Anorak News | Bloody England

Bloody England

by | 20th, October 2003

‘“LIKE him, loathe him or both, you cannot ignore Sir Alex Ferguson,” writes Mick Hume in this morning’s Times.

Dallaglio reminds the South Africans who’s number one

And so we turn our attention immediately to rugby where England are still basking in their World Cup win against South Africa, which has opened up a clear route to the semi-final.

With 36 hours to digest England’s below-par performance, the Independent suggests that the team which will be most worried by the game in Perth are the All Blacks.

They will almost certainly come up against the Springboks in Melbourne on November 8 where the two sides “will write another chapter of the most compelling, not to say bloody, story this most myth-laden of sports has ever concocted for itself and its adherents”.

Certainly, England forwards coach Andy Robinson was happy to talk up South Africa’s chances.

“We had a strong idea they would be good,” he said. “As it turns out, they are back to their best.”

But England will also have a few things to worry about, most notably up front, where Phil Vickery struggled in the scrum and Lewis Moody conceded too many penalties and too much ball in the loose.

However, while England have a points-scoring machine in Johnny Wilkinson, the Telegraph insists they will be a side to fear.

South African captain Corne Krige said of the 25-6 defeat: “You can look at this two ways. Maybe we have managed to create a bit of doubt in their minds and so given other teams hope.

“But England showed that, under difficult circumstances, they can take the points. When it came to the crunch, we didn’t. It was a cruel scoreboard.”

Although Will Greenwood left immediately after the game to return to England to be with his pregnant wife Caro, there was good news for England after it was announced that Laurence Dallaglio would not face action for giving Springbok wing Thinus Delport “a bit of a slap”.

And so to football, and Mick Hume was right. It is impossible to ignore Sir Alex Ferguson – but only because the Guardian reports that the FA are fuming that Manchester United have not yet handed over Rio Ferdinand’s mobile phone records.

Two Sunday papers yesterday published details of the calls that the England centre-half made while he was supposed to be at a routine drugs test and while his phone was said to have been turned off.

“The FA is now considering charging Ferdinand with wilfully evading a drugs test without waiting for the phone records to be produced,” it says.

If convicted, a ban of at least a year seems inevitable.’

Posted: 20th, October 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink