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Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
10 December, 2009 20:38
Clifton 6 Dings 6 Saturday 6th Dec 2009

Steve Hill in Friday nights preview of the game in the Bristol Evening Post informed us that Clifton, traditionally the higher ranked of the two teams, have only beaten Dings once in the last twenty or so years.

The key to understanding the form that lead up to the game is that Clifton's recent resurgence, after a period of decline, has been linked to sort of jumping into bed with big, bad, hairy,ugly Bristol RFC, whose decision it was to relocate their training and administrative headquarters from the leafy University ground at Coombe Dingle to the semi rural and cheaper environs of Cribbs Causeway, where a cow or two can look over the hedge to wonder "what's going on?"

I say "semi" rural as on one side in the distance the roar of the M5 south thunders down towards the Avonmouth bridge, to the North the twinkling lights of a mega shopping centre allure, whilst overhead a varied assortment of planes from Tiger Moth trainers up to jumbo sized jets being overhauled give the fleeting impression of being in a damp version of Pearl Harbour in 1943 under attack by the Japs.

This deeply welcome boost to the coffers has relieved the "posh" side of the city from years of stress and no doubt has somehow encouraged David Rees, ex England winger, the man who ran, not through, but under Johno Lomu at Twickers to score a try, to now ply his trade, supplemented as a personal fitness trainer. Dings couldnt tempt Matt Salter with a coaching position as he wanted to continue playing and leave the coaching to Mark Regan, so their loss is Clifton's considerable gain.

As Matt was busy all day coaching the Bristol rugby academy he wanted to make the most of a flame that still burns bright and his entry into the Bristol "Hall of Fame" marks a half way stage, hopefully in some capacity with a club back in the Premiership, Bristol.

Clifton tend to get the pick of the academy boys, and Paul Hull's policy of selecting some of them this weekend for the bench of the "big" match against mighty Birmingham Bees at the Memorial Ground denuded Clifton of highly talented young prop Marco Vunipola and lock Darren Barry.

Dings in contrast follow a vigorous no pay policy, but as most of them are in the building trade, I suspect that that is probably mainly for the benefit of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Taxis (Shurely shome Mishtake Mr Blessing...when were taxis run by the government? Ed.)

Who knows? Pure conjecture. But Dings do somehow pay the expenses of an illustrious coaching panel lead by the young and approachable James Farndon augmented by ex Bris favourite Dave Hilton and overseen by quietly spoken if slightly ancient Pete Johnson who are all employed by the RFU. Pete was a star centre back in the 19th century or so for Clifton and the same trio oversee Bristol University who continue to play effectively in the Premier Division of the BUCS cup. It was Pete who was entrusted by Malcolm Pearce to keep the good ship Bristol from sinking leading to the Hilly Haagy era. He has been around and this year coming into Dings found their best forwards had done a runner up to the Forest of Dean where a few bob or two was knocking about at Cinderford.

But Dings have steadied the ship, and recent results made Clifton only slighty the favourites. The steady drizzle slowly turned the rugby ball into a bar of soap and a few penalty infringements gave Clifton a 6-0 lead coming up to half time. As Clifton laid seige to the Dings line in the left hand corner at the "Motorway" end, a turnover and a breakout by the defending Number 8 swept play up field to the far opposing corner in a series of desperate off loads as the Clifton defence crushed the player but not the move. Now encamped on the Clifton line it was no surprise that in a modern day version of the trench warfare of the Somme, it was Clifton's time to turn defence into attack. It was to and fro' and with the last play of the first half, with Clifton down to 14 men as their hooked was yellow carded , Ding's captain and flanker Stean Williams asked his young fly half to take the points.......6-3 to Clifton.

I'm wondering if anyone actually reads this but hey ho, who knows and anyway nobody pays me to do it and anyway I can post it on the Gloucester and Plymouth sites where I always get warm thanks of appreciation.....however to return to the derby at Cribbs Causeway....the second half had Dings playing up the slight incline but with a light wind moistened by ever increasing heavy drizzle. (Weather forecast over)

They kicked for the corners, got a penalty, took the points and levelled the score, tried to play a bit of rugby with the slippery bar of soap, fielded a series of ping pong baseline rallies until they started to drop the ball left right and centre. Like a pack of howling wolves Clifton descended on the bobbing ball and eventually "Galactico Supremo" Johnny Barnes, no relation of huge footballer of same name I believe, got his chance with a longish range drop kick from behind the posts, only for to it graze the wrong side of the left hand posts. The posts, by the way, are the tallest in England and although a trifle rusty came from the Memorial Ground. A draw was an honourable result and so we look forward to the return at Landseer Road.

A word in recognition of the old groundsman who now out of hospital is unable to continue. His smiling face is missed and one thing you will always get at Clifton is a refined but sincere welcome. Like Dings but so different, both jewels in the rugby firmament and I suspect that all over the country, in their own special way, local clubs bring so much pleasure to our lives. For that we are most thankful.

Bristol 28 Birmingham 0

I'm really torn between two different camps on how to appreciate this game. On one hand, my natural inclination is to simply enjoy the company, admire the courage and skill of the players and perhaps only criticise because that's what we lesser mortals do. Considering Birmingham are bust and also ravaged by swine flu, they did well, tackled ferociously and frustrated Bristol famously.

But there's another side, perhaps a devilish one which wants Bristol to be the best and to do that one has to be brutally honest. There's no room for sentiment. And the professionals within the club want to be the best, right from the ladies earning vital money doing the cleaning and washing, through the stewards and turnstile operators to the players, executives, shareholders and Chairman and Board who sink their hard earned cash in the hope of reward, be it not in monetary terms.

And we the paying public, perhaps we expect something. I know everyone is trying and certainly any player worth his salt wants to get back to the Premiership.

But should we openly criticise certain players? Well someone once said "All the world's a stage and we are but simple players who strut the boards and wander off" etc etc. and it takes all sorts. I don't like to hear spectators being rude from the terraces, but maybe I'm a bit sensitive. But if we step out into the limelight, and even us wimps on the boards risk embarrassement every time we commit pen to paper, we have to take the hits and hope to work towards the occaisonal applause. We are all here but to please each other, are we not? So we learn from our mistakes and thus do better.

Each game is a fresh page on which to write. And it is on the pitch that the player has the chance to prove his critics wrong, and where we can respond as we think fit. But the worst thing that can happen for any entertainer is to be ignored, and I think we are unlikely to ever do that, are we?

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
26 December, 2009 18:58
Should Bristol field an academy side this Sunday against Exeter ?

