Another black day for England rugby, why football referees have no chance, Ben is hero of the week

England rugby union coach Eddie Jones doesn't really have a lot to smile about.
England rugby union coach Eddie Jones doesn't really have a lot to smile about.
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Are England now so bad at rugby union a narrow home defeat is treated as a success?

England were desperate to play New Zealand at home this time last year as they fancied taking over as world number one.

England cricket hero Ben Foakes.

England cricket hero Ben Foakes.

One dismal Six Nations campaign later and they are now desperate for anything that suggests a second shocking successive World Cup campaign can be avoided.

New Zealand were there for the taking last Saturday. The rain helped England against a tired team at the end of their natural season and they led 15-0.

That England lost from that position is far more damaging than a late disallowed try. Aussie coach Eddie Jones has been rumbled and sadly it’s too late to change him and thicko co-captain Owen Farrell.

REFEREES HAVE NO CHANCE 1

Sometimes sympathy for football officials is required. The assistant referee in the Liverpool/Fulham match last weekend made a brilliant decision to deny the underdogs a goal just before Mo Salah scored.

And yet the hapless commentators preferred to describe his decision as ‘guesswork’ or ‘luck’.

If we are to keep criticising in this pre-VAR world the media and managers should also praise when it’s due.

REFEREES HAVE NO CHANCE 2

A journalist at Bromley v Posh last weekend was so unhappy with a red card he said: ‘there’s nothing in the laws that states an elbow in the face is an automatic red card.’ Sometimes I just despair at the level of ignorance of non-refereeing football folk.

HERO OF THE WEEK

What a Test match debut for Ben Foakes, a man not even selected in the original touring party to Sri Lanka. A century to get England out of the predictable mess caused by a dodgy top order followed by some silky wicket-keeping skills which Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler can’t hope to ever match.