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SARRIES LOOK TO ADD GLOS TO THEIR SEASON
The season is brewing up nicely for the climax of the Gallagher Premiership and Saracens, reigning Champions and newly crowned Champions of Europe (sounds good doesn’t it) will take on Gloucester Rugby on Saturday for the right to defend their domestic title at Twickenham.
Worcester Match Report
I thought that when I brought a caravan in Evesham that Worcester away games would be wonderful. Then they got relegated, the return season was a Friday night game that I could not get to from London in time and when my wife asked me to work this Saturday after some staff illness I realised that it wasn’t to be. I did insist on stopping at 3pm, went home and found a feed on Betfair. It did mean though I got to listen to the ref mike all the way through the game even if the screen was phone sized. There was a pretty strong wind; the home team won the toss and played against it first half, just as Sarries do at Allianz. The first exchanges involved a lot of kicking, but eventually Sarries held on to run with it for a few phases. Earl ran through and was stopped by Teo who laid all over him to give away a soft penalty for a 3 point lead.
Sarries produce three star performance
Before this game the general feeling was that the two best teams in Europe had reached the final. The bookies were unusually coy about predicting the outcome, and overall it appeared that the money was weighted towards Sarries, but with only a single point of advantage. Travellers to the Toon were welcomed, and had the chance to air their lungs on Friday evening, as the two French finalists in the Challenge Cup produced a brilliant game of rugby. I doubt a single Sarries supporter would not have welcomed the Clermont win, and particularly the fact that Benjamin Kayser will not retire as the man who took a losing part in more finals, national and European, than any other player since the game went professional.
Sarries ‘emerging talent’ swamp Exeter ‘inexperience’.
This headline naturally condenses the two DoRs’ take on the game. Mark McCall, never afraid to pitch anyone into the line-up, gives his senior players a weekend of cotton-wool, and judiciously mixes extreme youth, coming players, semi-established names and old men. Rob Baxter has to throw in several young players with remarkably little experience, a result of reluctance, seen at many clubs, to use his entire squad over the season, relying instead on the war horse names to turn out week after week.
SHALL WE CALL IT A DRAW?
When the fixture list came out last summer, I remember thinking this Saturday’s clash between Sarries & Exeter Chiefs would be a game to look forward to. For once it is not in the International window and both teams might just need to get something out of the game so it should have been a match to savour. Fast forward 9 months and I see I was wrong.
TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN
I quite like a bit of Monday night rugby and as I am going to miss the Euro-Final because of (a rather nice) holiday, I thought I would pre-load with a bit of Storm. Little DG & Mr Farmer were happy to join me so after a remarkably easy ride to Allianz and free on site parking, we purchased drinks and some food and took our seats – Platinum Plus for one night only! (I have to admit I could get used to sitting there!)
NO STING IN THE TAIL
So here we are again. At the Ricoh Arena. Coventry. Second week in a row. At least there were trains today. This time again pretty much our A team… ok, maybe our B+ team……. Can we continue the level of intensity that we had last week…… we shall see.
BACK TO THE RICOH
With the strange coincidences that often beset rugby matches, Sarries return to the Ricoh Stadium just 7 days after their triumphant semi-final victory over Munster, this time to face Wasps in the Premiership. I suspect it will be a very different experience for supporters and fans alike. This time Saracens will be in the away changing room, and presumably playing in red. The trains might be running (!) and the attendance will probably be higher (take note EPCR). The Saracens team may also be a bit different although just how different is the big question.
SARRIES WIN A GAME, A SPORT LOSES FRIENDS
Let’s get the second part of the title out of the way. Yesterday a small number of people in a small crowd behaved in ways that reflected ill on themselves, the clubs they support and the game in general. There too many incidents to be swept away: language, undercurrents of racist bigotry, of religious intolerance and of other aspects of tribalism in sport that has bedevilled other sports, and been sneered at by rugby supporters. for years. The day of rugby supporter segregation must have come bit closer after what has been reported in some quarters. Sadly, supporters in groups no longer expect others in their groups to moderate behaviour, as a result the behaviour of the few fulfils the old saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil for good men to do nothing.“ (Apparently Edmund Burke never said that, not wrote it, but President Kennedy said that he did, so that’s the end of that discussion.)
TIME FOR THE MUNSTER MASH
Sunday 26th April 2008. Saracens have reached their first Heineken Cup Semi-Final. Technically they have home advantage in Coventry against the Mighty Munster – but no one is fooled by that, the Red Army travel in their hoards to follow their heroes. I remember meeting little DG at the station that day, she having travelled down from Sheffield, and seeing her, a lone Sarries fan surrounded by a sea of Irish blood, flowing down to the Ricoh. On that day Ireland came to Coventry – they owned the city, the game, the cup while we stared starry eyed at a universe we had yet to join.