Match Reaction #2: Where The Game Was Won And Lost

The England scrum is about to disappear stage right in about three seconds ...

Twenty-four of England’s thirty-point haul came directly from scrum penalties; the other six were from two penalties late in either half for offside. Rory Best was pinged for “taking up the space” on the English side of a ruck on about 33 minutes, and the Irish defensive line were penalized en masse at 76 mins in front of the sticks, from which Farrell mercifully took the points instead of inflicting another scrum. Yep, it could have been even worse …  Continue reading

Get To Know An Englishman: Dan “Little Joey” Cole

Calm down laydeez ...

When England beat Australia back in June 2010, Dan “Little Joey” Cole was about the best forward on the pitch. He had made his debut in the 2010 Six Nations as a 22 year old tighthead, succeeding World Cup-winner Phil Vickery, who had held the jersey down since 1998 [give or take a few spells out due to injury], but it was that win in Sydney where Cole made his bones: he had just turned 23, it was his seventh cap and it looked as though England had found a new tighthead anchor for the next decade. Continue reading

When Rob Andrew Is The Least Of Your Problems

The RFU, the grandaddy of them all, is in a mess. This is hardly news to anybody that has been keeping up with recent happenings in the rugby world, and the Mole has been enjoying the excellent coverage provided by the various hacks at the Torygraph, the Grauniad and the London Independent. Amongst the journos, there seems to be a genuine despair at how badly wrong things have gone, and a belief that their readers are both concerned with and willing to follow what amounts to the breakdown of a bureaucracy.  Continue reading

Shit Continually Hitting The Fan At St Boshingtons

Moodos threatened to skip the First XV photo for the annual!

More than six weeks after St Boshington’s School for Oversized Louts lost their last cup match, their report cards have finally arrived at parental homes. If the English rugby public are not disgruntled by this stage, they’re a long, long way from gruntled.  Continue reading

Armitage Shanks Paterson; One Week Hard Labour

I ain't done nuffink.

Delon ‘Felon’ Armitage, who’d have to rank pretty close to the top of the Mole’s list of most disliked pro rugby players [if such a list existed … which it does, if only informally], has been up before the beaks and banned for just one week for his high and late hit on Scottish fullback Chris Paterson. Continue reading