It's so very easy to criticize the architects of the Championship and the play off system. But it's slightly more difficult when you actually have the responsiblity for the welfare of rugby within England, as does the RFU. A chance remark from someone behind me on the terraces at Bristol caused the alarm bells to ring, not for the first time in the past 30 odd years since we began to wrestle with new formats. Remember the first league system with 12 teams playing each other only once a season, giving just 6 home games a year, if you were lucky, and five away? No wonder so many famous clubs have slipped away from the top table.

Anyone complaining about the present Guiness Premiership set up leading to boring, safety first rugby should have been around then, when at a stroke, all the other games against Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, and others were relegated to "friendly" status with the best players rested and the seasons success or failure, both sporting and financial, were dependent upon the outcomes of those just 11 meagre league games .

So what was it said to me that made me go into a slightly cold sweat? I was told that Bristol's latest recruit, Alex Crockett, would not be eligible to play in the business end of the season, as to qualify, a player must have played in at least six of the 22 pre play off games. I searched high and low through the regulations on the RFU website but despite being enormously impressed by the extensive detail on virtually everything under the sun, including bankruptcy, nowhere could I find what requirements a player has to meet to be eligible if either they are dual registered or signed after the pre play off games.

I haven't the heart to publish my thoughts on the Bristol site, until perhaps after the game, because I know the game this weekend, Sunday the 27th December, is being eagerly anticipated by both sets of fans and the players alike. But I shall be distinctly uncomfortable no matter who wins. If Bristol win, then so what? It just makes us favourites in the play offs, and that's no advantage. If Exeter win, well it could be at a cost to Bristol of losing players through injury. If we were really hard headed and had no thought of the paying public we might as well not let them have a look at our best team, our moves and keep our powder dry for the play offs. That is assuming Bristol and Exeter get to meet.

I couldn't quite work out how Moseley RFC last season so dramatically upset the apple cart in the infamous double header defeat of Exeter. A defeat that cost them their head coaches's job and promotion hopes to rivals Leeds. I couldn't work it out because I didn't know then what I do know now, that Moseley had two dual registered Gloucester players, flying wing young Afro Carribean Dan Norton, late of Hartpury College's Hall of Fame, and ex Bath centre Jack Adams. Watching them play now for Bristol,these two really are a classy combo and making a big difference.

And for this season Bristol have the experience of Jason Spice at scrum half. Cardiff's loss is Bristol's gain. The back line with him marshalling it seem to be so much more creative, and Junior Fatiolofa, fit again, gives us punch through the centre.

In the pack,at No.8, a youthful Dan Montagu, a pinch from Nottingham, grows stronger by the day, showing good ball handling skills, strong carrying power, supported by a couple of fresh and fit, strapping young flankers with pace and power to burn in Ian Grieve and Redford Pennycook. The front row, are rejuvenated by a fit again David Blaney and two young props, and they are thrust forward by two old boilers in the engine room at second row, Nathan Budgett and captain Roy Winters.

Even Lee Robinson, resembling the mythical creature Pegasus, a winged horse, on the wing spurred on by abrasive criticism from the terraces is playing with a barely concealed fury and no small amount of skill, his delicate chip and chase against a very well organised Bedford defence being out of the conjurors bottomless hat. So Bristol, maturing under Paul Hull, mentored by the experienced and even smiling John Brain are beginning to blossom. Spring time for Hitler and Germany!

But will the Spring see pink flowers, sunshine and showers and eventual little apples that will mature into next Autumn's new arrival of fresh product on the Premiership supermarket's shelves ?

Or will someone at the RFU responsible for "moving the goal posts" decide to move them just as Bristol take aim at a conversion, so as the ball flies through the air towards where the posts were, the kicker will look up and to his amazement see the posts scuttling off towards the corner flag, leaving our dreams in ruins?

Perhaps. That's why it would be useful to know if and where the rules are written down about "dual qualification" and late season signings elegiblity. Not that it would make much difference as we all know "Rules are there to be broken, especially by those who dream them up in the first place." But in the meantime it would help to know if any actually exist? Anybody care to enlighten me?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26/12/2009 19:13 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
27 January, 2010 12:43
Filton College vs Truro College Wed 2pm 27th Jan 2010.
27 January, 2010 11:54

For those of us who enjoy a Wednesday's afternoon rugby, Filton College entertain Truro College today at their splendid sports complex opposite AXA's headquarters, on the left, just before Parkway railway station in Bradley Stoke, North Bristol.

It's a league game, contested between the 12 academy based teams that at the group stage are divided into North and South. Truro, I am guessing, are based around the Cornish Pirates, and of course, Filton are linked to Bristol, but not exclusively, as these teams are RFU funded.

This game could be close as Truro, despite losing to Filton earlier in the season in the home leg by 21 points to 3, are strengthened by players returning from injury.

The six teams in the Southern division are Wasps, London Irish, Filton College, Ivybridge School, Truro College and Exeter College. As ever, in rugby matters, one can spend time guessing, but I believe Ivybridge Community College could be linked to Plymouth Albion RFC, but I stand to be corrected. Hartpury College, feeder to Gloucester RFC, are in the Northern Division, at least their new academy Coach Alan Martinovic, late of Colston's and Dings "thinks so but can't be sure".

Filton's form has been patchy in this league so far. A 10-9 early season last minute win over London Irish at Clifton RFC along with a good win by 58-12 against Exeter College at home, has been tempered by a 30-28 loss home to Wasps and a defeat away to London Irish last week by 6-14.

So, whoever wins this afternoon stands a good chance of progressing to the dreaded play offs. When these will be are shrouded in the swirling mists of time, and anyone with further information or who can correct any assumptions or inaccuracies on my part are kindly invited to post below, with thanks. Hopefully, I shall do a report of sorts as they seem to be thin on the ground on the otherwise excellent website devoted to schools rugby which you might like to keep in your "favourites".[]

Meanwhile, I gather Bristol University's game at home to Hartpury College has been postponed, although there is a Third XIII rugby league match on for those so inclined. It is rumoured that University West of England are playing Cardiff University at Clifton today even though the BUCS website has them away.

On the wider stage, for those of you wishing to read the thoughts of the informed and distinguished wits posting on Richard Lowther's excellent website devoted to the Championship and below, save this site.


Latest insider info states that only two teams have put themselves up for audit by the RFU for promotion to the Guinness Premiership. Guessing I think it could be....Bristol and Exeter? London Welsh meanwhile continue in a state of flux, having discovered that someone slipped them a fake million pound note at the bar and gave out change for a packet of crisps. Rugby...don't cha love it!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 27/01/2010 12:47 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
14 February, 2010 09:21
Bristol 40 Coventry 15 Saturday 13th British and Irish Cup group stage.

The eyes of the rugby world, apart from the odd 2,500 spectators at the Memorial Ground, Bristol, were trained on higher things no doubt, but for those who attended, this was a pleasant afternoon of rather interesting rugby in which Coventry played their part in ensuring it was not all one way.

