Deacs Week: I can’t see past Stuart Lancaster’s England side for the Six Nations title
WITH the Six Nations starting this weekend, I was interested to hear from some sections of the rugby world that they are considering introducing bonus points into the tournament.
I don’t think they can do this because how could you ever win a Grand Slam or a title on bonus points?
Yes the game of rugby has moved on in the professional era, and a lot of it is for the good, but there are some things you have to leave well alone.
They’ve introduced more teams into the competition, but it’s about winning every game and getting that Grand Slam.
Sunday and Monday evenings £12.00 per head for an all inclusive meal with Indian and Thai cuisine (normal price £14.50).
Bring this voucher to the restaurant complete with your name and email address on it.
Terms: Expires 31st July
Contact: 01452 223782
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
A Grand Slam would be a high point in any rugby player’s career.
The championship is very open this year and there are a lot of sides that could win it.
England have to go to Wales and Ireland and so it’s difficult for them in how the fixtures fall but they should be favourites with the resources and talent they have.
How can they not be if they beat the All Blacks last autumn?
England have the best players and squad but, if I can draw parallels, what they have to do is do it on a regular basis - a bit like Cinderford.
Sometimes consistency lets England down and that’s why the All Blacks are good because they churn out international after international wins.
As we approach the weekend, England go into the Six Nations with heaps of confidence from their last win over New Zealand and the way in which they achieved this.
There is always a lot of talk about Wales but they had a disastrous Autumn series, while Ireland had an indifferent one and Scotland are in total disarray.
Italy will struggle and they may just beat Scotland which would leave them with the wooden spoon.
Teams have to start gaining momentum as we look towards the World Cup which is now only two years away.
In the lead up to Clive Woodward winning the world cup in 2003, England were winning everything in sight from championships and grand slams to beating southern hemisphere sides.
This has to be England’s goal.
We have the biggest budget and biggest player pool so yes it is high pressure to produce it but that’s what they get paid do and they just need to stand up and perform.
I have major confidence in Stuart Lancaster and the players he has picked can do this for him.
I look forward to watching the game after Cinderford take on Fylde at home, whom we welcome along with the legendary Bill Beaumont.
We have to rediscover our form
WHEN your team suffers a hard defeat like Cinderford did at Richmond last Saturday, it takes a bit longer for you to get over it.
I’ve been involved in the ups and down of rugby for most of my life and it affects everything you do off the field.
It’s a difficult one, and one you have to park sometimes because quite simply, life goes on.
When you lose, and lose big time, you can question everything you do and why you do it.
This can sometimes be a good thing and prove to be a catalyst to kick on and improve.
But one thing for sure is you cannot bury your head.
I have to be proactive and talk to all the players and coaches, look at the DVD and ensure that we put it all together again and we go again, hard, for another day.
This is one of my main jobs as director of rugby and yes, sometimes, it is difficult to do it, but we can’t turn the clock back now.
We have to stick our chests out, move forward and improve all the way.
I absolutely know that I have a side that can compete and compete well at the top end of the table.
I’ve seen it when we’re on form and just a few positions off the top of the table.
We just have to find the right winning formula overall and replicate it for 80 minutes, week in week out.
Perhaps the biggest difference from last year though is that we are leaking too many tries.
Yes we have scored more tries but our defence is not as it should be and it’s an area we need to improve upon.
We’re working hard with the coaches, as well as with Paul Moriarty from Gloucester Rugby, to improve the defence and to have more success.
Too many sides are scoring too many tries against us and that makes it difficult.
We need to keep the ball for longer periods of time and if you do that for 20 per cent longer then it’s 20 per cent less chance of them scoring, so a double whammy for us.
This is what we are striving to achieve to perform better in our tough league.
Old Cents look to have the winning Combination
WITH the Combination Cup draw taking place at Kingsholm next week Old Centralians have got to be massive favourites to retain the title.
They are one step away from becoming a national league side, which is incredible and fair play to the club.
To be in the Combination Cup competition along with the likes of Spartans, Gloucester All Blues and Longlevens, you can’t see beyond Cents really.
Coney Hill could present a big challenge to Cents, but other than that they appear to be the red hot favourites to retain it.
It would be a disaster if they don’t win it after what they’ve achieved and the type of sides they’re playing in South West One East.
They’re not just hanging on in that league either; they’re pushing for promotion which is a great thing for the club and fair play to them. So let's see.
I’m passionate about the Combination Cup and its history in Gloucestershire, so good luck to all taking part.