It’s Always The Quiet Ones

Greetings, mortals.

So, last week I was enjoying some WORLD CLASS TEXTUAL BANTER with none other than Dan Cole of England. You may have heard of him. And yes, I hear what you’re shouting at your laptops right now, “James, why would you associate with the likes of him!?”, but rest assured Haskolytes because for one of the morbidly obese Dan is actually an all right human being. No brand to speak of and inside I die a little every time I have to play seven and touch his lard in the scrum but he’s alright despite all that.

The banter was flowing as I texted him to call him “Pan Cole” due to how much he eats. As expected he couldn’t deal with my RAPIER WIT and instead tried to appease me by asking me about my favourite subject – ME. I took pity on the grease-trap and indulged him. He wanted to know what my middle name was and was interested to learn that it is Welbon. After humouring him with a few more questions I ended the conversation by telling him I was bored now and had a more important use for my thumbs (giving myself mirror-thumbs-ups if you must know).

Yesterday I got a call from Dan saying he’d come across something called ‘The Welbon Conference’ and had signed me up as the guest speaker. “Pan”, I says to him, “Pan, what in the name of Me is that and why would I want to speak at it?!”. He informed me that it’s an annual get together of people with the name Welbon from across the globe and as the most famous Welbon they’d be honoured to have me speak about what the name means to me and regale them with tales about when my middle name has benefited me and the like. Pan lacks my KILLER SALES SKILLS and he’d sold the gig pretty badly to me up to that point until he spluttered the magic words through a mouthful of chips (probably), “James, think of it as a branding opportunity – the chance to announce yourself as the world’s Alpha Welbon”. I hung up the phone and quietly whispered, “Oh. Hell. Yes.”.

So I show up this morning at where this gig is on. Pan had arranged everything with the organisers so all I had to do was show up and take the stage. As befits my status I rocked up late and missed whatever dross they had on before me. Fortune had rested her heavy bosom on my face again as I had showed up just as it was my turn to speak. I took to the stage, sporting a biz-cas look – t-shirt and tie – and a USB key that I whirled into the laptop running the overhead projector.

The crowd looked to be a few hundred strong but I couldn’t spot a looker among them so I only flashed them a Grade III smile as I launched into my opening, utterly ignoring the notes left on the podium for my convenience. “Mortals – hello! You obviously know me and you’ll be happy to know that I am one of you. But better, obviously. I was asked here today to speak about my experiences of being one of us and how it has impacted on my life. The first thing I say to you is to do what I have done and embrace it! Grab it by the gonads the way that guy in New Zealand grabbed me by the gonads! Embrace it, harness it!”, then I slammed my fist into the podium and roared, “USE IT!” and you should have seen the fuckers jump. Straight up, every last one of them, that’s how much I held them spellbound. From somewhere in the crowd someone called out, “Animal!”, and I couldn’t help but grin. These people got me, they really got me – I am an animal. I AM A FUCKING BEAST!

I carried on with my speech. “Never think there aren’t others like us. There are. They’re everywhere. One time at an England training camp Johnno had us do the whole boot-camp thing at Sandhurst. There I met a Rupert who was one of us, he was called Nigel or St. John or something, I don’t care, and he was telling me that we have a long history as warriors. I mean, obviously, just look at me for fuck sake. But he meant as soldiers, like himself.”


This is how a gentleman would go to war.

At this stage I hit play on the laptop with the USB and the sound of artillery blasted through the speakers. The place went mad, they jumped sky-high again, mouths agape. They loved that shit. When I stopped the sound effects one old Scottish dear down the back shouted up, “You’re a monster!”. Even through her cataracts she could see that I was a monster, A SPECIMEN, a thing forged of the Gods, and just for her I made my pecs dance through my business t-shirt. So impressed was the old dear that she burst into tears and sat back down. Now why the fuck can’t the opposition ever respond correctly like that, I ask you?! I made a mental note to ask her afterwards if she had a grand daughter.

I normally don’t dip my wick that far north, you understand, but there wasn’t many fillies here and any sort in a storm, or something.

