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I'm going to keep harassing the threads until they pay up. Firstly one shouldn't make such statements if you're not willing to put your money where your mouth is.
Then there's the matter of doing a (very worthwhile) charity out of promised funds. Added to which, another poster and I have agreed to match the £10 pledge once it's been paid, so gazzabok is potentially doing them out of even more, based on a flippant comment.
I have no doubt that gazzabok can afford to spare £10 and I'd like to know that they've paid up.
Ed - can you help track down the elusive gazzabok, as I've not seen any posts from them since their pledge? Thanks!
Posted 10:05 27th June 2012
Well done APV1 I remember the post but couldn't remember where he'd put it.
Posted 21:02 26th June 2012
Anyone seen any posts from gazzabok recently? I'd like to know if he's paid up, or whether he's a charity-cheating scumbag...
The English are delusional. That was't a competition once the Boks settled into the game.
Boks will win by 20+ tomorrow. If not, note this comment and I will donate 10 quid to Wooden Spoon.
Posted 13:12 15th June 2012"
Posted 15:34 26th June 2012
""... the truth is these guys are learning to play with each other, and once they've got the basics right and a platform of understanding, then we can look to expand our game plan and push the envelope in terms of attack- the simple message to the England fans is be patient! This is work in progress.""
Sure, this is an inexperienced England team across the park, but I feel Vickery is drawing on an old, old excuse. No England team I can think of in the past 40 years would have had the ambition of the All Blacks' first 20 minutes in Hamilton. Any that might have been capable of it would, anyway, have spent that first 20 minutes breaking Ireland down. "Then we can start to move the ball."
It is worth noting that the following combinations at Hamilton on Saturday hadn't, far as I know, played before: Weepu - Barrett; Barrett - Williams; Williams - Ellis. That is four backs in a row, from scrum half to outside centre. I know, that was a different back combination to that of the first 20 minutes, but the point still stands.
Posted 08:10 26th June 2012
All very well bench marking Mr Vickery but you need to remember that SA's will be moving on as well. Well, if they know what is good for them. This up and under game is so 2007 (yawn).
Posted 06:26 26th June 2012
@melkdave - couldn't agree more S.Armitage is right up with the best 7's at the moment but we need him in an England shirt to be sure.
Great article by Vicks, you can see the players really starting to gel together. Looking forward to next seasons 6 Nations already and the autumn internationals.
Posted 18:47 25th June 2012
Great articles Phil, I have enjoyed reading them. As an Englishman living in South Africa I have a good sense of the true feeling in both camps and I think you have summed up the spirit well. All the best for the 4 Peaks and as fozza has suggested, keep a steady eye on what is in front of you and you'll be fine!
Posted 17:36 25th June 2012
There are three areas where England need more not mentioned:
Who is the backup tighthead?
What about Hooker?
Crash Ball carriers 3 and 4? Manu is good, so is Waldrom but we need at least 1 more of their stature to make space and holes for the rest to exploit. We are too predictable and pace needs grunt to double up tacklers and create space.
Posted 13:50 25th June 2012
What about Corbs? He didn't get much game time in this tour but when he's on the pitch he bests his opposite number every time. Look at the six nations, he had the french and Italians (the two other most competitive front rows) under a lot of pressure and demolished the Irish front row. In SA when he came on the boks scrum crumbled and no one seems to be giving him the credit he deserves. Other than that good insight from PV. Well done
Posted 13:27 25th June 2012
Enjoyed these columns though speaking as an Englishman I would've liked to have a counter column from a similar placed Saffa (John Smit can't be too busy!?). On the series itself, we english must be careful. As Mr Vickery so eloquently puts it, there were positives to take from the tour but we were clearly second best to a very physical Boks side.
It wasn't all doom and gloom but we're a long way off being world beaters. The youth of the squad bodes well but injury very rarely allows you to keep the same side for a long period of time (just ask Courtney Lawes, Tom Croft, Tom Woods, David Strettle and Toby Flood).
Mr Vickery all the best with the walks and if I may suggest: walking behind Maggie Alophonsi may provide any red blooded male with some pretty good motivation!!!
Posted 12:53 25th June 2012
Again a good article ,that just about sums up the english suppoters thoughts ,but how could he forget S.Armitage as an option at 7 ,his just about the best 7 in the NH atm,and imo equal to Pocock, in the breakdown ,but a better ball carrier so even more of a headache for SL and co there .The new policy of taking an extended tour party ,i think is the correct one I would have liked the midweek matches to have been against S15 players myself ,but hey its SAs tour aswell ,and im sure they found some future S15s players ect ,but id hate for the Saxons to fade because of it.Maybe they could do their own tour with those players not in the extended EPS ,but hold promise like E.Daly who are now to old for the U20s,or play in the IRB Nations Cup.For Saxons head coach well imo no one better than B.Ashton,he will teach them to play heads up ,and be able to improvise ,which i feel would benifit the young players no end.All in all a very good tour for England ,and so nearly an outstanding one.For SA they also benifited hugely aswell ,and imo can only get better ,as they learned quite a few players arnt up to the job atm,and when done right the power game is still effective ,i fee lthey need variation though .but not the kicking game of the Bulls / /Bokkes of 07 .To easy to counter these days imho.So heres looking forward to the RC and aurtumn matches
Posted 12:40 25th June 2012
Great to read your blogs Phil. England are suffering from kickitus. Care/ Youngs box kick so often it becomes predictable, and Farrell's instinct is to kick (often badly). He's just not quick minded or confident enough in attack. Kicking the way we do is losing posession and setting up lethal runners such as Habbana/ Pietersen, really dumb rugby, and very annoying! I think you're right about Ford - a great attacking instinct and pretty quick too - something England haven't had since Cipriani (who still can't tackle). Cheers!
Posted 12:31 25th June 2012
I wonder if Stuart Barnes and his side kick MH talks about England with as much pride as Phil Vickery does?
Posted 12:02 25th June 2012
Very well summarised. I would only add that I was really impressed by Foden this tour. He has such a complete skill set and was able to switch between wing and fullback so gracefully.
Posted 11:24 25th June 2012