Massive Faka’up

Episode 4 in the long-running and very confusing telenovela that is the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship. If the European qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup are series one of Twin Peaks, then we are now at the bit where we see Leland seeing Bob in the mirror. (I think.)*

If you don’t know what’s been going on up to this point, and you have a bit of time, I implore you to read my posts view episodes 1, 2 and 3 before continuing; otherwise what follows will mean very little.

Ready to proceed? Rather you than me…. Continue reading

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90stalgia (part 1)

These things elicit a certain reaction from me, which I cannot control: Chrissy Waddle’s mullet; Platty’s last-gasp volley against Belgium; the ball ballooning off Paul Parker’s back and over Shilton’s head into the net; and, especially, Gary Lineker gesturing to the bench to “have a word”. And if you spent a lifetime striving to compose a piece of music perfectly suited to soundtracking slow-motion footage of men in short shorts glowing with sweat on hot Italian evenings, fouling each other, diving extravagantly to get each other booked, and missing important penalties, you could not do better than the lad Puccini with his smash hit aria Nessun Dorma.

Continue reading

Rapid rising

Stardate: Saturday 14th April 2018. Kick-off: 7.45pm.

Venue: Arena Naţionala, Bucharest.

Competition: Liga 4 (Bucharest).

Ticket price: 25 RON (£5) for row 2 in sector 111 of Tribuna II (the east stand).


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Academia Rapid fans and their heroes

“Rapid a înviat.”

“Rapid has risen.” So said striker Daniel Pancu, in a timely Easter reference, after Saturday’s game at the Arena Naţionala. Continue reading

“Today rugby lost.”

“I don’t want to think that rugby has prostituted itself in order to leave us out. When they assigned us the Romanian referees, it shocked us, but this is rugby, some values are assumed.” (Spain captain Jaime Nava)

The 2018 Rugby Europe Championship came to a controversial, even farcical end this weekend. If you care for the dignity of rugby union or for its development prospects in Tier 2 nations, look away now. Continue reading

Play-off, play-out, and play the game

The Romanian league sat out last weekend on account of the terrible weather, but they’re now back in action for the second phase of the season. Dinamo will have to somehow salvage something from the “play-out” after the catastrophe of missing the cut. Struggling Sepsi and Juventus are moving back to their home towns. CFR Cluj are still setting the pace at the top, but FCSB and U Craiova will not let them get away. Continue reading