I missed the first fifteen minutes as I had had to work until 1 pm and by the time I arrived Bristol had already scored two tries and led 12-0. But Coventry in their bright red and white hoops, bustled Bristol into a series of errors and then scored twice to bring themselves back to 12-10 at half time.

In the interval, much fun was to be had by watching Scotland, on the club house television, embarrassing Wales at the Millenium Stadium, by leading 18-9 at half time.

But the fresh air beckoned and out for the second half trotted the two teams. Bristol soon got into their stride, the diminutive figure of James Merriman, in his scrum cap, showing his fitness from his spell with England's seven a side team by literally and metaphorically rocketing through a gap in the Coventry midfield defence for a try that started a sort of mini avalanche of points.

The crowd were brought to their feet as the young powerfully built dusky prop, Mako Vunipola, showed incredible strength and pace in scoring his try. As he struggled over the line and touched down he had half the opposition pack on his back and the other half around his legs and ankles.

This young man should be put straight into the first team. He is destined for the Premiership. Let us hope that is with Bristol RFC and next season. To be honest, and not wishing in anyway to discourage some of the other young hopefuls, the team performance showed how important it is to be experienced and aware of each others pattern of play, and that can only come through playing games. At times, both teams displayed a lack of cohesion, but that is to be expected. What it did make me appreciate was how well Bristol's first team have been playing this season, despite their own harsh self criticism.

They are well coached and playing some powerful and brilliant rugby. Instrumental in this has been Jason Spice at scrum half, who has brought a rare creativity to Bristol's back play, a feature of which marked last season's style at his former club, Cardiff Blues. He deserves a season or two in the Premiership.

In the interminable "qualifying" 20 or so games so far Bristol have managed to get one hand on the door handle to the Premiership. We know the door is not locked and one twist and a push will see us through? Can anything stop us? Who knows? Soon we will have to all go back down to the foot of the mountain and start all over again with our equally determined partners in the new fangled Championship. Could there be a crueller form of deciding who enters the the Big Room? Possibly, and if there is, you can bet on someone to think of it and introduce it.

One wonders if perhaps the winners of the British and Irish cup, presuming that there is one, could qualify for next seasons Amlin Cup, just as the winner of that cup qualifies for the Heinken Cup. Just a thought.

So the second half whizzed by, Cov scored a good try and as the final whistle blew it was back to the TV screen in the bar intending to enjoy further Welsh misery. But zounds! They scored a penalty and a try with the last two passages of play to send Scotland and Andy Robinson to the bottom of the Six nations Table.

All in all, a good days rugby for the fans! And England in Rome tomorrow!

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
02 March, 2010 21:55
The British Universities and Colleges Cup reaches the first round of the knockout stages tomorrow, Wednesday 03 March, when the top 16 teams in the land go head to head.The top six teams in the Northern and Southern Divisions are joined by the top two Scottish teams along with the top two teams in the second divisons, Leeds and UWE Bristol, who are promoted.

Nottingham Trent University and St Marys College respectively are relegated from the Northern and Southern Divisions into the second tier cup.

The draw is seeded on the basis of the final positions in the qualifying league table. In the Southern Division they finished thus

2 Hartpury
3 Exeter
4 Bath
5 Bristol
6 Swansea

In the Northern Division

1 Loughborough
2 Leeds Metropolitan
3 Newcastle
4 Nottingham
5 Northumbria
6 Durham

The two top Scottish team were Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The draw is

1 Loughborough v Edinburgh
2 Bath v Northumbria
3 Newcastle v Swansea
4 Hartpury v Leeds University
5 Leeds Metro v UWE
6 Exeter v Durham
7 Nottingham v Bristol
8 UWIC v Aberdeen

The quarter finals are to be played next week Wed 10th March with the winners of games 1 and 2 meeting, 3 and 4, 5 and 6 and 7 and 8. The home team is decided on the toss of a coin. For results go to []:

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
06 March, 2010 11:55
Why would anyone want to play in the Premiership if it weren't for the fact that the teams that do so are the best? And how can one be sure that they are the best if they are not exposed to the challenge of the teams below them in the Championship?

Why is it that Scotland are still losing if their regional sides benefit so much from the protection of a relegation free Magners League?

Why was the the Scarlet's stadium so deserted last night for the visit of Ulster last night if the ring fenced model is so "entertaining"?

Why is that the championship offers young players the chance to prove their worth on the field rather than in the gym and on the bench for a would be Ring Fenced Grimmest Premiership set up?

Why is it that Northampton, Harlequins, Leeds and Bristol have been relegated and come back stronger, both on and off the field. How was relegation so "fatal" in their cases? Au contraire, it was perhaps the most enjoyable seasons they have had, but only because they knew they could return to the fray, afresh.

Why is it that Leeds, under the threat of relegation are now beginning to turn the tables and in so doing prove their right to be and remain at the top?

Why is it that Sale, now in free fall, suffering perhaps from the withdrawal of a beleaguered sugar daddy's cash or whatever it is that sadly afflicts them, should not relinquish their place to a club such as Exeter that have transformed themselves into everything a modern professional rugby club should be?

Why is that despite all the failings of the new Championship, a genuine fever of anticipation is beginning to rage within all 12 teams as their fortunes are to be decided on the one place that matters.....on the field?

Why is it that attendances continue to grow at all levels?

Because of promotion and relegation.

Why can't the Grimmest Premiership be expanded to 14? Because the RFU have entered an agreement with PRL to limit the number of games in the hope that England might improve at the International level.

Why is Neil Back so keen to safeguard his club's position in a Ring Fenced Premiership? Because he thinks that clubs exist soley to benefit England?

Sorry but I beg to differ. Clubs exist for themselves. Supporters, be they chairmen, members or spectators through the gate, support their team because they want them to win...on the field.

And if they lose they eventually go down to a level where they start to win again. If Neil Back can't handle that then perhaps he's in the wrong job, along with his chairman.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2010 13:36 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
Bod (IP Logged)
06 March, 2010 12:06
Well articulated Bill!
thumbs down

Re: A Health Warning
Roman in bath (IP Logged)
06 March, 2010 22:47
Bill, your posting is always a joy to read. Keep it up!

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
08 March, 2010 21:20
British Universities Cup last eight Wed 10th March.
by: WilliamBlessing

Lat week's results in the final 16 round were as follows..

