The Secret Diary of James Haskell (IQ 25 1/2): Date 22nd March 2013

This about sums it up.


Great big hairy non-steroid shrunken balls. How did we let this happen?

Of all the bloody nations to get DOMINATED by, we had to go and roll on our backs with our legs in the air for bloody Wales. I am almost inconsolable in my grief.

The omens, to be honest, weren’t good. The PE teacher had what can only be described as a brain fart by picking Twiglet Croft, fresh after a massive 3 games back, instead of me.

The back 3 is a disaster area as Ginsters still can’t find his misplaced mojo (I have a solution for that: withhold his pie allowance until he’s back on song), and we played so appallingly against Italy not showing any of our usual beef that it appeared that the wheels really had fallen off the wagon.

I can’t even find a way to blame the backs for this one. Well, I can, because they were just totally out-muscled by their opponents (even Manu never got his SMASHY SMASHY going), but it is a bit unfair.

No, this was a cock-up made in the coaching book.

Sickening. How did we let this happen?

And you know what’s really frustrating (aside from not starting me)? That the last time we got this close to a Grand Slam we were outrageously stuffed in Dublin by the Irish, and we swore that we wouldn’t let it happen again.

Well, so much for that promise. I just hope that the PE Teacher, Poppa Faz and Big Graeme don’t panic and “pull a Dark Overlord Jonno”.

Now is not the time for the faint of heart. We’re improving by the year, and it will be ours soon. Or at least it had better be. As I have a feeling my days are numbered. Such a thought is utterly and completely incon-fucking-ceivable, but yet…

I find myself raging against the dying light. Lancaster seems to have some bloody funny ideas about DOMINATION in the pack, and seems insistent on fazing me out. Does he not understand that I’m entirely essential? That not only do I provide the GUNS of the operation, but I’m also key for the WORLD CLASS BANTER™, and the promotion of TEAM ENGLAND as a  brand by tying it in with myself, THE BIG BRAND?


And I won’t even be able to say that it’s better to burn out than fade away with my 50th cap appearing in a piss-poor effort like that one. Not ending so much with a bang as a violation.

In times like this, I usually try to take solace in great poetry. Except nobody has ever written a poem to provide consolation when you’ve been given the Valley Sheep treatment.

And after a performance like that, we can just kiss goodbye to Warren picking any of us to go on the Lions. So, it’s off to Argentina for most of us. We had best lay down a proper marker; show them England is not to be trifled with as I hear the dirty buggers are making noises about the Falklands again.

I sign off for this 6 Nations a suitably chastened HASK.



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827 Responses to The Secret Diary of James Haskell (IQ 25 1/2): Date 22nd March 2013

  1. brookter says:

    Avs, always glad to oblige. Now if you could see your way to sudden and inexplicable batting collapse, I’d be very grateful.

  2. tichtheid says:

    @Borderboy, fitba was my first love, that was when Strachan played for Aberdeen, even before that in fact. As a wean I wanted to play for Rangers (I was a contrary bugger -everyone in my family supported Hibs and my uncle even played for them).

    I’ve long since given up the masochistic pain that goes with being a Scottish football supporter – delusions of adequacy was first used as a term to describe their outlook. I don’t even know who the players are anymore, but I was told a good story by a long time supporter.

    Scotland were playing at Hampden and this guy I know had the misfortune to sit beside a ned – shouting all sorts at the Scottish bench and McCoist in particular “McCoist yer nothing but a useless……..” you get the idea. So McCoist is brought on later and yer man goes into apoplexy; “Ya useless orange fucker, ya bastard McCoist etc (for the information of others not acquainted with our ways, this “fan” is a Scotland supporter). So with his first touch, McCoist takes the ball away from an opposition defender and with his second he plants it in the back of the net. The guy in the stand shouts; “Aye that’s all you’re good for, McCoist, scoring goals, ya useless …….”

  3. avsfan says:

    Vegas and 12 indeed.

    Batting collapse coming right up.

  4. avsfan says:

    Good yarn ticht.

  5. Bioface says:

    Was there tonight watching son number 2 playing tag at half time. Conditions were crazy and we left soon after half time to defrost. Good win for son (5-1) and Sale. Snow blowing into your face, Powell and Banahan – what’s not to like!

