Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shaken and Stirred

Gloucester 27 - London Wasps 21

A mighty afternoon at Kingsholm yesterday. This was a win for the purists with an unyielding tight performance and brutal forward collision paving the way for the expressionist skills of some of our talented and quicksilver backs to make hay. And of course, it’s always gorgeous beating those cynical and unpleasant Wasps. The front row was immense and I’m pleased how Nick Wood has continued to improve game on game. A much improved Olivier Azam and a hugely effective Christian Califano were equally important to the Gloucester cause; it was superb to watch such a committed display.

Both Gloucester tries sent the crowd into delirium. The first was a beauty. A sensational chip, chase and gather by the vigilant Lamb created space for the young prince, Simpson-Daniel to cascade at a splendid angle through the Wasps cover and weave yards galore before a precise pass set the electric Bailey sailing for the corner. Despite the Wasps cover forcing Bailey to the floor, the young winger was able to release the pill which was scooped up by a defender who skewed his clearance into the arms of the grateful and alert speedster who dived bravely for the line. It was a dazzling moment. The second try was a typical and, as ever, thrilling will-he-make-it-or-won’t he sprint for the line with the classy Allen collecting a loose ball and bolting headlong for the whitewash fifty or sixty yards away. The nipper showed a clean pair of heels and galloped clear of the chasing oppos before showing the nous to end his exhausting endeavour under the sticks. Marvellous.

The city club has made a superb start to the league campaign and, after eight matches, remains unbeaten. We need to keep hold of our talented players and, with the England coach under pressure, our unflappable and wise gaffer too. Hurrah!

I'm taking my son to watch Casino Royale tonight. I think the last time I went to see a Bond moving picture was in 1978 when I viewed a double bill of Live And Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun with bespectacled school chum T. I recall an Indian man sat in front of us having to wipe away tears of laughter with a handkerchief during the famous speedboat chase. My 007 return is long overdue.

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