Kicks, Ashes Hopes and Medals

17 02 2010

Rugby: Irish Hooker To Be Banned

Flannery in happier times

Rightfully, Jerry Flannery has been cited for the pretty horrendous kick that upended and later forced French wing Palisson off. During the game itself he escaped censure for what could, and possibly should, have been a red card from referee Wayne Barnes, who only awarded a penalty as the touch judge apparently thought it was a shoulder charge. Flannery is not known as a particularly ‘dirty’ player which will certainly stand in his favour, however  in the view of the Compulsive Hooker he still deserves a lengthy ban as incidents like this are dangerous and spoil the game.

Laughably, his main defence appears to be that he was trying to kick the ball and due to his position being hooker, he rarely has to kick the ball and he simply got it wrong. Possible we suppose – but it looks like a rush of blood to the head from our point of view!

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Shane Watson

Shane Watson yesterday won the coveted Allan Border Medal in the Australian cricket teams annual awards night. This is a medal which has previously been won by such luminaries as Ricky Ponting, Matt Hayden, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh. Great players all and the fact that Watson is now the proud owner of this illustrious award is symptomatic of where the Australia as a cricket slide are now.

Watson is of course a very good player and one that since taking the opening slot during the Ashes last year has scored a (small) mountain of runs, albeit usually being dismissed somewhere between 86 and 99, and taken a (minor) number of handy wickets. For this to be good enough to win the top award in Australian cricket is encouraging for an English supporter as it gives us hope for the Ashes in Australia next year.

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Winter Olympics

Bad news for Britain; one of their few genuine medal hopes in Vancouver lost to Sweden in the men’s curling competition. Most people will remember the extraordinary out pouring of delight and ever so fleeting interest in this strange and very domesticated sport (the brooms…), when Rhona Martin led her team to Gold in 2002. Sadly it appears in the men’s competition at any rate these scenes are unlikely to be repeated, although Martin herself is now coach of the ladies team and perhaps a similar upset can occur as it did 8 years ago.

Chemmy Alcott

Winter Olympics are a strange competition for most British people, as it does not seem to register on the greater conciousness in the same way that a world cup or the Summer Olympics does. We suppose this is mainly due to the fact that we are just not very good at the disciplines competed in at these games, Britain being the temperate place it is it is difficult and expensive to become a top skier for example.

For those that don’t know, Chemmy Alcott is our top skier although with a best ever finish of 9th in top events we probably cannot expect too much from her. In fact she is one of the few British athletes competing in these games whose public profile is high enough for the Compulsive Hooker to have heard of her, although this is probably as much to do with the fact that she is blond and rather photogenic than anything else.

Update 18/2: Chemmy came in 13th in her first event yesterday!

Probably our most famous Winter Olympics athlete is Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, who soared to infamy at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Games. The ‘Eagle’ was a man who came last in both the 70 and 90 metre ski jump events and caused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring in a rule that to qualify for the games you had to be in top 30% of performers at international quality events. The fact that a rule had to be introduced to prevent this ’embarrassment’ happening again, whilst not summing up British efforts, is an indicator of why they pass us by without too much interest being shown.

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