Monthly Archives: February 2010

It’s all about me…

 

Ok, I feel we’ve got to know each other quite well by now. Actually, I have no idea who’s been clicking on to my blog (apart from Steve who left a comment – Cheers dude!), but I’m going to tell you some more stuff about myself that is less ‘generic’! 

1. Today, I watched Rocky for the first time (I’m 28 next week). Yes, it is a classic. Yes, I should’ve seen it before and I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t up until now!  

2. I liked Steps. I was disappointed when they split up. There, I’ve said it.  

3. I also like Dirty Dancing & Pretty Woman. They were the only films my sister & I could ever agree on watching (on video, remember those?!) when in the house at the same time when we were younger.  

4. I am highly logical most of the time and don’t understand when people don’t understand reasoning.  

5. I think The Beatles are/were overrated.  

6. I have no particular affiliation with any political party. Whoever is in power will be berated for some aspect of their tenure. The major parties are not that different anymore. However, it does annoy me when people’s views are so one-sided and when this is based on how their parents, community, or they have always voted.  

7. Chuck Norris, John Wayne, Meatloaf, and Ieuan Evans are legends.  

8. If I miss the first episode of a series, I tend not to watch them at all, even if I think they’re going to be amazing. Hence why I’ve never seen any of Lost or 24.  

9. I don’t believe in astrology (How can one sign represent one twelfth of the population?), however I do appear to be a typical Piscean, albeit with a little more adventure in my soul.  

10. I enjoy maths and maps. Both please me greatly.  

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Six Nations – Round 2

 

 

I haven’t given up after last week’s unsuccessful attempts at predictions!

Wales v Scotland

I would hope to see Wales improve on last week’s performance. They looked very dangerous with the ball in hand, especially in midfield. I imagine that’s why Andy Robinson’s brought in Sean Lamont, to try and stop the charging Roberts and the guile of Hook. Scotland have real class in Thom Evans and the battle between him and Shane Williams could be very exciting. Scotland will have taken heart from watching Wales’ line-out last weekend, I imagine Nathan Hines will be licking his lips at the prospect! Chris Paterson’s place kicking is probably the most accurate in the world. Wales cannot afford to give awaytoo many penalties in their own half, they will be punished if they do. The other position Scotland may have supremacy is at scrum-half. Many people were surprised that Gareth Cooper held on to the no. 9 jersey after his performance against England. Having said all that, I still expect Wales to win by 10 points. They can’t afford to give away as many points as they did against England. If they get their line-out functioning and make less handling errors (shouldn’t be too difficult!) they should be able to show the class they have in the backline and score some good tries.

France v Ireland

This could be a tasty encounter, especially after Morgan Parra’s interesting comments in the past few days. This is being billed as the Six Nations decider already. It could go either way. If France turn up (and nobody ever knows how thy are going to play!) they should win. However, Ireland have learnt how to grind out victories where necessary with O’Gara and O’Driscoll using their kicks effectively. I think that, either France will run away with it, or it’ll be a close Irish victory. I think I’ll go with the latter, Ireland by 2 points.

England v Italy

England will win. Probably quite easily, I would say by 13 points. But if they do, they need to remember who the opposition are and not get carried away. They are going in the right direction it seems, but they mustn’t assume that they’ve improved that much in a short space of time after beating an underperforming Welsh side and, presumably, a stuttering Italy. After all, after this weekend’s round of matches, they could find themselves sitting at the top of the Six Nations table.

I am a Hero.

Or so the Welsh Blood Service say. I save lives. I’m like Superman with a needle in my arm. Actually, Superman’s blood probably wouldn’t be of any use to us humans really. Maybe Batman. Yup, he’s also cooler than Superman. Although sadly, I am more like Clark Kent than Bruce Wayne.

This is the hole left in my arm. It’s not much really, is it? I would urge those who can give blood to do so. It’s not hard, doesn’t really hurt, and you can save lives. And you get free biscuits. Maybe to have a think how half an hour of your time can make such a difference. Or actually, not to think too much about it as you’ll probably talk yourself out of it!

