Week four of England’s premier rugby competition and tries rained down like really heavy, continuous rain, that is constant and won’t stop and ‘I wouldn’t go out in it, not in those shoes’. Here are four talking points because your tiny brain wouldn’t be able to cope with more.
Gloucester are very much like walking around naked: much better at home. And so it emerged, Friday night lights at Kingsholm and Worcester were their willing subjects; the Cherry and Whites gratefully exhibiting their birthday suits in front of a home crowd who’d seen it all before. Two early Ollie Thorley tries opened up the game and left the coast clear for a Henry Trinder masterpiece. His second half, length of the field run was like a David Campese wet dream: dummying, looping, throwing the ball back over his shoulder. I tell thee, there were large, hairy, heterosexual men of the Shed who would’ve happily popped dear old Henry in their mouth as Billy Twelvetrees touched down. Worcester played their part, got a late losing bonus point, but have been horribly bent over by a tough set of opening fixtures. Not that’s its done yet. The Warriors are in the basement and lubing up for Saracens next Friday night.
Falcons flying high
So if Newcastle were constipation last week in the States, this week they were the squits. Just when Bath thought they’d gone, and it was safe to limp into the kitchen and nibble on a dry piece of toast, back they came. Bath touched cloth both early and late in the game at the Rec, managing to score 32 unanswered points in between. It was a curious encounter and one that ultimately won’t help to settle stomachs down on the River Avon. Injuries mean that unexpected things are starting to happen; the last time Newcastle won at Bath, James Dyson was using a dustpan and brush. The Falcons soared to a temporary second in the table on Saturday night. Veritable nosebleeds for Dean Richards’ men, although, could someone just check if that is actual blood?
Suck it up Bruce, suck it up
Marcus Smith Wankathon
Leicester and Harlequins played out a stonker on Saturday afternoon. Telusa Veainu body-popped his way through the Quins’ defence with routine efficiency, Mike Brown was wonderfully obnoxious with a similar type of competence, and then Greg Bateman, a prop forward with the turning circle and acceleration of a snooker table, left the aforementioned England fullback on his arse and scored the sort of try upon which children are conceived. But amongst it all, stood little Marcus Smith. The poor sod has had the misfortune of being recently named as a bosh-bag holder for Eddie Jones’ England team and now has most of the press box bashing their collective bishops every time he touches the ball. Shame, as we all know which way the media lift goes from here. He did well on Saturday, but he has an awful long way to travel. Let him breathe lads, otherwise he will never grow up.
8 down: ‘Idol misses more rugby than he plays (8)’
Billy Vunipola limped from the field on Saturday as his injury woes lingered like a GoCompare advert. Four months is the prognosis on his knee and he will miss the Autumn internationals like he missed the Lions tour. Buggerations. And down in Exeter, as the Chiefs impressively put away Wasps, Sam Simmonds, who has been in eye-watering form of late, found himself stretchered off too. A nasty one-two for England’s No.8 options but it does open the door for the likes of Jack Clifford and Nathan Hughes. The latter taking a knee next to the stricken Simmonds at Sandy Park was the No.1 most touching moment during the whole ‘taking a knee’ weekend. The players love each other really, you see. Not the sort of love Izzy Folau is afraid of. Just mutual, respectful, hugs but no kisses, sort of love. Much like I do you.