1. Loughborough 61 Edinburgh 0

2. Bath 36 Northumbria 15

3. Newcastle 30 Swansea 15

4. Hartpury 53 Leeds 0

5. Leeds Metro 25 UWE Bristol 13

6. Exeter 15 Durham 18

7. Notingham 10 Bristol 24

8. UWIC walkover against Aberdeen

On Wednesday 10th March

The Quarter finals. (home side decided on the toss of a coin)

1. Bath v Loughborough

2. Newcastle v Hartpury

3. Leeds Metro v Durham

4. Bristol v UWIC

The stand out result in the previous round was Durham's away win at Exeter and their reward is a battle of the North, away to Leeds Metropolitan. Hopefully someone might post a match report on this thread if they attend any of the games.

Also, winning away from home against a higher seeded team, was Bristol University who play their difficult home tie against UWIC at Clifton RFC ground, kick off 2pm. Ring beforehand to confirm.

Hartpury, possibly the favourites, have a tricky journey up North to Newcastle, whilst close contenders for the title Loughborough travel to Bath, who may provide them with something to think about.

So, the draw has given away games to the top three. Could one or more fail to progress? Could there be a cup upset? Could their be a new rugby power in the land? We shall see.

The semi finals, to be played at neutral grounds, will be on Wednesday 24th March and the final at Twickenham on 21st April. Anyone who has not watched this level of rugby will be sure of a treat. Fast, skilful, determined and for the most part sporting, they are the perfect anti dote to those who might groan at the sight of another bout of aerial ping pong from the Grimmest Premiership. See you there!

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
22 March, 2010 09:21
Letter from Bristol.
British Universities Cup Semi Finals Newbury RFC 2.30pm Wed 24th March and other random thoughts.

University rugby is the Cinderella of the British game, eternally overlooked by the sporting press, apart from an annual frenzy around the Varsity match, where the two ugly sisters of Oxford and Cambridge get to enjoy their brief spell in the limelight.

The semi-finals of the BUCS Championship, from which the latter snootily exempt themselves, are to be played at Newbury RFC, this Wednesday 2.30pm, 24th March.

The tournament remains unheralded, even by specialist rugby newspapers, despite the fact that these games are far more likely to contain the stars of the future.

Search as I do, I can find no confirmation of my belief that both games will be played simultaneously on adjoining pitches, with a 2.30 pm kick off. That so little effort is made by the RFU and the Universities themselves to promote these games seems to me to be inexpicable. Professional journalists, such as Stephen Jones in yesterday's Sunday Times, reached an all time low by harping blindly on about how Martin Johnson and his men "have to go" after England finally came of age in a thrilling performance at the the Stade de France. Now Sir Larry Delaallio is getting in on the act, rubbishing Rob Andrew. If these were unpaid internet loonies like you and I, who have no reputation to risk except for our ability to sound off without fear of contradiction, then that's perhaps alright.

But the obsession with only the highest end of the game and the endless introspection of just one aspect of rugby belies a narrowness of outlook in the press. Even the dramatic events of the weekend in the Championship are unlikely to get anything other than a cursory comment in the broadsheets as economics curtail the coverage.

However, I hope that what I report can be corrected if inaccurate and I would appreciate anyone going to the Semi finals on Wednesday to include a match report or comment as I won't be able to go myself.

The quarter finals, played a fortnight ago on the 10th March, saw the top three of UWIC, Hartpury and Loughborough proceed to the next round. The scores were as follows

1. Bath 6 Loughborough 21

2. Newcastle 22 Hartpury 26

3. Leeds Metropolitan 33 Durham 21

4. Bristol 10 UWIC 53

I can only assume that the away win for Hartpury at Newcastle was a cracker, as was the close Leeds Metro win at home to Durham. The two other games were less close, Bath performing creditably against a powerful Loughborough team, whilst the only mismatch was Bristol's trouncing by a very professional UWIC team. This was the game that I had the misfortune to witness as Bristol were outclassed from start to finish. Despite the difficult conditions I have never seen in my forty years of watching Bristol University such a woeful performance. It happens.

The draw for the semi finals are thus

1. Hartpury vs UWIC

2. Loughborough vs Leeds Metropolitan

UWIC were mumbling about the RFU arranging a fix to ensure that a team from the Northern draw went through to the final and that Hartpury's players weren't proper full time students. A fix? By the RFU? Moving goalposts? Fake students at bogus colleges? Shurely shome mishtake? Impossible! Would never happen!

Continuing on the theme of woe, a nervy Bristol on Friday night struggled against a committed raiding party of Cornish Pirates who came to plunder the good ship Bristol and very nearly succeeded. Teams are like chemical experiments and coaches spend months, if not years, labouring in underground laboratories, surrounded by flasks of bubbling green and blue liquids, with an inarticulate monster prostrate on the operating table, feeding them bolts of electricity in an attempt to get them off the ground. I suspect that Martin Johnson himseslf, in resembling Lurch, is the result of one such successful experiment by a mad Dr Frankenstein's apprentice, Professor Sir Woody Woodentop Woodward.

Once up and running there's no stopping them.....and in that category you could include England in France. France were terrible. They won, but England were by far the better team. But one thing that teams need is momentum. Take them away to another competition or give them a break and all of a sudden they are back on the slab.

Bristol, on Friday night, were just about able to get out of bed and remember what day it was by which time Pirates had been climbing the rigging and hoisting their flag. Another day like that and Bris will be joing Exeter in the madhouse that is next years Championship and Nottingham RFC, like Robin Hood will have robbed from the rich and given to the poor, in which case, themselves, if they haven't gone bust three times by the start of next season.

My apologies to all and sundry if this latest missive has made no sense, but then what does in the Mental Hospital of the contemporary world of Rugby Union? London Welsh beating Nottingham in a Championship finals and then getting relegated to the third tier for failure to meet certain er..."financial requirements".

I can see the infamous moving goalposts at Twickers beginning to rev up and flicker from side to side before my very eyes.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 23/03/2010 08:19 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
30 March, 2010 10:54
I am indebted to a Rugby Times article for 12th March under the banner headline of "Form Matters" Schools Rugby (page 12) by Sam Francis who begins by writing..

"As we build towards the climax of this years Daily Mail Cup, last years champions, Truro College, have been a notable absentee all season.

Truro's non-appearance this year, however, has not been due to a dip in form, but due to the College's recent move into the Advanced Apprenticeship for Sporting Excellence(AASE)circuit.

Steve Larkins, Truro's head of rugby, explained: "Since we began running a rugby apprenticeship course at our college and setting up links with Exeter Chiefs, we had to move into the AASE league to compete against simililarly set up squads out of necessity. According to the RFU, though, it has meant we are no longer entitled to join the Daily Mail competitions."

This interesting article goes on to describe how Truro College are looking forward to the play offs and finals of the AASE league, to be held on April 21st with finals day at Henly RFC on April 28th.

Their fortunes however in the league have been mixed.

The final positions in the two divisions North and South were as follows..


