The Six Nations and Some Sunday Shares

Some thoughts on round two of the 2017 six nations, and a few Sunday shares.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday saw the first two matches in round two of the 2017 Six Nations. This afternoon Scotland and France will fight out the final game of the weekend.

ENGLAND SQUEEZE PAST WALES

In the women’s match which preceded this England won 63-0, which gave them 89 unanswered points in their last 120 minutes of rugby (they were 0-13 down at half-time against France last week).

Wales dominated the men’s match for long periods, but too often did not turn pressure into points and eventually a 77th minute try put England in front for the first and only time of the match. England have not been all that impressive in either of their matches to date, but is the mark of champions to find a way to win even when not playing well.

IRELAND THRASH ITALY

Ireland were always in control of this match, with two players (Stander and Gilroy) recording hat tricks of tries. For the first hour the scoreline was semi-respectable but then the floodgates opened and the Irish winning margin mushroomed to over 50 points.

Two matches in to this tournament it is hard to see Italy doing anything other than bring up the rear, a long way adrift of the rest.

SOME SUNDAY SHARES

We start the shares with a couple of public transport related bits…

THE GREED OF THE PRIVATE RAIL COMPANIES

Private operators have creamed of more than £3.5 billion in profits from running Britain’s railways over the last ten years, while services get worse and prices go up. Click on the image below to read in more detail, courtesy of AOL:

Rail firms' £3.5billion profit despite passengers' fury at dire service

AN EXTENSION FOR THE BAKERLOO LINE

The extension, from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham is expected to open in 2028-9. Click on the image below to read the Time Out piece in full. I have already pressed a link on to my London transport themed website and will be writing about it in more detail in due course.

TfL has revealed where the new Bakerloo line stations will be

THE WENSUM VALLEY UNDER THREAT

The Wensum Valley is a very beautiful part of Norfolk, but a malign group of ‘planners’ are putting this beauty at risk – they intend to send a big new road through the heart of it. Please watch the video below to see what we are seeking to protect:

A COUPLE OF REGULARS

Another reminder that James and Sons next auction is on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of February, the first two days at our shop, the third at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich. Click on the image below, from lot 891, to view a full catalogue…

891-a

Finally, the Autism Awareness Cup 2017 will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. Click on the image below to visit the website.

The Autism Awareness Cup -A New Event Takes Root

An account of the inaugural Autism Cup, played yesterday on the astroturf at Lynn Sport, which raised £75.55 for NAS West Norfolk.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday saw the staging of the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup on Lynn Sport’s artifical pitches a mile and half from King’s Lynn town centre. The event was a great success, and fundraising collections on the day netted £75.55.

THE TEAMS

Five teams had entered, with names being selected on a European Championship/ World Cup theme. The five names selected were England, Holland, Italy, Republic of Ireland and Spain. The tournament was organised in two phases, a mini-league after which the top two teams would contest the final.

THE PRELIMINARIES

As well as our own NAS banners a sponsors banner was on display. We also had two tables set up displaying various items, including the cup and sets of gold, silver and bronze medals.

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Event organiser Grant Cotton and NAS West Norfolk chair Karan McKerrow.

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Local radio coverage – Grant Cotton with an interviewer from Radio Norfolk.

 THE LEAGUE STAGE

None of Italy, The Republic of Ireland or England ever looked convincing. England managed a 2-0 win over Italy which also featured a penalty being saved (justice done – it should never have been given, although in fairness this was the only bad decision of the day) but this came too late to be of much value. In one of the final pair of matches (matches were played two at a time at this stage, side by side) Spain beat the unfortunate Italy 5-0 to confirm their position as league winners. They would face Holland in the final, while England secured the bronze medals.

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Everyone taking part in the tournament.

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THE FINAL

This was an excellent game, with possession fairly evenly balanced between the teams. The trouble for Spain was that Holland did more with their possession – while the Holland goalkeeper was never seriously tested Holland scored twice. Thus the final score was Holland 2 Spain 0. Spain as league winners collected the gold medals, while Holland became the first holders of the Autism Awareness Cup and collected silver medals for coming second in the league.

THE PRESENTATIONS

The cup and medals were presented shortly afterwards, out on the field. Congratulations to Holland for winning the cup and to Spain for winning the league element. Congratulations also to Helen Van Riel for assembling the Holland squad. Finally of course, massive congratulations to Grant Cotton for organising the event.

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The Spain team with their gold medals.
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The Holland squad (having eight players at their disposal enabled a bit of rotation).

