Inside your Sunday Hask today: Borg Astro Turf In-Goal Debacle; Throbshawless Quins Heroic; Irish Slip In Bath; ROG predictably shite; and more. Plus Free Bonus Hask DNA.

By scrimping on the in-goal area, the Borg had enough left over to surprise his missus

By scrimping on the in-goal area, the Borg groundsman had enough left over to surprise his missus

The Borg unveiled their new artificially-turfed home ground to the surprise of many who anticipated an in-goal area instead of the 11″ of Astro Turf extending beyond the try line. An unnamed Borg official denied it was a plot by Anti-Fat Swallow-Diving Northern- Winger activists to cause the Ginster head injuries as he crashed into the grandstand. On the green plastic field, the Borg comfortably disposed of Exeter 33-11 despite their concrete hands.

Free to a good home due to redundancy. Apply to Borgland.

Free to a good home due to redundancy. Apply to Borgland.

Elsewhere, the Throbshawless Quins overcame a half-time deficit to out-tough ill-disciplined Leicester 25-21, Bath exploited the Exiles’ even poorer discipline – 18 penalties and 3 yellow cards – to triumph 40-16 for 6 wins in as many games, and Saints overpowered Worcester 27-18.

In the Rabies, ROG cemented his place in Ireland’s team for Scotland with an inept display in leading Munster to a 10-18 loss to Scarlets, and Leinster didn’t give Treviso a sniff in their 40-5 win.

Free to a good home due to shiteness. Apply to Declan. Please apply to Declan.

Free to a good home due to shiteness. Apply to Declan. Please apply to Declan.

A no-surprise Saturday in the Top-14 saw crushing victories to Toulon and Clermont. Daylight is shaping as the runner-up to Toulon in the premiership table.

Rabo001

Friday 15th Feb

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 3 v  GLASGOW WARRIORS 60

ULSTER 26  v  ZEBRE 3

EDINBURGH 16 v  CARDIFF BLUES 17

CONNACHT RUGBY 22 v  OSPREYS 10

Saturday 16th Feb

LEINSTER 40 v  BENETTON TREVISO 5

SCARLETS 18 v  MUNSTER 10

AP001

Saturday 16th Feb

Bath Rugby 40   v   London Irish 16

Saracens 31   v   Exeter Chiefs 11

Worcester Warriors 18   v   Northampton Saints 27

Harlequins 25  v   Leicester Tigers 21

Sunday 17th Feb

London Wasps   v   Gloucester Rugby

London Welsh   v   Sale Sharks

T14001

Friday 15th Feb

Toulouse 18 v Perpignan 19

Saturday 16th Feb

Toulon 51 v Montpellier 6

Clermont Auvergne 56 v Mont-de-Marsan 3

Grenoble 27 v Agen 13

Racing Metro 15 v Bayonne 10

Stade Français 30 v Bordeaux Begles 14

Biarritz 15 v Castres 9

If your Free Bonus Hask DNA wasn’t attached to the cover of your Sunday Hask, please ask your newsagent.

dna

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236 Responses to Inside your Sunday Hask today: Borg Astro Turf In-Goal Debacle; Throbshawless Quins Heroic; Irish Slip In Bath; ROG predictably shite; and more. Plus Free Bonus Hask DNA.

  1. firstdifference says:

    He also, sadly, has a self-destruct button.

    I live in hope. He actually showed up at the beginning of this season in shape, rather than several kilos too heavy as in past seasons. Maybe he has learnt some lessons.

  2. sagmog says:

    Maybe he has learnt some lessons.

    If you like booze too much, probably best giving it a miss?

  3. firstdifference says:

    Or put in the effort to counteract its effects. He is in shape at the beginning of the season, which is new. I don’t know what the cause is.

  4. sagmog says:

    Why did that go to a new page on comment 181?
    That’s not right.

  5. firstdifference says:

    Unintended consequences. Your conservative nature should have warned you about messing with things too much.

  6. avsfan says:

    Larkham was Casper The Ghost like in his ability to slip through a gap.

  7. dermott says:

    KB’s caught up in an ongoing battle between the good and bad influences in his life. His large extended family in Sydney’s west has provided both. He was charged with assault after a fight within the family. The worst thing that happened to him was the death of his grandfather. He was the very best influence. Add hangers-on drawn to his high profile status and you’ve got an even more difficult mix.

  8. dermott says:

    avs, very true. KB has great skills, but not that one. In fact I don’t know anyone else who does. Or did.

  9. brookter says:

    Dermott,

    Indeed, kongs are king. (I’m sure a marketing person could find a slogan in there somewhere, but it’s beyond me..)