Go on. Be a Hero.

Saturday running

Inspired by a post on Nerd Fitness (which I think is awesome and if you are a bit of a nerd and are trying to get fit, you really should visit!), each time I do some training for the half marathon in October, I try to either go faster, or longer. So I’m trying to run 5km faster each time on the treadmill on Mondays (so far, I’ve got to 27m 42s). Wednesdays I do something similar, but with different distances or times. Saturdays, I do a ‘long run’. So yesterday I went out to try and better my current best distance of 7km. I managed to do 8km in 47m 36s, which I was thrilled about. That’s 5 miles don’t you know! I really enjoyed it, oddly enough! I got tired after about 300 yards (as is usually the case!), but I don’t get much more tired until quite a while after. So as long as I remember that, I’m fine! There was also a bit of a hill (I’m not good with running up hills) at the 6km mark and I thought that’d be it for me. But I straightened up afterwards, got back into my stride and smiled for the last 1.5km! Brilliant.

Also, it turns out that my Six Nations predictions aren’t very good so far. Only 1 out of 3, so I wouldn’t rely on me for any betting tips if I were you!

England v Wales

The 6 Nations is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar for me. I just love it! In case you hadn’t guessed, I’ll be supporting Wales!

After the great news that Lee Byrne’s ban had been overturned came the shocker that Gethin Jenkins will miss the opener against England with a calf injury. It’s always a rollercoaster in Wales!

Ok, my view on the match this Saturday. If Gethin had been fit, we should have held, if not dominated, the scrum. As it is, with two of our first choice front row players out, we’re probably not going to be as effective. So the front-row battle isn’t going to be such an issue for England anymore.

At the back of the scrum, Martyn Williams and Ryan Jones are hugely important as they both have such influence on the game. Andy Powell is a worry, I don’t think he’s quick enough to play blindside flanker, and his handling of the ball in contact needs massive improvement. That, and he’s not such a surprise anymore, other teams have learnt how to deal with his rampaging runs. The English back row is, as always, very strong. They do seem to have an endless supply of quality flankers (Steffon Armitage notwithstanding – I don’t rate him), Haskell seems to have improved immensely since moving to France, Easter is a skillful player, and ‘Mad Dog’ Moody will not give Stephen Jones an inch of space all afternoon.

The backs. Wales will really miss Peel and Phillips at scrum-half. I don’t know why Gatland keeps picking Cooper. His speed of passs and decision-making skills are not good enough at this level. He is very quick with the ball in hand, but nowhere close to the first & second-choices. A lot depends on Johnny Wilkinson. If he plays to the best of his ability, Wales are going to struggle all afternoon. Stephen Jones will marshall the game sensibly, even if he does lack a little of the dynamism of Hook or Biggar. Both back lines are exciting, with pace and flair in abundance. It will be interesting to see how Hook plays at outside centre (the position Gatland sees him in long-term), if that partnership with Roberts clicks, we could be in for some entertaining stuff. For England, Flutey seems to be getting back to his best (even if he doesn’t like to pass the ball!) and he will be a huge threat in midfield. Both sets of wingers have points to prove, Monye, Williams & Cueto need good games to maintain their places in the teams, whereas Tom James is looking to stake a claim for first-choice wing berth. I won’t say much about Byrne, his playing speaks for itself. I would put him as one of the best full-backs in the world on his day, if not the best. Armitage is going to be pelted with Garryowens and he’s got to be at his best to out-catch Byrne.

My verdict: I’m not sure the game will live up to the expectation people have of the exciting backs. It could come down to the effectiveness of the back-rows in maintaining good ball for the backs to be set free. I’m going with a narrow Welsh win, maybe by 4 points. Whether that’s my head or my heart speaking I’ll keep to myself!

In the other matches of the weekend I expect Ireland to be far to strong for Italy and emerge as comfortable winners. The Scotland v France match will probably be a scrappy affair with Scotland trying to stifle the French. As it’s at Murrayfield, I’ll go for a 2 point Scotland win, with all their points coming from Paterson’s boot.