Sunday, March 25, 2007

Qualified success

As the England football team stumbles hopelessly and goallessly forward under the leadership of the braying, orange Steve McClaren, a man who clearly wants to spend the summer of 2008 watching the Olympics from his luxury mansion rather than the European Championships from the intimate confines of the dugout, I can report some actual successes on the sporting field.

Firstly I should congratulate the England cricket team who have, for the first time since 1992, avoided being knocked out in the first round of a world cup. This means a guaranteed six more matches in the super 8 stage and with any luck a couple of victories, against Ireland and Bangladesh. To get to the semis we'll have to beat one or two of the big boys. I'd say we have a chance against the Windies, but I think we'll struggle against South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka. I'm sticking with my tip of NZ to win the thing overall.

Secondly, Portugal have achieved their aim of qualifying for the rugby world cup. You may recall I went to see the home leg a fortnight ago, where they defeated Uruguay 12-5. Well, they lost the return in Montevideo 18-12 last night, but got through 24-23 on aggregate. Congratulations to them - it's good to see rugby growing in popularity around the world - although I doubt they'll record a positive result in a group including New Zealand, Italy, Scotland and Romania. Well, perhaps against Scotland.

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