Monday, February 9, 2009

Italy steamrolled by England

Having an English friend is wonderful (even if maybe you don't call him as much as you should... Hi James!). Sometimes, though, it is a horrible thing, as it exposes you to all kinds of mockery. Saturday was one of these times, even if, at least up to now, I have been spared the mocking. So much time seems to have passed since last year's match...

Due to a certain lack of scrum halves, Nick Mallet tried the Mauro Bergamasco trick and lined him up as number nine. I think Mauro is a very good player. When he plays as a flanker. Saturday's experiment was a complete disaster - and this to compete in the euphemistical contest. The official RBS Six Nations mercilessly reported that "Italy’s one-dimensional attack was not at all difficult to read with Bergamasco at scrum-half". Welsh icon Jonathan Davies said Mauro's match was one of the worst ones in history for an international player. Mallet admitted his error, so we'll see Paul Griffen back in action.

The transition from the two roles is not easy, and I know what I'm talking about because I did it myself in my youth in the west that is forgotten (it was 1988), when Santa (not Santa Claus, but Andrea Santamaria, our great coach at the time) first lined me as a scrum half against Calvisano (and a few of our opponents might as well have been in the team that won the italian title last year): we gained a beautiful victory, so from that day on we practically played with three flankers and a number eight. But this is a different story...

To save the day, I liked the try scored by Mirko Bergamasco, but the game, which ended 36-11 with England scoring 5 tries, was quite dull, even if I have to admit I haven't followed it with all my attention - sad but true, it did not deserve it - and I had something else on my mind.

Don't ask. The picture is more than a smell of a scent.

And I'm still longing for Jonny Wilkinson.

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