1. Moulton College(Northampton)
2. Hartpury College (Gloucester)

3. Prince Henry's (Leeds)
4 Myerscough (Sale)

5. Oaklands (Saracens)
6. Worcester Sixth Form College (Worcester)


1. Twyford (Wasps)
2. Ivybridge (Exeter Chiefs)

3. St Pauls (London Irish)
4. Filton College (Bristol)

5. Truro College (Exeter Chiefs)
6. Exeter College (Exeter Chiefs)

The Championship semi finals have top North 1 at home to second South 2 i.e Moulton vs Ivybridge and Top South, Twyford vs Second North, Hartpury.

The Plate semis have 3 N vs 4 S and 3 S vs 4 N

and the Bowl semis has 5 N vs 6 S and 5 S vs 6N

all semis to be played on the 21st April with the three finals of Championship, Plate and Bowl being played on the 28th April at Henley RFC.

Whether this set up will improve the standard of English Rugby in general right up through the leagues at Championship, Guinness Premeiership level and on to the final target of England itself is open to debate. Time will tell, but in this the first season of the AASE league Truro have not made the Championship finals finishing 5th in the Southern Division.

What cannot be debated is that the only way to improve is for the best to play the best, and for that you need a league format. That the AASE league provides and it's up to the rugby playing public schools to get organised, find a champion and then challenge the AASE Champions. I hope the Headmaster's Conference Schools get their act together. The result should be very interesting.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
07 April, 2010 22:49
The debate on Rolling Maul website
Posted by: William Blessing 07 April, 2010 22:36

One of the unforeseen pleasures of being expelled from the Premiership is discovering the website "Rolling Maul" set up by Richard Lowther that provides a forum for discussion amongst fans at all levels below the top tier. There are dedicated forums for the Championship, National Division One, Two North and South and below, where supporters and chief executives of the RFU and all kinds between engage in informed and sometimes witty debate. Because posters pitch in from all clubs it's at times a bit like arguing blindfold in a very darkened room, but slowly identities emerge. Of course the controversial subject of the Championship format is never far away, along with with dual registration, financial failures and clubs popping up again out of administration.

But musing on the subject a few novel thoughts occurred to me which surprisingly seem to argue for something of a need for not rushing into ever more changing of the set up.

The argument for the play offs in the Premiership is completely different from that in the Championship. In the Premiership, clubs who provide players who are part of the English Elite Squad, are disadvantaged during International windows, whilst the GP continues, and so they have the chance to "peak" after the Six nations and then go on to the play off semi-finals and then win the Grand Final.

It's primary justification is not just to "make money", per se, as certain sceptics might suggest, but to give the clubs and the RFU the grounds for a compromise so that the National team are able to compete on a more equitable playing field than the one that has, so far, favoured the Celtic nations.

The cost to the Celtic regionalised teams is a devalued Magners league, which as a consequence, fails to gain the SKY revenue that the Guinness Premiership generates. The new binding contract between the RFU and PRL, which limits the clubs to 22 games in a 12 team league this year, enabled the England squad to have a complete break between a gruelling draw at Murrayfield and a showdown at the Stade de France.

Thank heaven, England played some great rugby that night in Paris and despite losing 12-10, the French were frankly poor. But they didn't have the benefit of a break. Their top 14 schedule had them playing a club game in between, and it showed. The attempt of Stade Paris to get James Haskell to play and break an unwritten agreement displayed how tortuous and detailed the agreement had to be in the first place to stick.

None the less, a degree of "credibilty" was restored to England RFC, and as a result to English rugby, at all levels.

I certainly wouldn't say that the national team comes above all others. Far from it, but it at least deserves an equal footing along with minis, Schools, AASE league, colts, junior, intermediate, county and senior levels, including the "Championship".

Some rugby fans who follow their Premiership teams may not be aware of this strange beast lurking hidden, deep within the rugby jungle. If they were to rely upon the national press, only the Daily Telegraph gives anything other than the barest of bones in the form of the scores. Television even less so.

But in fact this season has seen an incredible boiling of rage and indignation within the twelve towns where Championship rugby is played and both the promotion and relegation battles are poised on a the sharpest of knife edges after this Easter weekend's results.

The "play offs" here are based on a different logic from those in the Premiership. It starts on the premise that RFU funding has to be concentrated on only those 12 teams who are deemed as being viable contenders for eventual promotion to the Premiership. In making those clubs dependent on a centrally controlled "handout" it weakens the 12 clubs independence.

It imposes a farcical 22 game "pre season" qualifying period" that won't wash with the paying public next season. The RFU closely monitor gate receipts, attendance levels, number of tries scored, difference in points, yellow cards, red cards, you name it, they monitor it and they report their findings in a well written review after each round on the RFU website that you can read for yourself, if you care to search for it.

But at the end of the day there is "the bottom line". Revenue, minus expenditure, equals profit or loss. I'm not sure how many of the 12 championship clubs include the six play off games for promotion or the four play off games for relegation in the their standard season ticket price, but I assume they do. Bristol, for sure, include them. So the lower attendance figures must be leaving the architects of the structure scratching their heads. As a supporter I am both engrossed and fascinated and the emergence snarling from the undergrowth of a fully fanged Birmingham RFC has caught us all by surprise, none more so than their neighbours and rivals Moseley RFC.

Less of a surprise is the stumbling form of the favourites, Exeter and Bristol, the only two teams who meet the entry criteria set by PRL for promotion. With three games to go they are dead equal on points with Cornish Pirates and a boisterous Bedford, with Bristol having to play two of their games away from home, but crucially their game with Bedford at home. Anything can happen. Isn't that what you want in a competition?

Moreover, the Guinness Premiership is coming up with some incredible games. Gloucester's win against Saracens was perhaps the finest game of rugby I have seen in my life. And Wasps defeat of a rampant London Irish not far behind. At all levels the game is thriving. On the local front the derby game between Dings Crusaders and Clifton in National Division two South was fit for any broadcast by David Attenborough of the BBC Natural History Unit entitled "Life of the Hippotomus". In hushed tones he could have recorded 30 beefy blokes mud wrestling in cold water alternatively politely applauded by the toffs on one side when their team took the lead, and loudly jeered by the hoi polio on the other when their team went ahead. In the end a late penalty miss by the generally dead eye Clifton fly half was trumped by an assured penalty conversion by the Ding's replacement fly half Lukjanevic, Dings winning 17-15.

At the final whistle there was a mass outbreak of good humoured baiting by the Dings crowd with their singing, "One team in Bristol, there's only one team in Bristol.....One team in Bristol, oh there's only one team in Bristol", I think you know the tune to something like "Juan tamapara" or such like. The delated Clifton camp were left to reflect upon the fact that their successful season "does not hinge solely on winning one game". Dings might beg to differ.