As usual my dancing pecs took over and I felt the pump come on. I decided I might as well give the old bird a show and moved aside from the podium and started doing push-ups. After a few dozen I got so fired up I jumped up and hurled the table the other speakers were sitting at off the stage and into the audience as I screamed, “WELBONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!”. After plenty of deep breaths I shackled my INNER BEAST and returned to the podium for my well-deserved standing ovation for having DOMINATED the shit out of the speech. As I gazed out at the crowd expectantly the only sound was that of the rozzers coming in the back of the auditorium. Puzzled by this turn of events my eye caught the notes left on the podium that I had ignored earlier. It read:

 The Wellbeing Conference – Lifestyle And Meditation Tips On How To Live A Normal Life With Extreme Chronic Nervous Disposition

Cole, you colossal, fat, bastard …

 As told to CrashSharkKoctopuss

About sagmog

Just the facts, man.
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632 Responses to It’s Always The Quiet Ones

  1. Baldy says:

    Flair – whose the young centre who left toulon, think his name begins with F, you not picked him?

  2. Chekhovian says:

    I have had a shitfuckload of work to do before the Xmas break, which explains the lower frequency of my posts. You’ll all be happy that I’m crawling slowly towards the finish line over the dead bodies of article deadlines.

    I’m still lurking though, and you’re all keeping me sane. Thanks.

  3. Underdog says:

    Flair – that is a terrifying team. I have such high hopes for this 6N.

    Or had, before that team, especially if PSA has run out of the crazy pills that come with the job.

  4. tichtheid says:

    “I just hope the contract includes the words ‘temporary’, ‘based’ and ‘performance’”

    Others have mentioned the “Dead Cat Bounce”, such as we got when Hadden took over….. any room on that park bench? I’ll bring my own Buckie.

  5. Underdog says:

    You mean Fickou, Baldy?

  6. LarryMilne says:

    @Baldy – it involves a ludicrous Sonny Bill pass (I know he’s not for everyone…) immediately after a dummy – the feint does one guy, he draws the other and then that offload…

    / \

    The reason I love it so much is just how fucking ballsy it is. Every team gets more overlaps:

    1. from turnover ball
    2. near their own line

    than in other situations. This is a combination of the two but it takes real skill and chops to take advantage like they did – in a live match, ie. up for grabs, one score in it with 25 to play – especially given where they started – after scragging a Blue nearly into touch in the (opposite) corner. Then… right across the pitch, with defenders near by… I’ll stop telling you why I love it and just show you.

    Can’t find the try on it’s own, but it begins around 4.45 in this:

    Joué joué!

  7. LarryMilne says:

    Domingo Kayser Mas
    Pape Maestri
    Dusautoir Picamoles Nyanga (won’t happen, too many players from Toulouse)
    Parra Michalak
    Medard Fofana Fritz Clerc
    Bench: Buttin, David, Trinh-Duc, Ouedraogo, Chouly, Vaahimanea (spelling? 2nd row from Perpignan) , Debaty, Tolofua, Guillamon.


    Leave Clerc out for the Dublin visit. Hide his passport, or something.

  8. LarryMilne says:

    / \


    That was supposed to be:

    / \

    (I’ve used an o instead of an 0 in case that was the issue).

  9. LarryMilne says:

    Quick steal.

    Number seven, can’t help it.

  10. PlanetoftheChimps says:


    I’ll take any win however it comes!

    All are welcome on my park bench. I’ll have some tennants special brew to supplement the buckie. The crusty sleeping bag completes the picture

  11. Underdog says:

    When I said Scotland should go for a SH coach, I meant anyone other than SJ, btw.

  12. Baldy says:

    Nice larry, nice – some blinding tries there! Try celebrations seem to be taking hold in the superdooper too!

    I can see why you admire that try too, the quick hands, the miss pass used well, the lovely offload to the 7 on the support line.. the text book two-on-one.. thing of beauty

  13. tompirracas says:

    None of the 100s of PhDs I know can spell or employ grammar.

    Technically, what this means is that they can’t spell grammar and neither are they able to speak/write according to prescribed ideas of English grammar. But, congratulations on your Phd.

    Enjoying the stuff on here.

  14. tichtheid says:

    “When I said Scotland should go for a SH coach, I meant anyone other than SJ, btw”

    Oh aye, say that now, now that it’s too late. Thanks Underdog, I blame you for this.

  15. Baldy says:

    how long are SBW’s arms as well.. he would have made a good orangutan in another life..

  16. captbnut says:

    Hope you guys don’t mind a regular Guardian btl reader and irregular poster joining you over here. Thought it had gone quiet.