    At the moment, Toby the Teethhound is working on a hot dog sausage, broccoli, cauliflower and peanut butter kong. He is quiet. The furniture is slowly starting to come out of hiding. Life is good.

    Sale are still capable of great altruism during a match, giving the other side points with reckless abandon, but they do seem to have become a lot more bloody-minded in the last few weeks. That’s 4 wins on the run. There may yet be hope.

    A propos de rien, we’ve got the in-laws round and are watching the Glasgow match again. Dragons started so well… then 60 unanswered points from Glasgow. A fine metaphor for the misery of life, I feel.

  10. dermott says:

    brookter, have you got him outside chasing the Kong yet?

  11. brookter says:

    Dermott,

    No, not tried that… At the moment it’s an occasional treat, if we go out and leave him in the cage for a hour, or if we’re desperate for a bit of peace.

    Do you mean just filling it up and lobbing it round the park?

  12. dermott says:

    brookter, eventually. Yes. You’ve already made the start by having him associate it with food. Has the Kong got the cord attached? If not, it’s easy to attach one. Take him down the park, put an easily accessible treat inside it, get his attention and throw it. Not too far. Ten yards or so. He will chase it. And scoff the treat.

    Then it’s a matter of getting him to bring it back. Encourage him to bring it back to you with another treat when he does bring it back. Always praise him hugely when he does. Dogs aim to please. Keep doing it and he’ll start to bring it back regardless of getting the extra treat. Because he’ll learn very quickly that bringing it back to you means you’ll throw it again – with a treat inside – and he’ll get the treat.

    Gradually increase the distances you throw it. And, eventually, you won’t even need to put a treat inside it. He’ll get tons of exercise and you can sit under a tree with a beer and the Hask blog on your iPad.

  13. Borderboy says:

    Just been looking at the Rabid table – 7 games to go and it looks as though it is 6 into 4. Question to the Rabid watchers among you – do you think the current top 4 will stay the same?

    Ulster 58pts
    Glasgow 51pts
    Leinster 49pts
    Scarlets 46pts
    Ospreys 43pts
    Munster 41pts

  14. brookter says:

    Thanks dermott — good advice.

    He’s doing all right with his recall (for 13 weeks old) which everybody says is the one thing you have to get right with labradors. On the advice of the trainer, we use a gundog whistle and reward him with a special recall-only treat (hot dog sausage). Seems to work well – we took him to the park and let him off the lead for the first time last week and he came back to the whistle every time, even when he was playing with other dogs. (Beginner’s luck, probably…)

    Your kong-plan sounds like a really good next phase — will definitely try it.

  15. dermott says:

    Sounds like you’re doing everything right, brookter. Getting him coming back – especially from playing with his mates – is excellent. The theory is that lots of exercise cuts down on the furniture chewing but my one experience with a Lab didn’t entirely bear that out.

  16. avsfan says:

    A while back we had some friends around for an extended dinner, and were desperate for ways to keep the unruly puppy from dominating what we hoped would be a relaxing, social affair. Solution, on the advice of a friend, was to stuff a kong with peanut butter and freeze it, then give to puppy when guests arrive. Worked a treat, probably kept her occupied for close to three hours.

  17. brookter says:

    Cheers, dermott. The thing with the exercise is the limitation you’re supposed to put of five minutes per month of age per day. That’s only 15 minutes at the moment (of structured walking, it doesn’t include racing round like a mad thing in the back garden). We go for a short walk round the block in the morning (about 15-20 mins). I appreciate it’s meant as a guideline to avoid over-exercising the joints, but it does feel quite low in terms of the energy he has left. We’ve started taking him out at night for a 5-10 minute short walk and that seems to help, but I don’t want to damage him by overdoing it.

  18. brookter says:

    Avs, advice re kong-lollies duly noted! Cheers.

  19. killerline says:

    I’ve found you can do the same with All Blacks fans with a world cup frozen in a kong. AVS would gnaw away at it for hours.

  20. yosoy says:

    Question to the Rabid watchers among you – do you think the current top 4 will stay the same?

    Swap the Os and Scarlets around and it’s probably about right.

  21. dermott says:

    brooker, I’ve seen those exercise stats before. Like everything, some treat them as Biblical, while even some vets dispute them. It’s not a good idea to take his energy levels as a guide. Lab pups are inexhaustible. All of my dogs would have exceeded those stats to a small extent – including three Old English Sheepdogs, a breed prone to any joint problem going – without any problems. I can’t see that your extra bit of walking will hurt him in the slightest.