But to return to the Future, the recent announcement by Martin Thomas of the RFU to consider expanding the Guinness Premiership to 14 when the TV contacts come up for renewal in 20011 and then think about ring fencing, perhaps, threatens the present hard won sense of equilibrium beginning to be achieved between the Professional clubs and the National team.

It is Sky and other rival broadcasters. who pay the big bucks that fund the game, they who are the paymasters and it is they who will dictate it's form at the professional level. With Ofcom suddenly throwing a big oily spanner into the "smoothly" running works, Chief Executives are once again faced with the one thing they don't like, apart from a poor product, and that is "uncertainty".

The Guinness Premiership, as it stands, is providing the goods. Even the Six nations with a possibly renaissacent England is meeting audience targets. But the credibility of the Guinness Premiership is based on the real threat of relegation. And that threat is dependent upon a credible Championship.

Incredible? Certainly. Credible? Not so sure. If the economics don't add up and changes have to be made I've suggested a championship of six teams North and South playing each other home and away twice before the top three of each go into a promotion group of six and the bottom three into a relegation play off group of six.

Of course it's a lot easier to throw one's hands in the air and shout "Bonkers". Returning to the old 16 team league? May not go down well with the TV executives.

One thing for sure. Plenty of thought is going into it. And by the end of next week the fate of Bristol, Cornish Pirates, Bedford in group One, and Nottingham RFC, London Welsh, Doncaster and Exeter in Group 2 will becoming clearer.

Not that you would know if you only used the traditional professional media of the Press and the airwaves. But the Directors of Rugby of the clubs in the relegation battle in the Premiership will be praying for an upset as much as those of Bristol and Exeter will be nervously counting their worry beads.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2010 09:56 by WilliamBlessing.

Bod (IP Logged)
08 April, 2010 16:21
Keep it coming Bill, I enjoyed that posting.

Re: Re:
Roman in bath (IP Logged)
08 April, 2010 17:07
I also enjoyed it very much, your posting is always a good interesting read. Well done Bill.

Re: A Health Warning
Miles Offside (IP Logged)
08 April, 2010 19:01
It's "Guantanamera" William - meaning a young lady who hails from the (now infamous) Guantanamo region of Cuba. Just thought you'd like to know.


Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
06 June, 2010 22:39
A poster from Worcester on the Rolling Maul website opined that apart from the Championship Play off finals crowds were made up more of "spectators" rather than ardent "supporters".

The problem for us Bristol supporters is that we had to spend 22 games lolling against the nearest fence rails, polishing and sanding our nails, whistling in the air waiting for the end of season play offs, and then watch aghast as our worst fears were realised and a virile, rampant Exeter Chiefs made monkeys of us. And now we are supposed to be going into Administration although nowhere has it been officially stated, not even in the Bristol Evening Post.

Everyone is moaning about the possiblity of being relegated next season, but for me the real bore is another season of 22 pre play off games. I have a hankering to be in a proper league set up, as in Division One below the Championship.

Having watched Rossyln Park's superb away team demolition of Clifton RFC towards the end of last season preceded the week before by Ealing RFC wonderful performance, I know just how many really ambitious and talented clubs there are at the lower levels and I would really enjoy watching our Bristol team play against them.

If we are amateur then that removes one source of anxiety. If I had my way I would ask the RFU if Bristol could start next season in Division One and politely ask them to stuff the bonkers Championship format up their ample backsides.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
07 September, 2010 08:30
Dings Crusaders 83 Newbury RFC 0 4th September, Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze. by: WilliamBlessing
Date: 06 September, 2010

Newbury RFC, having lost the backing of their major sponsors Vodaphone, also lost virtually the whole of last years first team, and fielded an academy side who were slowly overpowered and then finally roasted by a similarly young Dings side in a breath taking display of running rugby, where passes stuck and in defence tackles thundered in.

It's never easy being on the end of a beating and the young Newbury players battled gamely against an unstoppable tide of Blue and Black Crusader jerseys. But this was a mismatch and I suspect that Newbury will have to go down a division or two before their results begin to stabilise.

It's happened before and even now Manchester RFC are still losing, their latest defeat by 43 to 3 at home on Saturday against Loughborough Students in Nat Div 2 North, the sister league to Dings in Nat Div 2 South.

So, it's too soon to say how this result stacks up against other results in the Division and the extremely knowledgeable group of committee men that guide Dings will be looking with a wary eye at the Canterbury 42 Clifton 32 scoreline that came in on the BBC red button to loud cheers from the assembled players having their after game meals by the big screen.

One suspects that the forthcoming away game this Saturday at Cribbs Causeway will be what would one could politely describe as being "keenly contested" given the somewhat controversial proceedings that surrounded the last meeting between these two fierce rivals last season, when Dings won at home by the narrowest of margins.

There has been something of a revolution in the coaching staff at Dings. James Farndon has moved onto coach Loughborough Students backs, resigning his RFC position in the process and in his place is the mature spudhead shaped figure of Kevin Hopkins, who, having retired from teaching at nearby Monks Park School seems to have switched a light on at Bonnington Walk and the result is startling. He played for Wales in the centre in the World Cup in 1986, I believe, and later coached Ospreys in some capacity, and with ex Bristol favourite Dave Hilton still coaching the forwards, Dings are benefiting.

Clifton on the other hand won't have the irrepressible Matt Salter in their pack quite so often as he wrestles with the coaching duties of a young struggling Bristol in the Championship. But George Watkins has crossed over from Dings to Clifton this season. But then again Dings unearthed an 18 year old young black winger Pierre Tucker from Filton College who just blistered over the turf and showed good handling skills as well.

So the scene is set for a derby battle royale and for all those Bristol supporters who are feeling a bit down after another lacklustre showing at Esher I recommend a trip this coming Saturday afternoon out to Cribbs Causeway as an "aperitif" before Sunday's home against Doncaster RFC at the Memorial Ground.

This one is too close to call. Clifton RFC might just not be quite so accomodating as was this young fresh faced Newbury team.

Kick off 2.30pm Sat 11th Sat Clifton vs Dings Cribbs Causeway Henbury entry price £10, £5 for members.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
26 September, 2010 09:30
Rugby Union vs Rugby League. William Blessing

I have been forced to choose for my TV viewing between Union and League since Union farmed two out of every three games to ESPN, and when it came to watching a Mangers League game on a foggy Friday night from a deserted Murrayfield and compared it to a throbbing semi final play off in the Rugby League being played on Sky at the same time, I was amazed how dull rugby union can be.

Like a tart who ups her price and loses trade to a new girl on the block, I began to look forward to last night's other semi between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors.

A packed Headingley contrasted with the empty terraces for the Leeds Carnegie's union games, a thunderous and skilled away win by Wigan reinforced my conviction that 18,000 Yorkshire people might just be right after all.

