A huge four games over the next four weekends are coming up for Stuart Lancaster’s England Team – World Champions New Zealand turn up at Twickers this Saturday (8th November 2014), followed by an in form South Africa, a Samoan team that are always up for a battle, then a meeting with Australia, a team who they will actually face at next years Rugby World Cup. Last time they faced the three Southern Hemisphere giants in such a short space of time was in 2012 (along with Fiji – an expected victory) and despite beating New Zealand in their last match – a great victory yes, they basically fluffed their lines by losing to the Australians and the South Africans in the previous two weekends. I have mentioned in this blog before (http://www.biggishmouthblog.com/rugby-contracts-muzza-making-progress-sort-eddie-fast/) that despite having taken England forward, Lancaster’s side have become a bit of a bridesmaid team, losing the key matches. The England coach knows his team needs to make a statement on home soil and in my opinion three victories (including Samoa) are required to lay down a marker for the World Cup and make the Southern Hemisphere teams take notice and realise that the Red Rose side are going to be a huge obstacle to overcome next September and October.
Lewis Hamilton is now Britain’s most prolific F1 Grand Prix winner. His victory at the 2014 US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas made it number 32, overtaking the legendary Nigel Mansell. The Brit is now 24 points ahead of his nearest rival, team mate Nico Rosberg, with two races to go. It is pretty clear that Hamilton has been the best driver this year, out doing Rosberg even when starting behind him on the grid – the count is 10 wins for Lewis and 4 for Nico so far, but even after being comprehensively out driven the German could still win the title, even if he only wins the last race. If Hamilton wins the next race in Brazil and Rosberg does not score, then he will be 49 points ahead. However due to this controversial, and lets be honest ridiculous ‘last race double points innovation’ (which may not even be in place for the 2015 Championship) , a win for Rosberg and a retirement for Hamilton means that the German will be crowned World Champion, one of the least deserving in history too. Lets hope justice is done, they do tend to say that the best driver always wins the title (admittedly usually in the best car), I think if Hamilton does not due to fate then I reckon that one can justifiably say – F1 does not always reward the best with the title.
Going back to Monday 21st July at Lords, when England were comprehensively beaten by India, Alastair Cook was being hammered on all sides and the thought of Australia turning up the following summer would have given all Three Lions fans a nightmare thought process. Well four weeks and three wins later (including two innings victories) England are now on an upward curve in regards to test matches anyways. Fast forward to today and things are not looking too great for the Australian’s, they have just been whitewashed and lets be honest thrashed by Pakistan in their two test series in the UAE – 221 and 356 runs respectively. Australian batting collapses were prominent in both matches. It does make things very intriguing even this far out from the Ashes which starts next July. The One-Day World Cup will be at the forefront of both teams minds in the immediate future and coincidentally they will face each other in a one day triangular series in January in preparation, though Australia do have India visiting for a four test series in December and January. One thing is for certain though once we get to Cardiff on the 8th of July next year – I am sure we will be at fever pitch, especially with the fact that the 5-0 whitewash down under will be firmly on the England players minds.
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