of the men in red and black.
Big Ben Morgan has got it right. 'Only a fool would underestimate Fiji'. I don't think it will be the stroll in the park all England fans think it will be on Friday evening.
Little Matthew Morgan is ready to silence the critics. At 5' 8" he is probably one of the smallest in RWC 2015 but I'll hazard a guess that he, along with Big Ben from England, will make an impact during the tournament.
Tuilagi feels hard done by for assaulting two female officers. Tough. As an England player your behaviour off the field has to be exemplary. His isn't and his track record supports that. He has now paid the penalty so lets move on and lets hope he is back in a white shirt for England with the lesson well and truly learnt.
Lots of positive rugby stuff in the news as we build towards Friday night.
Today's random thought on RWC 2015 is to jump ahead to the final. Assuming Wales haven't made it the referee for the final showpiece will be Nigel Owens.
September 10th - 09:00
What an absolutely stunning morning. Crystal clear blue skies, not a cloud in sight, nor a Gatwick bound jet, and a pleasantly warm sun shimmering off of dew laden lawns. Wordsworth, eat you heart out!
May I be so bold as to add my congratulations to our wonderful queen on becoming the longest serving monarch in history. Without doubt her majesty Elizabeth II standing proud at the head of our royal family is someone to be proud of. Phil the Greek doesn't do a bad job either. In the main most the higher ranking royals work hard for this great country of ours and I salute them.
Not much in the way of rugby news today, except of course the boys taking on Thanet Wanderers in the RFU Intermediate Cup on Saturday at Steel Cross. Come on, get yourself along for this one. You can see the work that has gone on over the summer, enjoy special World Cup beer prices, and most importantly get the boys season off to a great start with your usual vociferous (positive of course) support.
According to my RWC 2015 App it is 8 days, 10 hours and 14 minutes to kick off. Over the next few days I am going to throw out there some random thoughts on what might happen.
The first shock could be Italy beating France on 19th September. France are terrible starters and Italy looked good against Wales. If Parrisse is injured, which could well be the case, please ignore any possibility of this shock coming to pass.
Very early on those going to Wembley to watch the All Blacks v Argentina might be treated to the game of the tournament. Without doubt this was one of the games of the tournament in 2011 (I was there, nah!!).
My last suggestion for today is that France v Ireland on 11th Oct could be a cracker with everything to play for; topping the pool or even getting out of the pool if Italy have shocked France in the opener.
On Sunday I will be in Eastbourne as part of the RWC 2015 welcoming party, basically sat in bandstand freezing my butt off, for the South African team. Actually I am quite honoured to have been invited.
Some weeks ago Sussex Under 23 played a charity game against Bognor. We had 5 boys in the starting line-up (see photo). This is a great honour for little old Crowborough. A third of the team and the captain to boot. Well done all of them.
Bet you were glad you weren't on the BA flight to Gatwick from Las Vagas yesterday. Wow! What a shocker. It seems the captain, pictured resplendent in his Wooden Spoon jacket and tie in most newspapers, did a magnificent job.
I have left the best to last today; Alvin. Yes Alvin, having dodged the Mary Berry shepherds crook last week he finally got the heave-ho! from the Great British Bake Off. His soggy bottom and uncooked frangipane did for him. I was delighted to see Matt get star baker this week. His vol-au-vents were simple but well executed. You don't watch bake off. Shame on you.
Don't forget Friday Club tomorrow.
September 9th - 12:00
Wales worst fears have been realised as Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny have been ruled out. Both represent a serious blow to Wales chances of success in RWC 2015.
Webb was player of the year last year and offered a cutting edge sniping around ruck, maul and scrum. His pass is assured and he is quick over the ground. Mike Phillips is back but I would now move Lloyd Williams into the No.1 spot.
Halfpenny showed his credentials with The Lions in Australia and offers more than just a metronomic boot. His assuredness under the high ball and his incisive runs into the line will be missed. All is not lost as Liam Williams is fit and raring to go. Readers of this drivel will already be aware of the regard with which I hold him.
In a strange way out of adversity comes success. I think, like other commentators, that these injuries may serve to galvanise Wales to greater success. Time will tell.
I am getting a bit fed up of the incessant comments about Sam Burgess, especially from Sir Know It All Clive Woodward. Burgess will do well, he is a good player but come on lets keep things in perspective.
Andy Goode hangs up his boots after a fine career. A great player, and someone who will do well on TV as an expert summariser. I just hope that he can keep off the pies and doesn't turn into Jabba the Hut.
I hope Will Greenwood isn't tempting fate by stating England will crush Fiji. Underestimate your opposition at your peril.
Glad to see Northampton Saints youth policy is bearing fruit as they sign Victor Matfield (thanks Fez man).
The Millennium Stadium is to be renamed in a sponsorship deal as the Principality Stadium. Not quite the same ring to it but at least it has relevance to The Principality of Wales.
Not long to go now before the big kick off. We have ads up around the town and have some very attractive offers for those watching at the club. I now know what I am doing as a volunteer. On Friday I am at or around the fanzone in Brighton. On Saturday I will be based at or around the Stadium. If you are going to the South Africa v Japan game look out for me. I am very excited to be part of RWC 2015 as a volunteer, and even more excited about the great kit I will have to show off in post the event...... tight fisted idiot as I am.