Flicking over to the competing Newcastle Falcons London Irish game, although better than the sorry Mangers scraps on BBC2 Wales, did nothing to change my mind.

Watching Bristol at the moment is like having to go to Sunday School when you want to be out somewhere else having fun. How seriously are Bristol taking it? If the newly appointed captain can miss the first game of the season for a wedding, not is own by the way, then isn't it understandable us paying customers who do, for some strange reason, put sport high on the list, look for teams who do put it seriously?

The same old shambles goes on in Union. Both teams playing in blue strips etc etc.

When Union is played well it can more than match league. The recent All Blacks and Australia tri nations games showed that.

But Union can't expect to ask the TV viewer to pay more and more and then demand the supporter keep coming through the gate to watch pure unadulterated dross.

And that was what was on offer at the last home game two weeks ago in the first half of Bristol against Doncaster. We will see this afternoon against the Pirates if the professionals of Bristol rugby club can offer something that would warrant their name.

Otherwise I would say to Chris Booy and fellow board members, yes, thanks for running the club, but can we go down to an amateur level and start enjoying ourselves?

It's up to them. I'll still be supporting them wherever they play.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26/09/2010 09:32 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
BBandW (IP Logged)
26 September, 2010 10:45
A rather apt soleful piece for a Sunday morning WB.

Good on you for sticking with the brizzlers through thin and thinner, but there's still a spare seat or 2 of entertaining top level RU down the road. C'mon on over.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
08 October, 2010 12:50
I was watching Dings Crusaders versus Old Albanians last Saturday when a spectator from the adjoining Bishopston pitch wandered over. He told me a mass brawl between both sets of players, coaches and supporters totalling about 50 altogether, broke out as Bishopston RFC went into a 13-8 lead over their arch rivals, the slightly "downmarket" Ashley Down Old Boys.

The referree abandoned the game after 55 minutes much to the astonishment of all concerned who now wish to play it again. "It was just a tussle between two spectators and we just broke it up really." said a committee man.

Meanwhile there's no trouble at the mill after all...

The Chairman of Bristol Rugby Club expresses his intention to continue to support the club..but cannot afford to finance a return to the Premiership...

I would suggest that by being prudent and at the same time remaining stable we might benefit from other more flighty ventures crashing to earth. Solvency might be a rather attractive quality to anyone considering whether Bristol might be suitable for an enlarged Premiership.

Anyone looking at the utter dirge like show put on by Newcastle Falons last night in their inaugural game at home to Bourgoin in the Amlin cup must surely wonder how anyone could wish to pay to watch it either on TV or even worse through the gate.

I spent the time watching an excellent documentary on the SKY History channel about the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow in 1918. When the adverts came on I flicked back to the Falcon's semi second team and to my surprise they had scored three tries and Luke Eves was "man of the match".

As far as a new sugar daddy coming along goes, it would need another boom in share prices or property or such like and that, at the moment, Prudent Dave, (our new Prime Minister) would seem to be ruling that out.

As for Mr Lansdown selling £50,000,000 of his shareholding, one can only begin to imagine how he must be feeling what with having bought a village green to build on without planning permission and the City propping up the Championship with a big haired expensive celebrity letting in goals left right and centre.

Meanwhile over at The Rec last Friday weekend Bath's very own new owner was looking distinctly queasy as the cameras snooped on him as he sat enthroned in his box overlooking the revolting masses below who were spitting venom at their struggling team against a strangley urgent Glos, who not so long ago were enduring similar tongue lashings from their own good fans.

Perhaps those two worthy gentlemen might find running Bristol Rugby Club something of a relief!

Money comes from all sorts of places. Dings Crusaders committee men returned from their trip to Jersey telling of the sumptuous pavilion their hosts had had built for them for a million pounds, paid for by the past owner of Blackburn Rovers, Jack Walker, who made his money in steel.

Old Albanians who narrowly beat Dings, share their gound with Saracens but are funded by Markit, some sort of hedge fund, I believe to the tune of about £50,000.

One thing we must as supporters do, is be grateful to anyone who takes on the running of our club, and showing understanding, if and when, the burden becomes too much, as it must inevitably one day become so.

That way the next in line might be more encouraged to step up to the plate.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2010 17:16 by WilliamBlessing.

Bristol vs London Welsh...Take a Bow!
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
22 October, 2011 08:11
Take a Bow.

If there were such a thing as a sporting equivalent of "The Oscars", then last night's sumptuous entertainment served up by all concerned would deserve, at the very least a nomination, if not a coveted golden bauble. Perhaps we could inaugurate such an event and call it a "Grievsy" and the statue be a replica of his Gorillesque effigy.

If truth were known, Bristol's returning Captain, no doubt ring rusty after recovering partially from very painful cauliflowered ears, was having a shocker, but his bold decision to go for a try rather than three easy points with less than five minutes to go, proved to be the right one.

I elected to watch the game on Sky despite being a season ticket holder, but a certain degree of infirmity including slight deafness, makes it so much easier to appreciate the nuances of a live game with the benefit of expert commentary and analysis, 24 cameras with slow motion replay and the like. And the roaming camera that toured all sides of the ground gave me the opportunity to once again see the match and the crowd from all angles, sides and ends, just like in the good old days when we were free to wander before the 'Effin' 'Elfinsafety police imprisoned us all behind steel fences.

So, for my own award ceremony, step forward to take a bow before a wildly applauding audience, firstly, the match day officials, an excellent refereeing team.

Next to the forefront of the stage, London Welsh who contributed so richly to the spectacle.

And then Bristol Rugby Club, lead by Grievsy himself, clutching the toy gorilla aloft.

And a special thank you, I'm beginning to blub a little here, SKY TV for making it all possible and last but not least, the crowd, the oft forgotten supporters on the terraces. How much diminished would this game be if it had been played in those echoing deserted stadia you sometimes get for certain games on TV such as Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Yes. Take a bow the Bristol and London Welsh supporters, the very lifeblood of the game. I'm sorry if my own contribution can only be to say "thank you, on behalf of a riveted TV audience, for a wonderful glittering sporting night".

Take a bow all concerned, including the respective Boards who have steered both their clubs through perilous financial waters. Yes, last night Rugby Union was the winner, and Championship rugby, specifically, passed it's screen test with flying colours.