 

Rugby, Links and Pictures

An account of this weekend’s six nations action plus some pictures and some links.

INTRODUCTION

The third weekend of the six nations rugby tournament is done and dusted. As indicated in the title I also have some links and pictures to share.

THE SIX NATIONS

On Friday night Wales took on France at the Principality (nee Millennium) Stadium. Yesterday’s two matches featured Italy versus Scotland at Stadio Olimpico and England versus Ireland at Twickenham.

WALES V FRANCE

Wales came into this match with one win and one draw to their name, France with wins over Scotland and Italy (a record which flattered them – given a decent kicker Italy would have beaten them and they were not convincing in the second game either). The match was fairly close throughout, and not of the highest quality. The Welsh emerged victorious and thus temporarily sat at the top of the table.

ITALY V SCOTLAND

Since Italy were included in the tournament, making it the Six Nations, these two sides have accrued 14 wooden spoons between them (Italy 10, Scotland 4) and few would bet against one or other adding to that tally this year. Often of late Italy have come to grief in the kicking department (see above) so it was ironic that on a day when Kelly Haimona was flawless with the boot they were well beaten, and are now very likely to finish bottom.

ENGLAND V IRELAND

England came into this match having won both games, unconvincingly against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match and very comfortably against Italy. Ireland, winners in 2014 and 2015 had started with a draw and a defeat. England dominated the first half but failed to register the points to reflect that, and when James Haskell got himself sin-binned (for the fifth time in his international career) defeat was more than a possibility. However England were only one point behind when Haskell was able to rejoin the action, and two converted tries in a short space of time thereafter put them 13 points ahead. Although Ireland pressed hard in the closing stages England had done enough and on the balance of play over the whole 80 minutes their victory was well deserved.

THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR

England now lead with three wins from three games, Wales are second, and France third, with Scotland currently fourth, Ireland fifth and Italy sixth. England and Wales face each other in their next match, and the winner of that will be a strong favourite for the trophy, with France likely to finish third. Ireland, Scotland and Italy are fighting out the bottom half of the table. Thus far the quality of the play has not been especially high.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

After a big chunk of text, here are some pictures…

LINKS

Although there are not that many of them I am splitting these links into sections, starting with:

TTIP LEGAL ADVICE

This is a direct link to Michael Bowsher’s legal advice about TTIP.

COSMOS UP

A link to a very interesting piece about Asteroid 2013 TX68, accompanied by an image:

Asteroid

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Three links, and also three pictures, the latter showing how I have combined two metal badges to make a composite public transport badge. Since I am talking about public transport, here is a reminder of my London transport themed website,
www.londontu.be on which I have already posted two of the links.

Citymetric expose in great detail the lack of a business case for the controversial garden bridge.

Following on from the previous link, change.org are running a petition against the building of the garden bridge – please sign and share.

The last link before the pictures that end this post comes courtesy of we own it and is a call to stop some our finest stations from being sold.

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Both sides of the two combined badges in one picture.
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The front off= the ‘composite badge’
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The reverse side.

 

Of Birds, Local Heritage and Rugby

I will start with the local heritage. I had the opportunity at my aunt’s house yesterday before the rugby started to photograph a modern replica cast iron piece that was made from the original…

Although there were other contenders, so remarkable was yesterday photograph wise this is the feature image.
Although there were other contenders, so remarkable was yesterday photograph wise this is the feature image.

In the first of the rugby matches, England eventually ran out comfortable winners, although Italy scored first through Sergio Parisse and kept things close for about the first hour (and would have been close still had they possessed a number 10 with a functioning boot – whatever other merits he possesses ex-Kiwi Kelly Haimona is a liability in this area) but England, just as Ireland had been last week were too strong for Italy in the end. The second game between Ireland and France was much less of a spectacle. Ireland managed to win, thereby ratcheting up the stakes for the game in two weeks time between Ireland and England. There was one very serious misdemeanour by a French player in that match, when he gave one of the Irish guys a vicious knee in the back. Somewhat surprisingly the referee only deemed this worthy of a yellow and ten minutes in the sin bin. Personally, given how badly the Irishman could be affected by the blow, I think it should have been red, end of the French offender’s participation in the match and indeed of this years Six Nations.

Although it was dark by the time the Rugby ended, I had been out and about earlier in the day and snagged some good pics – I also got one on my home…

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The front of King's Lynn Minster, beautifully lit up.
The front of King’s Lynn Minster, beautifully lit up.