Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wallabies to lift England burden | The Australian

Wallabies to lift England burden | The Australian:

Written before the Rugby World Cup Quarter-final....read it and weep.

"The poor English, bumblers that they are, have fallen short throughout this tournament on all three criteria: style and humour and most definitely good intent. They were dreadful against the US, beyond dreadful against the Springboks and so pathetically grateful to have seen off Samoa and Tonga that even Australians found themselves feeling embarrassed for them.

In the space of a few short weeks, England has gone from swaggering to staggering and now, with its last roll of the dice, the best it can come up with to defeat Australia is to pick a pack of bully boys and an endearingly earnest five-eighth who doesn't kick heads but goals instead.

Four years ago, the English wore the belt of world heavyweight champions and were floating on air. Now it forces them down like a lead weight and they can't wait to rid themselves of the damn thing. The English are just not cut out to be world champions. They have so little experience of sporting success that when it happens, it leaves them drained and exhausted. Rugby World Cup 2003, Ashes 2005.

Even as Martin Johnson and Michael Vaughan were holding aloft their spoils of victory, their arms were getting tired. The load was too heavy, the weight of expectation too great. Best to lay down their burden and rest quietly for a while. The Wallabies would gladly take the Webb Ellis Cup off their hands. In truth, it belongs to them, but, good sports that they are, they've been willing to share it over the years and didn't even demand first go.

That's how New Zealand happened to come by it in 1987, but then in 1991 it was returned to Australia, who allowed South Africa to hold it for a while, took it back again in 1999 before, charitably, giving England a feel. Now, as John Eales points out, it's Australia's turn again."

Not sure whether this was all tongue-in-cheek but it's amazing how England are the ones who are always labelled as arrogant

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