Quite a start to the Six Nations rugby union last weekend with Wales reserves pleasingly exposing Scotland’s claim for the title as over-hyped nonsense, Anthony Watson playing a thrilling, starring role in England’s eventual dismantling of Italy and a dull Ireland side supplying one last-gasp moment of excitement in their arm wrestle in France.
But this competition bothers me. It’s just so brutal. Trying to play five games in such a short space of time means the biggest squad numbers wise and strength-in-depth wise will have an enormous advantage over the rest purely because serious injuries are inevitable.
Whipping boys Italy competed well until England deployed mass substitutions in the last quarter of the match.
FOR GOODNESS SAKE, BAN EVERY DIVER
Clearly the alleged rush to remove diving from our game has had no impact. Spurs’ fading star Dele Alli was cautioned for simulation for the third time last weekend. He accepted the decision with a smile for the referee who caught him out, maybe because a yellow card means he can’t be punished retrospectively, but he should be. The yellow card should be accompanied by an automatic ban.
Diving is self-defeating anyway. Last week Alli was wiped out by a Manchester United defender in the penalty area, but no penalty was given. That’s the trouble with serial cheats. No-one believes you when you are a true victim of crime.
Maybe Alli’s manager Mauricio Pochettino should have a word in his player’s ear, rather than bizarrely claiming ‘it’s natural to fall over’.
HERO OF THE WEEK
Referee Jonathan Moss has been a hero of Posh fans since helping us through a tricky League One play-off semi-final at MK Dons in 2011 with a most bizarre (ie completely wrong) red card/penalty decision. He was correct and courageous though to give Spurs two penalties and a deserved draw at Anfield last weekend.