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Weekend crackers and thumbs up to RFU and HPC
Miraculous New Zealand comeback in final Tri-Nations match
Posted Sep 13, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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A big pat on the back for me! You may think that’s quite an arrogant thing to say but I deserve plaudits for one very good reason….I finally got my predictions right (sort of!). Any of you who have been reading my blogs will know that predicting results has not been a strong point of mine so far so to get this right is a massive relief to me!
The two games I picked out at the weekend proved to be absolute belters and although I got the winners right – which I’m extremely proud of – I didn’t quite get the margins of victory correct.
Firstly, we’ll take a look at the closing Tri-Nations match between Australia and New Zealand. What a corker! It finished 22-23 in favour of the All Blacks. The Aussies have got better as the tournament has progressed and they will be a potent force in next year’s World Cup should they continue this development. However, New Zealand once again underlined their supreme quality and fantastic character to come from 13 points behind with 15 minutes to play to snatch a miraculous win.
I reckon it will be between these two come the World Cup and I say that with a heavy heart as I’d love to see England (or even Ireland) take the crown. I can’t wait for next year’s tournament.
Domestically, I’d like to say a big well done to Exeter Chiefs for scaring the life out of reigning Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers.
Similar to the All Blacks comeback, the Tigers produced a dazzling final 16 minutes to come from 11 points behind to win 37-27 against the Chiefs.
I was really hoping the south coast side could spring a surprise but my head told me the Tigers would have too much for them, especially at Welford Road, and so it proved.
Exeter will be a thorn in many team’s side this season and, based on performances so far, they will definitely be around in the top division for some time.
And finally I’d like to give a massive thumbs up and pat on the back to the RFU and the Health Professions Council for striking off physiotherapist Stephen Brennan for his part in the ‘Bloodgate’ affair in the Heineken Cup clash between Harlequins and Leinster in April 2009.
Brennan admitted staging Tom Williams’ blood injury and using fake blood capsules a further four times in three years and this led the HPC to find that his misconduct had impaired his fitness to practise.
Well done for protecting the sport and showing that cheating will not be tolerated.