  22. hamnashida says:

    “But my first love was Jonny”

    And mine was Gareth Edwards (and Phil Bennett, and JPR)…or possibly Mike Gibson. That’s the great thing about the Sunday Hask BTL community, Cod; spans the generations – and indeed the species not to say genus -es (‘you’re a fish, I’m a camel – at least I would be if I could work out how to gravatar myself up… ).

    Some great stuff this w.e. Rugby, eh?

  23. bedfordbluesfan says:

    Brookter,

    Exercise is not usually the problem. What you have to watch with labs particularly, is lots of sudden changes of direction as this stresses the joints.

  24. brookter says:

    Dermott, Bedford

    Just got back from the second short walk. We’re taking the guidelines as ‘if we say 5 mins per month, 10’s probably all right but don’t be stupid and walk him for an hour.’ ie. they’re a rough guide to allow you to exercise common sense.

    The vet says the real thing is to avoid big jumps (stairs, in/out of car boots) onto hard surfaces. On and off the couch is ok though (we don’t care about the furniture as it’s old — but wouldn’t matter if we did because the little bugger’s up there as soon as we go out of the room…)

    All good stuff — I appreciate your advice!

  25. avsfan says:

    I’ve found you can do the same with All Blacks fans with a world cup frozen in a kong. AVS would gnaw away at it for hours.

    My belly is quite pleasantly full of WC lollies at the moment, thanks Killer. How’s yours?

  26. bedfordbluesfan says:

    So, Henson was extremely influential for London Welsh? He’s gonna tour with the lions, isn’t he!

    Oh and not having been on the blogs properly for a few days did anyone here coin the term “Fancy Dan versus Permatan” for Cippers v Agent Orange?

  27. bedfordbluesfan says:

    I’m going to see Wasps v London Irish next weekend as part of a stag do. HOpe it’s a cracker, both teams having much still to play for this season. Looking forward to seeing Wade in action.

  28. brookter says:

    Bedford. No we didn’t unfortunately. An opportunity missed, clearly.

    I’ve just listened to Gavin Henson’s post-match interview: he was commenting (rather than whinging) about the sun in their eyes in the last few minutes, and both he and the interviewer laughed about the irony of him complaining about the presence of sun…

    Daniel Braid came across well in his interview — he’s been a really good signing for the club.

  29. avsfan says:

    The (NZ) Blues will miss Braid this season. I hope he has a decent injury-free run, because he is a terrific player who leaves his heart out on the pitch every game.

  30. brookter says:

    Braid has certainly won a lot of praise at Sale, avs, not just for his play, I think, but also for his attitude. Top bloke all round.

  31. avsfan says:

    I would imagine Kirwan was faced with a big call when letting him go. The Blues lack experience this year. I can only assume he weighed up the obvious things Braid brings to the team – skill, toughness, leadership, experience – against his injury history, which has seen him miss significant chunks of the last three – four seasons.

    He suffered from the curse of being born the same time as Ruchie.

  32. brookter says:

    Ah, I sympathise with him.

    I’ve always put my failure to represent England at anything down to the pure bad luck of being born at the same time as several hundred thousand people more talented than me.

  33. killerline says:

    My belly is quite pleasantly full of WC lollies at the moment, thanks Killer. How’s yours?

    I’ll go hungry until 2015 my friend.

  34. dermott says:

    brookter, bedford’s right about the sudden stress on the joints. I was going to mention that but ran out of time. Dinner intervened. Of course it’s a big help, too, if the pup’s folks are/were certified free of things like hip dysplasia.

    Anyway, Dan Braid is a great Sale signing and, the one time I’ve seen him, he really toughened them up. He left the Queensland Reds – where he was enormous value – to return to NZ for one last crack at an ABs jersey. That didn’t work out – as it was never going to, unfortunately, bar some key injuries – so he was happy to choof off again.

  35. brookter says:

    Dermott, our previous dog suffered badly from hip dysplasia (we didn’t get her as a puppy), so we’re really conscious of this: the main reason we went to a breeder (rather than rescue) was to get the medical history. The father’s hip score is 0 and the mother’s is 5 (the breed average is 11, apparently so these are really good scores). You can never be sure, of course, but at least Toby’s starting off with a good chance.

  36. MisterIks says:

    Until his knee-knack QC was lollies made liquid in the 3rd place WC play-off against Wales. Head and shoulders above anyone else on the field.

  37. therealbennyblanco says:

    Rule #1 of S 15 picking – never back the Farce

    This is Rule #2. Rule #1 is always back the Crusaders. Rule #3 is toss a coin when backing the Blues. Rule #5 is don’t back the Stormers to get a 4 try bonus point.

    Oh and the Reds DID beat the Crusaders in the 2011 regular season, 17-16 and Suncorp. I was there, I remember it well.