  17. tichtheid says:

    Welcome captbnut.

  18. LarryMilne says:

    Hope you guys don’t mind a regular Guardian btl reader and irregular poster joining you over here. Thought it had gone quiet.

    I think the last thing anyone would consider this place, or want it to be considered by anyone, is a private or semi-private club…

    Wilkommen, etc.

  19. toooldtoplay says:

    And Welcome captbnut from me too

  20. PlanetoftheChimps says:

    that try was a thing of beauty. Nice

    I like the way all the players in the whole of that clip looked so comfortable ball in hand and passing out of contact. Simples

    I didn’t like that silly try scoring dance though.

  21. LarryMilne says:

    @Baldy – Super Rugby is the best Saturday morning TV I’ve seen since Thundercats, and the Chiefs were a pleasure to watch this year.

    Sonny Bill is a lot of things, but one of those things is definitely absurdly talented and good at rugby. I hope (as he has basically said is his preference) he’s only gone for a year.

    And, yes, opensides picking the ball up after running 40 or 50 metres in support and then giving a scoring pass… that’s my kind of shit (and watch where Cane starts…).

  22. themightykruppe says:


    Quality video – agree that Super Rugby is awesome viewing and Sonny Bill is often worth switching on a Chiefs game on his own.

    Must say, however…they all look a lot better with hair. The clips from earlier in the season where they all shaved their heads makes it look like there were 15 Nathan Sharpes running around the paddock with Mad Skillz!

  23. Baldy says:

    I didn’t like that silly try scoring dance though.

    kind of irrelevant really, not like the scottish players score regularly enough to be worth practising a routine..

  24. sagmog says:

    Nice to see you Tom.

  25. sagmog says:

    not like the scottish players score regularly enough to be worth practising a routine..

    We put three on the (non-ill) ABs.
    It’s t’other end that’s the problem now….

  26. killerline says:


    Nice to see you.

    You must have a PhD, the pedantry is strong in this one…

  27. OnlyoneT says:


    the bit i don’t get is the players really don’t give a monkeys on scoring that try. Even the fans look a bit non-plussed. I’d be going apeshit in the crowd and expecting the player to celebrate that one like they’d just won a trophy. I guess when you score tries that good so often who gets excited when you go length of the field

  28. Baldy says:

    onlyonet – i think youve got it all wrong..

    when youve just run the length of the pitch your fooking knackered. your just glad to put the ball down!

  29. tompirracas says:

    Hi, sag.

    Was on holiday for 3 weeks, in the middle of which the Great Escape happened., which meant I missed the exodus.

    In the middle of the holiday I cut off a day on the Caribbean coast to nip back to the hotel room to see Wales-Australia. I almost cried at the end.

  30. Baldy says:

    like with manu when he was accused of disrespecting the AB’s.. just bloody knackered..

  31. sagmog says:

    I guess when you score tries that good so often who gets excited when you go length of the field

    And that’s exactly what’s wrong with this style of rugby: Awesomeness Fatigue.
    Ruins the game.

  32. killerline says:


    Exactly. Basketball was originally an amazing game. Full of grit, skill and honour.

    That was in the year 1045. Now it’s a money-belching statistics lecture.

    The south seem to want rugby to go the same way for some reason.

  33. sunbeamtim says:

    Yup , undereducated too. Always reminded of it as soon as i hit post .
    No mention of Jonnie May as a bolter ? Thought he looked really class last year , whats happened to him ?
    Had the address up for about twenty minutes now ,too , Baldy . The tide turning or just a Christmas party for moderators ?

  34. sagmog says:

    I almost cried at the end.

    The sense of frustration on the rugby blogs even from the non-Welsh was palpable.
    Normally shadenfreude is the order of the day.
    Not that day. ‘Twas brutal.

  35. RedWyrm says:

    …to nip back to the hotel room to see Wales-Australia. I almost cried at the end.

    You and me both, mate.

    By the way, in the spirit of relentless pre-Christmas work-dodging epitomized by this thread, I have wandered far through the interwebs. Out there, I happened upon an interesting re-examination of the Pixar films, which has yielded gems such as “[Wall-E] is essentially now a superbeing, the literal repository of racial knowledge, the Kwisatz Haderach of sentient trash compactors”. It’s worth a look here.

  36. OnlyoneT says:


    That might be the case for the fatties but not the super streamlined backs.