And an especial award to Peasedown Exile for all his encouragement through the hard times, and may it long continue next season when we get back to thrashing Barf in the Premiership, fantasy mode!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 22/10/2011 08:15 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
Bod (IP Logged)
22 October, 2011 09:04
Don't be a stranger William, Ere is nearly always a better place after receiving the wisdom of your experiences and observations. It fosters a certain degree of perspective I find!
Cheers - thumbs down

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
22 October, 2011 10:23

Thank you for the highest of complements from The Master of the Message Boards Himself.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
07 February, 2012 17:42
Last Summer I suffered a stroke which has left me, alas, no longer able to work but I still like to get up early, and when I stumped into the freezing cold, pitch dark hallway and heard the morning paper tumble through the letter box, quietly thanking the young invisible paper boy or girl, I know not which, as I picked up the paper and automatically turned to the headlines on the back page, as you do, my eyeballs almost popped out on stalks. It was like being told you'd won the lottery. In fact, Bristol Rugby Club have!


Sugar daddies are never a good idea......unless you've got one! I think Mr Lansdown neither wants nor wishes to be seen to be, a sugar daddy. What is more sensible is that he combines his undoubted acumen as a successful businessman with that other essential component of any business and that is exceptional knowledge, judgement and skill in the field of rugby.

One without the other just wouldn't work. And we owe a huge debt of thanks to a long line of men of Bristol who have wrestled with the intractable challenges of making a rugby club, let alone a football club, pay, or at least survive.

Most have had either fatal heart attacks (2 in Bristol's case), near nervous breakdowns (1), no names!, or simple retirement with exhaustion in seeming disgrace and dishonour, alas.

Messrs Chris Booy as previous majority shareholder and his Chief Executive, Mr Steve Gorvett, along with the Board that emerged from the Consortium, including the evergreen Mr Malcolm Pearce, bless him, are therefore to be thanked and congratulated for their fortitude and valour on the Road to Damascus (substitute for Damascus either Ashton Vale or the University of the West of England, (UWE) Sports Complex, Stoke Gifford, three miles north of the Memorial Ground, Bristol or even our present home.

They are gentlemen of both distinction and honour and deserve our thanks, applause and continued support, each as best we can. Myself I couldn't run a sweet shop.

Perhaps instead I might be able to express as eloquently as I can on behalf of everyone at Bristol Rugby Club our heartfelt thanks to all who have served and continue to serve our great club and a great big welcome to Mr Steve Lansdown our new owner.

Proud Men of Bristol and Bristol Rugby Club.


Re: A Health Warning
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)
07 February, 2012 20:45
I know Steve Lansdown and he is a very shrewed cookie and does not part with ANY cash lightly. He is a great fan of anything to do with Bristol sport and the city and I personally hope he is able to revive the once great rugby club that is Bristol and hope to enjoy more rivalry with our West Country neighbours.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
14 April, 2012 07:38
The Weekly Guess The Bristol Squad Thread (Teams up on the Offy!)

There's a debate on the Bristol message board as to why Bristol's starting line up is always so different from the one announced and, "where's Skippy".

It prompted my response...

Skippy? Could you refresh my fading memory banks as to who Skippy is? Thanks. (Could be Josh Ovens?)

By the way.....that looks one hell of a team....(that won't start). (Running joke)

But why should we make anything easier for London Welsh by telling them our team? I've been banned from the Dragons Den message board by their borish oaf of an editor when I objected to him about the use of his insulting language in a private message to me and pointed out that his insistence on only posting on his web site subjects that relate solely to London Welsh might explain why no one posts on anything sometimes for days on end.

Have it your own way. It's a pity London Welsh supporters and beyond are deprived of a place to chat, even if we all talk rubbish but then we are lucky to have on the Bristol board such a hands off editor for own board and it's getting pretty good traffic isn't it and we are all nice to each other without some little jumped little Hitler banning people right left and centre.

They need a new editor. In contrast their reviewer is a brilliant writer and he deserves better. Also one of their supporters said that we sounded like "braying donkeys" when we support our team.

That's it. I'm now annoyed. We've in the past had good relations with London Welsh. A few of their members are not helping to maintain that standard. Not least their editor. When he goes, if he goes, hopefully my ban will be lifted. Meanwhile balls of tumble weed will silently roll down the main street of their deserted message board. Well done Little Hitler number 5,000,000,0001 the Editor of the London Welsh message board.

By the way, the reason why I started to post my "Letter from Bristol" on the other clubs message board was because I was asked to.

When Danny Gray went down to Exeter and I met him and his family after a game he asked me to write something on the Chiefs message board as it was "so quiet" and only became busy "when people were throwing insults at each other".

So I posted the same rambling missive,"A Letter from Bristol" on all the sites within the network. I was surprised, alarmed and delighted in equal measure as the same posting aroused such differing responses.

It was enjoyed by some whilst it annoyed others. Some ignored it which is probably the best response if you find it boring as I avoid trolling or abuse and so usually it's inoffensive, unless someone is rude to me! When the Quins forum posters started handing it out I couldn't help but take offence. They could hand it out but weren't quite so good at taking it, like most bullies.

Top of the Oafs was the Falcons board alas, whilst the Saints expressed their pleasure which of course was immensely reassuring.

I can't cycle now due to this stroke. In fact I can't get around too much at all. I hope that, thanks to the wonders of the internet and the good work of all who provide us with this excellent Sportsnetwork Forum and their good editors, I can continue in some small way to entertain if not on the London Welsh message board.

Have a good day's rugby wherever you are and God Bless you!

What was the game like last night against Sale? I regrettably, to my shame, dozed off for the second half. But the first half was a good contest. I really wanted Bath to win. Both sides needed it badly. It made for compulsive viewing.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 14/04/2012 08:11 by WilliamBlessing.

Re: A Health Warning
Bod (IP Logged)
14 April, 2012 10:40
Get to ODP early today and you can watch L.Welsh ladies v Swindon Supermarine - KO 12.

Re: A Health Warning
WilliamBlessing (IP Logged)
06 May, 2012 08:10
So finally the Day of Judgement arrives for the four teams that have qualified for the play offs to the RFU Championship season 2011 to 2012.

On Monday at 12.05, mid day, Cornish Pirates take on Bristol in front of the SKY cameras in the first leg of the second semi final. Already Bedford have played their home leg game against London Welsh having lost 3-13.

Next Sunday Sky will cover the game at Bristol at 12.45 pm.

Sunday, 13 May 2012
The Championship semi final
Bristol v Cornish Pirates, Play Off, 12:45
London Welsh v Bedford, Play Off, 15:00

If that's already too much information to consume, have pity on the administrators and officials who have to arrange and coordinate these games.

For me, all I have to do is stump my way downstairs and up next doors, get into my sleeping bag in which I keep warm whilst watching TV and prepare to suffer a thousand pains as Fate takes it's course.

But I just can't wait. It will soon be all over, bar the two legs of the Final, to be broadcast. I just wish I could be there in the crowd, on the touch line.....raving!

Let's hope we provide the many and varied viewers some drama. I think we will.


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