    All things being equal, Cooper should be the Wallabies 10. The Reds were woeful on Saturday and they need to improve massively before Saturday.

  38. therealbennyblanco says:

    I missed out Rule #4. Hmmm…

  39. firstdifference says:

    The Reds were woeful on Saturday and they need to improve massively before Saturday.

    Rule 6 don’t back the Reds early in the season, they start slowly. Even in 2011, they struggled past the Force (rule 1 takes precedence when 1 & 6 are relevant at the same time) and then got well and truly hammered by the Tahs. Similarly, last year they struggled past an awful Tahs team, winning only because the Tahs kicked them the ball back to them in the final seconds and they scored a miracle try.

    They should get better. It’s easier for a team to play the Brumbies’ style of rugby early in the season than it is for the Reds to play theirs, particularly when they are missing a key playmaker in Genia. I still think they will top the conference.

  40. avsfan says:

    I’m looking forward (kinda) to seeing how the Tahs will go under Cheika. Turnaround, or more of the same schadenfreude-laden misery?

  41. avsfan says:

    Of course, same could be said for the Blues.

  42. firstdifference says:

    Of course, same could be said for the Blues.

    At least you have memories of past triumphs. Think about us poor Tahs fans, we have nothing.

  43. avsfan says:

    Oh, my goodness fd. I didn’t realize you were one of those. My commiserations, Sir.

  44. therealbennyblanco says:

    I’m not going to pass comment on FD’s Waratahs allegiance until after the weekend. Looking forward to going up to Suncorp again. Only issue is the pitch looked a bit cut up in the A-League match there and it’s forecast to rain all week.

  45. avsfan says:

    Tickets for the Lions tests sell out in five minutes.

    And apparently the AP are in talks with Sanzar about an inter-hemisphere comp to replace the Heinie. Can’t see that going anywhere. For most of the clubs, Salford is too far, let alone Sydney.

  46. boomkingish says:

    Plus a lot of those English clubs have a few English players on the books, and apparently those guys can’t be trusted downunder.

  47. avsfan says:

    Just lock up your dwarves, chamber maids and eighteen year olds.

  48. avsfan says:

    And don’t take them on any boat rides.

  49. avsfan says:

    Quade’s boss:

    Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver believes Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper should focus on rugby rather than building a career in the boxing ring like former All Black Sonny Bill Williams.

    “Do I like the fact that one of our Super Rugby players had a boxing match the week before the first game? In all honesty, no, not particularly,” Pulver said in comments published by The Australian newspaper on Monday.

    “Had I been coach of that team, that would not have been my preference. But that’s water under the bridge. There’s nothing I can do about that.

    “My preference is those players who are contracted to the ARU focus on rugby.”

    Meanwhile, on Planet Quade:

    “Once I go into the ring there’s all the lights, all the cameras – that’s where I want to be,” Cooper said after his first foray into the ring, adding that he hoped to have another fight later this year.

  50. therealbennyblanco says:

    @AVS,

    This doesn’t surprise me. I had access to advanced sales two weeks ago and those tickets sold extremely quickly, so I’m surprised there were any left to go to the general public. I got mine though…

  51. Chekhovian says:

    @Benny

    Rule 4 is don’t talk about Rule 4

  52. Kocktopuss says:

    Morning all.

    Can’t believe none of you yesterday pointed out the irony of red-headed Sag putting up a red-top banner on the blog. The banner is excellent by the way, Sag!

  53. dermott says:

    Morning sir. He was referenced in the Saturday Hask re Glasgow.

    Do I like the fact that one of our Super Rugby players had a boxing match the week before the first game? In all honesty, no

    Do I hate people asking themselves questions in this way? By cripes I do. It’s one of those stupid things that has crept into the language along with pro-active, if you will, etc.

  54. dermott says:

    I’m looking forward (kinda) to seeing how the Tahs will go under Cheika. Turnaround, or more of the same schadenfreude-laden misery?

    If Cheika can’t do it, no one can. At least he took the captaincy from Benn Robinson, one of the proponents of Player Power under the previous regime, he who urged a light pre-season last season, leaving the Tahs – and himself, mostly – undercooked.

  55. Kocktopuss says:

    @dermott

    I’d agree regarding Cheika. Some of the stories about him out of Leinster (and the vast bulk are positive. Hugely so.) paint him as rather ferocious when it come to him establishing that he’s the alpha and you do what he says.

    If even he can’t sort them out and produce some sort of turn around then it’s fair to say probably no-one can and the only thing to do is to give Robinson back the captaincy, hire in P. Divvy and Lievremont as the new coaches and let us all enjoy the absurdity of their death spiral.

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