  6. Borderboy says:

    Ticht – like the story. I sometimes wonder if I’ve become hacked off because I’ve never really had a ‘team’. Born in Moffat, moved to Lesmahagow then over to Selkirk, so my nearest teams would have been Queen of the South, or Hamilton, or Motherwell (who my brother supports, sort of) or Gala Fairydean(!). I suppose it could be St. Mirren now as they are only a mile down the road, but I’ve never been in the habit of actually going to games, even when younger. Dad was out on the hill all the time, and no public transport so no way of getting there – and I wasn’t going to go to any football games when I came up to Glasgow – too much hassle.

  7. tichtheid says:

    Thing is, avs, when I was wee Scotland had a great mix of hard as nails players and real artists too.

    The former was exemplified by my grandfather’s favourite joke which he told me about fifty times; John Grieg (Rangers captain) limped back into the dressing room with two broken legs. He had no idea whose they were.

    Shit joke, but I’d give anything to hear him tell it again.

  8. tichtheid says:

    That would be John Greig, in fact.

  9. laraxwell says:

    Avs -what you said about POC Lion’s captain in waiting just proves that you are the wisest poster in blogosphere

  10. tichtheid says:

    Borderboy, I always thought of Gala Fairydean as being almost treachery 🙂

    Lara, elsewhere I’ve said if POC is fit and firing then he goes as captain, no question for me. It does everyone a favour, in fact, with the back row being so competitive.

  11. Utnapishtm says:

    HK Sevens

    Australia 14 Wales 19

    Mental block……my arse

  12. laraxwell says:

    ok Ticht -you are the co wisest poster in blogosphere
    now go ye ‘nd have a glass of Sherry

  13. Chekhovian says:


    Yeah, Scottish football is shit. I like to pretend it doesn’t exist. My sister used to physio for Hibs, and had abuse shouted at her during an u19s match versus Hearts when she ran onto the pitch to save a player from swallowing his tongue and asphyxiating. A Hearts player.

    Well done Ross Rennie, it’s lovely to have you back.

  14. tichtheid says:

    Sorry lara, I didn’t mean to post competitively, looking for a badge or whatnot, I was just in agreement, and everyone knows avs is the wisest anyway.

    I’m trying to stay off the sherry – it’s the gout, you know.

  15. tichtheid says:

    Chek, I wish we could find some way of bottling that passion and turning it into something positive – getting the fuckers along to a rugby match might help, but we do have an image problem outside of the Borders and East Lothian.

  16. Chekhovian says:


    I’m don’t think that is passion, I think it’s hatred. Certainly doesn’t belong in a rugby stadium. I’m not sure you can break that sort of tribalism. My dad and I were in the crowd when the abuse was aimed at my sister. I’ve never seen him close to murder before, I actually had to hold him back. Wasn’t easy, he’s a lot wider than I. He’s never been to a football match since.

    Basically, I fucking hate 70-80% of all the stuff that actually surrounds the game of football. I’d love to make rugby more popular in Scotland, but it’ll be tough to bring over the die hard football lot.

  17. avsfan says:

    We all know 7’s isn’t rugby.

    I recall Scotland putting out some decent football sides in the ’70s.

  18. laraxwell says:

    @chek -I posted a response to your ATL earlier in the week re Rennie -what he might have done for Scotland this year. Look what Tipuric did for Wales last Saturday. Rennie is the only similar international 7 I can think of for the home unions. Dominic Ryan could get ther for Ireland if he doesn’t let hype get to his head

  19. Chekhovian says:


    Yeah, saw that post of yours. You’re 100% right. We massively missed Rennie. Not just for his breakdwork – he’s a very good ball carrier, and is a great link man in attack.

  20. avsfan says:

    English cricket commentators attributing the slow NZ scoring tot he fact that maybe they don’t know how to push on after making such an unfamiliar, solid start. Might have something to do with great English bowling as well.

    Fulton out. Batting collapse proceeding nicely.

  21. laraxwell says:

    Avs is hosting the next BTL meet in Colorado
    Colorado -Rugby stronghold
    Fishing involved
    save up

  22. Chekhovian says:


    Stuart McInally. Promising player, very good rugby brain but maybe just a bit too small for international rugby. We’ll see.

  23. Borderboy says:

    The other main problem with Scottish fitba is that so much is tied up with things that have nothing to do with the game. I don’t want to get bogged down with the religious thing, but it does have a huge bearing on what happens in the game – not only between R*****s and C****c, but other clubs have their own versions of it. To be fair they have both tried to calm things down and they have been involved with various initiatives with schools, but it does seem to suit them to keep the separation there when they want it too. They both want to play down south but that’s not going to happen as the English don’t want them and their ‘fans’, so they’re stuck here.