    And whats with the crowd? There is a 7 year old waving a flag and that’s it, he’s probably been waving that flag all bloody game. It’s a home game for the Chiefs and the fans have ‘awesome fatigue’ a try like that should have everyone on their feet, they’re probably booing, even the atmosphere vacuum that is Vicarage Road is excited on scoring their freak try.

  37. OnlyoneT says:


    I see your intellectual critique of pixar films and raise you a hand dryers of GB blog

  38. RedWyrm says:

    @OnlyoneT — but, but… I was enjoying that Pixar critique… unless you mean to say that you’re similarly enjoying the hand dryers of GB? In which case, more power to you! 😉

    (Honestly, it’s amazing what’s out there, isn’t it? Case in point.)

  39. MichaelVaughanMyLord says:

    Bad news – Quins v Connacht is on Saturday

    Good news – it’s at 1:30pm. I might just be able to get away with it, especially as I was intending to take my nephew for his first game as a Christmas present (I don’t want to go Mrs MVML, it’s family duty)

    Won’t be able to get on the lash though as have dinner booked for the evening.

  40. MichaelVaughanMyLord says:

    Anyone else going to the Quins v Irish Big Game thingy?

    On the day of the England v All Blacks game the in-laws texted me saying, ‘Good news, we got you rugby tickets!’ You can only imagine my feelings when it transpired it was for said Christmas game.

    Some people just don’t think.

  41. Baldy says:

    MVML – eh? not a fan of the big games? whose the entertainment this time, xfactor rejects?

    need to get myself to kingsholm since im living fairly local, havent been for years, good times though!

  42. Baldy says:

    No mention of Jonnie May as a bolter ? Thought he looked really class last year , whats happened to him ?

    been injured a bit? not seen him in the glaws games ive watched this season – admittedly not that many.

    Glaws have some fantastic talent though, really excited about what nigel davies can achieve there

    I would imagine he’ll be off to coach wales once he’s had a bit of success with glaws though

  43. MichaelVaughanMyLord says:

    Yep – the forced fun factor is increasingly grating.

    Rubbish beer at Twickers as well.

    Still, it’s good for the bank accounts I suppose.

  44. Timbob says:

    MVML – Beer in the stadium at Twick is poor, true, and overpriced. BUT, there is a new pub opened on the high street which is excellent for proper beer. Discovered that just before going in to the Eng NZ game – pretty sure that’s what sealed the win, me finding good beer. I think.

  45. thaumaturge says:

    Regarding Kitson’s selection and allegations of its being deliberately controversial: is there any evidence that he ever reads BTL?

    Was only an occasional visitor to the rugby blogs, but can’t remember ever seeing him commenting under an article.

    Andrew Brown (on the Belief blog) is definitely guilty of frequent ATL trolling; I think he’s even admitted it once or twice. That blog seems to be generating less than half of the number of comments it did before The Change.


    On another note, I would love to see someone do a column from Andy Powell.

    Been thinking the same thing – he’s a natural. (ps – Wales are my second-favourite national side; don’t tell anyone. Even if they are often crap sometimes play below their potential.)

    Back to Lions selection, I don’t get the love for Manu and the taller PFDB (ie Ashton). Yeah, they’re both big; they’re also both very one-dimensional.

    Phillips and d’Arse would be dreadful choices, and imho Roberts has only ever looked very good playing next to BOD (same reason d’Arse is still playing).

    Ha’penny should defo be on the tour (fitness permitting); it’s essential to have someone who can make the kicks, especially long-range ones.

  46. sagmog says:

    Never seen Kitson BTL.
    And I think Rees does all the webchat stuff.
    Given the standard of his journalism lately, I get the impression Kitson’s just phoning it in now.
    Agree about Halfpenny, if fit, he has to go.

  47. flair99 says:

    Larry, great video, despite the awful music and the cheesy montage.
    Baldy, you probably think about Fickou. He’s not in my team because it’s either him or Fofana. But he could also play 13 instead of Fritz. I like Fritz, he’s a monster in defense.
    And now end of work for today;

  48. thaumaturge says:

    Oh and sorry, forgot to congratulate Crash on the superb ATL. Am not very familiar with THE HASK since I mostly watch Rabo and HC matches, but now I think I have the measure of the man, thanks to the fine work on this blog.

