In the movie ‘Dodgeball’, which inexplicably came up with a goose egg of Oscar wins or even nominations for that matter, in 2004, White Goodman describes Peter La Fleur’s ‘Average Joe’s’ gym as a “skid mark on the underpants of society.” Harsh, but funny and in the context of the movie you can probably almost argue fair. It would be likewise harsh to describe the English rugby team in such a fashion but by the conclusion of the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) many punters might consider it a fair analysis. As an All Blacks fan living in England I usually don’t miss an opportunity to lay into the England team and this situation almost looks like manna from heaven for one so inclined, but to be honest I think the criticism of Martin Johnson’s team is overblown and I for one, am going to not only cut them some slack, but actually somewhat come to their collective defense.
On the surface I probably look like a bigger idiot than Manu Tuilagi after he jumped off the back of a ferry into the waters of the Viaduct Basin for looking to defend England in these circumstances; they didn’t hit their straps in the pool matches and were then knocked out of the tournament in the quarter finals by a French team that was similarly unimpressive in pool play (although subsequently went on to make the final and give the All Blacks an almighty fright once there). And let’s just say the England players didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory off the pitch either. Read more