  24. He was aggressive at everywhere. Impressed.

  25. avsfan says:

    Good call lara.

  26. Borderboy says:

    Anyway, enough depressing football talk – well done Edinburgh – pressure’s on Glasgow tomorrow. C’mon boys!

  27. Chekhovian says:

    I suspect that it’ll be down to McInally and Harley to duke it out for the 6 shirt at international level once Brown retires in a few years.

  28. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    Well done Embra – should finish above y Dreigiau now. Could have done the rest of the top half a favour and scored that try when you were over the line and seemed to try to pass though!

    On Scottish football fans – liked Gordon Strachan’s story about his father going to watch him when Leeds played at Rangers. His old man sat in the Rangers end, but cheered the Leeds goal when it went in. Stewards came along to throw him out – “You can’t sit here if you’re a Leeds fan”. “I’m no a Leeds fan – I’m a Hibs fan who happens to be supporting Leeds” was apparently his answer.

  29. tichtheid says:

    David Denton is only 23, Chek, he could be a useful 6 for the future, too.

    Kelly Brows has been my favourite players for a good few years now, it’s seems weird to be talking about successors.

    I felt that way about Jason White at the time, too.

    oh go on then

  30. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    Pretty fed up with the BBC radio commentary on the cricket. No credit whatsoever to England bowlers for keeping the scoring rate down. NZ slagged off (as they were during the last match) especially by Boycott for apparently only being interested in three draws. This despite them having played the most positive cricket of the series in the first test. Their most attacking batsman is now in with a good platform to take it to England. What the fuck is the problem?!

    Series getting slagged off for the cricket played despite the weather having destroyed any chance of a result in the first two games. Other than the weather what the fuck is the problem?

    NZ getting slagged off for not filling an enormous stadium. Crowd is similar to the other games and also to the historical attendance at this ground. Population of NZ something similar to Scotland. Given that the ground is probably not really appropriate for test cricket one would assume that there aren’t any in the city that are, but it is nevertheless one of the obvious places in NZ to have a test match. What the fuck is the problem?

    I hope Compton, Cook and Trott are going to be scoring at 4+ an over to play winning cricket. Otherwise I shall be asking what the fuck the problem is.

  31. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    Ticht – Jason White certainly had something about him. Felt sorry for him sometimes inasmuch as the team didn’t really feed off it as they should have.

    Hope you enjoyed the Edinburgh game tonight which was by and large pretty decent stuff I thought.

  32. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    Why was Pienaar not playing tonight? What do Ulster fans make of the half-back situation? Obviously there are three good players and Jackson’s confidence in front of goal has taken aknock, but what should be the way forward? Have wondered about this a few times – Jackson and Marshall seem very highly rated on here, but both of them are behind the same player as first choice in their positions. Would seem to me to make Deccie’s refusal to pick Marshall almost understandable – surely he should have left some time ago? Would love to know what the Ulster contingent on here think about this.

  33. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    Oh fuck it, late night blog steal as it’s an open goal. I decree that there will be no talk of death metal for at least 8 hours.Good luck to all tomorrow.

  34. ClydeMillerWynant says:

    I talk to the trees, that’s why they put me in here…

  35. killerline says:

    The balance

  36. avsfan says:

    Good rant Clyde. Agree with your sentiments / observations re the cricket. I think part of the problem is that there was an expectation that England would walk this series. I recall foreboding on these very pages that England might find the test series a tough nut to crack, and so it seems.

  37. avsfan says:

    Up late Killer.

    Plus, if England had game, perhaps there’d be a better crowd.

  38. sotovarishch says:

    avsfan – Are you in Denver? My brother coaches the Colorado School of Mines team who seem to be doing quite well.

  39. avsfan says:

    Tov – close to Denver, about three hours away. How long has your brother been stateside?

  40. avsfan says:

    Oh dear – 8 for 1.

  41. kobw says:

    Colorado School Of Mines????

  42. kobw says:

    Unleash the flying monkeys’

  43. kobw says:

    Compton got 12 of 72 balls, Clyde.

    Boycott moaning about slow batting is a joke

    He once bat all day for about 70 vs NZ in Auckland

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