    And god, that pic.

    The introduction to the Honey Badger was likewise illuminating.

  49. thaumaturge says:

    Sag – the mister has the misfortune to be a Cardiff man, so I’ve watched most of their matches this season. It’s basically Leigh Halfpenny + 14 incompetents against some other sides. Don’t think Roberts has actually made it through a whole match without going off injured, and Sam Who?

  50. Strictly says:

    But how many dimensions does Manu need, given he can just smash thru?(actually would like to see him develop further, but the raw attack can be pretty darn effective)

    And can we start a club for the non-PhDs in the blog? Just so we don’t feel too inadequate?

  51. thaumaturge says:

    Strictly – but he can’t run without his legs, which is what a lot of oppo players seem to have worked out.

    I do not have a PhD either. I nearly had an MA but I couldn’t be arsed completing the thesis.

  52. titimanionga says:

    Anyone want some Hask Tweet updates? Oh, go on then:

    So good to see Arnie S, back in the mix. He hasn’t lost it. The chat is off the scale. “I need a weapon, something big.

    Just had a bizarre experience. Sitting a restaurant, and a table of rugby nauses are slagging me off. They haven’t seen me yet. Options?……
    ….followed by:
    I like the windmill option, but I have decided to smile as always and walk. Let’s be honest I am like marmite. You either love or hate me

    Well, he’s half right

  53. Baldy says:

    Back to Lions selection, I don’t get the love for Manu and the taller PFDB (ie Ashton). Yeah, they’re both big; they’re also both very one-dimensional.

    I tend to think these comments are often the domain of armchair fans (with all due respect tot he fact a lot of us are armchair fans), i mean fans who havent played for a while and forget the brutal simplicity of rugby. watch too much televised games, forget what its actually like to tackle a player of exceptional pace & power.

    Rugby is a game of getting over the gainline, of momentum, of winning the physical battle, and of smashing the shit out of the opposition as much as running around them.

    I have been saying that manu is a worldclass smasher for a year, and been shushed right up until he smashed he way through every worldclass defense he played. Then manu couldnt pass, couldnt offload, right until he started offloading and passing, against the best teams in the world. At what, 20, 21?

    Now this.. If manu was multifaceted, right now, and not just in the basics (he can pass, he can offload), if he was, for example a creative centre, he would be the best centre in the world. No doubt, no hubris.

    What he is, right now, is the single most effective gainline weapon in Home nations international rugby. All the hype about north.. manu has the impact north has never managed, manu can dominate games. Where he has looked one dimensional, it is because the england team lacked any multi faceted attacking game and relied on him to much. But they have only relied on him too much becasue he is that effective.

    But anyone who doesnt think manu should start for the lions has forgotten what it is like to tackle.

    There isnt a defense in the world, not one, that isnt scared of manu.

    You think the AB’s, the saffers, the Aussie think manu is too one dimensional? Bollocks do they. They think about how to stop him.

  54. sagmog says:

    I wonder what it’s like to be that un-self-aware?
    Could be totally liberating…

  55. Strictly says:

    Thaum – hurrah! Now we just need a cool name for our little clique….

    And while I totally agree that if you get your position right, you can bring anyone down(it was the basis if backys career after all), it does seem that a lot of players forget that when faced with ten ton of Samoan running at them. Plus, you have to allow for momentum!

    I think he’s too effective not to be there, but I wouldn’t seriously suggest he’s a complete player, he’s still very much a baby and has lots to work on. I just don’t see anyone else who’s more consistently threatening

  56. Baldy says:

    but he can’t run without his legs, which is what a lot of oppo players seem to have worked out.

    Who exactly has figured this out?

    What a ridiculous statement anyway, you mean international defenses, after a year of being smashed top shit, have figured out you have to tackle player sby their legs to stop them?!

    OMFG* why didnt someone tell the Ab’s! off first phase! Shit, why didnt anyone tell shaun edwards last year when manu recorded more metres ball in hand then the entire welsh backline in the 6N Game!

    My god! all those international players who didnt even think of this.

    Dont be stupid.

    * ive never used OMFG before, but i think this is an appropriately stupid conversation to use it.

  57. Baldy says:

    to be fair, mani is about 2ft tall, there aint much leg to aim at

  58. sagmog says:

    You’ve been Baldy’d.
    We’ve got badges and T-shirts and everything.

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