STEWART ISLAND, NZ – Each Monday, we recap the rugby weekend with the nuggets that catch our eye in Monday Morning Flyhalf. Here are a few:
Joe Worsley Up To His Neck: For as long as there have been personal cell phones, Joe Worsely has playing the hell out of openside flanker, usually with some equally exceptional group of players; England, British & Irish Lions, Barbarians, London Wasps… But after nearly a year of rehabbing and following the doc’s advice, his neck injury has him retiring at the ripe young age of 34 – Declan Yeats has socks that old. Worsley played 300+ times for Wasps, had 78 caps for England and reached the pinnacle of the sport with the MBE (Most Britishly Existence) for England’s 2003 World Cup win. For the folks at home, those are Rugby Hall Of Fame 1st ballot numbers. Well done, Joseph.
Wales Would Have Beaten NZ: We read this one and didn’t scoff. PlanetRugby.com, via Wales Online, quotes Wales defense coach Shaun Edwards, thusly:
“When I’m old and grey sitting in my rocking chair, I will look back and say yes we did well, but it was a missed opportunity not to come home with a gold medal. It was massively disappointing, I mean particularly looking at how the final went, New Zealand were there for the taking. I just think had we got into the final, given the size of our team, we could have matched them.” – Shaun Edwards
The only real problem with all that is that Coach Edwards is a dead-ringer with our buddies over at MeetTheMatts.com; there’s not a stitch of hair on his beautiful bald head. So he may be old in that rocking recollection chair, but he won’t be grey.
Gray Days In Glasgow: Speaking of gray, things are looking good for Richie Gray & the Glasgow Warriors after his stoppage time try off a missed Duncan Weir drop kick beat Bath Rugby 26-21. With about 1 minute left in regular time, Stephen Donald, whom ESPNscrum.com graciously called the “World Cup-winning fly-half,” kicked what appeared to be the game winner, giving Bath a 21-19 win. But a lucky bounce off his teammate’s last-ditch miss found 2nd rower Gray and the ball in the try zone for the win.
Munster Monster Slays Saints: Another dramatic finish took hold at Thomond Park, and if you read Gerry Thornley of the IrishTimes.com, you can’t help but feel like you were at the match. He takes you there. And far canal, this was a match to be at. Ronan O’Gara provided the drama, drop-kicking from 40+ meters to give Musnter a thrilling 23-21 come-from-behind win over the heard-cursing Saints of Northampton. According to Thornley’s math, O’Gara’s kick came after a 41-phase drive. Slainte.
Mike Tindall Plays Rugby: And finally, a comeback of a different sort. Just moments after reading our defense of him, an embattled Michael Tindall took to the pitch and was nothing short of stellar for Gloucester. Coach Bryan Redpath came up with our Quote Of The Weekend re Tindall’s previous week of getting fired, fined and fried by short-memoried fans.
He’s still as keen as mustard to play for Gloucester … he’s desperate to play rugby.” (Thanks to Mike Averis‘ account in The Guardian).
Tindall willed his team to a near major upset, only Toulouse in the end…
On that note… This week includes: England star Mathew Drew Turner’s weekly Mat Turner Tuesday, Wednesday’s Q&A with Team USA’s Andrew Suniula, Thursday’s weekly report from Team USA 7s Matt “Polar Bear” Hawkins and female Rugby Legend Phaidra Knight’s Fridays With Phaidra. Please comment below, tell your mates about RWU and buy some wine, cheese, beer and plane tickets from our pre-selected-for-quality partners. Thanks!